Decomposing Smiles

Guest Blog: by Kundie Mangwende

It was all they had, all they knew. It’s what kept them together all these years. Now that it was gone, what was to become of them…

Grandpa had been ill for 3 days now. The year is 2060 and I must say we have the wierdest grandparents than any generation, ever. Just look at them. With a couple of tatoos on shriveled skin you can barley see what they say. Grandma still holds on to her piecings even though she is quite aware that the word swag was long outlawed. Even though they look strange, we lucky to have them, look at how many have parents in 2060 let alone grandparents.

Grandpa takes a deep cough, I can tell he is in pain. She draws him closer to the fire, wraps a blanket around him and mumbles a few words. Apparently she says that they are prayers. It seems our generation abolished religion so we will never know of what use it is at this moment.

“Once upon a time, there was a village…” she looks and grandpa and they both smile. Nana has a lot of stories and with the way we live our lives it amazes me that at one time there were no mobile phones when we have holographic phones. We now send messages to our cookers and coffee makers so that we can have a hot cuppa when we get home. Its not only strange, its unbelievable.

“Running through the village was river. The river was the most important thing that held the village together. From it came life and love. Yet one day it stopped flowing and after a couple of days ran dry. No knowing what to do some began digging, others went upstream to seek ye. In time came arguements and fights, they always come…”

Love was the river, the guide, and the destiny

Now I am in deep thought, which village was this. What is a village? Even google dosen’t give a response unless you continue to page 8. Is this how different we are from them. I wish I could relate, I wish I knew yet attentively I listened as she spoke. Grandpa was wide awake, looked like he was scrathing his tatoos. I knew that those things were bad for the skin, he ought to have known better. After all he is the wise one. Kind of a fool to me.

“You see this fire?,” as she adds a log. “Fire is good, one of the few things that have kept generations and generations together. Fire boils water so that we can have a warm bath or a good cup of tea. Yet the same water can extinguish the very element that heats its up….” She lingers into deep reminiscence. Its like she has been there before. At this moment I feel her pain. “You see, that what happened to the village…

“The very source of hope and life turned on them and consumed them. They chose to wrestle and be together than be free and yet apart. For they knew very well that someday the river will flow again. The scars are there to show, the memories eternal…”

A river cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply flows onwards.

Hmmm… I start thinking what this is about, “So did the river flow again grandma?” I ask.

At that moment Grandpa takes a deep breath and in his gravelled voice and starts to talk.

‘Silence is also an answer,’ she said.

“You see the river never stopped flowing, it just flowed somewhere else. It might have seemed to have gone but in essence it flowed in each one of them, for they had to seek deeper and allow it; to savor the soothing coolness that quenches a deeper thirst. That is what always kept them together and that is what will always bring them back.”

Because the river changed path, so that it could journey through the heavens and reveal itself in other forms.

By then Granpa looked at Nana and they both smiled. Something about their smiled reminded me of something I read or heard somewhere.


decomposing smiles…

Mamukasei Zimbabwe

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