Thursday, November 12, 2009

I left Djenne last Thursday the 5th of November. I saw the early sun over the floodplains of the Niger Delta as I travelled on my motorcycle to the Djenné carrefour. I stopped to take the picture above and to eat this year’s first fruit of our custard apple tree, which Boubakar gave me as I left the hotel. In my blog entry of the 20th of December last year, which was illustrated by Keita's eating of our very first custard apple from the garden, I wrote the following:
This our first 'fruit of paradise' seems to me now to have been sent as a reminder of how precious life can be- we have, for the moment at least, been banished from paradise and we are on the way to Bamako tomorrow morning'.

These words were to prove appropriate this year too. While eating this year's first custard apple I had premonitions, provoking a mood of strange exaltation which continued as I mounted the bus. I was to travel to Segou to meet Keita and his mother, and together we were to travel onto Bamako in our new car for a few days. Once on the bus, I called Keita and said I was on my way, then I wrote the following in my notebook:
‘Witness the rising sun from Masada
” sings the female voice of a reggae singer from the sound system of my Segou bound Bani bus as I speed through the Malian early morning landscape. The reggae rhythm in a minor key touches somewhere profound in me. I did witness the rising sun at Masada so very long ago. I remember many rising suns from many places far away. I have seen the sun rise from Mount Sinai and I have seen the sun rise over Tamil Nadu from the eastern promontories of the Western Ghats .’


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