Going home

Peace goes to bed with war, wisdom with folly. 
The troubled world is also, quiet tranquil.
Hope inhabit the same soul that often fights despair. 
Beautiful roses share spaces with ruthless thorns. 

Our imagination of home, gets complex when we imagine it, inserted in perfection.

The world that embraces winter nights, prepares, with the same vitality, for the long and sticky summer nights.

It is a twisty  road

You may take it as a group, but you have to still walk – and feel the unevenness of the road, maybe even hit your toe against a stone. Sit a while, calm the sting. But beware, home is not yet in sight, there is a distance to cover, but the night is fast approaching. 

Walk on. 

Home is being emotionally present, while embracing the ever evolving subtleties that frame our meanings.
Home is made, it is personal. I am home, yet going home. 

Home is probably always moving, maybe even imagined

There is probably no destination, it is a place in our mind, we occupy yet still going to.

Home.

I lived to tell the story

A few days back, we escaped from prison.

One of our chiefs, had locked us up in a Guantanamo Bay kind of detention camp.

It was a huge population of us, subjected to hard labour and inhumane treatment. Very sad and heart drenching experience. Hard even to see so much suffering on the faces of fellow inmates.

It didn’t seem like help would find us. The camp was in a jungle, hidden under a thick canopy of mahogany trees.

One afternoon Dintle and I escaped through a tiny opening on the fence. A laborious escape.

We ran for our dear lives, but alert that our lives were in danger.

We hid behind shrubs, some too small to do any hiding at all.

Not a word was shared between us. It was a solo and emotionally draining journey.

The thought that troubled me through this escape, was the chief who locked us up in a Guantanamo Bay Prison style camp.

He comes across as a level headed being. Kind and reasonable. An arguably progressive man. I worried, in this dream, whether I was dreaming, and whether this really is the man, I have admired from a distance.

The sound of hoofs hitting the hard gravel road, distubed my thoughts and swallowed our hope.

We could see him from a distance, riding a blood red horse, its face and underbelly decorated in splashes of white.

On his right hand, the chief, held a solid and long black shambok.

He was coming for us.

We held our breath.

We were dirty, new sweat dripping down old sweat marks…

The horse came to a stand still, the chief looked around as if to ask,
“Where are they?”

I have never been that scared, never had I encouraged my heart to hope, like I did that afternoon, under the unforgiving harsh African sun.

My heart hasn’t ached in a dream, like it did the afternoon of our escape.

Did we escape? I don’t know.

I was crying when I woke up. Scared. The dream stayed with me for a week and each time it crossed my mind, I panicked.

Thankfully it was just a dream.
A bad dream.
Ijooo.

Eish but I hope I don’t meet the chief until the dream leaves my thoughts 😅.
I might run for my life.

A lonely road…

I am sad and I am reading sad essays. No. I am not sure these are sad essay. It might be just my sad heart. But I grief through these reads until my head aches from fighting back tears. Still I read, while also arguing with the text.

Yesterday, I read Michell Cruz Gonzales’ essay, ‘Bracing for the Silence of an empty Nest’ and I cried so hard as she retraced the early years of his soon-to-go-to-college-son. Their only child.I thought, this story would be a relieve. A release for my tight emotions . How does it make me cry. I had expected it would nourish and fortify me. Probably, if the conditions were different.

My heart bled.

Her colourful description, enabled me to sit with her as she reminisced the old times, when she would watch her son’s tiny hands, on the piano and his short legs that could not reach the pedals, “still small for his age, he could barely reach the pedals, finessing the sustain pedal with the toe of his heavy black shoe

Our pains stem from different causes. Hers, is a son leaving for college, and mine, struggles and pains of a young family member. It rips my heart, daily. I read the essay and sense Michelle wishing it were possible to return to the past, while also aware, it is time to let go. She admits, she is almost at the end of her life while her son’s life is only beginning. She wants to let go.

I want to take my young and paining, family member back to the early years too. He did not come out of me. But he is a part of me, an intimate part.

