Kadita

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I heard a story once, about the great sitar player, Ravi Shankar, when he was on the plane in the US. He had a large instrument case balanced on his knees in the airplane. The stewardess came over to him, and told him that his luggage should have been sent to the luggage compartment. But since it was too late for that now, and since the case he was holding was obviously too big to stay on his knees all through the flight, she would find a place for it in the crew’s compartment.

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Ravi looked up at the stewardess, and smiled a bashful sort of smile, and speaking in his very soft and modest voice, he said, ‘you know, when my father was born, my grandfather celebrated his birth by planting a tree in the front yard of the family home. As my father grew up, that tree grew with him, and became a large, strong tree. Children sat under its shade in our garden. And when I was born, my father cut down that tree. He asked a master craftsman to make a sitar of the wood. When I was four years old I began studying the sitar, and learned to play on my father’s instrument. And when I had learned how to play, my father gave me the sitar that had been made from the tree in front of our home. Since that time, I’ve never been separated from my beautiful musical instrument. I would like to hold it now, while I travel.

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And while I’m thinking of India and Indians, let me tell you another story. Rueven returned from a trip to India after a long trip. We organized a party to welcome him, and it was a great, cheerful occasion. Many friends came. There was music, and wine and food. A barbeque was set up in the lawn, and many different and fine servings were prepared. We sat in a circle listening to his tales of how he arrived in that distant and foreign land, and how he went about finding companions and a proper place to study the secrets of Zen Buddhism. He described his progress as a long path of small steps, learning the customs and the wisdom of those student who had begun learning long before him. It wasn’t a search for enlightenment, he told us, but a sincere effort to learn what was holy to another people. We didn’t ask him if he had found enlightenment, because he was smiling all the time.

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But we did ask him why he didn’t partake of the steaks from the barbeque… and why he ate his rice so slowly. After all, our efforts had been in his honor. And here we were, all consuming this wonderful feast that had been prepared, and he was eating the least of all. Our happiness would be complete, we said, if we were to see him enjoying the food as we had. So he told us that he had found a teacher, and how he sat by his teacher day after day, from morning to night. What his teacher did, he did. And most of the time, he studied. He learned the language, studied the holy texts, and followed his teacher’s example in all things. When his teacher ate, he would take a handful of rice and chew it a long time. A long, long time. And when he had eaten it, he would rest a few moments, before taking more. He ate very little, but his eating radiated complete peace. Gideon said to him, in supposition, ‘he was an old man’. Rueven said, ‘yes, an old man’. Gideon said, ‘he probably had lost all of his teeth’. Rueven said, ‘yes’.

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I know that many of my readers, when on a trip, take a great number of photographs with their telephone, or with a digital camera that can shoot photos at the speed with which a machine gun shoots bullets. They shoot shots through the window of a fast moving train, through the window of a plane… or out the car as they’re turning the corner of a city street. And I know there are travelers who set out in a packaged deal. They travel together in a group of some they know well and some they’ve never met, till this trip. And there’s a guide who arranges the trip plan, and finds the right restaurants along the way, and gets group rates on the boat, and knows just which museums and nature sights will be most inspiring for all the travelers.

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This may be a good system. I don’t know. I tried it once, and found it didn’t work for me. I have just about everything I need in my close environment. But now and then, I like to take a trip, so as to see new things, to clear my eyes, to shake the routine off my shoulders. When we walk in the same circles, day after day, we start taking things for granted. The righteous among us preface every drink of water and every slice of bread by saying ‘thank you god for all you do for us. thank you for bringing us bread from the ground’. And hope to avoid taking things for granted. But still, all of us… the righteous and the criminals and those of us in between, we all tend to take things for granted after a while. Anything and everything. And so, when we go out to see the world, we don’t know what will come around the next corner. We can get lost. Our car can break down. Life becomes an adventure once again.

