In Afrikaans, the word ‘vertrek’ means both room and departure.
Today it is nine years since I moved from South Africa to Portugal.
9 ~ an imperfect circle, unspooling.
The closest way home is remembering what it smells like.
To be homeless is more than just being without shelter. It is to be without a crucial point of reference from which oneself and the world is comprehended. ~ Tony Fry
lately at night
i’ve been dreaming
of waking up
in a different city
of here and there inverted
of de-tours and re-turns
on these rambling sojourns
i stop not to ask for directions
instead i try
to spell out my name
Today, it’s been eight years since I’ve moved from South Africa to Portugal.
I don’t quite know what to make of that number –
such a wobbly figure, and if it falls over, it’s an eternity.
(If made to stand again, it’s an empty hourglass.)
Two small globes, one on top of the other: my world here; my world there.
The O of surprise and the O of sighing that mark a migrant life.
A precarious balance, sliding mercurial balls holding each other in tension.
But holding each other, still.
And so I hold on too,
the ones I love on both sides,
the endless longing,
the story of two rings and two adventurous hearts
kept and woven into 8’s cross-armed embrace.