What is it like to move to another country?
To leave everything you’ve ever known behind?
What if not only is it another country, but culture?
What if even the language is different?
How would you find your way?
How would you know when you have inadvertently stepped over a line?
As if land were suddenly water, or you must suddenly live in the sky.
Alienating. Fear. Excitement.
Like learning to walk again.
Is this what paraplegics do? Are they unexpectedly immigrants?

I found this slip as I was trading cars (always stressful) and while meditating on how I long for community but have a very hard time maintaining it. So many people have violated my trust. The idea of all my ancestors cheering me on came to me just shortly before I found this. It helped validate my message.

Here is the legend from a map used as part of this. I like these – you need a reference point to know what you are looking at.


Here is the definition of the word –
n. a moment that seemed innocuous at the time but ended up marking a diversion into a strange new era of your life—set in motion not by a series of jolting epiphanies but by tiny imperceptible differences between one ordinary day and the next, until entire years of your memory can be compressed into a handful of indelible images—which prevents you from rewinding the past, but allows you to move forward without endless buffering.

Strathmore visual journal
Glue stick
Magazine photos
Fortune cookie message
The distance key from a map

Created 3-2-16

The pictures were taken with my phone. Maybe I’ll remember to scan this and switch them out. This gives you an idea, at least.

(edit – here are the scanned, and thus brighter, images)
Keyframe A 030216

Keyframe A2 030216

Chattanooga things to do

This is not your usual tourist list of places to go in Chattanooga. These are my personal favorite places to go when I visit my hometown. If you like interesting places that are locally owned and full of interest, these are for you.

Hours are subject to change, and businesses may close. Call beforehand to be sure.

Bluff view arts district (This is downtown, near the river)
…has many fine places, but here are two I always check out.

Rembrandt’s coffee house
Cozy European café serving coffee drinks alongside fresh-baked breads, pastries and desserts. Outside and inside dining.
Address: 204 High St, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone:(423) 265-5033
Monday – Thurs 7am – 10pm, Friday 7am – 11:30pm, Sat. 8am-11:30pm, Sun 8am-10pm

Go to the left of it and see the little grotto with the water feature and steps.

The River Gallery
A great little art gallery that looks like a museum. Lots of beautiful things there. A little pricy for me, but I still like to look. Plus, unlike a museum, there is no admission fee.
400 E 2nd St, Chattanooga, TN 37403
(423) 265-5033
Monday through Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5

Not far from here is an outside sculpture garden and a glass bridge.

–Downtown Chattanooga–

The shuttle system
Downtown Chattanooga is easy to get around and pretty good at having available parking spaces, unlike many other large cities. But – why even deal with that when you can use the free shuttle system?
Shuttle buses run about every 5 minutes
Monday through Friday – 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
Saturdays – 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
Sundays – 9:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
You can park and ride CARTA’s Free Electric Shuttles in parking garages on Frazier Avenue on the Northshore and at the Chattanooga Choo Choo on the Southside. Parking fees apply.

The Pickle Barrel
1012 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 266-1103
Eclectic pub/restaurant with lots of character and charm. Has a deck seating area. “The Immigrant” sandwich is superb (Polish sausage on sourdough with sauerkraut), as well as the fried pickle spears.

Not far from here is Miller Plaza and park – a good place to wander around and splash in the artificial pond. (Or at least it was 20 years ago).

Lupi’s pizza pies
406 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 266-5874
Monday, closed. Tues – Thurs 11-11, Friday-Saturday 11-11, Sunday 11:30-9
Fabulous hand-made pizzas and calzones, with an amazing list of toppings. Great beer selection too.

All Books
Address: 410 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: (423) 266-0501
Call beforehand. She is open when she feels like it. Do not make eye contact until the very last minute. She will ask you if you are Christian and “Yes” is the only correct answer. Lie if necessary. Do not ask where books are – she won’t tell you, and might very well mock you for asking. Especially do not mention that you work in a library. She has no love for librarians and will tell you so. The place is a rat’s nest. Her dog is incontinent and lives there. In spite of all of this, I still love going in here because of the amazing books I can find here.

The Walnut Street bridge
This bridge is open to pedestrians only. Great views of the river and the city. You can easily walk to the North Shore of Chattanooga, where there are a lot of great shops and restaurants.

–North Chattanooga–
Lots of independent shops and restaurants all located near each other, most near Frazier Avenue. There is a carousel and park as well. It also has the best sushi in the world at Sushi Nabe.

–In Brainerd– (East of downtown, near Hamilton Place Mall)

Ankar’s hoagies
5966 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421
(423) 899-3074
Mon – Thurs 10-9, Fri – Sat 10-10, Sunday 10-9

Best hoagies and onion rings in the world. Do not confuse this with a restaurant with a similar name that is downtown.

