Monthly Archives: July 2013

DARING DESIDERATA – BE HAPPY

 Let go of resentment.

I know, maybe the past has been too painful for you, maybe the ghosts of how things happened still pop its head and put you down and maybe someone hurt you so bad, that you doubt if you will ever be able to forgive them fully. Well, its about time that you let go, and I know, letting go is not easy, especially if the hurt was so big…but you don’t need to completely close the book and throw it out, no…just turn a new page of the book and begin a new chapter.

Do not let the pain linger for too long. I have been hurt by so many people, but the trick is to always let go of the resentment. Sometimes what replaces the resentment may be a form of indifference, but I try as much as I can to let go of negative feelings and hatred that resentment brings. And in the process, I get my sanity, and a ray of sunshine.

Cut out the negative.

This year, I decided to make a deliberate effort to cut out people who bring negative energy into my life. It was a hard decision to make, given that some of them were people that I had known for a long time, but it was about time. I got tired of  exposing myself to people who would go behind my bag and shred me; I got kinda fed up of people who did nothing in trying to raise me, people whose focus was only them, and they couldn’t care less what I was going through.  I realized that it would be very hard for me to surge forward and sore if I am always pinned down by so much negativity and people who felt like my life revolved around them…so I cut the strings, and I refused to look back. And sincerely, I have been able to create a form of positive space that has enabled me to grow. I made a deliberate effort to not participate in battles that wouldn’t benefit me in any way…and in my walking out of the negative, I have been able to smile more. Try it. Shut the door on negative energy.

Lessen the expectations

There was a time in my life when I got a high level of joy from getting validation of people who I thought mattered. So I did all I could to please people, I felt bad saying No to people asking for favors, and in turn, I expected them to be good to me.

And often, I got disappointed…

Because the people who I thought would be there for me, frankly didn’t give a shit about my emotions and feelings. So for a long while, I walked with a heavy heart, with a series of brokenness that I so desperately wanted to get rid of. And God knows that I tried, but my expectations were never met. So I made a resolution to lower my expectations to a point where I could not be shattered to many pieces. And it worked.

Mind your own business.

People have often called me snobbish, and self centered, because I try all I can to distance myself from how people live their lives. Really, unless I consider you a personal friend, then chances are, I couldn’t care less how you live your life. A while back, I used to bother so much about  what people are doing, what they have. The insides of their lives, but not anymore. I realized that I need to walk my own path, live my own life without having to explain to anyone the choices that I have made. My ultimate goal was to LIVE and be HAPPY. And then all the insecurities I have always had, of how people view me just kinda lifted and vanished, and I started focusing on ME. I shut out the noises of the world and made laughter my goal…and so far, so good. I am minding my own business, at least I try. I never bother on what others are doing with their lives. If our fates clash, so be it, but in no way am I making a point of poking my nose into what drama is cooking in another person’s life. It is tedious and childish.

Desiderata

desiderata_by_striveforpeace

 

 

 

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Categories: LIVE! love! continue.... | 9 Comments

HOMAGE TO MY HIPS

I know we all know of that one person who is perpetually on a diet in an attempt to chase the skinny legs and flat tummy. Good for them. I am told vegetarian and organic is the in thing, and if you are not drinking antioxidants to flush out those fatty layers on your body, then you are out of the look baby!  Fats are getting extinct, sugar is now referred to as ‘the slow death, killer white pellets, diabetic time bomb…’

Yeah, there is a revolution towards the skinny.

If you cannot conform to the ‘skinny new order’ then too bad for you, because you might be a big target for being called ugly. If you walk and your thighs touch each other, then you need to watch out, because you fall so short of the definition of beauty. And people are becoming more vocal about it…it is not a surprise to meet a friend who will point out to you that ‘you need to cut down… never mind the fact that you weight is not posing any threat, and you are nowhere towards being obese.

Oh well.’ I am yet to be bitten by that bug, because I still devour my red velvet cake and let its lush taste melt upon my tongue. I still enjoy cooking and the aroma of food filling my whole house. I still love the coldness of ice –cream when I need to be energized. Recently, I had this ‘not so pleasant experience’ where I was eating, and one of my friends decided to go all preachy on me, telling me how wheat is pure calories, and that I will get too much cellulite and that cellulite has no cure. Ahem…she then pointed out that ‘ I will get fat and lose my appeal’ whatever that is!

