There is in the Sahara. This is in a place that is not significant to me. I have been there twice. And leaving her twice, I realized that I would be back again.
The Sahara for me is more than a desert. More than a place on the globe. More than the border on the map. Once she entered me and filled in all my thoughts. And there was no greater bliss in me than to feel its hot breath and warm sand. The breath of the Sahara is the breath of a living organism, which was and will be a witness of everything that happened in the universe before my appearance and will happen much later than my disappearance. And it was not I who studied her — she viewed me during the day, when I hid my eyes under the dark glasses, and at night, when I was hiding in a sleeping bag. She studied my body, which I buried in its soft as fluff sand, and my thoughts, which ran along the horizon, driven by the wind. It was she who compared the salt of my sweat with the salt of Shott El Jerid Lake, and heard the pulsation of blood in my veins as well as listening to the movement of rivers in their depths. And I do not lie, if I confess my love for her. I did not give my heart to a woman or a homeland. My heart is in the sands of the Sahara.
I do not know how it attracts me. I try to define it, then returning to it, now moving away from it. She attracts me like a man attracts love. But what I love about her and what I don’t like, maybe I don’t need to analyze. When you begin to disassemble your loved one in parts, you stop loving him. I do not want to stop loving the Sahara. Maybe this is my last love. Let not to the person, let to the earth, but I want to test this love and revel in it. I want my place to be on the whole globe. A place that I love and a place that I hope loves me.
A person often pushes another person away. And the earth pushes away one who does not like it. And it seems to me that the Sahara likes me because it has always accepted me favorably. Every time she revealed herself to me as a woman who always has secrets for the one she loves.
On my first visit to the Sahara, I remember only her beauty. I remember her sand dunes changing color, her palm trees swaying in the wind, her sun rolling down from the horizon, the sky hugging her from horizon to horizon. I remember the Bedouins, their camels and absolutely do not remember the rubbish that I saw on my second visit, nor the ruined city that I found when I went on it on foot. The first time I remembered the softness of her sand. In the second, I saw that there was a lot of flat land in it, covered with sharp stones. The first time I felt the warmth of its dunes. In the second - the chill of the morning dew. Then I remembered only the sands, sands, sands, and it seemed to me that there is emptiness in it, nothing grows except palm trees and people only where tourists are. This time I saw that it was full of plants, and people everywhere, and even where it seems that there is no one. Then a strong wind rushed through the desert, all of it fell asleep with small grains of sand and hid from me its true essence. Now I saw her naked - windless and open, and then blown by a quiet wind, which carried the ground wind near its very surface.
When I saw her for the first time, it seemed to me that the whole of the Sahara was sand. Its land is sand, its sky is sand, its sun is also sand. Round shape made of sand. Even the people who inhabit it seemed to me like sandy people. And I myself was full of sand, and therefore could also be called a sand man. When I arrived the second time, I saw that everything was separate in it: the sky, the sun, the earth, palm trees, camels, people. All separately, but in all there is a single component - all the same sand.
I do not know for myself the matter more attractive than the sand of the Sahara. What is it - the eternal movement of life and death? Change of times? The difference of colors? What is sand for me, not having pronounced grains of sand, changing its color and location, temperature and humidity? In the mornings, when the dew lies, which has soaked it through, it looks like a dense liquid, the surface of which does not allow the foot to enter into its cool stratum. In the daytime, when the sun dries it, it looks like a warm and light substance, like air, and a foot is buried in it, like it would have been buried in a light cirrus cloud if it lay on the ground. I remembered the smell of this sand when I gathered it in my palms and brought it to my face, as if I wanted to breathe it. And remember his taste when brought it to his mouth, wanting to get drunk. I forgave this sand for his desire to dig into my skin, eyebrows, and hair confusion. I allowed him to my body as admitted by a woman who is trusted and whose touch is pleasure. I could not breathe it, and it seemed to me that I did not have enough air, and there was never enough sand to fill my lungs with it. It seemed to me that I want to die in it, but to die only when I can enjoy it before stupor, until unconsciousness, before oblivion. And this did not happen - it is still not enough for me, and I don’t know how much time I have to spend in it, in order to enjoy it to the full.
