The sky did not fall in

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The exact centre point of meaning of an experience lives in a memory written out as a way of saying something that needs to be said. Ever since we met, the experience has accompanied me. It is the starting point of my life:

The evening we supped together the sky remained firmly in place and did not fall in. The cosmos didn’t even blink momentarily and suggest that this dining together was strange. It was only we who thought it a big deal and I suppose it was. It should never have been: you are black and I am white and some idiotic social engineer had suggested that we could never be equals, that we were too different, that you were inferior to me. That we could not break bread together.

You hold your fork as I do. You are far more urbane and sophisticated than I will ever be. You feel things as I do, probably even more so because you are are passionate and feel an intensity of a longing for freedom that I can’t hope ever to understand. (Unless, of course, you take it away from me.)

The centre point of what I need to say is in my breathing, my thinking, my seeing and in my blood and bones – the fascists were right – I am not your equal: you are the giant and I sit at your feet under a wide open African sky that has simply refused to fall in.

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