McKay used books

7734 Lee Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37421
(423) 892-0067

Mon – Thurs 9-9, Friday – Sat 9-10, Sun 11-7 (hours increase in the summer)

Used books, DVDs, CDs, comic books and more. Warehouse sized. Plan on spending a lot of time here. There are locations in Nashville and Knoxville as well.

Edit to add –
Also, on the drive down from Nashville I like to stop to get lunch at Shenanigans on Monteagle Mountain
Address 12595 Sollace M Freeman Hwy, Sewanee, TN 37375

and drive through the campus (Sewanee). website

Also, a fabulously funky and small grocery/antique/new age/hippie/yarn store called Mooney’s Emporium.
address 1265 W Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356

The Wayfarer’s prayer

This is a Jewish prayer that is said when you go on a journey. The Hebrew name for it is Tefilas Haderech. This is a slightly modernized version with I believe better wording. You can look up about this prayer online for instructions on when exactly to say this or simply say it just as you are about to depart on your journey.


“May it be Your will, our God and God of our ancestors, that You lead us away in peace, guiding and directing our journey in peace. Bring us to our desired destination in health, joy, and peace.

Keep us from all the harm and misfortunes that roam this world. Bless our work. Let us find kindness and openness in those we encounter wherever we go, and before You as well.

Hear our prayer, God, for You are the One who listens to prayers. Praised are You, the One who hears prayers.”


When you return, the prayer of thanks for a safe journey is the Birkat Hagomel prayer – which is also said having narrowly escaped danger or having recovered from a serious illness.

That prayer is this :

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who grants favors to the undeserving, Who has granted me all kindness.”

Travel (by) stamps

Some journeys are private…

1 …where we venture out alone, with few provisions.

2 Everything is a surprise, or a delight,or a wonder, or a challenge…

3 to be enjoyed or dealt with on our own.

But sometimes we travel with others. Then there are more decisions to make.

4 How shall we travel? How shall we move from here to there?

5 By helicopter? Or skis?

6 Or the unknown and as-yet unnamed?

7 Perhaps we will take a plane…

8 …to Spain?

9 Or a tiny boat with only room enough for five…

10 …to visit a mountainside where homes crowd atop each other.

11 Perhaps we will sail away in a ship out of the mists of time…

12 …to an island fortress long forgotten?

13 Or take a rickety, rumbling cable car up a hillside…

14 …to discover a medieval village unaffected by modernity?

15 Warmer climes, you say? Then we will travel by camel…

16 …and stay with Bedouins…

17 …perhaps enlisting the help of a local herdsman…

18 …to enjoy the wildlife…

19 …from a safe distance…

20 …for them…

21 and for us.

22 Then maybe you’ll tell me you can fly

23 …and we discover a land forgotten by time.

24 Maybe you’ll prove to have secret talents and we will travel in a small black box…

25 …to visit a large black box.

26 While there, we fall in love with minarets…

27 …and towers…

28 …even discovering that we now notice towers (bell, clock, and otherwise) in Western climes.

29 We are grateful for the new eyes our travels have given us.

30 We can fly to islands…

31 …where animals outnumber people.

32 There, we can ride a horse into the forest…

33 …to discover those who stand out …

34 …and those who hide.

35 Or we can take a canoe…

36 …along the shore…

37 …to see animals at a safe distance,
both large…

38 …and small.

39 Even America has undiscovered lands…

40 …filled with animals who are majestic and rare,

41 or common and equally beautiful.

42 p42

43 Travelling further, we see beauty everywhere we look.

44 Some of it stark…

45 …some of it serene.

46 We decide to take some of the beauty home with us, to decorate our table.

(This was assembled by hand in a 65 x 80 centimeter travel book. I wrote the words on the left side, and glued the stamps to the right. The book was purchased at least 12 years ago as a Christmas gift, yet it never found a home. It stayed in my gift basket all that time. Most of the stamps were given to me by a friend in a massive box from an estate – it was a man’s entire lifetime collection, unsorted, some glued together from damp. I sorted them into categories over a long weekend. That alone took at least 10 hours. Then I sorted out the stamps for this and worked on it over the course of a few weeks. I scanned, cropped, and uploaded this in a day – that took another three hours.)

Travel advice

I was trying to find more Jewish blessings and came across this bit of interesting advice about returning from a trip. This was on the Chabad website, and is by Rabbi Eliezer Wenger. This seems like useful advice for everybody.

1. It is preferable to return from a journey while it is still day.

2. A married man who goes on an extended trip should bring his wife gifts upon his return.

3. Upon returning from a trip, one should not enter his home suddenly. He should notify his family members of his presence by either knocking or calling first.

4. One should not enter his house from a trip while he is hungry. When one is hungry, he is very irritable and may become angry quickly at one of his family members.

I took out this bit of advice because it does not apply to everybody – “One should try to get an aliyah on the Shabbos following his return.” This means that on the Sabbath after you return home, you should try to get called up to read from the Torah. There isn’t a parallel in the Christian community, as the readers are assigned and are never called up randomly from the congregation.