Friday, 30 May 2014

Mwape

You embodied the phrase
"eyebrows knitting together"
I don't know how exactly
but that's just the way I see it
See them

Every expression under (over) lined and highlighted
permanently marked
in our memories

An evil grin
A secret joke
An intense stare
Sometimes mystery
sometimes silent shadow
yet
I always noticed you

Amy and I had to sit on your table in the Dining Hall in form 1
- back when boys and girls did not mix
But I didn't mind, underneath my sarcastic responses
and awkward attempts at blending English into Zambian skin
You made the tasteless leftovers served for supper bearable
If we could rewind
I'd sit next to you all over again

Two years later
Beside Kundalila Falls
I burned my finger on a stone from around our Bronze Expedition fire
And cut the finger off a rubber glove to protect it
You laughed and said it looked like I was wearing a condom
I stomped off blushing
All-too-easily-embarrassed-adolescent
But I laugh now
You always had jokes and an eye-twinkle and it didn't seem to matter much whether anyone else joined in.
Life was there for the enjoying.

I went to your farm once
A swimming gala weekend in Lusaka
Your parents took us out for a meal at Spurs
And Wesu tried to teach me how to trot
You weren't there
But I can imagine you riding horses
Alongside the granadilla bushes
I'm glad I have that photograph behind my eyes

Glad because when I looked
today through albums and scrapbooks
You managed mainly to stay hidden from view
But I don't need paper to remember

Mwape
Chilling at the basketball courts
Creating miracles with a pencil
Sixteen now and
standing under the gumtrees with Melinda
Another picture etched in my memory
More smiles

Ten years on and we've touched down
In different tongues and towns
Our paths didn't cross again
But you were never mine to hold onto
You belonged to the stars
Twinkling in and out of countless lives

It's been more than ten years
But I had plenty tears for you
This Saturday when I heard


With sincerest condolences to those who knew this man a lot better than I did.  
I'm grateful our paths crossed, even just for a while.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Time and time.

Hey, how you doing? It's been a while.


As you can tell from the last post, we went back to Brighton a few weeks ago to catch up with friends.  It was a really good time, full of great food, lazy afternoons and long conversations.  It made me thankful once again for the relationships we have there, relationships that developed over time and trials and tea and trips and other things beginning with 't' plus lots of other letters.  Friendships take time to grow, don't they? I have to remember that on the lonely Penzance days. Valuable things don't generally happen all at once.  Diamonds, wine, gardens, love. (But, we are getting to know more people now, and the sky is getting brighter).


Even in the midst of all the good I still managed to have a very anxious afternoon/evening on one of the days, leading to bucket loads of tears under the covers and feeling totally crap.  I don't know where it came from, couldn't think of any obvious reason for feeling like that. I don't get me sometimes.  But I know I'm not the only one who has those days, which kind of helps. Not that I'm glad that people I love also suffer from those dark-desperate moments.  That's why we need each other. Time. Tears. Together.


For the first time, I didn't dread driving 'home' to Cornwall.  The threads of life seem to be coming together a little more what with the move, and church, and job, etc.  I'm still adjusting to working from home, working full time, working one job, working in front of a PC all day... Tired brain and cabin fever and desperate-for-a-face-to-face-conversation by 5pm! But I've decided not to give myself too much of a hard time. I'm accepting that it takes a while to get used to change. Time. Again. Give it time.


So yeh. We're slowly chipping away at this town, at attempts to be creative, at new friendships and at doing the things we believe we're made to do.  Nothing big, nothing dramatic. Some days we just work and eat watch Game of Thrones and go to bed.  Other days... An early morning run. A dawn prayer. Reading a poem to a half-empty bar. A cup of coffee with a mother who needs some company. A walk by the sea. A guest for dinner.

Time and time and taking care of the small seeds that can grow into big trees.