By Amandla Karungi
I love the certainty of things, the way things always are, the way they used to be; mother peeping through our bedroom door every night, my eyes fixed on the same wall every night, hearing a language I have heard spoken for years; knowing the high and low intonations of the same word spoken in different ways, the meaning of a sound as a complete sentence… the assurance that after the week ends the weekend will begin.
There are things I don’t miss but yet they still remind you of the time and place, months and years; the familiarity of a taxi cutting the traffic jam to form a fifth line, the two hour long bank queue when you’re trying to be on time for office lunch, the slapping cold air on a bodaboda ride three hours after you said you would be home.
But sometimes things aren’t so familiar. Sometimes you just have to climb up that wide unsteady metallic staircase and when you reach that green platform, forty-four meters above the ground, on that windowless skyscraper, standing tall above the tallest trees and they scream “1,2,3, BUNGEE!!!“, you jump.
You fall into nothing, so much air rushing through your ears that you can’t hear yourself scream, soundless; your body gaining momentum as you descend faster and faster unrestrained, grip-less, suspended in a never ending fall, you finally see the dark ancient waters of the Nile rushing at you, a small boat with somebody in it waiting to catch you. You swing like a pendulum from one side to the other, yelling “CATCH ME!”, and then you’re on the boat paddling towards the rocks on the shore. Your life is coming back into focus and you are screaming, “Aaah! I will never do this again!” But in your heart you know, I could actually do this again.
We should welcome the unknown, as well as the familiar. What more hope can we have, than to let go and believe that though we do not know where gravity will take us, there will be something or someone, something or someone familiar, at the bottom waiting to catch us and bring us to the shore.
May we discover new notes in songs we have heard, over and over again.