As a child, when I discovered that Timbuktu was a real place – that it actually existed – I was delighted. For me, that put paid to the fallacy of urban myths and legends. I grew inclined to listen to them all because in part each one tells a truth. There is always comfort in the truth, no matter what the cost. The truth IS what brings inner peace – eventually. Before peace comes the inevitable facing of facts and figures, the empirical equation-solving. If you are an empiricist, yippee for you. I, fortunately, am not one of those. My truths come hard, and fast, and I assimilate them quickly. You can do that when you trust yourself implicitly.
If you should find yourself in a predicament, not knowing which way to head except Timbuktu, it is helpful to remember that Timbuktu is absolutely the arse end of nowhere. It may take the longest time to get there but when you do, you will understand why it takes such a long time to arrive. Timbuktu is home to a great many wayward pilgrims. It is the resting place of the brave. And ‘resting’ in my world is not synonymous with ‘dead’. It means repose. Reflection. Ultimately, contentment.
I think the houses in Timbuktu are probably invisible. Like its people. That is why Timbuktu became an urban legend – because no one ever got there before, or saw it. It decided it would one day become real, like a town on a map.
And that – is actualisation.