Sunday, April 17, 2011

Peace of wind, peace of mind

It is truly amazing to be back. Although the fog created a two hour delay on my flight, I didn't care. T. I. A. My second home welcomes me with sunny days and howling winds; the good kind that don't scare you, but simply allows for a heightened appreciation of the air and its smells. The amazing colours let me breathe again, and spend unmeasured amounts of time on whatever I feel like. There are no trains to catch, and no assignments due. No "With or Without You" ringing in my ears and reminding me of that which I need to forget; here, among the dry mountains and lazy days, there is only peace of mind.

Being back in Africa has allowed me, in only two days, to remember what relaxation is. 2 pm is replaced by "the afternoon"; immediately by "just now". I can sit on a bench for the western concept of hours in an African minute and enjoy life to an extent I believe we are unable to elsewhere. In those places where it's always where to go, where to be, who to see, what to do. Hakuna matata they say in kiSwahili, and it does mean no worries for the rest of your days on the continent of calm. It therefore becomes ironic to me when westerners associate Africa with war and misery; a high pace to everything because of all the horrible events that pass by. True enough, that is one aspect of the colossus that is this beautiful continent. But enjoying life without time limits or obligations or expectations is truly and proudly African. I am proud to call this a second home and can do nothing but rejoice at the amazing peace the howling wind brings to my far too haunted mind when I sit in a lovely garden and surround myself with the essence of this wondrous place.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When you're dreaming with a broken heart/Sometimes they wither

The withered flowers still light up my pale, sick table. What good can possibly come from this pain and agony? Although he is gone, he is all around me, in every square centimetre of my apartment, as if he never left. The flowers look up at me, defeated like my own heart, asking for death and where the next batch is, to replace them. The next batch does not come. These dying roses are the last remnant of a ritual I fell in love with far too soon, far too quick, transfixed in that bliss of pathetic hope and na├»ve admiration. I look to the trash and try to master the strength of picking them up and throwing them out, along with his Madhatter 10/6 note, reminding me of that amazing St Pattys night when he told me of our future he had planned. I try to clean him out. I wash the table on which his beer spilt; I rip the sheets of my bed, surrounding myself in his smell unified with mine; I vacuum clean and suck his soul out of my own. But the flowers persist. Although they are dead now, their heartbeat is his, pumping through my apartment like fierce fireworks of poisoned sparks. I smell the roses, but just as us, their essence has departed this world, and entered another realm of reality, like his darkened one. I get out of bed and feel all my muscles screaming out in pain with the sickness. But I force myself. I pick up the shirt I wore that night we said goodbye and put it in with the rest of the laundry; my underwear from the bathroom where we shared our last shower. It is all thrown into a big, blue IKEA bag and placed by my door, waiting for the rain to stop outside so his essence can disappear into the washing machine drain and in the calm, soothing, comforting autumn wind. Ironic. I miss you most of all, my darling, when autumn leaves start to fall. Three weeks in ignorant bliss. The future ahead, without you around. I sit down in the large cathedral and pray you’ll be all right. Not to God. To the architects who brought us together, who placed me into this misery and pain, who are now my enemies, who posed me with an impossible puzzle I was forced to turn down. And still I beg them for your release. If I could only make that deal with them; I would give anything to have you back in my life, and must still persist in my conviction that you are gone, for now. “And remember that I will always love you. Bye my love – for now,” you wrote. The flowers shriek. “After Africa,” I tell them, “I’ll deal with you then”.