In The Sky
In this corner of the globe, mechanical time holds little value. You don’t meet at 7pm so much as “after sundown”. Day in and day out, the equatorial sun provides the most consistent guidance; clocks tick to the beat of no man. You can charge electronics but only within the small window of time while the generator is running. Here, things tend to just happen.
Awash with mysticism, this “place of many little birds” is nestled between 29 fertile mountain tops. Their void is filled with fresh, cool water. I trace the steep lines and visualize the depths of what is rumored to be the second deepest lake in Africa. There are a lot of rumors here – rumors that have a way of becoming reality. I suppose it is as valid a way of recording the world as any.
On “Punishment Island”, unwed mothers would be sent to starve or die trying to escape. I couldn’t help but believe I could find a way if it were me. Perhaps abandonment has a way of shaking the will to live. I wonder what these women must have felt; their only chance of survival that a man could come to rescue her and make her his wife. I wonder if a lifetime of learned helplessness makes it easier to die.
I watch as the villagers work together in a literal hoe-down. They come together to produce the food they need to sustain themselves. I wonder if food tastes better when you know what it took to create it. There is something peaceful about the straightforwardness of it all. They don’t work in boxes. They don’t exchange arbitrary numbers for goods manufactured by people they’ve never met. They don’t follow a dream they’ve been taught to chase. Their inputs seem to correspond to their outputs more directly.
The four of us spent a weekend here but it could have been a lifetime. We spent the entirety of day two rowing a hollowed out tree atop the sun soaked tarn. As the splashes softened to a rhythmic pace, time condensed and I caught a glimpse of the infinite; my meditative trance broken only by storm clouds racing our way. But these clouds were unlike like normal earth clouds. Here, they graced us with their presence and passed over and through us. We were in the sky.