Woke during the night in a bedroom made strange by perpendicular shafts of bright yellow moonlight and couldn’t work out where I was or even who I might be.
Lines from Proust came back to me as I slowly focused and took in the details, hear familiar sounds, rejoined the conscious self:
…and when I awoke in the middle of the night, not knowing where I was, I could not even be sure at first who I was; I had only the most rudimentary sense of existence, such as may lurk and flicker in the depths of an animal’s consciousness; I was more destitute than the cave-dweller.
Breezy and sunlit Good Friday morning, ate a large homemade hot cross bun with a sticky bronzed glaze of apricot jam. Many of the churches are closed here because of a shortage of priests — local ordinands sent off to prop up the faltering but affluent churches in the West or to minister in crowded and chaotic city parishes and congregations. But those who feel drawn to the bright fields and shady places under trees walk their dogs and pause to reflect on the vanished traditions of their youths, to look long at falcons circling over the kloofs and African hares loping away down mountain slopes. Aloes just starting to flame out their glowing red spires, nerines still seen in ditches and vleis, the wild African iris (Dietes) blooming as a sign rain is on its way.
Noting how in recent years I have come to slightly dread the long Easter weekend because of the global threat of violence and mayhem. All the same I pick flowers and set them in pretty jugs around the house, call and speak with close and valued friends, accept invitations to dinner, brush my dogs and vacuum dog hairs off sofas. As if this was a time to be anticipated and enjoyed with a light heart. Older shadows creep along the walls and I catch echoes of an older sadness, ways of belief no longer possible, insights retrieved from disillusionment, little fragments of meaning that glitter in the shadowy places. New and painful understandings just coming to consciousness, what is not possible, what is authentic but harder, what will move the ageing self beyond sentimentality.