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unending journeys

Just south of the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem are the ruins of the Jerusalem Train Station, which was blown up in 1947 just before the War For Independence. Today you take a taxi or a bus to get to Jerusalem. I visited the station two summers ago partly because one pair of its abandoned tracks were the location of one of Kiota's photoshoots, south down along Emek Refaím, The Valley of the Ghosts. This is the interor of the station where the tracks end, they once brought travelers from the south:






And the tracks going the other way just have been cut off in the sun:





The City of den Haag is also tearing up some tramway tracks, these once went to other cities as well; just outside the computer lab at the public libe:






Of course there is no war causing this, at least not at this time. Holland is pulling its troops out of Afghanistan and the government has actually come apart over it. Another journey ended.

No one will be able to take the tram on these tracks anymore, either.

A couple of blocks away there's moored a ship:






Not an ordinary ship, though. The Hendrina Johanna is 105 years old and has outlived all her builders; originally constructed as a freight barge to bring building materials to the City up the canals. She's 70 feet long, 14 feet wide, weighs 82 tons. And was burned, machine-gunned and sunk during World War II; then she was refloated and resurrected, now restored, and sits moored at the side of a canal. And there are flowers near her bow, certainly nowhere near 105 years old:





And since the sun was out that day, there were some spectacular reflections across her stern surfaces, coming from at least four directions; one is a light reflection from underneath where you can't even see the hull, just four or five light stripes bouncing off the steel to the water and then coming upwards to you:







I also liked the duck, which is moving much faster than Johanna is now.

No one of us is going to last 105 years, most probably. The ship is really a journey through time, as you stand there and look at it. It carries the histories of all its previous journeys. You can hear them if you listen carefully. So do the torn-up tracks in Jerusalem carry memories, so do the ones outside the window [which have now totally disappeared.]

What remains is the sunlight and its journeys and reflections across and over the waters, and the courage of those who once manned the ship and now are long gone, and the bravery of those who gave their lives for freedom, and the movements we all make as we can.

I am touched by the idea of rails as metaphors for life. Or they are ways along which your life might be lived --- and where, at one point you come to on the tracks, life travels on into another destination that has no need of tracks. Only of the light.

A voyage toward new waters in a freshening breath of wind.

Blessings be.

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kiota too late for the stars
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Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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