A week in Marrakech left me with blistered feet and some dust in my lungs, and eyes that didn’t know how to stop wandering when I came back to LAX. The walls were city mandated pink and the cats didn’t mind that the chops of meat they were getting that night were friendly with flies only a few hours earlier, nor did the swallows mind the chaos of bikes and cars below when they’d ascend to catch evening gnats. It was holy month. It was magic. 5 times a day a man announced in song that it was time to pray, a certain hushed grace would make its way through tight alleyways– and with kind explanation a hotel clerk would tell us how it’s good spiritual practice, and a way to give the body a break. He rubbed his hands together excitedly and pointed upward when he says “ahh yes, it’s for Allah.” He also again tells us to try to be back in our riad between 7:30-8:30, hunger runs the city in that hour. Later we’d go out for a walk at the night market and the relief of a cigarette, carbs, and water was an energy all it’s own. People were joking, suddenly you were everybody’s sister, and the smoke from food vendors would fill up all the empty night air.
Most time was spent walking the souks in the walled city, and then most of that time was wondering how much hotter it would get that day, and then one had to wonder if we had any poolside plans with gray rosé in the near future.
A two and half hour drive brought us seaside at Essaouira. Hills and small concrete villages passed out the window and, if you paid close enough attention, your eye would catch camels making their goofy way around dried up landscapes. Part of that day brought us roadside looking at goats in trees. Wide eyes and in wonder. We made sure to stay awake for the rest of the car ride. We were greeted with cooler air that was thickened with salt, slower pace. Pink walls were traded for bright whites and buoyant blues.
of course my time spent there battled actually believing that I was there, felt as if I could have been floating 5 feet above myself and 5 minutes slower in time. to remain grounded I’d shift my feet, straighten out with a good breath, and take a photo. felt good to turn the overwhelm into a language that I could process.
I took these with a mix of Kodak gold 200 speed and ektar 100, using my contax g2. I took (a lot) more with my phone, but these were the photos that I needed hard copies of. Sometimes I need something that not only my eye would recognize, but also my posture and senses.
Marrakech was surprising in all the best ways,