Everything Can Change

Everything can change, between one moment and the next. Anything can cause the change, as long as it triggers something within your mind. It can be a snatch of song, floating from a car window that reminds you of an event from the past. It can be the way a leaf falls from a tree, looking just like a similar one that you saw a week before. It can be just a few words of a conversation that two people walking by your are having.

Everything can change, between one moment and the next. The sky, that looked so blue and wonderful can turn into a scorching, painful color. The breeze, that felt so pleasant and cool and sweet, can now make your hands feel like ice. Your very insides, which felt so balanced and serene, can turn into a flurry of angry bees, buzzing and stinging and making your muscles clench.

Everything can change, between one moment and the next. It’s impossible to shut out those day-to-day coincidences that meet our eyes and ears and remind us of things. So, we accept the fact that everything can change. We accept the fact that our emotions are irrational, strange things. We accept, and we live with it.

Everything can change between one moment and the next. Sometimes, things change for the worse. But when things change for the better, in the space of a breath, it feels like a gift.

Seeing The Milky Way

I was ten when my family and I took a trip to the Sinai Desert in Egypt. We drove down all night long and arrived in the morning. We hadn’t booked a hotel, since we weren’t planning on sleeping in a big resort on the beaches of the Red Sea. No, we preferred to find one of the small groups of huts to rent out – “chushot” as they’re called – and rent ourselves a couple of huts for the week we were planning on staying.

We found the most perfect spot. A man who had just started up his hut rental spot was glad to welcome us as his first customers. He was a chef and had studied in France and so despite our protests he cooked a couple of serious meals while we were there. The huts were rudimentary, but then that’s what we’d wanted – there were a couple of sandy mattresses and thin blankets in each hut, and the windows were just shutters which we threw wide open during the night, trying to will a breeze to enter the stifling rooms. The only time we ever spent in those huts was at night, to sleep. During the rest of our days and evenings, we enjoyed our secluded and empty beach – no one in sight except for us and the manager’s friends who visited him from Nueba, the nearest city. We snorkeled, saw exotic fish and beautiful coral reefs. We lay in the sun, we played backgammon, we walked around the markets of Nueba – it was the most restful and idle vacation I’d ever been on, and I haven’t been on a similar one since.

The trip is a blur to me, the memories all fading into each other and forming a short montage of what we’d done during that week. However, one night stands out crystal clear in my memory.

The moon rises not from the sea, but from the mountains in Sinai, and so it seems to rise very late because it takes it so long to rise above the mountains and be visible. One night, the full moon, it rose very late. Until it rose, the sky was this vast and endless velvet blanket above us, sprinkled with a million stars, all twinkling brightly. We were so far away from the big hotels and from the city that when we extinguished the lamps we had, we could see the stars perfectly. We could have counted them one by one if we’d wishes. I felt so small, so insignificant that night, because I saw The Milky Way – that ribbon of stars that is the basis of our galaxy’s name. It was so plain and easy to see – right there, above me, a river of stars so dense they seemed like a long white cloth spread across the heavens. I’d never felt or seen the full scope of the sky like that before.

It was, to say the least, overwhelming. But there is something wonderful in looking up and seeing how big the world really is and how small and insignificant your life is. There’s a sort of relief to it.

Surreal

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

But out of the darkness, or perhaps the blinding whiteness, that is the blankness of my mind, I settle on an odd image – it is the image of a desert. Endless dunes of sand, a warm night breeze ruffling the sands around my ankles – but the sky, the sky is what my blank mind focuses on. The sky which is full of a myriad stars, thousands upon thousands of them twinkling in every direction which my eyes can focus on. The stars are spread out every which way, the thick band of the milky way shining brightly through the middle, and the moon’s brightness taking away a patch of stars as it outshines them. So many of those stars don’t exist anymore.

I feel like I should want to be the Little Prince, fallen out of the sky and managing not to worry about my fate. I wish I could worry only about wanting a sheep and a glass cover for my rose, and a snake to bite me and take me back home. I feel like there would be something peaceful about saving someone and bringing him to a well and then leaving him forever, with only the memory of laughter to make the stars bright to him.

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

Miracle Baking

The sky was iron grey all day long, and the wind was sandy and much too warm for a January afternoon. The air was strangely silent as well, as if all the voices in the world were stifled, waiting for something to happen, something to erupt. If this were hurricane or tornado country, or even commonly quaky, I’d say that it was as if everyone was waiting for one of those natural disasters to occur.

And yet, it seemed that the air began to thaw, the sky literally brightened and became blue for a few moments before the sun set and it turned a brilliant pink and red. The reason seemed to be an oven, in an apartment, on the fourth floor of a building. In that oven sat a trey of chocolate chip cookies, baking slowly, spreading warmth and a smell so mouth watering that you could stand a mile away and salivate.

Never underestimate the power of a cookie to make everything seem better – even the weather.