Empty Pages

When you pick up a blog, after being away for so long, it’s like leafing through the pages of a diary you have failed to write. Blankness gazes back with dead stare.  And accusing.

Where did this time go?

The home I unpacked more than a year ago has settled comfortably on its haunches, dust has gathered reassuringly beneath furniture.   At night a pure blackness descends.  Here, here on this mountain where there is no nicotine light to steal the dark and bleach it hotwhite, I can hear bush babies shriek indignantly.  Ant and I lie in bed and laughingly imagine what one might be saying to another.  If I shine a torch, its beam may catch big, startled eyes. At night the elephants wander in from the forests and leave their tread for me to see in the morning, soup plate indents in soft earth, a scatter of ripped branches.  Sometimes we go looking for them.  The elephants. We hop into the pickup and drive carefully. We see nothing, only the night skinnyribbed by skeleton trees. An elephant’s footfall can be kitten soft when it wants. I can walk miles, circumnavigate the farm and see nobody. I  can smell the scent of game in the soil, the woodsmoke from fires that burn at night to keep wildlife off cultivated fields.   I can see the shoulder of Kilimanjaro behind me, sometimes its ancient rocky head is iced quite white. Turn my head west and I can see the sweep of the valley and then watch it rise to the foothills of Meru which is cutglassclear on my sunset horizons, black pencilled into a bruised sky. Sometimes I hear an aeroplane above and tip my head to see it tow a ribbon across a blue, blue sky.

This is a good place to quietly lick wounds and gather thoughts.

We have carved another space,  we have rekindled another home. It is my tenth – or is it 11th – since I began writing this blog twelve years ago.  Sometimes people remark, ‘I haven’t seen you since you lived in X’ and I am horrified; I have no recollection. But I think our memory bank has only so much space and mine was being filled too fast, too furiously as life upped and offed all over again and I was obliged to pack and follow in its weary wake.

I am trying to sit still; in a year when I have travelled to London, to Eastern Europe and to South America, I am learning to sit still.  I hope that means my words will follow.

kili2

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7 Responses to “Empty Pages”

  1. Leilani Weatherington Says:

    Thank you for starting to write again. I have missed your exquisite writing.

  2. renaissancerosie Says:

    Welcome back! You were sorely missed. How is your writing course going?

  3. Ad dy Says:

    Welcome back from me too. My daughter worked at the Meru Hospital for 6 weeks and I can picture exactly where you must be. So wonderful to have elephants on your land and the sight of Kili and Meru. Although you are moving around a lot, you are experiencing so much that many people would pay vast amounts of money to see.

    • reluctantmemsahib Says:

      Dear Ad dy, thank you. and you’re right – the moving has been a challenge at times but it HAS lent insight into some amazing living. X

  4. daisyfae Says:

    Good to see you pop up again in my reader!

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