Israel · Memories · Moments of Grace · Travel

Pilgrimage.

On one side of the House is a cedar-panelled room, and I rose from my knees after prayers, after paying my respects and walked over to the window where the Old City of hundred years ago still stood. Teenagers lethargic, and a rubbish-filled fountain with no water. I looked out onto the view that would have been His only view for two years, the dirty walls and dusty littered streets of a little corner of the world. A little corner where many other voices would have been muffled, between the crushing old walls, and the rampant diseases.

On the other side of the House is a bedroom, with windows onto the Sea Wall, remparts enclosing a city continuously inhabited for centuries upon centuries, erasing itself and starting up again, eating through its own almost traceless past, with the same sea lapping at its fringes, wave after countless wave. And on this late afternoon, I just lean as un-invasively as I can along the cool humid wall and look out onto the borrowed view, the sun setting on the Mediterranean, in the way that it does, bouncing off its shy rays of dusk. And my eyes rested on that balcony outside His room. A closed off balcony, painted in that delicate Mediterranean blue, the elusive exact shade finally found after years of searching, under various coats of other paint in one corner of another window frame, a few years ago.

The color, found after so long, with which to dress these phenomenally precious Holy Places, the Holy footsteps in which I’ve walked. The color of a chapter of history, a history I feel courses through my veins, in the most powerful way.

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And when I close my eyes, those are the paths I walk. A setting sun that never makes the day grow dark. Where I can have the view, engraved in my mind, and never have to suffer the creeping darkness of so many dreams I don’t remember, now replaced by the gift of a vision that I can never forget.

Pilgrimage.

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