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Spring and the Purim Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Alan. Lucille’s New Orleans cafe. Down the hill. Visiting Spring. The Three Body Problem. Reading and forgetting. MVP. Colorado Eye Consultants. Talmud Torah with Gary. Working through Bereshit, the first parsha. Slowly. Clean house and loft. Snow in the back still high. Travel. Amtrak. BEI Wyndham. Asian art. Art.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Railroads

One brief shining: Feels like I have lifted myself up from my inertia, almost done with first phase of planning, booking Amtrak and San Francisco hotel, Diane suggesting other things to do, including Muir Woods, looking forward to challenging myself, seeing how this physical therapied, accupunctured, physiatrist scrutinized back holds up with lidocaine patches ready for the times when everything else fails.


Yeah. Finally. Money from my IRA plumping up my travel fund. And my fund for Ruth’s 18th birthday, graduation. Grease for the rails.

Frustration with myself, my reluctance fading. A long winter? Sure. Back issues? Yes. Homebodiness? Of course. Reasons to stay stuck? No.

As my friend Ode observed after his trip to Nice with Elizabeth, “Travel is hard work.” Yes, it is. Especially when stamina and various ailments intrude on the journey. Yet. We know hard work. And we know it’s worth the  end result. At least some of the time. In this case the hard work lies in lifting and walking and hurrying. In being on your feet more than in a normal day at home. In confronting challenges with food, sleeping, lodging in unfamiliar places. You know what they are. All amplified in magnitude by a weaker body.

The hard work of travel has always been worth it for me. I’ve faced times since Korea when I doubted whether it was still worth it. I’m not sure. If my back seizes up on me after a day out and I can’t sleep. If its pain brings me up short during a day like it did in Korea. If the exercises and the lidocaine patches don’t calm it down. Well. Then I’ll know and have to readjust. Reconsider. But if, as I imagine, I now know how to handle my back, not let it get away from me, then I’ll start looking at flights to Taipei and Incheon.


My taxes are done. That feels good.

I have MVP tonight. I’m presenting on bechira, choice points, and kehilla, community. What in your world creates a choice between this appetite and that virtue? How do those choices affect the people with whom you live?

Eye doc today. Glaucoma. Photos of my retinal nerve. Seeing Dr. Repine. Thorough. Quick. With cataracts and glaucoma I could have gone blind twice. Thanks for modern eye care Jane West and Dr. Repine. Easy to forget the things that haven’t happened as a result of good medical care. I’m not functionally deaf either. Nor am I dead from prostate cancer.


Just a moment: Israel. Digging itself deeper and deeper into everyone’s bad graces. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Still pro-Palestinian. Still pro-Israel. Anti militarism as the only solution to Israel’s security. Sad beyond measure. So conflicted. Angry. Worn down. A troubled place.