Sunday, 18 March 2012

more of the wild winds...

That got interrupted by out late  lunch -- which was typically delicious -- like: creamy sweet-potato soup, followed by scrumptious hot dish baked with tomatoes, eggs and aubergine and washed down (!) with steaming hot tea made with pieces of root ginger. And accompanied by nutty brown bread and butter. Ah Italy has its rivals, perhaps?
The sun has returned and everything shines once more, we see the young greens, and the reddish tones of the burgeoning willow trees; though the cold wind is still with us.
David and I have done much swift striding over hill and muddy dale (on Friday eve in the windy rain, through the sabbath-silent streets, the light flickering down onto the dim, wet paving-stones).
The next evening the crowds were out once more; it was St Patrick's day and green abounded. We went to the pub where Tilla works, to say 'hi', but the noise was overwhelming, so swift exit.

I am still absorbing, and listening, and watching. Never cease wondering.
I looked at my hands today, saw the veins bumpy like swollen rivers, never noticed that before. Like suddenly seeing oneself in a full-length mirror -- is that round grey-haired lady really me? Yes, the outside changes, and becasue it's really the inside that's most interesting, we scarcely notice the alterations taking place until well after they have become established.
But there are still plenty of hills to climb and high shelves to reach up to.
And I still have lots to learn about to play with my MacBook Air...

Two and a half more days and then back to Ostia...
David is busy formulating plans for the summer sail...

wild winds and hailstorms

We couldn't quite believe it, we thought we had come to Jerusalem for spring, almond blossom, sun on our backs and meals outdoors drinking the excellent beer... Not a bit of it.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

walking in Gilo

The sun is warm on our backs. Goats bleat mildy in the wadi. We are high on the hilltop, overlooking Bethlehem. Far in the distance the tall towers and highrises of Jerusalem are white and gold against the strong blue sky. We walk slowly, looking up to where the branches stretch, their buds fattening in the warmth, and then down at the grassy verges filled with many-coloured wild flowers, vivid blues and shining yellows, and brilliant scarlet poppies. The birds sing, trills to make us pause, or -- in the case of rooks -- caw raucously, away, away... It is very quiet, little traffic, today is the sabbath. We talk of age, and loneliness, and change (half a line remembered from a poem I learnt for the Grade 8 final exam in Speech and Drama, set by London's RAM, taken fifty years ago) and hear our footsteps on the old stones, or crunch crunch across the gravel paths. We find wild fennel, and rosemary, and rub the leaves between our fingers to pull out the strong scent. I think, land of milk and honey. I think, place that I can call home. At ten minutes before the hour, the muezzin sings. I want to make a film of this, of all the plants, the dusty roads, the small goats, the clear air up here, the stillness, even the golden walls. And no words.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Women's Day

There were the bunches of mimosa. I returned from Iran once on Women's Day, and was given a bunch at the airport in Italy. Delicate yellow flower, and here it hangs beside the thick golden stone walls.
I talk with my sister, whom i have not seen for a couple of years.
She is my little sister, I remember bathing her when she was a baby. Now the difference in years is unimportant.
There is so much to tell, and memories to unwrap and untarnish. Well, this is a good place to do it, city of many thousand years and far too many words.
The sun is bringing spring and small flowers and the little children iutside wear their exotic costumes for Purim. We cannot forget the years of exile and opprrssion. Yet it goes on.
There is a school down the road from where my sister lives that has both Arab and Jewish kids/pupils. The only one, I believe, in this country. Raise a hundred cheers.
I think of King Lear; is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?
Or: Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee... and as Bob Dylan asks, When will they ever learn?
And we know the question has no answer.
Thoughts as the sun sets over this city of golden walls.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

the Greek islands...

Flying across eastwards over the Mediterranean -- looked down and saw the Isles of Greece like flat irregular cut-outs in the blue sea... That's where we plan to sail in a couple of months. But now hear of unfriendly winds sweeping down across this part of the world during the months of July and August.
so plans are being adjusted.
From up here they look most placid and undisturbed.
Started reading The Hare with Amber Eyes while waiting in the airport. Am enchanted -- this is a voice I do not want to stop. When I reached my sister's house I unpacked all the books I'd brought as well as the other gifts. More stories, more memories.
But now, what with gettingup at 6 a.m. which is very early for me, and the travelling and the attempts to read Arabic and unpointed Hebrew on the roadsigns, and the talking to various people, not to mention conversations with the cat Shelli, I need to become horizontal...
Good night until the muezzin wakens me.