deserto del Sahara, dune dell'Erg Chebbi

The Sahara desert is magnificent and majestic, its beauty enraptures us no matter what, leaving us light-headed. In this article we give the floor to Tahar Ben Jelloun who often speaks of it in his novels and tales, because his words effectively describe the emotions evoked when faced with the Sahara desert in all its majesty.
“…. The beauty of the Sahara is an enigma. Countless dunes, immensity for as far as the eye can see, changing horizons and perennially evocative light. Talking about the Sahara is like opening an old manuscript and delving into a fantastical tale. It is an illegible book because as soon as words are impressed onto it, they are blown away by the first gust of wind. The storm then erases everything and tidies up the mess, the sand never stays still for a moment. It redesigns the landscape in a state of constant transformation, never static.
There is the beauty of the day and that of the night. The sun is the artifice of both. The sun at dawn which manifests itself in its sublimity, just as it does at dusk, painting the sky in an array of colours. It is so violent at midday that nobody dares face it. This is the time of solitude, prayer, reflection. (…) Light and its shades. Light and its musicality. Light and its ephemeral tones. And then there’s the night and the starry sky, a festive night. The night with its freezing air, the night and its biting cold which eludes comparison with the one which falls over the city. And then in the morning the dawn is offered onto us by this dark night, studded by countless stars which shine for all eternity.
Immortality has something in common with the desert. Both are characterised by absoluteness, clarity, silence and profound solitude. It is no coincidence that in this immensity, human arrogance fades away and brotherhood become a natural state. It is no coincidence that inhabitants of the desert who migrate to the city feel unhappy and ill-suited.
(…) On the edge of the desert, something surreal moves along the bottom of the air. (…) Here there is no place for haste or impatience, two vices of city life. One must learn how not to wait for anything, how to do nothing, return to oneself and isolate oneself in one’s own shell, regardless of its consistency. One must take time as it comes, bow to its rhythm and mood. This is how we learn the gift of gratitude, we enter beautiful slowness where humility is the only rule.”
From Morocco, a novel by Tahar Ben Jelloun [free translation]