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It didn’t make a big difference for me, moving from analog to digital. I don’t choose to use tools because they’re available. I’ve always chosen my tools with discrimination, looking not for what I want, but what I need. When on vacation, there are new sights every minute. And my old working horse (the camera) that accompanies me to work every day, could easily catch spring fever and go running through the fields, smelling every flower. He might run away with me. I could become his hostage instead of his master. So we reestablish our roles, and set out together on the path as friends. Though the world be full of wonder, I don’t try to swallow the world. I pick a certain something out of the infinity, and meditate on it. And when I’ve seen it as best I can, and am aware of its existence as I am of my own, I try to record the moment, and its as if I said a prayer at that moment. ‘Thank you, dear god that your have given me the opportunity to experience this’. And then I try to imagine exactly what I’d like to see on the page.

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For me, though I appreciate the monitor on the camera, the process of a shot is not finished until I’ve edited it and am satisfied. That picture that I saw at that moment. It takes a while. Sometimes I have to meditate on the image that went through the camera before I’m ready to interpret it. Editing an image might take just as long as the meditation I experienced before pushing the button on the camera. It means that there might be a lot fewer pictures than I could have gotten if I’d worked efficiently with my time, but each of them has been brought to this world with love.

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It is almost the end of the year. The Jewish new year begins this coming Wednesday evening. We will wear white. We call these days holy. But that is another story. The pictures in this post are of a little town called Kadita in the northern Galilee, and the farm country around it.

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96 responses to “Kadita

  1. Well I think I’ve fallen in love with Kadita. What wonderful pics, the black cat looks like a little panther and those grapes made my mouth water!
    I like the fact that you spend so much time contemplating your picture before you take it, then take it with love. That is so lovely.

    I did enjoy those stories and was left wanting to hear more….

    A happy New Year to you and yours Shimon.xxxx

    • Oh, Kadita is a little primitive… but I think that’s one of the reasons I love the place so much. Glad you liked the pictures. And the stories too… that’s what we used to do before television… exchange stories. Then came the internet. And now there’s facebook, which I still haven’t joined. It seems I’m falling behind, but still grateful to meet my friends on the blog, and exchange stories once again. Thanks for the good wishes and the comment, Dina. Always so good to hear from you.

  2. Thank you, Shimon. What a beautiful meditation on travel, within and without, and the many lessons it can offer through our attentive listening, with ears, eyes and heart. (I do believe the eyes can “listen.”) I also find myself meditating when I photograph and sometimes find the actual photo more–or less–than I experienced. I still take too many shots when I visit a new place, but far less than I used to; maybe I’m learning to discriminate and be with the powerfully, and simply, unique more skillfully, something I suspect you’ve long mastered, Shimon.

    Joy and gentle peace to your holy days. I’ve so enjoyed these photographs, especially the glass of (beer?) catching the light, and the very first photo of the humble dwelling that opens to the glory of the world…

    • I suppose that eyes can listen too. For some time, I’ve been aware that they can drink. With photography… I’m not at all nostalgic about the use of film. But back then, it was the measure of a photographer, was how close he or she could get to what was intended. Now with the monitor for immediate check, people tend to accept whatever they get and go on… or shoot many pictures, and pick the best. This is not exactly the art as I know it. Though I am always open to other people doing things in other ways. Thank you very much for your good wishes, Kitty. That beverage on the window of the balcony is the tea I was drinking. You can see the tea bag in the glass. And yes, how wonderful it is to look out at the glory of this world.

  3. I love the extraordinary colouring of green, gold and grey in the pictures, and the lush green of the ripening vine as a contrast. That little hut looks so romantic and I immediately thought ‘I would love to go and write there’ – but then of course realised that there would be very few mod cons and I would have to use a great deal of precious writing time in just living!
    And I do like the idea of having a tussle with your camera, not so as to decide who is boss, but to re-establish friendship, and look at things together. There is so much around us to enrich us, if we have eyes to see.

    • It’s true that there aren’t many modern conveniences in that beautiful place, but speaking just for myself, I don’t think we need them so much. Half a century ago, it was cute, and seemed to ‘save time’, but meantime we’ve added one contraption to the next, and I often feel I’m overburdened by it all. The life is so simple here at Kadita, and it’s a very good life. I think it’s perfect for writing. And I wish you peace and quiet, Gill, and success with your writing. I am sure that many will enjoy the reading of your stories.

