there’s this place, on the outskirts of town, perched on the edge of the world as i know it, where the wind and its mother live. down below, the plains stretch away, crinkling themselves up into volcanoes and soft dust laden hills….after the rain, which swoops down in great rolling clouds below you, it’s as though god has thrown a great green velvet carpet over the world. gazing down on this dreamscape, you imagine you could fly.
on gentler days, silence has its own music. goat bells tinkle like chimes from far away and the wind whispers songs through the acacia. birds of prey hang still. the light is crystal and time slows down. I day dream about riding down and away, past the volcano, past the horizon and settin up a gypsy camp on some forgotten sand river. sometimes we’d walk along the ridge, and admire all of northern maasailand from one spot, like a giant pop up map: monduli, ngorongoro, galai, ol donyo lengai, kitumbeni, longido, meru…names like poetry, mountains like infallible gods, carelessly powerful.
on a bad day, the wind screams and races down from the mountains, howling, slamming doors, shaping giant whirling dust devils into the sky, scrambling dreams and waking ghosts.
for some reason, i feel closer to the stars here, turning and humming on ancient axis, closer to the things that aren’t. sometimes, on those sweet quiet nights, i'd lie in bed, my window ajar, gazing at the stars crowding the glass and breathing fresh jasmine and dust as they curl, with the ghosts, into my dreams… some nights, mountain winds wrap pashmina mists around the house, closing you off from the world. on blanket silent nights like these, the old house speaks; the ghosts walk the wooden floors and the attic and knock on the window. they won’t be ignored…the man in the kitchen standing by the stove, the child with the dark eyes in the old bedroom, the askari in the attic… footsteps and flying candles.
at night there isn’t a light to be seen as far as you can see. it’s like staring into a dark, silent ocean.
we’d go there wide eyed, expecting magic…the children would delve into the old dressing up boxes, faded veils twinkling with sequins, gloves, sailor coats, dark blue silk dresses…appearing at the window as fairies, queens, princes, bearded ladies and kangaroos.
we’d sit late into the night in the kitchen, drinking whisky, listening to old songs and talking of old times and absent friends. flying ants whirr drunken circles around the lamp, silver. we weren’t afraid of the Things That Aren’t but i didn’t like walking down the passage on my own…there was always someone behind me… and those great silent planes below…
those great silent plains…
we don’t go there anymore. perhaps we’ll take a picnic one day and visit babu and morani. there is always a time and a place for most things.
i like to think that in chaos lies a secret, unfathomable order. so be it.
toodely toot y'all and bisous. X.X.X. windblown ones x j