Standing on the verge of the fulfillment of my dreams, I gaze in muted wonder at who I was, am becoming and will become, these long held dreams in dawn colours unveiling new horizons. Soon I will no longer be the watcher but the actor on a stage, levers in hand, creating, watched: it takes my breath still to contemplate.
Not all farewells are sad for I have been in processions that were filled with merriment and laughter, trousers folded around the ankles to not pick up the dust of returning from sojourns, men, women and children, a walking hymn of happiness at the completed tribute, going home for lunch, languor, love, contented solitude till they would one day again do this all over. I have paid my respects and worshippers now come to me, and I sit often in silence, divining their needs. Life will never be what it used to be. Saying goodbye to all that I knew, I have decided to reach for an inheritance I shied and ducked and bobbed away from.
She did not make me want this, turn back from the dirt road with one headlamp working, to use the more traveled road. She made me realise the more traveled roads end in undiscovered diversions never explored because the more traveled road was reluctantly set upon. To get where you’re going you need not drive your Rav 4 until the wheels are yelping from dead shock absorber pain, you simply need to know where you going before you begin the journey. I have known where I was going since I was 12; I needed her lent courage to turn the key in the ignition. I have learned not to look back in anger because of her; passion and calm becoming one.
Disconcerting is when you do not have to fight anymore, consulted and asked for the way forward now. Disconcerting is when your habitual silences freeze a room, terror in the air; your brow’s frowns studied in anticipation. Disconcerting is people making the realization of your momentary whim their day’s main goal. Disconcerting is seeing your mannerism of standing legs apart, arms locked behind your back in thought aped. Disconcerting is finding the revolving chair you sit in revered. Disconcerting is your father calling you Sir.
I have no more terrors. I have no more fears. I have no more doubts. Your future is in your everyday, coming not tomorrow but in the time you decide to wake up, the stranger you paused to speak to longer on the day when you had deadlines pending and he did not know where the photocopier was or how to use it. The future was in a sitting room in the evening in Bweyogerere, the road blocked for the bypass construction, daring you to do that which you were most afraid of by a muse who reserved the right to never follow her advice despite giving plenty of it, cake from Hotloaf half consumed. The future was in not switching off the phone as you used to do everyday that day, the call coming in. The future was in standing in a Ntinda ATM booth, eyes blurry at the money there far from enough to get her out of hospital, gritting teeth, promising she would never want for anything again as long as there was breath in your body and your fingers could glide over a keyboard as well, life not postponed ever again. I never loved you more than when you were with a happy smile eating that goo of spaghetti because that is what I could afford, months on end.
“You’re a leader when you can get leaders to follow you.”