Often, on those electric Autumn evenings, I would wrap up my work and, finding myself unwilling to sleep, step out into the night. I liked to observe the town late at night, when most students were in their dorm rooms and most other folk asleep or reading a book in bed. Getting away from people was important. Away from people, things would acquire their own vitality. Sterling itself seemed to hold its breath, and I drifted about, aimless and content.
Oddly-lit structures drew me. I liked to observe the various moods Cooper Hall took on at different angles by moonlight, liked to see it in motion, walking the length of the sidewalk across the street, the contrasting motion of foreground and background.
Parks, too, drew me. As a child, the swings were dearest, and even today they lure me. I could swing for hours, ruminating, tracking the motion of the stars, taking in the gravity, the silence.
These moments are therapeutic. More than that - enriching. How often I've sought somebody with whom to share them. How often I've been disappointed in the search. Is it possible to share an experience which is essentially, profoundly inward? From stories, I've come to hope in that possibility.
For the time being, however, I live in a society for which this activity is wholly alien, even suspicious, most definitely unhealthy.
|my building - I live on the top floor (with the tiny windows)|
As it turns out, "pass Eid with" actually means "spend every waking moment with." Over the next four days, I would take breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon and midmorning tea with the Mosa family. I would return home (accompanied by Mosa and his three-year-old son) well into the night.
|sunset in a typical street in the PAM section of town, where I live|
|my rooftop "mountain view"|
|many neighborhoods exhibit a mix of colorful and dilapidated|
And this is the duality of life in Morocco: I want those quiet, solitary moments and those goofy moments surrounded by friends, and neither are readily available.
|these storks are often spotted atop the water tower early evenings|
|the sunset from my roof|