To All Readers:
Tomorrow morning my family and I fly to Israel, in part a celebration of our twentieth wedding anniversary and our daughter’s graduation into High School. Paid for by Bube (grandma), this trip also is a cultural pilgrimage common to American Jews. To see the land that started so much culture and strife, to view the history and to breathe in the centuries. This is part of the experience of the Diaspora as expressed in the new world.
I’m not Jewish. I came from a Lutheran family that – although they never said as much – didn’t approve of my marrying out of faith. But I’m not very Christian either, as my three readers can attest to. So for me to fly to the holy land, the Promised Land, whatever, is a strange twist of life: A Buddhist in the Holy Land. This sounds like a novel title; but Heinlein already penned a “Stranger in a Strange Land” – any derivative thereof seems trite by comparison.
Still, I plan to approach this next fortnight with an open mind, an observant eye and a critical stance. Critiquing not others as much as my own viewpoint (I hope, at least) as I have an experience of a lifetime. To go to the same locations that spawned three of the world’s most prolific religions while not believing any of them will likely be a life-changing experience. Surely, it will be interesting.
I look forward to this change of perspective; perhaps it will strengthen my religious convictions, perhaps it will shake them. Perhaps I’ll finally “Grok” this whole theism thing - who knows? Whatever may come, I’ll have my journal and a fresh Dr. Grip to chronicle the experience. We’ve decided not to pack the laptop for freight concerns, so I’ll scribble what I see and translate it to digits later. Look for our return after August 9th.
Until then, take care.