Dromedary caravans near Fachi, Ténéré desert, Niger
What is real?
There I was, wondering through the desert, blind. I guess it was midday; the sun was vertical and there were no shadows on the ground. I couldn’t see. This was the most dangerous part of the day. For starters I couldn’t rest anywhere; the heat would melt me if I stopped. At this time of the day I got really lost because with the absence of shadows I couldn’t find my way through the desert.
The camels were my only friends. They’ve been my only friends for years. Sometimes I think about the merchants I deliver weapons to, if they really want me to drink tea with them or if it’s just cordiality. I don’t know, I guess they’re not my friends, just people that I know.
At night I look at the sky, the shadows that the moonlight creates are the most beautiful. Shadows at night are special and unique. I can’t explain why, they just are. When I was a boy I got really frustrated because people weren’t as high as me, they were flat and small but also really tall sometimes. I could feel with my hands, my nose, eyes, mouth, cheeks, and ears. But when I touched the ground I only felt the ground. Soon I realized I was special and unique. I could only see shadows. At first I thought it was bad and felt miserable and then I felt good and awesome. But those feelings and thoughts always faded and lost importance or relevance. In my late fifties I finally understood what the shadows of the night were saying to me. Things and people don’t need a reason to be or have to be classified and judged as good or bad, they just are. Soon as I comprehended that feelings and thoughts didn’t matter anymore and so I became the only man that could travel the desert without seeing anything but shadows.
de Yuri Gomes - 11º M
Nota: Texto publicado com a autorização de Yuri Gomes, do 11º M. Qualquer reprodução sem a sua autorização atenta contra os princípios dos direitos de autor.