TOFATAT (continued): I now grasped why Ahoudan had never attempted to describe what we would find at his secret sanctuary. You can’t describe Tofatat, any better than you can describe “love”; you experience it, you say what it is about, you write poetry about it, but its essence is lost in translation. Although Tofatat is made of lifeless stone, it is the most life-giving natural phenomenon I have ever experienced.
Tofatat is the beauty in bedlam, the yin in the yang, and the ephemeral in the eternal. Its very existence is proof that great art may come from randomness. It is a metaphor for humanity, maddening in its discordance while at the same time vibrant in its diversity. And here we were, specks of human and animal dust, basking in its unclaimed majesty.
Transfixed like the stones themselves, we huddled together – an American, a European, an African, two bastard dogs and a bony camel — sensing that we had now arrived at our cosmic apotheosis. In communion with this ageless pile of weathered stones, I felt a oneness with everything that has ever existed or will ever exist.
Text: by Michael and Aubine Kirtley, excerpt from “An Invitation to Tofatat” published in “The Walkabout Chronicles, Epic Journeys by Foot”, recounting their first trip to this mystical land of dreams.
Photo: by me… upon my return as an adult to the one place on this earth that I can truly call home. Here a man walks across Tofatat and its prehistoric ruins, a last memory of this ancestral land.