368 days are over and I’m airport-bound. It knocks my socks off when the Chinese tourists get on the minibus and fasten their seatbelts, whilst not giving any signs of insanity. It strikes me that these 368 days have really made me. Now, even in the most daring of my dreams, it wouldn’t occur to me that it might be suitable to fasten my seatbelt. So for a moment, I’m trying to see this bus ride through their eyes to recycle my own self from a year ago.
Yes, this journey really was back then the perfect introduction to Israel on the road. The driver leans through the window to (putting it politely) tell the pedestrians off for walking on the road. When I ask him if he can take me to Terminal 1 instead of 3, he snaps back: ‘Well, I don’t have a choice, I guess.’ Truly professional service, but perhaps not aimed to provide safe service, but rather introduction to Israeli roads. (Don’t get me wrong – I have made some thoroughly great friends out there and generally think that this country is teeming with cool folks. But the roads and drivers are a world with its own laws.) We stop at the traffic lights. The dustman just next to us is clearly thought it would be a shame to waste this occasion/two minutes of waiting for the green light, so he is trying to impress the girls on the minibus with his eye contact skills.
But I am still swaying dizzily between cynicism and sentiment. Seasoning the reality with a pinch of salt called humour, and simultaneously choking with salt, in this case melt in water. Laughter does mean survival, but even survival eventually leads to death. You can’t just be trying to survive all your life. Tears, on the other hand, lead to petty deaths that make your life.
Right now, I am not leaving a physical space, but rather a mental map of myself imposed on space. Foolish humans live thinking that space and them are mutually impenetrable. But one day space is all of a sudden raised into 4th dimension – the dimension of symbol. Like kairos when it breaks off the graph of mundane chronos and soars to eternity. Yet the place that I’m leaving and that has grown now stands sheepish and tongue-tied, because it didn’t deem itself worthy of immortality. The imperfections is made perfect by sheer circumstance, not by its internal qualities. Like people who came down in history not because of their genius, but because of a favourable collision of time and space. From now on, the shadow has broken away from its object and will continue to ripen forever in our memory. And sometimes, on rare occasions, it is better that we’re not confronted with the realit
y again – lest we realise that she shadow has overshadowed its master. ‘Maybe the dream was better than reality.’ Continue reading