Worth the Journey

Written By: Charles - Jun• 05•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Monday gratefuls: The Rains. The cool nights. The Spanish Grand Prix. Those Nuggleheads. Max Verstappen, a phenom. Royal Gorge Railroad. Another rail journey with Tom. Israel trip becoming complicated. A bit. The Great Sol breaking up the gray Sky with Light. Brother Mark photographing his time in Hafar. Looks like a Nebraska small town with sand and Muslim architecture. Oh, and Arabic. Travel. Korea. A busy June. Life’s picking up its pace for me. And, why not?

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Cool nights

One brief shining: Tried to figure out a way to make Chicken tenders edible so I got out the tenderizer and smacked them a couple of times each, put a poultry brine in a gallon Ziploc and stuffed them in, let them sit in the fridge for a couple of days, put chorizo to cooking in my cast iron skillet, added the drained Chicken tenders and some cut up cooked potatoes, a short time for the Chicken tenders to heat through, then plated them with the potatoes and some collard greens.


Turned out well. The chorizo spiced up the bland Chicken tenders and the smacking and the brining plumped them up. Not overcooked, seasoned. A good meal.

Ate it while watching the second half of the Spanish Grand Prix. Max Verstappen drives to the front of the field from the pole, builds up enough of a lead to ensure that a pit stop won’t cost him his position and starts lapping the field. He makes it look so, so easy. Yet he’s so far in front of the best drivers in the world, the perfect union of man and Red Bull machine. Red Bull has won all of the Grand Prix’s so far this season, Sergio Perez has won two and Verstappen the rest. Dominance. It won’t last though. In a sport as demanding as Formula 1 it never does.


Looks like I may be in Israel on my own for five days before the group tour starts. I plan to fly in on October 27th, check in early to the group hotel. If a group trip to Petra happens before the trip, I’ll be on that, too. If not, more time to experience this ancient city. I love being on my own, wandering where I want, finding this and that, meeting locals, eating street food or in out of the way restaurants. This will be my first time in the Middle East, a place I studied extensively while in seminary and has been constantly present in my life since Joseph deployed to Bahrain, Mark started teaching in Saudi Arabia, and Kate and I joined CBE.

With me on this journey will be memories of New Testament stories like the Mount of Olives, the sites of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection (The Church of the Holy Sepulcher), the garden of Gethsemane-that stained glass window in Alexandria First Methodist where my family sat all those years-as well as the Dome of the Rock where Muhammed landed after his night journey and then ascended to heaven. Jewish inflections too. The first temple site is coterminous with the Dome of the Rock. The wailing wall. The holocaust inspired push to create a contemporary homeland for the Jews. So much else of which I am ignorant.

Not to mention the crusades. A key focus of medieval piety. And early anti-Muslim bigotry. Lots of historical streams running this through this one spot on the globe.

Worth the journey.


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