Beep beep bop

At times, I feel a bit like a newly programmed hard drive. It takes me a few seconds to compute new information.

Men, for example.

Men used to be a bit of an anomaly to me. Well, who am I kidding? They still are.

I’ve learned a lot though. And been fortunate enough to know some wonderful men. I’ve learned that humans are programmable. Re-programmable even. And that the paths that we write for ourselves are our own.

Recently, I’ve found contentment in letting go. In re-programming myself. In allowing the landscape around me to just be. 

I’ve found relief in letting go. And found happiness in such relief. 

The best secret of all, is that I’m beginning to like change.

 

S marks the spot

“Miriam! Come ON!” I mouthed the words intensely at my big sister, waiting for her to follow me towards the looming stone wall in front of us. 

Barefoot, with chocolate smears on our cheeks, we crept along the outside of a tall stone wall towards a tree with low lying branches. I’d previously selected the tree and marked the dirt with an S.

X’s that “mark the spot” are for chumps. Or so I had thought.

I scrambled up the first few tree branches with ease, childish limbs mimicking monkey movements. Miriam followed, giving me her best “Sarah, we shouldn’t be doing this” face.

Couldn’t she see this was a mission? A mission to find out what was behind the stone wall!? 

Dogs barked at the street kids playing soccer in the dirt. Glass bottles clinked together as the pop man (yes, that was his official title) replaced the empty crates outside our house with full crates of delicious carbonated beverages. The thought of Orange Crush from a glass bottle was enough to make me tip my head in distracted thought. Miriam’s rustling below brought me back to my senses, remembering the mission.

“Can you see anything?” She asked, a 50/50 mix of curiosity and skepticism in her voice.

“Hmpf. Too short.” I grunted.

Reading my mind, as sisters often do, she lifted herself up and climbed past me with a magical sort of grace. She’s always been like that. Far more graceful than I. Taller too. If only she would trade me some of her grace and height for some of my math skills like pokemon cards or pogs. 

Placing her hands on the top of the wall, she hoisted herself up and out of sight. Eyes wide, I waited, the dramatic Jaws film score pouding inside my head. The world went silent. I was frozen in a half crouched, half extended, really awkward pose.

Seconds felt like minutes. In what felt like twenty minutes, but was really twenty seconds, Miriams face popped out over the edge of the wall.

“Well? You coming?” She asked, extending her hand.

Slightly disgruntled at the fact that she’d been the first to climb the wall, I grabbed her hand and walked my feet up the wall till I was high enough to hoist myself onto the ledge. It took me a minute to register that I was now on top of the stone wall and not still on the tree below. 

I looked at Miriam. Her sweet little Miriam smile made me excited.

“What? What is it?” I said, eyes wide once more. 

“Look.” She said, pointing down. 

Turning my head felt like a slow motion sequence. Turning. Turning. Turning. And stop. (No hair flip necessary – my parents had given me what my mom said was a “darling” mushroom cut). 

That’s when I saw it. The sight of it made me clutch at Miriam’s hand beside me, tugging ever so slightly in silent excitement. Liquid gold sunshine fell through the trees, landing on it in such a way, making it look magical. 

In the far corner of the large property sat a house. It was peach coloured and looked lived-in. Between the house and our perch on the wall lay a cluster of trees and vines, and what may have been a haphazard attempt at a garden. Empty pop bottles and pieces of cardboard littered a corner of the “garden” and spilled into a small pond. The pond was directly below us.

Two objects floated in the pond: a pelican and a pedal boat.

Both pelican and pedal boat were beautiful. Beautiful and magical, and I found myself happily dazed.

“Giiiirrrrrlllsss. Time for supper.” Mom’s call for dinner broke my pelican induced daze. 

Miriam glanced at me with a triumphant look on her face.

“Lets come back tomorrow.” She said.

We scampered back down the tree to the ground below, careful not to step on the S scratched into the dirt, and raced each other into the house for dinner.

Our adventure had been hugely successful. And the next would be even better. We’d befriend the pelican, feed it fruit and brush its feathers with our fingers, all the while enjoying a leisurely cruise around the pond in the pedal boat.

Best of all, no one would know but Miriam and I. Miriam and I and the pelican.

Call me a Culture Addict

Gold and color
embraced each other like old friends,
content and confident. 

“We’re glad you’ve come”
they said to me. 

Bangles danced on wrists
and ornate fabrics draped themselves
over bodies filled with anticipation and oxygen. 

I looked around, 
white girl in a room full of color,
and I felt at home. 

At home in the Middle East
with the sand in the streets
and blackened corn on the grill
of the corner store
selling fanta and halva
and pink pickled onions. 

Childhood memories that won’t fade,
a heart pre-programmed to love,
an imagination always ready for adventure,
for travel. That’s me. 

Today I went to India and Africa. 

Engulfed in the warmth of a dear friend’s home, 
soaking up the culture that swirled around me,
marvelling at the speed with which
the sweet girl was colouring my skin with henna,
smiling at the proud stance of the groom’s father,
gazing wondrously at the table piled
high with samosas and sweets.

These two should get married every weekend 
I thought to myself while giggling.

Heart full. 
Head quiet. 
Smile plastered.

Thank you Tina and Kupa 
for inviting me into your fantastically coloured world.

Silhouettes That Fade

You filled the doorway with that fire-hazard of a coat
and I thought to myself,
damn I’m lucky.

Not cause of the cupboard maintenance
or the many times that I’ve taken up space in your Volvo.

Crack open the moss covered hood that you cling to
and you’re as real as a ripe Granny Smith.
Untamed and surprisingly soft.

You give of yourself,
breaking my countenance,
reminding me why I’m here.

Rain drops caress the stubble on your face
and make your eyes smile.
There’s mischief there.

Yes. Let’s do it. Let’s go.
Live life, spark fires,
howl at the moon.

Let’s live dangerously, you and I,
Never looking back.