weird fish

18 Jul

It seems so strange to me that is is my 24th birthday tomorrow. Firstly, because i have spent so much time organising the trip overseas that I hardly remembered it was my birthday … and secondly because I feel so much older … only 24 tomorrow! How strange. If this is how I feel now, I wonder how I will feel when I am 30, 45 or 60. (Tired, slightly cynical, worried, excited, hopeful, melacholy, terrified – too much, too many things at one time!)

At my desk sitting in front of me right now, from left to right. One tin filled with pens, pencils, rulers and other assorted stationary. One plastic box filled with pens, paper and cardboard. One complete academic record with my marks from my fours years at Wits. One leather Wits emblem-emblazoned baggage identifier (?really, what?! I think I mean a tag.) Five letters, written to my parents and siblings for when I leave. Nine CDs lined up and ready to be put onto my laptop, as they cannot be taken with. One set of pills, an empty watch box, and an e-mail that my mom has printed out, entitled ‘Links to search for flights’. Why does it matter what is on my desk right now?

I don’t know, I have trouble figuring out what matters lately. Do goodbyes matter? To whom and why? Does going away matter? Does it change you? What matters really … when other people can disappoint you to the point of absolute pain, do they really matter?

Of course they do. I think that the things that matter the most are the things that change you: for better or for worse. They are the things that affect you, twist you and shape you, so of course they matter. Often it doesn’t seem like it, in that moment they seem inconsequential, but they matter.

My favourite line of poetry, as I was telling my friend Tumi today, was the line I printed on my 21st birthday invitation, from Ulysses. It reads: “Yet each experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades, forever and ever as I move.” It’s true … the more you travel, live, experience and take things in, the bigger the world gets. I just wonder if things start to matter more, or less. What things? Maybe there are people my age who know already. Maybe there are people three times my age who still haven’t figured it out. That’s OK as well. I’m not expecting a life where I will have peace in all places, at all times.

I think I’ll be OK, as long as when I’m 30, 45 and 60, things still matter. I still feel passionately about things. I still feel the urge to fight, and to say something. Without that urge I would be nothing really.

“in the deepest ocean the bottom of the sea your eyes they turn me
why should i stay here? why should i stay?
i’d be crazy not to follow follow where you lead your eyes they turn me
turn me on to phantom-i follow to the edge-of the earth-and fall off
yeah, everybody leaves if they get the chance and this if my chance
I get eaten by the worms and weird fishes
the worms and weird fishes
yEAH, i i’ll hit the bottom
hit the bottom and escape


weird fishes / arpeggi – radiohead

goodbye south africa … for now!


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