By Sanelisiwe Yekani
My dear Traveler,
We are the ones who are enslaved by our wandering hearts, forever on our way, always off to somewhere. There is always more, well at least we hope so. My travels fill me with joy and rip me apart all at the same time; I am in love and terrified.
The other day I found myself emerging from sinking sand, it all happened so quickly. I’m telling you I’ve seen the ground coming at me. Faces of gravel I’ve met along the way will agree with me, they too are dear and familiar.
It’s all very funny. The way things work, the way they just don’t. Nothing seems to work here; I swear the shed had tools once. All that labour and then the grave; a room you will one day visit for good. Your loved ones will empty their pockets, fill their houses with every last bit of you they can recall. They will buy you flowers to pretty your grave.
The probability of the scent of these awakening your pulse. It’s all very strange; it’s appalling that in the midst of this I remember you still. I’m hoping this message finds you in time.
Your absence holds a weighted presence here.
How does one obtain eternal sunshine while sitting here unlearning the world as it carries on with all its ever known? Chest pains. Somehow something still convinces us to sing and smile like the sky isn’t about to fall on our heads.
I’ve lost many loved ones, I still watch some of them go. So long!
There is a world dying here.
My love for many things has grown weary. It’s nobody’s fault. Time is all. There are many things that bring ageing upon us. And age the least to do with it. Doing time; ageing. I wear my wrinkles sitting on a wooden rocking chair watching the clock. Watching things find their dying melodies. Until they become silent and one with things past. And so on.
I haven’t listened to our music since you left, that would be asking too much of mere, old me and my poor old heart. It appears it aged in a single night and what a stranger it’s become since.
I remember you still.
Our nomadic ways may command space but time could never wait. The thing about that clock.
Things are a lot different here now, many seasons in a day. We have involved ourselves with other humans, and here begins trouble. All lurking, looking for…something. Infinity; more. Chests; heavy. We are at work, we are at war. We are forced to breathe here, oh, how it hurts to breathe.
I’ve put on all my wrinkles to write this letter to you. Help me carry these centuries.
Music is too loud, now. The people, the busses on Jorrisen still fill the streets with a fog. So much madness, far from calm. The masses that feed the lungs of the city turn in and it all begins again, dusk lurks for another Jane Doe. A new dawn is dawning. Sunrise; it’s mourning. Our roosters are sirens.
Pity we missed out on the waves and the quiet. Oh how I miss the quiet.
Write to me when you get there. I want to know if the leaves there resist dying, too busy twirling, like we imagined they would, if the sunset makes you feel like dancing?
Do people hold onto their songs? Are they gentle with their promises?
How often do seasons change there? what remnants have you found out there?
Write to me. Send me shells and stones straight from the sea, pack me tidal waves in an envelope. Tell me of the creeds which astound you the most. No one should keep such gallons of thought to themselves.
I hear many await the New Jerusalem, I await your return. May the nomads who came before us lead you back to this tired nomad. I have all my centuries with me, sitting on a wooden rocking chair. Watching the clock. Remembering you, still.
Oh heart of mine. The carcasses of I will write home soon…I have been out searching for more remnents. I do hope to find something for the tired nomad.
(Avela Dadawele Fihlani)