Travelling to the Holy Land – at Tax Payers’ Expense

Posted: 27 October 2012 in Cancer, On the Pilgrim's Road, Understanding Others
Tags: , ,

Getting There

Go there by bus. Or by ambulance. Its nearer than I thought. I was there for much of last week. It was warmer there. The food – interesting. As for the sounds and smells – different. All sorts of nationalities here, and I’ve certainly been forced to ponder on life and death while visiting. Last Monday I was meant to be in Israel. Instead I was in hospital. 

The Cultural Experience

My tour was quite limited: A&E; investigations; holding ward, general ward. Sure – kosher/halal food was available but this place is not recommended for a good night out. I’ve been staggered at the mix of settler and indigenous communities here. Not Ashkenazim, or Sephardim Jews, nor Nashibishi or Husseini Arabs, but Rwandans, Nigerians, South Africans, Filipinos, Russians, Pakistanis and more. Some are “men of Kent, some Kentish Men” and quite a few are – neither. I had immersed myself in the sad history of Israel/Palestine, but one forgets the happier histories.  Many folk had left behind genuine stories of hardship, thwarted ambition, suffering, to come to Kent and just got on with it, all mixed up with others. Would that Israel/Palestine would leave behind their genuine stories. Too much history – is bad for the soul.

Holy Land or Holey Land

Small amounts of blood leaked out of various bits of me, either by accident or design. Hole-y indeed, but not Wholly so. For this place can be a Holy Land too (as any place can). Lying in bed, staring at the hospital ward ceiling I ask “Can I expect to see more lot more of this in the future years?” A chuckle came back. “You ask about the future years? Goodness, last week you expected to be in Holy Bethlehem, not in Hospital Bed! Let’s just take thing a week at a time, shall we?”

What does it all mean? Then thinking of the cheery staff, care and concern of family, and above all – in the presence of the Presence-Less, then I realise, this too is The Holy Land.

  1. […] Travelling to the Holy Land – at Tax Payers’ Expense […]

  2. warmginger says:

    Loved this.
    You need to add a bit more to your post on Cancer Reactions though i.e. that of the random blogger who came across you only beacause the bloggers she already follows are a bit quiet. I like your writing and I’m sorry you have cancer.

    • Bill Lovett says:

      Thanks for your kind comment. This cancer has one of the better survival rates. Also your note on length has prompted me to add just a bit more.

      • warmginger says:

        I honestly did not intend any criticism of your post lengths – they don’t need changed at all in my mind. I was just not sure how to acknowledge the weirdness of a stranger commenting on your cancer via the web! Here’s to a healthy and reflective new year. x

      • Bill Lovett says:

        No probs. Helpful critique (from a journalist too) gratefully received. Prompted to reflect again, not bad thing as I am a “blog first-think later” wallah which is dangerous.

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