Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Another beautiful quotation

I love unexpectedly coming across beautiful writing.  The quote below is from a book by Alexandra Fuller, who writes about her life in Africa.  All her books are worth reading, not only for what they tell us about a life lived through some of the turmoil of African independence wars, but also for the beauty of the words she uses to describe this life.

Here is a little gem which makes me understand, once again, why books are so important to me, and how they have the ability to transport me, as here, into the mysteries of the universe.

The lion lay next to Mapenga, contentedly licking fish flesh off the edge of Mapenga’s plate, and we talked softly about other nights when we had sat around fires in Africa – with different people – listening to wild lions, or hyenas, or to the deep, singing, anonymous night.  Above us the sky tore back in violent, endless beauty, mysterious and unattainable.  There is no lid to this earth and there is nothing much fettering us to the ground.  Eventually we will die and be wafted back into the universe.  Bones to dust.  Flesh to ashes.  Soul into that infinite mystery.”

Alexandra Fuller:  Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier, p. 232



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