please enjoy this preamble from before i approach…
dear loved one,
i’ve been dying for the time to ask you this;
in the midst of the time moving, are you ever not with it?
have you ever volunteered yourself to more stable standing than this?
have you ever found yourself in such stillness that you are like stone?
has your mind ever ceased itself from quivering in the half-hearted dormancy of task?
has your heart ever dared itself to beat in such a way that it mocks the rhythm of life?
have you ever had the guts to tell yourself that day & night are the only formalities we have to hold?
when has all of this ever been in doubt for you?
oh, the way in which the sun & moon dance around our anxious souls,
we are begging for our efforts to be requited with a pause for adoration,
but lo – time hauls on.
if time marches to a certain rhythm, then why, oh why, loved one, does a second feel so elongated when my eyes are caught staring at its breast?
it feels as if my brain is cramped by anticipation, of what, i do not yet have the aptitude to fathom, but i stand, loved one – an unsettled soul.
i am rushing the time to move me to an undisclosed location.
& it is there, i am hoping that time will release me from its captive clutch.
its stench has entangled my heart in feelings that what is next is what is free.
its promises strangle my headspace so, thus creating a scarcity of oxygen in my medulla oblongata.
how can i then, form a thought to crawl towards the freedom that has promised me that it lies ahead?
let me also ask this of you,
when have you not been held responsible to the tic of your timepiece?
when have you said to yourself, ‘today, before i do, i must first, be’?
after all, have you not heard it said before this?
we are not human doings, we are human beings.
& before we are ever caught doing, we have first become.
therefore, the duty in which we are called to is always bound up in who we present ourselves as.
today, i charge thy soul to explore what it is to be.
to not lock thyself captive to the misrepresented slavery that is accomplishment.
you are lonely in that place, & there is no longer need to deny such.
we all need breath to carry on,
& it is breath that is that stable ground to build upon.
your body finds an unrecognizable peace there, loved one.
it is there, you will realize that the seconds on a clock tick aimlessly,
but you, loved one , you will land one day soon.
whenever the time so chooses to come.
chapter I – releasing my timepiece
is time a human created concept?
if so, who’s to blame for the fact that we are never satisfied with it?
& if thousands of years are just a twinkle in god’s eye, then what exactly is the need for seconds, minutes, and hours?
at times, i feel in purgatory to these minuscule ways we measure the moments,
it’s because i’m always so zealous for the next best one.
somehow, they all pass on with a distinct silence & i am then left confused with what to make of all the time we spent in that place.
i find myself near blood thirsty for time to move me into something better.
i catch myself peaking at my iphone by the second, expecting myself to accelerate time by constantly staring.
it’s as if i’m certain time looks upon me with favor and will bring me the things i feel i deserve for waiting the way it asks me to.
as it is, those yet to be seen moments just won’t approach me soon enough,
so i am given an ultimatum: adapt or perish.
they say time waits on no person, so i would wither away here if i expected time to acquiesce my hope.
so, what shall we say?
is time, in of itself, a waste or are we wasting time by overlooking the beauty of right now?
in being here, i am challenged with time.
this has been a great thing & i rejoice in the ways that this time has renewed me.
in fact, if you asked me to give you a one word answer about how i feel at this time along this road,
i would say, renewed.
i am finding myself in both familiar & unfamiliar spaces.
in both of these settings, time is asking me to do one simple thing with her: “slow down & be with me.”
this did not feel as if it were a foreign idea before i arrived to this place.
i’ve always thought myself to be well timed in my steps.
& i would say this time has not told me that i was living a lie,
no, instead, it has reminded me that there’s no need to rush it.
yes, there may be moments approaching that seem greater than these seconds,
but why isn’t being right here at this time enough?
why are you so anxious, ry?
these questions have often filled my aforementioned headspace.
i’ve often had to require myself time to draw a deep breath since the day i moved into my flat in umphumulo.
i came into this village expecting serendipity – an unorthodox perfection in the way i speak, think, & feel.
this, loved ones, exhausted my body beyond measure.
i’ve felt my body examine its surroundings & attempt to self-depricate.
i cannot recall the times under bated breath, my body has spoken the words, “i cannot be here.”
this, is because, i came here to do – and do damn well.
my body so dearly cherishes the things i have been able to do over the last few years.
traveling, experiencing, and rubbing elbows with extraordinary human beings has been like sipping of the finest south african wine.
i have been able to create, collaborate, and innovate;
times have been life for me.
yet, loved ones, here, i am none of those things i’ve done.
in this community, i am known for what i am being.
this, has been humbling, but has also offered me this quirky sort of redemption that i am falling in love with.
my life is not just a run on sentence, as it seems to be in the places i call home;
here, i am the man waiting for the next word after the comma that i have been to this point in time.
however, you should know, i am not searching for this word anymore,
it will be shown to me as i continue to show up & be.
moreover, the pace of time, here has shown me the fruit of deep patience.
a patience that says, “today, you may fail, & that’s okay.”
i’ve always been afraid to fail you, loved ones.
falling short seemed like the point of no return upon making my decision to be here.
i remember telling myself that every day had to be flawless or as close to it as humans may come;
this is because you believe in me.
you took a leap of faith in allowing me to come be on this journey.
how dare i waste our time otherwise?
in choosing to be here every single day, i have unlearned this self-imposed stress.
a lesson that my zulu family has taught me is that being able to see another day is progress alone,
& that it is always better to fail than to fail to try.
oh, how thankful i am for those words.
as the time has progressed, i’ve found this unmistakable beauty in right now.
this day may seem empty to you, but imagine what this time means to someone else.
on this day: life, death, celebration, and defeat happened somewhere.
& it was all remarkable & necessary in its own remarkable way.
if i’m learning anything, it is that there’s never a day that means nothing at all.
i could be bound to the four walls of my living quarters or out exploring something unfamiliar;
today has its own distinct purpose & value that can’t be duplicated.
today is the only day you get this day, so love it like it’s yours.
today, i am choosing to value your worth, time.
today, i hear you when you say that it doesn’t matter from where you come, but that you exist.
today, i don’t want to forsake you by manipulating the meal you’ve served me, time.
today, i am nourished in your name.
chapter II is imminent…