We were sitting around the enormous hearth at Klavworster’s Grotto when the subject of ghosts came up. “Africa is filled with ghosts,” old De Toit said. He closed his eyes and we watched as he conjured the spirits he spoke of. I closed mine too and felt the racing of the dead, human and animal, across a cave painting, the endless hunt, frozen in time. We were all similarly engaged when Cheryl came in out of the darkness. Under her arm the familiar worn out portfolio, bursting with drawings, pastel dust falling into the light of a table lamp like motes of a rainbow that has lost its way. “Ghosts! I’ve been drawing them all day. Mira!” she said, pulling out a piece of paper like a magician pulling a scarf from his sleeve.

 

"I don’t see any ghosts, Penn,” Col. Van Zyl said. “No? I do. I see their feet bending down he blades of grass. I see them peering from behind the Eucalyptus trees and sitting on the meandering pipe, bending their ears down to hear the water passing through,” she said, her voice laced with laughter and gentle scorn. “I guess I need more port,” Van Zyl said humorlessly. “I see them, Cheryl,” I said. “You do? You need less port,” she laughed. “I know this place but in a strange way. I had this photo of this place on my refrigerator for years but I never knew where it was. I found it on a shelf in the closet,” I related. Cheryl did not look at all amazed. “I had it placed there to confound you.” “Mission accomplished,” I said.

 

“Was there a brick archway nearby?” I asked. “Yes. Un Portique Mysterieux. I watched the ghosts coming and going for two hours. I think it had been a bakery long ago.” Van Zyl harrumphed and he went back to reading Dinesen.  

 

 

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Comment by Thom Courcelle on November 27, 2011 at 11:33pm

The world is a better place for all those connections that IUOMA folk make around the world.  If we all shipped ourselves postage due, wouldn't that be a great reason to loose some weight!  I mean it would be rude to make our penpals pay all that extra "due upon receipt" money, right?  Forget New Year's resolutions; I've gotta ship myself to Timbuktu!

Comment by Theresa Ann Aleshire Williams on November 27, 2011 at 10:06pm

I think so much of what we do here involves a leap of faith. We send, not knowing for sure if our creations will arrive, though most often they do. We send, not knowing if we will get a response.  We send, not knowing how the recipient will "receive" it.  My carrier trusted me to pay her back.  So many connections hoped for and made.

Comment by David Stafford on November 27, 2011 at 9:55pm

God bless your postal carrier...I wonder if she was amused. Re: owed...Not to worry-- I owe everyone some mailart....including thom and marie and ruud and etc etc...I'm working on it...Thanks to you and DeVillo and everyone for your kind remarks. Thanks to Cheryl for being the Enigmatic Seer of Africa! Wouldn't it be fun to have the wherewithal to send yourself around the world and visit all the mailboxes and their owners we send stuff to? "Dear Diary, Stafford arrived with Postage Due. Figures. He has a cancel mark on his forehead like Cain. Having trouble sticking him to the fridge."

 

Comment by Theresa Ann Aleshire Williams on November 27, 2011 at 9:40pm

Beautiful work, Cheryl. Love the text elements, especially.  I'm always intrigued by how image and text interact.  David, I am a big fan of your writing (never mind that you mention Dinesen--we're reading her "Winter's Tales" in one of the classes I teach this semester).  I shared your WCW postcard with several students (including Grad students) and they all loved it.  BTW, you might be amused that the card arrived with absolutely no postage on it.  My postal carrier paid the postage on it and I paid her back.  I know that I still owe you some mailart.  I haven't forgotten!

Comment by Thom Courcelle on November 27, 2011 at 8:56pm

This is magical, David...

"...pastel dust falling into the light of a table lamp like motes of a rainbow that has lost its way."

And agreed, the artwork image at top is more than amazing.

Comment by cheryl penn on November 27, 2011 at 8:43pm

Not if you're a ghost - or Ether Exist :-) XX

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 27, 2011 at 8:41pm

And TOXIS controls all gps devices now. That's how they find you.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 27, 2011 at 8:39pm

Oh, I have one. 

Comment by cheryl penn on November 27, 2011 at 8:33pm

So far 5. But I'm afraid another is brewing :-) - the ghostwriter is also nudging for attention so it looks like I'm dream- ghost-cluttered at the moment :-) - not a bad place to be at all!

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 27, 2011 at 8:21pm

But seriously, the top shot is extraordinary. I'm still trying to figure out how many editions, chapters, books there are in this one.

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