Imagine darkness. Then, see the light.

Interesting Words on Love

Of Language and Love

by on Nov.19, 2015, under Interesting Words on Love, Observations, Short Stories

It is a small thing, to learn a language. Hard for some, easier for some. Importantly small and hugely important. The words that roll off our tongues are the same but mostly with a different meaning. To learn the language of the same, is not a small thing.

When you give me a sentence I am supposed to take it in, for its exact value, no more, no less. I am supposed to know the exact weight of your words and put that exact weight on my brain to weigh my words that will come out as a response. Do we still do this? And when did we forget?

I want to greet your mother in her language. Not your father. Your mother.

Woman to woman with an age gap produce different conversations. Warmer or colder, depending. More engaging even if they are superficial. Words are used in milligrams. Every word is weighed. Some lightly said – become way too heavy.

I never greeted your mother. I never had a chance to meet her. She left you to this world and to me. There is no regret and no joy. You came to me without your North Star. And now I am that.

That a woman must be the thread that holds it all together, by design of nicety or of force. That our hands must do more than hands do. Must tell words in languages forgotten and unspoken. This is why the language of the freshly baked bread speaks more than a handful of useless words in 12 Times New Roman.

Say little, love much.

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Born of a Rock

by on Oct.22, 2015, under Interesting Words on Love, Observations, Poems, Short Stories

When they give birth to you in a wrong place.

I was supposed to be born in Peru, where my dad was offered a job but he declined, due to the fact that my mom was pregnant with me.

I was their ‘ooops’ moment, eight years after my middle sister.

When I realised people have walked on the Moon – it took me four days to internalise – I decided it is time for me to step out into the world. Way premature, nearly costed me my life. But here I am.

I was born into the right kind of a rocky landscape. As harsh as the one on the Moon. Goats would be tied to rocks because rocks had loops and handles to tie animals to. Rocks were sharp. Rocks had my blood on them.

Rocks built and roofed houses, built walls and roads and bridges, or just gave sitting and chilling space. Some rough, some polished. Some slippery like death. Some hiding snakes. Some, underwater, hiding crayfish.

Rocks knew me. There is no point in hiding it. Rocks made me. In that sun, through those summers, hilltops blazing with forest fires. Rocks craved me and saved me.

A crack on the rock is a part of the whole.

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Anything and Nothing, Really

by on Oct.21, 2015, under 1996-1998, Interesting Words on Love, Observations

He mentioned you just pick a topic at random and write about it. Anything and nothing, really. So I will write about you as you are a topic for a lifetime. I never told anyone but a piece of your skull is buried in that garden in Mbuya. Just under those two granite slabs. I know, neighbours wondered why I’m lighting beewax candles over there so here it is. A piece of your dead and burnt body was put there by me.

I have no obligation to remember you but I do. You have put my life in danger enough times that I should endeavor to forget that I ever knew you. The girls you slept with were dubious; you had a gun to my head more than once. You fired shots, I have witnesses. I should forget you completely and erase you from every trace of existence but I remember you well. So I can recognise your behaviours in any other person, male or female, so I can save the world from another one like you.

That bullet that you put into your head – we shall talk about this some other time. But what a botched-up job. It was meant to be grand, great concept, sloppy execution. Besides, I don’t believe in suicide as a solution, although you saved your ass. You left those girls. That was your crime. This is why I still shake my head when I think of you. Thankfully, no association with you any more. God, I was so stupid and green. Thank you for that innocence and for sparing me from all the dangers of his network and net.

Aca

I have no obligation to respect you either, and I don’t. But for the sake of those old days, I’ll leave it at this. For now. I’m not yet ready to tell your story. Except that bit about your bones and ashes. Not all was sent back in a cookie jar, a piece of you is buried in Uganda. You can never escape from here.

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Somewhat Strange

by on Sep.20, 2015, under Horses, Interesting Words on Love, Observations, Poems, Uncategorized

These things called feelings. At some point you begin reflecting. Thinking it over and over and over. Replaying scenarios. Rethinking situations. reviewing reactions.

You question. Rightfully so. You bring yourself to the edge and count seconds before you are ready to jump. But you never jump. You step back.