Many nights, I want us to walk back, with him fastened on my back while I do chores around the house. I desire to tell him stories and see his careless and sweet giggle. I want to look at his plumb face, his eyes on me, waiting for the next line from my made up stories. But more than anything, like Michelle, I want him, “sitting next to me on the couch, [I want to ] inhale deep, as if to breathe him back inside me. I want to wrap him in my arms, tussle his hair”.

I want to ease his pain, to comfort and reassure him.I am never able to say anything, when we meet. I pain, in silence, from his struggles. He’ll pull through. I know. But until then I might live with this prolonged labour pains. It is the cost, of love, I won’t mind paying. If need be.

We will hold you, whole again. I tell myself, often. And we will.

Pain heals pain, I think. Otherwise why am I drawn, to Psalms like, ‘why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?”. And I stop there, afraid to proceed with the Psalm to “…hope you in God”. I am scared to continue with it, when my heart still questions. Desiring to hope, but afraid.I dare, rather cautiously, Bible verses like, “when i am afraid, I will trust in you”, but the heaviness of heart chokes me.

I remind myself, nevertheless, that just as night and day both make a complete day, peace and pain, sleep together, every so often.

My heavy heart also seems to misrepresent songs, it distorts their meanings, probably for commonality, or for healing. Song lyrics like “o na le maatla a go re thusa, o na le maatla a go re lwela” (God is able to help us and equally able to fight our wars ) ,from my all time favourite song “o mogolo, o mogolo…” ( He is a big God), create, in my mind’s eye, the picture of the young me, orphaned and alone – and not expecting or trusting any human help.

I am walking on barren land, no visible vegetation or wildlife, in sight. The vast emptiness of the pans, dwarfs my stature. My eyes, blurred from incessant crying, are fixed on the horizon, miles ahead.

Whatever lies beyond the horizon, my young heart hopes, holds the power to help me, to heal my young friend; to restore us; to come through for me and on behalf of those close enough to hear my heart and can relate. I encourage my young self, her eyes still fixed on the distance.

There is hope.

A subtle smile cracks through the cheeks, which are now hardened from dried tears. But the smile dies as quickly as it had tried to form. Eyes on the horizon, loud frightened heart beats, tears can’t be fought back this time.

I run to silences, self talk – and prayer in this season. But, I still fear | trust | get anxious|read | sleep | over work | doubt | self talk | over exert |cry |I laugh.

My thoughts wonder away easily. But this sad season, will end.

My heart will be lighter tomorrow. and maybe stronger than today. I don’t know. But no two days are ever the same.

This is a journey we did not choose, but are braving.

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What is love?

Is love a heart drenched in juicy, thick sweetness?

Is it a tender touch around the waist?
Or soft kisses on the cheek

Is love a kiss on your forehead, when you arrive home from work?

Or is it the sound of your name, in the softness of your daughter’s voice, and on the husky voice of your teenage son or is it what you hear in the carefree fondness of the last?

Is love, praises about your body curves? Or stories, silently said, in those stares, about the plumpness of your lips? Is love found in the lean and masculine structure?

Or is it the African heat, penetrating the coarseness of your hair? Is it when you are drenched in sweat – and it drips down your back, following the formation of your back bone – then parting, tracking the creases and curves, to where it desires.

Or is love uncensored conversations with your inner circle. Talking in hushed tones on a subject only you can talk about, together.

Do you equate love to trust, to the feeling of being naked but un-mortified? Is it when you bare it all, drop out your skeletons and feel no judgment?

Or are you a child of words, yearning poetic resonance? Do you love intimate nothingness whispered in your ear? Or do random, anonymous notes, on your table, bed or windshield satisfy you?

Do you want music under candle light, hand in hand, face to face, no words said, but tears down the cheeks saying it for you?

Or is love, work? Is it getting your hands dirty? Is love walking barefooted in the gardens, cutting through grown scrubs and daring rose thorns, to pick and shape buds and bushes. Do you find yourself drawn to the smell of soggy soil, desiring to work with and on it? Do you find love in the works of your hands, your creation?

Or is love in the pit of your belly, butterflies in your stomach? Is love tight long hugs, refusing to let go? Looking intently into each other’s eyes?

What is it?