I went back to see BraSibi again two days after our first visit, which also happened to be Christmas Day (a holiday I was confident BraSibi would not be observing). The night before, on Christmas Eve, I had gone to a local group’s drum and dance performance at Big Milly’s, the old guesthouse, and I had stayed out way, way too late afterwards because, well, as much as I had kept to myself during this writing retreat… it is impossible to not make friends in Ghana. (The show itself was pretty fabulous – I was especially impressed by the acrobatic and contortion portion, during which I witnessed a few young men doing very advanced yoga postures – but while also balancing atop another man’s head!) Now the physical exhaustion I felt from staying up ridiculously late was added to an emotional exhaustion that lingered in the wake of all the intense crying I had been doing after my first visit with BraSibi, and since it seemed he had been the key to unlocking my emotions here, I was steeling myself for another potent experience.
But in this second visit, it seemed our emotions had already been spent and settled, the shock of seeing each other having passed; and, having already communed over the past we both knew, we did not dwell on it now. I found myself able, now, to share with BraSibi all the things I had wanted to say upon first meeting with him – the assurances I had wanted to give him that I was ok, that my life was good – but that I had not been able to express due to the rising tide of emotion keeping me from speaking openly, for fear of being thrown by an enormous wave of tears. Now, dry-eyed, we agreed that “all is good,” and we smiled softly, easily, as we talked about what had been happening in our lives over the past eighteen years. And even after we finally did talk a bit about Koro and some of the less fortunate things that had happened back then, the summation of our experience was still that life is indeed good. “You can’t help it,” BraSibi sighed, remembering the way things ended; things are the way they are; and “we give it to God…”
BraSibi and I talked plenty, but after saying all I had originally wanted to say, it really didn’t matter what we talked about – it just felt good to be in his presence, to be in each other’s presence, to be standing there communing with the one person on this earth who maybe knew a little bit what it was like for me and Koro, the only person who ever really saw our life together out at the shack. BraSibi had loved us. And I still felt that love now.
As we talked, I watched the sun sinking behind the little mountain, as I had loved to do every day out at the shack. And by the time true darkness was approaching, it felt that there was nothing left to say, and that I could leave Kokrobite feeling complete. I could go now. I was satisfied. “All is good.” When BraSibi and I said our sweet goodbyes, they felt final, and I knew, finally, that, while one never knows what the future has in store, I did not feel a need to ever return to Kokrobite.
…To be perfectly honest, and perfectly blunt, by now my journal was becoming filled with profanities concerning how much I now hated this place – because of ALL THE F***ING NOISE. This had been another topic of conversation between BraSibi and me – the changes that had come to the area and the fact that Kokrobite had become far too loud now – too many people and just TOO MUCH NOISE. The main issue was that the guesthouses on the beach and the bars on the road all pumped out the music so loud that it was beyond my understanding how it could possibly be enjoyable for anyone; and at the AirBnB, I was located right in the middle of it all, in a cacophony of sound, which even my best, freshest earplugs, shoved as deep as they could go into my ears, could not completely block, and which had been increasing in intensity as the days built up to Christmas. It was a pretty extreme situation – I was lucky if the blaring music (and never music I actually liked) would come to a close by midnight or one in the morning, and occasionally, on a weekend, it would go all throughout the entire night, until the birds began to sing their own songs to the sunrise, the thumping bass sometimes even interrupting that, bright and early in the morning. …For someone who loves peace and quiet, and who is also an extremely light sleeper (I tend to sleep with earplugs even in quite quiet environments, if there’s anything electrical going on in the vicinity), Kokrobite was not at all a good fit for me.
I still loved Ghana. I loved the way I could live there. I loved the way I could BE there. But as for Kokrobite… while a week before, on a blissfully relatively quiet day, I had been considering staying longer, by now I could not wait to get out; and while I was very thankful I had finally made it back, I did feel, quite definitively, that I wanted to leave it behind me, and to not come back again.
On my last day in Ghana, I took one more walk down to my old neighborhood. I walked through the property of the old, abandoned hotel, AAMA, where BraSibi had been a night watchman; and happily finding myself completely alone there, I wandered down to its private little beach. And there, by the ocean, where I always feel Koro so strongly, I said my goodbye. Loving my life, and loving Koro, always, I knew that it was time now, for me to move on more fully - always a bit more fully, it seems, as we continue along our way...
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...