23 December 2011

Inside out

My mother turns her coat inside out and asks me which side is better.

I flick through the rare book of photographs my brother has bought for my father, Jerusalem through my father’s eyes.

A photograph of a Bedouin family in 1935.

The caption: The woman is wearing her jacket inside out. This meant. “I am in a hurry; don’t stop me to talk.” People seeing her dressed like this would realize that she intended no rudeness by not pausing to greet them.

Obvious signs.

Clear symbols.

Strange ritual.

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