Life becomes less complicated as you get older. Feelings intensify. You love yourself more. You ask for more. You determine, define, decide.

Somewhat strange that I’d let the small stuff bother me. But I did because it bothered me before and I let it be, graciously.

Let the dead horses decompose. But now they want to race, and win races with me in lanes. Wait a minute. I hold the whip and I even have a vest.

If you never sat on a horse, you don’t know what it means when the ears go down. And you find out a millisecond later when your ass is on the ground.

I think sleep is a wonderful thing. Anger tires me. I get really sleepy really late at night.

I have my new puppy on my chest. His steady breathing is translating into mine. Holding a warm puppy is a huge source of happiness and calm.

I love you. Something is misplaced between us but I love you. We need to walk the path together. Let me come back for you.

 

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Sequence of seven in 140 characters

by on Jul.02, 2015, under 1996-1998, Interesting Words on Love, Short Stories

You hold me and lift me at the same time with one arm, then wait. That wait consists of million thoughts and leaves me weak in my knees.

You don’t let go. You hold me too close. Seconds pass. When you finally make up your mind to kiss me, I’m weak, I’m lost, I surrender.

And for all the times I was walking away you mastered that one move, that right arm hold that made me feel like a queen, made me stay.

…………….

Standing by the graveside, i still feel the grip of your arm around my waist. The hold is choking me. Someone puts petals in my palm.

Rain is cruel. It makes breathing difficult. I drop the petals and the key. It makes a very awkward sound on the coffin. Sound of the end.

I try walking to the car. Mud is holding onto me. Your last attempt to keep me. Yet this time, you left. My feet are heavy. I fall. I die.

Someone pulls me out of that mud. I convince him I’m OK to drive. I’m not. I just buried my world. I play strong. I always play strong.

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Pesma bezimena – A Poem With No Name

by on Jun.26, 2015, under Interesting Words on Love, Poems, Srpski

IMG_9172Znam te.

Znam da postojiš.

Znam i nemir kojim zračiš.

Nemir i još više.

Bezimeno osećanje.

Jer da ima ime bilo bi poredjenja.

A poredjenja, jezivo, nema.

 

Imaš i ime.

Ime koje se ne sme izreći.

U mislima, nikad te imenom ne zovem.

Nikad te ne zovem.

Nikad.

I mislima, samo te gledam.

I ti vidiš samo mene.

 

Tvoje oči me posmatraju.

Stalno.

Iako me ne vide – vide me stalno.

Tvoje oči su svačije oči.

Oči špijuna.

Oči ptica.

Oči dece.

Oči konja.

Oči običnih ljudi.

 

Dve slobodne duše.

Našle se i u strahu pobegle.

Strah je sve što znaju.

 

Platnom se pokrivam.

Dugačkim da me pokrije skroz.

Tamnim da me krije u senci.

Gledam is senke.

Pratim svetla iz senke.

Čuvam dušu u mraku.

Da ti nikad ime ne pozove.

 


 

IMG_9159I know you.

I know you exist.

I know the disturbance you cause.

It is a disturbance and some more.

It is a feeling that has no name.

To name that feeling would be to compare it.

It is scarily incomparable.

 

You have a name.

A name that must not be said.

So in my thoughts, I never call you by your name.

I never call you.

I never.

In my thoughts I only see you.

And you only see – me.

 

Your eyes are seeing me.

Always.

Even though they don’t see me – they see me always.

Your eyes are everyone’s eyes.

Eyes of spies.

Eyes of birds.

Eyes of children.

Eyes of horses.

Eyes of common people.

 

Two souls that are free.

They meet and run away in fear.

Fear is all they know.

 

I cover myself in cloth.

Long enough to cover me completely.

Dark enough to hide me in the shadows.

From shadows i look out.

From shadows I follow the lights.

Keeping my soul in the dark.

So it will never call your name.

 

 

 

 

 

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In Love, Loving, Loved

by on May.30, 2015, under Interesting Words on Love

There comes a moment in time when you clear your head of all sorts of nonsensical influences and start drawing lines, reflecting on the past, coming up with conclusions and understanding some important things about yourself, about life, about how things are and what words to use to describe them.

