Adisa weaves his magic
Ever since I saw Adisa for the first time three years ago, I was enthralled by his very essence. As a newcomer to BSB with an abysmal knowledge of English, I saw Adisa as a man of godlike physiognomy, towering over masses of listeners with his Olympian height. The effect of his craft must have been all the greater on Year 6s, sitting orderly in the rows of seats, uniformly gazing in amazement at the display of poetic mastery unravelling before them. In his presentation, Adisa shifts from trivial concepts such as informing us casually that he lives in a house, to some meta-physical questioning of the seemingly obvious realities of life. The only rhetorical category in which he he does not fulfill the standard is lying, since I genuinely cannot believe that this man did not have a girlfriend until he was 19 years of age. Anyway, this little lie provided a brand new pillar to the collapsed structure of my self esteem (THERE IS STILL HOPE). He only seems a bit disappointed when the brightest intellectual hopes of the international community are unable to figure out that the point of one of the poems he presented is “black”, even after providing numerous indications, each simpler than the previous one, finally giving the decisive hint by asking despairingly “The colour of the night sky is….”, pause, “….Black?” replies a lone childish voice. You can see a spark in Adisa’s eyes when he realises that the potential for unintentionally humiliating the finest blossoms of the next generation has been avoided.
At the end of the session, Adisa enthrones himself in the armchair that has been prepared for him and is immediately surrounded by a horde of autograph-hungry idolaters. At the end of the long snake stands my humble self, diminished in the divine rays coming from the centre of the congregation. Finally, I stand before Adisa and Adisa stands before me. “G-g-g-good morning M-m-mister Adisa.” I stutter out, as if my very expression was sufficient enough to wreak punishment upon me. M-my name is Thomas a……nd I’m invol- involv…involved in the school’s blogging project”.
The monument of my eloquence is finally finished and I am about to stutter out yet another phrase, asking whether his magnificence would be so kind as to grant me a few answers to my silly questions. I prepare the sentence in my head and open my mouth to begin yet another round of the conversation, but Adisa’s fast lips suddenly enter contraction, striking me with a question “Hello Thomas, nice to meet you, where are you from?”
I am a bit staggered but promptly reply, a fact which a surprising amount of people do not know: “Czech Republic”. “And your name is really Thomas?” I purposefully introduced myself with the anglified version of my name. The question he poses does not at all seem like interrogation and I start realising how soft the man’s voice is and how comforting his tenor. “No, it’s actually Tomáš”. “Tomáš….”, he repeats with perfect pronunciation. I am stunned but I say nothing. Somehow, I feel the massive burden of self-doubt fall from me.
Adisa agrees on the interview and we sit in one of the seats in the front row of the theatre. I begin asking my questions:
What three words best describe you Belgian experience?
Exciting, culturally-diverse and welcoming.
Which book title would you chose to describe your life?
Of Water and the Spirit.
Is there an existing book you wish you’d have written?
Adisa is intrigued by this question, as if it touched the very centre of his being. “I genuinely do not know”, he replies.
Cat or dog?
What is the most embarassing thing you are willing to confess?
“I split my trousers during a school presentation” (as I write down what I hear, he provides the additional information that it involved martial arts).
We bid farewell and I already see a new wave of worshippers surging into the theatre. Without any sign of exhaustion, Adisa rises from his seat, soaring above us mere beings. I leave that gentle giant musing: “The gods must be crazy….”
By Tomáš Vesely