Union Jack

     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Somé
dramatized by Shaun MacLoughlin

Part 5: The Second Initiaton, The Light Hole

PART 6: THE THIRD INITIATION, THE LAND OF SHADOW

MALIDOMA: Later the coach led us west towards the mountains.   At lunch he ordered us to find food .

SWISH AND THUNK OF MACHETE.

and with his machete Nyangoli beheaded a black snake.
NYANGOLI: This should be enough for the two of us.
MALIDOMA: When in late afternoon we reached the top of the first mountain range, we sat down with the elders.
ELDER: I see you are ready to return to the land of shadow where you had your beginning.  Yesterday you saw there was life in other dimensions.  Now you must return to where you were before you were born so you may discover your purpose in life.  You must enter a chasm in the mountains.
MALIDOMA: We were then divided us into five groups, the earth people, the fire people, the nature people, the water people and the iron people.

SOUND OF STREAM

I was one of the water people.  Our elder took us to a canyon on the other side of the mountain.  We followed its stream up

ADD CAVE ACOUSTIC TO VOICES.  SPLASHING AND BUBBLING OF WATER

to a large cave with a pool, whose cold water appeared to boil.
ELDER: This water protects the doorway to the ancestors.  Only the sick are brought here, for healing.   It is the roof of the world you are going to visit.  When you jump let yourself sink down as fast as you can until you stop.  If you have fear, you will drown.
MALIDOMA:
Wadie Spring near Dano
Wadie Spring near Dano
He gave us some medicine that made us feel drunk or dazed.  Then suddenly the elder picked up a skinny boy

THE BOY YELLS AND THERE IS A SPLASH

And hurled him into the water.   We saw him, hands stretched out in in front of him, diving down like a bright bird in the sky.

Soon he was out of sight.
ELDER: Now it's your turn, buddy.
MALIDOMA: I did not wait to be thrown.

MALIDOMA SPLASHES IN

I dived in and immediately felt myself caught by a powerful current, as if I were being flown horizontally beneath the mountain.  When I opened my eyes, there was no water around me. It was dusk.  I felt as if I were just a shapeless consciousness.  Only shadows were visible.   Some had the shapes of human beings.  I felt as if I was very light and it was hard for me to keep my on the ground.

MUSIC OF XYLOPHONES, DRUMS AND WORDLESS SINGING VOICES, NOT UNLIKE WHALE MUSIC

I felt a presence pouring information into my heart.  It was nursing me like a mother.  It was like contemplation contemplating me. When I could finally make out its shape, I realized it was a dolphin.

LOSE MUSIC. ADD CAVE ACOUSTIC AGAIN

Perhaps my journey was an illusion, but when I finally came back to my senses in the cave, I felt a tremendous nostalgia for the peace I had experienced under the water.  I knew that everyone deserved this peace and I felt a sense of exile from my home.  The elder beckoned me out of the cave.

LOSE CAVE ACOUSTIC

We instinctively held hands.  He felt like my grandfather, as we walked back to the camp together.
ELDER: You spent a long time in there.  Almost twenty four hours.  I almost feared you weren't going to be reborn.  Just keep being strong.

PART 7: THE FOURTH INITIATION, THE BURIAL

The dramatisation continues until, after his initiation, Malidoma is required by the Elders to bring the Dagara's ancient, healing wisdom to the West.

For more information please go to The Healing Wisdom of Africa, Malidoma Somé's Website. and to Drums of Change, Drums of Spirit for some inspiring you tubes.


I should like to thank John Minshall for introducing me to Of Water and the Spirit.


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