Monday, June 18, 2007

Jerusalem, Evening

The Hotel Palatin, Jersusalem, 1991. Such a homely association, each time, perhaps becuase we arrived there in the very middle of the night. Up Bab il Wad from Tel Aviv, leaning out the window of the cab, into the springtime air, balmy and fragrant--the orange blossoms, just as Avram Unger described. From a different time. But it's always a different time--that's how things work. Touchstones of gold, mineral earth, lasting forever--or so it seems. What is a stone? Refashioned, sometimes--the Hyksos, Tel Amarna, David... Hezekiah, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar. Ezra and the Persians... Rome, Godfrey de Bouillon. Mamaluks, Seljuks, Ottomans... Allenby and the Brits... But aways the same stone, a terrace, a wall--what else can one build?--planting olive trees as well--a thousand years old, gaunt, dry, enduring...

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