rainy day

 

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at the bottom of the stairs coming out from my apartment

For some time now, I’ve been planning to take a walk in the rain. But every time it rains, I find an excuse not to do so on that day. I do enjoy a nice clear sunny day, with a few clouds in the blue sky, that’s what I like best. That’s when I wink at the camera. And though I remember that I have enjoyed walking in the rain… and despite actually feeling the need of the ground to get that rain, and am happy to see it come down; for some reason or other, it always seems most appropriate to watch it from the windows of my salon. This last week though, hearing of the cold front in Europe, and imagining the snow piled high in cities usually known for their moderate weather, the urge to take a walk in the rain couldn’t be contained.

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And so, off I went one morning this week, to enjoy the wintry mood of my neighborhood. It looks like we aren’t going to get any snow this year. We are blessed with snow some winters, but this is the latest that it has snowed in my memory, and if it doesn’t snow till the Purim holiday, I figure we’re going to miss it this year. Maybe it was exhausted over Europe.

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Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started a number of posts, each time interrupted by some unexpected event. I would put the half written article aside, and by the time I sat down to write again, I’d be thinking of something else, and start writing a different post. And so it went till now. Knowing that today was Purim, and I would go downtown to see how the young folks were celebrating, I decided to take a few pictures from my recent ‘walk in the rain’ and publish that before missing another Friday. Wouldn’t want you thinking that I’d forgotten my virtual friends.

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These shots were taken down at the corner, the first little commercial center I reach when I come down from my home on the hill, to see a bit of the neighborhood or buy few household necessities for day to day living. The sculpture you see has been recently added to our environment here. I consider it post modern sculpture, because it is devoid of pretension, and only asks to remind me of certain images in the most abstract way. The colors seem to have been chosen in the lightest of moods. I look at these images, sometimes seated on a bench opposite them, and they impress me as doodles in mid air, meant mainly for my amusement.

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Aside from the pizza parlor, a very good hamburger restaurant and an Iraqi bakery on the corner itself, there is also a supermarket, a liquor store and a snack bar just around the corner not seen in these pictures here. When in the need for basics, this is where I go. We’ve had a few new stores open for business but then close down after a short time, unable to find a constituency here I suppose, and I’m always sorry to see them leave. It would be nice if I had the widest variety of choices close to home, because I really prefer to go shopping on foot.

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But when I do want to go the distance, there is no shortage of public transportation. We’re close to the light train, and have a number of city buses that can take me to any destination I might choose. I have given up driving. and though there are some disadvantages, I feel as if I’ve been relieved of a great weight. Even so, the end result is that I travel less.

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I was on my way to the promenade park where I like to meet with my hyrax friends. But I really didn’t expect to see any there. They don’t usually appear in the rain. I did see one, eyeing me from behind a bush. I suppose he was one of the watchman who come and check out a site before the whole tribe shows up. He seemed even more reticent than they usually are. We’ll have to put off our meeting till the next sunny day. Still, I did manage to get a few winter pictures to share with you. I’ll attach them to another post. And who knows, maybe I’ll get around to finishing up one of those posts I started.

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And today, Friday, it’s Purim, the holiday of masks. We’ve had good luck and the weather forecast promises a sunny day. The children… and a few of the braver adults will be able to walk around in costume. I might get a few shots of that. Sending you all my very best wishes from Jerusalem.

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P.S. Just got back from downtown. Lots of fun. So I’m adding this picture for Mary, who complained that I never have people in my pictures. This should be seen as an apology, and compensation of sorts. Boy, were there a lot of people at the center of town today! And now I’m off to get ready for the holy Sabbath, my friends. There is more to come…

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49 responses to “rainy day

  1. I enjoy walking in the rain. My favorite season for it is late fall, particularly in late evenings.There’s something about the smell of damp leaves and the reflection of street lamps on their wet surfaces that I’ve alway found calming, and just a little romantic.

