Friday, 22 November 2013

Sunset and the Wailing Wall

Entirely unplanned. Reach the Jewish quarter as the sun is setting - the holiest time of the week.
Get told off for taking a photo - as does the man next to me. He is from Utah, a Mormon visiting with his friend Devon. Yesterday they drove to Petra. "I've travelled a lot and I've seen nothing like this.'
He recommends the Mormon University: there are concerts. He and his friend only decided last week to come for a week: they came standby (he for 80$). Jerusalem - naturally - is central to Mormon faith too - it is the Church of Christ and the Latter Day Saints. He says he is disappointed not to have trodden the earth where Christ trod. The shores of Galilee are the closest he feels he's got. Though the visit as a whole has impressed him.
Down by the western wall, people are jumping and shouting. Soldiers and others form a circles: boys are passed around on their soldiers. This is joyful.
My new friend from Utah asks about the difference between the different Jews by the wall- those with hats, those with no hats - those with fur hats. I have no idea.
The wall is another 'thin place'.
"Anyone who prays in the temple in Jerusalem is as if he has prayed before the throne of glofy because the gate of heaven is situated there and it is open to hear prayer." Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy