A Calm Storm

The blog of Sholeh Samadani Munion


The whole issue of Shabbat is one that is quite perplexing. Namely, the shops are closed during our weekend.

Ah well, it isn’t too much of an issue. We can still buy stuff when we need to.

My intention is to explore, but the weather is a deterrent. Either rain or “cold” (nowhere near Chicago’s bone-chilling weather, but still…). I also prefer to have exploring companions. I’m still getting used to calling people here and asking if they want to do something. Part of me feels like I may be bothering people because everyone is so busy…classes, study circles, etc. I’ve deliberately kept my schedule relatively clear because I know how easy it is to get burned out.

Culture shock is not yet an issue for me. Everyone at work and home speak English, as do most of the taxi drivers. I am in a different place, but it felt like home after the first day. I want to explore because I dislike feeling like a tourist in the place I live.

One month down, 17 to go, and I am loving my job every day. Even things that used to bore me at other jobs are now exciting.

Being in the Holy Land really inspires me to read. I go through phases where I want to read a whole lot, and then times when reading any non-fiction makes me tired. I’ll be finishing “God Passes By” by Shoghi Effendi this weekend and moving on to “Shoghi Effendi: Recollections” by Ugo Giachery (which I’ve already started, about 30 pages in). I haven’t decided what book will be after that.

I walked into the glass doors of the cafeteria last week. To be fair, the whole wall is practically glass, and I had turned to see if the group was following. *bang* Luckily, I didn’t get hurt, I just started laughing.

And now, the weekend.

“Morning comes in the dream before we rise…” – Sunny Day Real Estate


8 thoughts on “Explore

  1. Forgive me if it sounds mean, but that’s kind of funny that you ran into the glass wall. I can see it like a movie in my head. You’re so put together and classy, running into a glass wall just seems hilarious to me. 🙂 Sorry.

    You know, it’s great that you are at least trying to get out. Maybe you invite a camera-happy friend to go with you on a photo-taking excursion?

  2. Sholeh- so glad you are savoring your time in the Holy Land. I would love to see Haifa in person. The pictures on another Baha’i blogger (Love From Leila) in Haifa are just incredible and breathtaking. The clouds even look more majestic there. 🙂

  3. I’m not going to preface this with pleadings for forgiveness. I think it’s pretty darn funny that you ran into the glass doors. Maybe that makes me a jerk. If so, I’m alright with that. But seriously, I hope there’s no permanent damage.

    But seriously, when I think about how amazing it is to be able to read God Passes By in Haifa, I get a headache. That’s too cool.

  4. sholeh, i’d love to explore with you. i do have classes but i do have nights and days where i can chill.

    i’ve done a wee bit of exploring already, but this place is so intricate and filigreed streets and curves of mountain that what i’ve done has only given me a zest for more.

    if you don’t call me, i’ll accost you.

    love from leila

  5. Im pritty sure ive done that same thing and I know where you could have done that…thats what I liked about your post!! hehe and “God Passes by” isn’t the same after you have read it in haifa around all the history! Its sooo lovely! I cant wait to see you in JUNE!!! Trust me soon enough you will have things to do all the time slowing down is not an optionin haifa its a slow increased pase as your momentum grows. Enjoy every moment; I long to be where you are!

  6. Everyone: hehe well that is why I wrote about running into the glass: it WAS funny!

    Jess: its true, somehow everything is thrown into sharp relief here. Every picture I take is better, every view out of the window is amazing.

    Leila: Will do!

  7. I am so late to the party, I think I must have walked into a glass wall.

    While we didn’t avoid work on Shabbat growing up, it was always understood that it was a joyous time, meant to give God propers for creating the universe, and for good lookin’ out in general. It’s a big deal. One of my favorite songs, L’chah Dodi, celebrates the arrival of the Sabbath and is often chanted to a much older Moorish melody.

    It’s also worth noting that the analog in the Baha’i Dispensation is the 19-Day Feast. Only we don’t close shops on Feast days… interesting. But it’s a recurring time when folk get together to praise God and build community.

  8. Lev: Thanks for the info! I need to read up more on these things…but it is better to get firsthand accounts sometimes.

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