Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You had me at Smehli Ukhtee

 I met an enchantress today. A real siren. She gave me directions when I lost my way home from the tailor after I promised him I knew how to get back home. The neighborhood boys tried to help me and I tried to shoo them away, and then the seas parted and there she was. She looked like Tinkerbell. Her hijab was up in a bun and tied in the back the way the local girls do but something about it made her look dangerous. The crowd of boys clearly had respect for her. When she smiled she had four silver fillings on the right side. Or maybe they were teeth. Both possibilities seem unlikely for a Moroccan girl from the medina, so it could have been something else. Maybe she ate glitter.
Whatever it was, it was magical. 
I can't stop thinking about her and wishing I had asked if I could take her picture. I think about going back to find her tomorrow but I know I won't, and that is how I know I am not a photographer at heart. Not really. I saw her, you didn't - finders keepers.

I have not used any of the instant film I went to great lengths (and several fake-crying incidents at customs) to bring without passing through a security scanner.
It's not that I am no longer enchanted by Tangier, but that I have already taken all of the pictures, and now it is just the same pictures with a different camera.

I believe Allah inspired me with this sentiment as a blessing. The Islamic permissibility of photographs of people is disputed territory, and I am better off safe than sorry.

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