Ndume : the story of an elephant

Mark Deeble

freezeframe of Ndume-1_2

It reads like environmental pulp fiction:

A tribal family’s ancestral forest home is surrounded and cutoff from the main forest by illegal loggers and slash-and-burn farmers. When they eventually break out to try to rejoin the main tribe, they are discovered at dawn and set upon by a violent mob – the family is split, some run for the safety of the trees, others are hacked to death with machetes. In the fighting, one infant receives such a blow to the head that he’s knocked unconscious. On the verge of being killed, he is rescued from the mob by forest guards, and flown to a distant city. He wakes up in an orphanage, and screams for his mother. Ripped from his friends, his family, his mother, he has nightmares for months. 

As the years pass, he slowly makes new friends, and with them he is moved to a ‘halfway’ house…

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“In order to take his place”

Why Freud needed to destroy God.

Freud was famously an evangelical materialist and atheist. In that context he wrote often about the need to dethrone the “exalted father”. He was, it seems to me, speaking of his need. Intense personal need dressed in flimsy objective cloth. Do we not detect his true motivation in this piece of his writing about a boy’s relationship with his father…

“In the second half of his childhood a change sets in in the boy’s relation to his father – a change whose importance cannot be exaggerated … He finds that his father is no longer the mightiest, wisest and richest of beings; he grows dissatisfied with him, he learns to criticise him and to estimate his place in society; and then as a rule, he makes him pay heavily For the dusappojntment that has been caused by him … He becomes a model not only to imitate but also to get rid of, in order to take his place”

If you want a clearer view of what was really driving Freud note the use of the word surrendering in this letter from him as a student:

“Needless to say I am only a theist by necessity, and am honest enough to confess my helplessness in the face of his (Brantano’s) argument; however, I have no intention of surrendering so quickly or completely”

and here again, before he was anointed himself: 

“the bad part of it, especially for me, lies in the fact that the science of all things seems to demand the existence of God” 


As we walked out to Ailsa,
That golden afternoon
The isle arising cirrus,
Spun candyfloss and brume

“To The Lighthouse” drew us through,
Butter-innocence scent gorse
watchful pine above the green.
Saw coursing hare’s discourse

Stepping light to limpid shore,
Your haloed hair Aurora
Sea cleansed limpets flensed to crowns,
Cockle shelled corona

Through tufted dunes sand-sliding,
Up secret smugglers path
We turned toward sun setting,

Tea laid at Ailsa’s hearth

This could have been called To The Lighthouse or Easster Rising. It attempts to describe the magic of an Easter afternoon shared, carved out of time, with my daughter.