Death has no manners. I know this because of the way it enters our lives without invitation and camps for long periods of time. When someone close to us dies we are confronted with the fact of it first. The realisation of it, of their permanent absence from our lives is yet elusive. We grope in the darkness for something to hold on to, something that will be our anchor and show us how to map out a new way of being, because we can no longer live like we used to. It’s like the deceased punched a hole in our existence. We cry, shout, and deny their departure. How can someone who was so alive, whom we could touch, converse with, laugh with, become so inaccessible to us now? “I’ll never see her again,” we think, and are brought to tears. We blame Death for this misery, angry that it would display such insolence in telling us that we will not, after all, live forever. Selfishly we had thought that she was immortal, that she existed for us. How dare Death remind us?
Death interrupts us while we are busy living, going about as though we will never reach our D Day. Lately I have been thinking a lot about it. I blame this on Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying, which I have been reading, my uncle’s death about a month ago, and the recent deaths of two Rhodes University students. Death slapped me in the face and reminded me that I am on my own “dust to dust” journey. All life’s efforts, the things we believe in, the people we love, the stuff we do; they all seem minute the moment Death throws its darkness at us. We must stop. We must remember to change the pace and take in the sights. Any moment now we there will be a hole punched into where we should have been.
A rather bleak beginning to The Dusty Soul Diary I know, but if there is one thing I love about Death, it’s that it reminds me that I am still alive. It’s not that obvious, you know. Too often we wait our whole lives to actually begin our lives! What am I doing here? What are you doing here? What are we all doing here? Bear with me, I’m not altogether here, you see. I’m just sharing my words because it’s what I’m meant to do. There are too many words inside of me to keep to myself. If I have not given, I am selfish. If I am selfish, I cannot, I have not loved. If I have not loved, I have not lived. I write to exist.
I am a dusty soul because the words inside of me are old. It’s an old soul lives inside this body. I’ve been here before. These words were given to me, you see, by the Alpha, the oldest Being around. He put these words away and bid me share them when the time was right. They are my words and they are His words. They preceded my existence, and hopefully when I am gone, they will linger on. So that when they (the people from the future) read it, it will be as though I am penning them for the first time, from my grave. I am ready. Tell Death to stay its hand.