|Fuxi and Nuwa by Anonymous|
"...the individual psyche cannot, much as often it would like to, to be separated from the collective. Understanding the archetypal nature of our waking life and of our dream life would go a long way to revealing this truth."
- Dennis P. Slattery, from an Interview with Archetype in Action
“I have never traveled through West Africa! I have only seen East Africa.” I shout to the unconcerned on a bus through mud flats on the outskirts of town in Ghana. “It’s more industrialized here.” Suburban homes, colorful and well-roofed lie interspersed atop the unstable ground. Nothing grows here.
The plains shake off their sanded winds out onto a horizon as flat and majestic as any under a dim gorge of sky above. We approach an underprivileged village. The beams of their homes show with skeletal fright, a ghost of a shelter buries the inhabitants under a schema of incongruous monetary divisiveness. I am let out here with a group of excitable travelers. After a few bitter hours gazing into the masked poverty, the rest saunter off, straight into the shale-thin horizon, across the plain desert, leaving me behind to my shameful enjoyment.
The first unusual occurrence I notice is an old man, an elder, conducting witchcraft rites from a burlap, animal hid covered hut, half-emerging from a height of wires in the modern town center. He presses his hand up against a carved, convex piece of bone and wood overhead, pressed into the ceiling of his dusty keep. With that, the town comes alive. Animate devotion is surpassed unto grandiose might through communal dance, a powerful music enticing all to couple and find happiness in group intercommunication through a thankful greeting of sprites.
Then, chaos breaks loose from the fire. I disentangle the group of its emotional stability. I use a dull knife, a metal shard from their central structure. Cutting off hands and brazenly ambushing in an intoxicated insanity, bloodthirsty, I drive the community from their healthy nest. Only a few bodies remain, hanging onto life with the remaining ligaments and tendons still connecting their pulse, vibrating with accepted fate, a spiritual murder.
I flee. Following what I had learned in the village, I begin to collect seeds in the wilderness, these are jujus of flight. I need a new identity. I received wind of another African meeting, in the next town. Before I can get there, the Red Cross identifies me, soon to be incarcerated, deadened with madness I swallow the seeds. My flesh speaks of me, it says, “I am guilty.”
"If you commit murder, it signifies that you are engaging in some dishonourable adventure, which will leave a stigma upon your name...If you have a dream of murdering another, this is a warning that you must keep in control of your temper and emotions at all times and not get enraged to the point of murderous intent...You may also have some repressed anger at yourself or at others." (iDream)
spread over an island tongue
across seven oceans
with education's pandemic drug:
compromising home speech
on the First People's sand-quipped names
harboring love in their own unique hearts
with a history untold,
forgotten and enslaved to foreign grammar
to safekeep continued histories
of colonial struggle
in the vault of young minds
playing sound asleep
in the therapeutic mud
of their own beautiful creation.
March 7, 2011