Air and earth are my horizons. What lies between is what I am. O infinite form of being: beast and stone and vegetable; the way a man may stand in his garden or dance by the river while wakes of small boats rock the reeds. The cities and the people in them, gods who walk in white linen, like women under the blue stone of heaven. I am the priest in a hidden house, guide to inner worlds. I am the idea of myself in my mother’s belly, a bright trembling star in the memory of morning, a grain of sand blown east. I am the husband of Isis: woman, and widow, and witch. To embrace her is to dream of ripening wheat. To sleep in her arms is to dream of honey. With a word she drives the snakes from the river. The boats sail far to its mouth.

Air is what I breathe. Earth is where I stand. I have given my face to Amenta. It is white with heat. The world is bright as bronze. The dead rise up to see me, breathe the air and look into my face, a yellow disk on the eastern horizon.

The Egyptian Book of the dead

Photos by Allen Wolfie Simpson and Hanneliese Bredell

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