I hurt my leg, so I gave it a treat: a trip to sites across Israel/Palestine that tell of just how fragile the human body is.
The doctor says my leg is fine, but I have doubts. I twisted it playing football (soccer, so be it) last autumn, tore a muscle and feared damage to the knee. I then went on to celebrate a “round” birthday. Forty is fairly young, but facing a new decade with an ache makes one ponder the human body and its weaknesses.
The body feels different here in Israel/Palestine. It is a land where the notion of peril to the flesh is very much omnipresent. I decided to take my leg on the road and photograph it at places that speak of the body’s fragility. An editor on this site recently warned me that my travelogues are turning stranger. So be it. The personal is the political, and nothing is more personal than the body.
There are 32 photos, the number of teeth in an human adult’s mouth, and one that represents the heart in mystical Judaism. They are presented according to a south-north axis. I consciously put together the violent with the accidental, the national with the personal, the Palestinian with the Israeli, etc. Walking through this country, thoughts of peril rise at every turn, free of categories.
The Arava Highway in Israel’s far south, is notorious for car crashes. I posted this photo on Facebook and a friend instantly messaged: “NEVER sit this way in a car! A friend of mine did that down in the Arava and ended up in a wheelchair.”
Masada, a site of ancient violence, surrounded by natural dangers: the canyons that cut through the high terrain face hikers with steep cliffs and flash floods.