Monthly Archives: March 2013

TO TURNING 26…THE THINGS THAT MATTER

Yesterday I turned 26. For me, every year brings with it a fresh lease of possibilities, of things that I didn’t think I could ever do. Every year is a chance for me to take a leap and do something different. Every year is a chance for me to gather  new things and discard old things.

So, this is to the 26 things that matter:

  1. My childhood is full of my mama’s fingers rapidly clicking on the keys of her typewriter long after the world had fallen asleep. She was a secretary and she would sometimes carry work home to type on her old black typewriter. Her fingers would fly across the key board, very fast, tack, tack, tack, tack……into a beautiful rhythm. She worked so hard to ensure food is on the table. So, when she stopped her job as a copy typist, she gave me her typewritter, which I treasure and I use to type some of my most intimate thoughts.

typewriter

2. When I first started volunteering at the hospice and palliative care, I was scared. I wasnt sure that I could walk into a building that housed people who were waiting to die and leave whole. See, the thing is, death is scary. I know, we are all headed there someday, but coming face to face with that reality is as scary as it is humbling. In the hospice,  I have met people who have looked into the depths of my eyes and broke down because each tick of the clock perhaps brings them closer to the harsh reality of death. I have seen people in their last stages of disease, struggling to breath, one painful inhale, one looong painful exhale, one frail heart beat, then the next…I have seen them whispering a call on the man above because down here things have gotten so difficult. I have seen people clench their teeth at the pain of their failing bodies, I have seen people with bald heads, all hair lost from the  monster that chemotherapy is, I have seen people hug their loved once and refuse to let go….because saying goodbye is so painful.

And it matters to me, because when you work with people who have been told they are dying,  then you begin to embrace life, you get spurred to live life in all its beautiful form. Because hey, my dear, life is too brief to focus on things that dont matter.

palliation

That you are seeing your loved one today, and you are not sure of tomorrow, it makes life a living death…the line is sooooo thin, if I were you, I would start living TODAY….

pallate

3. I will always treasure my notebooks, and journals, and I have kept them since I was a teenager. In these pages, I have written down my thoughts. Some are intimate, others so insecure for the pages through which they run. Just my wildest mind and my raw emotion, my tears have stained the pages of these journals, they have recorded my dreams, some of which never saw light. In these journals, I release my hands and mind together and hope that they form a synergy. I hope that they marry and form some artistic matrimony, yet sometimes, i just let the words drop without meaning, one random word after the other to express what i am feeling or think that i am feeling at that time. These journals have saved my life.

journals

4. I am a firm believer of  ‘uncensored’ expressions. I believe that we should all share our thoughts, feelings and  all that. However, recently, I have witnessed (Admit it, you have read that with the ‘ni kama ndrama’ tone) people resorting to childishness, accusations, and outright bullying when it comes to this thing called the internet.

I too have been a victim of such. (Giggles)

Listen people, it is very easy to spread negativity.  Yeah, we hide behind our screens, hidden profile photos, pseudonyms, and say whatever we want to say without having to gather the courage to look at someone in the face and say the things that we say. We can articulate a lot and press ‘send’ button to things that we wouldnt say in real life. People are cowards, that is what i learnt. People enjoy bringing others down. People have self esteem issues, you got to embrace the IGNORE button and move on.

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5. When I turned 21, my mister gave me the book “Writing down the bones – Freeing the writer within” by Natalie Goldberg, and to date, this book has remained among the most in my life as a lover of the written word. So apt, so inspiring, so thoughtful for anyone starting out as a writer.

writing down

This book brought out the monster in me and taught me how to write my truth.

natalie

6. My pens. they are like my best friends. I have several, in different colors, different dibs. for different moods. They are my tools, my lovers, and they buoy my spirit to move when things get stuck in my mind. I spend so much money on pens, because there are some stories i cant write directly from my mind to the computer. They have to slide from my pen to paper first. I know, I am weird.

pens

7. I value this beautiful book that my beautiful sister made me. It cheers me up whenever I open it. So much love flowing from a page.
Haiya, LOVE LIFTED ME…I am surrounded by such positive energy, I rarely go down, and when I do, they stretch their arms and grab me. Me gusta!

