How the sky was moved beyond blue

There once was a woman
who painted the waves and the sky
with her passion
red
purples
soft aching yellows

but there were no blues

I was just a child wandering too far down the beach; exploring the sand banks
my little heart too heavy for a 5 year old and not understanding why

I was craving solitude

when I saw the woman
her brush flew over the canvas catching the last of the light

She looked pale and very English and her hands were creating something that my bare feet and tiny existence could not understand

I stood there for a long time just watching her paint
until it became too dark for me to ignore the fact that I was a long way from home and hungry

We walked back to the main beach in silence

I was carving my words with care before they fell:

Why did you not make the water and the sky blue?

She pointed to the departing sun.

“Look, do you see that the sky is burning? Can you see that it is not blue?”

No.

“Look again”

I kept silent, because something inside of me did not understand. Could not see. Was stirred to anger.

“JY IS VERKEERD! DIE LUG IS BLOU! EN DIE SEE IS BLOU! EN… DIS AL!”

 

Two years later my mother was driving to Bloemfontein
crying

“Your father has chosen his women and his friends and his drinking..!”

(As if there was ever a choice)

and the sky was not blue when I
looked again

the sky was on fire ; And there was no end

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