Friday, October 16, 2009

Notes on a trip to Israel

(I hopefully will be blogging each day from Israel, Blog starts on October 17. Please follow along and tell others about it. Thanks. Bro. Dan)

Today, I bought an updated, durable, water-repellent, write-on/wipe-off surface, map of Jerusalem for $7.95 at Barnes and Noble.

Where did this journey begin? The old school house in Ellenwood, Georgia, sitting beside the trembling railroad tracks that carried the fragile leftovers of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or was it in the bomb that blew up the only high school I had ever gone to? Or maybe it was the in-between places; a church library, the old gospel bluegrass hymns playing on WCKY, or the death of the 14 year old boy who lived next door on Sanderson Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

Most of live is like that, lived between the lines. Life is a place one cannot name. This, my first Jewish journey is like that, a journey tounlock an encounter with oneself.

Someone once said, "Travel literature is a literature of dialogue, presenting a conversation between the traveller and the place, looking for points of connection."

I begin this journey to Israel with a distorted view of Jewish history. My total understanding is related to the Bible and the story of David "Mickey Marcus" in the movie Cast a Giant Shadow.

It is late on a Sunday night. The football game between Arizona and Indianapolis is almost over. I venture to begin reading the Art of Travel again by Alain De Botton. This book easily preceeds any important pilgrimage. In 2002 it was the only book I carried to Greece, Turkey, and Austra. It is a guidebook for a soul on a precarious journey.

The weather has changed recently, a forerunner of cooler autumn temperatures. I am a wanderer in the world of weather. As an amateur radio operator colder weather means immeasurably better radio conditions. Worldwide reception improves each day.

Choosing to go to Israel in October was partly a weather decision with hopes of cooler days and days. This is partly a speculative journey on our parts. I am now in the twilight of life, 66 to be accurate and Janet is 60. Our biggest concern at this point relates to health. I have survived a bout with cancer and Janet has constant headaches. The 13 hour flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv, seems to be a tenous journey at best.

Jerusalem is one the bucket list, followed by Rome, a boat ride down the Rhine river, and a trip to North Dakota, the only one of the 50 states I have missed.

News on Monday 9/28/2009

Jewish group's visit sparks clashes at Jerusalem holy site.


Street battles began in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday morning. Police: Clashes begin when Palestinians praying there start to throw rocks at visitors. Police says 2Palestinians and police officer hurt; former mufti says 9 Palestinians hurt.Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat calls the visit a deliberate provocation. (Nothing quite kike reading Israeli news early in the morning. In my mind danger is in the background always but I hide the possibility from myself.)

On Mount Carmel a group of hermit nuns came in 12th century. Carmel noted for its purity. Our lady of mount carmel.

October 8

Bought 5 books at Mckays uzed book store. Three were on Judiasm.

October 11

Studying the 20th century wars in israel.

October 12, 2009

Morning Prayer

Heavenly Fatherl our trip is 5 days away. I am trying to get in a spiritual mood for the journey, but it seems impossible. At work every moment is taken. People need assigning to take over my job. Letters need to be written. It is like a zoo. There is always something to clean up. There is no silent time. Every spare moment is taken up planning. Call verizon, visa, prepare cameras, check tickets.
Father, where is there time for you? Amen.


At 12:47 PM, Blogger Em said...

Good Morning from Colorado Sweet Souls! Opened my email and saw your news about the trip to Israel.

I said,"Hey, Gary! Dan and Janet are going to Israel." so I read him your blog.

We send our prayers with you.

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Cathy Stallworth said...


I can't wait to follow your adventure and insights into this trip. Enjoy!!

Cathy Stallworth


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