march 29. the abyei night is black like thick ink. as you walk down the road, you
(not me, you) push your face into it, trying to gain a centimetre or two
of perspective, and it almost meets a soldier's leaning over his
handlebars doing the same. you both recoil like surprised fishes at the
black bottom of the ocean. he swerves, and the flowers on his
handlebars brush your (not my, your) arm.
people fix flowers to the handlebars of their bicycles in bunches. roses, carnations, impossible pink flowers in rows. even soldiers. daisies pour off the front, a machine gun hangs from the back.
when an organism enters a new environment, with time the new stimuli
elicit diminishing responses. as it inhabits, it habituates. in a
conflict setting, for expatriates, it is called "immersion". at first,
every soldier is registered, every weapon noticed. after weeks, in a
new normal, one sees mostly daisies.
for years i was blind to flowers. it took a friend to show me how easy
they are to love. in the hot morning, they hang for water. an hour
after, they are bright. when i leave the feeding centre, i think about
flowers each time.
i will write more when i find some minutes. they are so slick with
sweat here. five things you meant to meet in your day somehow slip
go to www.youtube.com and search for "reno balloon race". beautiful.