As usual, I was traveling alone, trying to discover the world with my very own eyes.
On one of my journeys, I passed by the combined desert lands of ancient Mesopotamia and Persia, the lands that brought the story of Genesis into life, the cradle of civilization, the land of the Pyramids and the Pharaohs, and the land of my father, Abraham.
I always wanted to go there. One clairvoyant Italian lady told me, years before, that I used to be an Arab prince on my previous life. Thought maybe I could live to be one in at least a couple of days.
But the truth is, I am in search of the mystical Arab trees….
I tried to find the traces of that biblical tree of life and of the tree of knowledge. I desperately needed to see them, if not touch them and grasp their essence.
The tree of life, for my pathetic lifeless self no surgeon would ever dare cut. That maybe a tiny little bark from it could give me back my life that was lost long ago and along with it my body, soul, my whole.
And the tree of knowledge, to satisfy my endless hunger for anything and everything. Maybe if, and when, I get to eat that forbidden fruit, I would have all the information I need at the palm of my hand. I will get to know the truth, and will not be living in some Matrix-type world dominated by codes and mysteries set-up by a distant anonymous being.
I tried to walk and retrace the footsteps that the first couple took when they were banished from the garden. Like an old archaeologist hard at work, I kept on digging the sands of the ancient earth. Using only a small piece of paintbrush, I dusted away whatever dirt that had accumulated over hundreds, maybe thousands of years.
The dunes are endless, the sands immensely hot. Even the air seemed like smoke coming out of an old dilapidated clogged chimney. My water pack was empty, and my throat was awfully dry. I could feel the sands filling up my nose up into my lungs.
I kept on my searching, uncertain…. only to find a barren wasteland of endless sands. I couldn’t even find a small root of a single plant, much more a single source of precious water to which any green could find nourishment.
The land I had found was dead.
I don’t exactly remember how many days I wandered. I only remember, vaguely, that I once saw a mirage of an oasis, in the middle of it all, looming in front of me. I was too weak to walk, but I ran. I ran until I was engulfed by the shades of the trees enveloping that small piece of paradise.
And then inside it I saw a water source. I drank like a madman and swam with the sweet taste of its ever flowing water. My thirst was so insatiable nothing beautiful could get my mind off it. I had to drink. My body needed it. And badly at that.
Only when I had my fill then I realized the unique beauty of the place. The shades of the trees were swaying along with the slow movement of its leaves. A dry but nevertheless welcoming breeze touched one side of my rugged sandy face. Along the sides, I could see purple wildflowers so vivid my eyes were dilated to its core.
I never found the tree of life. I did, however, found the tree of knowledge. But as soon as I bit that apple-like fruit that the serpent made, I realized, like the mythical Adam and Eve that I too, am much vulnerable and naked. And some things are better left unknown.
Still, I was lost in the emptiness of the vast desert, nobody to talk to, eager for a companion, my body lusting for sustenance.
Yes I found knowledge, but I have yet to find life.