Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.)
Blue and white stripes appeared faintly in the fog above me, one atop the other, higher and higher up the rock face. the ladder of trail markers paralleled the chute of water and was very near it. I was about to get drenched.
It could have been worse. I could have not found that discarded hiking stick. As it were, it supplemented a third foot that could rest even on the slenderest hints of stepping room. A gentle drizzle mixed with the fall’s spray. I sang an Irish folk song to keep my morale high, while taking great care not to slip.
There were two sisters in County Clare
Oh the wind and rain!
One was dark and the other was fair
Oh the dreadful wind and rain!
I also thought of Lebanon. My plan was to contemplate Lebanon, and here was a perfect occasion. It was either that or gaze down obsessively and pray there is an afterlife.
What was Lebanon? it was an occasional cultural relic, mysteriously delivered across the lines, a bottle of Arak Touma, for example, that my friend Daniella somehow obtained. It was an entire liter’s worth and she cooked nice fish to go with it. That was one truly proper feast on her Jerusalem rooftop that day.
What was Lebanon? Styrofoam snowballs falling into an umbrella at Haifa’s Wadi Nisnass neighborhood, to the sound of Fairouz’s Christmas album. Jingle bells in Arabic always make me smile. Of course I am far more up to date and know and love Mashrou’ Leila and Yasmine Hamdan as well. I caused a small stone to tumble into the ravine. I should find a decent bench of rock to sit on and rest.
And the both had a love of the miller’s son
But he was fond of the fairer one
So she pushed her into the river to drown,
And watched her as she floated down.
This waterfall was danger, real danger. Out of the rock stuck a peg of steel for me to grab. I held on. It was wet, but rough and well-planted. Dependable. I pulled myself safely one meter further. What was Lebanon? Images online: the pigeons’ rocks, a dock at Byblos, mountains, snowy mountains with a ski lift....Read More