For this there needs acquaintance with the masters' work,--such acquaintance, or so young Stevenson was persuaded, as could come from nothing but an imitative study of it. I headed off into the desert sand. The basic story, I knew. I did have a little chat with a woman who worked in Amman with Syrian refugees, especially ones without legal papers. I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in. I lack the words to describe this undersea world—or the waterproof camera to document it. After the sun set last night, I walked down to the pond.
Surely the artist was strong in him. Will the squawking blue jays be here when I next return? Most of them are just a year or two older than my students. A group of Jewish Israelis was going to visit the Al-Aqsa. To be in a land that is not defined by a conflict between well-to-do European-heritage settlers with the poor indigenous people of color who have largely been pushed off the land. I can see tents, but no one is astir.
They built Yad Vashem on Mount Herzl and near the grave of the founder of Zionism. As I walked up the ramp, ahead of me I heard clapping and singing. He reads it, if he may be allowed to say so, on his own hook, and for the time being is himself the schoolboy,--which may or may not be the better fun. Leave London tomorrow for, say, India to visit friends and schools and help with some community projects. Last stanza explains the thought that every human being after becoming matured will again go into the period of childhood.
Wearing a wig fulfills this requirement, so wearing wigs is big here among Jewish women. The local women all wearing dresses to their ankles and head scarves, a few in full burqa. So now all they left is the key. The pilot thought we were gone, and the captain had a boat cleared, when a lucky squall came to our rescue. Turning to the north, however, we could see the smoke from one of the fires that is currently ravaging northern California. We were now in another section with lines before four other gates. It felt very strange to be walking through the Jewish neighborhood and have a man walk within feet of me in t-shirt and gym shorts carrying a submachine gun.
It includes a uniform with a red triangle, but its significance was not explained. I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to do this. Concentration camp uniform on display at Vad Vashem. The Christian pilgrims were very visible, but it was clear that the residents were mostly Jewish or Muslim. One of the joys of Bullfrog Pond is watching the sun set. It was formed, as style should be, by the study of many models, not of one; and it has many virtues, including in good measure one of the highest, rarest, and most elusive, the quality of pleasurableness, or charm,--a quality not to be acquired by labor nor to be exactly defined; a something added to a thing already complete, like the bloom on the grape or the perfume of the rose.
There were a number of Arabs on my bus. Israeli settlers are allowed to carry guns. I have family members who were killed in the Holocaust in Pinsk. He sought health in his youth in the Isle of Wight, and I have sought it in both hemispheres; but whereas he found and kept it, I am still on the quest. Ancient olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives I traveled here from Jordan on a Friday. On the visit to Hebron, one of the largest cities in the West Bank, we visited the center of the city and the old market.
Then a new family arrives to set up their blanket in the sand. So, nearly 20 years ago, I found myself striding into the campsites of other families, feeling very uncomfortable, my daughter following shyly behind me, a big smile on my face as I introduced ourselves and tried to make friends. The long sweep of my sabbatical and summer break is about to be broken. Stevenson walking the deck by the hour and dissecting their neighbors; for Jones was first of all a student of character. So often in our lives, in my life, things run in a familiar groove.
I am catching a flight at noon tomorrow from Amman to London. Whatever he did or failed to do, it would have been hard to catch him without defense. Should I be saying good-bye to this home? Because today is a Friday, the border with Jordan closes at 1:30 pm. He loved port, and nuts, and porter; and so do I, but they agreed better with my grandfather, which seems to me a breach of contract. He likes the story and the pictures,--for every chapter is a picture,--and he likes the writing. Turns out there was a bike race in Jerusalem that day and the road was blocked. And the trick though it is not a trick, but an admirable quality, and almost as far as honesty from being common is none of your easy ones.
In other words, the view from the museum porch at Yad Vashem is of a largely Muslim village that has become a Jewish suburb of Jerusalem. . In short, Stevenson had from the beginning an idea of literary composition as a fine art,--an art not to be picked up some pleasant day by the roadside as later in life he essayed, for whim's sake, to pick up the art of writing music , nor acquired, with other more or less useful pieces of knowledge at a grammar school or university, but to be attained, if at all, by years of drill. Their gods are just like us, but they are immortal. I walk out on the bridge last thing before going to bed every night and then again first thing every morning. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of April 22nd, 2007.
Up into the cherry tree Who should climb but little me? The entire top of the tent is mesh and I can lie on my sleeping pad and look at the trees and sky. At 61, nearer the end of my life than the beginning. They were apparently returning form the big settlement on the outskirts of Hebron where the Jewish Israelis shop. The people that I interact with most days at work or home or my cohousing community are familiar. Standing in line I talked with a Palestinian man who works in Jerusalem.