up on the hill

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When I was just a little chap… before I’d learned to drive or read the newspaper… I had a visit from Moses Ben Amram, our beloved teacher, forever famous for writing those wonderful best sellers, the holy bible and the book of Job. He said, Shimon, my boy, you’re about to go out there… and have the most wonderful life. He told me all the secrets of life on this earth, and how to recognize sanctity in the midst of banality, how to please god… and the very best recipe for chicken soup with matza balls. But I wasn’t impressed by any of that. I said, ‘I’d prefer to stay right here, dear teacher’, and curled up in my mother’s womb, determined never to leave. He pressed his index finger against my upper lip, and said, ‘don’t tell a soul’. I’ve had a depression on my upper lip ever since…

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That’s the way I’ve been all my life; trying to appreciate what I have, and not looking over the fence, envious of my neighbor’s greener grass. I’ll smoke my own grass, thank you. And so, when my dearest friends came to the conclusion that my neighborhood had lost its youthful charm, and that my home, having embraced me in warmth and security for the last 40 years, no longer suited me, … and offered to find me a better place to live, I said, ‘No thanks, guys. No place could possibly be better than this. I’m surrounded by my books and memories, live on the ground floor so that my cat can come in and out without an elevator, and everyone in Jerusalem knows exactly where to find me’.

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checking out the scene from the edge of the balcony, Nechama

But you know, I can tell a story… and I can sing a song… I can even photograph a picture… But I’m just no good at arguing. And when these friends started arguing with me, and proving without a doubt that they were only pressing for my own good… I just gave up, and wrote a couple of poems about how life sucks. What do we have friends for, I wondered… if not to listen to their advice? So my old home was sold, and a new home was found… snails were hired to drag my books and furniture from the old home to the new… and meantime, I went off… to find refuge in the country, and then back in the alleys of my city… moving from one place to the next, inhaling the dust deposits on the curtains of rented rooms, and rediscovering the magic of life as I smelled roses in the company of village cats outside of Jerusalem. It was a learning experience. It was almost like getting reborn.

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looking up at me from the back yard

The process started at the beginning of October, and this week, the last week of February, I moved into my new home, joining my beloved cat Nechama who seems to be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as she drinks tomato juice through a straw and avoids meat and fish. She barely recognized me when I first arrived. I tried to reason with her. ‘I was as much a victim as you were’, I told her. ‘I couldn’t take you with me… I stayed in a house with a dog!’

‘You think that’s bad?’, she countered. ‘I had to live with children!’ She knows that I too am unable to withstand the assault on my nerves of the screeches and shouts of happy children…

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she likes to relax while I work

So here I am at the top of a hill, with a living room that is surrounded on three sides by big beautiful windows… work tables in every room, music easily available, a library separate from the living room, where guests may entertain me, a large refrigerator in the kitchen, and air conditioners that have been designed to warm me up in winter, as well as to cool me off in summer. My old cuckoo clock, once attacked and defeated by a previous cat of mine, has been repaired, and now cuckoos on the hour. Looking out the window in the right direction, I can even discern when there’s a traffic jam on the freeway that leads to my neighborhood, and plan my exits wisely. I would never have thought of such comforts, and am overwhelmed by the upgrade of the quality of my life. I don’t believe I deserve all of this. I keep thinking it must be some terrible mistake. But I can’t wait for spring, so that I’ll be able to take advantage of my new balcony, which is roomy and surrounded by flower pots under the blue skies of Jerusalem.

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my neighbors, seen from the stairway up to my apartment

Nechama has already learned to use her cat door… to traipse through the cat door and out to the balcony. With one graceful leap, she is able to land on the hillside behind our home, and to visit the park, with me or without me. And being an existentialist cat, she’s already halfway to forgiving me for deserting her, and busy smelling the plants the trees, the grass and the flowers in our new surroundings. She doesn’t smile… and her eyes look piercing… but it does seem that she’s happy. I’ve been smoking as much as I can, drinking whisky, and listening to music, as I try out the speakers in each room. There are a few boxes of my things that haven’t been unpacked yet, and I use this readily available excuse to complain to my friends. I don’t want them to get too smug thinking they were right and I was wrong.

