What have I learnt

black and white, you dont miss the point. no distraction. it is the colour of god. he is black and he is white. without skin, without form. without a voice. but we see him, we toucch him. we feel him and we speak with him. he speaks with us. What did i learn from that woman’s face. what did i not learn. That every day you live is not meaningless. it leaves a mark inside of you outside of  you. on your colourles skin. each fold on that face is the life you have lived. Was it meaningless. if you knew then, what you know now =, would you change it.

Right now, i have no proper job. I have no proper qualification, i have no proper relationships. I dont know. this is where i am. this is what i am doing. I dont know is the one thing i am certain of. Sure of. It is a clean slate. I could marry for money. and live a wlife of luxury and fantasy. the fantasy of i dont know. it could be terrible. it could be not so terrible. I could also marry for love and spend the rest of my life happy with the person i love and content. It is also possible that love is =nt always everything you thought it was, like the news about africa; media and literature have crreated a love of their own. and we never really get to know the truth about it until we get there. even when we get there. we are searching for the hype. trying to find the red roses and carnations. and when we dont find them. we slam the doors. It is not always a life of luxury.

I have learned that what is most important is your life, the choices you make while you live. the people you choose to share it with, to spend it with, to have influence you. That is what that face taught me. That is whaat i learned. It is not a lesson really. it is more like a vision. A realisation, in clarity of what i have always known, thought about but not really.

It is not so different from watching the work of Sebastio Salgado. Maybe, one of this century;s most talented, most influencial docu/photo jornalists ever.

he shook my hand. and i waasn;t exactly wowed. I didnt feel the wow. he displayed his work and i swear i saw something, something that wasn’t there. an image he did not take in his photos. but it is was there. he had searched for it. and he had gotten it.

I have seen God. three times, I have seen God. I have seen the almighty, in a child born. A human form, eyes tightly shut afraid of the big bad world, afraid of humanity and the hands that reach out, carefully to hold it, claiming it, owning it, ready to name it ‘a part of this generation’. Any generation.

I have witnessed the power, the touch, the magic, the hand of God in this little thing of human form; slowly yet quickly it becomes human. eyes open, adapting to the new environment. a life pre-determined.

Childhood, teenage, aldult, elderly, and death. and like this always a maybe. One day, there will  be a motor accident. A slippery bath tab. A thief by the gate with a gun. A lover with a wringly hand. The human form will disappear, having lived only  long enough to get that mark of the world, the stain, on God’s skin. 

I have seen God, through my own life, with myself. A dance unlearned, a path not taken; fear grief, truama, joy, fulfilment, happiness…a spirit I can not touch, a soul i never completly embody. And yet it lives in me. I live in it.

I have seen God three times.


THIS POST HAS LIVED IN MY DRAFTS FOR VERY MANY MOONS. I took this piece out of it. I believe today is the time, i stop taking from it, and just give it.

Here. i give it to self!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. The Emrys says:

    i have seen God in this post.
    boots mine??

  2. tumwijuke says:

    Sebastio Salgado is a god! At last some with whom I can rave about him.

    This is one of those posts that make me think, “eh, Li’l Jars is deeep.” The drafts were worth the time you put into it.

    Write like this more often, will you?

  3. phoebe says:

    @ Tumwi; oh yes he is a god. extremely down earth, and visibly tired and worn-out with all the hate, bloodshed and hopelessness he has had to capture (in the past)had to cover with his amazing eye.

    When he came to Fabrica, -June/july-, he had come to give a talk on his current project -instituto terra- http://www.institutoterra.org/eng/index.htm :::: He was so passionate about this project and everything about Pristine earth, covered extensively in his Genesis photo series- the Guardian website (gallery archives) has the entire series and great interview.

    It was incredible to watch him switch in mood and energy while talking about his previous “war zone/starvation/suffering documentary photography- low dark and bored, and then switching to his current love.

    Then he talked to me about Bwindi (when we got one on ones with him), the fast fading mountain gorillas due intense poaching, that nobody seems to be shedding light on. #While talking about the chimps he said; ” they are so peaceful. They don’t even eat meat.” I think this small statement for me, shed a light on where he is at, right now.

    Ofcourse everybody else said that he’s sold out. become National Geographic Channel.

    One day. one day we will have home made tea, Ms. Tumwi, and we will have a good chat.

    A chat about how Salgado looks alot like Picasso—check out their profile shots. and compare them. they could be enstraged brothers…one Spanish (catalan actually) and the other Brazilian.

    Then we will talk about Salvador Dali- I went to his summer house in Costa Brava, an hour or more away from his Figueres Museum. It is such an insight going to the place where he spent all his young summers and his adult married life.

    You see the shapes- the flat melting blues, the surealism surrounding.

    OKAY; Indian TEA , pillows and blankets ON A DECEMBER RAINY DAY. I bring all the photos i took while there. and we will caption them however we feel right.

    this is is stating to read like love letter.

    Ps. I am writing a love letter to Marlon Brando and Allen Ginsberg—they have got to know how much joy they bring to my life!

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