Mothertongue Blues

To the unremembering tongue the search for a history is often measured by two clocks ticking in different cities and two hearts beating to different rhythms. When here is there, and there is nothing more than a speck of soil, crushed under the feet of an excited conductor; then everything might seem to follow a path that would one day be as significant as a fleeting sentence.

In the beginning was the word.

Before that were letters,

Before that the coherence to create an alphabet

Before that an idea

Before that a question

Before that a point,

Kusema kweli, kama ningekuwa msanii ningeweza kueleza mambo yote kutoka mwanza mpaka mwisho. Lakini kwa sasa nimejipata katika harakati za kutafuta mazoezi na mashairi. Mazoezi na mashairi, ni kama kusema ni kutenda au kusema yanayotendwa na wale vijana wawili kutoka huko mbali.

You remember them don’t you? They came hand in hand, one with an evil smile and one whose face knew not the image of itself but the memory of a past violence. The other had a voice that could convince the world to stand still, if only for a second. Still, you let them in, maybe because your world needed to stand still, maybe because your tongue needed to remember – and their tongues needed to forget. No one really knows why, but you did.

(Question: If you were given two clocks, one facing north and one facing south then asked to determine which one was right would you break the first or the second? Would you break the one that was right or the one that was wrong? Does this paradox have meaning? Perhaps not, but let’s say that one of these clocks was set in a language that we have since remembered but, at the time, was not on your mind. The other was set in a language that was on your mind at the time but you have now forgotten. Would that influence your choice? I’m asking because I want to know what the forwards backwards passage of time could possibly mean if not maybe that there is now, and then there isn’t)

I’ve seen time stop still.

I was there that night, when the jazz sounds of a mother’s blue tongue were brought to life, punctuated by the sighs of the moon to stay. I was there when the words made the present seem like nothing more than a connection between the past and the future. When the caravan settled down to have a glass of water  and imagine passage through spacetime like a ride at a carnival with no end in sight.

Did they teach you how to do that? Are they the ones who whisper in your ear “this is the time now, this is the time, tick, tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock ticktockticktocktcitccktikatokatikatokatikatoka….” Or are they subtle? Like the passing of a gentle cloud that needs to be watched for or it might be mistaken for another chunk of water wandering across the universe? Is the universe made from a premix bought off the shelf of some intergalactic supermarket? Universe in a box! The sign says, get your today!

Do you like shopping?

Or would you rather stay indoors, watching the skies just in case the cloud floats silently by?

Signed,

A Dependent Observer

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