Friday, May 4, 2012
Partings: Such Sweet Sorrow...
... And just like that...
Keep breathing, that's the key.
After spending ten days in the Old City of Jerusalem - exploring its nooks, ancient and religious spots, and shops - we returned to our lodging in Bethlehem.
What is there to say about Jerusalem? The city is an enigma. There is certainly no place on earth even remotely like it.
"What's a typical Jerusalemite like?"
I'm not sure there is such a thing as a typical Jerusalemite. They one thing that I can say is that people here are convicted. Religion runs thick in the blood of the people, and leaves its marks on walls.
The three monoliths of monotheism stand tall here. So tall, in fact, it's nearly impossible to escape their shadow.
Most of the time, it's refreshing. There is nothing like being immersed in piety to jumpstart your own beliefs. Not to mention putting a landscape, a scene, or a picture to the stories.
Jerusalem syndrome is a very real thing, indeed.
Some of the time, though, Jerusalem is suffocating. Some of the time, the enveloping is all-encompassing, and this religious Adventureland is just too much.
In a word, the city is overwhelming. I am convinced that people need twice the amount of time afterwards to processa and comprehend what they experienced in the city.
All that said, there is some extreme beauty here: the smells are amazing, the sounds mesmerizing, and if you aren't pushed to tears at the majesty of the tombs or the Dome of the Rock, then you need to check your pulse.
(Note to self: see the inside of that building. Some time, some how.)
After those ten days, we spent a three-day whirlwind back in Bethlehem... and then, it ended.
Wow. What a trip. When looking back, I have an incredibly warped sense of time. It feels like ages ago that I boarded my flight to IST via LDN - but really, that was only four month. Four incredible, jam packed, solid, challenging, eye-opening, exhilarating, life-altering, paradigm-shifting, lovely, amazing months.
Man, I'm gonna miss this.
A bitter end? Maybe, but there's sweetness in the mix.
These next 7 days will be filled with joy, as my mother has come to Israel/Palestine. Her presence is so very welcome. I have been eagerly anticipating this day, and it is immeasurably good to have a tangible, breathing, loving piece of home here.
La Seigneur est très bien, mes amis, vraiment très bien.