    On the other hand, a daytime walk has its own charms, like your colorful doodles.They are amusing, in the best way possible: without a hint of the cynicism or nastiness that passes for much humor these days. I’m glad you saw one of the hyraxes. When weather comes, the creatures cope — usually better than we do.

    I wish we had better public transportation, but there’s none in my area. When there’s so much land, and cities spread into suburbs, it’s hard. There is a grocery store, drug store, and a few restaurants within walking distance, but none is a favorite. When I’m no longer driving, they may become favorites by default!

    I knew very little about Purim, but read a bit about its history. The celebrations sound delightful; I hope the sun shined throughout.

    • Purim was never one of my favorite holidays, but these days I find my pleasure watching the young enjoy themselves. There is something of a feminist message in the holiday; one woman refuses her husband’s demand (the King) to show her off to others, and another woman is seemingly the first in history to complain about sexual abuse. But what is unique here is that the book on which the holiday is centered does not mention god even once. One could say that the message is don’t trust what you see; it’s mostly just a front. We were lucky to have a nice sunny day, and the streets were fill with happy people, which is always a pleasure. Thanks for your comment, Linda

  2. Thank you for this post, Shimon! I enjoyed going on the rainy walk with you. I love those sculptures; they remind me of neon lights, doodles, as you said, and so sweetly childlike.

    I’m glad you are able to get out and about with your camera. It seems there is a good variety of stores and restaurants near your home.

    I’m looking forward to your other posts and photos! Even if it’s raining, they brighten my day.

    • Yes, those sculptures were a welcome change. I’m hesitant to step out when it rains; always afraid of a fall. But once I do get out, there is much to enjoy. The air gets a good cleaning, and one senses the appreciation of the earth and plant life for this gift from heaven. Always good to hear from you, Kitty

  3. Always a joy to peek into your world. The fanciful art is delightful. It looks like some of them are benches, of sorts. How fun. Thank you for sharing.

    • They could have been benches, but I didn’t see anyone using them. Fortunately, there are some very solid benches on that corner, so I do sit there usually, when I’m on the way back from a longer walk. Wishing you a good week Judy.

  4. Thanks for sharing your walk in the rain. My evening was spent with a drive in the wind and rain. Would rather have a sunny or cloudy day myself. Best wishes from Ohio.

    • A drive in the wind and rain can be very dramatic, Bev. I remember, many time, enjoying the contrast between the show of nature, and the perfect defensive bubble of the car moving through the storm. I have to say that though I liked spring and summer better when I was young, I now enjoy all the seasons. Best to you too.

  5. Hi Shimon!
    Intriguing post. I have to agree with you about the new sculpture forms. They look like pipe but I wonder. Not being Jewish, I had to look up Purim but didn’t see any notes about dressing in masks or costumes. You talk about hyrax as if they were common, is this so? I enjoy your posts with photos. Another world away from me.
    Be well Shimon

    • Hi bob. It was only recently that I learned that the scientific name for rock badgers is hyrax. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures and heard my descriptions of these wonderful animals in the past. But if you click on hyrax in the tag cluster on the right of my blog page, you’ll get all of the posts were they are mentioned. Purim is a very interesting holiday in that it hints that most of life is superficiality. It’s a holiday of masks, and hilarity, and the only time when Jews are encouraged to drink until they can’t differentiate between good and evil. To my relief, very few of my fellow citizens take this suggestion seriously.

  6. When you said you were walking in the rain, Shimon, I wanted to chase after you with an umbrella. Did you know that Gene Kelly came down with the flu after ‘singing in the rain’?
    We’ve only just left summer behind us. Selfish of me, I know, but I prefer the in between seasons and if I was in charge of the weather we’d be dividing the year with Autumn and Spring.
    I love your photos, Shimon, but I’ve noticed that they never have people in them. Is that deliberate?
    My very best Purim-y wishes right back at you, you lovely man.

