Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Mauritius 13/2/18

Thinking of my sisters this early morning, in the heat of a Mauritius night held at breathing distance by an efficient air conditioning unit. One gone, one going and the other making hay, stitching in time, putting her best foot forward, breasting the waves and generally getting sorted, as you do when the inevitable becomes, clear sighted and obvious.

There is a restlessness in me as I see the raging at the night drawing nearer for loved ones and feel a need to do something to get sorted too but seeking greener grass is a fool's errand I've been told by those who see angels in their mirrors. Then I see contented animals doing it successfully all the time and remember those sad, skinny mules kicking around, rib-chested in muddy confines. Maybe they rushed in a while ago, full of hope. No, we make our own beds and must lie in them, whilst it’s night.

I was struck again, yesterday, by how same the world is, wherever I've been. When you see behind the rose tinted lenses, your tourism spectacles come with, beyond the greener grass atop mountains, woodlands, valleys, or those different coloured rocks and sands and seas. And when you have become used to the bird songs and vocal tumbling in the mouths of locals - it is far more of the same, this wonderfully similar, recognisable, Earth.

The Desire Lines on sand and scrubland wander in that wriggle of nonconformity as though each walker enjoys the first maverick's little wander from the straight line (that remember joins every two places). A few little steps as if to say, "I can tread beyond the expected you know. Look I am doing it now!". Then a scurry back to the path, soon to become track and roadway - eventually laid bare, black, tarmacked black a bobbing straight line to the heart of the, once village, then town, now city.

And where is the heart of this city? The market of course as it is and will always be. For this is the place where we humans go for our food. In this endeavour we are exposed, as nowhere else. Except more so the waterholes but these are rare things now as our springs are piped to our cloisters and closets (as is our music – like it or not) so we may drink, wash and soap ourselves in secret intimacy. Only peeping Toms see but their voyerism is joyless. Meanwhile, we humans in our markets are, if you take the time to watch, busily joyous, earnest, singular, industrious and vulnerable in our selling, buying and carrying of our necessary vitals and victuals.  Yes, here in the fleshy, flowery, fishy and flamboyant displays we are naked expectants of the unrealised joy we carry, new found in our bags, bundles and boxes. Back home we journey licking our lips in anticipation of the cooking and eating, dressing and wearing, unpacking and using our new finds.

Children carry for mother's. Sisters load their brothers. Singletons barter for lovers,  or will, alone (not always lonely) wear it, eat it, or display it for long remembered others..

In this hustling bustling and muscling I see the same expressions I've seen all my life. You'll know them all and recognise them instantly too. It is reassuringly human and - so - in this instant melancholy evaporates and a sterner resolve takes its place.

New day - new paths - best foot forward. Like my sisters always teach me.