The other day, after keeping an uncle who had undergone surgery, and a sister who was “nursing her hangover” company, I left the hospital we were in and took a walk in its neighbourhood.
A neighbourhood that I found absolutely amazing, and lovable. Green, clean, surprisingly devoid of dust and, apparently, well planned thanks to its evident association with a religious building whose architectural design happened to be my major attraction.
The amateur architect in me who is inspired by properly constructed buildings, bodies and sentences got so excited that he was, suddenly, interested in a church. And also, started dreaming about the beauty of the Vatican.
Its interior is endowed with high ceilings, arches, well curved bricks for window seals, extremely impressive aesthetic pieces that tell the life and times of Jesus Christ, an its wonderfully stained glass.
The exterior has erections of chimney like structures besides the main entrance, and in between them a spacious but dark foyer with really thick mahogany doors, and pews as seen when you peek into the inside. Not to be forgotten are the are the Vatican kind of statues of the most important catholic missionaries to Uganda like Lourdel, Mapeera and two others that I don’t recall.
Alone on a hilltop, with a view of the Kabaka of Buganda’s palace, and a vast area of the Kampala CBD, it is, to me, a castle, one owning. If it was possible.
It was in this environment that my sister took this silhouette-ish photo …
Like Bertrand Arthur William Russell, this silhouette image of myself which some have related to a cover of a horror movie, particularly The Unforgotten, or simply been awed by “the mystery” in it, is a photographic representation of the passions I have lived for.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. Three passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness – that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in th union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints an poet’s have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what – at last – I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have found.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heaven. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the eBay
Evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This is my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.