Changing tides, faded stars

Posted on June 2, 2012 
Filed Under Journalism, Life

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man ~Heraclitus

Sometimes you wake up, lie in bed and wonder ‘Where did the time ago?’ The journey is long and the destination still isn’t clear.

Two nights ago, I met my first editor again and was happy to buy him a drink. He looked younger and was still chugging away at being true to his profession.

He met me as a fresh-faced, somewhat naive 20-year-old struggling to make a minor impact as a reporter. Twenty-eight years had passed by. He was surprised to hear I was now training journalists. It was as if time stood still.

In his eyes I hadn’t changed at all. Like peering thru a telescope and seeing stars the way they looked, unformed and malleable, eons ago. But so much had changed. The river had taken us in divergent streams and we were no longer the same people.

Or were we? That we could still connect and trade old stories suggests some parts of us were frozen in that time-space continuum. Me, the young unripened chiku, he the tall, weathered tree still reaching for an uncorrupted sky.

That we met at pub called The Reef was, perhaps, coincidental. The shores of our lives had been buffeted by the unceasing waves and eroded our memories somewhat but we were still men, older and wiser, perhaps, but still foolishly hoping for change to come and that yellow sunrise to turn the tides against us.

The reef was our last stand. They have to bury us here and return us to the earth that we call home. Or scatter us on the waters awash with a million hopes of a brighter tomorrow.

We lift our glasses and the music and smoke takes us away to another place and for awhile, just a few precious moments, we are on the editorial floor again and the clacking of fingers on the trusty Atex terminals as we churn out the day’s news of grief and gore and blood and sadness.

We were the weeders of growing malfeasance in an overrun garden of temptations. Woe to those who labelled us as lallang. We never were! We were the guardians of better days to come.

A toast, then, to the dreamers still in us. The fellow journeymen who know the course has been arduous and there is always another bend in the river. Let’s make a go of it. Or die trying.

Cheers, Julian.

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