Monday, January 9, 2012

slowing time...

i almost feel embarrassed stepping out onto this stage because i haven't been here for so long.
remember me? don't blame you if you don't.
oh yes! (holding hand above eyes, and peering hopefully beyond the single spot light into a dark auditorium) i see three of you out there. oh my! hello! (waving prettily) tap. tap. tap. is this mic working? hello? dipping hat graciously and gratefully in your various directions, hello.

i've flashed in and out of zanzibar on a small plane, skimming precariously over the Pares Mountains - green jungled slopes sliced with silver, thread thin mountain streams and water falls, surrounded by the blood red tapestry of a hungry humanity closing in. wild monsoon storms swept over the old spice island, curling bone deep thunder shaking the ground and giant lightning forks electrifying the sea. back inland, up on the northern highlands, we sped bumpily into the dark bowels of mt meru, my friends and i. i spent hours staring wide eyed at the ancient ash cone, listening to sweet forest rain drip onto my canvas tent roof and the grey misted mornings echo with the eery howls of the invisible colobus monkeys. we drove high up through the avataresque mountain forests as far as we could go, my friends and i, hanging out the windows and feeling fresh and high on love and mountain air.

after my friends left for zambia, i wept inconsolably for 2 and a half days and thought, excitedly i must confess, that i might need 'help'. i mused whimsically on the hill, for the last week of the year, feeling ever so small and contemplative. the new year slid in quietly, peacefully, prettily, in fact, as johnnie, sue and i (actually johnnie. sue and i watched.) lit a chinese lantern, heroically and flagrantly ignoring all danger warnings in the instruction manual. we watched it float a marvelous unwavering and glowing course southwards as though the Southern Cross were its compass, our hearts it's wake.

so? who's made their proverbial resolutions? i have. i'm going to slow time down which, if you think about it, makes more of the evasive stuff. it's my does not involve dangerously strapping myself to Big Ben's arms, if you're thinking along those lines. i know i'm a big girl and it'd likely work, but no. no smarty pantses. i can hear you laughing with disbelief. tsk tsk. if you want to know how, you're going to have to pay me a lot of money. if i miss the train, i'll catch the next one and if there isn't another one, i'll walk and if, by an unfortunate chain of events i'm cripple, you'll piggyback me. somehow i'll get there and it won't matter how or how long it took.

i'm going to say 'no' without apologies. i'm going to do, say, sing and wear the things i love most, regardless. anyone who makes me feel bad, i'll shoot with my silver pistols. anyone who makes me feel good as in happy, as in giddy whooping leaping into the air happy, i'll love to the end, truly, madly, deeply. and that's a fact. i'm trashing obligation and guilt. i'm sending them into the shredder. every time.
"i'm sorry? what was that? did you say i HAVE to? i've GOT to? into the shredder with you." ah. there. nice. how very satisfactory.

my heart shall remain open, true, forgiving and curious. i am training my mouth to remain curved upwards like mona lisa's, even when i cry. (wrinkles are worryingly permanent things these days, it seems.) in which case, i shall start to learn to accept the inevitability of my wrinkles and the disobedience of my unruly, thinning, hair. and, above all, i shall continue to raise my children the best way i know how until...until i rest my weary head amongst the daisies

all of this takes time, you see. so i'm slowing it down and making more.

what are yours?

ps: and the cushions are going to be re covered. i tell you. once and for all.

kitchen board: january 2012: ngorobob hill house (crappy) kitchen.

my kitchen needs a revamp. clearly. the grater is so blunt it couldn't even shred an over boiled, limp carrot. but some of the crunchiest potatoes this side of the equator still pop out the old oven and remain a hill favourite. so then, it ain't all that bayaad.
toodely toot, y'all and a happy new year to all you bloggin' firecrackers. bisous X.X.X. smack on yer lips slow ones and for a long time. yeah. x j


Mud said...

I thought you had a note for a "Vanilla boy" on your board. One of those sounds rather nice don't you think?

I must resolve to write more, open my eyes and take in al that I see. And read all of your blog - again.


elizabeth Schmid said...

Happy New Year, dear Janelle!
Your resolutions are stupendous.
We should all resolutely refuse to do anything we OUGHT to do.
Much too much time spent doing stuff to please others.
Anyway,wishing you and yours a splendid
with adventures but lots of time to reflect too!


Amanda said...

yours was one of the first blogs i ever read when i started blogging and your posts are always worth waiting for, so count me among those in that virtual audience. what you do here is so completely unique that i hope you continue to share your life and words on these pages.

good for you to make new year's resolutions. i don't, because i find myself doing them throughout the year, whenever something grabs me enough to want to make a change.

your description of the plane ride and trip to the mountains was arresting - the silver and green, the drips, the howls and especially the grey misted mornings. (i just posted a piece on mists so please come to visit. i've got you on my blogroll and would be honored if you might include me on yours.)

best of the best to you and yours for all things good and magical in 2012 janelle.


Linda Sue said...

You have been missed so much! Thank you for returning with yet another stellar post- I resolve nothing- I will only disappoint myself, never set goals, never make promises, never look beyond the next five minutes- I stay relatively sane!

toomuchaugust said...

where you go so do we, so yes we are here. and in step, also.

the best new year's advice i have for myself: come as unprepared as possible. to be prepared means to look forward, and to look forward means to not be in the moment. so yeah, huh! i wonder how much of a mess this new thought will cause in my life. and you see, right? why your blog is delicious.


Janelle said...

mud, indeed, vanilla boy sounds a delicious, naughty and essential addition to anyone's lift eh? heh he XXX

thanks elizabeth...~! yes no more "oughts"...takes practice though. love xxx j

amanda thank you! consider it done. you're there on the bloggie roll...can't imagine why i hadn't done it before! how rubbish of me. your blog is stunning. love xxx j

linda sue, thank you too. you know, i think you're absolutely right. that's it then. going to have to change my resolutions... love xxx j

sherry, why thank you darlin'! you know what? i've been practising that for years - the being in the now bit - and yes, it does become tricky but tricky is good. the very sweetest poetic inspiration to you for 2012. love xxx j

Robyn said...

slow down time-yes, then all my other resolutions would be possible - and I would be able to think about my food whilst I was eating it, rather than swallow whole!
Happy New Year

Francisca Mattéoli said...

Hello Janelle from Paris.
Great to hear from you again ! One of your resolution I like very much is : Do what you love most. That's an excellent resolution. And those who make you feel bad - don't see or call them anymore. It's so important to be surrounded by positive people.
My resolution ? To have more and more positive people around me !
Hasta muy luego dear Janelle XXX

What Possessed Me said...

Damn, girl - that was quite a lead-in. Cinematic. Ecstatic. Weep-o-matic. I think I've been there before (different place, different time).

I am crap at resolutions. I need more RESOLVE.

Dumdad said...

Slowing down time - the perfect resolution.

Bonne Année!

Anonymous said...

I'm in too!

JoeinVegas said...

You always go to such magical places

Elizabeth said...

Janelle, send me the link to the Zanzibar man link.
Daughter is thinking of going to Zanzibar.
Will email you about it


Sophia Grace said...

I wish for slowed time, too. Sigh...

Family Affairs said...

Happy new year my darling - my NY resolutions are to come and see you!! Lx

N said...

Janelle, where are you? I keep coming back for me, but you've been gone for so long! Hope all is well. Miss you over here. x

N said...

That was for 'more', not me, btw!