A Man who Lost his Shadow

When he eventually woke up, he felt weak. He knew that something had been taken away from him. Between his eyes he felt a numbness never experienced before, almost as though a part of his flesh had been removed. He also felt that his fiery energy had been muted somewhere in his consciousness. But he had no memory of what had happened.

When he stood up and tried to walk, he felt as though he was establishing a new relationship with gravity, his body was heavier. His knees were shaking and his feet felt distant from the ground. As he walked each step he took felt meaningless. He felt an intense disconnect with the cosmos as though he lived with no purpose.

He looked to the sun hoping that through the sun rays, maybe the truth will emerge. He looked around to see if he could perhaps see and ask someone about this strange experience he just had, but there was no help available to him. Even the beings he saw around him were unlike him and they spoke a foreign tongue. For the most part, he seemed invisible to them as they did not acknowledged his presence.

He became thirsty and so he went by the river of his great ancestors to drink. Upon his arrival he looked at himself as he was being reflected in the water. He saw a familiar image of himself, but somewhat disconnected from its essence. He drank from the water but his thirst was not quenched.

He then decided to go back home. While he walked back, he also noticed that his shadow had vanished.

He was getting weaker and he fell on the ground and suddenly an unusual being with three eyes stood above his head and said; ‘You now belong to my tribe and you shall not know anything except for that which I tell you.’

He soon transformed to speak a new language, prayed to a different god but to this day he wonders about his own. In the lands once his forefathers he now lives like a visitor constantly meditating on the journey ahead. Only in deep dreams he feels a sense of belonging.

Iphupho 13062020

Nduduzo Makhathini

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