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8. I am a lover of books. Its an insanity really. I adore what other writers do with words. That someone can take random letters, words, images and weave them together to form a beautiful story is something that melts me. I marvel at Hemingway, I hurl terrible books across my room, I smile at witty writers, I get engrossed into poignant words of Maya Angelou, of  Margaret Ogolla…I love my books, I sample across all genres.

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9. It matters that I get a hearty laugh at least every day. No matter my mood, something will always tickle me…I laugh a lot. Life is too short.

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*To be continued in the next blog post….the things that matter now that I am 26, just the few things that I value. The things that make my life complete, and the lessons that I have carried with me to 26 years old.

 

LIVE> LOVE. LAUGH. CONTINUE………………

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: I AM | 1 Comment

FORGIVE. RELEASE. LOVE. FOR MY COUSIN ACHIENG’

Dearest cousin,

 

I can now feel you leaving this earth. I can feel your spirit going away. I feel your voice disappear thinly in the distance, your fingers, they are letting go, gently sliding from my grip, through my open fingers, through the time.

 

I feel you leaving us.  

Your scent now a wisp of smell that is fading away. Like a wildflower.

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We haven’t cried in a while. The tears, they still come sometimes, but they are beginning to dry up. The questions on why you killed yourself, they are beginning to get lighter, the pain is seeping out and seeking a place to flow.

We still think of you, and prayer still soaks into us even when we have opened eyes and gotten off our knees.
Achieng’ your presence is still missed, things still weigh heavy upon us. Your best friend still soaks in salt when she talks about you. She still sits on the table to eat, and tears start flowing unstopped.

We try to put one foot after the other. We try. We really do.  

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We try to tell your story. We try to talk about you, but words still get stuck in our inner throats like dead abandoned verses, like incomplete prayers, like broken lamentations. Like soft benedictions punctuated by sorrows. Cycles and cycles of it.

 

Achibo, my beautiful cousin, my sister’s best friend…I feel you releasing yourself from us. I feel you freeing yourself, your breath stuck in space, your body still, your hair being blown up and about the air, I feel your radiant smile leaving.

 

I think of you all the time, I think of the last words you told me, the last meal we shared, the last post you put on my facebook, the last promise, the last everything, the memories created, I feel then getting lighter upon my shoulder.

I feel the anger I had towards you getting less. I feel the blame that I had for you getting less bitter. I feel a concoction of emotions surge inside me little cousin.

 

I feel tears mixing with something else. I feel you leaving, slowly, slowly, so damn painfully.

I feel release. I feel acceptance.

I feel myself letting go beautiful cousin.

I still pray, that you found that peace that you were seeking.

I sure hope so.

Because today, I release you.

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THIS THING BLOGGING….

Blogging is different.

Am saying this cus I have worked for mainstream media where our stories are passed through the hands of fierce gatekeepers and stories have to ‘tow the line’ for you to get published. There, sentences have to follow one another in a certain order, the media law and ethics have to be adhered to, house styles have to be drummed in before the paper goes to bed, but not blogging.

When I first started writing this blog, to be sincere, I was scared. I was going through a transformation, through a revolution, through finding a new self, through so much, and the question that I asked myself was: “How much was I to tell, where were the boundaries, and who was my audience?”

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Thing is, I had done blogs before, I had been contracted to write blogs as a ghost writer, sometimes as a contributer, and I would use different user names. And I felt safe, I felt secure hiding behind the cloak of a username.

And then came this blog. Here, I wanted to use my own by line, with accompanying photos and all that, and at first it felt scary. Because I was going to expose myself in a way that I have never done before.

What I didnt know was that I was going to fall in love with blogging.

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Yes, it is different, but what I love about blogging is the lack of inhibitions.

