First of all, Happy New Year!
The last two years were difficult years for me. In 2014, my mother was diagnosed with advanced cancer. In 2015, the cancer took her life. I’m grateful for the new year.
When my mother was diagnosed, I didn’t write for several months. Instead, during those months, I spent my days researching terminology such as oncology, histology, dilatation, strictures, cytology, adenocarcinoma, resections, laparoscopes, neoplasms, bilirubin, remission, cytostatics, tumour markers and dysplasia. My mother accused me of being insane for doing that, but she also understood it was in my nature to try to become an “expert” in cancer terminology in order to deal. Yet she would beg me to please, please write. But truth is, I did not know how to unite the me who was illiterate in cancer language with the me who speaks it proficiently.
By contrast, to cope with the loss, it has been essential to write. I’ve filled a lot of the past seven months with words.
Much of that writing – about life, love, death, growth, hope and faith – does not feel ready to share yet. But no doubt it influences the commentary about Africa, feminism, social criticism, philosophy and popular culture, which I look forward to continuing with this year.
There are few things that I love as much as sitting down in front of my computer to write a new blogpost. To share something exciting that I have researched, to provoke, to advocate a cause, to entertain, to envision, to learn, to teach, these are all zeniths of my existence. I have a clear sense of ‘me’ when I blog.
So my 2016 resolution is to keep expressing myself – for my dear mother, and everyone who visits this blog. My thanks to you.
I wish you all good things for 2016.
Image is Caspar David Friedrich – Woman before the Rising Sun (Woman before the Setting Sun)