The Nile smells of mud and green burgeoning things. I breathe deeply for the first time in years. I am here. Really here. My fears whither like dates in the sun. I am as bold as a crocodile and free as the crane stalking the banks.
Arriving took years.
Years of disappointments shattered me at last, until I no longer recognized myself. Fear and longing had scored my brain raw, cutting deep dry trenches that prevented joy or gratitude from reaching my heart. If I could illustrate the state of my soul during those months, you would see me crawling on my belly, clawing my way, inch by inch through a lunar wasteland. A plague of scorpions lurking under rocks, tails poised. Scrubby bushes too small and few to provide shade, my skin chafed against their spiny elbows. It is not the temperature that characterizes my suffering in this wilderness, but the endless seeking. How long can one seek without finding until the mind snaps?
A belly crawl convinces you that you are finished. All hope is as dead as the soil. Attempt to stand one last time, and windstorms barrel along to smash you down again. But if you stop, you will die. So you keep on crawling. Mirages all around. Is one of them the way out? Is one of them the destination I am longing for? So you keep on crawling. And the mirages recede, ever beyond the reach of your fingers.
I crawled at last to a bottle of medication. The wilderness stretches still in every direction, but the pills provide a waystation where I can rest against a mirage palm beside a mirage pool of cool water. The agony is numbed beneath a flow of dopamine, and somehow, slowly, the canyons in my brain close, stone by stone. I am able to plan forward, to reclaim a scrap of shaky hope.
Until, suddenly, the Nile. It is no mirage. The ancient waters stretch like open arms before the prow of the MS Medea, and to each side, that lethal lunarscape I have traveled within myself. The boat is my oasis where life and laughter sing to the beat of Nubian drums, and a little girl’s dearest wish stretches out at last to bow at the feet of Rameses.
Last Edit: Jul 29, 2022 16:17:39 GMT -6 by RAVENEYE
samster91: Thank you, Raveneye!
Nov 17, 2022 11:19:44 GMT -6
pelwrath: From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows; The word of the day: Fool’s Guilt: a pulse of shame you feel even though you’ve done nothing wrong-passing a police car while under the speed limit, being carded after buying or ordering a drink.
Nov 18, 2022 10:50:16 GMT -6
Caulder Melhaire: Walking out of a store without having bought anything
Nov 19, 2022 10:19:29 GMT -6