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guarding the groceries that have just been delivered

What do I know about life? Was there anything more important about this move than the many lessons I learned along the way? I am grateful for the kindness. Overwhelmed by my good luck. This evening I will welcome the Sabbath surrounded by dear friends, and a wise cat who turns from time to time… sometimes to look out, and other times, to look in.

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97 responses to “up on the hill

  1. Lovely description and glad you’ve landed “home”– Good Shabbos.

  2. I can almost understand you dear Shimon, everything seems so nice right now, and I am happy as yours. Good Luck in your new home, and the most part of my happiness, you are together again with Nechama. I love you both. Have a nice Weekend, Blessing and Happiness, Thank you, love, nia

    • It is very good to be back with Nechama… though both of us have to learn to get used to our new home. And yes, luck is always very important too. My best wishes to you and yours. Thanks so much for your blessings, Nia.

  3. I love the way you’ve captured the slatted light coming into the rooms, and the shadows. And Nechama is looking both reproachful and independent. I suspect she’s enjoying the new challenge. I also suspect that she won’t let on … welcome to your new home, and may it soon be full of happy memories in the making.

    • Yes, there are so many different scenes I see now, lots of light and shadow… I think I could spend some time just shooting indoors. And the conditions are good for work here too. Nechama has always been a very independent cat. She could come and go as she pleased. And of course, I treated her as a friend. For a few months now, she was locked into places, and was treated as a pet. And I suppose it was quite hard for her. But she is adjusting much faster than I expected. Thank you for your welcome, Gill. I like your sentence about happy memories in the making. I don’t want to look back a lot. My intention is to go on living. Thanks very much.

  4. Happy New Home, Shimon, both for man and cat. Lovely post.

  5. Congratulations, dear Shimon…I have been awaiting this post. I am very happy for you…and for me, too, as the receiver of your stories and observations that you’ve made along the way from the old to the new. Welcome home….. :)

    • For quite some time, I didn’t even think about how or when it would happen. The journey itself became much more important than the starting point, or where I was headed. And so, in a way, it was a surprise when I first visited my new home. Things weren’t really set up yet, but I wanted to see my cat. Now I’m already living here, and see things from a new perspective. It is really a joyous stage. Thanks so much for joining me, and for your sweet comment, Scott.

  6. What beautiful images you have created in your storytelling and your photographs. I am happy for you and Nechama, for it seems that all that you have, is all that you need. Your lovely memories from your past place of dwelling, can be packed up and moved along with the rest of your items, not left behind. I am glad to see your sweet cat back in your pictures. My blog reading is spotty these days, but I have been wondering where your furry friend was and when he would be returning.

    • I’ve always preferred the present to nostalgia about the past, or anticipation regarding the future. I feel that the essence of life is living the present. But in this move, there was a feeling of being disconnected to the life I’ve known and have lived. Still, it looks like things are about to settle now, and I hope I will be able to make the most of this next chapter I’ve been given. Thanks Shoes, for your very nice comment.

  7. Oh, Shimon, I am so happy for you and for Nechama! This is a perfect post, satisfying in every way. The photos, the wit, the down-to-the-bone honesty and self-awareness, and the spacious and generous joy…just made my day, perhaps my week. Gentle peace, lovely whisky, and all your favorite music! I also send a wink and nod to Nechama, because I sense she would not approve of cuddling and kisses…Thank you for this, and Shabbat Shalom…

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Kitty. I thought about it quite a bit on Friday morning, thinking about how I’ve complained about leaving my old home, and that I’ve told the story of my voyage from one home to another… I was reminded of the children of Israel leaving slavery in Egypt, and then wandering around the desert for 40 years till we finally came home. And I didn’t want the final chapter to be an anti climax. It’s been a very special trip for me, and it was all the more special in that I shared it with my friends. Thank you for your Sabbath wishes, and I send you my blessing shavuah tov. May you have a very beautiful and rewarding week ahead.

