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Sunrise 6am – Back to Bed. Today is 12/12/09 in Jerusalem.

4:43am: first Islamic call to prayer, of 5 daily prayers called the adhan; difference in the adhan recited for the pre-dawn prayer, is that it adds the line “Prayer is better than sleep”

Current controversies reported by Al Jazeerah Dec. 4th, highlights how the media here (like everywhere) influences opinion and behaviors.

Use iPhone to study Hanukkah and adhan. I wasn’t able to sleep anyway and am suffering that that weird jet lag sleep deprivation buzz which must be accounting for strange anxieties. Calm down doing the Yah-weh breath meditation prayer Chuck taught me and that works for while I am doing it. Strange, but scripture comes to me, Ecclisiastes: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

I will look for friends in the morrow.

Went back to bed.

Woke up at dawn…. thinking things… went back to bed.

Breakfast time. Sisters had my table already set.

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Took my time eating and reading the Jerusalem guide book. Not planning to do much today, it is still the Sabbath. But I do intend to walk with minimal equipment and see what is around local, get my bearings.

Eat a lot as it will be my only meal today.

Pack the sling with the G10, 5D2, a 2x extender, the 185 macro, and the 35 f/1.4 and head out to explore.

I can see the Temple Mount Mosque from here. It stands out among all Jerusalem.

Stop along the way shooting the neighborhood and eventually come upon a Muslim cemetery. Decide to walk among the dead… funny, one of the first places I shot in Prague was the Jewish Cemetery.

Head down the Garden of Gethsemane, around to a few nearby churches but it is closing time. No matter, I am just exploring.

Taxi drivers at Tomb of the Virgin Mary all haggle with me throwing offers to drive me to Bethlehem and back at “special reduced rate”, – “no thanks, not today’ – “how about tomorrow?”, ‘no thanks’ – “I drive you to top to see all Jerusalem-best view!”, ‘no thanks, I am walking today’…. “ok, ok, I take you to top for free”, ‘ok”. So I take the ride to the top. It is a beautiful day but not the best weather for this shot. Taxi driver wants to drive me to sa few more places and I see how this is going to go, now that he has me captive in the Taxi… I tell the Taxi driver thanks bt I am going to continue exploring by foot, and he gives me his card to call him when I want to be driven around.

Now this is where it gets interesting. I realize this is why I have to be alone when I do these trips though I do not like it, being alone to go wherever the road takes me and be free to get lost is essential to how I find my shots.

And, get lost I do.

I am walking in East Jerusalem somewhere down a hill trying to find the Church of the Ascension when I find myself surrounded by Palestinian children out from school. I am swarmed. Periodically one will come up to me and ask my name, some even tap me on my arm to ask. They are the bold ones of a group, perhaps a dare from the other kids? I tell them “Jeff”, and they laugh and dart away back to their friends.

On the other side of the hill, now walking upward, I meet two boys, who also ask my name. I ask them theirs and they both tell me ‘Mohamed’.¬† (Same as my first Taxi driver the night before before I coaxed him for his other name, ‘Michael’). They want money – ask if I am going to the church, they want 5 dollars…these two young Mohameds have¬† learned early! I bid them farewell.

Find my way back to the top of the Mount of Olives and head down toward Church of All Nations. Where I run into another Taxi Driver, but this one is different. His name is Walid. We talk for a long while up in the Jewish Cemetery (which he tells me the Jews believe it to be the closest place to Heaven to be buried. He points out a lot of the sites. We talk about Tensions between Israel and Palestine over Jerusalem. I ask him why so much trash everywhere. He note the trash can and gestures to all the trash not in the trash can and points to the kids watching the bad habits of their parents.

I take his card. I told him I would email him his photo.

Head to the Church of All Nations. Spend some time inside and get some great shots! Very pleased. They will be posted on the Consecrated Space Blog (as will all other related photos rather then the Daily Log).

Head over to The Tomb of Virgin Mary for shots there – more good shots. This is a rich photo day for sure.

Walk up to Stephan’s Gate and partially walk the Via Dolorosa before night falls. Meet several people who let me take their photos, Israeli Police, Restaurant and Cart Owners, Merchant Smoking a Hookah…

Back to Sisters Bridgettine and I get lost but do veer to the right direction eventually.

Sore for the jaunt out and stretch a lot cracking my lower back which gets compressed all day with the pack on. Start editing photos and am up to 3am in the process… over 328 photos, here are a few (from the small area I traveled today).

CITY

.

PEOPLE

There are emails which answer two of my prayers. One form Chuck, he thought of a friend of his living here and sent me her contact info for some help around.

Threefold Cord…

Dale Writes and mentions his grandfather’s love for Jerusalem – and I think of him as I edit these photos, that they would have probably delighted Grandpa Davis, and realize God blessed me today with His Eyes. I realize that in Prague when I was planning the next trip to Barcelona, and Jerusalem forced its way into my plans instead, that this is God’s nudge. I have no doubt.

Tomorrow I will not post as I will need a day off to write, edit, etc. I will take a walk in the afternoon around the perimeter of the Old City. (yes, with cameras – bringing the big gear this time).

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