Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I am taking Jerusalem on my feet. Jerusalem rewards this approach many times over. Kittens wander the streets like squirrels might in suburban Maryland if they had the same indominatable self-confidence. Vines and flowers overflow off balconies and yards into the streets, and crazily parked cars overflow off the streets into the vines. Alleyways everywhere wind through markets and neighborhoods of dramatically different flavors.
My run to and from my lab at Hadasssah Ein Kerem has become a centerpiece of my experience here. I have been preparing for a schedule of running two and from the lab every day--I ran Sunday and Monday of this week, and took today to allow my muscles to heal. The distance is longer than I'm used to for one day, probably 4-5 miles each way, and it is also entirely hilly and in some places mountainous, so that my leg strength will have to increase significantly before I can run the whole way unarrested. In about 8 hours, I will set off again from my cousin's apartment, through an adjoining neighborhood, into a park a recently discovered, which will open me into the beginnings of a road that opens into a highway that leads up a large hill. From the top of this large hill I make a few turns, and within a block, I reach the very top, and the city opens clear out into a valley, rolling in mountains and mountains and hills, and I can see the hospital where my lab is sitting atop a distant hill, though it remains quite far away. I descend gradually into the valley and along mountainside paths, into the little village of Ein Kerem, home to Christian holy sites and monastaries and a few aloe plants of various types that are each several times larger than I am.
I enjoy this run for many reasons. It is beautifu, it gives me a sort of infamy, it makes me feel at home in Jerusalem, like I am part of it, because I run a path that I am pretty sure no one else does in the entire city...other reasons too but now I must go and finish this and many other thoughts later, because I need to get off my cousin's fiance's computer.


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