Love appears to be one emotion that strongly comes as a winner in the game of my life. It is a very important emotion that comes to me in a variety of colours – please note, I deliberately use colours and not shades. Shades were recently removed from my love vocabulary because they were degraded into the world of sexual, therefore world of simple which I’m not seeking to explain today.

What is it that we mean when we say we are in love with someone, we love someone, we are loved by someone? Three very different things.

Being in love is the emotion of excitement, butterflies in your stomach, energy, jumping around like a mad person, wild music, wild parties, wild search for your person all over town, attempts to come close, first everything, more butterflies and so on. Unsustainable feelings that soon, hopefully, change to something better or something worse. Desperately in love, when not returned, can destroy the person completely. Desires that do not materialise are often our simplest downfall. Whole industries are hinging on people in love: cosmetics, fashion, plastic surgery, fitness – all programming people to look better, feel better, be more appealing to the other sex.

But love is something different. When you love someone it is like having a birthmark, or gray hair. It is effortless and you do not think, for one minute, about that person’s opinion of you because it ultimately does not matter. You love that person. Full stop. There are no conditions. Nothing has to happen. Nothing has to change. No worlds are falling apart. You have no expectations either. You love. You don’t care whether they love back or not. Love is about you, giving it, not expecting anything in return. And it can be a dog, a horse, a man, a woman, a pet snake or a lizard. Your love does not need to change them, shape them, convert them – none of that. Your love is just there for them.

Being loved is the best feeling ever. You know that’s what it is, you do not have to prove anything to the person who loves you, you are yourself, they love you for you, nothing has to change, no modifications required.

True love has no requests. It allows you to be. It permits all the flaws, all the traits. It welcomes your imperfections. It gives you wings. It makes you a better person. It pushes you to be helpful, compassionate, empathetic, it removes competitiveness, aggression, drama.

So when I say “I love you” I mean it in the sense that I do not require any reaction or action. It is a fact that I’m glad to share and I can say this to God, to any one of you reading, to my horse, to my dog. The emotion is there, unchanged by anybody’s actions, it is unconditional and I don’t care what you’re going to do about it. It is I who loves you and what you do with it is entirely your issue. Not mine.

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Rainy Season

by on May.11, 2015, under Interesting Words on Love

Grass is cold under my feet. Freshly cut, some blades stick to my bare feet as I walk down to the beach. It’s getting dark. Real quick. From the very last rays of sunshine, struggling to break through the clouds, till now, is just a few minutes. Shadows start to dance.

Sand is cold too. I can see the marks heavy raindrops left. Like small craters crammed together. Only a few critters crawled out of the sand to look for a late night meal. Everyone else is buried deep down.

It’s gray and grim. Will another storm come by tonight? Will it be heavy and violent, as the last one? Or do we get a lighter, easier to bear rain, tiny raindrops combined with just a dash of wind. Beats me. Somehow, I feel, it deliberately beats me.

Dark, darker than dark, the night creeps in. This lake is climbing towards me to engulf me in its coldness and darkness. It should be scary but in essence, it isn’t. My feet are covered in cold water that climbs up  my legs just a little bit too fast. I’m frozen in a test-tube of the twilight and I can’t move, this water is going to drown me, I know this as I stand in place, immobile.

Last breath. I’m inhaling water and exhaling fish. There is a silver line of light that still breaks through the sky and lights up the path under the surface. I can swim now. Fish eyes look at me with curiosity and absence of fear. I think they think I’m one of them. My chest doesn’t hurt any more. My feet are suddenly warm and moving. Death, in essence, seems to be just fine.

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Gypsy-orange

by on May.06, 2015, under 1996-1998, Interesting Words on Love

I was around fifteen when I went to Russia to spend the summer with my dad. He worked on setting up a huge tannery in a little village called Raskazovo, near Tambov. It was a strange place for a fifteen-year old. I was the youngest among the Serbs temporarily living there, I was bored, I had no friends or acquaintances and – even though I was happy to be there as I left a very jealous boyfriend at home – I was somewhat bored.

