Posted tagged ‘call to prayer’

“Music replays the past memories, awaken our forgotten worlds and make our minds travel.”

December 30, 2017

The deep freeze continues. It is 16˚ and snowy weather is predicted. The sky is grayish white, and the air is still. I have to go out later for the one thing I didn’t know I needed the other day when I shopped, toilet paper, an item as essential as food and water.

My car needed only the oil change. Everything else checked out just fine though I was told to keep an eye on my tires.

In Ghana this time of year I loved the weather. Today in Bolgatanga it was 88˚ but tonight it will be only 68˚, and that’s the way it will continue for the rest of the week, even getting as low as 63˚ at night. That’s one thing I didn’t expect in Ghana, cold weather. I had no clothes to keep me warm. My students every morning were dressed in sweaters on sweaters and layers after layers. I had bare arms and sock-less feet, but I had steaming coffee in a huge mug to get me started, and the mornings warmed quickly.

I watched a movie today which partly took place in Jordan. One scene was of the city of Amman in the early morning light of dawn, and the only sound is the call to prayer. I stayed right near a mosque during my Peace Corps live-in, a three week stay with a family. I was in a town called Bawku which is heavily Moslem. A small mosque was on the street below my room. The pre-dawn call to prayer was live, not recorded. I heard it every morning and still remember so well the beauty of that song. The single voice was clear and powerful. It became familiar. I’d lie there listening then at the end of the song I’d fall back to sleep.

In Marrakesh I also heard the songs to prayers every day coming from a mosque not that far from my riad and also from the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest one in the city which towers over everything. Its minaret is sort of a landmark for the city. I was usually out walking around when I’d hear the afternoon calls. The voice was recorded, but it sounded over everything else and was rhythmic and lovely.

I know smells become familiar and trigger memories. The aroma of burning wood   always brings me back to Ghana, especially the mornings, when breakfast was being cooked over the fire. When I was in Morocco and heard the songs to prayer, I was reminded of Ghana, and that small mosque and the beauty of the single voice singing. It seems sounds too carry memories.

“Close your eyes because all the great sounds of existence can best be heard with eyes shut!”

April 10, 2017

The morning has been a bit trying. Nothing I did made Gracie happy. I walked her down the stairs to the yard twice. I gave her treats three times. I patted her until my hand was tired. She wasn’t impressed. She sat beside me and stared. When I ignore her, she gave me the paw on my arm. When I continued to ignore her, she continued to put her paw on my arm. She drove me crazy. Finally, she got on the couch, got comfy, and went to sleep beside me. It is amazing how much my dog rules the roost.

Spring is happening all around me. Colors are coming back into the world. Hyacinths are blooming in my front garden. Purple, pink and red flowers are popping from circles of small fronds. The daffodils in the flower bed closest to the house are sun bright. Every morning when I get the papers, I see something new in the garden.

I have no energy today to do anything. I didn’t make my usual list of chores as I’m generally compelled to finish most of them. My logic insists if there is no list, there are no chores.

I heard the kids playing this morning around 8. There are 6 boys in two houses, and they are loud. They communicate by yelling. They go out to play before the school buses come. Most times they wake me up but not all the way up. I hear them, register the fact in my brain then turn over and go back to sleep. When I was in Ghana, I did the same thing with the call to prayer. A mosque was down on the street below and across from my bedroom during Peace Corps training. The mosque was small and was sandwiched between two houses. Arabic was written at the top of the smallest ever minaret. From that mosque, I could hear the muezzin sing the calls to prayer. The one at 3:30 or so used to wake me up then I got used to it. I listened knowing when it would end so I could go back to sleep. It was the same with the dawn call. Being awakened twice by a muezzin had become commonplace for me. I could never have imagined that.

“Some sounds are so exquisite – far more exquisite than anything seen. Daff’s purr there on my rug, for instance – and the snap and crackle of the fire – and the squeaks and scrambles of mice that are having a jamboree behind the wainscot.”

May 21, 2016

Such a beautiful day it is today. We have sun, a breeze and some white clouds hiding the blue. Rain is predicted, but I can’t remember when.

I have a mystery. Every day at different times I find the corner of the living room rug turned up. Nothing is on or under the rug so I don’t understand why, and I certainly don’t know who, but Gracie is tops on my list of suspects. I’m thinking it’s a Gaslight thing.

Today I have little to say. The week was a busy one but it was mostly because of medical appointments for me and Fern. Nothing much to report except Fern needs more potassium. It’s coming in the mail.

Lawnmowers are disturbing the quiet of my neighborhood. Even my lawn is getting mowed though it hardly seemed tall enough to merit the cutting. I understand the attraction of gas powered mowers, but I miss the click clack of hand mowers, another sound from my childhood which has disappeared.

Snow on the TV is long gone. I remember my father adjusting the rabbit ears to get rid of the static sound of the snow. The ears were wrapped in aluminum foil to give the antenna greater reach. Lots of houses had antennas on the roof.

I remember when I was in Morocco and sitting at a table on the top floor of a restaurant in the old city. It seemed every house had a dish attached to its roof or to the side of the roof. Even the calls to prayer were computerized. I remember being in Bawku, Ghana living with a family for three weeks as part of my Peace Corps training. My room was close to the small mosque on the street below my bedroom so I could hear the call to prayer. The one around 3:30 always woke me up, but after a bit, I knew when it would end so I could go back to sleep. The call became part of my night. The singing of the prayer was beautiful.

I am not a Luddite. I have all sorts of machines, mostly in the kitchen, which make my life easier; however, I am saddened at the disappearance of so many things and so many sounds. The click clack always brought my father to mind. He never bought a power mower. I miss the bells on Sunday mornings. I miss the clinking of milk bottles, and I miss the milkman. I could go on and on. It is just one of those days. It all started with the sound of lawnmowers.