life is speeding ahead....i don't think i have quite caught up with my body. i have this sort of astonished look on my face most of the time. well. an expression ranging from astonishment to a brazened stunned to misdirected mental grinning to point blank. my mind is presently preoccupied with growing a tangled jungle of twisting vines, pushing their way to the sun dappled above in the canopy. roots slowly but purposefully delving their way through my throat towards my heart. ja nee, things are not plain sailing but marvelously hectic and extraordinary. yes. i am definitely on the edge. but isn't that where we're meant to be? isn't that when you feel most alive because you feel close to dying? in the best possible way, naturally?
i feel just fine though. so i mean it when people say (and i close my eyes in my mind because i know what's coming) "so. how ARE you? the kids?" and with great courage i say "oh i'm fiiiiiiiine, yes, we're all fiiiiiiiiiiiiine. you?" it's exhausting because they don't know that fine means jungle vines growing out of my ears. vines intermittently bursting with great waxy deep purple sweet scented flowers.
i have been playing music again. like, you know, real gigs. like in The World. like at Lively Lady, like at the Hotel, like at the petrol station. like at the airport at sunset on friday. and i can still manage to read my words sans lunettes, thank god. that just wouldn't be ok, ya know? singing with my specs on? through sheer and extreme luck, i am managing to squeeze the music in between 3 kids, 6 horses, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 goat and a full time teaching post. something's got to give, i tell ya....and sadly it's been the old blog and my back car window.
i was bumping up the ngorobob hill, which is notorious for damian's sleeping policemen bumps. they're essential to save the track in the rains. but they are, well, bone breakingly annoying, if you're not resigned to them. they work a treat in all ways. they make you slow down. they make you think when you're late because you have to turn around at the bottom and go all the way to the top again because someone left their PE kit. they make you think, "oh well. what is time to a pig?" you see spiderwebs and the tiniest white flowers growing on the bank next to the road. you see the horses far away on the other hill. you see the buzzards hanging motionless in the wind above the house. and slyly notice the clouds changing shape over the mountain, in the north toward kenya which you pretend not to. you certainly don't say anything to anyone. so you don't chase the rain away.
and before you know it, you're at the top. so there i was, doing exactly that, bumping home from one of the aforementioned gigs. all the bastard heavy kit was bouncing noisily around in the back, particularly the speakers, jostling around with the spare wheel over Damian's Bumps. i was looking at the dreamy moon and stars, lost with music in my ears and vines in my mind when SMASH! the speaker broke through the back window. i really was going slowly.
my favourite place to play is at mohammed's petrol station, fondly known as Space Oil. it's just around the corner. my dear friend k has opened a funky little arty etsy shop (aptly named Exhibit) next to the store and petrol station. it has little pink lanterns hanging outside a wall painted with giant bright red hibiscus looking flowers, with shiny little jewels stuck on them to make them twinkly in the twilight. inside is a treasure trove of paintings, vintage clothes, jewels, one hell's angels jacket from chicago, teas, wild honey and chandeliers made out of recycled plastic and and and and...everything magical is in there. all of this is very close to the local mosque, which is jade green and shaded by gnarly old fig trees. space oil is slap bang on the main road, just outside of arusha, amongst the laki laki coffee plantation en route to the serengeti and ngorongoro. read busy road. buses, daladalas and an endless stream of safari vehicles. it's a teeny weeny little venue. when the muezzin starts calling i give it a break but am now musing on a tinkly little tune to accompany the call to prayer. the maasai askaris dance slow motion around the petrol pumps. mama mohammed pulls up a plastic chair outside her shop and sits heavily and silent in the dark. but i know she's enjoying everything. i know everyone in the little crowd. a little crowd of magnificent friends. people trip over the music "stand" (an easel) and tom and i tangle ourselves up in the wires. it's so real. and i get paid with a bottle of tequila, which i must sip from a beautiful yellow and red tea cup, because it's near the mosque. (i think?)
so yes, oh bestests, that's where i've bin. i ain't makin' any promises of writin' more regular here but ya never know, ya just never know and ain't that somethin'?
toodle ole toot then y'all, bisous X.X.X. deeply musical ones, with due respect x j