A traveler’s Deity

Based on a poem by Attar, the 10th-century Persian poet

Author: Mason Balouchian

…He heard the chanting and invocation from the distant prayer hall. The thought of dosing off and repeating the unholy dream filled him with terror. He forced his drowsy eyes open and went out of the chamber. His gaze sought divine inspiration in the limitless starry heaven to help him challenge the alluring dream. Peering through the mist, he saw no soul in the courtyard. He squatted by the pond and washed his face. Drops of water slipped from his beard and fell on his cloak. The breeze cooled his face. He was awake now—refreshed his ablution, returned to the sanctuary and continued murmuring prayers. Overjoyed with spiritual elation, he dosed off into the realm of dreams.

The scene before his eyes looked unfamiliar. It was a lodge with dark windows and a porch in front. There was a church in the background. The lodge was mysteriously silent. He was resting on a bench near the porch. The main door opened and a woman appeared at the threshold. She stared at him with intoxicating eyes while moving forward. As she approached, the breath of wind lifted her light skirt. Her silvery body displayed a mythical figure whose movements transferred untold desires. He seemed fascinated by a magical spell. She reached him at last and pressed herself against him. His whole body was filled with joy from her touch.

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