    • I’ve used an umbrella in other cities, but I go without in Jerusalem. There are these surprise gusts of wind that have turned my umbrellas inside out too many times to keep using them. But I have rain hats, and manage to stay warm inside a few layers, even if I do get a little wet. As for people in my pictures… sometimes I do get carried away, and focus on the still life, but I can assure you that people are my favorite bipeds. Did you notice that I added a picture to the post in your honor? Thank you for your wishes, dear Mary… may we enjoy it all with a smile.

  7. Such a fun way to celebrate Purim – delighting in sculptures that truly look like doodling in mid-air, presumably while in a childish, happy mood! On Sunday, our Hebrew school kids will dress up and parade their costumes, noisemakers and masks in hand – and perhaps I too will take some photos (though arguably, mine are amateurish, and yours are fantastic. Thank you…m

    • There was a time, long ago, when only scholars knew how to read and write. But it is now a common skill for most. The same is true for photography. I truly enjoyed the profession preparing my own chemicals, developing films, and printing in black and white and in color. But being in the profession helped me appreciate the wonder of the digital age, in which photography became available to all. It seems to me sometimes, that all humanity is like a group of children who’ve just discovered the land of the free… having so much fun that we don’t realize it’s a new era. I’m sure you’ll have great fun shooting purim pictures and joining the celebration in that way. My best wishes to you, Mimi.

  8. Jerusalem in the rain… some of my most cherished walks and memories. I still love walking in the rain even if it’s not in Jerusalem, but the clean air after the rain always brings back the walks to and from The Hebrew University in Giv’at Ram, my friends and my teachers and the illusion of being young forever.

    • I too have memories of those days, when Jerusalem was such a small town; something of a village then, when everyone seemed to know one another. I would go everywhere on foot in those days, and it did seem we would live for ever then… and that I could walk for ever too. It was freedom. Thank you Rachel for bringing back those sweet memories. You would have enjoyed seeing everyone out on the streets yesterday. There was something very innocent about the community get together.

  9. I’m ambivalent about rain. Rain in cold weather only seems to make me feel colder. Rain when the weather is warm can be pleasant and refreshing. Rain does however brighten colours, the cobbles shine as I see in your images with the sculptures. A splash of colour can so easily lighten a neighbourhood.

    • Yes, there is something light hearted about the way they decorate the streets these days. I remember myself being annoyed by ‘bad weather’ in the past; aggravated by the traffic jams when there was a lot of rain or snow. But over the years I’ve gotten to appreciate a lot of things I used to avoid. And these days there are traffic jams rain or shine. Even so, life seems easier these days. Maybe, because I’ve grown more accepting. Thanks for your comment, Andy. I really enjoyed your picture of the sky.

  10. Hello Shimon, I enjoyed walking with you in the rain. The sculptures made me smile and I am glad you have some shops nearby. It’s lovely to hear from you. Hugs. xXx

    • Thank you Jane. It’s a good life when we can take it easy. Sometimes life is an uphill climb, with a lot of challenges along the way… but just letting go for a bit, and appreciating the nature around us, puts everything back in proper proportion. Always very good to exchange thoughts with you.

  11. Thanks for sharing your walk. I hope you get to take some pictures over Purim. Love the sculptures. Colourful, simple, and joyful. What more can one ask for?

    • Took a lot of pictures yesterday. It was a very beautiful day, and most folks were out in the streets. A lot of joy. Hope I managed to capture the feeling. It’s days like these that give me hope. Thanks Olga.

  12. Thank you for your kind wishes Shimon, I heartily reciprocate!
    At first I thought the ‘sculpts’ were part of a kiddies amusement activity, like you might find in a children’s playground. I do like them, they are cheerful and I too could happily sit and contemplate the sculpts.

    Not all that glisters is gold. So much we don’t notice in our own surroundings often reveals itself with a little rainfall. Plants and their leaves, for example, take on a gleaming mantle, wee raindrops pearlize them. Textures and structure in stones are exposed, many are very beautiful, all are interesting. Our own faces when gently washed by rain can take on a soft glow.

    I adore your second picture, it really tells its own story. You have beautifully captured the moving puddles. That’s another piece of artwork I would enjoy contemplating.

