Rose blooming in Jerusalem

Spring Blossom

A quick sketch (1 minute read)

Rose blooming in Jerusalem
Rose blooming in Jerusalem

A flower is just a firecracker in slow motion.

Shot from the very soul of a green thing,

it rises toward the sky,

Held together within smooth casing

Until

Boom!

Sparks of pink and purple, orange and red unfurl

To share their gift of beauty with the world.

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I… am a quiet thing

A short sketch (2 minute read)

Every time the clouds thicken and droplets cascade from the sky, my little friends emerge from the darkness, not walking or crawling like animals but unfolding like mist. They are the ones who deposit trails of slime as if needing to retrace sluggish steps, who act like home isn’t on their backs but a place to return to. Their progress is static, an animation flipbook held in place, still and silent and calm.

One snail claims its throne, a rusted ironing board long left for dead. Its single bumpy appendage soaks in the heavy air like a sauna foot. If it had a voice, it would say to me, “I am not like Jerusalem’s dainty yellow flowers with their slender necks and green clover. I don’t bloom in the light and shrivel at night. I… am a quiet thing.”

Snails know that not everyone or everything shines in the sun. Its the shrouded moment and pitter patter of the earth’s tears that brings them out of their shells and lets them know it’s okay to move again.

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The Mangiest Cat in Jerusalem

I call my apartment the Cat Palace.

There is an older woman who lives next door who feeds them. She is a pied-piper in orange crocs singing Israeli songs as she dances outside the apartment. Cats creep out from bushes, awake from lazed lounging, and pursue her like cheetahs when she passes by because they know it’s feeding time. I do too, as my feet dodge trickles and streams of cats flowing on the sidewalk following her siren song. She tosses out dry food and wet to high-pitched mewing from my neighbors: little pumas, long-haired fatties, splotched beasts, and camouflaged tabbies.

The most fascinating feline I met, though, looked nothing like the others and I didn’t see it at Feeding Time. Its fur was matted and unkempt, bunched in some places and missing in others. Its scrunched-up face peered from the edge of a giant green dumpster. It yelled at me with slitted eyes, “BACK OFF. I know I’m ugly and I know those other cats get fed, but I’m hungry right now and this is my dumpster.”

This cat was near death. It was clear to me from its scabs, caving sides, and scowl.

Yet, there was a force radiating from it, the pulse of life in its veins. I witnessed the cat’s gnawing hunger as a humble dream, and its rotten meal as meager redemption. Its suffering and striving revealed its divinity. You can see God even here, in the mangiest cat in all of Jerusalem.

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