Into the unknown by Brianna Perez, USA/Israel

It was in 2011. The calming voice from the loud speaker murmurs words in the background, only a blur to me. A woman dressed in uniform stands in the aisle performing a safety routine as the airplane taxis to the runway. Everything is a blur in the background. My body is filled with sadness as I leave the country I have just started to get familiar with for the past month. The engine of the plane roars and gains speed pulling me back into my seat, almost like it was cradling me. We pull off from the ground and tears drip down from the corners of my eyes.

Jerusalem, was one of the places I got to visit only once during my stay. I walked through the Jaffa gate to be welcomed by a beautiful collage of colors made up of textiles, noises from taxis, sellers and buyers, and smells of the foods and spices around. I entered the narrow aisles that wind through the old city just to get lost – to observe and absorb and understand the lives of the people who walk it’s paths as well. The walls, the floors, the columns, buildings are all made from an ancient tan stone, and all of the buildings and streets connect as one. Each store I passed was selling religious trinkets and souvenirs of shining colors and metals. I see a big group of tourists from Nigeria following a guide. I pass the church of the holy sepulture and see another tour group from Latin America gathered in a circle. Religious dresses of all types, from gowns of Greek Orthodox Priests to bearded Hasidic Jews, and the faces of beautiful women carefully wrapped in colorful hijab. It seems like pure magic. A place where everyone comes together in the Old City. But wait, these beautiful momentary hours created this magical scenery that contradicted everything I have heard about Jerusalem in the current news. There had to be more behind this feeling of beauty, deep history and colors. I just didn’t know how to get a glimpse or perspective before we left our day trip in Jerusalem. As we walked back to the car I felt like a kid being dragged away from the garden where they would pretend to talk to the flowers, and trying to discover all of the secrets of the lives in the garden.

The flight attendant tapped me on the shoulder to ask if I would like tea or coffee. I turned around pretending to scratch my eye while trying wiping away my tear drop. I knew this could not be the last time I visit Israel, I had some business left undone, something waiting for me to come back discover the secrets to this city of Jerusalem, what my eyes were not telling me on that day. So then all I had to do was wait…

To be continued…

Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply