Monday, September 22, 2014

still, the light

I leave for Egypt in 8 days. This will be my third trip, and that doesn't even read right when I type it--third trip?! Wow. Despite a first and second(including Ramadan) under my belt, I am still fascinated and nervous.The nerves are all travel related--possibilities ranging from delayed flights to migraines(even though I've already experienced both). The obnoxious stench of a hundred perfumes courtesy Charles DeGaulle airport lodged in the nostril, the bleary eyes of time zones. I know quite well the path from here to there.

However! This trip boasts a few(big) differences. I'm staying for a month, my longest stretch yet. J and I are taking a couple trips--the first to Luxor to play a bit of tourist. Valley of the Kings(home of King Tut's tomb), Valley of Queens, Temple of Karnak, and Avenue of the Sphinxes(my personal favorite, at least in researching thus far).

This avenue originally included 1,350 sphinxes, half of which have been uncovered thus far

A balloon ride is also recommended when visiting Luxor, to see the Nile and the ruins from above. J asked me if I'm at all interested, and I answered yes, though a meltdown of some proportion will most likely be involved.

J and I are also going to Dubai. It's a potential future-home so visiting is a must. I've been taking in great big gulps of information on the place. Thank goodness for expat forums. I'm curious to visit and form my own "initial" opinion. It will be hard to conclude too much after only five days, but that first impression is important. I worry that I'm a bit too scruffy for it. There are bits that seem futuristic and more glamorous, as well as things I could dive right into(the cycling community for example--there's a Dubai roadster group that rides together every Friday, as well as cycling days at the autodrome). I'm curious about both little and large things--how are the grocery stores and pharmacies, what kind of job will I get, driving, how might a living room look. If I live there, will I make friends easily? And of most importance: what will my writing community be like?

I have a lot of questions/curiosities, and I'm sure that will only grow once I'm finally there, in person.

Other things...I miss my writing community in Pittsburgh quite fiercely. This struck me recently, when I realized how little I've been writing this past month. My recent failure to create stems from a sadness that has emerged, something that surprised me. Darkness crept in and has been distracting me, unfortunately. I am trying not to sink into it by asking for help, even though asking is difficult, especially after being so hellbent and determined to leave my medication behind and give things a go. I can't really say I regret it--at least I know that I might in fact need a little help, and that's alright as long as I go after it. No more of this sinking into the blue as if I don't have all these amazing things occurring in my life. Despite the dark, there is still so much light. Bottom line: I am a work in progress. I am finding my peace.

To heal I will love and write, for these two things nurture me most.

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