Tuesday, August 5, 2008

mission to kala

back in Wum... just finished reading another Mongo Beti book, Mission to Kala. 2 days, short book. it’s Friday so i’ll quote now and elaborate after jum’aah [prayer]:

This unshakeable stoicism in the face of all life’s accidents and vicissitudes is probably the town-man’s greatest loss, when he abandons village, tribe and local culture. We who choose the city have lost this ancient wisdom: irritable, ambitious, hot-headed, fed on illusion, we have become the world’s eternal dupes.

...to view life “without a trace of illusion or ambition.” is that what Medza learned on his mission to Kala? what i’m learning here. to see things differently. more simply. not simplistically. but, in fact, closer to reality... for what they are, for better or for worse. to be patient. with things one can’t change AND things one can change but not necessarily in one word/argument/outburst/stroke whatever.

because, ultimately, things can’t be changed that easily. people don’t change that easily. at the risk of contradiction, life isn’t that simple. it is complicated. people are complicated. the wisdom lies in seeing and accepting that. it is simple, life simply does not make sense or follow set patterns (needless to say, neither do people) ...and when one accepts that, his or her life is made simpler.

is that what Medza learned in Kala? that life is totally unpredictable. and the more we rebel and protest the more it seems not to go our way. when we finally accept the “absurdity of life,” as Medza does, we’ll be better equipped to deal with it or accept whatever complexities it brings. simple.

1 comment:

  1. if the topics of this post are of interest, then you should definitely follow the second link the body of the post.

    it'll take you to a lengthy excerpt from An Interpretation: Mongo Beti's Mission to Kala. a few of the pages are missing but it's worth reading.

    the author does well to highlight the use of irony by beti. how medza's 'mission' to kala is the story of his growth and education.

    can't help but read the irony of my peace corps experience in that: being sent to cameroon to teach and, instead, learning to learn.

    here's to growth!

    mohamad :)