  4. In this post, you have ‘shown us what is Holy’….about a place, actions and people. Thank you.

  5. These pictures are beautiful and so very crisp and colorful. I especially like the picture with the little black cat and the one of the grapes. This post has me thinking about how I use my camera and why…and how I travel too. Am I just trying to take in as much as I can as fast as I can or am I really soaking up the experience and meditating on it? That’s something to really think about. I hope you have a wonderful New Year and blessed holy days, Shimon.

    • I’m glad to hear that I gave you something to think about, Kari Ann. And happy you enjoyed the pictures. Yes, we start the new year with very positive hopes and expectations. Thanks for your good wishes.

  6. Dear Shimon,
    Thank you for a really thoughtful post. It makes me think, not just about how I approach travel, but how I approach life. The photos are really lovely. Shana Tova Umetuka.

    • Well, you’re a very serious traveler, Naomi. And I get a big kick following you to the many places you write about, both near and far. Thank you very much for your traditional blessing for the New Year, and my best wishes to you too, and to your loved ones for a sweet and peaceful and rich new year.

  7. Dear Shimon,

    That glass of tea: What is it actually? Herbal tea? From the colour, I don’t think it’s green tea.

    Ravi was very lucky with his sitar. Some families are fortunate to have a tradition like this to pass on an heirloom, or to have something dedicated for them.

    “Children sat under its shade in our garden” really is a touching reflection.
    In Chinese, we have an idiom that “People in the previous generation plant trees, and the future generation enjoys the shade.” (前人种树,后人乘凉).

    These days, the first thing some people get for their children is not something so physical and so beautifully hand-made, instead, they get a domain name. A social media person said before he gave his baby his name, he first checked whether the domain name was available.

    Thank you for another lovely post — eating slowly and enjoying every bite is a good life skill to have. I’ll do my best.

    • The tea is very simple Russian black tea, which I have been drinking all my life. Though I did have a period where I was very enamored with coffee. I drink tea with a little lemon, and that makes the beverage in the glass look lighter. What you say in Chinese about the previous generation planting trees for those who’re not born yet, is something we say in Hebrew too. I think a domain name is a nice present too, but I wonder if it’ll give as much happiness as a tree can… or whether it will be as permanent. Always good to hear from you, Janet, and thanks for your comment.

  8. I would have enjoyed the pictures alone, but your words made me very glad that you are still sharing your thoughts in English! I enjoyed reading this post very much.

    • It’s for friends like yourself, Ann, that I take pleasure in writing in English, and it looks like I will continue to do so. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post.

  9. As someone who spends a lot of time alone since my son left home, this passage was especially meaningful: “I have just about everything I need in my close environment. But now and then, I like to take a trip, so as to see new things, to clear my eyes, to shake the routine off my shoulders. When we walk in the same circles, day after day, we start taking things for granted. The righteous among us preface every drink of water and every slice of bread by saying ‘thank you god for all you do for us. thank you for bringing us bread from the ground’. And hope to avoid taking things for granted. But still, all of us… the righteous and the criminals and those of us in between, we all tend to take things for granted after a while. Anything and everything. And so, when we go out to see the world, we don’t know what will come around the next corner. We can get lost. Our car can break down. Life becomes an adventure once again.” Thank you, as always, for a refreshing look at life.

    • I know that as a professional photographer yourself, Nancy, and a person who appreciates a quality life style, that we see many things much the same way. Thank you very much for your comment.

  10. Wonderful post Shimon. Wishing you and your family a Shana Tova!

  11. The sitar is a wonderful story, it tells everyone has his/her sentiment for the things he/she posses. I like the second story also,it is about being sensitive about other people.
    Though I like to take photos, I try to leave the camera aside for a while during certain time of the day and night. But, I have to admit that I have become his hostage. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    • What I especially like about the second story, is the simple, almost naïve way that Reuven chose to learn from his teacher. Gideon was hinting to him that the teacher ate slowly because he didn’t have teeth anymore, but Rueven had learned by following his teacher, and didn’t worry about the reasons behind the details. Thank you very much for your comment, Amy.

