Saturday, July 23, 2011

Counterpoint: My Experience of the Sahara (January 2010)

Because I just posted Tanya Hurley's animation of Paul Bowles' poetic statement "Baptism of Solitude" about the Sahara that's making the airwaves today, I have to offer my experience traveling from Siwa to Bahariyya Oasis through the Western Desert and the Great Sand Sea. This took place midway on the 10-hour caravan my driver and I were a part of, and I asked several of the drivers how they would dance to the music blasting from their stereos across the dunes. (This crew would have nothing to do with Egyptian/Arab pop.) Though it's not obvious in this clip, riders from the other vehicles are on a blanket having tea prepared on a bunsen burner. Unlike Bowles' depiction, my experience was comprised mostly of laughter and bright, glaring beauty.

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