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Sensing the City

This week's blog post is written by Maya, a fellow living and volunteering in Lod. Modern photos are Maya's; older photos are from the Israeli Institute of Archaeology.

How do you sense the city that always was?

The city that remains.

Old City.

You spend months memorizing the contours and ways of being in this space and

Now we’re all inside.

I can tell you about the smells, sounds, tastes, sights, and feels. I can tell you about

Sensing this city.

I smell jasmine, garbage, cut grass, rotting.

I hear sirens, shouting, tires skidding, cats screeching, chanting, calls to prayer, blasted music, police knocking, birds.

I taste cardamom in my coffee and the coffee grinds escaping the cup in my inhalations and swirling into my mouth.

I see pops of color, layers upon layers upon layers of fabric seemingly defying gravity while intended whisps and curls peek out— turning into flatter, lower-sitting, more-neck-covering, and black or dark-colored hijabs.

I feel ‘proud Lod’ meeting narratives of shame like oil and water. They are immiscible like liquids that are shaken together and, in turn, settle into overlapping layers.

I feel weird solidarities emerging and plastered over the city’s fabric.

I feel the structure of memory in the season of remembrance.

We came to this city as outsiders and we will leave, but we have sensed it

All the same.

We have sensed the city that remains.

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