Years ago when I was in Egypt, I realized that the Native Americans and ancient Egyptians had a lot in common especially regarding their awareness of the unseen world and remembering their antediluvian past and living with this knowledge in their day to day life . What is the most potent aspect of our existence; it’s the chance of a tomorrow. Even though the ancient Egyptians understood the importance of the afterlife, they also realized that their day to day life style had to be symbolic of a learned knowledge, the skills of the ancient ones and the ability to pass on their customs to each generation.
The Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo is definitely one of the most enchanting places I have ever been. Ancient energy mixed in with the modern hustle and bustle of life, created an intoxicating and mystical trance like state that made each step, a bursting renaissance. Perhaps this is what time travel feels like, everything swirling around absorbed into all the senses. The explosion of memories whether they are yours or someone else’s dances alongside every step you take … colliding into tourists and tinkers alike.
Sometimes I felt the wind of time gone by especially around the spice shops. There I saw everything imaginable from claws, bird heads and other sorts of exotic remedies for just about every ailment a person could possibly have. I was repulsed as much as I was intrigued by the raw and unassuming carcasses and objects just a few feet away from me. The smells of all the assortment of spices combined seemed familiar and yet so alien.
There were old shops that had the ambiance of mystical and magical enticements. One shop owner stated that he had a room upstairs that he only showed to his “favorite” customers. I’m sure he said this to everyone but my curiosity got the better of me and I knew I just had to see this room. We walked outside his shop to a creaky and very old door that looked ancient. He said it was many years old which I assumed had to be over 200 years old but my friend Ahmed said I had to think in terms of their history. That made touching it even more special. We walked up a winding staircase from the door that was so narrow that I had to angle myself slightly sideways. The smell of a musky odor filled my nostrils and I wondered if what I was smelling was life back hundreds of years.
The room was dark but when he opened the wooden shutters, light burst in bringing to life a kaleidoscope of color and wondrous and tantalizing treasures. My mouth dropped open and I realized that what I was looking at, very few people were lucky enough to see. There were old assuit dresses, tapestries, old mirrors with painted motifs on them; old jewelry, old relics, furniture and the list went on. The room was small but jam-packed full of everything Egyptian royalty would ever need or at least it seemed. I felt as if I had passed on and had gone directly into my afterlife with everything I could ever possibly need. I literally felt like an Egyptian princess with a déjà vu feeling coming over me. The old man looked at me and he knew what I was feeling, he pointed a finger at me and said, “Cleopatra is home.”
At various times back home in New Mexico, I have had the chance to visit many of the Reservations, most notably, Acoma Pueblo. The first time I ventured out was twenty years ago and I couldn’t figure out why it seemed so familiar to me even though I knew I hadn’t been there before. I realized after following our guide for awhile, it felt very much like Egypt did. You could have literally put Acoma Pueblo in Egypt and I never would have known the difference. It had the same ancient feeling that resonated within me. All the pottery on the tables outside the homes could have fit perfectly with some of the villages I saw. The connection was mind boggling to me.
Ceremonies for the Egyptians were and still are just as important as they are for the Native Americans. I found that the Egyptians had an appreciation, devotion and anticipation for every aspect of the day and night. The Egyptians seemed to make the most mundane aspects of life look like a spectacular gift from the Gods. Native Americans appreciate and give thanks to the Grandfathers of Time in the same way.
It’s all in the eye of the beholder but in today’s day and age, one of the biggest problem is when appreciation even for the littlest things goes unnoticed. If we can focus on things that remind us to be grateful, I think the world around us would be a better place. This connection that the ancient Egyptians have with the Native Americans is a unique way of always seeing magic and brilliance in everything painted by the antediluvian spirits of old and that of the archaic hands of the Gods. It’s time people came back to their roots and started to appreciate what’s right in front of them instead of pining for what’s on the other side of the fence.
An Egyptian proverb says, “What you are doing does not matter so much as what you are learning from doing it.” And another quote says, “The more you thank life, the more life gives you to be thankful for.” We must see what’s around us in order to be grateful for what we have and perhaps this is the greatest gift from both Egyptians and Native Americans, the idea that we always have enough as long as we have ourselves.