Wandering like a whisper.
“No one knows me here. Not a single soul. I could be anyone…or no one at all.”
The thrill of absolute zero, of first smell, first taste, the sensual moment of first contact.
Opening a small, age-blackened door into a leafy, shadowy courtyard, a fountain filled with red roses, trickling, echoing.
Riotous mosaic tile, sun-dappled, everywhere, but always hidden.
In the New City, A woman in a black burkha slips on glasses to examine a pack of lentils.
A stranger trails a stranger through the souks.
“Monsieur, vous me permettez aidez? Sir, may I help you?”
“Je ne suis pas perdu. I am not lost.”
“S’il vous plait. Permettez moi. Permettez moi!”
The black assault of diesel, the endless buzz of motorbikes, a teenage girl clutches a young man’s waist, laughing, navy blue hijab blowing behind in the dry, dusk haze.
The jingling, jingling, jingling of coins in a Tangier tour guide’s pocket. He leads a curious couple through labyrinthine Kasbah streets, past decorated thresholds, down ancient stairways and narrow, whitewashed passageways. The shussing scuffle of leather dress shoes rushing to prayer.
The wail of the muezzin–the sound of everything and emptiness–echoes off the rosy and ochre medina walls. Marrakech awakens.
Caged chickens, clucking, squawking.
Oranges, olives, camels.
A glass jar full of lemons sits on a sweltering rooftop terrace, sweating.
A woman in linen trousers disappears into the dim clamor fog of souks–lost in a kaleidoscope of lanterns, cumin, argan oil, pungent cow hides, rugs, rugs, rugs, sticky almond confections, diapers, t-shirts, Orangina,
jeweled, cowlick-tipped slippers,
tufted leather poufs,
spit into a bright, bustling square, flanked by beleaguered donkeys and date palms.
There’s the scrape of a heavy, black lid. A charred lamb carcass emerges from a smoky hole in the ground. An old man, white-robed, sprinkles course salt like holy water.
Out past the Rif mountains, where boys and men wait on the open, lonely road, hawking hashish.
Out where topography yields to time.
Out to the golden, ever-shifting Sahara
where nothing ever stays.
(photos by H. Masuda)