  12. A thought-provoking post, Shimon. You write about something very essential. And I go with you a long way, this need of us for excess of everything which defines living for many people in this modern and mobile times, and makes us take much for granted, makes us not ponder about life and appreciate whatever is around us – now. At the same time I don’t think we all need to eat only rice and only very, very slowly to refer to the Buddhist master in your story. The world is differentiated and there are many ways to lead a moral life. I believe in appreciating the small things around us, but I also appreciating a growing understanding between people by visiting and living among each other. The question is how to find the right balance, isn’t it?

    • I don’t believe we have these needs for excess. But we’re living in a time where there is a lot of hype coming to our ears. Exhortations, and constant temptations, and an easy going person can find himself influenced, even if he didn’t really think he needed all the things they’re selling him. And I agree with you, Muchow. We don’t have to all eat rice or eat very slowly. That was a story of a student who went ‘all the way’ in following his teacher. But personally, I believe in that very thing that you closed with, a balance in all things. Thank you very much for your beautiful comment.

  13. Hi, Shimon,
    This has absolutely nothing to do with your beautiful post–so just delete this after you take a look at it–but I ran across this travelers’ warning, and wanted to send you the link. Likely you already know about the issue, but if not, you and/or family members may want to get booster shots.

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/news-announcements/polio-vaccine-guidance-israel

    • Thank you, Ann, for bringing up this issue. It’s a very interesting story, and has divided a lot of the population here. So far, no one has become ill with polio. But Israel has a very well developed health system, and the health department regularly checks water and sewage, and of course, all the food that is sold in our country. All of the children receive inoculations against the known communicable diseases. But in 2005, Israel changed the inoculation against polio, from a weak strain of the virus, to a dead strain. The new inoculation protects the person who has received it from getting the disease. But it doesn’t protect the society at large. But there are some parents who refuse to give their children any inoculations. This year, inspectors found traces of the disease in the sewage, and so wanted to give all the children up to age 9, an inoculation of the weakened virus in order to protect those who had refused to have their children inoculated. This lead to a great public argument. But many people have gone along with it, and I believe the scare is over now. As I said at the start, no one has fallen ill with the disease.

  14. I was asked recently why I make photographs, what goes into my thoughts as I’m doing so, what inspires me…the words from your post do the same thing, Shimon…cause me to reflect again on what it is that I’m actually doing….what I’m hoping to capture…or maybe even what I’m saying about myself or my world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your perspective. I hope, too, that you and your family have a happy and safe New Year celebration.

    • Very glad that you found interest in this post, Scott. For many years, photography was something that one had to systematically learn, and it entailed a lot of work. Recently, it has become a lot easier, and gives great enjoyment to the general public. But it seems to me that some people get a little hysterical in their chase after images. Like many other things, it brings the greatest happiness when one uses it deliberately, and when the photographer understands what he really wants. Always a pleasure to follow your photography, and you’ve chosen very beautiful places to take your camera.

  15. Almost missed this post. Had cataract removed recently. Your post is almost as if we dance in the same shoes, tho I recognize I am dancing too fast. Your images are wonderful, as are your words and thoughts. Would that we could meet someday and share a part of something…anything.

    • I’m so glad that your eye has been well taken care of, and that you can read again. Very glad you enjoyed the post, Bob. There are a few things I’ve been wanting to discuss with you, and you’ll be hearing from me soon, privately. I find it hard to keep up from time to time. But thank you very much for your comment.

  16. This was a beautiful post with much to think about. I am always impressed by your photography, not just a bunch of random shots as we do playing with our phones, but an effort that merges the science of the camera with the artistic interpretation and a true appreciation for what is being portrayed. This results in such beautiful photographs such as this series that shows us such a lovely place that anyone would want to come and visit! Your gift, your relationship with the camera, is something that cannot be taught, you either have it or you don’t… and clearly you do, much like Ravi Shankar with his beloved sitar. That was the perfect analogy!

