Two A4 sheets were written out over the last 6 days. Each covered one thing that I need to forgive myself for. Next, I was to take them to the nearest natural water body, burn them and put the ashes in the water. The lake has receded far from the high land exposing large meadows that are normally green but now sandy brown. The summer has arrived early this year and it is hot. There has been no rain here for 7 months. The temperature this morning was 38 degrees centigrade.
We equipped ourselves with walking sticks, water bottles, head-scarves, hats and sunglasses. We covered up in sun-screen, light cotton full-sleeved tops and linen trousers and set off after breakfast. The jagged walk down a steep slope ended at the tree-line which marks the water level at its highest. Here we were met by a carcass of what appeared to be a large cow. We marked it as a landmark and identified the maxilla, the ethmoid sinuses, some vertebrae and ribs and turned left to walk between the forest and the water towards the rocky beach where the water is accessible.
The sun beat mercilessly down upon us. The heat was palpable. I walked with my head bent, looking at random rocks, piles of cow dung, broken bits of coloured plastic flip-flops, some wild vegetation and dying drying grass. As I looked up I saw black and yellow butterflies dancing about in the green crevices between rocks hidden from the cruelty of the sun. All this time my mind was full of question marks. Why am I doing this? It doesn’t make any sense. It is all so silly. In this heat!
We got there after about 45 minutes. On the tenth attempt the papers finally won over the blowing wind and caught the flame from the burning match-stick. The ashes elegantly fell into the lake and so did the last little white triangle that dropped from my hand. I sat there looking at them till they slowly disappeared.
It felt like a pilgrimage. I am here for a reason.
I am here to set myself free.