Saturday, February 26, 2011

death. again.

oh dear oh dear....i'm not writing enough am i? and i honestly have so much to say. usually.
it's just that, well, i trap myself in the conundrum of "do people really want to read all about that?" and . and. and. my friend died. this death stole all my words again. i don't feel alright.

death is random. death is very present. and i hate it. i know death is what colours life and makes it all deeply tenuous and extraordinary. but i still hate it. i hate it. friends try to say the right things like "but this happens all over the world." i know it does. but in this last year i have lost three friends to guns. three friends have been shot dead. is that normal? we don't live in a war zone, ya know?

he was driving with his clients on safari, as one does, at nine o clock in the morning - enjoying the views, the wilderness, when they ran into some ivory poachers by mistake. they opened up with automatic weapons immediately and he was killed. quickly, thank god. it's just terribly terribly sad and i miss him already. he leaves his wife and three children.

i can't write about the ivory poaching just yet. but i will one day. and about the chinese colonization of africa. not now though. my anger is too white hot.

he was my riding pal. he was the one who inspired us lot to get on, jump and ride for our lives. he was the one who always made everyone laugh. he was the naughty one. he was the one who lived with no regrets. he was the one who cried at his 60th over sambuka shots because he didn't want to get old. he was the one everyone loved. he was the one who said "the only reason i started riding all those years ago was so i could be surrounded by girls all the time." and i am very very sad he has gone. when you get that phone call it makes the world stop. it crunches you up. your mouth gapes into a silent scream no. birds fly in slow motion and the sunlight becomes sharper than ever and you stare at a blade of grass and feel frozen inside. sadness creeps like ink on blotting paper and suddenly you have no words for anyone or anything. just sadness. which sits in your throat. it grows, like a vine, from your stomach, through your throat and blossoms out through your eyes and your mouth, feeding on your words. i think.

so tomorrow we will be brave. i will sing at his memorial. it will be hard. but i will look at words and think of hitting the notes from above and i will not look at anyone...

i will not cry, inshallah. at least not there. you can't sing and cry at the same time.

Kitchen Board some time in february 2011

oh and it rained oh bestests. but then stopped. it was apparently because there was a cyclone off madagascar. but at least it's a little greener in any case. the power, as in TANESCO, is still more off than on and frankly, i wonder how the country keeps running.
bye bye then. bisous X.X.X. deeply sad ones which make you feel alive x j


Mud in the City said...

So so sorry Janelle. Words seem trite. Nothing makes sense when that has happened. Just wrong. But your singing at the memorial? What a wonderful gift to someone so special.

Bill said...

I am sorry for your loss.
Carry on as best you can.

Paradise betrayed.
There's too much evil and
your goodness is the only antidote.


Miranda said...

Oh boy.

I have one of your lice combs! The white one, not the silver one. Meant to drop it off today. Forgot.

See you tomorrow. Hope you manage to be strong while you sing. But if not that's also okay. xxx

Miami & the Florida Keys said...

So deeply sorry for your loss. and so true what you say. The violence towards animals and fellow humans is incomprehensible to me. How do they face themselves in the morning? makes me teary.
Its a small help, and I'm sure your familiar with Whitman's Leaves of Grass...but read "A child said what is the grass?" I read it at my grandmothers funeral, it helped a little.
take good care of yourself

Amanda said...

how utterly horrible.

i am so sorry janelle. so much loss, brainless, stupid meaningless loss. guns. f*&kin guns. hatehatehate them.

i agree with mud. your singing at the funeral - even through a veil of tears (but you are right, singing and crying are hard to do at the same time) - is a powerful way to honor your friend and the precious times you shared together.

sadness does makes us feel alive -- why is that?

my deepest sympathies.....



Elizabeth said...

My darling Janelle,
sending hugs and hugs
this is such a terrible thing to bear
and so random and so tragic
and so plain AWFUL

currently in maroc which is lovely as ever and as odd as ever

Linda Sue said...

Devastatingly horrible sad, I am so sorry- you have expressed it so well I totally feel crunched.
Sending best wishes.

Mike Bryant said...

