The Need for Experience -- Part 2


(system) #1

Dream gives way to awareness, and awareness soon tells me I'm conscious. There are voices in the distance, lots of them. How many are far-away dreams, and how many are real? And what is the difference between a person far away and one who is yelling in my ear?

The vociferous crowd begins to resolve, and I can start to make our the dichotomy between gospel-preaching evangelists and Islamic prayer calls. I'm fully awake now, and though the foreign culture is highly creepy in the misty mornings, I'm determined to absorb it entirely. Nietzsche will not find me "insufficiently earnest" for experience [see my last post].

"Ina kwana, Sheik," I greet my host across the smoldering fire pit. "Lafia kalau," he responds, handing me a bowl of porridge. "What are they saying?" I ask the Arabic scholar, pulling out a cheap ball-point pen and notebook. He begins to explain to me the meaning and origins of the ancient dawn prayer traditions. Our lesson is cut short, however, as he must get to the school to instruct the children under his care. I walk with him to the fork in the road, notebook in my rucksack, and then set off towards the mountain. I saw a Fulani cattleherder out there yesterday who I'd like to meet.

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This is how I envision the trip to Nigeria I'm tentatively planning for this summer. An adventure and, more importantly, an experience.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1187