Excerpt from Attempts

Zeke walked in the direction of the ancient city’s ruins. They all reached the first of the columns, and along other members of the caravan, Asant and Ismael walked between these tall golden pillars, on a long-ago established street, now abandoned and left to visitors of the new world, and students of the old.

On their way to the end of the street, they approached a sculptured arch, acting as a gate to and from the same street, perhaps a gate to the ancient city itself. Just ahead, on the other side of the arch, stood a woman and by her side a boy of perhaps ten years. A black scarf protected the woman’s head and shoulders; a brown cloak covered the boy and a red and white turban protected his head. The two stood close enough to Asant and Zeke to exchange greetings. They stood tall, confident in their stance and in their place, their eyes gentle but unwavering.

“Who is that, Zeke? Do you know their people?” asked Asant in a whisper.

Ismael moved close to Asant and Zeke.

“Hmm…they seem to be members of the local nomadic tribe. They are a tremendous people, certainly under-appreciated by the rest of the population.” Zeke answered.

The woman and the boy turned and walked with short strides away from the golden stone gateway.

“How do you mean tremendous?” Asant pursued.

“Well, it is believed that they’ve managed to preserve their ancient knowledge and practices. They have a certain connection with their surroundings, with the desert, with the hidden world.”

“I have heard similar things about the nomads in my country,” Ismael said.

“Hidden world? What hidden world?” asked Asant.

“The spiritual world, my friend.”

“Oh, I see. Well, I would argue it’s not a hidden or even a separate world at all, but simply a part of our own world, a part we don’t see because we choose not to.”

“Yes, yes, a fine point, Asant; and, since we’re on this subject, would you agree the names, labels, and descriptions we use are not as important as what the descriptions help us do?” asked Zeke.

“Do you mean, now that we have pointed to this part, the hidden world, whether or not we seek is what’s important?”

“Yes. And, I’m sure you know of this part that we speak of, but are you seeking it?” Zeke asked with a faint smile. “Asant, my friend, knowing is good but insufficient alone. We need to act. We need to keep on with our search and apply what we learn.”