Friday 14 January 2022


One aspect of life that we aren't taught to master, or, at least, learn to live with, is: leaving. That's mastering to take one's leave "when the ovation is loudest", learning to exit one station of life for another, or say goodbye to place and time and be welcomed by another place and time. 

We are both inhabitants and inheritors of place and time, in nature; but nature understands this very aspect of itself that's why it changes: leaving one dying season to embrace another season of birth, growth, of dying. It is a cycle of leaving, which becomes the permanence of itself. The river understands this feature of itself, so it constantly flows, washing itself of the feet that step into it - some sort of revolving erasure. Is it any wonder that nobody steps into the same river twice?

I've been reflecting on leaving since the dawn of 2022 broke. In my reflection, I've encountered stories on my social media timelines of people dithering when the ovation was loudest. Remember the story of the lady who called out a pastor, made his malfeasance so public that as a witness she stayed back in the same church, while the bad behaviour of the pastor took root and flowered, until she lost her best friend. This morning, as I walked home from my morning walk, I began again to reflect on leaving upon looking at the home of a friend who lost his wife a few days ago. I wondered why mourners, I mean those sympathetic visitors, don't leave after paying condolence visits, for the bereaved to properly mourn their dead in private. Is it that we aren't wired by nature to understand leaving, the temporary type which allows us to appreciate the fact that nature exists in flux; or understand the type of leaving that forms our pedagogy of growing up? I reflected, reflected, and reflected, until I arrived at my home a few minutes later.

It is our ignorance of leaving that makes us not to understand this simple fact: leaving is living, which forms that essential rite of passage of life itself. People get stuck in abusive marriages, friendships,  poor place of work, without the thought of leaving - perhaps we are wired by rote to stay back and ride the storm.

There's a lesson we must learn from the story of the traveller and the Sufi. The traveller  asked the Sufi why he doesn't have furniture in his home. The Sufi spied him and asked back, "where is your furniture?". 

"I'm a visitor", the traveller answered.

"So I'm", the Sufi countered back.

Leaving is living. Live it.

May the departed be blessed with Helpers that will pave his path towards the Luminous realm.

May He journey to a safe return into the realms of his ancestors.


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