Making Chicken Broth (and trying to metabolize the horrors of war)

a person eats a bowl of soup
Raw. I just made chicken broth.

I took the dead carcass, bones, cartilage, scraps of meat and skin.
I put the chicken bones into a small pot of water. Turning on the gas, I was aware and grateful for the gas line that fuels the stove.
I am grateful for the water that flows through the tap. I’m grateful for the pot and for the stove itself.
I’m grateful for the quiet in my house, and for the walls, and for the fact that I can stand here and turn it all on.
While it’s boiling I pay bills, put laundry in the dryer, pretend to read, but really doom scroll on Facebook, looking for something to lift my spirits.
The floor needs to be swept. The dog walked. I’ve got a list of things to do. But I have no doubt that this matters little when I think of the people across the sea, whose power has been cut off, who have no water, who have no medical supplies.
My soup is boiling and I think of the people who were kidnapped, raped…
I wonder what they are eating? I wonder how, two weeks in, they’re holding up? Are the babies still alive? Are the grandmothers reliving the trauma of their childhoods?
When will it end?
My soul is simmering and I cannot stop my brain from traveling through space and time.
I once dreamed of peace.
I bought olive oil from a Palestinian farmer.
I learned to write Salaam in Arabic. I created a “peace in the Middle East Day” and raised funds for playgrounds of peace.
Peace peace peace peace.
I’m not sure I know what the word means. I am not sure that I can dream of it anymore as I see dust in the rubble of Aza and funerals in Israel. The influx of souls at the gates of heaven is causing traffic jams- they are so loud! Can you hear them wailing “I’m not done yet!!!”?
Are any of us ever going to be the same?
It’s time to check the soup. It’s been there simmering for nearly 2 hours. I turn off the gas now. I pour the contents of the pot through a funnel. The broth, steamy yellow and rich, fills a glass jar. The wet bones and cartilage go to the green bin.
I want to make this broth the foundation of a soup, full of garlic and garden veggies. I want to invite my neighbors to come feast together.
But I don’t have time or capacity for friends right now. My dreams are shattered. I’m praying for a word that will replace my dream of “peace.”
I bless the source of all and drink this broth by myself. Standing in my kitchen, not even pouring it into a bowl. I need fortification. I need to nurture my bones, my own hope.
My cousin in Jerusalem was preparing Shabbat dinner when I called her last night. I could hear her scraping the skins off carrots, as she told me that her oldest son was able to come home for a few hours. Her youngest is now stationed on the Northern border.
I wish I could be closer. I wish I could hug the world. I wish I could go back in time and stop this crisis. I wish I could go forward in time and see with clarity a day when hearts will be mended and terrorism will stop.
I wish I could calm my own heart.
I wish I could make enough soup to nourish the broken, injured, hurting, praying, people of the world.
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