“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

The morning is damp and overcast. Last right it rained, and it will rain again today. It is in the low 40’s, but the dampness gives a chill to the air. I need a few groceries so I’ll venture out later. Bread tops the list.

When I was a kid, I thought bread only came in white. The bread was soft, and jelly used to soak through. I could take a small bit of the bread and roll it into a ball for throwing. I suppose it was Wonder Bread, the favorite back then. I liked it toasted best.

Today is a muse-less day. I seemed to be stuck. I even washed a little of the inside of the fridge this morning and threw away some expired bottles of pickles. It looked as if I was collecting gherkins.

I remember a few pictures in my geography books. One was of a man harvesting coffee beans. He could have been Juan Valdez’s grandfather. The other was of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in Rio. I remember it was huge, and his arms were straight out. That geography book was a book of dreams and hopes.

On my first full day in Ghana, I took a picture from the second floor of the dorm where I was sleeping. The picture is of palm trees and the tops of family compounds. In the forefront of the picture is a bush with red flowers. Beside the bush is a small paved road which ended in a dirt rut. One house is under construction. I used to send my film home to be developed as there was no place in Ghana to do that. My parents got the first look at my slides. I suspect they didn’t find this slide all that interesting, but to me, it was a picture of a new world, one I hadn’t imagined, one with exotic palm trees. The houses all had tin roofs. Everywhere was green. That picture and the bus picture of us heading to the airport are favorite pictures. One was leaving for Africa; the other was arriving.

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