Saturday, October 20, 2007

Take Me to Tunisia

Through etsy I made a contact with a woman who lives in Morocco who will be buying me some tiny silver charms in the shape of hands of fatima (also know as hamsa). The hand of fatima is a folk symbol used by both Jews and Muslims throughout the Middle East and North Africa to thwart the evil eye. It protects one from the envy of others.

I am in love with this symbol, not because of its alleged power, but because of the multitude ways it is artfully rendered. Sometimes the hand can been seen on the arched doors of houses. I have three hands of fatima that I bargained hard for in the medinas of Tunisia. Well, one was actually negotiated on a beach in Mahdia, but that's beside the point.

As my ex-pat contact and I talked about what hands of fatima the souks in the medina have available at what price, I was hit by a serious wave of envy. Ironic really. She's the one who needs these amulets, not me!

If I could be anywhere in the world today, I'd be with my honey in Tunisia.

We'd either be soaking up the ancient ambiance of the grain storage structures in Ksar Ouled Sultane while I paint with my one armed friend Miled ...

..or we'd stroll the jasmine scented streets of Sidi Bou Said

... before heading south where life is even slower and dustier.

The desert frontier spirit lies deep within my soul.

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