  8. Shalom Shimon, May you be safe and well, peaceful, happy and healthy in your new home. And thank you for this wonderful story about your journey from there to here. Blessings, Debbie

  9. Practically doing a happy dance for you, Shimon. May your new home embrace you and bring you much love and laughter, and shelter you in your sorrows, surrounding you with a healthy and happy life. I am so terribly pleased that you have been reunited with Nechama, and although she may not say so, I can only imagine that her delight is equal to your own.

    It is always an invigorating and settling experience to settle in to a new place, so as you begin filling up the nooks and crannies, and exploring the new neighborhood, I hope your spirit will be filled with delight. Congratulations on your new home, and thank you for sharing all the photos. How wonderful, at last!

    • I do appreciate your happy dance, my dear N. Nechama cuddles up to me now, and we’re feeling very close again. It took a little while… but her recovery was much faster than I expected. And yes, there are some moments that are so wonderful… that we only know what to say when we’re offering a prayer of thanks. So glad to be able to share this with you.

      • Our lovely pet companions can be quite forgiving, even when we haven’t earned their forgiveness. I am particularly thankful of that with my own animals. With my big dog recently having been quite ill, it has reawakened in me a determination that no day go by where I don’t give him extra nuzzles and sweet words of love, lest he doubt my devotion to him. We have been sharing many smiles, of late, and spending much time simply engaged in playful conversation.

        Your lovely Nechama is surely relieved and delighted to be sharing space with you again, and as you both explore and settle into your new home, I’m sure your conversations with her will help her to feel more at home every day. It seems she’s already managed to find a warm spot in the sun, and a comfortable ledge on which to rest. So wonderful to see her with you again, even if she might still have a bit of scolding she hasn’t yet expressed to you. Undoubtedly she’ll be so busy settling into your new routines that she’ll soon forget the upheaval. She is such a beautiful lady. So nice to be home.

        I do have to wonder at all the many steps leading to your new apartment. Perhaps it is just my weary knees that recoil in trepidation, but I suppose with any change in living arrangements, there will always be adjustments. How fortunate that you have the beautiful floors, and so many windows, and that lovely balcony to enjoy. I’ve always particularly liked smooth floors, as I find them easier to keep clean, and you can always add a rug or two if you yearn for a softer place to rest your toes. And access to any green space, even if only a small slice, is a wonderful blessing. As you continue to make the apartment into a home, surely there will be stories to be told. And photos to be shared. Welcome home, my friend.

        • Thank you, N, for the beautiful welcome home. Most people here in Jerusalem have very smooth tile floors that are easy to clean. The wood floor is a little easier on the feet… it doesn’t get so cold. And it’s true that the stairs provide a bit of exercise, but so far I can face them without fear. As for my dear cat, we are already in very good shape. As you predicted, she has adapted faster than I have…

  10. “May your home be a place of happiness and health, of contentment, generosity and hope, a home of creativity and kindness. May those who visit and those who live there know only blessing and peace.”
    Birkath HabBayith – author unknown

    Welcome home Shimon…
    M

    • Thank you very much, M. That is indeed a very appropriate blessing at a time like this. I am reminded of a blessing that I heard from our sages, “may your home be a meeting place of wise men”. I first heard that more than a half a century ago… and it stayed with me through the years. It is very good to be home.

  11. … so love this post, Shimon … Nechema is precious … purrs and hugs … and music … what kind of music, if I might ask … Love always, cat.

    • Thank you so much for the purrs and hugs, my dear cat. The sort of music I like best is the cool jazz from the 50s and 60s. Art Pepper, John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, early Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Earl Hines, George Cables, Gerry Mulligan, Dave McKenna and others. I listen to Bach too, and classical at times… Thank you so much for your visit… always such a pleasure to hear from you.

  12. That is so very wonderful, Mr. Shimon! I share your containment – “grateful for the kindness, Overwhelmed by my good luck, and surrounded by flowers and dear friends.” How very beautiful! I love your new home, it is nicely furnished and decorated. Looking forward to reading more …

    • My life started out with great difficulties, Amy. But it has gotten better and better as the years have gone by. And I am truly grateful for my good luck. This new home of mine is more than I would ever have asked for. Thank you very much for your sweet comment.

