Friday, April 19, 2013

After sunset

 I linger in the court yard after dinner, watched over by the newly risen Jupiter and a perfect half moon. Orion is beginning to make a timid appearance. I write in the light of one of the German storm lights which have illuminated the dinner tables at Hotel Djenne Djenno since the beginning. All is quiet, apart from the sound of Petit Bandit munching his millet not far away under the Flamboyant tree, the crickets and  the moezzin’s distant call to evening prayers.
All is still, but this stillness is deceptive. I am acutely aware that on another level of my reality time is hurtling past with ever increasing speed. The more my days are ordered by my pleasant routine (breakfast in the garden; a few hours in the studio; an hour’s siesta;  some grappling with impossible internet connection followed by a 30 minutes ride before shower and sunset cocktail; dinner in the garden. Evening reading a book or watching an old European film) the faster my days seem to pass. So what of it? That means Keita will come back soon, and I enjoy his being here. But it also inevitably means that he will soon be gone again, and we are only careering toward the Exit- what can be done... how to  slow it down?

Once again the image of the fast flowing river returns. We are stationary, tied up at our moorings while the wild river flows by, faster and faster. Meanwhile all the world is floating by us in tiny increments. We can watch it float by or we can reach out and gather in some of this flotsam. We have to chose carefully and only pick the stuff that concerns us- but there is so little time, and how do we know what concerns us? And with this material we might be able to create something if we are lucky enough to see the relevance of each increment when put next to another that we managed to pick up earlier... It is only like a puzzle really, although in a puzzle the pieces are there already, and in the river we have to gather them up first and understand...but what if we don't understand? There is no rehearsal either. It is not fair!  It is all too mysterious and precarious and it all moves too fast. The progress is all too inexorable. I am giddy. It will be over quite soon... nevermind.


Blogger Susan Scheid said...

This is a beautiful meditation, and while I don't know any of the particulars of the issues you face, I have a sense what you mean. Today, I decided I must slow down and simply read and managed to make good on it--the late poems of Wallace Stevens. Your meditation here has a similar feel to me as the poems I read today: watching the flow of life go past and trying to determine whether and what to reach out and grasp.

2:00 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Hello Susan,
I couldn't sleep again and decided to get up and get rid of this post, which suddenly seemed ridiculous to me in the long early hours and just a melodramatic way of saying 'doesn't time fly!'
but instead I now started reading some of Wallace Stevens poems, which I didn't know but I like a lot. I loved this stanza from
'Continual Conversation With A Silent Man':
...'As if, in the presence of the sea,
We dried our nets and mended sail
And talked of never-ending things,/

Of the never-ending storm of will,
One will and many wills, and the wind,
Of many meanings in the leaves,/...

so, anyway I decided to let it stand, since you liked it, and now good night!

5:03 AM  
Blogger David said...

Glad the hour of the wolf is now past. Good to express it.

11:31 AM  

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