What a Way to Wake Up!
Imagine! Adam Levine! … and it goes like this:
“I’ve got the moves like Jaggar! I’ve got the moves like Jaggar! I’ve got the moo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ooves like Jaggar!” and I think I might have even been dancing in my bed.
So, I hopped out of bed and fed the dog, the cat and the fish; made me a pot of kaghwa. It is Arabic: the original word for coffee – we have quite a number of “English” words that originated in
Arabia, but the Arabic Numerals that
we were taught in school are all wrong!
Years ago in
I couldn’t understand why our 3 in
Arabic looked more like a backward 7 if we used Arabic Numerals in the west. None of the numerals matched our numbers: our
the zero was a dot; their 0 meant 5.The answer is, I found out a quarter
century later is that our numerical system is descended from the Hindu “Arabic”
System! Who knew? Apparently not our teachers. It
gets worse from there: Hindu Arabic uses
V both right side up and upside down which in my book makes a big fat plate of
spaghetti out of the Roman Numeral
System, I tell you. Khartoum
Those were the days, though, in
. Who would have guessed I would end up there. It is a far cry from my wine country with
carpets of green vineyards which turned impossibly impudent reds in fall. There, in my valley, yellow
mustard grass grows taller than an eight-year-old child beneath what must be the bluest skies in the
The only brilliance I saw during those first days were the occasional red and white Marlboro cigarette shacks. I was new to international travel, and was dismayed that my country’s representative in the
was cigarettes. Sudan
Against all that desert yellow, I learned a hunger for my home. The valley that stayed alive with color throughout all seasons, even the stark patterns of winter were inspirational. I learned that indigenous art is relative to nature’s bounty: when one sees color and pattern, one repeats it in creative design. We create what we see, and the art I found in the Sudanese souks was testament to those who by sheer creative determination produced pieces of cloth and carvings of wood or ivory no visual inspiration. Did they create from memories past? Did they hear stories handed down from ancestors? Artists will always produce, and so in
it was in monotones of their personal
surroundings. I learned to throw away my criteria, judge
less, and appreciate the artful effort on its own terms. That dingy sand and rock was
the world I learned to walk in, learned to respect, and grew to love. Khartoum
Learning, walking, respecting, growing and loving are desert gifts. Thoughts came easily of spiritual men who went to the desert for 40 days. Clarity comes when there are no distractions, and it is easy to meditate in the desert.
Adam Levine, you certainly took me for a ride this morning, with those moves like Jaggar. Thanks!