  13. Welcome home, Shimon and Nechama. We believe you have some very wise friends indeed. Shabbat shalom

    • Thank you very much, 2geeks. I agree. I am blessed with wise and good hearted friends who’ve always wanted the good for me. I haven’t always been cooperative, but I do appreciate their friendship. Shavua tov to you. May this be a beautiful week for you.

  14. I enjoyed every word of this Shimon. Whiskey and good music seem an adequate cure for weary bones. Your new place sounds stellar. Was it worth it? Hardly matters now … welcome home!

    • Yes, it is very good to be in my own home again, even if it’s a little strange at first. Thank you so much JH for sharing in my joy and celebration. I do appreciate it so much.

  15. “where guests may entertain me” and existential cat ! Love it! Such a gift you have with words. Welcome home indeed. I look forward to seeing your new “digs” Easy on the smoking. Unless it’s weed. :)

    • I have to admit, my dear friend, that my smoking is not always for the ‘highs’, but it is these little sins that amuse me and give life the taste of freedom for me. I’m sure you’ll see many pictures of these new surroundings… they seem very photogenic to my weary eyes.

  16. Well, well…Shimon! You’ve made the transition quite well or so it seems! I think you are most fortunate to be surrounded by windows…I do so love many windows! The time you spent awaiting the new digs was well spent I think…from the posts about the passing of your time. You are a most interesting, pleasant person; one would enjoy being in your company! Happy for you and your beautiful Nechama…from me and my beautiful Gibby! She sends Nechama feline greetings!

    • Windows are wonderful, and they provide a lot of light as well as a lot of sights… so that is one of the great pluses of my new home, plus the roomy balcony which offers easy access to the natural world without leaving the comfort of home. But of course, every structure and every framework has its advantages and disadvantages. And it takes time and energy to adjust to different circumstances. The older we get, the more difficulty there is in such adjustments. We become less flexible. We’ve learned how to deal with the problems we knew… and now there are different problems and challenges. Still, it does seem that these new circumstances are quite comfortable, and I’m optimistic. Thank you for your kind words, Vasca. Please give our warm regards to Gibby. It is a pleasure hearing from you.

  17. I suspect Nechama is feeling exactly the same as you, she doesn’t want to let on how happy she is.
    What marvelous news, to hear you are finally in your new home after your traveling, and what a wonderful home it looks too. I love big windows, the more light the better. I feel a celebration is in order, so I raise my glass and wish you all the very best in this wonderful new home, here’s to good company, laughter, good health and happiness….
    It’s wonderful to know you and Nechama are finally home and together again. xxx

    • Actually, it took much less time for Nechama to adjust to her new circumstances and to forgive me, than I expected. At first she was extremely cautious, and kept to a rather formal stance with me. But in a few days she had already gone back to old habits, and we’ve become very close again. She seems to like the new apartment, and the environment on the outside. Indeed, this is a time for celebration, and it is a pleasure to share my happiness with you, Dina. xxx

  18. Your new digs sound like a just reward for all the upheavals you have suffered over the last four months. I wish you and Nechama all the best, free to smoke, drink and roam to both your hearts content. Looking forward to your adventure come Springtime in this new, shiny neighbourhood.

    • Yes, as obstinate as I was about moving, it has turned out to be a very comfortable upgrade of my life style. And with the coming spring, I hope to be fully integrated here in my new home. It is also an opportunity to see the world from a slightly different perspective, and that, of course, is a great adventure. Thanks so much for your generous comment, Jack. Very good to hear from you.

  19. Your new home sounds lovely – lots of light makes so much difference. I’m sure Nechama enjoys it as much as you do. :)

    • The light… and being able to look out at my surroundings from the comfort of my living room has added a new dimension to my life. Nechama is already adjusting very well to the change. I hope to adjust as well as she is doing. Thanks, yearstricken, for your comment.

  20. What a delightfully joyous post! I’m so happy that you’re in your new home at last and that both you and Nechama are finally back together again. And your gracious acknowledgment of your friends’ promptings for your move is heart warmiing. I’m a contented person too and it’s hard to disrupt that peace and contentment … very hard. So it is wonderful to see that this move is ultimately a good one for you.
    Enjoy your Sabbath, dear Shimon.

