I have a bad case of "money brain" tonight.
I'm on information overload, without a doubt, but I think I fried a few brain cells out there in the Temples of Karnak.
It was 52 degrees celsius today. For those of you who don't do math quickly, let me do it for you.
That's 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Oh wait. I'm wrong. That's 125.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
No, there's no humidity but it is rather like standing in front of the open door of a blazing furnace.
I might have starting singing that Louie Armstrong song about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego , but to be perfectly honest, I could barely put one foot in front of the other and stay focused on what I was seeing.
Mind you, this is not summer in Egypt. Summer, they tell me, is worse. Much worse.
I honestly can't even imagine it.
When I looked down at my feet and couldn't see my ankle, I began to think I'd better call it quits and head back to the Visitor's Center which was air conditioned.
I had already guzzled 4 bottles of water but when I finished walking the mile it took to get from the inner Temple to the Center and got into the AC I drank another whole bottle down in three swigs.
I just haven't been myself since. Oh, I'm fine. Really. Just off. Well, more off than usual.
I ate a wonderful supper and had a great conversation with some of my fellow pilgrims, but my thinking is a bit fuzzy and I'm having some difficulty staying focused.
No wonder the Egyptians worshiped the Ra father of creation and patron of the Sun. The sun is a force to be reckoned with, demanding to be respected.
I do much better when we are in tombs that are underground. Like the one I'm in pictured above in the tomb of one of the children of Ramses. It's cool and comfortable and I can take my time and read the stories on the wall.
We left Luxor this afternoon, taking the plane back to Cairo. Apparently, I missed Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was here in Cairo at All Saints Cathedral, Anglican. In 2020 he announced that he had started a new territory for the Anglican Communion, the Province of Alexandria. It's the 41st Province for the Anglican Communion.
Welby said that the new province bears the name of Alexandria because it had a great place in the ancient world and covered a very large area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, adding: “Alexandria preserved the Christian faith for us in times of hardship and turmoil.”
Honestly? When we returned to Cairo it was as if nothing had happened. No one was cleaning up ticker tape from the streets. There were no distant echos of wild cheers and applause. No vendors were selling "Welby Soap on a Rope" or tea cups or T-shirts emblazoned with the image of the ABC.
Pity, eh? The man from Canterbury really needs to work on his PR management team.
Tomorrow finds us in Memphis to wander about the Pyramids, the Sphinx and, if we're lucky, a camel ride around the grounds.
I'll tell you what: If it's as hot in Memphis as it was today in Luxor, I'm staying in the bus with Sr. Joan.
I'm off to bed as we have a wake up call at 5:30. That would be AM. Breakfast is at 6 and we are out the door at 6:30.
I've taken a hot bath and a cup of decaf tea and a Melatonin for good measure. Hopefully that will calm the monkey in my brain, who is jumping from one thought to another.
So, I'll end with this. As I've wandered around the inside of Temples and considered the stories being told on the walls, it occurs to me that Temples and Churches all serve the same important function:They keep the stories of our faith.
Temples have hieroglyphics carved on the walls.
Churches have stained glass windows.
People come day after day and week after week to hear the stories. We love stories. We can't get enough of them. That may be due to the fact that since most of us were kids, there were a few magic words that could change and entire afternoon or evening.
"Once upon a time". We heard those words and we knew to scramble our little selves over to the rug, cross our scrawny little legs in front of us, and settled down to listen to a story.
Our faith is held together by stories, from which we learn something new each time we hear them.
Stories are best when they teach us something not only about our faith, but about ourselves.
Off I go to bed. On the road to Memphis in the morning.
There are only two days left to this pilgrimage. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey