Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Troublemaker

Separate were heaven and earth, good and bad, birth and death. Day and Night never mixed. Woman was woman and man was man.

But Exu, the errant bandit of Africa, liked to entertain himself by provoking outlandish minglings. And he is still at it.

His devilish tricks erase borders, join what the gods divided. Thanks to his clever deeds the sun turns black and the night burns bright. From the pores of men sprout women and women sweat men. The dying are born, the born are dying. For everything created or yet to be created, backward and forward get so confused you can never tell boss from bossed or up from down.

Later rather than sooner, divine order reestablishes its hierarchies and geographies, and everything and everyone gets put in place. But sooner rather than later, madness reappears.

Then the gods lament that the world is such a difficult place

--Eduardo Galleano, "The Troublemaker." Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. Tr. Mark Fried. (New York: Nation Books, 2009) p.2.

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