I have longed for the desert, since I was a child. I’d asked my Mother, after seeing LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, to learn the theme on the piano, so she could play it over and over. And when we sat together, at the piano, the cascades of memory in sound, the long sliding compositions of those strokes would forever beckon to the recollections of those notes, in sequence of story in theme.
Never forgotten. Never shall.
So, being in the UAE, I’d savored the idea of returning to the true desert, to be out in the night sky, experiencing that — the silence, the bold sweep of heaven, in that state of contemplation.
That, really, wasn’t to be. In reality, the desert was aswarm with camps — gas-powered generators and Arabian music flowed through the night — the stars were distant, the moon, while full, was hazy and blurred by the array of klieg-lights on the horizon. Still, I got out there, closer to the heart of my dream of the desert. These were intimacies — they were moments.
And in anything, that is what to look for, the moments.
Dozens of Toyota Landcruisers churned the dunes, their headlights bobbing erratically, as they plowed through the swish of road channels, directed, afar to the city of Dubai. Even getting out that far, was a strange melange of meandering — because roads were built, roads were closed, construction varying states of resolution — and so, rather than simply consult the map and re-tune the sojourn, the troupe of desert cruisers would simply drive off the road, crossing the desert, to eventually get to another.
I will find my way back to the heart of the dark and silent desert. Still, in my own meditation, I got out, past the blasting camplights, to find the night, and the heart — of my heart — in the silence of the cool sands, of the empty-quartered desert, night fallen.
Some of those contemplations are here:
The dust-storm from Saudia Arabia
Sunsetting, the observant camel
Facing, east — out to nothing, except for one
The shadow of camels, caravanned
Ridge running, the dunes
My feet, dunes edge
The rippling sea
It was merely that, a beginning. More to come, surely.
Wishing well, in any adventures.
tsg | dubai | UAE