Have you ever thought about what this word means against the backdrop of losing something dear to you or a loved one? The two, obviously, are not one and the same. If it is a material thing that you have lost chances are it can be replaced. Better still you can upgrade the ‘it’ to an even a newer version or a better ‘thing’. But for the mere fact that it is a thing it will always be obliterated by time even if you have fond memories of ‘it’. A day will come where someone will give you a hint that time is running out – you must get rid of that thing and get a newer version, both to fit in and to move with the times.

As a little boy playing in our backyard with my toys I use to burry some of the figurines mistakenly as I erected mounds of sand dunes and mud poodles with our yard’s ground soil. The world imagined. I would wonder in the evening when I tallied my toys what happened to the other figures. I would go to bed with a hole in my heart knowing that all the characters that made my life colourful during playtime were not all accounted for. It always surprised me days later when I changed the landscape of sand dunes and dried mud poodles to discover that the toys were never lost, but have been buried mistakenly by my activities as I played. Talk about cause and its effects (If you are wondering, seldom will I bring friends around when I played with my favorite action figures). If any of the gents will pop in while I was engaged in play I’d calmly pack the favorite toys away and remain with those which even if they were lost I wouldn’t miss them. That’s how far my fanaticism ran with me toys.
However material things are replaceable.

I learnt this in time. That is their fundamental basis, replaceability, I suppose that’s one of the reason why we will always be bombarded with a proliferation of material things. A question of whether we are better off without all the stuff that makes us cool is debatable depending on where you are surveying the scene before us. You may agree with me that to a certain extent we do need material things to get by as we navigate our way through life. Don’t we? Consider this, life would be a sham if we could not distinguish ourselves from those around us through the stuff we have or even through pure thought itself. We would move about like products produced from the same assembly line. So to a certain extent the things we accumulate are, to a strange extent, a reflection of who were are even if not fully realized. People can make sense of what kind of people we are by just looking at what surrounds our lives. During my bachelor days I remember a date surveying the perfectly lined up takkies in my wardrobe as well as the almost beige monotony of my apparel. Curious I asked her what was on her mind and she replied by saying ‘I am looking at you’.

But the wagging tail of excess warns that somewhere between acquiring things and wishing for things we must ask, as you well know, when is enough, like, enough? In this regard we must pace our self. We need to reflect deeply on what surrounds us. Whether there is a need for a continuous accumulation especially when one start to feel their conscience wean away by the invasion of ‘things’ or ‘it’. When the things we have amassed begin to enter our heads and swell it this is the time to give away what we don’t need to people who will put them to good use.
But nothing can eclipse the full might of the loss of human life even that of a still born. There is such an anticipation that surrounds human existence especially when time is taken into consideration. Take the child who upon their arrival is announced dead. Whether it be that the mother was not healthy or she was, the fact of the matter is that somewhere for reasons beyond us the people surrounding the life that child would’ve lived were ‘waiting in anticipation’ of this someone, this person who would’ve taken the lineage forward. Thoughts, I feel safe to say, precedes our entry into this world and they survive our demise.

On another level the loss of someone close to us whom we have experienced in our lifetime is unbearable. The thought of knowing that the next dawn will crack without them being there. That you will look at their favorite seating place and they would never walk in and take it, that their place will remain vacant forever. We would never see them again finish and klaar. We who are left behind must fill it up, the void that is, that they have left behind with memories of them through memory invocation. Even if we relocate their impressions are etched in our memories. But surely if we do not take care to give our time to those close to us, like the attention we will give to the ‘it’ that makes us defy the assembly line monotony in order to stand out – there will be no memories to invoke when loss makes its presence felt. And unfortunately there will be no mounds or dried up wells to erect whose configurations will afford us another chance with the people we care about when they are gone. We should include loved ones in our life’s timeline. This will inevitably allow us to invoke their memories much better.

Late winter
22 July
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong


One thought on “Loss

  1. The amazing thing is even that still born infant has already made its presence marked before birth we at some point formulated a character but we waiting for it to precede what we have moulded, now the thought of not having our expectations gratified is the painful.


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