Category Archives: Lorri’s Blog

Public Garden

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Visiting a public garden, on a cold and sunny day can not only be invigorating, as far as the almost two-mile walk, but can also be visually rewarding, especially when flowers are still blooming.

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I love looking upward through the trees, while walking, and this photo shows me doing just that.

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Some of the earth beyond the gateway to the seedling flats are showing some buds and young plant growth. I also liked the shadows in the foreground.

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The photo above looks as if it is just dirt…well it is…but it is also a dirt path within the public garden. I liked how the golden leaves illuminated each side of the path.

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I love archways, gazebos, and gateways, and liked the visual the photo above presented to me while walking.

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Sunday Scenes: December 7, 2014

riverwalk

A few days ago, I drove into a public parking lot, stepped out, and proceeded to walk along the river walkway paralleling Columbia River in WA, on a cold autumn morning. Brr…the morning temperature was 24 degrees! I pulled the hood of my jacket over the wool hat I was wearing, wrapped my scarf a bit more over my nose and mouth, and took in the lovely views along the river walk.

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The river walkway was empty, and I was the only person walking on it, for about 1/2 a mile, and then a runner passed me by, running in the opposite direction. She said good morning to me, and I responded in the same way. She had on knee-length running shorts a long-sleeved shirt, running knee-high socks, running shoes, a ski cap, and gloves. I understand the fact she was wearing shorts, even though it was frigid out. When running (or even walking), one’s body motion can often overcome the cold temperatures.

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I was dressed for the weather, probably more than necessary. Aside from my forehead feeling cold, the rest of me was quite comfortable and warm, the entire time I walked. I walked for about two miles. When I returned to my car, I had a thermos of coffee waiting for me. I sat inside my car, facing the river, sipping my coffee, and was grateful for nature’s loveliness before me.

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Quietude

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There is a quiet beauty in the bareness of branches, branches whose leaves have fallen, drifted off in the river of time, or carried away on breaths of the wind, leaving a quietude behind.

There is a loveliness in the iron bench, strong within its solitude, surrounded by silence, standing alone, nobody resting or seeking respite upon it, facing the river’s steady motion towards an unseen continuum.

There are moments for reflection, moments that one intensely perceives they are a minute part of the whole spectrum of existence, a speck within the global force, a blink in the eternal plan, a flicker in the candle of time.

Shabbat Shalom-if you celebrate! Have a lovely weekend to every one else.

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Filed under Judaism, Lorri's Blog, poetry

Sunday Scenes: November 16, 2014

golden

“I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a Golden Tree.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Sunday Scenes: November 2, 2014

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Not only does the local library offer an amazing plethora of books to peruse, but it also offers a wonderful autumn view, as one walks towards it from the parking lot.

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I am currently reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel, checked out through the library’s e-media section.

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Review: Kalooki Nights

Kalooki Nights, by Howard Jacobson is an excellent book, exploring Judaism in all of its facets, giving the reader much to think about.

A Jewish cartoonist, named Max Glickman, is the narrator of this story. The story touches on many issues, including childhood, identity, pain, assimilation, memories, and friendship. It delivers considerations about what it means to be Jewish, and about growing up in a family whose father is an atheist.

Max Glickman’s childhood friend Manny Washinsky appears to be a religious fanatic (in Glickman’s eyes), along with Washinksy’s family (his brother Asher, and his mother and father). His parents rule the household with a strict hand, causing both of their sons to be in a state of constant emotional distress. Above all else, they stress the fact that their sons must marry a Jewish girl. There is no exception to the rule, no leverage or straying from that. Asher becomes emotionally involved with a girl who is a gentile, not Jewish, and he is unable to contain his emotions. Whereas Manny is brooding and silent, with nervous tics, always in prayer, always feeling as if he is the protector, always mindful, always in remembrance of the Holocaust.

It is Washinsky who brings understanding of the Holocaust to Glickman. He spurs Glickman to draw a comic work entitled “Five Thousand Years of Bitterness”, depicting in comic/caricature form the events of the Holocaust.

Glickman’s mother is Jewish and a card game addict, specifically a card game called Kalooki, and only stops to play it on the High Holy Days. His father, a born Jew, is an aethist, and is extremely intent on issues of assimilation and avoidance. He is more Jewish in his heart than he is aware of and/or wants to admit, and his life revolves around his Jewish roots and ancestry (he speaks Yiddish, for one thing). Glickman’s father would not allow Max to have a Bar Mitzvah, and wanted nothing more than for him to marry a gentile.

Jacobson weaves his story within the Jewish world, the Holocaust, and within the world of the gentiles. He leaves us to ponder what is Jewishness, Judaism, and what is the difference and the sameness between the fine line of those who consider themselves Jewish aethists, and the practicing Orthodox Jewish community. There is an intensity within the pages, that explores the Jewish community versus the gentiles, and the interactions of both, within the varied religious and cultural expectancies. He defines the characters with pain and humor, poignancy, flaws, and humanness. He is brilliant in illuminating the humanity that we all have within us, despite our backgrounds and religious beliefs.

I enjoyed reading this book, and went back and forth within the pages, digesting all that there was presented. Bravo to Howard Jacobson’s Kalooki Nights!

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Holocaust/Genocide, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Novels