The Evolving Tale
Camel Christmas Card, Afghanistan 1977
The evolving tale of Modern Nomad: Into the Silk Road, Afghanistan 1977
Recently I’ve discovered that the world of self-publishing can become like a Camel Caravan headed out into the vast unknown, with constantly shifting sands of possibilities. It is a fascinating adventure, but no small feat. Though not quite to the point of becoming a Marco Polo of self-publishing, I’m deep into exploring this new and wonderful terrain and am excited by what’s to come.The “treasure box” appeared a month ago after being in storage for 35+ years with heart-opening remnants from my time in Afghanistan, including names and places forgotten and fun things, such as the Camel card. All this has opened new pathways and vital elements that HAVE to be in the book. This marvelous boon is requiring re-designing, re-thinking, and re-everything. The stories of my adventures in Afghanistan are the essence within all my photographs, giving them a deeper, more personal meaning. It’s worth whatever it takes to weave them onto the page. Not an easy task. Text by itself is a song; add images and it’s the epitome of complex, which defines my persona, so I’m wired for the task.
Thanks for taking this caravan train with me. I think you’ll be as excited as I am to see the results.
The camel was vastly important and vital to all the countries along the Silk Road, which stretched from China to Persia. The Silk Road can be thought of as the first world-wide-web and functioned from 120 BCE to the 1450’s. Without the camel these treks would have not been possible and culture would not have flourished. The camel was hearty and adaptable and able to cross the vast stretches of desert and ascend the precarious Hindu Kush Mountains carrying hundreds of pounds of artifacts. Goods were traded and sold amongst all regions which, in turn, grew the cultures along the way with the vital exchange of exposure to new, exotic fabrics, spices, and treasures as well as the exchange of philosophies and religious thought. Afghanistan’s culture blossomed as one of the main stops along the way into a thriving market place where they traded their skills of weaving, arts and crafts and amazing poetry dating back to the 8th Century. Famous poets who were born or lived in the region we call Afghanistan include Rumi, Rhaman Baba, Rabia Balkhi (a woman!), and many others. The larger world of culture we know today would have not been developed or so full of treasures had it not been for the lowly, invaluable camel.