A place shunned by humans

Africa Bared

You can listen to the voice recording, or read through the text below.



Unreachable for most humans, but gods roam here, and fairies, and the spirits of long-dead animals and trees, I like to believe.

I stare back down the trail. Creeper weeds and the odd tuft of grass have invaded the wheel ruts. My tracks, visible in the sandy patches, are the only ones.

Being alone here where everything has been pushed into silence and sky is to be exposed to impressions that totally consume the senses—to forces that, should they be unleashed, would be immensely more powerful than I could hope to survive. All that stands between me and catastrophe are my senses, my wits, and my ability to humbly apply them—and luck.

On my break I write: Africa bared consumes one. It overwhelms with its beauty and majesty and its dimensions of cruelty and kindness. I understand again, sitting here in my rickety bush chair behind the meagre sum total of my means of survival, what this infinite expanse of earth and sky is telling me. It is impersonal, brutal, powerful and unpredictable. It rolls on in ancient rhythms that circle back seamlessly into each other; day flowing into night, seasons from one to the other and life into death, oblivious of what I call Time. Time means nothing here. It is a mere human construct. Reality is an endless and repetitive ebb and flow in which we and our silly fabrications are absolutely irrelevant.


  1. Thank you Ada for a thoughtful and stimulating comment.
    Off the cuff: Life (in the ‘civilized’ world) consists of a whole collection of constructs. I guess in a way we need them (maybe not all of them) to maintain order and make sense of the world we live in. It provides the fabric on which we can proceed with things like the rat race, which in turn seems to me to be a collection of perceptions and beliefs that drive our actions, inevitably more or less within the framework of our constructs. And it seems like the total reality to us.
    All of it is fine, I think, as long as we understand what we’re engaged in. I, of course, am also a citizen of this “constructs world” when I have to function in it. And, like the rest of us I get so busy merely “functioning” in it that I do not have the time or inclination for the mental effort to think of it in the abstract. It is when I disengage from it and stand in a different reality that I am able to (more easily) put it into perspective.

  2. ‘Living’ (in the ‘civilized’ world), like time, has become a human construct as well….what is regarded as ‘living’, I mean. ‘Living’ (in the ‘civilized’ world) can be equated to mere ‘existing’…a rat race….chasing after wind, never to find what you are looking for…or what you are not looking for, bacause, I think, the purpose of life, and living, is what is lost to many to a great extent. You are therefore infinitely blessed to be able to experience real life… where you can be part of the pulse of Africa…the pure, raw, unspoilt… (Don’t mind me.) When one reads about your journeys one can actually get a glimpse into what you experience if one reads with one’s heart. However, it can be a saddening experience too, because one can become too acutely aware of the shackles of civilization…Fascinating, nevertheless! Will definity buy your books once I’m ready.

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