Monuments exist, perhaps, to enable modern day pilgrims. Their attempts to live – to make real – the dreams of books and films and images. There’s a power to that. To the smiles and emotional work of a thousand people beneath a giant iron colossus made real. Arrived, in a sense, at the end of journeys planned, saved for, and with varying difficulty realised.
These too, are words I wrote before. But I can sadly write no better, and am so very far away. So as a promise to the day I can leave a copy with my own hands, here they stand.
“So that the generation to come might know, the children, yet to be born, that they too may rise and declare to their children.”
– Psalm 78:6
Sometimes I return to writing out of inspiration, sometimes out of need, and sometimes through an indirect kick in the pants. Despite my dereliction, I had a post half-written in a journal somewhere, because I love how writing by hand slows the process of thinking about structure and cadence. Enough to make writing so much smoother. But that post is still mostly crap. And so you get this.
Truth be told, I blame Kerouac. Later on, Dana Snyman had a hand in it too, but mostly, originally, it was Kerouac’s fault.
It’s been a curvy, topsy year. The sort that wends and twists in its own strange ways to end up in places that you never quite expected. It’s also been pretty much non-stop, with only recent days in the Scottish backcountry as the first proper, unrushed opportunity to decompress . To reflect on just how Read More …
26 December: Epulu Ranger Station, Democratic Republic of Congo. But for the early arrival of the pygmies from yesterday, the morning would have started unremarkably. Yesterday’s thunderstorm delayed the trade in Ituri forest crafts, but this morning, they arrived with scores of necklaces made from forest nuts, small seeds and bark rope. Plus a musical instrument Read More …
Night makes for such delicious confession. Only the warm insomniacs inside, writing their muses into weary pages, and those few in the cold beyond. Who use the dark to play their own games deep past the witching hour. Inside is music, coffee, and self reflection. This three-year asana is drawing to its close. Existential tendons have already begun to draw into something different. Steeling for the years abroad. I’m headed overseas.
[From the first pages of the Cape to Cairo manuscript, Nov. 2009]
This is a story about traveling from Cape Town to Cairo on public transport. It’s also a little about what happens when you throw yourself out into the craziness of the world and try to do something you never thought you could.
It’s undeveloped, and it has crap roads – these things are true. But it is also full of really friendly people, to whom we have not had to pay a single bribe, who have really gone out of their way to show us a great time.
I finally finished transcribing the last days of my journal from Uganda somewhere around half past one this morning. One last push to get the last precious, straggling words off their handwritten pages. Loving each one, keystroke by keystroke – trying to remember when I wrote it. How I felt. In light of how the Read More …