I was lucky to find this poem within my section to which I felt that I could relate. Simon Peter Eggertsen’s poem, “Things Missed” is basically a descriptive narrative of a trip that he took to Giza in a sort of independent self-discovery attempt.
I went to Giza once this way, entered the wind-dusted
space, dodged the thronging hawkers, slid sideways
past the harried shirtsleeve tugs of the pleading guides,
as they offered to sell me a day or two of knowing.
It was not only my personal fascination with pyramids and archaeological sites that called my attention to this essay, but also the way that the author begins by reverently stating the themes in the first stanza, and then describes an experience using imagery for the rest of the poem. He spoke of shuffling in the sand, exchanging smiles with camels, and squinting into the west-leaning sun, in a vivid way.
I have had similar experiences. I am always dodging the tour guides as well whenever I visit an archaeological site. There is something majestic about being alone in places like these, with the possibility of finding or seeing something that perhaps no one else has ever seen. It can make that place sacred to you. But what the author was really describing in a metaphorical way was his experience of finding truth on his own.
Every now and then I make it a point to go
without knowing to these places, try to discover
a view of my own, be surprised, have
an experience uncluttered by history or the facts.
This is something that we all do as Latter-day Saints. In the church, especially while young (in age or in the church), we seem to be constantly bombarded with the idea that we need “to discover a view of [our] own.” We are regularly reminded to obtain our own testimony. We all wish to “have an experience” which allows us to “imagine [our] way to a bit of truth.” Luckily, we do not have to go all the way to Egypt to find it.