It is laughable really. I donno when the change happened and where it is heading, but I am getting kinda tired of this new engrossment with anorexia. Don’t get me wrong, I do not judge those who want to take lime water with a slice of carrot for breakfast, that is their choice, and their deprivation, but what is sickening to me is the obsession with skinny and its new definition of beauty. I am tired of skinny being the ultimate definition of what beauty is, and quite sincerely, I donno who made ‘skeletal’ to be the ticket to the ‘beauty club’.

skinny

No, before you dismiss me as a ‘skinny wannabe’ who is jealous  and using the blog to lash on the skinny, just listen to where I am coming from. It is spread everywhere, and the wave is catching on…every place you go, there is a ‘magic slimming tea’ that is supposed to give you ‘your sexy back’ and  people are falling hard for these fads. My friend went on a cabbage soup diet that she saw on the net and it made her have the hugest flatulence she has ever experienced, but she hanged on, because she felt this was her  gate to beauty. So many people are investing in magic pills that promises to make them lose weight, because, well, to be skinny is to be beautiful.

Sigh!

And the culture is everywhere…the message is loud and clear, screaming from magazines, Tv, billboards…just everywhere…and it is being reinforced right from childhood. The brainwashing is happening…
oh yeah, the curvaceous ‘ bootied’ woman is out! Thrown, sneered at, and laughed at. The skinny is in!

silhouette

 

So much for the outside beauty, that everyone is now worried about what they are eating, how they are walking, how the other person looks like, that they forget the ultimate goal of life….which is TO LIVE!

Enough of the rant. I guess what I am saying is, if you see me eating my cake, let me be. I define my beauty deeper than how protruded my hips are.

HOMAGE TO MY HIPS

these hips are big hips

they need space to move around in.

they don’t fit into little places. these hips

are free hips.

they don’t like to be held back.

these hips have never been enslaved,

they go where they want to go

they do what they want to do.

these hips are mighty hips.

these hips are magic hips.

i have known them to put a spell on a man and

spin him like a top!

 

Lucille Clifton

Categories: I AM | 9 Comments

WORD DEFECIENCY

For so long, I have had ideas on what I need to write about the man who I have worked with for close to two years now ~ the man who strikes me as the most mysterious of men. Not that he is dead and I have to write a n eulogy, but  because I feel so strongly that I need to tell his story to my readers, because this man, this videographer would give me a story that would be a good read.

And last week, I sat with my pen and paper and I tried to get it moving, I described him, how he takes his shots, and the divinity that he creates using his video camera. I wanted to write how he treats his camera like a new found lover, how he always holds it close to him, how he runs while holding it, eats with it secured safely next to him…he treats his camera like a lover…and how he listens to Fally Ipupa religiously, but not once have I heard him sing along…

I have so much to say about this videographer, in my mind I have the words aligned into a beautiful story, but I just can’t get it out. Anytime I try, it comes out dry, and if there is one thing I cant do, is to do a dry story on my videographer, because ma’, his story is the type that should be done deeply.

overcome-writers-block

So, each day, I hold onto the words. Hoping that with each dawn, a beautiful explosion will happen and something magical will happen, and I will be able to tell the story of this man who ever camped on top of the tallest building in Nairobi, for a whole chilly night, to capture scenes of Nairobi at night, of this man who took chilling images of the war at Tana Delta, of this man who stood behind the camera and rolled as the head of free masons talked about their activities.
His passion is video, and he has done so much…and he still does, but I cant find the words.

Sometimes being a writer can be stressful, because we hold onto words and sit still with the hope that the words will lead to something volatile and coalesce to a super powerful piece of prose.  However, sometimes these words just fizzle out and erode the emotions that they were supposed to evoke.

I know there are many writers who swear that they always cap these words, hold them close, swirl them in their minds, and wait for the day that the trapped words will melt out into something awesome.

Yet I cant find the words that would carry the emotions right.

And that is the tedious thing about writing, you have to know how to strike the emotions and paint the right picture through the arrangement of the right words. And so, I still sit and wait for the day the right words will come.

block

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SCATTERED SUNRISE AND SUNSET

Sitting on the rugged rocking chair that she had always sat on at her balcony, Antonia stared at the moon that was illuminating a shimmery light among the clouds. She stared absent mindedly at the paths the light made between broken lumps of cloud and marveled at how they looked like a map being drawn. She fixed her gaze on the star studded skyline and couldn’t fail to notice the beauty of the shooting star, and how slowly the sky was clearing to bring in a new day.

star 1

Her sleeping baby boy made a cooing noise in her arms and she made a “shush” sound to silence him. She realized that she needed to put him in his cot. She walked barefoot, ignoring the coldness of the tiled floor that she stepped on. As she laid her son to sleep, she remembered that she hadn’t given him his cough meditation, but she didn’t wake him up.

