Saturday, 2 July 2011

Deserts, dreams and angels


Oh, what is it with me and deserts?  I don’t know, I just don’t know but they pull me, they pull me, inexorably.  They soothe my heart and they scour my soul.  I had been promised desert on this trip and so it was to be.  But I wondered, I wondered.  We were a large group.  Deserts are solitary places.  I needed time.  I needed to be.  I needed to meditate and get back in touch.  Was it possible?

We drove to the Dead Sea, past Jerusalem (I still can’t quite get my head round glancing out the window and seeing a road sign to The Mount of Olives) and, strangely, we weren’t talking on the bus.  There was an easy silence so I put on my iPod and let it go on shuffle and – hmm – it landed on my shamanic drumming track and I figured, well why not, it’s as good a place as any to journey for guidance… and it was a strange journey for sure.

When I opened my eyes the dust had began.  Past Bedouin settlements, dust-coloured shacks blended into dust. Past dust-coloured camels, gazing with total disinterest from dust.  The Judean Desert.  Midbar Yehuda.  

And then the rock began…striated sculptures, Lego of the gods.  And then, oh, and then, a haze, a shimmer of blue. Sky? Sea. The Dead Sea.  The lowest point on the Earth.  Jordan on the other side.  I love these water boundaries – it reminded me of a very different one on Lake Ohrid in Macedonia – with the Albanian border snaking through the waves.

But this was Ein Gedi.   And we met Giora and Barak who loaded us into LandRovers and we bounced our way up and into the desert…

Scrambling down the banks of a wadi; walking along the arid bed of a sleeping river until we came to a sheer cliff face, a natural auditorium with clear acoustics…sat on rocks and then – magic.  This guy who’d appeared pretty well out of nowhere, hitching a lift on our bus, took out a guitar and started to strum and sing.  Beautifully. 

He sang this…


And then he sang Faith...
And then A Horse with No Name (of course)...

And Barak carved open a water melon and it was the sweetest flesh I had ever tasted.  And, truly, I could have sat there and dreamed for ever…
The guy’s name?  Raphael.  Hmm…


PS
He didn't play this one but it's a damn good desert song, no?



14 comments:

Midlife Singlemum said...

Just when you think you have everything planned to the last detail, an extra little magic appears - like the hitchhiker with the guitar. That's Israel.

btw, I love 'Lego of the gods.' You have a beautiful way with words.

susie @newdaynewlesson said...

Have you found the connection you were looking for? Has your soul been energized even as your body has been physically exhausted.

I'm going to miss you.

Rob-bear said...

The desert.
Rocks and Acacia trees.
Cleaned by the blowing wind.
A place for monks,
and other solitary individuals.
A place for
energizing the soul.
I remember.
Shalom.

Melpomene said...

Thanks for taking me on this journey too. Deserts
take you to the heart of the truth. Listen & look carefully for
signs you are on the right path...

zenandtheartoftightropewalking said...

Good to hear magic has been happening as well as dust and parties.
xxx
Viv

kizzy said...

Wow it sounds like you had a truely meaningful experience.

There are Cuckoos in my Nest said...

Deserts may seem empty.
But they fill you up.

Loved your post.

There are Cuckoos in my Nest said...

Deserts may seem empty.
But they fill you up.

Loved your post.

Cait O'Connor said...

Just been catching up here Jane and it sounds as if you are having exciting times!

Zoë said...

in a word: Jealous

אהבה אור

xxxxx

diney said...

Hope you are finding peace and serenity. The guy with the guitar must have made the journey so unreal and yet kind of uplifting.

Sally said...

You've captured the day perfectly, it really was a very special moment, and all the better for being unscripted and just one of those things that fell together.

Lovely post.

Mrs. Tuna said...

I live in the desert, not always all its cracked up to be. Today in Phoenix, 115 degrees.

kez said...

great story and a really enjoyable read sounds almost magical ...thank you for sharing