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You pass through these days but once in a lifetime...

Running Wild

11057321_10152544932886486_3165962359310326401_oby Brett Adam Sargent20 Nov 2017

These days feel lost.
I once sat in an ancient bar unchanged from the glory days and shared a beer with the local keep whose job it was to make all who entered feel deserving of both this time in this place and his ear.
'Lawrence of Arabia once stayed in the Baron hotel. He did a runner without paying his bill'.
The bill in question is plastered, pride of place, to a section of wall behind the bar.
The Baron is seemingly beyond repair...as is the town in which it resides, Aleppo.

I once sat on the polished tile of the Umayyad in Damascus and discussed with a local Iman all things human and divine.
'The first thing you should know about Islam is the depth with which it shares it's tenets with Christianity. We are all of the flesh and all of the blood.'
It will take a whole lot of work to repair the damage done.

I once sat in the Leopold Cafe in Mumbai as my man Elvis (perhaps not his real name) waxed Hindu on the merits of a Dalit called the Mahatma.
And as we shared the breakfast of kings we thought then that this place was too good, too important to ever be a target.
They shot it up anyway.

I once traveled through the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan and as we ate the Pashtun version of a degustation meal the young university student (an Afghan on the run from the Taliban in 2001) handed me his knife. A small piece of metal that, on it's own, would struggle to put fear into an already fearful man. Engraved upon this most precious of possessions was an AK47.
'If this is all I have left to fight the Taliban then may Allah direct me to use it well.'
I have not heard from our guide Solomon (he who took us to the Khyber Pass and gave us diesel burgers on the way) in far too long.
And what could have happened to Saddam Johnny, the money trader on the Khyber?

Life is constant change and each day, once done, shall never be repeated. But I mourn for the days that held sway across the soil on which I walked...the days that promised so much and asked for so little.
And high above these musings I can discern Lisa Gerrard singing Elegy.