The desert trip that has completely shaken my life was a five-day journey.
It could be regarded short, but it could be long enough to change one’s value, couldn’t it?
The moment we put ourselves into desert, we are completely remote from the entire modern conveniences.
The moonlight is a tool to recognize each other’s face at night, and oasis water stored in a bottle, instead of tap water, is used for gargling. However, I acknowledged such inconvenient circumstances as ‘natural’. And even before half a day passed, I was perfectly adapted to the desert life. How did I? I just laid down the shell called ‘me’. If I hold onto how convenient my life has been and what kind of person I was, the desert never embraces me.
I could feel I’m living on a ‘star’ called ‘Earth’ every moment in desert.
The horizon which end could never be seen no matter how far we travel. Scenery of only land and sky, sand and rocks. From scenery where everything seems to be paused, I hear the Earth breathe.
If you can only think of the Pyramids from Egypt, I recommend you to join the desert tour departing at Cairo. You can get to meet a variety of deserts simply breaking down the stereotype of a desert we have. White rocks all around deluding ourselves being on another planet; white desert, black flower-shaped rocks growing from the ground; black desert, mountains made up of crystals…
However, the highlight of deserts is undoubtedly sand dune. Celine Dion – this area is called quite similar to her name. Not only sand dunes but a variety of rocky mountains of this area create a magnificent view.
The only landscape which winds leave behind their footsteps: desert – I also leave my selfish footsteps there. And I cheerfully enjoy sand sliding.
Day by day in desert, the concept of time gradually becomes obscure; whether yesterday is today, whehter tomorrow comes… When I start to wonder if I’m really on ‘Earth’, the concept of space is already gone. When you get to this state, you completely forget about who you were and how you’ll live in the future. The experience that ‘I’ literally disappear and just ‘the world’ remains…
Let me briefly introduce a simple daily agenda in desert.
- Gather the branches collected in between times and make a fire.
- Grill chicken wrapped in aluminum foil.
- Eat it with tomato sauce and some bread.
- Boil water and drink Shay (a kind of Arabic tea), which is more important than meals.
- Open up a shabby Jeep and turn on the music loudly.
- Everyone, in their own style, dances to the tune.
- At about the time the body gets exhausted, everyone sits around a bonfire and sings together.
After the party
- Drape thick blankets around a Jeep and make a windbreak.
- Lay many layers of blankets on the ground.
- Lie down and cover you up with a sand-full blanket.
- Fall asleep making companies with the moon that is so bright that your heart aches and wind sounds that almost rip your ears.
- Someone shakes you to wake you up.
- You barely open your eyes with exhaustion from day before.
- You hear a saying that you’ll regret if you don’t open your eyes.
- Open your eyes.
- The blazing Sun is rising far in the distance.
- Even you are half asleep, you get shocked with enormous fear.
- The Sun is very big and gigantic
- And overwhelms all of the life.
- You fall asleep again.
- When the sun is high up in the sky, you barely wake up with the heat.
- Due to the scarcity of water, everyone saves and shares water for washing.
- Gargle your mouth and run little water over your face.
- It’s the best to put your hair tangled with sand in a cap and forget about it.
- You do your morning job behind the white rock.
- Thirstiness of desert leaves nothing behind.
Vast plain and the beautiful horizon that makes my heart burst, ever-changing colors of sky. Whenever I was allowed for some time, I widely spread my arms and touched the sky, talked to winds, and smelled the earth. When I felt I was just dreaming every moment, I realized that the life I lived so far was a dream of one moment, and it is the reality now that I see and feel the world at this moment.
At the moment I feel that the planet Earth I felt was so huge is the existence that is nothing more than dust when seen from the infinite universe, the existence of me becomes infinitely tiny, and that presence even disappears in the end.
At the moment I disappear like this, I become one with the Earth and further with the infinite universe.
And, I come to know I am coexisting with all the creatures in the universe.
At the moment I realize the ‘coexistence’, I get to look around everything around me even though ‘I’ am not in presence – it is also mystique of the realization.
In the desert where it seemed there was nothing more than sky and land, I saw ‘everything of the world’.
I also came to know that everything in the world coexist within the pure emptiness.
Likewise, my soul went more mature along with realization every day.
This is why I can talk about this desert trip vividly although it was a trip long ago. Because it was the ‘journey to find my real self’ not a simple ‘tour’… It is also the same reason why I feel thankful to that desert and the planet Earth holding such beauty.
To sand granules of the desert still existing in me, and to tiny dust that might be coexisting somewhere in the universe,