“Just a few more hours and it will be morning. I will give it to him when he wakes up” She said to herself and battled briefly with the slight guilt that was forming in her mind. She was doing her best in this motherhood thing that was new to her, and in as much as she wasn’t doing it perfectly, she knew that she loved her son.

She sat down on her computer to send an email to her husband who was out of town to tell him that she couldn’t wait for his return home. He had been away for eight days, and Antonia missed him terribly. He was a loving man and always showed his affection by buying her expensive gifts with a lot of public display of affection. She liked every minute of her marriage.

Her phone vibrated in the pocket of her jeans. She ignored it at first, thinking it’s a message from her network provider. It went on and on. When she removed it and stared at the huge screen of her cell phone, she couldn’t recognize the number.

 

“Hey, who am I talking to?”

“Hello, don’t tell me you deleted my number.”
She recognized the voice immediately, and she was awash with many emotions; chief among them a lingering fear of the uncertainty that this phone call brought.

“Karen, where are you? I lost my phone and had to replace my sim card. Why did you take so long to call me? I have missed you.” Antonia asked while twirling her hair.

Karen laughed. The boisterous laughter that she always had back then when they were staying together. That unmistakable laughter that masked the pain that she had gone through while growing up. Even when she had told Antonia of how many times she had attempted to end her life and the many days that she stood staring at the busy streets, wishing she would just dive in front of a moving car, she always concluded her stories by giving a hearty laugh that would confuse those who didn’t know her well…laughter was her escape, her way to fool the world that all was well, even though those close to her knew that she was broken on the inside.

And here she was, calling Antonia, four years after they last saw each other.

phon

“Antonia, I am calling to ask you if you have seen it…” She said in a drowsy voice. It was obvious that she was drunk. Her voice had a sleepy drawl, of someone who had over indulged the previous night.

“Seen what?” Antonia asked.

“The paper – Have you seen it?” she asked.

Antonia didn’t understand. From the other end where Karen spoke, there was a loud hoot, and the sounds of vehicles moving rapidly.

“Where are you? “ Antonia asked concerned.

“Errrm, I got a morning gig. These days I do a 8 to 5 job. I am a good citizen, shifted my into being a better person.” She said and let out a loud laughter that scared Antonia.
“What paper are you talking about Karen? And what is in it?”
Karen laughed.
“I know you have seen it, quit toying with my mind, and don’t be like that. You got married to a wealthy man alright, but don’t forget us down here. You were once here ma’…”

Antonia could feel a wave of anger rise in her. She didn’t know why or where it came from, but she didn’t like the suspense that Karen was creating in her mind.

Sunrises are known to be cathartic, to be a significant representation of a new dawn…and the sunrise outside her window was intense. It was about 6:17 am when Antonia stepped out of her house, leaving her son still peacefully asleep on the cot. It was still slightly dark when she stepped into the chilling cold with her blue earphones concealed under her hooded trench coat.

hooded-beauty

The newspaper vendor was still laying out the newspapers on the stand when she arrived.
“Give me today’s publications. All of them…” she said.

The vendor gathered several newspapers and handed them to her in a small heap. She took them hurriedly, and rushed towards her house. The streetlights cast an eerie shadow of her as a tall being rushing towards the unknown. She stopped, and ruffled through the newspapers. There was nothing much…politics, celebrity news, development, just the normal things. She was beginning to think that Karen had gotten her worried for no reason, until she saw her photo splashed beneath a headline.
Exposed: Minister’s wife was once a prostitute.

Her heart sunk. All the words lumped into some form of jumbled up text that rose from the face and hit her hard.

She walked on…

Her shadow followed her.

Thup! Thup! Into the rising morning…

She held her hood and started running towards her house. The shadow ran too…like a past that refused to disappear. She increased the volume of the music in her earphones, trying to block the dawning reality. In the haze of her mind, she wondered who could have revealed what she thought was her well guarded secret. For four years, she had kept the lid closed tight, she had moved to a different town…she had changed her number and started over…she had even changed her name for heaven’s sake!

“Oh No, Karen…you didn’t…” she thought to herself and called the number from her call log. She got the busy tone. She tried over and over until she felt a hot liquid slip from her eyes. She wiped using the corner of her sleeve and more kept rolling, like a waterfall.

