Of Pharaohs and Sphinxes

There’s a tiny bit of magic in my office.

My office, my job are mundane.  I am your typical office worker in your typical office.  My office is messy more often than not because I am a dedicated pile maker, and I hate to file.  Most of my day is spent in front of my gigantic monitor, coding or researching until my eyes cross.  Occasionally I attend a meeting.  Most of my brain power is spent taking a concept and dissecting it in order to figure out its essential components.  Though what I do may seem incomprehensible and mysterious to some, it isn’t to me.  There is nothing especially magical about my job.

But I’ve found a little bit of magic in a bottle.

(No, not that kind of bottle)

This tiny bottle.

Like sand through the hour glass...

Yes, yes, this bottle does contain sand, but it’s not just any ol’ sand.  This sand came from Egypt.  Truly.  One of our student workers spent her Spring Break visiting family in Egypt. Lucky minx.  I think the most exotic place I ever spent Spring Break was Myrtle Beach.  Myrtle Beach is many things, but exotic is not one of them.  Before she left, I jokingly asked her to bring back some sand.  On Monday she surprised us by giving us these little bottles filled with sand that she collected from the sand around the pyramids.


I look at the bottle, and I’m transported.  I see thin white cotton outfits.  Blazing suns.  Camels.  Cleopatra rolling out of a carpet at the feet of Caesar. Pyramids so magnificent and perfect that you sort of start believing those alien conspiracy theories because could man have created something so perfect? I see tombs and sarcophagi and jars containing brains, hearts and other treasures needed in the after world.   I see a giant cat with a human face and remember reading that if you put your ear up to it, you might learn a secret. Hieroglyphics and wildly inappropriate phallic drawings (too much History Channel).

Some places have history while some places are history.  Egypt is the latter for me.  A coworker remarked, “we might have sand that Moses walked in.”  I know that is highly doubtful, but it tickles my imagination to speculate. If we could somehow analyze these grains of sand, what story would they tell?  What history has been burned into them?

Now, when my brain starts to hurt and I need to take a break, I turn to look at my little bottle of sand.

Just a little magic in an otherwise ordinary life.



  1. I love this post. I love the idea of touching something and wondering where it has been, what it has done. Have you ever seen the movie The Red Violin? I love that movie.

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