The Road to Damascus.
Abdul, breathless and sweating emerges from his escape route into Elijah’s Cave. A well learned and never forgotten routine has started to play out. Told in Songs and Poems of the elders and forefathers and now their sons of sons of brothers, uncles and mothers and sisters play out The rhythms and timbres of those ancient bonds informing the protectors of the sacred dough what they must do and where they must go. Each link in that sacred chain knows the melody of this saddest and most solemn of songs, a song of flight, a song of Terror and a song of deeply bonded and grounded faith in the mutual respect of trades crafts and guilds honouring credit and trust with mutual respect and protection. Elijah, son of Abraham and grandson of Ezikhil, kisses the Lapis Lazuli lid of the Sacred vessel and embraces his brother in truth.
Brother, your father,
He is dead, The White Helmets Came,
You must hasten to Damascus brother. This embrace will not be our last. I will take you to a guide. You must put on these clothes and here are your papers. At Damascus, the Guide will take you to our safe house from where you will Go on to Cairo.
Thank you, Elijah, how much time do we have.
Oh, time enough brother Abdul,
The two men had often played as boys a Hasidic Jew and a Moslem, along with Christian children and all faiths living in peace in this most ancient of playgrounds, now reduced to ruins.
Hey Abdul, is Fatima and the children safe,
yes they are safe Brother
and Ruth and your boys, yes they are safe.
And so the journey starts on the road to Damascus Elijah, and Abdul dressed in Black Orthodox garb Embark on the road to Damascus in a Red Cross Jeep over rubble and through ruined streets and along that ancient road. Both lost in memories and both reciting poems and humming those old songs which bind them to a common tradition, feared by these modern Caesars who now pursue them.
Drone Control. Jake Brown looks at his remote monitoring screen which relays a picture from a drone 2000 metres above the Streets of Aleppo. He radios the white helmets,
“Red Cross Jeep headed West Two Men on board
Red Cross markings are they clear for evacuation”
“Affirmative Red Cross jeep Elijah Mordecai Rabi of East Aleppo cleared to travel with Assistant Rabbi; Fugitive must still have gone to ground.”
And so our two fugitives follow the route of Samaritan fame, to Damascus Perhaps some history for this leg of the journey.
These Ceasers that laid claim to the the mother earth from which his family had grown out from and were a part of, Bonds to Stone Henge, Scapa Flow ,Cairo , Alexandria through to North Africa, Ethiopia, Libya, Through The Greek Islands and the Balkans Through Ukraine and the Urals Routes through which Agriculture and commerce and trade had spread with no wars of conquest until Ideology and Hubris had caused the Striving for the true believers, Zealots and Credulous to Reach into unseen branches for mythological Golden Apples which had never been produced and nor would they.
This Road to Damascus was a time machine of memories and it those memories which bind all mankind in a brotherhood of common genesis where the Sense of Self can be found if only one learns to look and see that common bond beyond the Jealous ego of the Jealous priesthood of Conquests down the ages.
Conversation between the two which had naturally been limited until out in the Countryside and headed away from the conflict area around Aleppo but familiar place names reminded Abdul of old family stories of the curious visitor to Aleppo in the year 1812 by Sheikh Ibrahim Ibn Abdallah a Swiss Traveler versed in Arabic and Mohammadian customs who would later become famous as the first westerner to see the Fabled City of Petra in Jordan. This was an interesting and Nostalgic time in many respects the region then largely under Ottoman Rule in their inimitable delegating style with local Pashas and sheikhs and various Protectorates of Colonial powers up and down the route all providing a tapestry of the cultural, Religous and ethnic geography up and down that famous route at that time. Dog-eared copies of the Writings of the Sheik, whose real identity was Johann Ludwig (also known as John Lewis, Jean-Louis)Burckhardt (24 November 1784 – 15 October 1817)
Although the atmosphere was heavy with the Greif of recent loss the two were accustomed to death and loss and felt a close kinship to their long and distant histories spanning Cultures, Ethnicities and other egotistical constructs that men fabricate to gain imagined status. That breed of men who justify unimaginable claims against Territory and land they have not and can not ever know and feel as intimately as the indigenous peoples who mould and blend into their surroundings. Abdul and Elijah knew a piece of Heaven on earth, an affinity of shared horizons felt by all aboriginals in intimate rhythm with and harmony to the Geography of their being.
What a Guy the sheikh was Elijah here is a sign post to Hamah, we are almost Half Way now.
The sheikh was fascinated by the tales of those Motherfucking Ismaylys and the Anzeyrs, who have colonies in the East Indies
He said you know that he, " knew there were some Anzeyrys
in the East Indies; they were greatly amazed at this, and
enquired how I had obtained my information: and their
countenances seemed to indicate that there was some
Truth in my assertion. They are divided into different
sects, of which nothing is known except the names, viz.
Kelbye, Shamsye, and Mokladjye. Some are said to adore
the sun and the stars, and others the pudendum muliebre.
The Mokledjye wear in their girdle a small iron hook,
which they use when making water; it is also said that
they prostrate themselves every morning before their
naked mothers, saying (
asserted that they have a promiscuous intercourse with
their females in a dark apartment every Friday night; but
these are mere reports. It is a fact, however, that they
entertain the curious belief that the soul ought to quit the
dying person’s body by the mouth. And they are
extremely cautious against any accident which they
imagine may prevent it from taking that road. For this
reason, whenever the government of Ladakie or Tripoli
condemns an Anzeyry to death, his relations offer
considerable sums, that he may be empaled instead of
hanged. I can vouch for the truth of this belief, which
proves at least that they have some idea of a future state.
It appears that there are Anzeyrys in Anatolia and at
Constantinople. Some years since a great man of this sect
died in the mountain of Antioch, and the water with
which his corpse had been washed was carefully put into
bottles and sent to Constantinople and Asia Minor.
We crossed the Wady at the foot of the mountain, and continued
along its right bank, on the slope of the mountain, through orchards
and fields, till we arrived at the foot of the mountain upon which
Kalaat el Hossn is built. Our horses being rather fatigued, we sent
them on to Deir Djordjos, (the convent of St. George), where we
intended to sleep, and walked up to the castle, which is distant six
hours and a half from Shennyn. It is built upon the top of an
insulated hill, which communicates on its western side only, with
the chain of mountains we had passed. Below the walls of the castle,”
Abdul had the passage by heart as did Ishmael, both had the stories handed down by oral tradition and in songs and such feats of apparent super memory lost to those in the west with short attention spans and even shorter Tempers can now but look on in awe at those painted as backward in the media of Soundbites and distractions of the most inane trivia.
The two Fugitives with their precious artefact of living breathing memory back to the mists of time would lay over for the night at the same Castle which offered hospitality to the Swiss Traveller who adopted Arab Dress in his homeland and later when Studying at Cambridge, he had been one of the later indoctrinate to the Honorary Fellowship of Tradecraft Bakers who stood for a connection of peoples to their lands and referenced wealth to the Bounties of Nature and not the hard food of Midas currently rending asunder the lives of Millions of Syrians,
The Journey back in time would continue to Damascus in the morning and from there to Cairo and Alexandria at the castle we will look at the grains that make the measure and the Cattle that form the wholes´ that make the measure of a man’s and communities support for its society.
The story of the Grains that still lend their name to the smaller weight measure of the Gold those old and these new invaders seek to appropriate.