Friday, October 16, 2009

Nighttime on the Nile

[Aswan --> Luxor]

Back on the ship, you enjoy some moments of sun-setting silence on the roof deck. Sandwiched by trees below and smog above, the sun is squeezed of its intensity. It puts up no fight and blends into the gray-layered backdrop of dusty sky. Egyptian mythology says that the Sun God Ra is swallowed up by Sky Goddess Nut every night, who gives birth to him the following morning. Accepting his nightly fate, Ra blushes a light pink as he is dominated by the Goddess. Gliding above the silhouettes of palm trees, he pulls up his rays and blends into the sky: yellow; pink; grey. He kisses a minaret on his exit, dips behind a building and can no longer be seen. All that’s left is a pink smudge where he once occupied prime aerial real estate, an homage to his power.

Now Egypt turns the color of Islam – green. Every mosque lights up, casting an emerald glow along the Nile, announcing pinpricks of civilization along the endless river banks, heralding the start of a town or city. The ship hums along the river and you spot goats on island patches of grass and children playing on bite-sized beaches.
You dip downstairs for a sumptuous meal, some live entertainment and end up in a warm bed, your eyes still fuzzy from the golden halos over each pillar at each temple you have seen that evening.
Prayers are done for the day and the Nile takes over, whispering privately into your ears and accompanying your subconscious on its dreams.

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