On Sunday evening a large Gecko dashed into my room as I was closing the blinds. I tried unsuccesfully to track it down, but on Monday it appeared in the bathroom.
I wonder why it is that my first thought both times I saw it was not to stop and admire, but to reach for my camera. My reality is currently filtered through this lens, in the attempt to preserve and regurgitate on this blog. My internal world is constituted, given value, by the perceptions of others. Is that unusual? Perhaps not as much as we would like to think. I've been reading about Schopenhaur recently and am pleased by his articulation of the world into Will and Representation, a duality which mirrors my own thoughts about internal and external definitions of selfhood. The gecko anyway was beautiful, tremendously fast and possessing some Ninja like invisibility: take one's eyes from it for a second and it disappears, not to be seen again until hours later, in a different room looking shocked when suddenly spotted on a wall or ceiling. I tried to take it outside but it got nervous and I could see its worried rapid breaths through its porcelain skin. The last time I saw it, it was running from my bag into the corridor where it again vanished.
Not much else has been happening over the past few days. So here are the photos from the weekend, followed by some more recent stuff.
Jonas inside the first cave. Yes, I know it's sideways. I'm just too lazy to fix it.
These caves were used to breed pigeons for food. The tiny alcoves are designed for the pigeons to perch in, how clever!
Jonas and Ben demonstrate the use of this olive press. I forget how ancient this is, but I think in the BCE rather than CE (c.300BCE)
All the stone parts are original, found inside this cave. The wood had disintegrated so these are replacements. This method of crushing olives is still used today in some places.
For the second press, these weights would be used.
Entrances to more of the caves.
I really got a sense in this place of how it must have felt to live in Ancient Judea - there was only the vaguest hum of traffic in the distance, just the sun and the wind; the stones, the grass and the birds. Whereas I imagine England to be a quite threatening place prior to civilisation taming it, overrun with masses of plants locked in a knotted embrace, thorns and insects always present, and the sky obscured by trees...whereas England seems somewhere that nature wrestles with humans, here in the Judean mountains I felt as if I was safe in the arms of the sky, surounded by a gentle world not of struggle but of austere peace.
I liked this strange fungal growth in the sand.
A recoloured drawing inside the Musicians' Tomb
Inside the Musicians' Tomb, these wall paintings were original but have been recoloured due to fading since the tomb was opened.
These animal pictures are all around the upper rim.
We found this tiny gecko!
A rather chaotic cactus
Inside the bell caves. Jackdaws nest at the top of these caves but I didn't manage to capture any on film.
'Allah' written in Arabic in one of the bell caves. The sign doesn't estimate when this was done.
And now the British Park, from Saturday.
This golf ball is at the entrance, and is in honour of contributions made from the head of the JNF Golf association of Great Britain.
Just me and my paunch, at the top of the mountain.
Some of the great views:
The last two days I have been clearing the weeds from around the trees, as well as helping Marc with adding music to his grant application video. The video is very good and will soon be on YouTube. I have also been researching how to design some listening stations so visitors can browse the archive of recorded poetry and listen to individual pieces. I think we can set up some kind of networked digital audio players which all run off a central PC which houses the archive. This should look quite professional (better than having 10 IPods) and will also make updating the archive quite easy. Just a bit worried about having so many access points for a single hard drive.
Josh has heard that tomorrow he can leave for his next place. This is a shame, but we will soon have a new volunteer to join us.