    • Thank you, Nikki. It is wonderful to find myself at the conclusion of this very intensive chapter in my life, to be in a beautiful home, and to enjoy the company of my cat and my local friends who are so much a part of my life. When we’re happy with our lives, it is especially difficult to change things. And that was a large part of my resistance. Now though, as good as things are, I will have to adjust to different conditions. But it does look as if I’ve had some good luck here.

  21. To Nechama: Dear N I have missed you and I am so happy to see you again, I am almost purring. Your indignation and irritation at being plonked in an alien environment, with people who did not know you so well, was bound to be upsetting, but it’s a lot better than a cattery, if you have such places. So, do look on it as a perverse kindness, a necessity, till the new home was ready for you to get acquainted with. You can have fun, now, training your man to your new ideas…be nice to him dear Nechama.

    Can you manage all those steps up to your apartment, Shimon? There’s a lot to be said for enjoying a few mod cons. It sounds like the hassle and trauma of uprooting is going to be worthwhile.

    It’s time Shimon, that you gave us that recipe for the Mazta balls to go with the chicken soup.

    • Thank you very much for your beautiful letter to Nechama. How I wish she could read it herself, but I enjoyed it for her. Fortunately, she has made the some very quick adjustments since coming back to our new home, and she seems much happier now than when I found her. All the time we were separated, she had to use a cat box to dispose of body wastes. When I allowed her to leave the apartment at will, and she found a little garden near our home, her mood improved measurably. She is no longer limited to commercial cat food, and eats what I eat, with a few added goodies of the sort she appreciates, and life has gotten much better for her. I myself have quite a few adjustments to make, but I am able to navigate the stairs, and on the whole find the new home very attractive. I do appreciate your support and friendship, menhir. Thanks.

  22. So pleased to hear you are settling into your new home. The first thing that caught my eye were those large windows with blinds and I thought of the light that would pour in through those lovely windows. You’ve landed on your feet, Shimon. So often in life the thinking about something is worse than the actual ‘doing’. We are trying to persuade ourselves that we really should move, and each of us starts sentences with the word ‘But’! It must happen and when it’s happened we will be happy – it’s the bit between the ‘now’ and the ‘when’ that causes all the stress and the worry.

    • I can say that I am grateful for the way it turned out, and that I have a very nice and comfortable home now. But personally, Andy, I do think I was too old to go through this ordeal. And when it comes to making recommendations to friends, this is what I can share with you: It is always more expensive than it seems when you’re starting the project. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages, and you’re very likely not going to see the disadvantages until you start living in the new place. We’ve learned how to live with the disadvantages we were used to. There’s always an adjustment (sometimes difficult) to new conditions. I love the light and the views from my salon. But there are other parts of the house that need artificial light even in the daytime, to be truly enjoyable. If you are considering such a move, I wish you great luck and great patience.

  23. hmmm, cat guarding groceries? are you sure Nechama isn’t looking for the tomato juice?

    • Well, when she really interested in tasting the groceries, she usually isn’t shy about sticking her nose into the bags, and checking things out… Thanks for the comment, Marit.

  24. Ah, the light, the wonderful light with all those windows. That alone should make the move well worth it. And now people will know just where to find you once again. Enjoy the whiskey, enjoy the cigarettes, and enjoy each and every day here.

    • The two best things about this new apartment, is the windows and the balcony. The balcony will have to wait for spring, because it is pretty cold outside now. But I do enjoy the living room every day. Thanks for your support, and sharing my adventure, Angeline.

  25. Great post and photos, Shimon. Your new home looks and sounds wonderful and I truly think that change can be a great thing at any age, but perhaps you are like a cat and need more time to adjust (or just dread it in general). Sometimes we need help with change as our situation in life changes as well: older age, poor health, financial issues, etc. We’re all different and I once loved change as I got bored so easily, but it’s too hard for me to deal with due to my health issues now, so I can understand.

    You must have some very good friends to give you a push once in a while and lend a hand and I think it really paid off. Friends like that are so hard to find in this world. And very funny commentary between you and Nechama! Can you put a lounge chair on the balcony so she can bask in the sun with her tomato juice?

