Almost as if I’m not even visiting, but sliding through it.
Not in it – not of it.
Not noticing what I used to notice when still I was a journalist…
How strange an awareness this is.
To notice how one notices, depending on one’s bread master.
To be conscious of consciousness, as it shifts.
The smell of dusty sand, thrown up by hundreds of cows’ hooves as they walk through town.
Or the sight of smouldering fires at night, under a blood red moon. Smouldering fires around which cows are gathered, tight to a pole in the soil. Smoke keeps the tsetse flies away. And so keeps the cattle alive. Fires made of dung, dried during the day, under a blistering sun. Dung dropped at night. Around a smouldering fire.
For my attention lies at a place I’m not familiar with. A land that’s not mine. A universe I wasn’t born in.
To notice how I’m not noticing anymore what I always noticed before.
The joy on the faces of young boys, splashing about in the Nile – in between them doing their own laundry.
Or the almost meditative sincerity on the old farmer’s face, as he diligently keeps walking up and down between his small plots of land with tomatoes and yam, sukuma and potatoes and the river. In each hand he holds a watering can. Which he empties patiently on his stems of tomatoes.
Not noticing how Sunday afternoons are filled with men of all ages playing dominos in the shade of trees.
I notice how I’m not just lightyears away from this planet I happen to exist on.
I notice how distant I am from my self.
My own awareness.
Lost in a world that’s not mine, while at home in the lives I’m witnessing.
How strange an awareness this is…