Not Far Away

Not Far Away

Jerusalem - Not Far Away by Tim Weil - Stories and Songs

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guides

Truth be told, I&I took a trip this year and got stoned. The trip was to Jerusalem and the country of Israel. The stone was the marrow of antiquity in the living, breathing bedrock of ancient walls, the sanctity of hallowed halls and the shopping suqs of Arab malls. The buzz was a natural high and I&I' is still making sense of it all. Who am I? Who am I? Hey, I&I, the narrator guy, Isaac Isaiah.

Now a trip like this (somewhere far away, to a country as distant as it is real) can last a long time, depending on your physical and spiritual constitution. As a wanderer, you must be open to the sharp contrasts of joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, love and hate, conflict and peace, beauty and destruction, mortality and life. Believe me, a journey to the Holy Land will get in your bones and shake you up. So as not to get lost (or be led astray), it helps to have maps and spirit guides. Fortunately, while travelling, I&I had three guides by my side. For the sake of our story, let us call them by their presence (or lack thereof) – Lost Guide, Far Guide and Near Guide. One was physically present; the others were not far away.

The map I&I was given came from Michener's novel, The Source, an epic story of Tel Makor, a weave of cultures and conquest tracing 3000 years among the ruins and artifacts of this fictional city and the fight to hold holy ground. Between the guides and the guidebook, it took a bit of orientation to get my bearings straight. Let me sort this out for you.

Two of these guides (Lost Guide and Far Guide) have already died but they left behind trace lines through the Time, Place and Space that blanket the countryside: in the great cultures and contrasts of monotheism; in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples; shrines, tombs, churches, mosques and temples; in Biblical tales at the Sea of Galilee, the Judean Hills, the Golan Heights, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, that ancient “City of Peace”.

I&I was not alone, touring with a group of wanderers, all led through that country by their own curiosities and beliefs. Near Guide stayed close at hand, to keep me from going astray. A little later, she helped carry my journey to the world that is yet to arrive.