message from nungwe

 

From the time I arrived in British East Africa at the in-different age of four and went through the barefoot stage of early youth hunting wild pig with the Nandi, later training race-horses for a living, and still later scouting Tanganyika and the waterless bush country between the Tana and Athi Rivers, by aeroplane, for elephant, I remained so happily provincial I was unable to discuss the boredom of being alive with any intelligence until I had gone to London and lived there a year. Boredom, like hookworm, is endemic.

Beryl Markham | West With the Night
 

I started Markham's memoirs last week on recommendation from The Gogglette and only stopped because I'd picked it up from the library and realized very very quickly but still too late that I was going to need my own copy and also my entire arsenal of marginalia essentials (pencil, blue pen, green pen, ruler) before I could do the book its due diligence. Since remedied, I continue to be enamored/dumbstruck/in general awe of the thing, and today during lunch began reading pieces of it aloud to my students (we finished Hawke's Rules for a Knight yesterday; there may have been tears — for once, they weren't mine), who for one half hour sat silent and wide-eyed, dreaming of Africa.

p.s. — this Town & Country piece was a pleasant appendix to my current read
p.p.s. — also all of this