Seotsa ‘Soh’ Manyeli: A Witness to my Life

old man
Image by photosforyou from Pixabay (modified)

I wake up with a story. I do not know whether it is a story or some realization from the future to my present self. I realize now how important it is to have someone in your life who is a witness. When you wake up someone has to know that you have woken up. What happens during your day someone has to know about that – someone who witnesses all the moments that life (and time) gives to you. Me – not having a witness requires more strength because I am my own witness.

They say when relationships end the person leaves with a part of the other person. I believe that to be true because if that person was a witness to your life and they leave then it means they take a part of your past – they take a part of you. Those moments belong to them and they carry them together with the stories that they could tell about you – that they wrote in the winds of their memories. That is what makes breaking up difficult – and painful. I am a witness to my life and as I pen down my moods now I am trying to write down the stories that I create every day in the winds of the whispered memory into my own heart. But I do acknowledge that I need someone who will be a witness to the flowing times of my existence.

As the sun rises, I find that I do not have many plans; those that I do I earnestly hope happen as I planned. Most of the people I get ready to meet with seldom show up. The promises people make to me rarely happen and I realize that I am used to the disappointment that time brings. But I continue to live; and make plans with people with hope that they will contribute something that will change my life for the better. There was a time when I was important to people – friends – I am not anymore. I am a bore these days. Even those who used to respect me – sometimes that I thought seem to see past me like I am not there. They seem not to be interested in the stories I have right now. Perhaps it is because people take interest in your story once you have won; as you are failing they are not – in fact they are bored by it.

The sad stories of our days are written on the floors of big rivers that flow to the sea. My stories are written within the lyrics of some song – some prayer from a church that wears green and yellow. I learnt of this recently when I was there for the same song. When it was sung I felt something move from deep within my soul; it moved and filled my spirit and my whole body shook; it got cold and I felt tears filling my eyes. As the leading vocalist continued I felt paralysed at some deep level of my psyche and I continued to sing. I felt that the reaction to the prayer was not from me but from the memories of those who fill my spirit with theirs – those who know of their lives. I couldn’t see my life because it was like I was a part of some big choir of people who knew the value of their lives. Even though I was a part of them I still needed to have someone who is flesh and bones to witness my life.

When I take another long journey back home after the singing of the song – the praying from the deep water beds of my land – I realized that it was only the tears I would shed when this is over that will be meaningful. I have dreams that no one is interested in hearing because I have said them enough times and most (if not all) believe I will never achieve them. I have stories that I want to tell but that seem to be buried deep with the old tombs of the present. I have an ocean of tears that do not run dry because they are always springing from some deep melody that sings hymns of praise and melancholy. I have a brilliant mind that people only talk about but not acknowledge its value because I still continue to swim in the icy dark waters of reality –mine. As far as they are concerned – my stories are uninteresting.

As I continue to walk in this long road of life I am beginning to understand myself. I am beginning to understand that there is something within that sustains me. I am beginning to acknowledge that power that lies rested because it needs me to give word to it. Soul is at the core of our being and it is the same soul that drives the spirit. My journey starts at the soul and it has to drive the spirit as it wants its God. Every spirit as the collective ants of those who carry us on their shoulders are looking – always – for their God. As I continue to journey on this never ending pilgrim of a better find I observe life in a more sombre approach than my counterparts. I see reality as – deep endless gorge of possibilities. But this reality is seen from a deep perspective of one who has seen and bathed under enough waterfalls to know that certain plants bear testimony that those waterfalls are protected by some huge water spirits. I have bathed in lakes and I have drunk from the deep springs that echo with clean memories of the future. I have asked my heart to shed tears because it carries a lot of pain, sadness, anger, and disappointment; and it also has refused to hear my pleas. I continue to breathe with my wounds and hope my heart doesn’t break from the weight of the pain it carries.

I see myself moving through the harsh world of big tornadoes and they do me not much harm but they affect me. I do know that some storms come to clear the path and not necessarily to disrupt our plans. I am in dark, torn and dirty clothes and I have no shoes on. But I still walk with some strength like I still believe in my dreams. There is dust around and I cannot see clearly but from where I am standing now looking at myself I see that I am not looking at the world with the physical eyes. I am using my spiritual eye to guide me to this place that I so desire. I do not know where the strength comes from but it looks to be there. The colour of my heart is red with anger. It is anger for the things that refuse to change. But it seems in spite of that I still believe I have stories to tell. I still believe my dreams will come true. I still believe in the spirit that continues to sustain my life. I still believe I need a witness to my life.

