It took a full night as well as the following morning to drain the fountain of tears that had welled up inside of me upon seeing BraSibi. And all the while, as I cried and held myself, I wrote.
The following is some of that writing, which came through in the morning. I feel I should just give you this one raw, straight out of my journal – no rewrites, no cleaning it up, no additional thoughts – just the flow of emotion, in all its bare honesty, finally pouring out.
What can I say? I love honesty. And when people are 100% real. And 100% open. So… my turn – here we go…
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Monday, 24 DEC 2018
Ok. Must get out of bed and try to get a lot of work done today. And 3rd Series before it is too too hot…
There’s still so much to do here, particularly with the writing work, but I am eager to get through my time here… And just go experience Guinea. And see what happens there. And then go home.
My life has moved on. Right? Are you starting to doubt that? Are you starting to doubt all you felt earlier, just last week? How much you have moved on?
It just all came back so hard-core upon seeing BraSibi.
I don’t know that I will ever “move on” completely. What does that even mean?
BraSibi reminded me how there’s no one like Koro, there has never been anyone like Koro around here, “so clever, so bright…” And it’s true, I have never met anyone who comes even close to being like Koro. And I loved him fully, and I lost him, and I can still feel the absolute vastness of that loss. And in order to keep living, and to keep finding joy and contentment in this life, I have to be okay with that. I have to simply be okay with that. And as BraSibi also reminded me (and as the people of Ghana assured me again and again last time I was here, when so many villagers approached me, knowing of my loss, knowing of Koro – people I had never met before, all consoling me, all telling me… that it is God’s way – “give it to God…”), I have to trust that this is “God’s way” – because what other way could it be? God is in All. Even in the hardship, the suffering – it is all the Divine unfolding, whether we can see it or not… whether we realize it or not…
Again it is the same as before – yes, there is the vastness – an eternity of oceans’ worth of vastness – of loss, and yes it is still there inside me, popping up from time to time – full force yesterday upon seeing BraSibi. But also it is the same as before in that I wake up every morning, and I am still alive.
It took a very long time to find contentment. I have never again experienced a love so deep and full and WHOLE as that I experienced with Koro, have never found anything that has come even close. I can see that so clearly in this moment because yesterday BraSibi brought it all back for me – just seeing him, talking with him, feeling also his vast and deep love for his friend Koro… it reminded me more than I have been reminded for a very long time of who Koro was, and how utterly vast was the love I experienced with him. …But while Koro lost his life and I lost my life with Koro, again… just as it was before, I still, unavoidably, have my life. So what can I do but do something with it? You wake each morning, you continue on each day. You do your practices, because they bring you joy. It is enough because it needs to be enough.
Oh yes, it’s all coming out now – the fountain of tears…
Geez louize, now I wish I brought more handkerchiefs…
I thought if anything, I would feel so much out at the land. But I was not expecting to see BraSibi. And the land was changed – the land has moved on – nothing is the same but the foundation of the shack, and that damn “fridge.” Everything else has grown and gone its own way. My friends the trees do not remember me – they have grown too high to see me, or to be able to feel me on them. The little paths we used to traverse through the site have been overgrown through lack of use, our tomato beds are gone, the papaya trees are gone, and to boot there is a big house now and a road crossing over where our path up to the shack used to be – in short, all – almost all – has changed.
But in BraSibi’s heart, nothing has changed. His love for his dear friend is as big as ever, it has remained unchanged, and seeing that, feeling that, brought back my awareness, full force, of the same inside of me.
My life has gone on – and now I have “a life,” where I had none before, but still, for me, deep inside, nothing has changed. Because Love, this Divine Force, LOVE – it is the one constant, the One, Unchanging, the Divine Element, the Divine Force, the Divine Creation, the Divine. The Divine was all that remained when I lost Koro, when everything changed for me – the Divine was the one thing that remained unchanged, a constant, still there for me. And that Divine Force, that Divine Element, that Power, is Love.
Today, Monday, the day of Christmas Eve, I will do my work. I will meditate and practice Third Series and pranayama; I will give my body some orange juice and most likely some fruit; I will work on some of the blogs I have open about my experience in Ghana, will try in particular to come close to completion with the first one, “Arrival in Ghana, Then and Now,” now that I am nearing the end of my stay here; and I will try to go back down to the beach outside Big Milly’s to thank the Rasta who brought me out to meet Ernest yesterday, whom I found myself too exhausted to visit and thank last night like I should have done. I will go to see BraSibi again probably tomorrow, not today, I will feel what I feel, I will write about it and will most likely shed more tears, and a couple days after that I will pack up my things, have a predictably sleepless night, and then leave for Accra at the crack of dawn to catch an early morning flight to Guinea. I will wait through my five-hour layover, and when, God-willing, I arrive at the airport in Conakry, I will be predictably so very happy to see Alisco. And then a new adventure, a whole new experience, will begin…
And God-willing I will also eventually go home to the warm embrace of my mother and her house, and then on to feel the love of my community in Santa Cruz, the members of which I know will be so happy to see me and to have me back in class with them. And though my fountain of tears is springing forth anew as I write these words, I know I will be so happy to see them all, to see Kris and Oumou and Rachel and Randee and Lilah and Kumiko and SARITA and Roman and Aaron and eventually Cici and Tomoko and Andrea and Paige and so many others that I will stop listing them now or else this will go on for ages… I will feel their love and maybe, just maybe, all those pieces, all those bits and pieces of love that come at me from so many sources, from so many loved ones… maybe it will add up to enough, to fill that vastness, to keep me afloat in the sea of my heart, riding the waves of love from one day to the next, finding the joy and the contentment to continue on in this life, in this same life, as I have done every day for these past 18 years…
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…I know I said I wanted to give you this one raw – no rewrites, no additional thoughts, etc., but I do want to add just one more thing, one more thought/feeling that was put into words after this was written, which is that, by the last paragraph of that outpouring, I was feeling a deep ache that I could only interpret as a painful joy of moving on… It felt as if love, bright and fresh, was finding its way into that very vulnerable sore spot lying in the deepest, darkest depths of my heart, and that the contact it made produced a good pain, a healthy pain…
Aharona Shackman has used writing as her primary practice for connecting with the Self pretty much since she learned to write. With the commencement of this blog, she is now beginning to practice the sharing of some of her writing...