ritual sans religion

Sometime around 4pm, sweating under a blazing sun, I did some gardening, put out the trash and then lit a fire. I have a hollow dug out of the lawn, with rocks from the beach round it. I burned the impepho I’d pulled out, it made very orange flames and very blue smoke. I’d planted it on the advice of a sangoma, who told me (by cellphone) to plant it and tell my mother anything I wanted. So I did and occasionally I’d flick cigarette ash or chuck some coffee grounds. That would have been her top two requests, followed by a cheese sandwich. We had a few weeks of intense summer rain and my poor impepho drowned. Dried, it’s burned inside sometimes, to banish negative things (angry spirits).

The Planet Grief. An incalculable number of light years from the warmth of the sun. When the rain falls, it falls in droplets of grief, and when the light shines, it is in waves and particles of grief. From whatever direction the wind blows–south, east, north or west– it blows cinders of grief before it. Grief stings your eyes and sucks the breath from your lungs. No oxygen on this planet, no nitrogen; the atmosphere is composed entirely of grief. [By the Time You Read This, Giles Blunt]

I don’t want to write about it much tbh. I’ll just tell her now, like I did when they took the body; hamba kahle, mum.

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