Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
On Slow Time — I cannot be here and not talk about the weather
Tuesday, November 28, 2023 | Keamogetse Mosienyane
Of the multiple ways that I relate to the weather, one way that has been prominent recently has been thinking with and relating to the weather as a locator and a temporality that reflects the time I am present in. The external atmospheric conditions are a reminder to place and ground myself as I navigate the portal that asks me— where are you? The weather situates me spatially, structurally, and intimately in the different geographies that I have lived in, particularly in South Africa and Botswana over the last four years. We report the weather to each other every day in various forms in conversation, and I see this act of recognition as a shared consciousness of place, particularly of a Black geographic imagination. In my movements and stillness over the past four years, I wrote weather reports and notes that were rooted in naming and recognising these external elements as a call to location, where I attune myself and my presence to the environment. What unfolds in this essay is a reflection of these weather reports and recollections that thread and map the weather for me, crossing geographies, distance, and time, in no particular order. In her 2001 post-disciplinary writing on being in the Black diaspora, A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging, Dionne Brand writes that, “in the snow every distance is long”, and as I write this piece in the middle of a heatwave and extreme weather warning in Botswana, in the sun also, the distance seems long and the time slow.