Here, I jusrt let the words fall anyhow, I dont care for a misplaced coma, I dont care that the illusion is hazy, I dont care that the metaphors that drip from the corners of my mind are plastered in a way that doesnt make sense to all.

Here, I strip naked. I remove every layer, every barrier, every secret. I put it down.

I shake off the shackles, the fear, the every, damn thing.

I stand in front of you my readers, totally unguarded.

I bring my stained past, I bring my uncertain future, I bring my insecurities, I bring my forceful beliefs, my Divine, my all….

My imperfections that I am all so aware of…so dark, so conspicuous.

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All my imperfections dripping, glimmering, darkening.

Let me tell you, sometimes I battle with things that I should tell and what I should leave out. Sometimes I know that I come out as showy, sometimes as insecure, sometimes as self righteous, sometimes as filthy, sometimes as self opinionated.

Sometimes from the responses I get, I know that I am misunderstood, sometimes I feel happy when people tell me that they feel what I am talking about, sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself, sometimes I just want to talk to myself…

I like that through this blog, people have been able to recognize that I am just like them, that I too struggle with a few things, like love, letting go. Impurities, understanding God, disease, death…i too have flaws.

I do not seek love here. I do not seek to be understood. All I seek to do is to write my truth and find inner peace, which I can only find through the written word.

 

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Okay, let me reset things and get directly to it….

I love blogging because it gives me a platform to express myself in whichever way I want. I do my runons, I pee on the media ethics, I swear, I curse, I leave a sentence hanging, a fragment, I insert lyrics and ellipsis wherever I cant find the right word. I do stuff in my own rules.

I have found my true voice through this blog.

When I started, I didnt think that there was going to be anyone reading my random blurbs, my directionless stories, my moral high, my self opinion, my randomness, but you guys have continually read me and shared my stories, without being asked.

THANK YOU…it feels good to know that I am not talking to myself.

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GIRL LAPS GLASS, LIKE A PRAYER

The girl wearing a blue dress with white laces that have been browned by dirt and age. Her dress is dirty, but you can tell that it was once a decent dress. The belt is fastened so tight behind her. She stands in front of the cake shop. The smell of freshly baked cake wafts through the shop. The little girl, her breath films the glass of the cake shop…her forehead pressed hard against the glass. She is in a world of her own. A world of desire, wishes, hunger.

She had this innocent and distant look on her face. Childhood seemed to have fled from her.

…and then she did something that made me freeze.

She looked at those cakes and then stuck out her tongue and licked the glass…not once, but severally.
Lap lap lap like a dog, at the glass that stood between her and the cake.
Oh Jehova….
Poverty. That incapacitating drudgery that makes a little girl yearn for more that she could have. Is that yearning a sin? Lord, the longing that makes a child lick on glass like a dog, that makes a child stick out her tongue and try to get a taste of the icing on top of cake. That is not a sin lord, or is it?

Mhhh…LOOK, children of God, that girl lapping at glass like a stray dog…that was a form of prayer…a prayer of our continued want…of things that we want, but there is a barrier.

Of things that we wish we had, but we cant, so we try all that we could to open ways. Series and series of unfulfilled wishes and needs.
It makes me want to embrace God and never let go…the unmoved mover, the uncaused cause that creates a child who laps at glass, and creates another child who throws cake because she has too much. The God who creates all that so that humanity can go on their knees.
I read this from top to bottom, again and again, and I tremble. A rhapsody of realities.
Dear God in heaven…HALLOWED BE THY NAME
 

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I DO DESIRE….

I am sure all of us have the silent wishes…the many times where our minds wander and wish that things were different. We all have those stolen moments when desire creeps into us and we are flown into that world of the fantasy where reality is unheard of and does not exist.

For me, these are my desires.

I desire to always write words that will remained stained in the minds of my readers like molten dark oil upon white bedsheets. I desire for the people who read these words to always carry something with them whenever they visit. I wish for my words to be more than an arrangement of alphabets, but a muse to someone out there.

