when the sun
swivels into marvels
of a sky
painted by the late afternoon
we say goodbyes
by the haze
set in tables
served by a distinct
longing for the satisfaction
in better tomorrows.
longing to be filled.
© Hudson Biko
Photograph by Alexander Andrews
It was an afternoon.
As we found ourselves
sitting in rooms
silenced by those
who seek sanity
and their own silence
gave in to
as it began
were finally peeling
we should have
on the precipice
All it ever does
No matter how much we try to peel it off.
© Hudson Biko
Photograph: Caleb George
On Friday afternoon, I took two taxi rides.
On my first, I was on my way somewhere. I didn’t know exactly where I was going. I didn’t know exactly how I would reach there. I really just hoped that the driver taking me would.
But he did have an idea. An idea of where that place was. An idea of the roads that might lead there. An idea of the path to our destination.
On my second, I was on my way home. I knew exactly where I was going. I knew exactly how I would reach there. I really just hoped that the driver taking me would.
But amongst the congestion and confusion we call traffic on a Friday afternoon, we got stuck in the middle of each highway or pathway we eventually got on.
Both times, I eventually got to exactly where I wanted to go. Albeit from contrasting starting points.
On the first, we found our way based on an idea. Based on our perception of what the end would like.
On the second, we had to divert from pre-conceived notions. We had to find alternative pathways to reach where we wanted to go.
I think that sometimes that’s the oxymoron we find ourselves in-between.
In-between working towards something we don’t really visualize and finding alternative ways of achieving what we’ve already visualized, especially in the midst of unexpected constraints.
But I also think that those are the moments that define us. The moments where we have to believe in our own beliefs. The moments where we have to overcome unprecedented barriers. The moments where the journey makes the destination truly worthwhile.
© Hudson Biko
Photograph: Peter Kasprzyk
The clock tick-tocks in backdrops we call time. Each hands’ progression emphasizing the consummation of seconds, minutes or hours. Hours that turn into days, days into months, months into years and years into lifetimes. Lifetimes that eventually follow an infinity of other lifetimes before us.
And a part of us fears that. A part of us fears that we’re going to be haunted by the minutes and the hours we don’t truly maximize. A part of us fears that we’re going to look back at our own lifetimes and think about the infinity of possibilities we missed out on.
And it’s okay to feel like that. It fuels our own hungers and our own passions.
But sometimes that fear morphs into structure. The kind of structure that has the capacity to desolate and rather than determine. The kind of structure that imposes inadequacy rather belief. The kind of structure based on pre-conceived timelines.
Timelines consciously or subconsciously ingrained in our minds across our early existence. Whether it was college graduation by 23. Getting married by your 30s. Or retirement by 65. There was always something that should have been done by a certain age or by a certain time.
And if we don’t, we start existing in a vicious cycle of unaccomplishment. We start questioning why we aren’t where we were meant to be. We start comparing our timelines to other people’s timelines.
But your lifetime is infinitely unique to an infinity of other lifetimes. There is no way your journey will mimic the journey of others. Because like a myriad of other paths, yours is endowed with its own exclusivity. With its own rocks, pebbles and potholes that are central to its individuality.
And in spite of all of life’s complexities and intricacies, you aren’t meant to be anywhere.
There are no deadlines or regulations. At this very moment, you are formulating and experiencing your own distinct journey. A journey that isn’t regulated or paralleled by pre-conceived expectations but by your own doing. Exactly when you need to.
© Hudson Biko
Photograph: Tierra Benton
Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com