Present is a notebook kept in recent years by the novelist and poet Dror Burstein about trees, flowers, insects, birds, clouds and stars in the Jezreel Valley and the Western Galilee, in gardens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and on the seashore of Netanya. Most of the book is in the form of the Japanese Haibun genre, a combination of prose and haiku poetry, as well as what occupies the spaces between them. It includes seven landscape drawings by the artist Meir Appelfeld, an old friend of the author.
The author observes that at first, he did not intend to publish the notes as a book, and that his aim was just to find more time to sit quietly and look at this part of the world that is his home, away from the boxes of the city, without verbalizing and without thinking. Putting the words down on paper was his justification for sitting in places where there was no one else around. “Unlike the writing of fictional prose, which is always one person’s masked ball – each character is a mask, and the narrative voice is also a mask – this is a straightforward book. The only mask is the mask of the face. I do not know if I shall be able to go back to the old masks. Nothing can be contrived when one is sitting under a tree looking at a purple thistle. For now, that is where I am.”