Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just One Moment, 2012.

Marafiki: Salaam. 

A month ago I had the skeleton of a post about the end of the year all drafted up. It was pure 'officialdom,' using social media for professional puffery purposes. I was going to list some of the highlights of the year in a way that might encourage opportunities to come this-a-way. Don't get me wrong, still going to do that. But it can wait. Tonight I want to revisit the original philosophy of the blog and just missive from the heart.

How are you doing, reader? It's only a couple of days until this year ends. Gosh, I hope it's treated you well. 2012 has been an "experience." on my side. Yes, that is indeed a euphemism :) Wrote a pretty light-hearted piece for the EA making fun of the 2012 doomsday prophecies. I will be glad to see this year go. For someone who won't go to church for fear of mystikal mumbo-jumbo, I confess to liking a bit of astrology from time to time*. If this is the Age of Aquarius finally coming along it sure brought some adjustments along with it.

That phrase: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" pretty much captures it. I just got back from Christmas in Arusha this evening and drove homewards through the city at dusk, when the light of Dar es Salaam turns a shade of honey gold that bathes the city in sweetness. The full moon was hanging low in the sky, about the size of a hundred shilling coin. It was like looking into the face of a beloved one- I fell all over again. 

I know that life can be, uh, colorful anywhere in the world. But there is something about living here: salt is saltier, rapture is keener, grief so acute and life so impossible, so immediate. So this hoary goat of a year- 2012, Gregorian Calendar- dragged me in its wake. And it's ending. And all I can think of is grappling with the coming year, as long as it is in this cruel mistress of mine, Dah!-Slam.

Wherever you are, I hope you are also in love. A person, a city, an artistic or intellectual pursuit... so long as you're impassioned and generously rewarded by life for it. And may next year be one of the good ones. Keep reading, use the comments button if the spirit moves you, and by God if you live here go outside right now and look at that fricking full moon. It's gorgeous tonight. 

*Yeah, listen; astrology might be dodgy as all hell. But here's what's working in it's favor: if we're made up of carbon atoms and our bloodstreams respond to the pull of the moon like tides, is it really that crazy to think that maybe there's something about the ticking of the solar system around us that affects us directly? The improbability of life on this chunk of rock is pretty finely tuned stuff and it does involve things way outside... let me just stop here before y'all think I'm about to plait bells into my hair and try to live on pure water and prime vibrations from the aliens that live under the earths crust :)


  1. Beautiful, Elsie. And pole.

    2012 was a year I too will never forget, and not for good reasons. Sometimes life deals you a shit hand, and you just have to cope as well as you can.

    "I found that just surviving was a noble fight", sang Billy Joel. Not my usual source of inspiration, but I think he got that one right.

  2. I am also getting that introspective urge. I need to sit down and do a proper review. Maybe one of my first resolutions for next year should be to keep better records so I would have a better idea what(if anything!) I actually accomplished in the last 12 months.

    Seriously, I am at that point in my life where the years are starting to blur together and I have to struggle to remember how 2012 was different from 2011 ;-)

  3. @rweba:There are times when just making it through is a damn fine accomplishment in life. But yeah, keeping a record is good too. And noted for your resolution: 3/35howevermanydaysthereareintheyear. Keeping count :)

  4. @anonymous: hey, buddy. i lift my one too many whiskey soda glass to you and say- yeah. billy joel knew what he was saying. shall we wish each other a gloriously uneventful 2013? Peace be upon you, friend, and thanks for stopping by.


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