One-Word Sunday Challenge: Reflections

This challenge comes via Travel with Intent. Fun!

Carmel Airbnb, July 2021

Redwood City Public Library Seed Giveaway, April 2021

London Eye, November 2019

Kudos to the Tokyo Olympics

It did not turn out to be the super-spreader event that we all feared it might be.

Today, CNN reported that the Olympic Village reported 358 positive corona cases. While not insignificant, when considering the thousands who congregated in Olympic Village, this is an achievement. Kudos to host Japan!

For two weeks, self watched in awe as athletes battled their personal demons and PUT ON A SHOW.

Will never forget:

  • Stanford’s Katie Ledecky, slaying all
  • the courage of the entire US women’s gymnastics team: Suni Lee, Simone Biles, Mykayla Skinner, Jade Carey, Grace McCallum, and Jordan Chiles
  • Bobby Finke’s amazing races
  • Hidilyn Diaz delivering the Philippines’ first Olympic medal ever, and it was GOLD
  • German swimmer Florian Wellbrock losing twice, in the 800 and 1500, then coming back to win the 10k
  • Ukrainian swimmer Mykhailo Romanchuk, losing to Finke in the 1500, still having a sense of humor (photo-bombing Finke during his interview with Michelle Tafoya)
  • Neeraj Chopra delivering India’s first Olympic gold in track, in the javelin

and so many, many other stories, impossible to list all here.

Hidilyn Diaz, Filipina weightlifting champion

AND they even got a Belarussian sprinter her freedom.

Can’t wait for Paris 2024.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Essay # 3: The Art of Leaving, by Ayelet Tsabari

Yes, self did finally make it out of the thicket of Classic Fantasy and into a new book, a memoir in essays by Ayelet Tsabari. It’s not part of any book list: she just happened to hear a friend praise it to high heaven, so she added it to her reading list a couple of months ago. She was a little underwhelmed by the first essay (grief over losing a dad, when very young). Self wondered if this was going to be the anchor of the entire book. But there were flashes of Tel Aviv in there, and frankly self has always been fascinated by Tel Aviv, a city she’s been to only once, ages ago. Dearest Mum had a friend who was a pianist and he let us stay in his flat while dearest Ying was in the hospital there, dying of Stage IV leukemia.

The people self saw around her (on Ruppin Street) were the biggest Jews she had ever seen. Self says this facetiously. She has Jewish friends but they are not big. In Tel Aviv, not only were the people big, they were completely bronzed, like the models in ads for Italian fashion. And the beach was walkable, and it was white sand, and if she didn’t always pass the American Embassy looking like a fortress, with two implacable marines standing at attention outside, facing the sea, she would have thought she was on the Cote d’Azur.

Essay # 1 ended with a memory of the author being mean. Which raised self’s hopes, because that was a surprise, and that meant there would be other surprises in store.

Self liked Essay # 2, and now she is in Essay # 3, which is about the military service every Israeli citizen is required to perform, right after high school. She’s always been intensely curious about this experience. She forgot it was TWO YEARS. Wow, if someone had told self when she was growing up that she would have to lose two years of her youth to being at one with a rifle, she might have tried to run away or something.

Tsabari begins Essay # 3 when she’s served seven months. That means 17 more months of this routine:

  • We tumbled out of our beds at four o’clock every morning to days filled with repetitive drills and grueling duties: we scrubbed bathrooms, scoured the base’s grounds, washed mountains of dishes, and guarded the base at night. During the day, we ran.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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