Notebook Entry: Key West 2008

It has been said that if one thoughtlessly crosses a river of unknown depths and shallows, he will die in its currents without ever reaching the other side. If one is interested in confronting the unknown one first has to become unattached to life and to death.

I am thinking a lot of my foremothers.

Europeans from 1756 onwards embarked on wooden schooners and sailed violent waters to dark Africa. Some died from disease and  water deaths. The survivors made landfall on a mapless continent where the unknown was best divided into that of monsters and demons. They braved on. Crossing mountains, valleys and savannah facing lion, mamba and the mighty Zulu. Only the lucky survived. They will settle in what seemed to be folds of protection amongst rivers and valleys. Mother Africa made sure she visited each family sooner or later. She breeds her own deadly diseases and came knocking on their doors to deliver her unwelcome package. Through these very dark nights the demons and monsters had a tendency to grow extra heads. Still Mother Africa was giving, like a twisted crow she opened her wings and revealed everything shiny; diamond, gold, copper and iron. The old world woke up to this far off ‘barbaric’ world, wringing their greedy hands together. They showed up with guns and fire. They raped and execute and the weak were thrown into the carcass of concentration camps. The riches were theirs for the taking. Our pioneers became yellow hollowed and defeated. The monster and demons with their multiple heads merged with the darkness to create a concoction of hate and revenge. It seeped into hollow chests and soon our humble brave pioneer became the monster himself.

And we the grandchildren, we are not European, we are not African, we have outgrown the monster and maybe all that is left in us is the pioneer.