Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rush Forward, Fall Back 12/3/08

I don't know if it's like this everywhere in Africa, but Ghana is revealing itself to me as a bunch of controlled spills. Libations. Traffic spills into more traffic with splatters spraying out into whatever spaces are left in between. There's almost no room for negative space. Greetings spill into conversations that spill into some kind of movement. Depending on which way the streams run into each character's day, the spills can either become big oceans like Kwame Nkruma Circle or smaller rivers, like the soccer games in the field at Abavana Junction in Kotobabi (where I go to have my lesson with Robert Fugah everyday). Everything is a drum, nothing is monochromatic, or even three dimensional. You have to reach far into the perimeters of all your senses all the time just to be able to move. Creation is inherent in the hustle.

I am beginning to understand how things work. Ghana is watching me and I am learning how to watch Ghana right back. My brothers make me valuable to the women, my sisters make me valuable to the men, and I can't rely on the shadows to tell me what's coming. It looked like an ant, but I saw it was a spider when it landed on my back. It fell from the clothesline when I was brushing my teeth. A little girl picked her brother up by the ears to help him over a ditch and a tro-tro driver hit the side of his van as if it were a horse to get the traffic moving.

PhotobucketOn the way to class. (Accra, Ghana 2008)

Mr. Leach read this quote that talked about how shadows die when the light gets stronger, so I should know better than to count on them. Here, it seems as though the spills get out of control when people don't consider the collective movement of whatever space they have committed to. Driving on the road, selling in the marketplace, sewing clothing, whatever. You have to know exactly when to rush forward, fall back, twist, bend, and balance. If you don't take in the panaramic view, fill up the container, and then spill the movement into the right space...the picture comes out blurry. Cars crash. People die. Baskets fall. Dresses rip.

The Ghanaian Presidential Elections are Sunday. This should be interesting.

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