Sunday, May 17, 2015

For Raphael Tenthani, Mentor

It's sad that the great Raphael Tenthani is gone.
The last time I met him was yesterday.
He came to the office, in the company of his jubilant children
And sent me to buy pork at Ginnery Corner
As he always did
And, then, we devoured the meat
Not knowing it was the Last Lunch

Ralph Tenthani's legacy is like a house:
Painted, repainted, and painted again through his writings;
It is too strong, shiny perhaps, to shrink under the heavy weight of death.

The constitution of Ralph Tenthani's brain verged on the extra-ordinary.
Morbid cases of political myopia he laid bare.
When political praise-singing reigned supreme, he had a way of
throwing sense into gear.
Often drawing on his extraordinary store of memories, his lines of
thought were not humanly typical.
It's his 'religious' love for telling the truth- nothing but the
painful truth- that has produced innumerable devotees.
His impartial judgement, strength of character, unshakability of mind
and soul, set him apart. It, kind of, gave him a new range of power;
the sort of power only the pen offers.
As American philosopher, William James (1842 - 1910), rightly
observed, "The fermentative influence of geniuses must be admitted as,
at any rate, one factor in the changes that constitute social
Ralph Tenthani was a social, political,and-what-have-you evolutionist.
He belonged to the highest order of minds.
Now, as Ephraim Nyondo said when Atate Edward Chitsulo followed The
Way of All the Earth that month-not-very-far-away-from-
this, he
belongs to the ages now.
As our thoughts fizzle and bob about all the great experiences we have
had with Ralph.
In our sadness, let us take time to reel Ralph's life into one great
memory of inspiration.
As we move on.

Of course,
Sadness flows all over the place
One layer of sadness on top of another
Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over

When his remains finally go under
Where soil particle upon soil particle shuts down geniuses like Ralph
Our memories of him will flood the land above
Inspiring his cash crop: Journalists!

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