I have no photos from March 8, 2012 and am not sure why this is. I was back in Nicosia and my guess is that I spent the day post-processing everything from my 4-day excursion to the north, as I didn’t bring my computer or have internet access on the side trip. The organizational aspect of Walking Walls was challenging because I often had to balance ‘office’ work (emails, planning, post-processing, writing) with absorbing and collecting all of the content and experiences possible within my jam-packed, low-budget itinerary. I found that making time for the office work was necessary to make me feel productive and balanced, even if it was sometimes hard to give myself permission to do so.
I just checked, and I didn’t take a single photo on any of the Sabbaths I spent in Jerusalem, which is not entirely surprising, but an impressive fact. I did, however, do a good deal of reading on Saturdays, finishing the entirety of Middlesex and part of Let the Great World Spin. These novels were a wonderful escape from the often-depressing political articles I read every other day of the week. I also recall reading a publication by Breaking the Silence which was excellent, but not relaxing, and it occurs to me that I perhaps should have considered it a form of work.
After 4 years at a rigorous college where I was a double major, this whole not-working thing was sort of a delicious challenge, and it grew to be something I took refuge in. My friend Mori, who I was living with, is the most active activist I have ever met and works his butt off for 6 days a week. But many times, I heard him turn down an invitation for a Saturday protest or action, his philosophy being that the day of rest enabled his other work. By this time last year, I had developed a deep respect for this philosophy, and understood its necessity.
I sometimes feel uncomfortable or insecure when I don’t have a clear objective at a given moment. I guess you could call this a good habit, but I think it sometimes gets in the way of what could be valuable reflection or wandering. Trying out Shabbat was a nice step to slowing down, if only a little, if only for a day.