In the shade of my courtyard, yesterday late afternoon, the thermometer hit the mark of thirty eight degrees Celsius – plus.


The globe tilts. Live changes its degree of latitude. These days it is donning the yellow robe of the Sahara parallel, Pays de la Soif as the French painter Fromentin so aptly called one of his desert pictures. The Land of Thirst.




Walking through the last dell of my oasis I count the trees still in sight, till finally their last shadows are behind me. A sun, suddenly unmasked and merciless, is showing its glaring coppery countenance.


I contemplate an early return. Out there is the awesome desert.


Yet move we must, if only to make the unhealthy body not even unhealthier. Though walking these barren fields may soon turn it into a corpse, awaiting buzzards, perhaps even the proverbial vulture.


Soon the heat makes of pacing a mere moving. On and on and on. The walking cadence become ritual, the mind starts drifting. A cow-like gaze takes over. Lo and behold! The mandatory hallucination materializes.


Not the insubstantial, yet Holy Mary, Consolation of Sufferers. The true stuff of any honest believer – Water! Fata morgana, fate of the desert walker.





Would I be a cow, sure enough this image would have converted me to a faith in the Golden Calf. I would have danced around its so beauteous liquid green. A four legged dance certainly, but a dance of joy and praise all the same.


Sierksma, 24.8/2016 La Roche


Author: rjsiersk

Sierksma was born in Friesland, a 'county' in the northern part of the Netherlands with its own language which he does not speak and with an obstinate population to which he both belongs and does not belong. A retired Professor of Social Philosophy and Aesthetics, as a Harkness fellow he taught at Rutgers and Berkeley Universities in the USA, and at GUAmsterdam and TUDelft in the Netherlands. In 1991 he was awarded his PhD from Leiden University on the subject of 'Surveillance and Task: Labour Discipline between Utilitarianism and Pragmatism'. His books include Minima Memoria (1993), Lost View (2002 with Jan van Geest), and Litter Scent (2013). He has published poems and articles in Te Elfder Ure, Nynade, Oasis and the Architectural Annual. Half the year he lives in Haarlem, the other half he spends in la France Profonde, living ‘in his own words’ as the house out there was bought with the winnings from his essay Eternal Sin, written for the ECI Essay Prize (1993). In this blog, Sierksma's Sequences, written in English, he is peeping round his own and other people’s perspectives. Not easily satisfied with answers nor with questions, he turns his wry wit to a number of philosophical and historical issues. His aim in writing: to make parts of the world light up in his perspective - not my will, thine! Not being a thief, he has no cook, one wife, some children, one lover and three cats. The reader, interested in my writings on aesthetics, literature, and sociology, may want to open Academia.edu, where various pieces are published.

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