Thursday, January 05, 2006

Larger than life

While impressed by his success in executing the disengagement from Gaza last summer, and certainly curious regarding his future intentions, I still have trouble accepting the possibility that Ariel Sharon has become a man of peace, a man I could vote for with confidence, who would take the country in the direction that I believe it needs to go in. That being said, I have been seized by apprehension over this latest turn of events, and fear for the life of the man we call the Prime Minister.

I do not trust him as a politician. I don't trust his motives, I don't trust his words. During his term as Prime Minister, I have been repeatedly disappointed by his actions, as he would claim to want peace one moment, then in the next moment collectively punish the people of Gaza, rendering his words meaningless. Can a man whose not so distant past is characterized by punishing tactics, a man whose political life is seemingly riddled with corruption, truly turn over a new leaf? Quite frankly, I'm not sure.

However, it seems that now we will probably never know. Sharon has suffered a second stroke, with complications severe enough to have him rushed back into surgery following a long night spent on the operating table. I'm not a doctor, and my knowledge of such issues is limited to research I did last year following the illness (and subsequent death) of a friend. From what the experts on television have been saying, any recovery that he will be able to make (and even the very concept of recovery is questionable in this case) would take many months, and even then, the chances for a full recovery are virtually nil. Our Prime Minister has become incapacitated.

In times like these, I tend to think of the victim in personal terms. I think of a man who is larger than life, both literally and figuratively, and I think of how he will feel if he manages to survive this episode. Will he retain use of his mental faculties, and if so, will he be able to communicate, to let people know what he is thinking and feeling, or will he be a prisoner, trapped within the confines of his own body, a body that no longer works the way it should, the way he wants it to? Would he prefer to live in this prison, or would he prefer to be set free, his soul released from his body? I think of his family, his friends. I think of the children who love him and call him Grandpa. I think of a man who loves life and lives it to the fullest, slowing down for no one and never backing down in the face of adversity.

It is just after 9:00 in the morning, less than 12 hours since Ariel Sharon was struck and taken to hospital. Along with the people of Israel and the world, I sit and wait, wondering what will be, how we will be affected by the outcome. The mood on the street this morning was somber - I could see it in the faces of the commuters on the train, the people who make my morning coffee, the security guard in our office building. Overhearing scattered exchanges while making my way into work, it was the main topic of conversation. A nation holds its collective breath as we come together to wonder what the days ahead will bring, the only certainties being that nothing is certain and life is precious. And I am sad.


nrg said...

I am just hearing this news (I forfeit my look at the morning paper to get my kids off to daycare on news comes online over the course of the day).I have many mixed feelings about the man from a political standpoint, but I share your sadness for him, for his family and loved ones, and for Israel...facing a new and unexpected uncertainty for what the future holds. Keep me posted.

lisoosh said...

Shocking news. I was never a fan but he is one of the last of the "old guard", the politians and people around since independance was declared and as such connects us with the history of the nation in a way few remaining can.