Today, as I sat at one of the brown tables trying to break down poems, drawing out their sinews of meaning, I could hear the irregular rhythm of two girls playing table tennis. Tick-tock, ticktock, tick, tick, tick, tick. The ball trails away. They retrieve it. She hits it intentionally away from her friend. They go again. The lilting rhythm of their play is disorientating to the metronome clockwork my own life has grown accustomed to.
Today, as we stood outside our anthropology class discussing where we were all headed, simply simmering in each other’s quiet company, a group of younger boys ran past us, shooting hoops in a space we had long equated with dissident sound. Looking upon them, my teacher commented, “That’s what you guys have forgotten- Play.”
Today, as I ran rounds on my rooftop, still trying to reach certain benchmarks, still plotting my movement against the axis of time, I tried my best to look at the yawning sky as it breathed pastel over the city.
I am thankful for the day, I truly am – there is so much to be thankful for. The candid honesty of teachers who laugh as they tell you how to identify an insecure man from whom you can then run far far away. The relief that is knowing you have completed an assignment, completed it well and grown from it. Hot earl grey tea. The moon. The knowledge that together you have all come so far and will continue to finish this together. I am thankful. But I am also tired.
I am tired as we all are I suppose – it has been a long journey together. We are tired. But it’s hard to remember that we are also so so blessed. Words fail me tonight but I keep this here as a reminder that in the midst of all the deadlines and assignments, we are blessed. There is thanks to be found in the sort of weariness that has found its way into our bones. There is thanks to be found because in it, we are growing. Each and every one of us.
We write our own rhythms.
6 years ago, back in Year 1, I remember when one girl in class started tapping her pen to a short, repeated beat. It took seconds for the rest of the class to catch on with a unique iteration of their own. Pens. Erasers. Fingers. Tongues. Files. Beakers. I still remember the gleeful shock on our teacher’s face. I still remember the amazement on ours when we looked around the class realising everyone had found their own sequence to add to. We write our own rhythms. But we also write them together.
Words fail me and I have little energy to craft poetry with these fingers but tonight, tonight as we are weary, tonight as we inch closer and closer towards completing this journey, I just needed a reminder that we write our own rhythms but we also write them together.
Let us find one where we are contented to dance to till the end.