In the previous post
, I mentioned a group of teenage boys we encountered in a valley. I finally got the chance to develop the rolls from that day. You will find the images above.
From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
— Charles Simic
These past couple of weeks, I’ve been visiting areas high up the mountains and have not had many encounters with people. The last winding road that Saleh, the guide, and I took had the borders fence and Oman to our left. Unscathed by human debris, it was clear that mountain campers have not yet explored this path.
The landscape and the long winding roads offered a familiar quiet wave of retreatment and isolation. The scene is beautiful and vibrant in its essentially private way of being. This kind of space is what the local mountain dwellers described to us, a solitary home. Though houses are built down in the valleys, these spaces are an essential feature of the landscape that shapes the lives that are led here.