“In a parallel reality we might understand each other, but in this one, we are just gravity for one another, just void and light and dream.”
Moving for these days at a racer’s daily pace has given me so much, but the gift is in the freedom to now sweep and unhurry, get blown along by some other force than a plan, and instead just expand.
I feel like a kid on a school field trip that hasn’t gone nearly the way the chaperones had imagined. G pointedly avoids using the word “lost” in spite of convincing appearances.
Levitating atop the smallest gear, clingy traction, absorption into modal blue. Mean little sheep feet have obscured any tracks from the racers ahead but sure as sure that this is the way.
The race is demanding, adventure style with map and compass navigational challenges, massive portages, unpredictable high desert winter weather, a rough track, big climbs.
The bokkie tells me that I’m on the right way, but here—in wind silent floating dream—there wasn’t another.
Jacques explains. “Location” indicates the black townships, we’ve been directed here by that very word on the lips of a nodding woman on the dirt avenue, I’m looking to buy a local SIM card. One story high, corrugated steel, off-rectilinear lots that expand or contract to the hilly contour but somehow still seem tidy, colors sing cheer and that they’re brightly painted itself enough to distinguish the boundaries.
Students in smart uniforms, a loud beer hall, turning buses and impossibly clean commuter rail station. Then lands of hard wind blown blonde grasses with season burn smoke columns, onward to canyons rolling granite and green, serpentine roads. To a vast park. No bicycles, a shame, they’ll wait.
There’s Nelson Mandela’s house and then Desmond Tutu’s around the corner, a neighborhood density of Nobel Peace laureates unrivaled. We drink local brew, 2% alcohol so leaving us liters away from danger but very near to jolly, a man stops his car to thank us for visiting, older women waking home all in green from a religious service beaming hellos.
I arrived in Cairo, a lone cyclist pedaling into a metropolis, on the evening of 28 January, 2011 at the end of a tour of the western oasis circuit from Luxor. From the warnings of local contacts I knew that I should keep vigilant. The city — indeed much of Egypt — was rising to a new pitch in the protest against the government. Today, Friday, a day off work and a day of consultation after prayer, was expected to be a turning point, and it was. By now the world knows of the events on that day from television images of burning and overturned police tactical vehicles, teargas braving mobs, rocks against rubber bullets and water canons, allegations of live fire in some cases, and tanks rolling across urban bridges and through downtown streets.
Kromal co-owns with his brother a tiny card and book shop in the oasis. He guesses I’m French, I shake my head, brother speculates Australian, the usual game. I smile, tell them. “You should be […]
Another night on dunes. The white desert has, manicheanistically, given way to the black. Tar colored mostly small chips, sitting on top of Caribbean beach blond dust, sleeping in the desert has all of its […]