Inasmuch as I love my children, I also see them as part of this journey I am travelling. This means they are part of my story and therefore they can never be witnesses to my life. It is like I carry them in my wings – or they are the ones who hold me in the midst of their hearts and I stay there rested. I keep walking and it is dark in front but I know I am still on the right path because my spiritual eye does not lie. Ahead there are diverging roads and I have to make a choice on one. I do not hesitate because it has already been selected for me. There are three roads but I know one that I have to take – because I know what I want. It is a road that has never been travelled before but it is a road because it is mine. As I walk on it with my children at my wings I look at the trousers I am wearing and find them shiny with dirt. My feet have developed some thick skin so that I do not get to feel when I step on painful things. I walk still with no one to witness these painful memories – and sometimes heroic finds.

Today’s memories dictate that what once was should never be left to die. I do not understand but as I glanced deep at the bellies of my rivers I find that I should have written my stories there not at the old tombs of those who carry me together with their memories. I should have let the water flow with my stories so that they do not stay rested in one position of rest. With my spiritual eye I see that there are many women I have been with who still want me back but there is something that is holding this memory from blossoming to fruition. Maybe it is because I wrote my dreams on the hearts of those who are sleeping. Perhaps it is for the same reason that I have powerful spirits that can turn a mountain into rubble with just one word. I should change the location of where I tell my stories. But the truth is my stories spring from the deep corners of my heart. They are as firm now as they were when they came. I know of my life and I know of where I am going – and who I am.

I look at today and see it as a final odyssey. As per the calendar we have been given we are nearing year end and I look at my life and realize that this year has yielded nothing – and yet it has generated plenty. I cannot take stock of what I have gained – and lost – but I know that there is some big change within me that was instigated by the experiences I had this year. I am the person I am right now because of the pages of my book that refused to follow the time river of my life. Yes, I still have dreams. I am older than the years that I have lived and I am an old man now but I still have dreams for the future.

Maybe as I close the final chapter of my life having listened to the person who once said I should not look far, for the road is long – I acknowledge that he has always been with me; in pain, in sorrow, and sometimes in laughter. He has helped me to cross rivers, climb mountains and as I longed for the hug from the wind he has always been there to witness all these things. I look deep in my spirit now and a longing in my heart is of a better tomorrow – and a new dawn. I do look around and see a lot of things in a single moment. I am told I am an INFJ – the rarest personality type. I am a single drop from the tears of tomorrow that falls down at a waterfall. I am a spiritual deity. Maybe what I am going through is meant to happen to shape me for what lies ahead. Maybe I do not cry when I need to because deep down I know this is for my own counsel, for my own good. I do not have a witness in my life but I still walk with whatever power I have and I know I will reach my destination. As I walk I know I am not alone – but with those who have tattoed me in their hearts and they are the moments that I create every day as I pray in the waters that I drink; that I bathe with.

As the winter of my life ends I look around and see many things fleeting and I remain unchanged. The changes that I embraced at the start of the journey have shaped me to be who I am today. It is not a magical change but I find that I am surer of myself, and the value that life has given through its lessons in time has afforded me a warrior. I am my own witness and I find that during the days of my life as they turn grey with ash or bright with flowers I should always be a witness to those moments because they are for me – for my counsel. My story – this one is written on the floor of my rivers, with the rough sands of the said rivers whispering some notes to make this not just a story but a symphony of time. Maybe as I wait for a new tomorrow (with the winter having gone, and darkness passed), I should say: I am proud of myself because I did walk the path. And with life not flowing but going backwards, with the spirit moving to a destination that is also the source, I think I should say: I am proud of myself for having witnessed the moments that wanted to kill me but failed.

Having completed the journey I realize, with wisdom, that as an old man now I am actually the same child; but still the same traveller. My real self is aggressively and elegantly flowing from tomorrow as much as from yesterday; and what I am becoming – is infinitely wiser, more powerful, than what I am at any given moment. The moment can be remote, or it can come from a series of combined moments, but which makes it one whisper still that needs a witness. This old man was also present in the moments that were leading up to this single moment we call now. But every moment was moving along, flowing deep at the belly of my rivers together with the child (who started) and the wise old man (who finished) who is a present self today. As an old experienced man I realize that I have always been perfect at the deepest level of my being – at any given moment – and that course of maturing is a path of experiencing the materialization – the coming out of this completion – this unity (of the three selves) that today stands as a witness to a life that moment has created. And the validation should always come from the moments given; the whispers shared – even if it was from my deepest being that flows with the rivers to my spiritual talents that are written on the tombs of those who are singing the songs of melancholy. It can still be a child witnessing the success of this old matured man or even the present self can still witness tomorrow or yesterday with the same passion from where the courage came from. Let me put my pen down because it has witnessed the writing of this essay. I have found a witness to my life…

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Image by photosforyou from Pixabay (modified)

Written by
Seotsa 'Soh' Manyeli

My name is Seotsa "Soh" Manyeli and I hail from Lesotho; born and bred here. I am 35 years of age and I am currently working as an IT Consultants and I am a writer - poetry, essays and drama. I started writing in 2000, managed to publish my first book of poetry called "One Soul" with Book Surge in the United States of America. I am currently working towards publishing my books of essays.

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Written by Seotsa 'Soh' Manyeli

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