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Re: a world for my child to belong to

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Published: 15 years ago
This is a reply to # 733,115

Re: a world for my child to belong to

Sophia--so much wisdom - and an aching yearning for *home* ( + its re-membering )
in this post of yours. Your writing is exquisitely 'connected'. You do *not* have so little to offer your son, despite the world(s) you describe so well: both those ideal and not so. You *know * that—but I know what you mean, in that expression.

Lake? Beautiful name. Blessed by the moon and more…
If you were “so anxious” to meet him--it is the same with him, and all is good. And besides, as you also know, there is a much bigger picture...and he has his *protection* and his imperatives, as do you. (and Erik) It’s wonderful that you 3 have this relationship.
And in another moment, another day, I too might have said what you said about this being more complex…

By the way, pear slices with a touch of miso sounds very fine to me! When my son was your son’s age he was quite fond of souffléd sardines on toast. And raspberries.

Your rememberings are delightful and solemn at the same time.

I have perhaps similar visions -- of a village in East Africa, no, two-- the one not quite so 'pure' in the sense we think of as ‘uncivilized’, in that it was not lush, but dusty, and there may have been a car or two that passed through, AND there was a certain measure of modern ‘wealth’: a great ceremony was held during that time I knew the place, to mark the occasion of an outhouse being dug near the center of the village- As well, the medicine man/village head/wise man there owned a large framed photo of an airplane that hung in his main room, to which he often pointed -with a grim gesture and a vocalization of summation, as if to say, THAT was the beginning of the problem.

Then he would laugh with great glee, and others would join him. A lovely laugh of true humour. No desires, and no bitterness in it. Certainly no envy!!! The women would come and join in, and hang in the doorway—The men would fall against each other and link hands; a delicious bell-like laughter would grow that shook their bodies very gently. I loved this village. Wanted to build a house there. (The cost in total then was forty Canadian dollars). Children ran everywhere, or were carried by an older child and they all looked after one another. In many ways, this village was blessed.

The other village I loved and would ‘play’ in, in among the remains of an old Arabic *castle* -by then three stone walls, crumbling, and held together with the trunks of great trees holding it up - was lapped by the ocean, and had old iron rings attatched to the walls. It was a profoundly touching place where I would go with my first love, to sit in the windows and look out at the sea. There was a catholic church nearby, just out of sight, where on a Wednesday, say, children would be heard singing in choir practise. NO one sings like this!! Such beauty. Frequently I would be in tears when we left, usually at sunset, with a double sense of great love and sorrow that I didn't yet understand. ( I was 13-14) It was only years later that I learned the name of the place--and why no one went there but us! It was *our place*.

Its name in English translates to *give up your heart* -- It was the place they brought the people to, before herding them into the slaving ships—and they must have known it was going to be the last place they saw of their own land—their own life.

Never (yet) have I been anywhere in the world that has touched me more than East Africa. I never knew what it meant until then, to feel that your very blood is in the earth.
Your whole body-the dust. That your heart is there, in the dust and the air and in even the empty spaces, between the branches of the trees. I never understood the way some Africans would talk about themselves as inseparable from their land. But now I do.

I considered myself a citizen of the world, and was a little smug about it, about the fact that I was not attached to my home-town, or any such small ideas of ‘home’, as for example when people ‘place’ you according to “‘where you come from”.

For many years after that, I thought (inwardly) of Africa as my home, more than any other.

Well, your post inspired me so much with these loving thoughts…thank you for painting the picture you did. I am very glad that this post today is the one that will probably be my last (of any substance) here. A good goodbye. or as they say in Swahili--

Tutuanana (which means goodbye but not goodbye)

I haven't said that in decades!

And all the best to you and to us all- with All things * home *



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