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I desire for my man to whisper to me that he has never loved anyone as intensely as he does me. I desire to always feel his skin upon my skin and skin, his breath on my shoulder…I desire to make love like it is the first time. And I desire to give that same feeling to him

I desire to make a difference in the world. I know I do not have the finances to save the whole world, but I desire to write words for the voiceless. I desire to use these words to liberate someone who doesnt have the capacity and platform to tell their stories. I desire to speak for those who have robbed of voice through their horrid experience, through dear, and through ignorance.

I desire to sit at the feet of Maya Angelou and listen to her syrupy voice as she talks about womanhood. I desire to listen to Maya narrate her stories , to hear her talk about embracing womanhood.

I desire to take classes from Natalie Goldberg as she talks about writing down the bones, and the need to untame that inner wildness that lies in each and every one of us. I long to take down the wisdom of the great writers I oh so admire….

I desire for my voice to always matter. I desire that I will always be given a chance to express myself regardless of my opinion that might be clashing with the way people have believed. I wish that I am never silenced by things that dont matter. I desire that I am given the wisdom to choose battles that matter. I desire to have the heart that constantly forgives.

I desire to read all the books in my library before I die. I desire to savor the words of great writers who have inspired me to be who I am today. I desire to buy more books, and get the time to sit and read all of them. I desire to read all that was written by Annie Lammot. Anais Nin, David Sedaris….I desire to write like them, only deeper.

 

I desire to look into the mirror and say that I love what I am seeing. I desire to hug my frame and say that I am seeing a beautiful thing, I desire to love myself, to look beyond the flaws and love what I am seeing. I desire to be ME…with no barrier.

Categories: I AM | 1 Comment

SOMETIMES LOVE HURTS

You know what I hate? I hate when someone makes me mad. You know what I hate more… to cry in front of the very person that made me mad. You know what else;  I hate when that person is the person that I love the most.

Tell you what, sometimes my mister, he makes me cry. Sometimes I cry so hard, I feel like my heart is being lifted from my body, I feel like the sobs will cripple me, I feel like there is so much gravity upon my entire being, I feel like I will just die (I know, am so melodramatic, sigh, but hang on, I will tell you where this is going)

My mister and I, we have many joint businesses together. We take writing gigs together, he hooks me up with clients, he helps me manage a few of my professional stuff, he is almost like my Personal Assistant and I am his. That is how we flow. When he has a report that he is doing and he gets stuck somewhere, I bring up my writing skills and I help him out. When I am doing a story and I need a source who I cant get hold of, he whips out his phone and makes calls and I get sorted. We work as a team, we always have, and we enjoy it.

team

We had a huge argument. Yeah. I know -big bloody deal. Lovers fight. but for my mister and I , when we fight, its big. Sometimes he says things that no matter his intentions, erode the fragile levy that holds back pains of old wounds…he says things that make me feel an unknown distant pain.

Before I go on, I have a confession. It is very hard for any man or person to live and cope with me. If you peer in my head, you will see a hurricane-season weather map. And what makes my mister special is the fact that he understand me. He understands my outbursts, my mood swings, my need for silence, my irrationality, my care free attitude….he understands and we have coped so well.

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But sometimes…

Sometimes he tells me things that make me scream assorted levels of hell.

Sometimes he becomes an arrogant ass…and arrogant asses chap my fanny…

There are good times when he backs off from our arguments – you know, runs away from the rage that comes when I get pissed off and the rage eclipses all that is good between us. (I know, am dramatic, aint i?)

But sometimes…

Sometimes he hits back real hard and tells me things that leave me speechless. In his subtle yet condescending voice, he tells me things that hurt me. he hits me where it pierces real bad. He goes for my weak points and presses, ohhh, so painfully.

Until I cry…

But then, there are times like the other day when he yells: KWENDA, unafikiria wewe ni nani. Usinipigie kelele, ama utoke uende zako na uone kama ntakutafuta…and tells me a lot of baad bad bad things.

