Little Prince loved sunsets.
“One day”, he said to me “I saw the sunset fourty-four times!”
“You know – one loves the sunset when one is so sad…”
This one of the famous quotes from a world-known book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, remined me of something. I red the quote yesterday in Arabic and ever since, it got me thinking so deeply that I could not help but write about it. At first, I didn’t fully understand what Little Prince meant, despite knowing the book by heart. It was difficult to analyze because such thought of a child was in a way surreal by portraying the beauty of nature parallely to the tragedy of people. Having the words written in Fusha instead of English or Polish wasn’t helpful either 🙂
A cover page of “The Little Prince” in Arabic
= On a margin – The Little Prince -الأمير الصغير , currently contitutes a subject of my bitter-sweet and deep relationship with a new language. I knew that to learn effectively, I have to start speaking, thinking, and reading in Arabic. Therefore, to make this experience possibly most pleasurous, I decided to start with my childhood’s beloved little book about the (great) Little Prince. =
And last night, as I was reading chapter V, the one when Prince gets really close in his frendship with the Fox (hearbreaking!), I red: ستدمع كثيراً إن سمحت لنفسك أن تُروض , which translates to “you risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.”. And since I can navigate through the book almost with my eyes closed, I knew that further on the bottom of the page there was going to be one sentence about the sunsets. Those, that the Little Prince loved so much and enjoyed by moving his chair each couple minutes to watch as many of them as he possibly could during a single turn of his small Asteroid 325.
——– One of my favorite night-photography shots – full moon above the Mountains of Ajloun ——–
And the sentence did appear. I saw it there in a muddle of dotty signs and I knew it was bold. But in Arabic, it sounded even more tragic and poweful. Little Prince was explaining the admiration toward sunsets with sadness. Or rather, was refering to the observers of sunsets as sad people. And as much as I take each sigle word of Exupery as my compass in life and I know that the book is not meant to be happy, I found enough proof to disagree with the author (or The Little Prince (or both)) on this one sentence. And believe ot or not – I found this proof in Jordan.
Here, the people who watch sunsets are those that are grateful for the day that is passing. As they are watching a sunset above their deserts, olive groves, or tents – these people smile. They smile, because they can’t help but be suddenly overwhelmed with beauty, evoked in warm rays reflected by the leaves of a palm tree. They can’t help but be gasped by the treasure of sheep runing below their feeet and above their heads – on the sky that explodes with ruby. No matter if these people happen to be alone or in the crowd, if they feel okay or are faced by diffucul times – in those moments of sunset they are the happiest of people. It is only because they know that in’shaallah the next day God will give them a chance to watch this spectacle again. And at this very moment – be them a King or Beduin from Wadi Rum, they are the richest people on Earth. And therefore, I feel that
Posessing something one cannot buy and something that gives hope for tomorrow is the greates of treasures that can only be multiplied, when divided.
Not to make this reflection any longer, I decided to share with you memories of some beutiful Jordanian sunsets, that add up to my proof. Only yeasterday, after the sugar got fly and sky above Amman blushed with sweetest of the cotton candy flavors, only then have I realized my SIM cards in all (SEVEN!!) cameras are about to be full. And roughly 75% of the photos I took so far in Jordan are those of the Arab sky.
Neither of these photographs has ever been touched by a filter – though as you look below it will be probably hard to believe 🙂 I made this simple composition of shots taken with my Olympus cameras, phone, the developed film from Minolta, skanned polaroids, and GOpro. And imagine that hundreds of others I still have not seen!!!
If these however, are enough to make your heart smile, then both Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and The Little Prince, shoud probably visit Jordan 🙂
Afternoon sun at Wadi Rum desert earlier this year. Red sky like this predicts a cold temperatuer the next day
1- A view from the dorm’s balcony 2- Last rays of sun I caught on my way from the gym 3- Calm winter sky
A beautiful violet palette of colors over the Mountains of Ajloun
Susnet at the Acient City of Petra, one of the Seven World Wonders, caught during my short visit to Jordan nine years ago
——— Scanned film from Minolta – cotton candy sky above Amman, the capitol city of Jordan ———
—— Shakes and shadows game ——
The exposure set to take this shot of starry sky at the Ajloun Wildlife Reserve took over 55 minutes and a whole lot of patience 🙂
Climbing on the top of rocky walls to watch the sun setting at Wadi Rum – the Arabic Year trip
A highway along the coast of the Dead Sea stretches for over 50 kilometers and provides for trully breathtaking views – here a glimpse on the coast of Palestine from “the other side”
——- Glass and wood of the walls in a small restaurant in Amman reflecting the rays of late afternoon sun ——
——- High ISO settings and short exposure with no external flesh allowed me to justify the focus just ideally to portray the depth of this landscape. Low chains of the Mountains of Ajloun stretch for kilometers from the rooftop where I was standing. ——
——- I know you probaly don’t believe but neither of these photographs was edited! Above – the orangy fluff at the Dead Sea – below, pinky clouds caught at the same spot the day earlier ——
The same view on Palestine about 30 minutes later and a sky like from Wonderland 🙂
——- Few shots of night King’s Academy Campus taken with Iphone throughout the short fall weekends. The sun is now setting just before 5 pm, stealing few more minutes of light each day. ——
——- Rooftop flats in a little town of Madaba, close to where I live, are by far the best spots for the observation of the sky. A glass of mint tea and freshly baked date cookies from the host are included in the experience at all times. ——
My room located on the Southern side of campus spoils me with most beautiful views each single day of the year 🙂
——– And so far my favorite and really moving view on the tiny village in Ajloun, where last month together with Habitat for Humanity under United Nations Jordan, my team helped to build a house for family in need ——