"The Golden Sphinx"

The first image that I have chosen to share with you, I call "The Golden Sphinx."

I have always had an insatiable love of history and few countries in the world are as rich with marvelous tales of the past as is Egypt. I actually lived in Egypt for a year when I was a tender young lad of 17. I had gone to the "Land of The Pharaoh's" as a member of the United Nations Emergency Force Peacekeepers - Canadian Contingent. It was an incredible experience. I was actually stationed at 56 Infantry Workshop on "The Gaza Strip" but we would get weekend passes to Cairo. Can you imagine the thrill for a seventeen year old guy to be on leave in Cairo, Egypt for the weekend. You would never believe the mischief I was able to get into, what a treasure chest of memories I was able to collect.

sphinx

When I first rounded the corner on the Great "Giza Plateau" and saw the Sphinx right there before me it was nothing less than a spiritual experience. Here was I standing in the halls of history itself, at the feet of a majestic monument, made by the hands of man that had seen the rise and fall of every sunrise and sunset for hundreds of lifetimes. Imagine if these silent lips could talk the fabulous stories they could tell.

I have a strange feeling of connection with the Sphinx. I remember standing between the paws of this beautiful stone creature many years ago when I was a peacekeeper. I was with a friend at the time named Richardson, big burly guy who was serving with me and I remember turning to him at the time and saying " there is a great chamber here under the Sphinx filled with wondrous things" for some reason I just knew it was there, I could see it clearly in my mind. Years later I was watching a show on tv about the Sphinx and the announcer said that scientists had discovered a great chamber beneath the Sphinx with special ground x ray equipment. For some reason, permission has never been given for excavation but when they do give it the find will change the world.

The image you are looking at was taken on one crystal clear desert night at the Sphinx - sound and light ceremony which is an experience that must be seen to truly appreciate. Hundreds of people gather together in the darkness of the night, on the Giza Plateau to witness the superb visual effects of the ceremony and listen to the fascinating words that tell the story of the Sphinx and the three of Egypt's most famous pyramids.

As you sit and watch the incredible tale unfold before you as the lights bring the Sphinx & the Pyramids to life right in front of your eyes the air is alive with the scented fragrance of the desert that stretches out beside you with its sensuous, undulating mounds of sand. The only sound is the announcers voice as the crowd sits mesmerized by the event and above is a sea of stars shining like an endless field of diamonds on a gigantic sheet of pitch black velvet.

I had my camera on a tripod and though dozens of people were walking by in front of the lens, the magic of the "Golden Sphinx" shone through with the same majesty with which it has met each day in the thousands of years that have come and gone before it.

How did the people live all those thousands of years ago, what did they talk about, did they fall in love and whisper loving poetry to someone under the fiery desert sky? An endless barrage of questions filled my mind. When the night came to an end, my heart and spirit was soaring with the excitement at having been so close to one of history's most important sentinels.

When I finally got the slide back a few days later I was electrified at the beauty of it. I have a 24 x 36 blow up on my wall and everyone who sees it is captivated by the magic of the image.

Big Jim @ the Pyramids

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