Thursday, 28 October 2010

On the other side of the straight - interlude, or the restart of an endless journey

Once more I feel the breeze of strange odors, unknown flavors that populate the savoring of miles of road that I devour again in an interlude of a bigger journey, my endless journey. Suspended in the memory of itinerant days that went by rapidly, I return once more to the road, this time southbound, on the other side of the straight. I land here abruptly, fallen from the sky, after going up and down in an instant that brought me from known land into medieval narrow streets that twist and turn and make me stray in the midst of times long gone and that I renew with each step. Lost inside a time machine, I ignore the path I trail after passing the blue gate which marks its entrance, letting the long narrow alley slowly dip me in a meander of people, spices, tapestry, animals, clothes, food, too much stuff all clogged up and sold in too little space. Stopping for a while I am engulfed by those who surround me, looking at them while they walk up and down, pushing and pulling me, trying to sell to me, looking at me, ignoring and hosting me, latticed in a slick and narrow thread made of people who walk around wrapped in rare garments and who, as myself, move around towards themselves, towards everyone, towards no one. A bit further down I hear the Mosque calling me to prayer, feeling in my body a reminiscence of what I must have been some day in lands of the western Al Gharb, the very same territory from where I come and which was long liberated from an ‘infidel’ enemy who in fact looks a lot like me. Without noticing I ended up taking little steps towards my past life, towards what I could be right now if that crusade older than the memory of my noble nation had never taken place. I walk a bit further, to get lost again, on purpose this time, but chance twists my intentions taking me away from time and into the comfort of my riad, that house which becomes my own at the speed of smiles from new friends who open their hearts to me. I’m feeling alive. From the top of the terrace the rare smell of spice fills yet again my nostrils, my mouth, my thoughts, while the calling of the imams invades the horizon of the sunset in Fez to renew the certainty of my presence in foreign land, distinct from my own even though the sky has the same tone of blue. I’m alive, eager to feel more, taste further, absorb it all, know everything, be mistaken, wander aimlessly, simply live. Feeling once more blood rushing through my veins, I know the road is my friend.

Fez, Morocco, October 2010