inspired by Shyla & Ibukun’s presentation of “turkish red” by Lale Müldür
I am building the tie,
but its strength
will come from those who choose
to cross after
they will be the lights that shine,
they will show the true nature
of the once dark waters
they will be the ones
who will stand on their toes
and stare into the endless depth below
and they might jump in themselves,
for they see the light and the bridge
in these waters as well
and it is with them,
the next bridge will be built.
and then someone else will build
the next tie
I was always uncertain of where my life would go after leaving the place I called home. Home was all I had; it was the center of my world and the core of my understanding, but it was also the cause of my downfall. I didn’t know what was what unless I was explicitly told.
And then they came, they came with these words I had never heard before and then encaptured my soul within the lines they spoke. My feet and my mind followed them – I began telling them of my own world and they listened to each breath and returned to me the same amazement.
The calm I attained from the passion these people had made me feel light. I was accepted amongst those far different from the people I had called my own. Together we traveled with eyes on one another and the beauty of planet Earth. And after some time, we found a river and I thought this would be where our journey would end, back “home” we would go and my heart began to fall. But there was a bridge – a bridge that seemed so weak that it would break at our first touch – and that was enough for me to take the first step without knowing where I would go.
With a breath of relief, we found it stayed strong and we stood on it in the dead of night; our eyes stared at the star-filled sky, but we had already counted them many times before. My eyes closed and when I opened them again, I found myself looking at my own eyes. The light of stars found a new home in the water and my eyes did the same. Everything seemed different in this reflection – even I seemed to have another form. If this journey had taught me nothing else, it had taught me to explore and my body listened to these revelations quicker than my mind had and I felt myself fall over the ledge.
Never in my life had my mind felt clearer and my body lighter. I floated and allowed myself to be taken wherever the river desired. Others came after with me and entered the same trance-like state. It was magic. We traveled along like this with the only hunger we felt being that for knowledge and learning. And it was when we stopped and found ourselves on another patch of green land, we looked at the sky with new meaning in our eyes.
Across the water that transported us lay another piece of earth with colours our eyes had never seen before. And with the same desire that brought us to this place, we began building a bridge in order to cross.
The prose exists as a prologue to the poem. This plays with the idea of water representing knowledge and the bridges and people as the links between the knowledge of different societies and cultures.