I had an opportunity to travel to Egypt
this year last year (Oops! For whatever reason, I am still thinking that it is 2017! Happy new year all!). The one thing that struck me when I was travelling around the country is how seemingly all-encompassing the landscape is (Not entirely sure if ‘all-encompassing’ is the word I am looking for, but it will have to do for now).
What I mean by this is that throughout this trip, I had a sense of being a really tiny and insignificant being in the grand scheme of things, whatever they may be. When I was travelling by road and fell asleep looking out of the window, I would wake up to be faced with the same landscape again. I knew I was moving, but the landscape remained unchanged. Really messed up my sense of time on that particular road trip.
Haruki Murakami captures this felling in an interesting way when he writes in his book The Wind-up Bird Chronicle,
“Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape, an overwhelming hallucination can cause one to feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly unraveling. The surrounding space is so vast that it becomes more and more difficult to keep a balanced grip on one’s own being……… The sun would rise from the eastern horizon, cut its way across the empty sky, and sink below the western horizon. This was the only perceptible change in our surroundings. And in the movement of the sun, I felt something I hardly know how to name: some huge, cosmic love.”
Funny that I should be reading this particular book on this trip. Anyway, here are some photographs that, I hope, capture what I have been trying to say. Happy browsing!