(This is what flowed out of me and into my journal as I rode in a safari van from Kampala up north to Murchison Falls.)
On my way to Murchison Falls. All the different sensory input. Desiring to capture and write about it all. Will I remember the scenes I see?
The bustling activity as we head through Kampala. The way the green countryside spreads out around us as we head north. The lush lush green contrast to the red red earth. The markets. The four wood posts with blue tarps on top. The brick buildings without roofs. The little girl in a faded yellow sundress scooting up on a wooden bench in a dirt yard. Fabric hanging in the doorways blowing in the breeze.
The yellow MTN building with a sunken roof in one spot. Exposed brick wall beneath the yellow paint in another spot. Laundry hanging on the line. Green pants. Dirt colored shirt. White sheets. Sound of the window rattling. The others asleep in the van. Mzungus on board.
What is it about seeing and being with mzungus like this that’s both comforting and softening?
Just passed a local mosque. Crescent moon. Loudspeakers.
Green space quiet. What I’ve been desiring. How does it get any better than this?
Palm trees. Pine trees. Vibration of van thrumming up through my thighs. Three little dark skin kids hanging out at the edges of a ditch. An empty church. A mama and child sitting on a porch. A small girl wearing a pink tutu like dress.
Black building with bright green words, “Upgrade Your Life.” Longhorn cows. Woman at market wearing a teal skirt, sitting under a yellow umbrella talking on the phone.
Piles of yellow jerry cans for carrying water. Woman wearing a traditional dress with puffed shoulders and a slouched back. Woman wearing a modern bright blue dress. Horns honking. Billboard, “Why give HIV a chance to weaken my body?” Radio tower. Building fallen into a pile of wood. Cow. Boda bodas. Man in green long sleeve shirt pointing. Gardens. Orange blossoms on a tree.
What’s it like to really see with all my senses?
Piles of bricks. A row of rooms in one long narrow building. Four people on a boda boda. Breeze. Space. Quiet.
What if there is nothing that needs to be captured? Or held onto? What is it like to receive it all and let it be and flow through and past me?
I am here, part of it all, and then not.
Yellow blossoms on a tree and some fallen to the ground beneath. Green maize. Red dirt. Seedlings. Man in car with toothpick in his mouth.
I am part of the landscape, not separate from. I am perceived and observed as I perceive and observe. I am received as I receive.
Pink buildings next to grey sooty grungy ones.
What do I seek? What do I find? What are the points of views I have about this place and about me that keep me from seeing all? Being all?
Shadow of van traveling alongside my window. Tall red ant hill. Woman hoeing in a garden. Piles of red earth with green seedlings sprouting from the top. Dream fragment emerges and disappears.
Who – what – how – am I when I don’t need to write about it or think about telling about it?
Being with it all. Flat earth stretching out wide open. Green. Fast car zooms past and then another one. Quiet grass. Smell of fresh. Bundles of bush and trees in the fields of grass.
You can’t package it up. All of this – so much sensory – so much life – real true is-ness. It is not quaint. It is not to be romanticized. It’s life. It’s to be interacted with. Mingled with. Experienced.
Writing from the experience, not just about. Don’t separate from. Be with. Be part of.
Remembering Annette pressing a pink $10,000-shilling note into my palm as I departed. “Buy a soda on the road. Your daughter leaves for a journey, you give her something for the road. May you travel safe with Jesus.”
This is being part of something. Not here just as a visitor. Here as family.
Kid in red t-shirt in a tree. Woman next to me wearing green nail polish.
Life has a funny way of taking you far away to bring you home to yourself again.
Red flat earth. Mountains in the distance. The beauty brings me to tears.
Everything has changed in being here.
There is no going back to what was. It’s time for a radical shift forward, more aligned. Release. Liberation. Getting to be me and have all of – more of – me.
There have been moments of judgment – have I chosen to let go of my life to immerse myself in service?
Letting go of life looking like what the ego thinks it should be like to choose something radically different and enlivening. What’s to judge about this? About letting go of the supposed to’s and shoulds to do and be all of me while choosing more of what I desire?
A herd of longhorn cows wandering in the trees. A man wearing a red hat, peeing by a tree.
I let go of what life was so I could choose and create and live a bigger life.