Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Falling into words

Ayub Ogada. The word Kenya printed in black letters on the green stripe of the Real World rainbow. The album is En Mana Kuoyo. I used to play it when I cleaned the cabin – I like the airy clean feeling of it – the bright spaces between the notes and the way the notes themselves topple over each other like children playing in leaves.

It is the album I play when I am stressed, when I know I need to relax. Much of the time my life feels like something foreign that I am trying to balance, like I am holding on to a falseness just so I can continue to function in the world. There are few times when I say “yes” to myself- to who I am. These moments come sometimes during times of solitude, when I allow myself to remember the wordless wonder of things. But it is getting harder to do as I get older – it is like I am going numb, the inner light dulling – scrubbed by routine, by stress, by fear and by a lingering sense of isolation that has been like a shadow throughout my life.

One of my self-guided therapies is free-flow writing. This is like stretching, like dancing and letting my limbs go all floppy. It is for when I recognize my need to find a place without barriers, a land where metaphors can travel and come back, springs and rubber bands returning with the clinging vines of wildness and the snagged thorns of other people’s memories.

I was going to touch down running to Ayub but it feels too fast now. I need to change. Something either earthy or ethereal, but slower.

Illumination is a cd Craig made for me some time ago – the lofty medieval tones of Hildegard von Bingen. I am drawn to mystic religious music – I don’t care what label the divine is wearing. It is the expression of rapture that I love.

There is a language pressing on me from the inside. I fear the flow of it, released through the sieve of my limited abilities, will sound trite, egoistic, flowery and pretentious. But the pressure doesn’t leave until I write, so I’ll just open the taps for now and say yes to what comes.

The only time your hands didn’t shake was when you stood naked beside the sea, the darkness draping over your outstretched arms like cloth. I want you to feel the sand between your toes, accept the fact that you might sink. And yes, you might step forward and walk on water, and yes, I might follow you. But for now you are looking into the gloom. Not just looking. Seeing. The air on your skin is warm and moving over you at the speed of a breeze and a wind, if the two were first cousins that had married. What I mean to say is everything about this moment is specific. Never to be repeated. Precise and beautiful, full but fragile. And I can offer nothing else but a leaf of understanding, that I have acknowledged this lovely moment. It is not framed solid in my mind, but still, on a cool day when the setting sun is warm on my chest like a curled cat, I can let it move over me like the darkness moved over you. And see you standing there again. Watch the fingers of beckoning water and your smile, pulsing with pleasure as you sway in the rhythm of it all.

XXAnd with that, I bid you goodnight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

words are your door to the outside. use the door. often.