Middle Eastern Promises
If you are attuned, inspiration can come from anywhere. In 2009, I took a trip with my family to the Mediterranean. It was a cruise to the Holy Lands with stops in Turkey, Greece, Israel and Egypt. I was elated to have such an opportunity, to check items off from my travel wish list. Like any trip, it had its highs and lows. Here are a few observations:
- The Western Wall/Wailing Wall, the remains of Herod the Great’s supporting wall for the Jewish Temple Mount, offered a spiritual moment. After we passed through heavy security, I went to the male section, prayed, and left my prewritten letter to God in a crack in the wall, in close communion with thousands of other handwritten prayers.
- Our tour bus in Israel required multiple drivers with different immigration statuses. Our main driver was Israeli. To enter Bethlehem, which is Palestinian controlled, we needed a Palestinian driver, but one that did not rise up against the Israelis during the Arab-Israeli wars in the 1940s-1970s. My understanding is that Israeli Jews were not permitted in this region.
- Scholars hotly debate the authenticity of many of the Christian holy sites, including where Jesus Christ was born and crucified. Even so, there is a Disneyworld quality to many locations with very large and very aggressive crowds. My seventy-seven-year-old grandmother was nearly knocked down an ancient flight of stairs by an enthusiastic pilgrim waiting to see some relics. I was disappointed that I was prevented from having a spiritual moment at many of these stops.
- The Giza plateau is the hottest place I’ve ever been. Even in the smoldering heat, the Egyptian pyramids do not disappoint. It was an otherworld feeling.
- The kibbutz we visited in Galilee is among the most tranquil places I’ve been in the world. It was not surprising to find that I could not walk on the surface of the great lake when given the chance. As peaceful as it was, it was hard to ignore the Golan Heights, which were directly in view from the east, as they have been the source of conflict since 1947.
- The Jordan River is more of a creek by American standards. But it is a vital water source for many people, even more so as the water table is steadily falling in the region each year.
- The ruins in Ephesus are generally in better shape that the Roman Forum. Then again, so are the ruins of Pompeii.
- It’s quite a walk to get to the top of Mars Hill and the adjoining Acropolis in Athens, the perfect way to clear my mind and focus on the purpose for being at these locations. The journey is as important as the destination.
- Since we had an Israeli guide in Jerusalem, we were not allowed to tour the actual Temple Mount. Jews are prohibited from entering there, as it is also the location of the Dome of the Rock, a beautiful Muslim Mosque. I was heartbroken to not see it with my own eyes. Interestingly, I saw on the news there was a violent confrontation there a few days after we left the country.
- I felt safer in Turkey, a Muslim country, than most of Israel.
My experiences on this trip are woven into fabric of my novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave. Check it out. It will make you think.
By Husky Harlequin
Genre: SciFi, political thriller, alternate history, mystery
Cancer. Undetected, it relentlessly devours its host until there is nothing left. Andrew Acheson’s grandfather has been searching for a cure since a rare blood born pathogen claimed the life of his beloved wife.
Family. If damaged, it can be the breeding ground for social disease. Greed infected the Acheson clan long ago. David Acheson, the patriarch, has been missing for over a year and is presumed to be dead. Murdered? Kidnapped? The FBI has no leads. David’s heirs can’t wait to get their filthy fingers on his pharmaceutical empire.
Discovery. If misunderstood, it has the power to destroy. Andrew desires the success and love that have painfully eluded him. Without his grandfather’s guidance, he may never find it. Suddenly thrust into the center of a conflict with historic consequences, Andrew might be able to survive if he can overcome his flaws, both inherited and self-inflicted. But first, he must find his grandfather and deal with David’s most dangerous invention yet: time travel.
About the author
Husky is a lawyer, poet, musician, chemist, and writer from the Philadelphia area. His high school literature class blew up his brain, exposing a love for story telling. He’s circling back now. He can’t argue in court like Mitch McDeer, drop rhymes like Mother Goose, rock like Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, or leverage his skills in the lab like Walter White, but he can write better than Kilgore Trout. Husky is a lover of ideas, progressive thoughts, and mankind.
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