Not looking for entertainment, just looking for new experiences, new things to do. Something to remain in the memory. Raskazovo is the place where I first drove a car on my own. It was a large black Volga, weighing a couple of tons and guzzling fuel like mad. I learned how to move that thing and I was quite proud of myself, ploughing the dirt roads with the heavy wheels of this black monstrosity – when I was able to steal the keys and run away with the car.

On one of those trips I encountered a group of gypsies. They were poor, cheap labour for the construction site of the factory, now engaged in cleaning the site and packing away all the debris from construction, planting flowers and grass and other menial jobs. They were heading home after work and I followed them from a slight distance, very discretely, as you can otherwise do peeping over the steering wheel of a huge black Volga.

They led me to their den, a valley on the outskirts of the village, full of improvised tents and horse-carts. I looked around for the horses, knowing clearly that the Volga love had instantly faded and is replaced by this new adventure. It was getting late and I made myself a promise to go back the following day, on foot, to see what the gypsies have for me.

Summer in Russia is a whole day, every day affair. The Sun sets at ten, eleven and it rises at three in the morning. It is a perpetual day, with just a bit of semi-darkness between the sunset and the sunrise. My mind was occupied by the prospect of seeing the gypsy horses and I hardly slept. I was eager to sneak out, at the break of the dawn, run to the edge of the village and start scouting for the familiar shapes and movements in the tall grass of the gypsy valley.

And so I did. And so I found them. Grazing to the backdrop of the most magnificent fiery sky, painted the colours of orange I can not explain in words, I had failed to reproduce in paintings and most certainly failed to photograph all my life.

Gypsy-orange colours of life. Simple, uncomplicated, basic and straightforward life. I stole a horse promptly and rode off, prompting the village spy assigned to follow me around to run after me until he was out of breath. I had other horses follow me, catching up with my steed and surrounding us, making the ground shake with the thunderous noise of hooves, neighing and heavy breathing.

I never felt so surrounded by pure energy before. The dust, the steam coming from the nostrils, whipping of tails and closeness, speed of movement, group coordination, like being inside a very powerful cloud that races across the sky with no particular aim other than demonstrating its beauty and raw, immense power.

That gypsy-orange colour was now forever alive in me.

That memory of glowing morning sky is what I look for in every sunrise and sunset, and I see it. Coordinates don’t matter. It is the moment in time when your mind becomes one with everything you love and the fire lights up the sky and your mind simultaneously, fills you with the energy that has no explanation other than pure love for what you are, for what your world is, for everyone and everything in it.

Years later.

There were the days of sunset when we sat together at the balustrade in front of house No. 29, our feet dangling and our hands touching, waiting for the sky to fill up with that gypsy-orange colour somewhere above Makerere Hill. It must have been a very awkward sight because – what’s a soldier doing there, daydreaming with a girl… The preciousness of those days embedded itself painfully onto my mind, like a burning brand on the horse’s skin. It is a scar that radiates gypsy-orange colour inside my soul, reminding me of the painful finiteness of death and even more, of the ever-lasting presence of the energy of love.

Once you love someone or something, it is yours. It can not change, it can not go away unless taken by brute force of destruction, disappointment, betrayal. Death never ends anything. It is the way of preserving things at status-quo, giving you the ability to question and find answers on your own, answers you want for the situation. Death preserves everything as it was in your mind. Years later, nothing changes. The emotion is still right there, wrapped in that gypsy-orange tone. And you see it everywhere.

Years later.

Heart and mind are infinite in their ability to add more love and more experiences into your life. Except the love becomes more universal and less specific as the time goes by. More about giving as opposed to give and take of the young days. More free and more encompassing. Like a door, ajar. No bolts, no locks, no burglar bars. Anyone and anything walks in and out, taking what they can carry, leaving what they are able to give. It is a gypsy-orange coloured space that brightens up every morning and dims every night, radiating light just like a guiding star in the sky of my universe.

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I’ll make you a deal.

by on Apr.25, 2015, under 1996-1998, Interesting Words on Love

I’ll make you a deal.

I’ve said this so many times and you haven’t really said what you want, yet. But I’m ready to make you a deal of any kind, including, as they say, selling my soul to the devil.

