Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I am quite keen on monotony altogether: Give me a slow journey down the Nile from Juba towards Khartoum through neverending papyrus reeds; our pirogue trip between Djenné and Mopti over New Year in 2005-6; the crossing of the Nullabor plane in 1979; spending a month crossing the rain forests of the north eastern corner of the then Zaire (in 1974). I have a yearning to do the Transibirian Railway too... Yes, I know these are journeys, not Koran readings, but it is all a question of sublime monotony.  

Monotony becomes a sort of meditation: or rather an inspiration. With sublime monotony in some form- landscape or lengthy incomprehensible readings of sacred texts the mind can just wander off and become replenished. New and interesting ideas have the time to spring up. Lovely new frocks come to mind. The meaning of life become clearer in just one such monotonous Koran reading session. Because what is the meaning of life? Isn’t it just that however alien this Fatia may be, I understand perfectly why we are all here in this wonderful city of Djenné,  we are all human beings that want to reach for the divine in whatever way we may be able to understand it...


Blogger Susan Scheid said...

I love both this and the previous post, even as I know I would have such trouble sitting still. But you're right, it's when one is a bit becalmed that new ideas have room to bubble up.

2:53 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Hello Susan,
I wasn't always so sedate. My capacity and propensity for staring into space and dreaming for hours on end has increased with the years...
But you do that all the time for concerts of quite difficult modern music..?

4:42 AM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

I'm actually very bad at going into a "zone." In music, I can't, for example, listen to Morton Feldman, which I feel is akin to listening to paint dry. Other people love his work, but I need something more active to keep me focused (I wouldn't say difficulty, though--the really thorny academic-modernist works lose me, too).

3:00 PM  

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