Bridges MUST Be Built Before Dinner

“THE LAST ONE INSIDE IS A KOROKOPANGOSHE"

“THE LAST ONE INSIDE IS A KOROKOPANGOSHE” you shouted as you took off towards the house, your brother in hot pursuit and me standing, smiling on the bridge we’d just built.

The wood had arrived late in the afternoon. When we drove in, early in the evening, we found it neatly arranged against the wall in the garden.

“Wow, who brought those?” You asked as we got out of the car and walked to the garden to see them. “Did they bring them from the factory Baba?”

“Yes my love, they did. They are for a friend but we have them to play with till she picks them up.”

“What is she going to make with them?”

“Different things, boxes, shelves, benches and other things she might need or think of for her business.”

“What’s her business?”

“She designs different things like websites and T-shirts, fridge magnets and phrases so that people can express and wear ideas in ways that they like.

“So I wonder what she will use the wood for?"

“Maybe it would be a good idea for us to ask her what she wants to do and we can go see how they will use the wood and you can also see her business and how it works.”

“What about you, what are you going to use it for? I’m going to take the shopping into the house, why don’t you guys figure out what you can do?”

As I walked away I listened to you bubbling and getting serious, telling each other your ideas as you picked and carried, placed and shifted different blocks of wood around. Without asking for any other direction you just begun playing at it. I love watching you do that.

I could still hear your voices when I was inside the house. As I began preparing for dinner and making sure your bath and meds and beds were ready, I thought of Uncle Rods and how he keeps talking about “not letting school get in the way of our children’s education.” In his way of looking at things, children like you who are heading into year one or two of school are about to enter the primary level of an education system and culture that at tends to produce “academic giants who are social and creative dwarves.”

I think he’s right. Watching you and looking ahead I don’t think that ultimately it will be so much about where you go to school, what you choose as a course of study, practice or profession. Those will count, but more than anything it will be about character. And that’s why when you came inside to call me out I followed to see what you were telling me about.

“We’ve made a bridge, but it’s not very stable.”

“Ok, lets see what we can do to improve that.”

One day in the future when we build something else together, we might find the memory of tonight, of the dance we did on the bridge we built in the garden by the light from the gate with the wood for the crates as we got late for our bread and sausage stew delight.

“Baba its got dark so quickly,”

“Would you like to stop?”

“No.”

Love can be simple, learning and play.

I remember when you were born, in the moments and minutes after she gave birth to you, your mother was in danger. She was exhausted, in pain and she had lost a lot of blood.

She begun to lose consciousness and the doctors and nurses went silent, not quiet, they kept talking but their tone and movement sharpened as they shifted gears to stabilize her. I was afraid that she might pass away and you would not know her.

In a sense, no one else had known you until your birth like she had, and no one knew her like you did. You knew each other from the inside out. How could it be that you might not now know each other, come on?

You see, a few weeks before, she and I had gone to the cinema to watch Michael’s “This is it.”

“At the age of 50, after a decade’s absence from the stage, he was quietly performing and crafting an entirely new concert experience, a passionate gift for his fans and the audiences around the world”

I really enjoyed the documentary, watching his precision and flow, the way he made us feel our human nature whether we were black or white, his jams were moonlight, songs to the earth and even if they didn’t care about us but we wanted to make the world a better place, we could always take a look at ourselves and make the change.

In the middle of the show, at the sound of a crescendo, she nudged me and I asked if she was ok, she pointed to her belly and I placed my hand on her gently and felt you guys dancing inside. “Are you ok?” I asked again, she laughed and nodded.

It was a riot, you were dancing like no one was watching and we laughed at how this could be, you hadn’t moved in that way before, you had moved, but not like that. What is it about Michael’s music, how does it keep crossing generations, touching old, young and the unborn?

It wasn’t the words, you didn’t know words yet so that couldn’t be what you were dancing too but it couldn’t be without the words because they were his voice and his voice was the pitch that the music played on.

He arranged the sound into the expressions that it was. The words and the beat, the rhythm and the melody, the precision within him combined the feeling and instinct with memory connecting, correcting, creating, improving, improvising immediate decisions and fusions and forays through music and dance to the source where love and life and truth are found.

I guess when we listen to it, in and out of the womb; his music is a bridge to creation, where you were coming from and heading to, passing through us.

It made us even more curious to see who you were.

The doctors and nurses managed to steady her and bring her back from a brink. It meant all three of you were fine. We made it home a few days later and over the next couple of years, life happened, mistakes were made and lessons are being learned and shared.

Today, six years later, we’re still only in the early days of our journey, dancing on our bridge and racing to the fridge, we’ve got a long and strong way to go.

Inshallah.

Rest well my love, remember, “Hard things are hard” and sometimes you’ll fall, but you can always rise and rise again. Wishing you strength and kindness always.

Love,

Baba.

 

 

 

PROFILE

Name: JK

A 40 year-old, single father of two and a farmer.

One’s a fire-bending fighter, the other’s a slow burn soul, together a blend of different ways to learn and grow.

They’ve taught me that pillow fights are the best way to start the morning, especially Saturday and Monday mornings and dancing on the tables is something we can do as a family. 

They still enjoy school, it’s early days, I see their education as a game in which we have to cultivate their intelligence, creativity, integrity and energy as competitive characteristics in their time.

In this I cannot father them alone, Fatherhood is a man’s most important life’s work and for that very reason, it cannot be limited to bringing up your own offspring.” (http://oyungapala.com/papa-was-a-rolling-stone/) 

 My deepest fear is losing my relationship with them in anyway.

I’ve found that love is a decision and a flow, courage is the form of truth, success and happiness can’t be real without character and kindness matters. And the problem with the whole “Messi -vs- Ronaldo” debate is that it takes your eyes off Iniesta https://youtu.be/K__QXRAmm2E

 

 

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