A Door Unopened

A Door Unopened
Knock, knock...

Thursday, September 16, 2010


When  I woke this morning, out of nowhere, the thought fairy gifted me this:  
                                                                                                      Upper Volta.
And from that spawned the question:  Why do you never hear of anything happening in Upper Volta? This, I posed to the Huzby as he languished under the covers nearby.
Without hesitation he answered, “Because it’s now Burkina Faso.”
He didn’t ask me why I was asking. He didn’t say, “What in the world would make you ask a question like that?” Likewise, I didn’t ask how in God’s name he knew that Upper Volta was now called Burkina Faso. But I did ask for clarification.
“It’s called what?”
“Burkina Faso. At least I think that’s how you pronounce it.”
“Hmmmm. How do you spell it?”
“Something like B-U-R-K-I-N-A  F-A-S-O. I think that’s how it’s spelled.”
Then I complained about being sore (turns out I have a bit of a bug), and we kissed and got up. He fed the cat and the dogs. I went to the bathroom and quickly checked my email.
We met up in the kitchen for coffee (Huzby) and chai (me). We spoke of how we slept. We discussed if our anorexic mutt, Willie, ate all his breakfast. We agreed that it looked like the weather was going to be nice. Thus began our Thursday.
It occurs to me that married life is sometimes very odd. How can a kernel of thought—Upper Volta—so quickly melt down and sublimate into non-existence? Of course, Upper Volta truly doesn’t exist because it’s now known as Burkina Faso, but that’s beside the point.

I believe the Huzby has become too savvy to allow me to suck him down the rabbit holes of my mind. He refused to play Clark to my Lewis as I tried to explore the stream of consciousness that eddies and bubbles past the rocks and fallen branches in my brain. It’s taken knowing each other ten years, but it appears that I’m the only willing participant in the journey—at least today’s journey.  Huzby missed the boat ride to Burkina Faso while I jumped right on board.
And as I see Huzby heading into his study (cave) to begin his workday, his image fades while I cross the horizon toward Burkina Faso--an entry in Wikipedia suffices for the moment.

And I suddenly realize I forgot to ask another question:
                                   How come you never hear of anything ever happening in Burkina Faso?

For an interesting explanation on the renaming of Upper Volta and other countries please follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/22/magazine/on-language-bring-back-upper-volta.html


  1. Footnote: Wikipedia states that in 2004 the average lifespan for men was 47, for women 48. Burkina Faso also has one of the world's lowest GDPs. These factors, I'm sure, contribute to the fact that you don't ever hear of anything happening there.

  2. I can't believe that I have gone merrily along my way for the past 26 years believing that Upper Volta still existed...although Burkina Faso is a cool name, I will always wonder what happened to Lower Volta...

  3. Another interesting factoid: The capital of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou. God! I love that!

  4. Hi Lyn . . . Congratulations on your blog! Hope all is well. Miss you at the gym. Just finished watching a Jane Campion film, "An Angel At My Table," a wonderful film about author, Janet Frame. Highly recommend it. I'm sure you'd like it. Be well, dear, and keep on writin'!