    • Change does get harder, the older we get. We’re less flexible when we get old. And especially when we enjoy our lives… when things are working out pretty well for us, it is hard to give up what we have… even if there is an attractive alternative waiting for us. I love the balcony, and it looks quite roomy. For sure, there’s room for a deck chair. But we’ll have to wait for spring to enjoy it, because it’s a little cold outside right now. Still, we have a beautiful living room, and Nechama enjoys looking out the windows too. In fact, there is a nice catwalk that goes along all of the windows, and she checks them out frequently. I will have to make some adjustments, but am pretty optimistic. Thank you Leah, for your comment. I do hope that your circumstances will improve too. And send you my best wishes always.

      • Thank you, Shimon. I think your new home is fabulous and those window sills are a cat’s dream–truly catwalks. I actually have a sill on the window in here, but Moush Moush lost her front leg 4 + years ago if you recall and can’t get up into windows anymore. I keep an ottoman by the bed for her and she does great jumping up and so-so climbing down, but I think the window makes her nervous as she knows her limitations which I just hate. Well, I suppose we make a good pair.

        Anyway, I noticed the walls of windows in your home first thing and that’s a real selling feature as we say. Enjoy the warm indoors until the spring comes and then you can both sip tomato juice on the balcony, although I’ll presume you’ll throw some imported vodka and this and that into yours. :)
        xx

  26. A tip of a glass (or three) of whiskey with you, my friend.

    Welcome to your new home, a place where you’ve always belonged.

  27. From the lovely photo of Nechama, it even looks like your balcony overlooks a park, Shimon. Congratulations on your new home. The light is wonderful! It feels spacious and cozy at the same time.

    • The balcony overlooks a little garden which is quite attractive, and very useful for Nechama to take care of her personal needs. Just a little way up the hill, a couple of minutes… is a very nice park which will soon appear here in my blog, I’m sure. So we do have a comfortable environment. Thanks, Cathy.

  28. So nice to have those windows! And to be back with your cat :-)

  29. hahah! This cat is so photogenic! I like it.

  30. Some days the world is too much here,
    But other days it seems less queer
    So we feel we can cope with life
    And optimism is rife.:)

  31. I am so happy you are finally in your new home Shimon. It’s been quite a journey for you. I love the photographs of Nechama. A very beautiful cat, I’m sure she too is delighted to now be settled. I look forward to many posts from your home.. :-)

    • Thank you very much, Chillbrook. I look forward to settling down a bit. I’ve been through a period that’s made it hard to keep up with my normal interests… been up in the air too much… Nechama seems to have landed on her feet… and now I’ve got to follow her example.

  32. I’ll come and join you; it looks just like the sort of apartment I’d like/choose, high up overlooking other roofs and scenery, and a balcony to get wonderful fresh air and sunshine when one feels the need to not smoke and get some air into the lungs (no, I don’t smoke, I was thinking of you). I need a vista to help with daydreaming, and you have your work desk in just the right place, I think, for doing just that! There’s plenty to keep you occupied in the backyard to make it feel more homely and Nechama can help you there. Welcome home, shimon! :)

    • Thanks very much for the beautiful welcome, Janina. I am so busy these days, that it is a little hard for me to keep up. But the new home is very pleasant indeed, and I’m grateful to be living here.

  33. Heartwarming and fabulous, just like you and the magnificent Nachame…Pour me a glass of whiskey….and I will be right over…and I can’t wait to sit on the balcony:):)
    I am so happy for you and of course for Nechame….she will guard you fiercely making sure that you don’t disappear again….
    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy….wonderful photographs, and a fantastic place to live.x

    • Yes, Nechama has already settled in, and gotten completely back to normal. I am still in the process of getting adjusted. There were so many things that changed in the move or were misplaced… I am still in the process of restructuring my immediate environment. But I have the feeling all will be well after a while. How wonderful it would be if we lived around the corner from each other, and could get together for a good drink and some music and conversation… but as you often say, Janet… we never know what awaits us. Thanks so much. xxx

  34. http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/mar/01/without-music-would-jews-be-jewish
    This is a very interesting piece by Norman Lebrecht in honour of a series of programmes on Jewish music starting this week on BBC Radio 3.I know Shimon can’t hear BBC but maybe others can… it should be high quality being on Radio 3…

    • No, I don’t listen to the BBC, Katherine. But I’m sure others will find it interesting…

      • We here will find it interesting and Schoenberg and other modern composers may become more understandable.I am unsure if it will be possible for anyone from Israel to hear it which is a pity.I find modern music tough but if I still played an instrument that is always a good way into music as I loved whatever I could play however weird!