    • Very glad you enjoyed the post, Josie. We are living in an age where there are a lot of tools available. And not always does an image have to be a work of art. I remember when I was a young man hiking in the mountains, I used to keep a diary of my travels, and sometimes I would add a simple sketch just so I’d remember something I’d seen. With the modern point and shoot cameras, and the iphones, we can use a camera to do a sketch, and that’s fine. And I have seen some really fine art come out of the phones too. I’m open minded and don’t think that only the old ways are good. But I worry a little about people getting ‘swept away’. It reminds me of the story of the sorcerer’s apprentice. Thanks for the comment.

  17. We are not for the organized tours either. We prefer to get guidebooks, do our research, then decide what we’d like to see. If someone observed, they’d likely think we were just aimlessly wandering the streets.

    Plus, there’s always a chance that we’ll be in a city and meet up with someone who’s gracious enough to show us his homeland.

    That can’t be done with a group.

    • Having had the pleasure of walking around Jerusalem with you personally, I know that we are much the same when it comes to traveling and seeing the sights. And it was great doing it together. My best to the Goddess.

  18. Oh I love the meandering of this post, Shimon. A sense of letting things unfold as they should. First Ravi Shankar … who was performing while i lived in India. I can imagine his links to that sitar and refusing to let it be lifted from his knees.. I travelled once with a perfect piece of coral in my lap … a gift for my father, It had a little crab skeleton caught in its perfect branches, I sat for 7 hours with it nestled in my lap.
    And I love the vignette of your friend slowly savoring his rice at the barbeque feast. Years ago an Indian teacher showed me how to eat a strawberry … and the awareness of every detail of that one piece of fruit remains forever ensconced in my palate. Strawberries have never been the same nor popped into my mouth with cavalier gulps. The texture of a few grains of nicely cooked rice is also a little miracle..
    And then your camera. Assuming some control over it rather than letting it run through the fields. I have so many friends who click everything in sight on their cameras and later viewing the endless almost mindless repetition seems like gluttony. Cramming so many images as quickly as possible into the camera … huge mouthfuls of that far-too-big hamburger.
    But it is the process of honing and editing which is where the artistiry comes to the forefront, First the vision and positioning for the photo and finally that meticulous and wonderful polishing.

    And all your observations are beautifully linked with that collection of lovely photos. Thanks so much Shimon for this treat …

    Nikki

    • You father was a lucky man, Nikki, to have his daughter coming home, and also to get such a beautiful present from the far ends of the earth. I am sure that you encountered stories of student devotion to teachers, when you were in India. And that is what I liked most about this story of Rueven and his rice. Because I too have had teachers that I revered, and I know it’s a precious experience. One good strawberry, eaten with intention, and appreciated completely is better than a dozen gobbled down. And what you say about honing and editing is so true. Many people today, are attracted to indulgence. But musicians and artists know that discipline is a part of the path to excellence. Thanks very much for your comment.

  19. Good morning Shimon….more beautiful images….I particularly love the glass of liquid in the window…..and the little town of Kadita, looks like somewhere I would enjoy visiting.
    As I mature, being mindful of what I eat, say and do becomes more and more imperative. I liked the story of the teacher in India, and loved the story about Ravi Shankar.
    Thank you so much for your words and images, and I wish you a happy Jewish New year. Janet. x

    • That glass of liquid was tea with lemon… no sugar. And I know that you’re mindful, and it shows in your work, which I just love. Thank you very much for your new year’s wishes, and you will hear from me privately very soon. But it is always a great pleasure getting a comment from you. xxx

  20. Happy new year Shimon.
    I used to come back from my camera trips with hundreds of pictures, I now come back with maybe a dozen. The processes I go through when creating a picture are now so much more measured. It’s a change for the better I know.
    These are beautiful pictures Shimon of what looks like a very beautiful place.
    I enjoyed this post very much.

