A Trip with S' to Jerusalem

Inside the Museum of Italian Jewish Art

Inside the Museum of Italian Jewish Art

I have four new pairs of shoes and I’ve taken three older pairs to the cobbler’s but I know it isn’t the footwear that is to blame. I lack direction; I am clueless, I do not know where to go. Hence the leg problems. Buying new orthopaedic shoes won’t fix this. What will fix it is if and when I feel the way forward is clear.

Does anyone know the way forward? I feel stymied. Where am I? Who am I? Should I write a symphony? Wear wide brimmed Sofia Loren styled hats? Merge my finances with those of an eligible bachelor only slightly older that myself who has dignified graying temples? Every day is more bizarre than the previous one.

I took my son to Jerusalem this week, unbeknownst to his father, who was under the impression he was at school. S’ is particularly sensitive to energies and Jerusalem is way out there energy wise, so he was ambivalent. He barricaded himself behind an orange flavoured soft drink and refused to come out. People killed each other here. There are others who still wish you dead lurking about.

I let him sulk. In a way it is easier to travel with a kid that manifests what he feels so directly. It was easy being the adult with him lying on the shop floor exhausted. I was just the normal customer trying to buy a sweater, whereas he was “acting out”, “naughty”, “childish”, etc. I had my role defined for me in juxtaposition to his. I didn’t have to wonder who I was; I was obviously the mother of this overgrown child.

At one point he wanted to write something. I got him a pen and some pieces of paper. This was perhaps the best moment, my son writing something he needed to record on a table in the middle of the pedestrians-only street in Nahalat Shivah.

“There are things here,” I said to him as a stone arch revealed itself under a stone stairway, “that you cannot see back home.” He kicked the arch to demonstrate it was unworthy of his or our attention. He waited for me outside when I went into a small museum and refused to come inside even after I called him again.

There was a small prayer room there. Two German artists decorated it meticulously over a period of three years, in exchange for room and board. Oh! How I would love to go back to those slow going times. This was in the late eighteen hundreds. Of course they didn’t have access to the fine chocolate I require to be creative, but they had a world that unfolded gradually before them, letting them absorb it bit by bit.

I am sure their ramblings brought them places safely and leisurely, even if they each had only one simple pair of sandals.