Friday, February 6, 2009

House in the Wilderness

The rondavel was small, but was the only visible standing structure in the wilderness.
Inside the rondavel we were 7, and dancing around a highly charged fire, right at the centre of the rondavel.

Outside the rondavel were 31 queues of tortured and brittle Figures who marched towards the house (the rondavel). Their march was wobbly and lackadaisical.

Each queue had 71 figures and each figure had 3 stories to tell – the three stories were one, OPEN! OPEN!! OPEN!!!

The wind outside the house was clear, pure and cold, yet each molecule of air was angry from events of yesterday, events of which you don’t want to hear about!

Inside the house the dance continued, the flames blazed, the sweat rolled from faces and the round wall of the rondavel.

The rondavel had no windows, no cracks and no open spaces for ventilation. The air inside the rondavel circulated from a lung of one person to the next – each time the air was exhaled was hotter than before.

We changed the dance tune. We started galloping and panted heavily. We went on a deep trance, yet remained fully conscious. Our feet stamped gently, but strongly on the floor. We were right, and we knew that we were right.

The smoke from the fire painted us white – we were white like ghosts.

The ash rose from the centre of the fire and circled each man’s head like a shattered dream. Each ash particle cracked into many pieces, and crash landed back to the centre of our fire.

We continued to gallop. Some wanted to roll up and down the wall. Some wanted to crawl straight across the fire. Some wanted to be there and dance. Some wanted to touch the smoke. All of us continued to gallop around the fire of our sweat.

Figures outside the house started to knock softly at the door and murmured words of the outlawed. Each knock fueled the sparks of fire inside the house; each knock choke those watching from the distant land.

Rhythmically the knocks intensified and the Figures started to vibrate.

The wind became stronger, colder, heavier and slower. Some of the Figures started to break, and they disintegrated.

A deep round hole gained shape in the house. We all galloped in a trench, and slowly sunk as we continued to gallop around the fire.

After many years of galloping, some paused, and looked at the wall.

Others paused and looked at the river of our sweat that flowed to the direction of our movement.

That river was so deep that some got lost into it. By that time there was no fire, no firewood, no smoke and no ashes, but the river of our sweat – from what used to be a trench.

Some galloped in slow motion while others thought of the fire that was once the source of heat.

The house observed from outside had no roof, no walls and no foundation, but from inside there was a round cracked wall, porous roof and a river around what used to be fire.

From outside, the wind continued to blow, the Figures continued to knock gently at the door that once prevented them from entering.

Funani ka Ntontela

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