Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Notwendigkeit ist da, der Zweifel flieht,
Nacht musst es sein wo Friedland’s Sterne strahlen.
(Doubt flees in the face of necessity: it must be night for Friedland’s stars to shine.)

Things have to be grim when I bring out Wallenstein. (Schiller’s grandiose play about the 30-Year War.) The words above have followed me through life and have been brought out of their hiding place and polished to be used many times when things have been seemingly impossible. When Wallenstein’s stars are shining, I pick up and continue, sticking two fingers up at life. After all, what else is there to do? Where else is there to go? I am not going to give up and go back to Ladbroke Grove, am I??
So why are things so grim just now?
Well mostly because of the continuing rain- this is a freak year, and the water, having stabilized, is now rising again due to the recent opening of the Selengue Dam on the Bani close to Segou. And it rains and it rains, although the rainy season is officially over around the 25th of September.
I have redecorated the BOZO double room about five times now. It is a hand painted room, with pigment painted flower garlands on the white washed walls. Every time it rains, there is water coming through the mud ceiling and falling onto my new super expensive mattress, as well as trickling down my flower garlands. I have had enough, I can’t bear it any more. I want to go home. But then I realize that this is probably home?
And still it rains.
‘Nacht muss es sein wo Friedland’s Sterne strahlen….’
Oh, I do hope that there is something that will shine, and that there is something on the other side of this mud?

Tonight there was a change; the season arrived. I knew it half way through the evening. My balafonist arrived with his one remaining son, and his daughter who took the place of Hama. They played a sort of memorial concert in the honour of my dead little drummer boy.
The garden was full and lit by petrol lamps and the moon which is nearly full- there were lots of happy people talking about interesting things and suddenly there was a shift- a shift of perception. Things were still the same. There is still a big ugly mud bath in the BOZO room, but suddenly it seemed insignificant. Things a re working- there are people laughing and enjoying themselves.The hotel is functioning against all odds. Djenne Djenno lives, in spite of me almost.


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