An epic scene enters my mind without warning. I find myself behind the eyes of a Bedouin shepherd as he walks across the Sinai. A cloth rests across his weathered face and I feel his warm breath, moving slowly in and out as he walks across the vast desert. There is an intoxicating rhythm to his steps and for a brief instant, I see what he sees, feel what he feels, hear what he hears.
His feet have walked this path before, much like those who came before him. The constant sound of the howling wind surrounds him like the comforting embrace of ancestors, pushing him onward. I drift with him over this ancient place.
He approaches a steep gorge and pauses at the edge, his red-patterned kufeya blowing fiercely behind him. He stands strong upon the edge and I inhabit his fierce, nomadic soul. We stand together in this moment, out in the open. Living only with what can be carried and leaving only footprints behind.
It was the night train. Boarded in Geneva after sunset and pulled into Rome at sunrise.
Chuck, chuck – chuck, chuck through Lombardia.
Rolled from side to side on the top bunk that night. At one point, I awoke to the sound of Italian immigration officers shouting and beating on the paper-thin door of the couchette. Couchette, that’s a fancy word isn’t it? Go ahead – use it three times tomorrow. Here’s one you can try “did Francis leave his pipe in the couchette?”
“Passaporto!” Read the rest of this entry »
I spend a lot of time in airports. Not so much in an Up in the Air kind of way where I play Texas Hold ‘Em with my ghosts of statuses past and present, but more than is ideal given the age of the wee ones. One advantage to airport surfing is that I often meet the most interesting people along the way.
However, today I encountered a most despicable exception. Read the rest of this entry »