Friday, July 20, 2012


Its evening in Mondou, the second largest city in Tchad, the crickets
have begun their surround sound monotone buzzhum, and dusk has finally
deepened into a blackness that melts softly around my shoulders.

tonight marks the first night of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month where
the faithful that observe don't eat, drink, or swallow their saliva from
when the sun rises until the sun sets, but the night - it is plump with
flavors and colors and smells - the pleasures forgone in the stern glare
of the sun burst with new exotica and vibrancy

it is almost cool with a faint pungent city breeze and the rich clear
notes of Arabic prayers - bending and flowing across the jagged tin
rooftops. The soloist sings on and on - fainter now and then bouncing
back, swirling hauntingly into my ears and around my senses. He is said
to be singing the first chapter of the Koran - echoing across the city -
lone wolf melody of an ancient prayer

tonight feels somehow holy

its mournful and passion and courage and goosebumps

like somehow the reedy soulful crescendo is really the voice of the ages
- is really rushing with the slips of desert sand dusting thousands of
years of cracked burnt feet as they ran and danced, knelt and prayed
across the Sahel - is really dripping with the tepid quenching water
that slid from the leather flask like liquid gold down centuries thirsty
grateful throats

tonight - I understand it

I'm not sure what it is I understand - but tonight - i want to be holy

tonight - i want to pray too

tonight - i want to be part of something - to be one of the millions
that suffered through the heat of the day without water - who tasted
after sunset the mild spice of chilled hibiscus, tipping it back - a
long, perfect, shiver of a swallow - who thought nothing had ever tasted
this good

tonight - i want to bow with masses, forehead touched lightly to the
ground, reverent, obedient, sure, content. I want to experience
adoration. I want to unroll my burgundy or blue flowered velvet prayer
mat, wash ceremonially, remove my shoes - and face in the same direction
that millions of my brothers and sisters are facing - invisible to me
but forming a vast and scattered circle eyes and heart and core tuned to
the dry lands where civilization first was cradled and bloomed

there is a raw power here

an ancient primal holy call stirring through the city

and tonight i feel it too

tonight it pulls me in

tonight it is strange and peace and quiet and solace

tonight i understand

tonight is timeless

tonight is the first night of Ramadan

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to experience that. Thanks for sharing! xo