Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon

dome-rock-interior-500I may start doing these more often; forcing myself to write to a prompt every now and again seems like a good thing.  Here’s today’s:

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?

The summer after graduating from college, I went to Israel for a month.  It was a program sponsored by the university; we were on a dig at Tel Beth Shemesh.  (This was 1998, so it fascinates me that the girl next to the pile of pots on that page, the third picture down, was on my dig.  That’s an old picture.  I remember everybody going nuts when we found that refuse pile.)

Here’s how the dig worked: we worked five days a week, and weekends were programmed trips around the country with a tour guide.  One afternoon– Tuesdays, I think?– we were on our own on the afternoons, and most of us took the time to go into Jerusalem and shop or sightsee or whatever.  The problem was, by the time the digging was over and we’d had time to go home and clean up and grab some food and catch the bus, it was impossible to get to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount before it closed for the day, seeing as how it’s an active religious site and not actually a 24/7 tourist site.

The thought of being able to tour the Dome of the Rock was a sizable portion of the reason I’d wanted to go on the trip in the first place.  I was thousands and thousands of miles from home with no real reason to believe I’d ever be in Israel again.  Missing out was not acceptable.  So on the night before our last Tuesday half day, I dropped in on one of the dig directors in his office and let him know I was taking a sick day the next day.  And I got up early in the morning, got on the bus, and went into Jerusalem.  By myself.  I was 21 and spoke no Hebrew (I could read it, which wasn’t terribly useful) and had never been overseas before.  Also: 1998, so no cell phone or means to get ahold of anyone.  But there was no way in hell I was leaving Israel without a tour of that building, and if that meant I had to do it by myself that was what was going to happen.

You have very likely never been to the Old City.  It’s a maze.  And, worse, it’s a maze that shuts down around prayer times and a few other times as well, meaning that all the shops close and you can lose your bearings very easily when all of your landmarks suddenly go away.  You remembered the jewelry shop on the corner was where you turned right?  Good luck when the face of the jewelry store suddenly turns into a piece of plywood.  I hired a guide.  Agreed on a reasonable price.  He took me on a little tour, where I did my best to make sure to memorize my route because I was alone and half-convinced I was about to be robbed, and then brought me to the Temple Mount.

Where he attempted to double his price.  There was shouting.  He switched to Arabic.  I switched to Spanish.  This was clearly a performance on his part, figuring the American was going to back down quickly rather than attract the notice of the local authorities– and we were certainly starting to attract notice.  I, on the other hand, was firmly in “getting arrested on the Temple Mount makes the story better” mode, and wasn’t about to back down to the dude, figuring that the blue passport around my neck and my connection to Hebrew University through the dig was going to sort everything out sooner or later.  (Yay, privilege!)  He backed down and left.   And I took my shoes off, got in line and got my tour of one of the most beautiful, spiritual places on the planet.  I met my friends a couple of hours later without any real incident, managing to get to the spot where we’d agreed to join up without getting lost or anything else stupid happening.

Secondary funny Israel story:  On the first trip into Jerusalem, we went to the Holy Sepulchre.  The history of the Sepulchre is fascinating and well worth a read if you’re unfamiliar with it, but suffice it to say that there’s a shrine in there that is believed to be the actual location of Jesus’ tomb.   You have to crawl, or at least squat, to get in there:

JesusEmptyTombThis is, in case it’s not clear, a really small room, with space for no more than a few people, and those shoved tightly together.  And that little entryway is several feet long, so it’s possible to stand up too early as you’re walking in.  And hit your head.  On a stone arch.

If you do that, shouting “OW!  JESUS!” at the top of your lungs is frowned upon.

(It wasn’t me.  Thank God.  But I was right behind her and oh lord keeping a straight face in a situation like that is incredibly difficult.  Also, I can safely report that it is in fact impossible to literally die of embarrassment or Betsy surely would have done so on the spot.)

Under the jump, other answers to this prompt:

  1. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Basically Beyond Basic
  2. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | a Portia Adams adventure
  3. My Giant Step – Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  4. Four Things I Learned About Freedom From an Uber-Strict Prep School | Kosher Adobo
  5. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon- Being Independent | Journeyman
  6. I Think My Leg Is Broken | Musings | WANGSGARD.COM
  7. Rocket To The Moon . | Crossroads
  8. A Rainy Day At Home (short story) and The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  9. One Crazy Mom » Taking the Next Step
  10. I’m Michael Jackson | Knowledge Addiction
  11. I Will Weather | Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | likereadingontrains
  12. DP Daily Prompt: Walking On The Moon | Sabethville
  13. Walking On The Moon – You Kidding! | Views Splash!
  14. Daily Prompt: The Giant Step — A Haiku: Sunday, February 23, 2014 | LisaRosier.com
  15. It’s All About Trying… | Life Confusions
  16. S. Thomas Summers: Writing with Some Ink and a Hammer | A Violin on Baker Street
  17. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Here I am !!
  18. Extinction | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  19. Hunters – reloaded | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  20. Inappropriate love | shame
  21. We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men | Among the Whispers
  22. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  23. If You Lose Your Head While Cooking, It Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  24. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon « Mama Bear Musings
  25. A giant step | Sue’s Trifles
  26. Have Faith In God | Flowers and Breezes
  27. I liked the place so much I bought more than the t-shirt! | thoughtsofrkh
  28. DAILY PROMPT: Risk | cockatooscreeching
  29. Dare To Dream | My Little Avalon
  30. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon – LOVING THE ALIEN | Phoenix Fights
  31. Three Firsts In A Day | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  32. Daily Prompt: Being Intrepid! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  33. Craters in my heart. | Your Best Friend from the DMV
  34. Risky Business for this Girl Born in the Year of the Rat « psychologistmimi
  35. here’s to evolution | y
  36. milking the way | peacefulblessedstar
  37. What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? | askgrampa
  38. Walking on the Moon | I Write Therefore I Am
  39. Leap and the Net will Appear | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  40. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  41. Tiny Pieces | Barefoot on Rainy Days
  42. Losing Blood | The Land Slide Photography
  43. Daily Prompt: A Leap of Faith | Wright Outta Nowhere
  44. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Delicious Ambiguity
  45. I’m Not Afraid of Lunar Monsters
  46. Some may say I’m wishing my days away… | An Upturned Soul
  47. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | The Wandering Poet
  48. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  49. Dream awake | mnemosynesandlethe
  50. Igmutaka’s Blessing | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  51. Two Years Later | Recovery Miles
  52. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
  53. Where’s the Function Key for “Risk?” | by LRose
  54. A plea on behalf of all of us who self-publish. Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  55. for a pigeon | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  56. DP_Walking on the Moon…or should I say – Gliding in the Sky! | Essence of Del
  57. Risk: Daily Post | Destino
  58. Haiku: Walking on the Moon | Mirth and Motivation
  59. My First Step Out of Rock Bottom to Start My Walk on the Moon | Ever Upward
  60. I did not break a leg | mombox
  61. Defying Gravity | Retrofocus
  62. My Disney College Program (A quick summary of why) | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  63. Hall of Shame | Exploratorius
  64. Moon Walking For Dummies | Overcoming Bloglessness
  65. Risk- The fear and excitement of taking that important first step | A picture is worth 1000 words
  66. Risk: Walking on the Moon | Yowza, Here We Go!
  67. My brief American dream | Life is great
  68. Risk | Focal Breeze
  69. Risk Taking… Beware! | The Christian Gazette


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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

13 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon

  1. This is so great. I also lived in Israel for the year when I was 18 but mostly stayed in Tel Aviv but I remember being viciously creeped out by the Jerusalem shuk at night lol


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