They say that my homeland is beautiful. It is full of blue lakes and green forests. She offers a person a lot of things that he needs. She feeds and feeds him, and the only thing she always has is little is the sun. Sugar for me has become closer than my homeland. And I think this is because I do not need the diversity and multiplicity of gifts. I need only the energy of the sun — in order not to experience the cold and not fall asleep along the way, the wind — not to forget about movement, water and bread — to remember that I have to maintain life in myself, and sand — to experience pleasure.
My love for the desert is not the love of emptiness. In the desert it only seems that it is empty. In fact, it simply does not have too much. It has everything you need to stay human and remember your love for her. It does not burden me with unnecessary things and does not ask for a multitude of insignificant acts. You only feel the need to move or be at rest in it. Only thirst and its quenching. Only the desire to warm up and the penetration of heat. Here the warmth fills the unfamiliar person to the brim, and the excess pours out later. Over time, you realize that there is no more sweat, because you begin to consume exactly as much heat as you need.
When I come to the Sahara, in the first days I can not sleep at night. I diligently close my eyes and keep them closed for exactly as long as they take a break from daytime contemplation. I make the body take a position that would help it to fall asleep, but I change the position as many times as necessary so as not to get tired of immobility. I invoke dreams, but all that comes to me is the memories of the past day and the sensation of the taste of the desert. I make the night be quieter and darker in order to deceive myself and forget in a dream, but this only makes it faster in the morning and the voices of its birds grow louder. And in the morning I get up, filled with the desire to quickly find myself in the desert, and again walk along the ridges of dunes, feeling how they spread under my feet, ride a camel, hearing the sounds of his womb, sort out the sand in my hands and warm up, bask, bask in the rays that gradually flare up of the sun, until I forget the finally darkness of the night. The night is not needed for sleep. It is only in order not to get tired of the impressions and not to burn from the all-pervading solar energy.
Every morning I meet with a thought that appears on my skin with a shiver. This idea that today I can devote again to the Sahara. The feeling that no one and nothing can interfere with a date with her delights me. I am like a mad lover who is afraid of the very thought of outside human intervention. As insane, focused on his mania alone and not allowing anyone and nothing else to himself. I go to her, hurrying inside my heart, and at the same time I walk slowly, delaying the moment of meeting her, as if I want to feel once again how dear I am to it, even in anticipation, even in anticipation. I am ready to wait, and in anticipation all my thoughts are devoted to her alone. And nothing exists for me but her. And nothing is as valuable as she is.
Sahara is like a woman. At dawn, when the night sky crawls from its dunes, leaving behind moisture so that it can cultivate food, it is still lazy and inactive, and the wind sluggishly sorts through its surface, which has cooled in the dark. Later, when the sun wakes up and begins to creep up to it carefully, like a beast, it completely calms down in anticipation of the work ahead. When the sun inflames brighter, and its rays gradually warm it, drying grains of sand, which hold each other due to moisture, begin to crumble, and the desert becomes cheerful, and its working day begins. The wind gets stronger and rushes from the dune to the dune, pouring sand from one to another, and swaying palm trees, and a little easier for the breath of the desert. Very soon, the heat turns into heat, the wind becomes dense and heavy, and now the day is in full swing, and everything that surrounds me turns into a real inflow. The sun is more and more, it is everywhere, and even the shadow is not saving, because it is never enough. The sky itself starts to get tired and languish and wait for the evening to catch your breath. Rare travelers are at risk in such hours to set off. And those who know the severity of this time, try to wait it out without moving in the shadows. By evening, the sun exhales and begins to fade out, changing the colors of the desert. And the Sahara looks into the stopped air as in a mirror and sees its reflection in it and likes itself, because it is ruddy and beautiful. In the evening, she is more beautiful than ever - she is ready for another date. Her dunes are combed, and the sandy sea curls in the folds. It is tidy and painted in warm rich tones, and it is impossible to tear off a look from it.
And here comes the night. Night spreads its precious canvas over it, scatters the stars over it, places the moon among them and fills the space with music. And the desert begins to ring with the stars. And the moon, the companion of the night sky, with its brightness on its dark canvas, could have argued with the sun if it had not been so cold. Sahara is pleased that the light of the moon does not burn it. She rests, basks in the blue shimmering light, and the sand begins to sparkle like a scattering of precious stones.
