Friday, 12 August 2011
At the furthest that my eye can see, a mountain prepares itself for its daily pleasure of consuming the sun so the sound of the end of the day may relieve us all of our daily tasks, some of slavery dignified and some of happiness defined. At the shores of night time my afternoon ends and my mind starts the preparation of tomorrow.
Upon the streets I walk, many accompany me to a destination, home, that is similar but the distance varies with each person, everyone here, whose home is kept by them that have been left behind to tend to all that needs nurturing. Some leave children, many leave their woman and men behind and a fair portion of those that descend with us on that memorial path have left nothing, where they are marching to. Where the tar ends, a few elevating and on the other side of the platform a few descending steps, the presentation of our final gestures given. We wave, we utter the words we heard this morning from our loved ones, we chant the formality that was bestowed upon us by generations, we gave our final words as though the tomb has accepted one of us, GOODBYE.
Moving towards the metal based high ways of steaming transportation, we all pace ourselves to the tempo of the pulsating snake figure that has segments, of our different cultures fused in the song of breath taken in and out with sighs of disappointment for some that saw themselves in a different place at this age. On that ledge that has heard thousands and thousands of stories before we came, now, yesterday and the days before, we wait to be ingested. Rooted in certainty I am positive that this is the best place to stand to be wrecked into that diverse carriage that will see to the rest of my journey. As the frequency of its slither changes, so does the rocking of the seated ladies in front of me as they hum songs I knew before I know of the existence of the city. The momentum of the of the slither has now built up so much that the ladies are unable to contain the song within and a roar of tone has finally filtered through to every soul that is in here with us. “Se ngi khumbul’ekhaya aba zali bami, U mama no baba bangi shiye ngi sasem’ncani” (I miss my home and I miss my parents, my mother and father left when I was just a little one). The depth of this song is only emphasized by the countenances of everyone that sings and claps louder and louder, for some it even draws tears from the distant thoughts that have been rekindled in mind.
The sound and the beat of the round feet slowing down means that we have reached a destination and the first is mine. The juxtaposed roofing with scattered lights gives me comfort in the knowledge that I have arrived where I belong. Rehabilitated by the clouding smoke of the indoor flames made for the day’s last dish, in metal plated and coal heated stoves, on those zinc multi-coloured plates, is a fulfilling joy that makes us forget about how the day has tortured us. The calming aura of dreams that surrounds our walls harmonizes with the tune of all the stories told about a better future. At the end of it all, my home will always be wherever I take it.
Thursday, 4 August 2011
My fingers have gone numb from the anticipation of writing this text which my mind has informally prepared for you to hear today. The point of my plastic sword has been made limber and here I sit, all of a sudden the stupor of having gone blank has gripped my wits.
I have had the entire day to conversation but now that it matters most, I still cannot find the words to speak right now. The words I need to say so that the angel that comes to me each and every night to my bedside may have a message to take with on his departure at dawn. These are the same words that taunt me when I walk alone as the unforgiving sound of my own voice inside my own head. This deafening soliloquy should be part and parcel of the conversations I want to have with you at every moment. I took a look at my body this morning and when my eyes reached my lower limbs, at my knees to be exact, I realized that they could pass for a baby’s bottom and that is the kind thought about looking at them. The reality that hit me was that my knees had not been stained by the ashing of kneeling on the floor, not for any kind of labour but the humbleness that all Christians should have. I thought back to a conversation I had with one good man, Paul Mahlangu while I worked underground, in a coal mine, for Anglo American. I cannot remember specifically the details of the conversation or how it had escalated to it, but I remember him saying: “the answer to all the questions you ask yourself each day are as far as kneeling for a minute in your day.”
I prayed and prayed each day with a growing persistence to see results, to prove that this formula that I had been given would work and with that, the end of emotional and spiritual impoverishment would come. Surely the time spent in this newly found ritual, would come a few answers and have my sanity deeply rooted in faith. I have had tones upon tones of positive moments and like ying and yang, I have had negative moments as well. You have saved me from death and permanent injury in all the car accidents I have had and many more that were on my path, but I could not see. This is not because I am a super soldier for the kingdom or a child that does not know his way, but I was saved because, somehow, I’ve always known, there goes an angel, that is the vanguard of my journey, at every expedition I take. Every day and everywhere. Have I lost something in the time that I have not spent in your presence? If I have, is there a way that I can “reboot” my system of blessings that I may too feel the joy that is naturally intended for all those that belong to you?
The older I grow I ask myself; “could I have not known all that I know now when I was a wee bit younger than I am now” and as I grow wiser I realize that all that I know now was intended and written in your palm that I should know now. Grace is given to all man, even those that cannot define it and Mercy… she’s the mother to all our comfort.
Charles Dunn, Amen