The Monster (Hebrew: Mifletzet) sculpted in 1971 by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, is a well-known landmark in Jerusalem and one that is enjoyed by children, who love to slide down its three-pronged tongue.
When I walked past it, yesterday evening, it looked different – a bit sad and funny.
I posted the picture on Instagram with the caption: What have they done to the monster? And to the English language?
I have a feeling not many people know about our local library. It takes up a large room in the community centre and is not well-advertised. I discovered it via an article in a local newspaper.
Yesterday, the temperature a little too high for comfort but bearable, I followed my usual path to it, along a little road, across a main road, along a footpath, and past the Monster. Inside the building, I continued round two corners to the stairs, which I climbed to reach the quiet place. It’s hard to get away from noise in this country. This is one place where you can – on Tuesday mornings, anyway.
The library is small but well-stocked. There is even an English section and I always find something in it to interest me.
This time, I chose Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams from my Father. My choice has nothing to do with my political views. I chose the book because I wanted to know where he came from, to read about the issues he encountered and to read something “Thoughtful, moving and brilliantly written” (The Times). I haven’t been disappointed with it yet.
The library is free. You leave a hundred-shekel cheque with them for each book you want to take out in one go. I decided one at a time is enough. Going to the library gives me an excuse for a walk, and I do read many other books.
On the way back, I stopped in a small park to read the preface – not the park with the Monster, where children on holiday were scrambling all over it and running around, but a quieter one off the path.
Walking along the road, I remembered I needed to look around more in order to have something to write on the blog, so I stopped where there is a lovely view of the Jerusalem Forest. The other day, I saw an amazing sunset from this place. Sunsets are fast here, and in a minute or two, the deep red ball disappeared behind the horizon. Turning back, I noticed the wall of a block of flats decorated with different-coloured flowers. I’ve walked past this place so many times, looking without seeing.