On such nights I stayed in the desert. I went to the very top of her sand dune, and the bed of sand was for me softer than all the other beds. His smooth tender feather bed caressed me, lucked and sang me songs. And the night was becoming magical. I was shaken in the sky space. It showered me with stars. I amused myself by watching them light up, by winking at each other, and trying to decipher all their dots. The moon threw its light among the dunes, and then they, like dark giants, huddled over a bright spot of sand as brilliant as water. That - to the top of the dune, why he began his journey as an iceberg in the middle of the black northern sea. That snatched a group of palm trees out of the darkness, and they swayed in a luminous spot in the sky and cast black moving shadows. The moon made everything around blue and mysterious, and my palm, which I lifted to illuminate it with moonlight, seemed to me the palm of a gray-haired old man, who appeared from time immemorial to create magic and disappear again for hundreds of years.
Was it scary to me alone? When the cold fear began to sneak up, wanting to close my body in its sticky tentacles, I forced myself to think about, is it scary to the stars in the sky? Is it a scary lonely moon? Does the palm tree feel fear at night? And I realized that no. That fear can not be in one who has the whole world in front of his eyes. I tried to penetrate the beauty of this world, feel it with every cell of my body, embrace it with my whole soul and imagine - after all, what is happening to me now is called freedom. The freedom that I wanted for a long time and which I should not be afraid of.
How little actually freedom in our daily life. We have, driven into a stone bag of cities, entangled in the thickets of fuss, dying in the swamp of everyday problems and affairs, forgetting about themselves in the complexities of relationships with other people. How little true freedom in us! And you understand this only when you allow yourself, finally, like this - one ... One ... One to lie in the sand in the middle of the Sahara and the black sky. And not only because of the misfortune that came here, and got lost and disappear, but of its own accord, according to the only possible way for itself.
I remember the people of the desert. Their closed clothes are necessary in order to protect their bodies from the sun and sand. Widened eyes, wisely looking at the world. Light walk, with which they tirelessly move through the wind and sun. Their little shops, where they drink fragrant tea, which surpasses coffee in strength. I remember its taste - strong and sweet green tea in a glass glass, which brightens the head and the body fills with vigor.
I wandered through the narrow streets of the cities surrounding the desert with my oases, and I remember their smell - the smell of sand, spices, animals, tobacco smoke, car exhausts and hookah. I remember the streets lined with cobblestones and lined with sand and debris. Narrow sidewalks, where two people do not disperse, and where trade is open in the open windows and doors of the first floors, bread is baked and along the roadway, not caring about the cleanliness of the tables and chairs, men sit, eating.
I tried to find streets along which trees and flowers would grow, but all the vegetation of the cities was hidden behind the high walls of houses that resemble small fortresses. And between the fortresses there was again sand, as if the whole city grew in the desert and hid everything green behind stone fences, so that only the inhabitants of these houses could enjoy the greenery and flowers.
I entered the city oases and marveled at the sewage that covered the whole territory, which from a distance I took to be a park or a public garden. In urban oases there was no grooming and freshness, there was still the same smell of animals, sand and trash, and I wanted to find out from the residents why they did not monitor the cleanliness of their cities. But it seemed to me indecent to ask about this, because in fact, these people are no different from my fellow citizens who pollute their cities. There is simply no cleaning service.
I walked the streets and carefully looked at women in closed robes or democratic jeans and T-shirts. And he looked at the dark faces of men, trying to identify commonality and differences with his people. Everything was as it should be — beauty and ugliness, caution and frankness, rejection and benevolence get along in every nation. I remember the interest with which I was viewed, a stranger from the other end of the world. They said to me: "Yes, yes, we know your country - it's cold there." And I agreed, because my country really does not have enough heat.
I remember caravans leaving the gates of the desert to its very horizon - a narrow chain of camels with harnesses, which is unusually slow to move, moving down from the dunes and climbing them again. I can still hear the screams of the horsemen, who were frightened of heights, and the measured roar of the grumbling of camels wandering alongside the drivers.
When I was tired of people, I again went to the desert. I climbed up to the dune and looked around the sandy world with distant islets of palm trees. I was breathing in the wind and trying to catch the sounds that the desert sent me to decrypt. I sat for a long time without moving, to free my thoughts and let them travel without my help. They flew, returned, and it seemed to me that something was clearing up in my head and something was becoming clearer. I could look very far away - in the past or in the present for many thousands of kilometers, and could observe how near me a strip of ornament is drawn up along the sand with frequent paws. Some purpose unknown to me forced the beetle to climb the dune, a thousand times larger than himself. What did he strive for - to be closer to the sun or closer to death, worn by the wings of black birds? He climbed up to me and studied the folds of my clothes and got entangled in the hair of my hands. He realized that he was wrong again and again found what he was looking for and went on to continue on his way. I sat and looked after this beetle and compared myself with him - what drives us on our way, what does our soul stretch to and what does it want to find that which seems hidden behind the horizon?
