Reunited with the siblings, AZM, the loves of my life. That was the best part about landing.
I am working on my next big blog post. I realize that it has been a month since the last one. I am also working entirely on another blog that would be a little less Dar-specific. That will be released soon!
I write constantly in my mind and need to commit hand to keyboard.
I will say that this month has been one of the most challenging of my whole life.
I feel like a semi-displaced person in my mind; I am neither here nor there. I try not to think about Dar so much and focus instead on my now and being where I am. I love Ottawa and there is the possibility that right now may be my last lengthy time in Ottawa. We shall see.
The other big impediment to my writing is that once again I am a student and therefore living the student life which is run by words and communication and exchange of information and so my brain, when it is not being overtaken with “big” thoughts of the world is in a state of learning.
The courses I have right now are incredible and make the very stressful experience of applying to graduate schools (as I am currently doing) exciting at the possibilities and prospects for the future. It is amazing the directions life takes us and the next step for me could be anything and anywhere. But I have a few hopes for the future but I shall share them in another blog.
So keeping this short I will say in all honesty that I miss Dar. I overwhelmingly miss it. It is difficult to think about and often I cannot listen to music because it makes me too “emotional”. Being back and seeing people I love in a country I love is a beautiful and wonderful experience. I don’t knock it one bit, being home is great. But it is also heartbreaking. As predicted, everything has been both harder and easier than I imagined. Grocery shopping went fine, but the ignorance I hear in voices in the classroom and the privilege is hard. I too obviously live in privilege but at least I feel and am immensely aware of it.
I know now more than ever that my future lies elsewhere. I already have people who have made comments to me after seeing my just once and they say: “So when are you going back?”
One friend even said the kindest words to want to spend a lot of time with me now because she knows this will likely be the longest time I spend in Canada for a long time.
I don’t know what my future holds but I do know that Africa is in it. My body is marked by my time there. I haven’t taken off any jewelry since I left. My ring, Masai bracelet and Africa necklace pendant and Hand of Fatima/Miriam/Mary has not left my being. This may be because I am afraid to, but mostly because I like being marked with where I hope to be. Not that these physical markers changes anything, but it helps me. And at the end of the day that’s what counts.
I use the term Africa instead of Tanzania specifically because I spent time in other places that marked me, as well as having the general desire to live in other areas within the continent.
Being in Canada has made me realize more than ever that I will return. I’m not quite sure where is next, but there is a “next”. There is an “after”.
I recently saw a play in Stratford, Ontario with my sister and Mum and it was about four women on a trip to Italy to escape British rains post WW2. There was a beautiful monologue at the beginning that led me to tear up:
“Were it only that some enchantment would step in for us all, to change what we have into what we wish for. To bridge the awkward gap between all of our many befores and afters. Because, for every after found, a before must be lost.”
– Lotty, Enchanted April
There was much more to it, but that’s a brief summary.
I know my “afters” are coming. It’s just a matter of time.
I shall keep you posted. Mostly referring to myself.
It has become most interesting to see the blog as a historical process of self-growth. I think about where I was and where I am now and this blog is a marker of that. Particularly within my understanding of feminisms, power dynamics and cultural interaction in Tanzania. Notably I want to do a Butler reading of my blog as without knowing it I aligned in her theories with some of my thoughts.
Okay, well that’s enough for now. Adieu.