Past Squares 11: Jerusalem, 2008

The Squares Challenge this month is Past Squares. For more about it, see host Becky’s blog, Life of B. Self always enjoys looking through her galleries.

Today, self decided to go back to a fraught trip she took to Tel Aviv in 2008, to visit her sister-in-law, Ying, who was in Ichilov Hospital, diagnosed with Stage IV leukemia. Her brother had the use of an apartment on Ruppin Street and was there with his 9-year-old son.

Self was fascinated and enthralled by Tel Aviv, by its beaches, by its strolling couples, by its robust young life. She’d never known such big, healthy-looking people before. They looked really Mediterranean. And they were kind, too: patient in giving her directions, and usually even taking her by the hand and leading her directly to where she wanted to go.

One day, she took a day-trip to Jerusalem. She snapped the picture of the young soldiers at the Wailing Wall. Then she dropped by a bazaar, where she took the picture of the running children.

Later that year, Ying died. It was terrible; self had already returned to California. It was her brother who called and told her. Damn, why do the best die young. Ying’s son went on to study film at NYU. Her daughter, who wasn’t even a year old when Ying passed, is a beautiful, graceful girl who reminds self so much of her mother.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow of Colors (At Least 4)

Thanks once again to Cee Neuner for the Fun Foto Challenge!

Last October, self was in the historic English town of Winchester, which was hosting a Poetry Festival. The next Winchester Poetry Festival will be October 2020.


Winchester, England: City Map, October 2018


Tel Aviv Artist Reuven Rubin


A friend made this bag for self.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Something Will Happen”

Excerpt from “At the Station,” a short story by Amos Kenan, translated from the Hebrew by Chaya Galai, included in the anthology 50 Stories From Israel, edited by Zisi Stavi:

The station stretches as far as the eye can see. I order a cup of coffee, light a cigarette. Passengers are rushing about, suitcases in hand. The engine whistles and emits steam. A crowd of people are waving handkerchiefs. The train jerks forward. An engine hisses. The train brakes with a squeal. The passengers descend, suitcases in hand. Small convoys of luggage carts push their way through the dense crowd. The passengers move towards the exit.

I suck in cigarette smoke, and wait. Something will happen. I think I may fall in love.


Infinite 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

From The Daily Post:

    Capture “moments of wonder . . . when the infinite catches us by surprise. We stumble upon it in things both big and small: on the beach, staring into the horizon; in the depth of a loved one’s eyes; or even drowning in the emptiness of a Berlin subway car.”

Self thinks faith has a lot to do with experiencing the infinite:

Self dredged up the courage to ring the bell, too (though she couldn't ask anyone to take her picture while doing it)

The Shiva Temple at Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh:  After watching a dozen devotees reach up to ring the bell, self dredged up the courage to ring the bell, too (though she couldn’t ask anyone to take her picture while doing it)

Mountains, like these self saw in Dharamsala, which she visited in January 2012, are infinite:

Another view from the Buddhist Temple in Dharamsala

A view from the Buddhist Temple in Dharamsala

And this last picture is of a bazaar in the city of Jerusalem.  Self visited in April 2008, because Beloved Sister-in-Law Ying was receiving treatment for her leukemia in Tel Aviv.  Of all the pictures she took there, she loves this one the most.  Because a bazaar is as integral to a city’s life as churches are, and springs from impulses as ancient as faith.

In a bazaar in Jerusalem, April 2008

In a bazaar in Jerusalem, April 2008

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

And Now Self Is Home

After sitting for four hours straight behind a table while two different sets of students completed their finals, self is very very very dizzy.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, self discovered she left something very.very.very important.  In the rental car we drove to San Luis Obispo (a PT Cruiser that didn’t drive too smoothly).  Self calls Dollar.  They put her on hold for almost 20 minutes. Then she gets an answering machine.  And the voice on the taped message is that of a young man.  And he instructs self to leave her name and phone number and the rental contract number; if they find what it is self has lost, they will call her.  Which means they will never call.

The Netflix movie, “Beaufort”, arrived a few days ago, but self was saving it.  It’s a movie she first read about last year, in The Economist.  And she had to wait a long time until it became available.  And she’s been putting off the pleasure until the right moment.  That’s how she knows she is really feeling terrible.  Because now she sticks “Beaufort” into the DVD player.

Self’s been watching for about an hour.  She knew right away that Ziv, the bomb detonation expert, was going to buy it (He seemed so gentle).  But she didn’t know when.  So, for approximately the first third of the movie, self kept a blanket over her head (She kids you not!).  Then, because it was taking so long, she relaxed.  And at almost that precise moment, when she felt her limbs loosen, there was a loud KA-BOOM from the TV.  Self peeked out:  Ziv was on the ground.  Yup, he bought it.

This is quite an interesting movie!  Full of long silences, fitful waiting, boredom.  Then, action.  Then, waiting again.  Then, action.  Some sniping about commander, a gung-ho sort.  It reminds self of a Vietnam movie, the good ones that came out around the same decade as “Platoon.”

Phone rings!  Self rises hopefully, thinking it is Dollar.  RRIING!!  RRIIING!!  RRIIING!!  But it is only Prizes Express.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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