Friday, January 16, 2009

Bisimillah Africa

Thank you, Africa

In the year 1962 a 26 year old young man went to East-Africa with a very big camera. For weeks he traveled the land and took thousands of photos because this was his great passion in life. This and traveling and writing poems.
He took pictures of animals, people, flowers, landscapes, villages and cities. He photographed the sky by day and by night. He slept in the bush and listened to the sounds of life.
He looked at everything he saw with intensity and his biggest ambition was to capture the moment.
All the moments, that he had captured with his giant zoom like you catch wild horses - with speed and perseverance, he brought back to life again in his cellar, a converted dark room. He developed each photo with his own hands. And he was enjoying it remembering the smell, taste and feeling of every moment. It brought him happiness. He lived it again.

He had an exciting and rich life. And he moved on with his life and did what he had to do. He saw much more of the world than other people. He died young, twenty years later after the photos were taken. But you can say, he had seen things and had been blessed in many ways.

Before he left this world, a little girl of five years of age played in another cellar and discovered the photos and she looked at them with the same intensity. The photos had been asleep in the dark for many years.The man had not taken them out because he did not know to whom to show them. They were witnesses of his past now to him.
But the girl saw everything through his photos, that he had seen. And she was mesmerized by this vast world of blazing beauty that unfolded in front of her eyes. The man saw the fire in her eyes and was happy.

And she asked him if this was real? If this did really exist? And he said: yes as real as God and the Universe. And he told her, that there was much more that even he had not seen yet.
And that he would give everything to see all that there is of god's creation. If that was ever possible in one life.

From this moment on the girl preferred to play in the cellar close to the big cupboard that contained thousands of the man's photos. Whenever she felt like it, she took them out and studied them. She looked at all of them and some of the images burned her soul. Africa appeared in her dreams. She liked the other countries and places as well but she dreamed always of Africa.
The man let her do whatever she wanted to do with his photos.

And the man was happy because he had seen the passion and the fire in the young girls eyes. He had found a companion now to talk. The girl listened to everything he had to say. His stories never ended and the girl liked that. Everything was perfect and the man started to think of her as his daughter because he had seen part of her soul. And the girl loved him.

After a while he did not hold back any more and gave what he had to give to the little girl. The girl became his sponge, his friend and his audience. They acquired true companionship together.
He took her into nature as often as he could.

He taught her a few things. He said that life has to be respected in all forms. That one has to look close at things and to be patient with people. That one should never be cruel and always look for beauty. Of course the girl did not understand all that because she was only six then. And he did not really speak a lot.

But she understood the photos, because everything he had spoken about was embedded in them. Beauty, patience, respect. And a lot more. The years passed and they were like own blood now. He taught her how to look through a camera and how take photos and develop them.

One evening when the man came home from work the girl made him promise to take her to these places in Africa, and not only to the zoo and to show her everything he had seen. She was a little bit older now, but still very young and she had looked at the photos for years.
It was the images of Africa that she could not get out of her mind.

And the man promised with his full heart to take her there. And of course he meant to keep his promise because that was the way he was.
If he had had the time and had not died young he would have taken the girl to all the places she wanted to see.

When the man died the girl inherited his photos and his poems.

And although she was heart-broken and lonely for a pretty long while - she came to Africa on her own as soon as she could. And has seen things as beautiful as the ones on the photos.

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