The sea and the desert

The sea and the desert are one. Vast expenses reflecting the skies’ immensity where souls can only but reach mystical heights.

Winds blow, sands drift, waves come upon the shore, lifting boats and caravans of hopeful travellers like thoughts adrift in contemplation.

The sun is seen throughout its entire journey. At night, it becomes the moon, oblique or half shaped, while the stars light the way tracing routes deciphered only by the most sophisticated travellers. How can the soul not be stirred?

The rain assails like an emotion touching the senses. Like love, rain seeps and gives life. Like anger, it dilutes and amplifies. Salt and sand both veiling the water’s sweetness.

Man journeys on them with similar languor, always looking ahead. The camels’ strides vibrate like wavering sails. Vast as they may be, they are but passageways. Like doubts of the wise, they are not destinations but open journeys.

Through storms, the sea and the desert curve the land and shape the life of man. They are bountiful and scarce all at the same time. Like the wheel of life, they give as easily as they take away, with unforgiving roughness and yet, unimaginable softness.

Just like the desert rose and the coral reef, stillness is but an illusion. Akin to passion and tranquillity in the pilgrim’s heart, waves arrive and dunes appear unannounced. Moved by currents and winds, they give rhythm to incessantly changing landscapes.

No matter the passage of time, both the sea and the desert remain immaculate. Just like white foam dissipates in the vastness of water, and prints disappear after the passing of caravans, beauty manifests itself oblivious to the presence of man.

Under the unwavering sun, far off coasts become oasis, both mirages dissipating when approached. Before you embark on your journey, remember – the mystical path is full of illusions.

Kenza.

Notes:
– This is a text I initially wrote many years ago after spending long periods of time in the desert in Africa and the Middle East. I have been revising it ever since as my travels took me back to the desert and to the sea. .

A day in Paris

“Mama, what do we do today?”

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We walk. We look at the clouds. Watch leaves falling like books in the air. Old manuscripts. The smell of ink. Dust and sun in our eyes.

The sky immense and blue. “Let’s take a piece and put it in our pockets,” I say, “you know for later when we are far away.”

We watch milk twirl in your first ever decaf cappuccino! On the side, a round crêpe like a full moon, folded to match the clouds.

The metro filled with ants, all heads down. We dance a few steps on the platform as we wait for the train. An old man looks at us, and smiles. Just like the one who plays the violin at the entrance. We listen to his notes.

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Run through empty arches. A man stands by a window, reading a book. Perhaps from the pages we saw flying earlier in the park.

Walk behind pigeons imitating them, back side waddling. Play. Stop. And play some more. And laugh.

Dance along small streets. You are always dancing.

And talk. Talk about a book and Japan and chocolate at the window, starting every sentence with “can I tell you something?” Buildings measured against Tsunami waves, a graffiti on the wall, the lady with a dog at the light, the day you rode your bike for the first time. Intarissable…

Imagination free, the instant takes flight always further and yet always present.

And I answer when I can. My thoughts are too real, too material so I discard them. I decide to join in your blabber and then I see the light and the dust. My eyes now guide me instead of my heavy thoughts. I jump from colours to sensations, just like you!

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Art in gallery windows and the gentle smile of ladies in Chanel. More art. Beautiful art. Time stops as we stroll gently through the empty museum. Now you are glad we woke up so early.

Outside the boulangerie, we spot a small bulldog wondering what he is doing in a dog’s body. Another one closer to the fountain, watches pigeons fly wishing he could join them. Or may be not. It may just be our interpretation.

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A giant advertisement for an anti-winkle cream that promises youth as though the heart could heal so easily, returns me to absurdity. And then I let it go.

And the man looking at the void. A homeless from a far way land who then looks up at you and gives you a generous smile, “I have nothing,” he seems to tell you, “only a smile.” And you answer in kind, and you both smile and hope seems to rise even if ephemeral. “What a nice man,” you tell me as you skip down the boulevard.

And then you stop and come back to me. “I wish the entire world was soft and clean.” And I wish that as well. So I kiss you as we stand in the middle of the pavement. Smiles from others. A soft and clean world, even if for an instant. And I wish for it to expands.

IMG_E1725Éclair au chocolat, the best ever! Everything for you is the best ever at that very moment. I admit though, the ones from La Maison du Chocolat are the best ever!

“This is the best day of my life,” you say as the day ends. Of course it is! You always say that. We should all be saying that.