leon gork tour guide
I like to carry around, wherever I go, a portable keyboard.
Who knows? A moment may arise, as moments are wont to do when I’ll be alone in a setting that arouses my urge to write.
The moment and the place provide the subject but without my keyboard, nothing can be written. It’s no good saying “I’ll write about the experience of the moment when I get home to my keyboard” because most of what I feel about the experience is lost. The atmosphere of the moment is gone forever.
The sunrise shining on the Arc de Triomph is now only a memory. With my handy keyboard at hand words would have made my beautiful personal experience available for all the world to enjoy. Words come but not written vanish into thin air and with them, the incomparable experience of the moment, lost immortality.
All this I say to explain the tragedy of losing the portable keyboard that my nephew Jonathan kindly gave me.
Ettie and I visited him and Michelle at their beautiful apartment in Tel Aviv near the sea. I told him about my wish to have an easily portable keyboard. He’s a man of the world and would know where such things are purchased. To my surprise, he produced exactly the thing I had in mind, and nonchalantly tossed it aside saying “I don’t need it, you can have it.”
Now it’s lost. Thinking back to the places I had been while the board was in my coat pocket I remember waiting for the train at Mabilon, to speed me through the dark city underground to Duroc, the station nearest the Arc de Triomphe.
Multifarious objects claimed my attention, but the word producing instrument lay
tucked cosily and safely away, or so I thought as my mind and hands busied themselves with knobs and clasps to relese the metal legs and set them to the required height and angle. Then attaching the Cannon Powershot 30 to the tripod and fiddling with the aperture and the speed for the perfect shot.
The words would be the crowning event. Now it's lost and the words will remain untyped. The famous arch, captured in my camera while still illuminated by the night light, will go undescribed.
Turning around to face the street leading into the circle on which the famous monument stands I gasped at the brilliant blue red purple yellow and white of the sky shimmering on the street with the yellow lights.
My hands shivered, I don’t know whether from excitement, cold or wet, and I shot the scene, all the time thanking God for my keyboard, which unknown to me must have, in all the hustle and bustle of photography, fallen out of my pocked.
My treasured pictures, captured and safe in my camera, I explored further, tripod with camera still attached, on my shoulder.
“Access” read the sign above a stairway. “Access to where?” Like Alice, I scampered down and followed a long well-lit tunnel to another stairway leading up. I found myself under the arch next to the eternal flame in memory of soldiers who died in the wars. I gasped at the enormity of the structure.
Yellow-leafed trees line the streets of Paris. I suppose the colors are red in the Springtime. My thoughts, however, go to the victories of France in all the wars it has fought throughout its long history.
No memorials to defeats can be seen anywhere. One could think that France only enjoyed victories. Unlike the Jews, the French do not have a god who punishes them for their sins with defeats in battle, like the Jews. Our defeats ar commemorated in days of mourning, our victories aren’t attributed to us but to god. God has victories we only suffer defeats which are interpreted as punishments from God for not being obedient to Him.