Can you, somehow, go away and leave me alone? Can this memory be wiped clean, deleted, defragmented, rebooted – or can this hard drive suffer some serious damage? Can the last trace of you disappear from my mind forever so I stop clinging onto those snippets of happiness and sadness and finally, move on?

My mind is a random sequence of pictures of moments spent together. Or moments spent alone wishing we were together.

The day we met, your towering figure in the doorway, casting a shadow on me and the rest of my life, wearing a pink (!) shirt and looking immensely shy and confused, me not knowing yet that it’s love that struck us right there and then – with one simple blow to our hearts, leaving us breathless and confused in the moment.

Days of hiding my emotions to the point of feeling ill, not sure what it was: life, love, desperation, desire to run or desire to stay and wait for you forever if need be. The way my knees would shake and my head would feel empty and light when I hear the sound of the footsteps crossing the shadows of the living room to find me in the backyard, pretending to be busy but actually waiting for you for hours, and still unprepared to meet you, to be in the same space with you.

The day I summoned you home to tell you that I love you and that there is nothing that will stand between that love and me, even if we never touch. And the way you held me and asked me why are you there, with me, every day, happy to just see me and exchange a few shallow words of greeting, happy to be within the same space. Just to be. Near me.

The kiss, that first one and every next one that was hidden, stolen, naive and scared, smuggled then passionate, open, carefree, for everyone to see and know that we are that one thing together, the wild animal that knows no fear any more.

Next, the day guns were drawn to kill me because you admitted we were lovers and you decided to keep it between men, as if me being that very woman who had forever divided friends was not relevant, not key to the drama at all. Shaka’s and Paul’s shocked faces when I walked out of the car towards the gun because I had to put a stop to another man’s hopes of ever getting me back, even if it meant to get the bullet. Turning my back to the known world of friends and acquaintances because I knew they were judging me and I wanted to give them space to speak their small minds in order to console the man who lost me. Also, blocking their evil energies to preserve what we had, to let it grow and bond us to one another.

Back to the day you brought Dombolo from Congo and promised you were ok, even though you were hurting, physically and emotionally, knowing right well that all your friends have let you down at that time. The way you looked at me and asked why am I still there for you, why don’t I leave like everyone else had done, why don’t I move on as you have nothing to give me, no money, no security, no future. The way I answered you that our time together is enough because it is precious and that is all we will ever have between us and it is never enough.

The day we kissed on the street even though this wasn’t the thing to do – to show passion and love in front of other people. It was dark and late at night but still, the soldiers were around watching us walk out of the car, to the gate, saying goodbye and kissing, clumsily, like schoolchildren.

Our first fight and first making up. My tears of hopelessness when you were not well and a quick wipe of my face so you don’t see that I’m already mourning you in a way. That I know you will leave me but you will never leave me because you can’t do it on your own and I’m not willing to help you.

The day it rained all the way to Mubende and I drove like a maniac because we were to spend a long weekend together; the time spent in the small hotel room that looked like a castle to two of us who didn’t have any place under the sun together. The rain that saw me out of there, as fast as the tears pouring out of my eyes and trying to wash the pain of knowing that we can not exist together even though we were made for each other. That this world will simply not let us be ourselves. That people we know will never leave us alone.

The day I knew I am the source of life, the day you died, and the day everything we truly had between us died with you.

There is no way I can manage this any longer. It is hard, after so many years, to realize I have not grieved properly, I have not finished that process and you are still present, walking through my mind at leisure as if you are the rightful owner of that space and yet, you are long gone. You left me, remember?

In my dreams, I sit with you at the wall in front of Nakasero House and we look at the sunset over Makerere. We are very old and wrinkled and ugly. We had spent a lifetime together. We still argue over kissing. Life is easy. But it’s still just a dream.

I’ll make you a deal: come into my dreams any time you want. Leave my days to myself and to what is precious now. Dream is the only place we have now. Till we meet again.

*Johnson Mwebaze. Departed on 1st October 1998. Never left. If you love me, you will understand that the pain of death, forceful sudden removal of the person you love is the worst pain of all. When there is no chance to say goodbye and all you have is your grief and your memory. No matter how your life unfolds, unfinished stories haunt you forever.

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