Mike B
Janelle, I did not know Andre but the Internet hunting forums have been abuzz with the news of his senseless murder. I am very sorry that you have lost your friend, and that one of the good ones has been taken without so much as a byline. Robin Hurt has posted the news in several places, and as I recall, that is the company's second tragedy in less than a year. Again, I am sorry.
I don't "blog" but I have followed your heart felt writings for a year or so. You speak so eloquently across 10,000 miles of our planet about the indescribable Africa that holds a persons heart and mind. For all of her troubles, she is after all AFRICA, a primal root for the hunter's heart. I only surmise that she held strong to Andre and his family. Now I hope she holds him peacefully enveloped in the red soils of time.
God Bless and Goodnight

What Possessed Me said...

Oh shit. Shit, shit, shit. That is just horrifying. I am so, so sorry, Janelle.

Tell us what you sing at the service when you feel up to writing again.


Dumdad said...

What a dreadful, random tragedy. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Miranda said...

Janelle, your singing was sublime - I'm so so proud of you. And under very difficult circumstances too. xxx

Val said...

sadness creeps like ink on blotting paper - indeed. So beautifully written. I am so sorry and sad about this. xx

family Affairs said...

OH Darling, I am so so so sorry - what a total tragedy - in Tanzania? I didn't know ivory poaching was still going on!! Need more information and I'm going to post your blog if you don't mind. Beautiful writing as ever and important things to say. Lxx

family Affairs said...

PS AND LICE?? Just to add to your woes....Lx

Joëlle said...

Oh so sorry, this is so so sad. Stay strong Janelle!

Connie said...

So very, very sad.

Lori ann said...

I hate HATE poaching. And the Chinese invasion. I have only known about this for ten years really, i can only imagine how you feel about it. It all makes me sick.
I'm sorry about your friend, his wife and children, it's all such a very senseless tragedy.
love to you dear janelle,

Janelle said...

thank you everyone for your kind comments and thoughts. i managed to get through sing even...but sorta lost it afterwards and ended up sleeping next to the car on the grass....wiped out really. so there you to y'all. x j

Reya Mellicker said...

Janelle I am so sorry to hear this sad news! Enough is enough (imagine me shaking a fist at the sky). Please know that I ALWAYS want to read about what's happening to you, always, including the sad, crazy or uncomfortable things.

So glad you sang at the memorial. Much much much love to you.

angela auclair said...

oh janelle...i am so sorry. the joyful way in which you describe him makes me ache for you and his family so.

this is my first visit to your blog. samantha shared you with me and i am so glad she did, even in this time of sadness. this simply reminded me to be appreciative of the time we do have.

3limes said...

Janelle, I am so sorry for these hard times you are enduring but like we spoke about I am happy you are writing and sharing and finding an outlet here. Keep writing and being the passionate person you are. It was very special to meet you and I will stay in touch!

3limes said...

Janelle, I am so sorry for these hard times you are enduring but like we spoke about I am happy you are writing and sharing and finding an outlet here. Keep writing and being the passionate person you are. It was very special to meet you and I will stay in touch!

reluctantmemsahib said...

you sang beautifully. i wasn't there. but everybody has told me so. brave girl. well done. xxxx

Chimera said...

I am late to the post and late to rush in saying pole pole and 'here is a small but solid shoulder' and 'I am so sorry.'. I hope you are alright love...been a while since this post. Reading your comments I see you sang without losing the plot like what i would 'ave done. That you 'sang beatifully'! I know you did!
Much love lovely Janelle and thinking of you,
Tanvi xx

Janelle said...

ah thanks tanvi...the world keeps turnin' eh?? xxx j

Karen said...

I am so sorry. I wish I could be there for you or give you some of my words. Or just hugs.

No, it's not normal to lose so many people to guns. Or at least it's not okay. Just not acceptable.

I'm hoping you find a way to heal. May your friend make his journey smoothly.

Lisa L said...

i am so terribly, terribly sorry.

Just Another Savage! said...

janelle, tough go sad sad sad! I know you and your family will be good, Africa and the third world.... a masterful deceiver at times. That fertile bloody ground that has soaked up so many souls,,, I just want to bury my feet and toes to keep them stained by it. It is what we crave, the life and the death the edge, just when we are satisfied we have it figured, it throws us a new bone and sometimes it is the bone of a friend. We gnaw with relish for the marrow,, the marrow of a life well lived who's memories will sustain us and see us along as we continue. Come to Niassa with your family this fall and visit us, maybe a change of venue would be good, email me,