Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Journey to Israel: New Sights and a Back Story

on January 28, 2017

After our morning at Masada we climbed back on the bus and headed to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 1,295 ft. below sea level, the lowest point on earth. And you can not sink in its salty water. I put on my bathing suit and waded in until the water was neck-deep hoping to wash the dust of Masada off. I let my feet rise and floated effortlessly. It was lovely. I came out of the water minus some of the dust but with my body covered in salt. After a quick shower I was ready to move on.

Our next stop was Jericho, located in the Judean wilderness. Some say it is 10,000 years old, the oldest city on earth. The old city and its walls which “came tumbling down” have been excavated. A fact of archaeology is that ancient places have many layers of soil deposited above them and to see very old cities you have to look down. It was like looking down a deep well and imagining a once-inhabited ghost city at the bottom.

I am seeing my journey to Israel with new eyes. I’m looking backward and finding fresh perspectives on a trip I took forty-three years ago. I did not keep a daily journal and no longer have the photo slides my husband took of our trip. After I returned from Israel I put together a slide show for my church. On two-and-a-half pages of narrow-ruled yellow legal pad paper I wrote (in long-hand) a commentary for the slide show. I have these pages before me now. The words are my guide for the stories I’m writing for my blog. The more I write the more I remember. I can visualize sights I haven’t thought about in years. I’ve forgotten some dates and facts about Israel but that is what Google is for. So much has changed for me and for Israel but words retain their power to stir my imagination and communicate.

4 responses to “Journey to Israel: New Sights and a Back Story

  1. I of July says:

    I like how you fuse the history with your personal experiences. For one who didn’t keep a journal and who is in possession on the photographs your memory is vivid. Fascinated by the fact you kept that pad for over 40 years too. Isn’t it amazing how our brains are such great archives? I struggle with remembering much, maybe that explains the habitual writing. But it’s so true that when something conjures up memory we remember sensations long forgotten. Really enjoying this series of posts. I couldn’t stop reading. There’s an atmosphere which kinda transports the reader’s mind into an imaginarium. Perhaps it’s the association with the biblical elements. Good writing.

  2. vivachange77 says:

    I really appreciate your detailed comment. It is hard to know how another person will take my writings. I’m glad you like the biblical elements. The next story I plan to write has those and I wondered whether they are interesting to readers. I guess I should quit censoring myself and go where my muse takes me. Thanks, dear friend.

  3. hbsuefred says:

    In my memoir class we are using a loose definition of the term, provided by our instructor, who is a retired English professor and published author. Clearly you are writing a memoir, as I am, and, in the application of this loose definition, you can pretty much write it however you want, in any form or context. Also clearly, your readers are appreciating your style so please continue.

    • vivachange77 says:

      I so appreciate your comment. I agree I am writing a memoir and sometimes call it a story. I like the freedom your teacher offers to write “however I want’. I keep moving along and changing my style as I go deeper into my experience of Israel. I have had doubts if what I’m writing is interesting to others. Thanks for referring to my style and saying readers appreciate it. I wonder in my writings if you sensed I could use some feedback. I look forward to reading more of your memoirs. ❤

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