Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eternal Egypt

It's hard to believe we are back from our Egyptian odyssey, even have our bodies back on Eastern Daylight Savings time, although it took awhile. And we've managed to get over "Pharaoh's revenge." However, the colds we caught linger, no doubt due to the pollution and dust we breathed in our two weeks in the desert. I can still see grains of that dust of the ancients caught in the weaving of my wristwatch band! A souvenir I didn't realize I brought home with me.

More than 2000 photos still await sorting and editing, but all in good time. And we're still sorting out what our adventure meant to us, which we're working on in leisurely conversation between ourselves and with friends who ask about the trip.

One thing was clear: All civilizations are fleeting. Even ours.

Most memorable for me were A) I "met" Sheshat, the ancient goddess of writing; the old Egyptians believed she invented writing. So seeing the reliefs on the sides of two temples of her image was quite moving. (She's pictured in the photo above.)

And we saw the broken colossal statue of Ramses II that inspired Shelley to write "Ozymandias." One of our guides read part of the poem aloud as we stood looked at the tumbled behemoth of carved granite. Chilling. Choked me up.

As for Roger, being an atheist, all the visits to old mosques, old Coptic churches and the babble about a pantheon of old god/desses was a bit much so he's decided the best part were the donkeys! Farming is still almost totally manual there and the donkeys are the main beast of burden -- everywhere, even on the busy city streets of Cairo!

Before we left I wrote the following poem. And now, upon our return, I can still say Roger has made my dreams come true (and is willing to play a Nubian slave!). He's MY pharaoh!

I hope you enjoy.


Self-Portrait on the Nile

I joke about cavorting
as pharaah’s consort.
Tut would do.
I tease about kissing
a nimble Nubian slave
beneath plume fans.
If Nefertiti reddens,
if Isis casts her holy blush
upon us, don’t be shocked.
Osiris rises, Horus rallies, Thoth flies.
But I turn my back on Anubis.
Tomorrow we’ll frolic in Egyptian tombs.
We’ve earned eternity.
The mythical has already come true.


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