ROART » Desert Kites

ROART

 

words-desert-kites

 
“Some say that the deer are so afraid of the TAIY’Z [the narrow opening] from which they run towards their death that they even see it in their dreams. And if a Bedouin wants to stop a running deer, all he has to do is shout: “A TAIY’Z IAAZEL,” and the deer stops at once and looks around in fear…” [from a Bedouin folktale]

At El Mantar the deer are hunted in a huge enclosure: A five-foot wall, built of desert stones, surrounds an area in the shape of the figure 8. The enclosure is built on a slope. The lower ring of the 8 has an opening between the two walls, a thousand feet wide. At the point the two rings meet there is a narrow opening, TAIY’Z. In the upper ring wall there are smaller openings. Outside the upper ring wall a trench ten feet deep is dug. The Bedouin carefully direct the herd into the lower ring, the wide and open one. At first the herd is calm and quiet, but as the space narrows they panic. Running between the two walls they quickly enter through the narrow opening into the closed and upper ring. Frightened by the Bedouin and their dogs, they run along the high walls jumping out through the openings into the trenches…

The danger of becoming complacent exists in the herd condition, both from relying on other members and from the naïve perception that the space around me belongs solely to me, and will always be there for me… That space, these places, that routine is vital for my existence, and therefore cannot be taken for granted.

Because my condition is of a single unit in the herd in which private spaces represent its greatest weakness, those intimate and closest spaces I possess, own and dream of are my most vulnerable ones. And yet, I tend to forget them.

This condition of vulnerability exists not only on an individual level, but also inside the home, within the city, in the homeland where we are now between the walls of the KITES, in the direction of the TAY’Z
I watch the walls of desert…
I watch for my fellow deer…
I watch the kites on the sand…
I dream of the kites above…