Monday, November 21, 2016

dreams from a bumpy van ride



So, here it is: I'm going to Kenya. Six months, ten time zones away, a few friends and many more to make. It was all a dream at first, one I conjured up on the long, bumpy van ride from maasai-land back to Nairobi. My skin red and bumpy from the strong, constant equatorial sun (even from behind the clouds, I felt it), bags under my eyes from six nights of sleeping (or not) in a tent while the night air scatters dust from on place to another. Exhausted but for the adrenaline, some might say. Spent but for the love, is what I knew.

Dreams are hard to pin down, the way they whisper in a jumbled tongue in your ear and leave you to decipher their meaning. Could this be for real? I wondered as I tried to hold onto the thought even as it slipped away. But then someone else said it, too: what if I could move here? Just for a few months? I said, me, too and I began to understand that something new was happening. Just maybe, I thought.

Bits of dreams make their way to the surface of life, cracked shells washed up on the shore to remind us of all that's living out in the depths beyond. Every time I told the dream to another, however tentatively I traced its outline, pieced together what little I knew, the response was always yes.

That feels right. 

I had a sense. 

I always knew you would love this.

Seers, not into the future but into my heart, into the way that perhaps was always laid out before me.

I think now of the bumpy van ride, the many hours I've spent in that van, the way it makes my butt hurt, the way I am often needing more air, the way it fills with dust when we leave the windows open while driving through dirt, the way it breaks down then, with a jiggle it comes back to life (or so it always seems to me). The way I reach out the window with my phone for a photo, but I'm never able to capture what I see. It's just too expansive. By now, I know the way a way forward is often like this -- bumpy, imperfect, too big to comprehend.

***
(photo: trying to capture what i see from the van, kenya 2014)


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