        • I believe it is possible to listen to the BBC here in Israel. And if not to the radio waves, certainly to their internet broadcasts. But most of us, here in Israel, don’t listen to it much, because it is a foreign language for us… even if we do know the language somewhat… it is still foreign. Music, though, can easily transcend all borders.

  35. PS.There are short videos embedded in the article above

  36. AhAha The comments are even better than the article.

    • That’s why I like blogs so much. They give us a chance to relate to an article in a way that was never possible before.

      • I didn’t mean your article,Shimon.I meant the article about Jewish music by Norman Lebrecht that I put a link to as the new series of Jewish music began on BBC this week,Hope the visit of our PM is not troublesome today,
        Although you get good comments,your posts are always very high quality,,, but they add to it.:)

  37. You are such a wonderful storyteller, Shimon. I am wondering how those heavy burdened snails managed to get everything up those stairs…
    A new home!!

    • Thank you so much, Karen. Those snails really labored… and they were paid a fine wage for their labor… but boy,it took them a long time… Still, now that it’s over, we praise their work and celebrate.

  38. I just today read about your home on the hill…I am so happy for this, Shimon…it fills me with joy. Nechama is so beautiful! The light pouring in the windows is breath-taking…such a journey! I look forward to many more notes about your experiences in this new space. Celebrate!

    • I do hope that this will be a place that will provide much inspiration. Meantime, I’m enjoying it despite the difficulty of getting my life in order after many of my utensils were pushed into boxes. Thanks so much for coming by, and taking pleasure in my good fortune, Kathleen.

  39. I am happy to see you and Nechama in your new home, Shimon. You will come to love it there, I am sure. I lived in my old house here in Victoria for thirty years. I was happy to move on. It was time. New adventures! I enjoyed my old house and I enjoy the new one too. I donated a third of my books to the local library and pared down much of my personal collection of things. And, I was happy to share it. Life will be good there with the wonderful windows and a new beginning. Nechama has the look of an adventurer in those eyes. :-) Welcome home!

    • Thank you so much for your warm welcome, George. And even more for your very positive prognosis for the future. I like the way you describe your own move, and hope that this will be much the same. Right now, we’re having rain. In the old house, there were trees right in fron of the window, so the rain was less of a show. But here, the rain slaps the windows silly… and I watch it all, enjoying a warm room… it’s pretty good.

  40. Let’s raise a toast to new beginnings then, Shimon. I wish you all the best in your new home. Coincidentally – after a long period of being “bugged” by my family about the deterioration of my part of the neighbourhood – I too have just sold my home (of 17 years) and (B’ezrat Hashem) am about to purchase a bigger apartment, in a “better” part of the neighbourhood.
    I wonder how my own cats will react. Perhaps they should have a chat with your Nechama about what to expect ;-)
    Meanwhile – Chag Purim Sameach!

    • Well, you’re about to go through what I just experienced, Shimona. And I wish you a much easier time of it. I had the feeling that it would be hardest for my cat. But to my surprise, she managed to adapt faster than I did. Of course, she does have her own door, with a key hanging around her neck to open it for her (it works on a magner). My best wishes for an easy move, and yes Purim sameach. I remember the years when it snowed on Purim. It looks as if this time it’ll be easier.

  41. Pingback: in the vicinity | the human picture

  42. I can’t decide on a favourtie photo – of Nechama lying on the window ledge or of guarding the shopping. That’s one cat with a heap of style and attitude!

    • I think my favorite pose of hers, is when she watches the street from the window of my living room. She has so much patience. I’ve posted one like that on another post.. I don’t remember where, right now. But you’re right, Claire, She has both style and attitude, and she always lets me know what she’s thinking… sometimes pushing her nails into my arm to wake me up.

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