I can’t really tell if this is just a short story or a UPG post.
I just felt I had to write it and so I did.
I will leave it up to you if you take it as a fictional story or as an inspirational text.
Living in the desert one of the first things Set would teach me: You cannot settle. You have to move on. The desert may become a home to you but what makes it a home is not the fact that you know each and every place but that you learn how to handle things to come. You learn different types of sand and how to walk on them, you learn which places serve as a shelter for a night and which allow you to rest for a few days or even weeks. But as soon as you start to feel comfortable somewhere and wish to stay it will come. This feeling of subtle decline. What you found in that place you chose for your rest is running short and you realize you have to go.
I have more than once made the mistake to stay too long. Because I loved places. Because I longed so much to finally COME HOME that I stubbornly insisted on staying where I was although Set urged me to move on. When you stay to long at a place where you shouldn’t you do not experience pleasant things. You run out of water, your food possibilities get lesser and lesser and while you were hunting the place you have of course become a rival to other animals – in fact in the desert you are not more than one of many animals trying to survive. They might start craving for the food supplies you have gathered and if you wait for too long they will attack you. They are hungry, too.
And sometimes I didn’t want to stay in places but Set demanded me to stay. To endure. Because the place wasn’t finished. It’s is not so much about something special to happen I am not talking about miraculous experiences. This is just simple and rough life and you need to learn to appreciate what you have and you cannot afford to reject anything. You never know when you will find the next place to rest and what you will find there. You do not leave unfinished places. “Finished” means, to leave in the right moment. Not sooner and not later.
The thing is you have no property in the desert except for what you can carry along. Everything that’s in it belongs to everybody and you take what the desert gives you. And you choose how you handle that. Whether you act fair and share when you meet fellow wanderers or if you raid them or if you are self-destructive or altruistic enough to give everything you have to someone in need. You need to make good choices. All the time. Because every choice may have serious consequences.
You do meet people occasionally. Desert nomads usually recognize one another. They have this special “desert spirit” and you just know it, you greet, you respect the way they’ve come silently and usually you don’t bother to stay together for too long because you get used to your solitude. Not to the loneliness though. You cannot get used to loneliness. The longer you walk alone the more you realize that company does not cure your loneliness. The loneliness becomes a part of you. Even if desert people walk together for a while, knowing about the loneliness they now it is not going to get “better”.
People who are settled at the river come and enter the desert from time to time. For several reasons. Some seek answers, some seek soltitude and some simply get lost. Some can be really annoying and try to drag you to the river while you try to explain to them that you cannot go there because it will cause trouble. Desert people are not welcome at the river. End of story. I have been in trouble several times because people thought they had to bring me to the river, make me settle there and teach me to be a river person. But the desert has me for a reason. I can’t simply become a settler and be happy no matter how much I long for the water. It is hard enough to realize this. The river is always stress but sometimes you can’t avoid going there, filling up your water bottles and sometimes you have your people who let you come and go without binding you and you know where you can find some rest and take some food with you.
Sometimes you meet river people you feel you just don’t want to let go. They have this beautiful “river sphere” around them and for some reason they are able to share it with you. It is as if they can fulfill all your cravings for water and your longing to finally COME HOME. It may sound nice but actually those are the worst encounterings because it is incredibly painful to let go of them. And you HAVE to let go of them. Always. They do not belong in the desert and you cannot follow them to the river.
You meet them often while they are somehow trying to move on. If there is one thing desert people are good at it is MOVING ON because that is what they are doing all the time. River people who seek answers in the desert are often stuck in a difficult situation and they search for some peace and quiet and may be in need of an outside view. And they sometimes need someone to tell them about the different kinds of sand and how to walk on it. They might wander with you for a few days but while you do that you know they are going to leave. Soon. And you have to let them go back to where they belong.
No matter how much you want them to stay.