Day 67 – Ancestral Spirits Live Here: the Dome of Bricks and Stripes
Ancestral Spirits Live Here: the Dome of Bricks and Stripes

Inside this building live many ancient beings, from past times. It’s not really a ghost house, but it could easily become one. The cure for the spirits who live here is just a realization away for each of them. Because, if you are dead, and you don’t know it, then you will congregate here with other “undead” people. If you know that you have no physical body, then you will pass out beyond the bricks, though the gaps in the stripes and into the next world.

This is what the tour guide told us as we walked past this old mound.

Did I believe it? Not if heaven were roasting us alive, would I believe this explanation, for why this dome of bricks was here.

We were travelling in the desert, on camels, in a caravan, looking for the next oasis to refill our water pouches. We were getting fried by the sun, with no trees for shade, no shadows anywhere, but what our camels made as they slowly plodded across the waves of sand. Despite carefully wrapping my head in a turban, I had heat sickness, and needed to find somewhere motionless to lie down. I spied this building, sitting squat in our path.

“That’s where I’m going to rest”, I thought, as I began dismounting from the bony knees of the camel.

“No! No! you cannot enter in there!” came shouted with great consternation from the guide. “It will mean you wish to die there. I cannot save you from that fate,once you have entered there,” he said, coming up rapidly to me with his swarthy, sweating face. “I forbid you, to go any further!”

I had no choice but to remount, dizzy as I was, and carry on.

Later that night as we sat in comfort, around the oasis camp fire, it occurred to me that there was another reason for this absolute insistence on the sanctity of undisturbed repose, for the elder’s spirits. My hypothesis was this: the so called elders were in fact a gang of criminals that housed here. I determined I would go back during the darkest hours of the night to observe the stone building. I could still see it sitting squat and sand blown on the horizon, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get there. As I rolled out my bedding to get some early sleep, I visualized the route I would take to remain hidden from spying eyes. The moon would rise full and clear, giving me some clear light, in about two hours.

Then I would wake to my adventure.

Writing by Regina Stemberger
Photo “Stone Art” by josef.stuefer

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