Friday, April 1, 2016

Living the beauty of simplicity

 Today and tomorrow we City Daily Photo bloggers are blogging about the theme "The beauty of simplicity." 
Karl suggested this theme, as it is his philosophy that a photo should be kept simple for maximum effect. His blog, Bolzano Daily Photo, has stunning pictures of South Tyrol.

This hermitage in the Jerusalem Hills was built in the 1400s.
It was added on to a house and chapel built by the Crusaders in the 12th century.

From June to October 2006 this hermitage (more like a monastic cell), was my beloved dwelling place.
I had just returned to Israel after eleven years of volunteer work abroad, with my backpack and duffle bag and two boxes of stuff and that was about all.

The water faucet was just outside the door (near Lara the cat, z"l).
Steep steps led to a little building with a shower and toilet. 

The simple wooden table was both desk and dinner table.
Afternoon sunshine streamed in.
In the evening families of jackals called back and forth across the Soreq Valley just below.
(Hear videos of their howls here.)

Olive trees, pines, and many other trees right outside in the woods.
Silence mostly.

Full of history and holy energy, each ancient stone in the walls and floor became my fast friend.
How very good it was to sleep and dream and to wake to a new dawn in my own land.
The hermitage was beautiful in its simplicity, and so was my life.
As the old Shaker song affirms,
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.


William Kendall said...

It looks tranquil, and I expect Lara was very good company.

Hels said...

The modern idea of the beauty of simplicity seems to be going back to a clean green lifestyle that doesn't waste our limited natural resources. I admire the concept (even if I couldn't deal with the reality).

Other eras, including the medieval era as you displayed, seemed to value simplicity almost as a reminder for people who would have otherwise frittered their lives away in noisy, dirty towns. The monastic cells stripped away the nonsense and refocused the resident's mind on the important tasks - prayer, study, celibacy etc.

Jim said...

Great theme day post.
Sydney – City and Suburbs

Rob Siemann said...

Just what I need.

LOLfromPasa said...

Very nice and thoughtful entry for theme day.

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Excelente trabalho e belas fotografias.
Um abraço e bom fim de semana.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Did it take a wee bit of time to get used to such a small space Dina, were you happy when the five months were over ? you couldn't have chosen a better post for the theme.

Alice said...

What a nice place to spend time to rest your head in . Lovely photos.

Dina said...

Perth Daily Photo shalom. Since all is relative, I actually felt that the hermitage room was BIG. Well, I had just been living 6 years in volunteer housing at Heifer Ranch, Arkansas, in a narrow room of my own (but with big windows to the woods!) and also in a very small monastic cell in Switzerland for a year and a half. So the ancient stone hermitage, with its high vaulted ceiling, seemed spacious!

Karl Demetz said...

Good and very interesting choice for the theme, well done, Dina !

Dina said...

P.S. to Perth. I forgot Part B of your question.
It was hard to leave. The hermitage was the best, most special place I had ever lived. But in October the rains would be starting and the cold. October was when I found a little cabin in the village to rent, just 4 minutes walk through the woods to the Crusader house.

Suzanne said...

This is such a beautiful post Dina, what an interesting life you have had.

crystal said...

It looks like a very restful place, few distractions. You're brave to go off by yourself to so many different places, like Austria and Arkansas :) I'd get homesick.

Petrea Burchard said...

One of my favorite times was the 3 days I spent alone in a cabin at Mt. Wilson Observatory. I know I would love a place like this one, Dina.

VP said...

Everything nice until I read 'jackals' (plural!), then I thought: 'rifle' or even better 'shotgun'...

MurciaDailyPhoto said...

I like your choice. And it has a very interesting history.

cieldequimper said...

What a perfect place. And VP made me laugh!

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

That little "cell" looks absolutely adorable. Indeed, simplicity reigns supreme here.


Merisi said...

A very beautiful and fitting contribution, Dina!
Spring greetings from Vienna,

Kay said...

Every time I see that drawing of cieldequimper, I think of Naomi. Your abode was very beautiful in its own way. It's just a tad too "simple" for me though. I'm afraid I need more creature comforts.

Linda said...

Really beautiful and fascinating!