To Morocco, with love


Morocco has been a magical experience.  Walking the streets of Mekness, watching the people go about their business, it was all wonderful.  You can easily imagine that all 1,001 of Scheherazade’s tales were true.  Every lamp holds a genie, every cave a treasure, all just waiting in anticipation of being discovered by the wanderer who is brave enough to claim them.  As though the country is holding its breath with hope that each new traveler that passes through will be The One to discover its hidden wonders.  And there is a wonder for everyone, though they are not all as obvious as lost cities or talking serpents.  Some find hope, some power.  Some people find each other and some find themselves.  There is a beauty that cannot be put into words.  It speaks the language of the soul which means that the only way it can be experienced is by allowing the gentle stirring of emotions and following them until you find yourself down a path you would never find listed in a guidebook. 

Morocco is just the exactly right blend of familiar and foreign to make everyone feel at home while tempting them out of their comfort zones by dangling the exotic before them.  This can be seen in every market place.  You walk into a plaza to see a crowd has gathered and curious you push through to see what has enticed everyone.  Within the ring of people a man is displaying multiple venomous snakes across hand woven blankets while another man works an instrument to keep the dangerous beasts docile.  You know it is a scam.  The snakes have probably been milked recently and are kept on warm surfaces because that keeps them lethargic.  That is until you find yourself being called into the show.  Suddenly you find yourself doubting how this man would have time to milk all these snakes.  Did that rattlesnake just move in your direction?  Wasn’t there another cobra somewhere, where did it go?  As the last certainties are chased from your mind by the niggling doubt of being the center of attention with a snake charmer you feel something scaly and ropy looped over your shoulders.  When you look down that cobra that had gone missing has been wrapped around your shoulders and there is a huge rattlesnake hovering over your head.  Despite the pulse you can taste in your throat, you smile.  You have willingly fallen victim to Morocco and it is beautiful.

I do not know that I would live here, there is an honesty that I think I would find very uncomfortable before my lifetime was completed, though I would happily love here.  I will always let Morocco in, I will save it a place in my heart forever.  Even if I never come back I can visit anytime.  There will be bright colors, rich aromas, silk veils, arched doorways, and beautiful mosaics.  There will be fountains and market sellers, hip hop dancers, and very small throw pillows.  In the harem of my heart there will always be sun.  There will be small corridors and winding streets.  When I am sad I will remember the call to prayer and let my heart sing it to me so I will never forget.  I will also remember that I am not alone in this.  There will always be friends here.  So many beautiful people journeyed with me through this place and they too will be welcome in my heart anytime they want to sit and remember.  We can always go back and remind each other of the beauty of the place so that we can keep it alive forever.  But it won’t just be the travelers who can see it.  The beauty of Morocco will be there for friends and lovers as well.  I will invite them all in. serve them tea, and tell them stories like Scheherazade: a night’s entertainment in exchange for another day, only I will not be saving my head but instead my heart.  For Morocco is a place that thrives on visitors.  It lives because it is loved by the people who share it, visit it, remember it.  Morocco may be a place on a map but it is also a myth that lives as long as someone tells its story.  I will gladly be its keeper, its storyteller, its Scheherazade.




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