Saturday, November 13, 2021

Land of Concern

The urban griots in their wisdom kept things simple
The virtue of a simple question: what's going on?
Or alternately, some pithy advice: check out your mind
They'd sound the warning that change would not be televised

Early to despair, they recognized the nature of the emergency
And how difficult it would be to shake the audience from complacency
For most would rather look firmly backwards and embrace nostalgia
Or anaesthetize themselves with cocktails of selective amnesia

They spoke with the urgency of those familiar with the shape of dread
A visceral reaction in our grief houses in the aftermath of bloodshed
The torrid zone presented as fait accompli so many dark matters
Best, in light of this, to attempt to forestall disaster

To the urban griot as to the physician, there's a duty of care
Felt all too keenly this compulsion as a moral cross to bear
Heed the message from your leader and first do no harm
The imperative, nay the onus, is on you to raise the alarm

Scout's honor, in trying times they'd say people get ready
Or go for the aspirational, someday we'll all be free
Long before this community reaches the point of no return
Such is the survival strategy for life in a land of concern

kagyah tree card

Land of Concern, a playlist


For this soundtrack we head to the griots. Listen up. There are any number of remixes of Salif Keita and the great Oumou Sangare to round out the playlist.

Illustration by Peter Addae-Kagyah

This meditation is part of a series: In a covidious time

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Writing log: March 21, 2021

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