I was asked to read a poem at a friend’s wedding last week. The poem (Ben Okri’s ‘To An English Friend In Africa’) was one of my favourites, in fact it is the one that I have carried with me on all my journeys for a decade or so. Here’s a few snippets.
Be grateful for freedom
To see other dreams.
Do not think your ways superior
Do not venture to judge
But see things with fresh and open eyes.
Live while you are alive.
Learn the ways of silence and wisdom
Learn to act, learn a new speech
Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit
Learn to free yourself from all things that have moulded you
And which limit your secret and undiscovered road.
Remember that all things which happen
To you are raw materials
Endlessly yielding of thoughts that could change
Your life and go on doing for ever.
Never forget to pray and be thankful
For all the things good or bad on the rich road;
For everything is changeable
So long as you live while you are alive.
Be grateful for life as you live it.
And may a wonderful light
Always guide you on the unfolding road.