The weeks are slipping onto a conveyer belt which, passes by me at a magnificent speed. Every time Thursday comes around, the signaling of the weekend, I am convinced that I must have skipped a few days in the past week. I stop to take inventory and realize that, in fact, all seven days can be accounted for.
To accompany the perfect weather, a few days of storm clouds, thunder, and damp earth have made an appearance in Haifa. One stormy night, an enormous thunder clap pulled me away from my dreams. I quickly pulled my body out of my sleeping bag and leaped out of bed right before pressing my face into the glass of my window. I was searching for fire or perhaps the destruction of a city in the distance. It took me a few moments to realize it was only thunder and not the collapsing of buildings which had stirred me from my sleep.
The following day was beautiful despite the persistent rain fall. In a country where it literally never rains for an extended period of time, (month after month of pure sunshine and blue skies) I can usher in these gloomy days with open arms.
And of course the weather didn’t stop me from enjoying the vibrant culture in Haifa.
I pulled my rain jacket out of my closet for the first time on the night of the Masada street festival. A few of my friends and I were unwilling to let a little bit of water stop us from checking out the local scene.
It was a great decision. However, I later regretted the jacket because it had stopped raining and I ended up shoving it on top of a speaker in the middle of the street.
The stretch of street was alive and almost catching fire with the energy every human body pulled in to it. The street also almost literally caught on fire when one of the fire dancers accidentally let his flaming baton fly over the heads of the congregating people and crash next to the chair of a woman eating on the patio of a cafe. The whole crowd and the woman were complacent with shock while servers ran over to put out the flames. No damage was done however, and the festival continued to proceed with ever-increasing enthusiasm.
The street was filled with everything needed to ensure a great night: Visual art, interactive art, music, locally made valuables, food, beer, passionate people, and good company.
One of my favorite displays of art was encased around this guy:
He walked down the street with an iPad strung around his neck displaying pictures of a young child, and white cloth wrapped around every part of his body except for his eyes. He held out a stamp to anyone who stopped to look. With slight hesitation, they would select any part of his garment to press the stamp in to. The whole act completely fascinated and inspired me. When art has no clear explanation, it provides a question for my mind to chew on and savor.
The child like wonder I felt just from this mummy man continued through the night as I proceeded to interact with people and their creativity. I tried to capture my experiences through photos.
I really have no idea why they were doing this, it just made me incredibly happy.
This was the guy who let his fire fly out of his hands. This moment occurred before he realized what had happened, yet the guys in the background can clearly see that the fire is flying straight towards a civilian.
This was the other highlight of my night. This band was amazing. The whole street erupted in dancing because their beats were irresistible to the hips. The experience of dancing in the middle of a street full of people allowed me to feel so free and alive. This is when I had to remove my coat..and sweater. Despite the damp cool night, I was warmed by my continuously moving limbs. I loved that everywhere I turned, I saw familiar faces and friends, dancing around me and smiling the whole time. It felt like we were all living in the moment together.
I captured a short video for your viewing pleasure…
Masada street ended, but the night continued on after a short ride through the underground.