A Handful of Sand


«Some three or four hundred meters away from the Pyramid I bent over, took up a handful of sand, let it fall silently a little further on, and said in a low voice: “I am modifying the Sahara”. The deed was minimal, but the not ingenious words were exact and I thought that I had needed my entire life to be able to say them. My memory about that moment is among the most important things I brought from Egypt».

Jorge Luis Borges, “Desert”,
from “Atlas” collection

Some three or four hundred meters away from the Pyramid the wind blows away sand from my palm. Just a handful of sand… I recall what Borges wrote, make several steps and let the sand fall. Suddenly it dawns on me that flying to Egypt, coming to pyramids turned out to be easier than to repeat those simple words of the writer.

Just a handful of sand… and mankind… Through the centuries, grain by grain, people change the desert. The desert is vast. Sometimes it even seems infinite. It is possible at all to change an infinity?
The great Argentinean told the truth: he did modify the desert. It is also true that by modifying the desert we are making ourselves. Isn’t it the sense the world lives by?

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