    It would lovely to see something of the fare of the Iraqi bakery. I salivate a little at the very thought of the special fresh breads.

    Happy Purim and Shalom.

    • Bread is one of my favorite foods, and I used to buy different sorts and enjoyed them all. These days, I bake my own bread, and so buy much less of the ready-made. I agree with you about the beauty of plant life in the rain. It is such a pleasure to watch. In Hebrew, the word realization comes from the root of rain… and rain also represents the material world. For me, it is the completion of the circle. Thanks for your comment, menhir.

  13. Happy Purim and Rainy Day, dear Shimon! Beautiful photographs, I loved the colourful sculptures… It would be nice to see your next photographs too.
    Thank you, have a nice day and weekend, Love, nia

    • Thank you very much for your good wishes, Nia. It is so good to get away from the news for a while, to enjoy nature, and traditional days in the community. Saw a lot of happy children on Friday, and quiet a few adult children as well. And it was great fun shooting photos. Wishing you a sweet Sunday, and a very beautiful week ahead.

  14. Happy days, Purim and rain. Those artwork are playfullly colourful. I can imagine children getting some fun out of it. It seems that it is still warm even on the rain, people are just wearing shirts. Spring festival. A good way to welcome a new season, rain and all. Perpetua

    • The rain was earlier in the week, Perpetua. And then on Friday the sun came out and the skies were blue. It was a beautiful day and everyone came out to celebrate Purim, which is always one day later in Jerusalem than in the rest of the country. We will be celebrating spring in another month. Meanwhile we still have winter weather and colder temperatures… but there are also some very cheerful days. Good to hear from you.

  15. I used to enjoy walking in the rain. I’m not sure when that enjoyment went away. I think it’s time to wander out in the rain again. Snow walks are fun too. I don’t get to walk in the snow much anymore either. My daughter is protective of me and doesn’t let me out in the snow. I fall easily these days. I’m hoping next winter I will be better and she will let me out in the snow.

    • It’s been a few years since the last time I fell in the snow, but I’ve been careful ever since. It’s such a limiting experience. I know you’ve been having a difficult winter this year Corina, and I feel for you. Wishing you inner and outer warmth, and much joy with the grandchildren. I admire your energy.

      • The year I moved to Portland, we had an unprecedented amount of snow. It began to snow on December 18th and didn’t stop until the 26th! It was so pretty but with no snow tires or snow appropriate clothing, I didn’t go out in it. The most I could do was stand on my porch and watch it and let it land on my hand. I also went down the four steps to walk in it just in front of my house, at least when it was only about two inches. After that, I couldn’t go out. One night I decided to go down the steps and just stand in the snow. I didn’t see the ice on the steps and I fell. I broke my tail bone. And I couldn’t get up. It was super cold out there and not a soul was around and I hadn’t taken my phone with me. So I was out on the snow, unable to get back inside for about a half hour. I finally crawled back in. That was scary. I could have frozen to death at the foot of my front steps!

  16. Interesting post and images. Hope you enjoyed your walk in the rain.

  17. Esther is a great inspiration to us Christians too. Such courage and spiritual understanding! My favourite photo is number two, Shimon.

    • Thanks Gill. I remember years ago, when my daughters were still children, I used to joke about Vashti being an example to women. In recent years I was surprised to hear this from others who were more conventional than myself, and who saw both Vashti and Esther as examples of feminism.

  18. So sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you, Shimon. Not sure I deserve it, (I usually get myself into trouble by letting my foot take the lead to my mouth) but thanks very much for the addition in my honour. I loved and appreciated it.

    • No problem, Mary. That’s one of the advantages of written messages… that they are less limited in time. There’s always something to be learned from a friend’s comment. Best wishes.


  19. Boss, I have so much to tell you … much love to you and Nechema … Always, cat,

  20. I’ve always enjoyed rainy days. I grew up on a farm, so a rainy day was a respite from farm work. Now, rain reminds to to stay in and celebrate a quiet day.

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