The old man is you, seen in relation to the contradictions that make up your life.
This walk is a journey to make sense of those contradictions.
The contradictions take shape at the crossroads you reach.
It becomes clearer that the road on which you walk is the path between the four calabashes of creation that emerged when the eternal rock of creation,oyigiyigi,split to form the universe.
The road,with four arms stretching out to east,west, north,south,is yourself.
At last you are in the place you have been striving to reach for so long,seated at the table with yourself who explains to you the meaning of all those journeys you have undergone since you first drew breath on that fateful day.
The journey under the earth
The meeting with the chameleon
the one who changes his colour to suit his surroundings
the one who identifies with others yet remains himself
the duality that is yet one
The one who sees left and right at once
the unity of knowledge
of good and evil
of past,present, future
of life and beyond life
Trickster and guide
Sage and mischievous child
the fire that consumed the house
the man with the body of a snake
the old man gazing at the stars
the ferryman who sank the canoe
Kaidara and the gift of gold,your friends who followed you on this journey,your family awaiting you at journey's end-at last all these take their true place in the pattern of your life.
Image 1. Esu image from Yoruba:Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought.Henry John Drewal, John Pemberton III,Rowland Abiodun and Allen Wardell.New York:Harry Abrams.1989.28.
Image 2. Image of Papa Legba
Image 3. Legba veve at crossroads by the Witch of Forest Grove at http://witchofforestgrove.com/2009/06/
Image 4.Esu and Igba Iwa collage using images from Yoruba:Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought
Image 5.Papa Legba veve by the Witch of Forest Grove at http://witchofforestgrove.com/2009/06/
Image 6.Kaidara as an old man and Hammadi in The Secrets of Kaidara by Hyacinthe Vulliez.Illustrated by Etienne Soupart. Translated by Gwen Marsh.London:Moonlight Publishing.1994.29.
Image 12.From the Ebohon Cultural Centre