    • Yes, Chillbrook. I think it is a change for the better, because I’ve seen a constant growth in your photography, and often your images really capture my imagination. There’s only so much we can eat without getting sick… and only so much we can produce, without getting distracted and confused. I believe a very important part of art is intention. Thanks for the comment.

  21. I think ‘meditation’ is just exactly right to describe the moments in which I lose myself when composing an image in the viewfinder before clicking the shutter.

    • Your work is very beautiful, Graham. And I’ve often found myself close to meditation just appreciating some of the images that you’ve recorded. Always a pleasure hearing from you. Best wishes.

  22. Wonderful post, Shimon. I love your photography and your writing. Like you, I don’t take a lot of photographs just because I can. I look carefully at the light, composition and subject and when I’m ready I take the shot. It’s about capturing what interests me, not about capturing it all.

    • Thank you very much, Cathy. I enjoy your work very much as well. When we’re young, we have big eyes, sometimes. Want to swallow all the world. But as we grow and mature, we realize that we have to make our individual choices, and that there’s much more in this wonderful world than we’ll ever know or have. Thanks for your comment.

  23. What a wonderful post! I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. You have a real thing of beauty here.

  24. It is good to visit your blog, Shimon. I will apologize that my comment does not necessarily directly relate to your blog post, although I should mention that I did enjoy the post and the photos very much. Rather, I will simply say that yesterday, as I turned my calendar from August to September, my eyes landed upon Sept 4th, and then were drawn to Sept 13th. My eyes continued traveling through the month, and fell on the 18th, and the 25th, and 26th. As I saw the coming month spread out in front of me on the calendar, I was thinking about you, and wishing you well.

    Many thoughts are circling in my head, but this is the only one landing on the page. I had very little exposure to the Jewish faith as I was growing up, with my sole source of information coming from the movies (most prominently The Jazz Singer, and Yentl, both of which were not particularly accurate in portraying Jewish life). Fast-forward some thirty years, and I happen to cross blog paths with a generous old soul living in Jerusalem. Your eye for photography is what initially captured my attention, but what kept me coming back was the glimpses you have offered into your ordinary life. Thank you for sharing those stories.

    As we move into September, I wanted to say this: If any of my comments have ever offended you in any way, due to my ignorance or inability to grasp the depth of difference in our cultures, please accept my apologies. I ask for your forgiveness. I deeply respect your artistry, and your traditions. I am aware that I have very little understanding of either, but you continue to keep me curious, and interested. I enjoy your blog very much.

    • Yes, this is the time of intense holidays. Often when you want to speak to someone about business, at this time of the year, they say, ‘let’s get together and talk about it after the holidays’. For about a month, there is so much going on, that our normal routine is just suspended. The days you mentioned are the highlights, but between those days, there is a constant fermentation. I almost edited out your last paragraph, thinking of what some casual reader might think. But then left it in, because it is such a classic example of the way we address one another here, during the days of soul searching, from before the New Year until the day of Atonement. And so I will answer you: No my dear N. Nothing you have said could possibly offend me. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. I wish you a sweet New Year; a year of health and happiness, and financial security, and a sense of finding your true niche now that you have a new home. May you be surrounded by friends that are worthy of your trust, and may you forget all troubles in the pleasant music of laughter. My very best to you.

  25. Lovely story and photos. L’ shana Tova.

  26. What a beautiful stories, Ravi Shankar is a great musician and I understand once again, why he is great musician. Kadita seems would be a peaceful place for all of us, I loved it too. Happy New Year dear Shimon, your photographs, as always fascinated me. Blessing and Happiness, Thank you, love, nia

    • When we see art or music that is truly exceptional, if we look closer, we find some story behind it, that is exceptional too. Sometimes, it is just an exceptional human being. But often, it is a whole set of circumstances that lead to some particularly fine contributions to culture. Thank you very much for your comment, Nia. With the many excitements and heavy news around us these days, I am thinking of you, and your country, and your family and friends. Thank you so much for your new year’s wishes. My wishes to you and your loved ones for a year of peace and understanding, and all the pleasures and sweetness of freedom.

