Familiar Unfamiliar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Was it here? Was it there? There or There? Was that tree always there?

My feet stand six feet above where you lie. Twenty years later, am writing all the shit flowing through my mind. Am here where you lie. Where one of your parents lie. Where two of your children lie. This is where she came, embraced and called home. Its here where I would like to lie someday. That inevitable day.

It was as if I had seen him before when I looked into my nephew’s eyes. That unfamiliar familiarity. Deep into his eyes I saw him. Him. Your son. A few meters, no, some few meters beyond where you lie, he lies. They say after you went away, part of him died, that part, you remember? Did it?

One home. One family. One name. Is all I had learnt. So young, so naive, so untouched by the spoils of the earth, was I here. So innocent. Untouched. What seemed big before is now just miniscule. What seemed familiar is now unfamiliar.

Tracing my roots, came I searching. I found the roots searching deeper into the earth. Did I find me? Did I find thee? Did I find us? Its familiar but still unfamiliar.

Where there were trees, now there aint shit. The earth has cracked where it was whole. And now snakes crawl out. Ah! Shosho its finished, yet so incomplete.

The house stands mighty. Still its different yet the same. They brought down the other two. Said it was easier for everyone. They cut down the tree you used to lie under. They even blocked the way, now our house is a terminal. You remember that tree I loved? Yes that one grandmother. The one with the purple flowers where we took a picture when aunt Marion’s kids came to visit. They also cut it down. Now there is a swarm of bees ready to attack. I wake one day, and everything has changed. The house, the trees, the homestead. The cow died. Kirauni. Its no longer home.

Yet I look into his eyes and feel that familiar unfamiliarity. Into those eyes grandmother, history is being remade. An experienced yet unlived histoire. He reminds me of what was and now isnt. But what was? Was it always like this? Wasnt it there? Was it…

Familiar yet unfamiliar. The tree continues. Its like we’ve been here before. Its like its all beginning. Its like it continues. Sometimes its stuck. Yet at others it feels like its ending. Still, its young, green, naive, but experienced. It comes in waves, big, angry, verocious waves. That which was and now is, or never was or no longer is. Sometimes it runs like the river and flows never to return.

Am here. Are you here? Are we both here? Am I You? Because when I look into my eyes, I see you. Or who you were. Who I am. Who Was I? Then I look into his eyes and I see him. Your son. So full of life. He was vivacious. He was all of it. Yet none of it. Your son. The Artist. Ngira. I hear it was Rangi and the artist… well you know him. When I look into his grandchild’s eyes I see him. Shosho. Its beginning. Or its continuing. Is it new? Has it always been?

The mother passes it down to her daughter and her daughter passes it down to hers. Same but different. I can feel you in me. Almost channeling me. You in me. Me in you. From your mother to you to mine and to my daughter into hers.

Was it here? Was it there? Or there? Was this tree always here? Its here. Its there. Its everywhere. I am here. You are here. We are here.

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