Deserts and my subconscious

June 17, 2023

I can't help but see a pattern with the Aral Sea, the Princess, and Lop Nur. I've made this remark on Agora Road when I changed my username to Aral of Xiaohe, but can't deny the sheer coincidence itself is too big to just be one. I likely have something unconscious with deserts going on. Something symbolic. I no longer have a dried up heart, but I still, it seems, am processing something represented by this arid, hot, and desolate environment. Salt, as well. I may be going to do some straight up schizophrenic ramblings about this, but I'm trying to find out something by writing it down. I'm an artisan, a creator: we artisans love our symbols.

The Aral sea was the first. Came after I felt my heart was dried up. It has historically dried up and refilled over times, but it's unknown whether it'll refill at all now. It most likely won't during my lifetime, anyway.

I went to this exhibition about mummies in Toulouse, which re-activated this absolute passion, borderline obsession I had as a child, but I uncovered another part I did not expect. I knew I had been an embalmer in Egypt, a skilled and very dedicated one at that, but I had no idea I'd find my "true form" in an artist's view of the Princess. Yet I think this artist's view is more Asian than her actual appearance was. Hm. I mean we do look alike, but I'm probably more similar to the real one than the artist's view, considering I'm quite typically European.

The Princess herself. Ever since then, I feel I've found a piece of myself that I lost somewhere in the desert. I crouched, picked it up, dusted it off, saw it was mine and I took it back. The cemetery is barely recognizable from what it once was, and the oasis are gone, but you can always find your way home. The night fell and I felt cold, so I went to the grave, took off the cowhides, the wooden panels, and laid down there. When the sun rose up, I was a different person. [the part in italics was written intuitively, it might be a start to a nice short story?]

I then looked over to Lop Nur eastwards and realized I was in a similar place to where I had started, the dried-up Aral sea, except my heart is no longer dry, so why? I just learned after a bit of research that Lop Nur dried up in a similar way to the Aral sea, but is the other side of the coin: the rivers feeding it were not diverted, but dams were built and blocked the water from entering the basin. It's strange how I ended up back there, in a dried up place that has its water prevented from accessing it. Lop Nur also was called the "Wandering Lake", changing forms over time due to the Tarim river changing course. It alternates between feeding Lop Nur and another dried up basin, Kara-Koshun. And mind you, I didn't know about Lop Nur having dried up until after I found the Princess. It's not like I constructed this consciously. It often happens that I intuit something, or that a symbol presents itself to me, and I realize later that it actually exists and that it actually makes sense or dovetails with what I had originally. It makes sense in hindsight.

If my heart is no longer dry, but still the lake cannot reform, does that mean I still have my waters diverted, or is a dam blocking them from re-entering like they did in the past?

The wandering lake goes back and forth, not knowing what to do. River feeds one, then the other, than one, then the other. It can't seem to decide to make two tributaries or simply to focus on just one lake.

Saxauls are being planted on the salty ground of the Aral sea. Uzbekistan has no care to bring back water there. It thinks about its cotton fields. Yet what is the sea without water? Kazakhstan at least has saved a bit of it, but only a bit. The Northern Aral sea is a reserve for fish, but the dam containing the water is not tended to. Fate unknown.

Lmao, this descended into straight up schizo rambling very quick. I apologize. I'm just in a kind of agitated state and trying to make sense of things.