  27. “…I don’t try to swallow the world” – what very wise words, Shimon. Lovely life-enhancing piece, and beautiful photos. Images not swallowed, but thoroughly masticated for full essence!

  28. Reading your blog is a little bit of ‘Time Out’. I sit back and read and I never know quite where your line of thought is going to take me. I love that story about Ravi Shankar. This feels such a peaceful place, away from the hassle of everyday life.

    • Yes, that’s exactly the blessing it has for me. It is timeless and peaceful. I am able to read and write without disturbance, and enjoy the countryside. Thanks for your comment, Andy. Always good to hear from you.

  29. Really interesting post, Shimon. Your shots show the love you put in – they have such an affirmative feel to them.

  30. Another lovely meditation, Shimon. It’s good to be reminded (and frequently!) to slow down and consider, and not to take anything for granted or lose sight of it because it’s so present in our daily lives. I find that I use my camera quite differently than you do, but for similar ends: I *will* often take huge numbers of shots, even from a car going at highway speeds, if I am on the search for something that I think is likely to appear even minutely in my viewfinder, and then in the editing I will hunt for that one glimpse out of a hundred. Yesterday I was reminded that this is a good year for a local wildflower that doesn’t always appear in numbers, but though my husband and I were traveling through fields full of it there wasn’t much time to stop and take a closeup shot, so I photographed them as many times from the moving car as I could and will sort through later to see if I got one or two clear views of these special blooms that I can savor. I’m funny that way. But it gives me pleasure, too, to find that while I’m shooting these seemingly random frames I’m busy looking to see every detail I can see at every distance on what is usually only a blur of familiar scenery. Thanks for reminding me of this!

    • When I speak of my attitude towards photography, Kathryn, I certainly don’t claim that mine is the “right way” or the only way. I’m just sharing my own perspective and custom. As I mentioned above, I know that others are far more athletic in their photography, and the ultimate test of the photograph is its appeal to the single viewer who’s looking at it. I know that you’re very enthusiastic about the many different methods you use to communicate artistically, and I have to say that this enthusiasm is felt in all your work. I send you my best wishes for success in all your efforts. Thanks for the comment.

  31. Shimon, your articles are a much anticipated treat. And they never let me down. So glad I met you.

  32. Your approach to photography is like my approach to travel. There are people who want to dash from place to place to see as many different things as they can, but I prefer to stay in one area for a while and get to know it enough that I feel at least a little sense of belonging there.

    As for eating, I’ve always done so very slowly (and not for lack of teeth). I’ve also often read while I eat: I have the notion that I’m digesting knowledge along with my food.

    • It turns out that we have many customs in common, Steve. Not only do I travel as you do, but I often read or study while eating. Though I do like eating with friends, and carrying on a lively conversation too. Always very good to get a comment from you. Best wishes for the new year.

  33. Time to look and time to reflect, I find myself resisting the urge to capture all I see, sometimes I’d rather enjoy the moment – whether it’s watching the world from a café or watching the sea – it’s been a delight to wander with you today in the lovely town and countryside

    • Thank you very much, Claire. The truth is that we couldn’t possibly capture all we can see, and if we could… it might be an interesting collection, but it would be less revealing of our personalities. Moreover, living life well is the greatest art, in my opinion. It’s a great pleasure hearing your thoughts, and thanks for the comment.

  34. Your golden fields of Kadita are wonderful. A simple yet radiant town, it would seem.
    I know what you mean about digesting and editing digital images. They take as much time as traditional photography, I think, just in a different way.
    There is a meditation to this kind of work as there is with any sort of art.
    A beautiful post, shimon.

    • (My apologies, I missed capitalizing your name)

      • No need to apologize, Karen. In my language, Hebrew, there are no capital letters, though in certain cases there are ‘final’ letters. I myself am always making mistakes with the use of capitals, but could easily do without them.

    • Thanks so much, Karen. I have found that the meditation is what matters. The media and the tools used are far less important than the vision of the artist, and I believe that your own work is a splendid example of this. A pleasure hearing from you, as it is a pleasure following your beautiful work. Thanks for the comment.

