Last week, one of my blog friends, menhir, commented on the pond, a picture of which appeared among the drawings of my father. She mentioned that she and her husband had visited Jerusalem in the recent past, and had sat right near that same pond. And my friend Bill mentioned that he and his wife had visited with me at the same place, when they came to Jerusalem a couple of years ago. So I was thinking that it would be nice if I did a few more posts on the different neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and show you more of the city. And the best place to start, of course, is this very same pond.
For many years now, I travel almost all the time with a little camera in one of my pockets, or in my backpack, and I often photograph interesting or well loved sites that I see. Sometimes, again and again. After my father died, I used to take regular walks with my mother, and when she would see me photographing a local tree, or the pond, or the play area of the local grade school, she would say, “you’ve already taken that picture, Shimon”; not quite understanding why I’d want to take more than one picture of the same thing. And since photography was also my profession, I would catalogue the photos that I recorded. Over 150,000 photographs are described in my catalogue of photographs.
So you would think that it would be a very easy thing for me to find all of the photographs from the rose garden, or all of the photographs of the pond in that same garden. I started cataloguing my photography on little index cards, long before I converted the catalogue to digital. But in the early days, I had a very good memory of almost every photograph I had taken, and certainly those that I had taken for myself. And so, the catalogue focused on the photography that was connected to work. I had to remember who the picture was for, and what the needs of the customer were. And the personal photography was not so carefully listed in the catalogue. Now, searching for a particular photograph, even if I remember it very well, is no easy task. This morning, in fact, it was a bit frustrating.
But when I started looking through the contact prints, or browsing through my photography folders on the computer, it became even more difficult. Having so many photographs, is something of a burden. On the one hand, I am constantly reminded of different subjects which might be interesting for my readers, were I to post a series on this theme or that. But it is also very easy to become diverted, and eventually lost in the great collection. I get inspired to add bits of information to my catalogue. But it also seems that try as I may, I’ll never get it completely up to date.
The pond has gone through many changes over the years. One of my favorite trees, a willow, died some years back and was replaced by some other kind of tree. The plant life too has gone through some changes. There have been some drought years, when the water itself lost its luster. And periods of time in which the fish seemed to multiply, and others in which the frogs were more noticeable, and were loudly heard. There were also times when the local children became a little too brave, and would venture into the water, disturbing the living creatures… and so the police set up a fence to keep the children out. The fence in turn disturbed the closeness we felt with the body of water. Fortunately, it was eventually removed… and then replaced by a symbolic three wired fence, to mark a border, past which, the visitor was requested not to venture.
The rose garden itself, is situated opposite the Knesset, our parliament building, which is the seat of government. One can see the Knesset very well from the park, and many visit this park, from local citizens looking for peace and quiet, to foreign tourists, and students. During the warmer periods of the year, you can see people having a picnic on the lawns. I have seen young couples walking through the park in their wedding attire, with a photographer documenting their visit for posterity. I plan to do a separate post, focusing on the park, with the beautiful lawns and flowers. But today, I wanted to share with you a few views of the pond.