To be free from everything is a pleasure short. Soon the body begins to experience withdrawal from lack of work. And the soul begins to ask for classes for themselves. And I understand that a person should find an application in which he should get bogged down, give him his time, strength and devote his thoughts to him. Because you need to respect yourself for something. For something recognized in a society of the same people. Все, что творится в моей голове, скрыто от окружающих. И они знают меня только тогда, когда я занят делом. И они могут знать обо мне только по моему делу. Все, что я скрываю от них, на самом деле спрятано в песках Сахары.
Время от времени я напоминаю себе о том, что есть на свете нечто больше меня самого. Нечто выше моих знаний о мире и природе вещей. Нечто такое, чего я никогда не познаю и не смогу вместить в себя. И потому мне сегодня вновь хочется вернуться к ней и раствориться в ее горячем зное, утонуть в ее песках и захлебнуться ее небом. Я понимаю, что соскучился по ней, что не узнал еще того, что она хотела донести до меня. Не проник в ту единственную тайну, которую сохранила она для меня. Не познал еще того самого себя, которого поможет познать мне она.
Меня окружают люди, которым больше не хочется знать обо мне, потому что я спрятал себя от их любопытства. Меня окружает город, которому все равно - есть я или нет, и который устал от моего присутствия так же, как я устал от пребывания в нем. Вокруг меня природа, роскошная в своей зелени, влажности и смене настроения, но она недоступна моему пониманию, потому что в ней нет застывшего момента. В ней все движется, шевелится, откуда-то появляется, летает, роет норы, стремится проникнуть и мешает одно другому. И поскольку я не ощущаю гармонии со всем окружающим, меня тянет туда, где нет сейчас меня. Меня тянет в Сахару.
Я признаю, что испытываю болезненное наслаждение. Я болен ею. Я помешан на ней. Но мне приятна эта боль и это помешательство. Я не хочу быть здоровым. Я хочу испытывать это сладкое и страстное забвение. Я готов отдать ей себя самого, раствориться, стать ее элементами, ее молекулами, ее частицами. Она поглотит меня когда-нибудь, я это знаю, но пока она разрешает мне жить отдельно от нее, в других координатах.
Я не думаю, чтобы она тосковала по мне - у нее достаточно развлечений. Но то, что я в ее памяти - в этом я уверен. У нее есть чувства, есть зрение, есть слух. Она улавливает движения моего сердца и импульс моих мыслей. Она читает по моим губам, и даже сейчас, когда я в тысячах километрах от нее, она посылает мне свое тепло.
Иногда я достаю бутылку ее песка и рассыпаю его на столе. Я строю барханы, притворяюсь ветром, обогреваю свою искусственную Сахару электрическим светом и превращаю себя в маленького путника. Я слежу за своими шагами, сдуваю следы с барханов и провожаю себя до горизонта. Мои руки согреваются под лампой, и я ощущаю ее прикосновения. Я меняю направление света, создаю тень и прячусь от солнца.
Как играет она мною в своем воображении - этого я не знаю. Вероятно, она видит в каждом путнике меня. Осыпает его песком, обдувает ветром, машет над ним листьями пальм и катает на верблюдах. Может быть так. А может быть, она просто думает обо мне и ждет, когда я приеду вновь.
У нас с ней - одна тайна на двоих. Мы знаем, что где-то, на какой-то параллели, в каком-то измерении, мы живем с ней вместе - она и я. И если сомкнуть пространство между нами до одного луча солнца, до одной капли росы, до вздоха желтого ветра, то я дотянусь до нее рукой, и она насыплет в мою ладонь горсть теплого солнечного песка, нежнее которого нет на свете ничего. Она подарит мне его невесомость и нежность, а я подарю ей невесомость и нежность своей души. Равноценный обмен. И я снова почувствую себя счастливым. Потому что только обменяв одно на другое человек может быть счастлив.