A note from Will: This is a long blog post. But I really think there is something delicate yet profound in this whole story. I ask you to make a cup of tea and read through this slowly so it can really sink in. If you don't have the time now, or are not feeling relaxed and open then bookmark and comeback later. I think this is worth it. Be happy to hear your comments and thoughts about this whole experience.
I just recently came back from a trip to Egypt and it was a profound experience on a few different levels. I had a variety of goals I wanted to accomplish on the trip including broadening my search for the meaning of it all. First off I embarked on a very fun adventure which is part of my youtube channel. You can check out that quest here on my youtube channel: Ichabod Oddman and the Quest for the Sword of Lightning.
Egypt is a place of power. No doubt about it and for some reason I had a bit of trepidation about the trip. I just didn't know what it was but I tried to be cautious. The same kind of thing happened on my trip to Greece and the Acropolis. That too is a place of great power and I approached it slowly. I didn't actually go up to the top of the Acropolis until my third day. I spent the first two days walking around it, paying a sort of respect to it and seeing the sights around it. It worked well and I planned on doing the same thing with the pyramids and the sphinx.
After my travel day to Cairo I hit the sack and woke up the next day feeling pretty good. I hired a taxi driver for the day and we discussed my plans for all the various places in and around Cairo I wanted to see. I had planned on the Pyramids and the Sphinx on my third day. This would give me time to respect the power and it would give Giza a chance to accept me.
But.... my taxi driver told me that today would be a perfect day to visit the pyramids and sphinx. It was a holiday in Egypt and traffic would be light and there wouldn't be a crowd at the site.
So, against my instincts I agreed to go see the sphinx and pyramid right away, first thing in the morning of my first day.... Bad Idea.......
Maybe it means nothing, maybe it's coincidence, or maybe it is something more but while riding on my camel out to the pyramid site the saddle slipped right off the side of the camel and I fell to the ground hard. I mean hard. This is not a horse. A camel is quite a bit taller than a horse so it was a big fall. I did fall onto the sand of the Sahara which was a good thing and I only got bruised and hurt my knee a bit. But that wasn't the big thing.
The big thing was that the camel, for some reason, turned on me. I found myself looking up at the camel as it quickly turned. It's legs and hooves were flailing and I think it might have been angered or scared. And it might have been either trying to avoid me or trying to kick me.
So , with those big legs and hooves flailing I managed to roll, tumble, and scamper far enough away so it calmed down and just stared at me. - I escaped getting kicked or stomped on which could have been a real disaster. A kick from a fifteen hundred pound camel could be tremendous.
I don't know if it was a lucky break or a misinterpretation on my part but I came though it relatively unharmed. And I rode a horse the rest of the way to the Pyramids and Sphinx.
After that whole thing happened and I had time to think the whole trip changed for the best. I had an uneasy feeling about the whole trip going alll the way back to the states. And getting that incident behind me gave me the feeling that I had passed through something and the rest of the trip would be ok. And I was right. The rest of the trip was great. I felt like a weight had been lifted from me and everything was now ok.
Finally Conferring with the Sphinx
I made my plans to go back to the Sphinx and Pyramids on a later day like I had originally intended. I wanted, in particular, just to sit with the sphinx and talk, ask questions. But a funny thing happened to me along the way to that fourth day.
I spent those days in a hired taxi. It was a great experience for me. I hired one driver to be my guide and chauffer for four days. This way I had the freedom to go anywhere at any time. And well, over those those days the driver and I got to know each other pretty well.
At first it was formal and informative. We mostly talked about Egypt and the various sights and how we could manage my time to accomplish the various goals I had set out for myself. But by the third day we had become traveling companions and we discussed a lot of things including his dreams, his aspirations, his family, his career, and the challenges he is facing as an Egyptian trying to make a living in Cairo. It was quite wonderful and while I got a lot out of Egypt herself I also got a tremendous amount out of the taxi rides.
Anyway, on the fourth day I finally went to confer with the Sphinx in the right way -so we could just sit together and talk; Not only did we converse about me, my life, my quests and the riddle. But we also talked about my taxi driver. I also asked for guidance for his life. And got answers. It was a wonderful experience and afterward, during the drive back to the hotel, the driver and I talked about it at length. It affected him deeply.
This has made me think a lot about the meaning of it all and the real reason why the Sphinx drew me in to visit and talk. Was it just for me? Or was I drawn all the way over to Egypt to help my driver? Or us both?
I can't tell you the questions I asked of the sphinx. Nor can I tell you what we discussed. But I can say that aside from those direct things I learned a profound lesson about people, life, and the threads that bind us all together in this mysterious web.