Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Good Kind of Busy

This last week has been "a good kind of busy" because Allison, one of my college room-mates, stayed at our home along with her three children. Lisa, if you're reading this, you need to come and visit next! We drove all over Germany and Paris, laughed an extraordinary amount, and generally caught up on the last seventeen years of life since we've seen each other. I couldn't believe how easy it was to connect, even after all that time. Allison retains a few of her New York habits, including walking faster than anyone else in the group (except me), and signaling the waiter for a bill before the meal arrives. The waiter in Paris thought Allison was joking when she asked for the check before we'd even finished our baguettes...

On Tuesday, I fly to Oregon with Anna, our thirteen year old. We'll spend six weeks visiting family and friends. I'm a little curious whether she'll go through any culture shock--it's been two years we've lived in Germany, and this is Anna's first time back to the States. Anyway, my postings may be sporadic for awhile. And it'll be because I'm back in my favorite state of the whole USA!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I've Seen It All

Kitsch is one of those great words that's made its way into the English language. So, you decide, is this the definition of kitsch? And if so, then this would be the ultimate in kitsch. I don't have strong feelings about this or anything... Maybe if I hadn't seen the pictures plastered all over kleenexes, pencils, sticky notes, and what have you.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Tintin Thoughts

Growing up, my brother and I read Tintin whenever we could get our hands on a new publication of these comic strip books drawn and written by Herge (I'd put an accent over the last "e" in his name, but can't figure out how to do that). Herge's plots are full of twists and turns. Tintin's fox terrier, Snowy, whom I wanted to adopt, accompanies Tintin on his global adventures. And the pictures are perfect; colorful, sharp and clean. I read about Tintin in Tibet on thinkBuddha's blog today, and it got me wanting to dig up this particular book. I read most of the series many years ago, but don't think I ever came upon the Tibet comic, and it's supposed to be a classic. I might have to drive to Belgium to find one. :)


Tomorrow Jeff, David, and Danielle leave Jerusalem to return home. I'm looking forward to hearing all about their trip. I last saw Jerusalem at the age of ten, enroute to the States. Most of all I remember the Dome of the Rock shining golden in the sun and a stream of people from many countries passing through that holy place, heads covered in respect. I saw (and maybe touched?) the rock where Isaac might have been sacrificed, if God hadn't provided a ram at the last minute. And I walked Jerusalem's narrow streets with my parents and brother and sisters, breathing in the air of a place that I'd heard about since toddlerhood.

Here's a fragment from a poem about Jerusalem by Yehuda Amichai. He's a beloved poet in Israel and throughout the world, for good reason.

And there are days here when everything is sails and more sails,
even though there's no sea in Jerusalem, not even a river.
Everything is sails: the flags, the prayer shawls, the black coats,
the monks' robes, the kaftans and kaffiyehs,
young women's dresses and headdresses,
Torah mantles and prayer rugs, feelings that swell in the wind
and hopes that set them sailing in other directions.
Even my father's hands, spread out in blessing,
my mother's broad face and Ruth's faraway death
are sails, all of them sails in the splendid regatta
on the two seas of Jerusalem:
the sea of memory and the sea of forgetting.