Time to Talk
Julia walked along the forest path, with the cascading view of never ending hills peeking through the gaps, where the sun poured in. The last time she had walked along here, it was to show him the way, and her feet had hardly touched the ground. That was when the reality of him filled her whole being with such buoyancy. Complete happiness. How she loved that lightness of being, which made her feel invincible, super woman in disguise.
Now she carried millstones in her pockets as she stumbled forward, blind to the beauty of this special place. They had survived so much. The jeers from car windows driving past as they walked hand in hand, people getting up to leave when they walked into a restaurant, giving them accusing glares. That time she wasn’t in, and a man escorted him out the building at knife point. Two such private, introverts loosing all public anonymity.
Another painful blow struck her heart as she remembered the effect he had upon her physically. In her wildest dreams she would never have imagined anything so powerful. Just a look from across a room and she thought she would explode. How could she go on without him. Breaking off a sprig from a bush, she tore off the leaves whispering, “I have to have him, I have to, I have to”.
Julia reached the waterfall and sitting on their rock, she felt that kick in the stomach that occurred each time she recalled the hardness in his gaze, wiping out all love from his eyes. The worst of it, is it had been all her doing. What was that stupid, stupid thing she had said. Something about diluting his darkness. She had tried to explain this strong instinctive desire to have his babies, and the sense that she couldn’t because of the whiteness in her genes messing with his. It was to do with this whole black consciousness thing she was experiencing. In her mind everything black was good and everything white was bad. She recalled the condescending way he had ripped her simplistic political analysis to shreds.
Welile, his confidante, had told Julia that behind his anger was pain. She had to get through to him that she loved the particular person he was. Him, him, him – the individual. The particular way he looked, that wry smile of his, the way his eyes bore right through her, his uncombed hair over the weekend. The way he didn’t follow the crowd but made his own way through the political minefields. That contagious laugh. A smile broke across her face as she recalled how as a small rural boy he had once tried to smuggle a puppy into his bed, in a culture where dogs were strictly outdoor animals, kept to assist with the important task of hunting. He had paid for this attempt by being made chief poop scooper around the dust swept yard.
Once again anxiety swept over her at the thought of loosing him. He had once told her that the ineffectual way she pronounced the clicks in his mother tongue made him want to grab her tongue and smack it with a hammer. “I need to take a pair of scissors and not a hammer to my tongue”, she thought bitterly. Then out of the blue the words of the sermon she had inadvertently tuned into on the radio, driving over here, pierced through her thoughts. She had been about to change channels, being instantly put off by the sermonizing tone of voice, when she heard the preacher say, “No-one is more influential in your life then you are, because no-one talks to you more than you do. You are in an unending conversation with yourself.” Julia had recognised the truth in this, and had stayed listening. The LOUD VOICE had continued to read Psalm 42 which was all about the troubled soul, THE SOUL IN TORMENT. According to the LOUD VOICE the Psalm was an example of an internal conversation. The Psalmist DESIRE’S God’s presence but FEELS God’s absence. Julia could empathise. Though her particular longing was for him, as her relationship with God was currently on hold. “So how does the Psalmist respond to this unending conversation in his soul, how does he address his soul?” , the voice on the radio had boomed on. “The appropriate response when your soul is troubled is to talk to yourself, no.1 and talk to God, no. 2.”
Sitting on the rock, feeling tormented, Julia decided to talk to herself. Listening in on the internal conversation she heard once again the words echoing above her beating heart, “I must have him, I must have him.” “Why?” she interrupted. “I will die without him”, came the reply. “Why?”, she asked again. “Because without him, I am nothing”, came the response. Staring silently ahead as the thunder of the waterfall filled her head, there came to Julia the burgeoning awareness that this later answer was a complete lie. And with this awareness something stirred within her, as if waking up after a long sleep. She couldn’t quite name it, but felt a hint of hope as she pondered, “perhaps I should try conversation no.2, and talk to God.”
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