Obsession. Love. Does it matter? Perhaps not one bit. In Africa we talk about not eating an elephant in one bite. The suggestion is that things ought to be approached slowly, with caution, bite by bite. I had to eat the elephant and fast, and I ate even as it choked me. Nothing that came before suggested I try bite by small mouthful to get it down, but I have learned so much since then.
In Africa life is immediate, so present we have small choice but to accept our mortality. Life has a place at every table, in each room. It holds our names. So we do things harder here, sensing the end long before it even makes shadows. And I have done both. I have lived and loved headlong, with no sense of hold-back. With no control. Careening towards a darkening horizon, there is no time for an eye on the past. The past cannot matter.
It cannot matter, however much we may long to hold onto it. The past is simply what we are given and the future has no shape. The future is the sum of the collisions of all our private worlds, that’s all. It is not especially romantic or even exciting. It merely is so. Collision, chaos, life. Love. Past shortfalls cannot obviate future losses. Living becomes simple movement from then to now. And, having no chance for the pit-stops of ambiguity, we must choose to live. There is little else left to decide. And in living, we will love. We will love until we die.
This is the final truth, perhaps the one I wanted all along. I will love until I die. And in the meantime, Africa and I? We will live, hard-on.