Remembering Ben Okri’s words – Infinite Riches

“There was a long silence. The wind blew words in

my ears and I said:

‘You crossed the same river twice?’

‘No.’

‘You mean I stepped into two rivers at the same time?’

‘No.’

Dad pondered me, and then he said:

‘Rivers sometimes change their course, my son, for reasons we don’t understand. Is that what you mean.’

‘No.’

He stared at me as if I were ill.

‘You’re confusing me , my son,’ he said. ‘Let’s go home.’

We rose. He carried me on his shoulder and I held up the lamp so that he could see the road ahead.

‘The old woman told me many things,’ he said. ‘Like what?’

‘She said we are going to suffer the future of our mistakes in advance. She said black people are the colour of fertile earth. She has heard about our family.’

We went on in silence. The spirit of the whirlwind passed us on the way and didn’t say anything. The spirit of the whirlwind had a mean look on his face and I feared for the people he was going to visit. Dad tried to find his way back to the sacred grove so we could rest there for a while before we went back home.”

– Ben Okri, Infinite Riches, page 168-9

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