Sand. There’s just something about it. Sure, we know it’s made from silicon dioxide, occasionally star-shaped, and results from a damn good ravaging from the weathers of geological time.
Yet up close it’s boring; under our feet, it soothes or scorches.
And when seen from a distance, it’s inspirationally, breathlessly mesmerising.
The words below come from T. E. Lawrence, better known to most as Lawrence of Arabia, a man who again shifts in perception the closer you look at him.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
Much like Napoleon, he was fond of a good quote. And much like Napoleon, his shadow and spirit linger on in the places he paced on and made his own.
Men have looked upon the desert as barren land, the free holding of whoever chose; but in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to it, against aggression.
It is hard at times to reflect the beauty of the desert in humble, monochrome words. How to explain the shifting, sifting, tilting sands in rust, ochre and gold, a substance not to be trusted, a substance that tricks you as you climb, a substance that tricks you as you try to see, a substance that hides the homes of people in the folds of copper and velvet.
But today, I’m trying something new if you’ll humour me. I’m trying to capture that sense of shimmering light and sand and focus and fortress through one photograph alone. Shown from afar with dreams.
And shown from the ground with clarity.
Ladies and gentlemen, I arrived in Wadi Rum not as a man but a woman.
But one with plenty of dangerous dreams.
All writing and dreams my own. As ever, as always.