He ignites the fuse. And he knows it. He knows what to tell me. he knows my weaknesses and my past mistakes that I have made. And I hate how he uses them as weapons to put me down. He know what to say when he wants to cut off my tongue. He knows what I have done and am not proud of – and he brings them off the closet and sprawls them in front of me. right at me. without a single care.

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Like a snipper that he is, he hits the target and never misses. He fires the shots and ensures that I am felled and silenced, he tells me things that leave my eyelashes moist, sometimes I throw myself on the bed and wait for the waves of sobs to subside, because I am so hurt.

The other day, after the fight, he knew that he was supposed to hand me part of the work that he had done, he knew that because we work for a client who has a deadline, he was supposed to overlook our differences and hand me his part of work, but he did. He walked out and left ~so I had to handle the irate client and do the work on my own.
cry

I was so betrayed, that I worked that whole night with tears streaming, with my sobs punctuating the clicks of the computer keys.

By the time he was returning, I couldnt talk. I was a mess of emotions. I was empty of the right words to tell him, I was helpless because trust me, I dont think I have ever loved anyone with the intensity that I love him with, and I have always let him know that.

It will also be unfair if I said that he doesnt make me feel loved. He does, in fact, not only does he make me feel loved and special, he is perhaps the only one who has ever made me feel safe. He makes me feel secure, and I have never felt less since I knew him.

But that night, as he entered the house, I felt helpless. I sat there and continued typing, wondering if I should tell him anything. And the thing about me is, when I get too disappointed, I dont talk, words just leave me, and I sit in silence trying to figure out what the right step is. Most of the times, tears come unwilled.

And so it happened. I still cried….

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He came in, looked at me curled up on the chair, and I couldn’t stop (Again)

He moved closer, and told me that he was sorry. He looked at me and told me not to cry, he told me that he was out with his friends but he couldnt think straight because he had left me crying. He told me that he LOVES ME…

and he hugged me when I still cried, when I told him that he hurt me, he kept saying he is sorry.

And then he told me:
“I am never at peace when you are not happy.”

Smooth guy I got there.

I too told him that I am sorry, I told him that I know sometimes I get a bit too irrational. I admitted that sometimes I pick up fights that are not worth it. I told him that sometimes I over react, that sometimes small cracks of mistrust develop in my mind and I dwell on it too much.

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Such is love sometimes. Sometimes love gets too painful, and people fight. Sometimes we fight because we need validation. Sometimes we fight because we need a place to channel our rage, we need a place where we can transfer our anger. Sometimes it happens.

The thing about fighting, and I know it has been said before, is that we got to know how to fight right. Heck, I have seen a lot of publications that say that fighting is healthy because it makes the emotional bond tighter and it helps us know our partners better.

However, the only way fighting can be healthy is if we fight fare. Yes, I always tell my mister that dragging past mistakes and failures into a fight is just cowardice because it brings down the other persons’ defenses. It is like unleashing a weapon to a totally defenseless person. It is not right.

To fight is to tackle the issue head on, it is to confront what is causing the fight, and not go below the belt by bringing up things that dont matter.
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The other thing is that when we fight, we have to know when to retrace the steps we took while walking on sharp scarring glasses, and we have to say sorry. And saying sorry is not enough, to say sorry is to be able to recognize what you are saying sorry for, and to mean what you are saying. The biggest proof that you are sorry is to avoid making the same mistakes.Well, the thing that I learn everyday about love, is that sometimes it hurts, sometimes love just knocks us out of breath because it comes bearing a bagful of hurts. And the reason why it hurts too much, perhaps, is because we have trusted and loved someone so much, it becomes unbelievable when they hurt us.
What I am therefore learning to do in the midst of all this growth is to choose the battles that are worth fighting, and even more, to easen on the negativity. I am learning to accept apologies and to give mine when need be. I am learning to love better and to give myself to be loved better. This love thing is a game of lessons that never end. Sometimes, it hurts so bad yo~!

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