Monday, July 20, 2009

Now Djenne smiles on me.

Exceptionally, I get on with the staff. Last night we all danced to the little balafon orchestra which played for the first time this season. There are plenty of guests in the hotel. We have developed a spectacular new dessert in the kitchen: Mousse de Sesame. There are hundreds of little firefinches singing in the flambouyant trees and the first pomegranates are forming.
The MaliMali studio is bustling with activity with the rythmic sound of the looms providing the aural backdrop to the visual explosion of colour and patterns being produced at the bogolan tables. In the MaliMali shop people are busy buying our produce. The great rains have yet to begin, and we are getting pleasant little showers at the moment only.
I have just taken a ride around Djenne with Max and the carriage, driven by Petit Baba. We passed by Bamoye’s metal workshop where my new Mies Van der Rohe copy chairs are being made.
But going to Bamoye’s workshop takes us past the hospital and Keita’s laboratory, where someone else is now working. I cannot bring myself to go in and I find it hard even to pass it.
Perhaps a kindly Providence has decided to give some harmony and peace in the other areas of my life to compensate for the underlying great sadness of Keita’s absence and illness. He is still in Bamako, where he has remained since our return from Casablanca. He is battling against a series of unrelated infections which are the curse of his desease. He has remained on antibiotics and is quite weak. He has been given a morphine derivative against a painful hand, and has not been able to go to Segou to stay with his mother to rest and continue to train his walking which is what we had wanted.
I cannot do anything.
I must now look after the hotel. Keita is being looked after by his other wife, and however difficult the situation is, if he didn’t have another wife I would have to close the hotel and go to Bamako to nurse him. For the moment at least I must stay here and it feels almost as if Djenne is claiming me.
Rather than the town in black and white, devoid of all life and colour that I had expected it to be without Keita, Djenne is claiming me with many coloured nuances.
This is where I must be.


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