(Kuala Lumpur: Yesterday)
My brother, sister, and I manage to get together in one place about every two years. It’s Christmas in Kuala Lumpur this time.
Today I fly back to South Africa. Helene leaves for London tomorrow, and Brett stays home in KL. We’ve made our singular choices and live our own lives, but today this wrenching away feels awful. Escape wasn’t meant to be so simple in this world where we can race sunsets. The distance loses the knife, but the scar can always be traced.
This time tomorrow I’ll be home. Six time zones away from today.
For all the joyful hellos and crying goodbyes airports play stage to, they’re such brutal places. Airports should be built like cathedrals, swooping heartspaces of rejoicing or solace- not the steel halogen-lit lonely places they are.
(Johannesburg: 4am today)
Feeling jet-lagged, tearful and wrung inside out. I’m home. Home in this crazy place.
As dit donker is, as almal slaap
is ek voor jou deur en ek wag
Sing die ou ou lied van Afrika
sing dit sag, sing dit lank vir my
maak oop jou hart, maak oop jou deur
laat my binnekom, laat my bly.
- Marianne de Jongh
(When it's dark, and everyone sleeps
I am at your door, and I wait.
Sing the old song of Africa,
sing it softly, sing it long for me
open your heart, open your door
let me come in, let me stay.)