Lately I am tired. It may be the click-tut of the geckos, the whinge-whine of mosquitos that bug and bite, or the brawling call of the morning mosque scaring me out of sleep, but I am finding little rest.
I walk with a weight that the spring in my step can’t quite shake off.
I came home from work today and sobbed over a huge half cut pineapple. It’s mute resistance to my blunt knife was the final futility that drew hot tears to rage salty puddles into the dense sticky slick of juice.
I can’t quite believe that I cried over a pineapple….
I smile. I am happy. I say it and I mean it but still there is something unacknowledged that is wearing me thin. I ache with something I have no words for.
I could call this grief but the word is too neat, too complete. I am mourning what never was even as I mourn what I’ve lost.
I want a hand to hold, a shoulder to rest my head on. Sometimes I would love to be a little less strong… to have someone else to pick up the knife and do the tough bits for me.
I wake from dreams frustrated, with the sense I have been breath-close to understanding something crucial. But the memory is gone and only loss lingers.
I am tired, grieving, angry, hurting, alone but there is still plenty of bright to bounce for. There is silly fruit grief to leave me crying-laughing, instead of dry-eyed and dead numb.
If a pineapple can help me know myself better, the world has plenty to surprise.
There will always something to laugh about.
This weekend I went wandering through a slum beside the river, down alleys that leaned heavy on me. As the crowds thinned out, those alleys crowded in; hunching closer overhead, dimming out the sky inch by inch. My path blanked into a few too many dead ends, twisted through turns that stopped making sense.
I found little but emptinesses, sewerage and stench, and slowly I started to feel uneasy, wondering if I had wandered a bit too far from life and light. I wondered whether I had made mistake..
I rounded a dark corner feeling the first itch of fear…. and then ran into a mongoose.
I screamed, it screeched. We mirrored mutual wide-eyed terror in tall and tailed, fair and furry. It was not the shock I had expected…
I had never seen a mongoose before and truth be told it was a long way short of terrifying – it looked like nothing so much as a giant rat that had just had an extensive makeover at a beauty parlour. The poor thing ran for its life and I laughed so hard that the rolling sound seemed to pull the sun down next to me to shine the shadows off.
After years of travelling, sometimes cities, countries, continents blur and blend. Much has been forgot and no doubt more will be forgotten, but that mongoose will stay with me – that memory will serve as a reminder to laugh at myself even in the tightest and darkest of corners.
It seems there are lessons to be found even when I’m lost in a muddle of dead ends.
Maybe I need to get a little confused, a little uncomfortable, so that I can start to find my feet on the way to somewhere or something new….