Sanctity surrounding the Wailing Wall was severed by fluttering wings expanding and collapsing in the air, above torsos rocking in prayer. Feathered friends enjoying the air space danced between greenery, jutting from cracks in this massive wall. Their chipper tones echoed above the opposing solemn aura below. A divider sectioned men from the woman. Teardrops fell from young cheeks moved by faith, possibly grief. Prayers were lipped, reading scripts. Gently my gait slowed, feeling the power and captivating presence as I moved toward this ancient structure. White plastic chairs faced forward, sporadically dispersed in the crowd, balancing their four points upon stones. Plastic, completely opposite material to the ancient layers in the background. I squeezed politely down an aisle to inhabit an available seat. I closed my eyes and sat mindfully, transitioning focus internally. Fabric from lengthy skirts rustled like current seasonal leaves, as women swayed forward and back, timeless as a glockenspiel. Heels clicked, flats shuffled, tears fell, audibly aware I became, visual senses quelled. A warm breeze gently moved my hair, as sunshine warmed my shoulders. Which words from my heart would remain?
Important enough to leave in this spiritual space, joining millions of prayers. Opening my eyes woke an awareness of my surroundings. My pen kissed paper lines, letters formed words, released fluidly as a piccolo warms in an orchestra pit. Poetry. Intensity grew, meanings attached in perfect order, forming a heaviness upon a ripped sheet from my travel journal. I filled a note for a dear friend. Words spread across white paper, initially peaceful. I intended to abandon past worries and regret into the wall, joining healthy wishes for myself, people of this world, and our environment. My body clammed, I wasn’t mentally ready to put my past behind me, this abruptly. It has been my comforting blanket of emotional discomfort for numerous calendar pages. I needed additional time to work through it, accept, heal and move on. This idea surfaced sitting there mindfully, eyes closed in a white chair, in the Holy Land. Stalling to accept this concept, I studied the varied stone layers, differing in width and height. A darker discoloration appeared median head level, where millions have touched their fingertips. Various pieces of paper hung crumpled into crannies, some held on to by gum. A beautiful blue and white sky mixed above with a softness, a tenderness, as if created via watercolor bristles.
Completion of words, I stood and slalomed bodies toward the wall. Shoulder to shoulder with women from across the globe, to pray, release, or wave a surrender flag. I stretched my left hand straight out, between bobbing heads, pushing my palm flat against the wall.
I anticipated the presence of a spiritual force. Instead, with engaged focus I tucked my notes between cracks in the wall, studying the solid image of my hand flat against the stone. My notes did not stray with the passing of an upward breeze. I walked away, backwards. Leaving the space, I still wasn’t prepared for what this action symbolized. I thought it would take meditation, a therapist, time for acceptance, letting go and moving on.
Lying that evening under a Jerusalem starry sky, upon a mattress on a rooftop, I felt peace. If I truly released my past from holding me by her clutches, or haunting me a further millisecond into the future, I had a life altering day. I clasped my hands together saying a mindful prayer, before falling into deep slumber. This action felt foreign, it felt comforting. I envisioned my gram winking her soft eyes upon my heart, from above. It’s moments like this, when traveling touches your soul, that are worth everything it took to get there.
The dark moment teetering between night and dawn, I packed and hit the streets. Shortly, a beautiful sunrise rose dusting across brick buildings, like a feather in Old City, Jerusalem. I walked toward the central bus station, surrounded by a soft hue, guiding my soul toward a much warmer future…