Monday, October 8, 2012

the stickiness of being human




So the poetry and the water post are both rubbish, obviously (eyebrows wriggling in your general direction), in which case I’ll have to lambaste you two slackards out there with horse stories. The thing is I know you both  like snake stories and robber stories and goddamn tragedies. That gets you elbowing your way onto the comment page, doesn’t it? I love you both dearly. Please, thanks god. I am going to gushingly write about my children now. Stay at your own risk.  And please, if you do, be nice. Otherwise I’ll have to ‘see someone’.

I am so proud of this one (first born) who I have just collected from a school sports trip in Nairobi.


 As I roared in, after a few wines, Dutch cheese and other delicacies at C’s (gorgeous inspirational neighbor. Oh god, what is it with anonymity? Claire Baker, ok? Dietary preferences: ID Number: Bank Account Number. No. So silly, Janelle.) beautifully eclectic house, he was standing alone at the top of the school steps in a blue tracksuit hoodie type affair. (I know!) I thought, gosh, he looks cold and tired, all zipped up. As he walked up to the door, he unzipped the jacket and there was a medal, for being Champion Of The World or something like that. Oh my. But I’m more proud, in a way, that he still likes X, (who will def. remain anonymous. also on said sports trip.) who, on being asked by a perfectly respectable elderly teacher, what she would do to help her country if she was ever the president of Tanzania (high on her life ambition list, apparently), woodenly replied “Kick out all the whites.”  He was the only white boy sitting there. He said he just laughed. “She’s quite nice you know, Ma.”

(wha----?)
Where was I? Yes.

I am proud of this one not only because she didn't fall off the pony at trot. Or when he leaped about and threw in a little buck.

But more to actually see her on the pony, Sukari. We’ve had this little pony since he was, oh, a baby. She has spent most of her last growing up years either wrapped around his neck or teaching him 'tricks'. But on the ground.  My heart burst from my chest to see them happily pootling about in the school ring.

And proud of this one because, well,  he’s so courageous and we all know why. (gulp)


I don’t think it’s cool to be peacock proud of oneself. No. If I was, it would be because I have birthed three incredibly beautiful worthy people, from my very own womb and all by myself. Yes. Yes. The midwives were lovely at the time and the doctors were very good indeed, but I frikken did it, ok? But for the rest, I remain bunny in the headlights wide eyed about life generally. It scares the shit out of me most of the time, no matter how fervently and frequently I froth and preach about NOT doing fear or guilt or regret or any of those shitty worthless emotions…. I certainly acknowledge “the stickiness of being human”(Kiran Desai  – ‘Hullaballoo In The Orchard’, a wonderful, glorious read of rich hyperbole.) I love people, in fact, in all their stickiness. How could you not? No matter how sticky, because you are one, no? 
So there.

Kitchen Board: Monday October 2012 
Yes. And even a kitchen board. By now you should both know that maji means water. And land puncture?
G'waan. Give it a twirl. 
The rest is par for the course.

Toodely ole toot, y'all. Bisous X.X.X. sticky pretty ones all about ya like butterflies. x j


10 comments:

k said...

Hey we have the same shopping list...except for the land puncture! I should have gushed over the last two posts (both quite excellent)because your unique slice of life is a treasure to find in my reader! And the babies, oh my yes, they are magnificent.

Moonboots said...

I agree with K. Your water and poetry posts were both quite excellent. I wanted to comment on your water post but didn't have the words to express how it made me feel. I can only say it made me feel.

Janelle said...

oh thank you sweet moonboots and K! lovely to hear from you both. yes, indeed. ASANTE SANA! x janelle

Amanda said...

i did read the water post and felt like the breath was knocked out of me....it was too much to take in and any comment on my part deemed insignificant compared to the magnitude of the problem.

i'm all over the map with my writing so i get the jumping about from prose one day to poetry the next. so i say do it all. including writing about your kids, because - especially when you do it - it always has an epic, mystical and sometimes haunting feel to it.

really. it's that good...verrry high marks on the stickiness scale.

xx

Miranda said...

I'll comment on yours if you comment on mine...

Your poem was fab, doll - need to see more of them. Really really awesomely byadiful.

I also meant to comment on the water one, but was too lazy. You know, something about it all being relative and the old maasai lady with her donkey probably thinks the same of us. Wo'eva.

Glad you're writing more, must be summin in the water (or lack thereof - haha!).
xxx

Janelle said...

aw shucks thanks amanda~ this makes me feel a whole lot better. love xxx

and miranda, it's lack of facebook! that's why, i swear. and i have left a comment chez toi. HAH! love you darlin' xxx j

Reluctant Memsahib said...

a land puncture is a pothole. and i love the whiskey and marshmellows. I'd so worry if it said broccoli and lentils under the Maji x

elizabeth said...

Such splendid children!
Yes, yes, you did do it all by yourself and you should be rightly proud.
I remember your post about the little one being being a clingy beetle .....and now she's on the horse... by herself
Do hope 2nd son is happy at his school?

Latest grandson ( aged 2 and a half) ploy not to go to sleep.
Goes to bed for a bit and reappears without pj top.
"My shirt came off.....". Sent back to bed....appears naked. "All my clothes came off...."

Jeannie said...

Beautiful children and beautiful mother... the pony is sweet too :) Hope your brave middle boy is surviving our wet and still cold Eastern Cape weather - sending love to you all!

Jane Maassen said...

i seriously love everything you write...doesn't matter if it's a poem, about your children, water, or on a blackboard...it is often haunting but in a good way, a deep and raw way that stays with me awhile. thank you.
jane