A Short History of Darkness
كل طنجرة بتلاقى غطاها
Every Jar Finds Its Lid (Palestinian Folk Saying)
The scattered villages of the Western Galilee suddenly rose up before my eyes. I pictured the old, leather-faced Druze sheikhs, with their long black cloaks and white headdresses. As I sat there, I put out of my mind, for the umpteenth time, all thoughts of poor, dead Danaher. But I knew well that truth, like a boil on the backside or a bitter word on a dark night, cannot be ignored forever…
Jack O’Donnell has settled back into small town Ireland, from England, following a breakdown. His life is simpler now: he has his dogs, a music session every now and then, a .22 for rabbits, and guest lecturing, every couple of weeks, in London. There is a local woman too, with whom he is trying hard not to fall in love. All because of another dark-eyed woman, back in a Druze village in the Western Galilee.
But this love is haram and, worse still, deadly dangerous for both lovers.
Then there is the small matter of the garroting of an Irish soldier, Danaher (Jack’s putative father), in the British army, in a remote Galilean Druze village in British Mandate Palestine, in the Spring of 1948. It is a tale that must be told, if only to himself. But truth, as always, is bar-coded and comes with a price tag. And it involves the terrible memory of a massacre, airbrushed out of the history books.
In the end, the price of dispelling the darkness may be too high – for all concerned.