Friday, June 26, 2009
The Sahara dust is here. I thought it sounded romantic when I first moved here - dust, from the Sahara, floating across an ocean and arriving on our tiny little island. Dust that Lawrence of Arabia breathed in. Dust from the Tuaregs and camels and nomadic traders. The stuff of legend.
No, the dust arrives to clog up lungs and cisterns. It comes laden with microbes that make people sick. It fills the air and the eyes and the nose. There's actually enough Sahara dust in the Amazon delta to be measured.
I woke up today and looked out the window - I could barely see across the harbor. It was like looking through a veil or gauze curtain. Like light fog, or a heavy mist. The island is shrouded in dust. And I'm having trouble breathing.
So I checked every inhaler in every bag and by my nightstand - all expired. I replaced them with new ones. And I need to order replacement backups. I made the decision to not work outside on the mural. I'll do some paperwork that has been nagging at me to be completed. I may go to a big store and walk in the AC. I'm even driving with the AC on.
Because for me, this really is a matter of life and breath. And it's no longer romantic.