Last month I was in Israel, learning, absorbing, tasting, walking, bussing, capturing, photographing, touring… you get the gist. There was a lot of “ing” in my days. I had a list, I had an agenda and I was going to see all there was in order to fully experience this complex land.
And I got overwhelmed.
I got trapped in that long list of “important sights to see” and finally one afternoon I just admitted to myself that I couldn’t continue on the schedule I had planned. Yes, it meant forgoing the return visit to the Museum of Art and I would leave without having crossed other wonderful sights off my list.
But the sun was shining, my husband was holding my hand and I reminded myself that I was on VACATION. A time to relax and take it all in, not drive and accomplish.
So we left the crowded and vibrant markets of Jaffa (only after having the most wonderful pistachio ice cream, þcheck) and slowly walked up the boardwalk to Tel Aviv. The 8 km walk along the Mediterranean sea was divine. My spirit was finally invited to just experience the joy of discovery.
As we rounded the corner of an abandoned building I came upon what is fast becoming one of my favourite things. A whole gallery just out there in the open. Delightful colours and provocative images. Street Art.
My quest to appreciate beauty and excellence often takes me to wonderful places, galleries full of masterpieces, botanical gardens with exquisite species, hikes with lookouts, concert halls, government houses and important, moving landmarks. All of which are wonderful and so worth seeing. Each of which moves and inspires me.
But this walk reminded me that art and excellence is also found outside these places. It lives in the burst of flowers so wilfully growing through the crack in the pavement, the dance of the birds in the setting sun, the urban street lined with garden walls, the music that the street performer evokes, the images that the street artist creates.
We found him, mid painting. He stopped to chat. Apparently he is well known in his circles, and has a lot to say (and of course I have forgotten his name!). I just stood in awe of his creations. Each piece in the moment and authentic. So temporary and transient. No fancy frames, nothing to preserve them, no little note cards telling me about the artist. Just a man using his art to evoke something in the passers by. I left feeling that I had stumbled into the magic that I was looking for.
We continued on, stopped and had a beer and simply lounged looking out at the sun. It is not lost on me that my quest to see all the spectacular sights may have had me walk right by the ones that were there, right at my feet.
INVITATION – Join Dewitt Jones, Tania Carriere and Lynette Sheppard for a “The Re-imagined Self” workshop in Hawaii Oct 28-Nov 4, 2017. Limited enrolment.
This retreat is the deep breath that comes between who you were and who you are becoming. A deliberate pause - answer the questions - What is the elusive thing you dare to reach for, or finally let go of?
If not now, when?