Sense of Calm

seascape1

I am finding that I need a sense of calm in my life, lately. Issues have been clouding my tranquility, so I have taken to posting some photographs that bring some serenity, while looking at them.

seascape2

It’s an unstable world out there, in many aspects. The rantings, ravings, and violence from just about every corner of the world are filled with hatred, prejudice, fear, destruction, horrific scenes, and human inequality and degradation. It isn’t isolated to one country, but basically a worldwide disorder. Chaos, tragedy and sadness fill the planet.

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I must remember to meditate this afternoon…breathe…inhale…exhale…listen to the silence… It helps, a little, in the daily scheme of things.

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Sunday Scenes: July 13, 2014

I like to fish. Fishing is always a way of relaxing.
-Tom Felton

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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
-Henry David Thoreau

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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
-John Buchan

The photographs above were taken by me last week. I have no idea who the man is, but liked the perspectives of him fishing.

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Morning Mist, Books

PCH

The photo above was captured while driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Carmel, CA. The morning mist surrounded the trees.

I have finished reading:

Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya
The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman
Love and Treasure, by Ayelet Waldman

I have a couple of e-books checked out from the local library written by Stefan Zweig to read. I need to download a few more in preparation for my four-day trip up north to visit my brother at the end of the month.

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Lake and Foam

lake foam copy

Many drops make a bucket, many buckets make a pond, many ponds make a lake, and many lakes make an ocean.
-Percy Ross

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Review: The Train to Warsaw

The Train to Warsaw: A Novel, by Gwen Edelman, is an interesting work of historical fiction, based on two characters’ impressions of the city on a postwar return trip.

Jascha and Lilka have returned to Warsaw after having escaped the Warsaw Ghetto and the atrocities and horrors of World War II. They left individually but managed to reunite years later, after the war.

Jascha is a writer and has been invited to give a reading in Warsaw, forty years after escaping. He is reluctant to go, because deep in his heart he knows that the city is not the same, and that nothing could ever replace what once was.

Lilka, on the other hand, wants to return, wants to put to rest the memories of what occurred, and the positive memories she has of a city that once was. She feels that it will be a cathartic experience and encourages Jascha to attend. He finally gives in, and so their journey begins. In the dead of a cold and snowy winter they travel back to the country they left, and back to memories, both stifled and constant.

The dialogue in the book is written without quotation marks, which made it difficult to realize who was speaking, at times. I found myself having to go back and reread some of the dialogue to ascertain who was the one talking. This made it a more difficult read than necessary.

Their journey through Warsaw, through streets once walked, paths, sights and buildings once so familiar, AND through the area that was the Warsaw Ghetto, became very arduous for them due to the changes that have occurred. The changes of time have purposely been erased. Lilka has difficulty dealing with that, whereas Jascha knew, beforehand, what to more or less expect. He was cognizant of the reality.

Within that concept, the book depicts the individuals that Jascha and Lilka encounter with an indifference in regards to the past. Those individuals either do not want to remember the past, or still harbor antisemitism, or are too young too remember it, or were born a decade or two after the war and do not know the true history behind it. The city’s inhabitants are trying to move forward without bringing their history with them. They want to leave the emotional suitcases and other baggage behind.

The novel takes place on a train, in a hotel room and in the city, itself. With each passing moment, the discussions revolve around the past. Enfolded in those discussions are secrets from the past, that slowly come to be revealed, by both of them.

I felt the book was a bit drab and it dragged on. Of course, Jascha didn’t want to be there to begin with, and Lilka’s concepts keep referring to “what once was”, and she couldn’t let go of those perceptions. She was in shock seeing things for what they currently were, and her depressed state grew even deeper, explaining a lot of the attitude projected in The Train to Warsaw: A Novel.

I am sure that Edelman’s intent was to enhance how events of a former time affect individuals displaced from their homeland, leaving them feeling melancholy and miserable. The individuals can have a constant yearning for home, leaving a void within them. If that was her intention, she succeeded in that respect.

With all of that being said, in my opinion, the novel was okay.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Lorri's Blog

Remember…

yarz

This act is so incomprehensible.

Remember the three teenaged boys…

Naftali Fraenkel
Gil-ad Shaar
Eyal Yifrach

Remember their families.

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