The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.
– Mark 1:12
In his dream, Kevin makes a guttural noise and prepares to spit the sand out of his mouth. But just then, he remembers the Law of the desert – Water is Life. And so he swallows his saliva, sand scraping his throat uncomfortably. The worst thing about sand is that it gets everywhere. Not just in his clothes, but also in his mouth, his hair, his nose and his eyelashes. That’s the worst part – the eyelashes. As if it isn’t enough that he has to squint amidst the glare of the sun, plus the fact that sweat rolls into his eyes every now and then.
Kevin stumbles along, pulling his cloak over his mouth. He remembers a story about a man with sand and the desert he once read. In the story, the man called the desert a ‘soft place’. It is soft because the edges of reality blur around it. That’s why everyone dreams in the desert. It’s not so much that people dream when they are in the desert, but rather that they enter the desert when they dream. The desert is a place filled with longing, precisely because it has nothing.
The cry of a lone eagle above him rouses Kevin from his slumber. He was dreaming about something soft… no. He can’t remember. Troubled sleep again, Kevin thinks to himself. He rises to his feet and surveys the vast expanse before him. There is nothing out there – only sand.