  35. Shimon, L’Shana tova tikatevu. Your photographs are soulful, magical. Thank you for your blog. Shalom.

    • Thank you very much, Debbie, for your blessing, and my best wishes to you too. May this year bring a great redemption in your life, and may you be blessed with good health, and happiness, and a good living, and many loving friends. Sometimes the downs are just a preparation for the most dramatic heights, and I am hoping with you.
      לשנה טובה ומתוקה

  36. Wonderful and insightful post, and great images, as I remember, Shimon.

  37. I have been pondering about photography and travel on my blog too but you wrote it so much more beautifully. For some reason it just seems to gel with the simple stories of your friend eating very slowly and Shankar’s sitar.

    Travel slowly. Eating mindfully. Taking photos with love. Honing one’s craft for life.

    • We don’t compete, my friend. But share the glory of the world in simple companionship, and mutual learning. Very glad you enjoyed the post, and it is a great pleasure to meet you. Thanks for the comment, Plum.

  38. Thank you for these beautiful images, Shimon, and for your thoughts expressed with such insight and precision. My wife and I are leaving on a trip to Japan in two weeks. I’m going to remember what you said in this post, and resist the urge “to swallow the world.”

    • How wonderful, Charles. I’ve never been to Japan, but always found that culture fascinating. I wish you both a very enjoyable adventure, and look forward to reading some of your impressions on your always amusing blog. Thanks very much for your comment.

  39. You’re so right about not taking anything for granted! There’s nothing better than a shower at a campsite when you’ve been on the road for days without that luxury! We have one in our motorhome, which we use occasionally, but when water is in short supply we make do without!

    Lovely story about the sitar and beautiful pictures, as always.

    • I admire your mobility in your motorhome, and wish you many beautiful and enlightened adventures along the way. And yes, a good shower can be a piece of heaven at times. Life is such a pleasure when we learn to appreciate it each day. And being on the road is a great help in overcoming our human tendency to take things for granted. Thanks for your comment, Fatima.

  40. So many lessons in the stories of this post – I love it, thank you Shimon. And I took time reflecting on each photo – quite beautiful 🙂

  41. Tu sei un uomo molto buono e molto saggio…
    è una gioia venire qui a trovarti.
    Ti abbraccio
    vento

  42. Thank you for your thoughts, and your images. Particularly these words: “Though the world be full of wonder, I don’t try to swallow the world.” And these: “And when I’ve seen it as best I can, and am aware of its existence as I am of my own, I try to record the moment, and its as if I said a prayer at that moment. ‘Thank you, dear god that your have given me the opportunity to experience this’.” May I bow in your direction? Just a small, subtle bow, OK? I have been away from your blog too long, but I see it’s no problem. It will be there when I’m ready. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Thank you very much Lynn. Always glad to see you, and hear from you when you come by, just as I appreciate visiting your own blog, and enjoy your photography. Thank you very much for your new year greetings. This is a very intense period for us, but I always enjoy taking a little time out, and visiting blogland.

  43. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    within each photo I had a sense of patience…
    one where the world in that moment was not in a hurry…
    as your stories unfolded I felt the same energy….
    where it is the art of words, and of the pictures that remain
    in a suspended like peace over flowing with patience…like the glass of tea warming patiently in the sunlight…
    the little town of Kadita is charming in its quiet you painted with your words for us….
    I Wish you the Happiest of your Holy New Year….
    Thank you for sharing ShimonZ, as always I enjoy the wandering through your thoughts….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • We’re often tempted to associate stereotypes to far away places and countries. When hearing of something in America, we think of New York, when speaking of France we visualize Paris. But there are always those little villages, that are much more down to earth. And though I live in Jerusalem, and love it, it’s wonderful to get away now and then, and enjoy a little village in the Galilee. Very glad you liked the pictures maryrose. And thank you so much for your holiday greetings. I do appreciate it.

  44. Shimon,
    Another enjoyable and interesting post – may you have a peaceful and Happy New Year.

    David.

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