Writing has helped me relieve stress in many ways. To name a few, writing has made me more productive, helped my imagination expand, made me calm during tasks and improved my communication skills. I used to find it difficult to express myself and my ideas. Writing has made me share my thoughts clearly and concisely through stories or essays. Writing has also made me work better with peers therefore improving my communication skills with other people. Miscommunication is often a cause of stress and writing has been a really useful skill in avoiding it. The idea of writing to relieve stress is not new. According to Harvard Health Publishing: “writing about emotions may ease stress and trauma”. I have found that starting a new story often gets my mind off other things. One particular method for relieving stress is a role play scenario, in which I imagine I am someone else facing different problems and I work through them. By combining research and my own ways of dealing with stress, I have created this piece of writing. I tried to put myself into the role of the ancient Egyptian slave and see the world through his eyes. In this way my problems no longer seemed so bad. This piece of writing is something I completed during my free time in quarantine that I am proud of. Writing it helped me to channel my thoughts into something productive instead of worrying about external problems. As a result I decided to share it here, in the hope that it may encourage others to write as well.
The weight of the statue was all I could think of. Even with 16 slaves working together, we struggled to walk but still, we pushed on. We were promised mountains of food when it was all completed. The journey was difficult. The sun seems to be blazing extra hot. Why couldn’t Ra be forgiving? The sand under my feet seemed to glow during the festival as if the Gods were also celebrating. We continued through the desert and finally, we reached Waset. The city was decorated for this special occasion. I heard many cries of joy when I entered the city. Some I saw were praising the statues. I could smell cooking. How I longed to eat. The noises seemed to die down as we approached the location where we were instructed to put the statues. As we dropped the statue, I could hear a royal priest speaking and all voices suddenly stopped. The priest praised the Gods for good luck. He thanked the Gods and finally, we were dismissed. I closed my eyes for a good minute. I was glad it was over. It was amazing how my life had changed in these last few years. My mind started wandering to how I got to this point. I remembered my first day as a slave…
I felt my body being kicked as I heard yells and my foreman’s voice telling me to get my lazy butt off the ground. Reluctantly, I got up. After some yelling, he told me to get out and work. I picked my pickaxe up and suddenly dropped it realizing how sore my back was. The sound I made attracted the attention of my foreman who whipped me. As I got up, I picked up my pickaxe again and wobbled to the quarry where I would spend the rest of the day. As I got there, I caught a glimpse of my peers glaring at me. I didn’t blame them. We were going to get extra thrashing because of me. I started mining away at the rocks trying not to attract any more trouble. The fiery sun was heating the sand as I mined and mined. I prayed for wind. For rain. For anything to stop the sun, but my prayers were left unanswered. The sun stalked me everywhere I went like a lion hunting its prey. Time seemed to freeze when I was working. The sun was at its peak when I felt the need to collapse. I was getting dizzy. The world was spinning around and I was at the center of it. Then, I felt such a good feeling overwhelm me. I felt a gentle breeze. I felt that a heavy weight was lifted from me. I was spared for a few moments by the unforgiving sun. I was given shade.
We were not permitted to make a sound during the day. I wiped the sweat off my brow as I worked. I continued working until I was given my fair share of food. Bread and beer. It wasn’t even much but any food I could eat, was like heaven to me. As the sun started setting, I couldn’t feel my hands. My back was sore. I was about to collapse when I heard my name being called out. Finally, I was finished for the day. I followed my fellow slaves to the river. It was time for our game. A break from the scorching sun. I felt the water splash all over my body. I didn’t even care that I lost. The feeling of water in the river was so relaxing, so calming. I wish that I could be here forever. I felt that the heat of the sun could not penetrate the water, as if it was my shield. The feeling was heavenly. I would never forget such an amazing and wonderful feeling. Why couldn’t life be like this forever?
I was at work the next day when I heard of a story that was going around. The Pharaoh was coming to check on us! I was in such shock. Why would the Pharaoh come to visit us? I swiftly got back to work as I caught a glance of my foreman. Few minutes later, I saw a cart decorated with priceless jewels come up to the quarry. A man was seated on a sedan chair, carried on the shoulders of slaves, he was coming towards my master. He wore many gems of different colors on his hands and sewn into his clothes. I saw my master kneel before the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh wore a white robe that seemed to glow and a magnificent headdress. It was such a strange sight, seeing my master kneel before another man. I saw the Pharaoh tell my master to get up. He did without hesitating. I then saw the Pharaoh speak urgently. They talked in a quiet tone so none of the slaves could overhear their conversation. The Pharaoh then seemed to tell my master to come with him and with that, he was gone.