She continued dialing.

Nothing.

She dropped the newspapers she was carrying and they scattered into the wind, like ash thrown in a gale. In different directions her story went, but she didn’t care.

blown

She dialed Karen again. This time it went through.

“Did you tell them?” she whispered while her entire body shook, from the cold, and from a feeling that burned her belly.

“Are you insane?” Karen responded and gave a hearty laugh. Antonia paused.

“How did they know? Someone must have told them…”

“Yes, someone must have told them….but not me bitch. I cant do that on a friend.” Kare said.

There was beep on Antonia’s phone. An indication that there was another call coming through.

It was her husband.

Her voice trembled when he asked her where she was.

“Running errands…” was all she could say at the moment. She made a few steps forward before the reality hit her…

The lid had fallen, and she had to do something. So she turned and ran in the opposite direction. She pressed the volume knob of her music player and the music blasted in her ears. She wanted to listen to a song that would fill her with hope, desperation, release, sorrow…

By the time she arrived at Karen’s door step, a place that she once called home, a place she had sworn never to go back to, it was dark. The skyline shone in neon colors and the rusty iron sheets reminded her of just how much the place had remained unchanged.

“Why did you come?” karen asked when she opened the door.
“I couldn’t face my husband. I couldn’t Kare. He is a church minister…it would have brought him so much shame.
“You came with nothing ~ what about your son?”
Antonia leaned forward and embraced her, and a strong sob rocked her body. For the first time since she saw the paper, she remembered her son.

Meanwhile, at the same rocking chair that she had sat on that morning, Anthony sat while watching his phone. When it rang, he sprang to it and laughed.

“I am sorry, I was in a meeting, I should have called you earlier.” The sub editor of the paper said.

“No problem sir. You did a good story. I loved it. Every piece of it was delicious. What a scandal.”

And they both laughed.

“But Sir, you have known this from the first time you met her, why did you decide to expose her like that, aren’t you a man of God?”

Anthony laughed so loudly.

“ She didn’t know that I know…and that’s the interesting bit. I donno why I did it. I guess there is a little evil in all of us.

“True…” the sub editor said.

Then they both hung up. And the sun sunk deeper into the sky.

sunset

Categories: SHORT STORIES | 6 Comments

WRITING TO LIVE UNCENSORDLY

Recently, one of my friends on facebook asked me why I blog. She told me that she found bloggers to be a bunch of pretentious people who want to use the internet to preach their beliefs ~ that bloggers are a group of frustrated people who hide behind the safety of the cyber space and punch on keys stating to everyone how the ideal world should be lived and they do nothing but spread their self righteousness. Of course she didn’t say it in those exact words, but what she was trying to tell me is that, blogging is a waste of time and a direct ticket to thumping your ideals to the rest of the world to find a little bit of validation.

Sigh!

blog

To me, that is not why I blog. I know sometimes I come off as being a little bit preachy (hihi, okay, not a little bit) but that is not why I blog. If I wanted to preach I would have taken a bible, a hat, and headed to Jivanjee…anyway, I don’t know about why other people blog and what they aim to do with their blogs, but for me, I blog to influence people who are down, because I have been down too. I blog to lament about the things that happen to us in this uncertain journey of life that we all are in. I blog to articulate things that matter so much to me, of things that have made me who I am.

I blog to express myself at a place where no editor can cross my work, where I can get off with misplaced punctuations, run on sentences, hanging structures, over used words and where I can insert song lyrics to replace the emotions that I am feeling.

Like painters who take a piece of canvas and scatter paint to produce words, this blog is my canvas. It is my Art, because there is no other way that I have known how to express myself, apart from through the written word.

writing

From a young age, I kept journals, where I scribbled my feelings and emotions, letting them drip on paper whenever I felt too overwhelmed to speak. I think god already knew that I will need this art in my future when everything will crumble and I will need a hiding place, He knew that I will need these words, these letters, these syllables to release my pent up emotions and to speak that which originates from the deepest part of my being.

So what I am saying is:

Words, this blog and my journals have saved me…they have given me life when I couldn’t breathe.

So why do I write?

The answer has always been the same.
I write to live. To breath. To move forward. To laugh. To ponder. To reform. To BE.

i write to embrace my grammatical errors, a true testimony that I am as flawed as they come.

I write, because I desperately need to live.

Categories: I AM | 11 Comments

SAVE THE LAST DANCE….

yesterday, I sat down to catch up on the many movies that I should have watched ages ago, and among those that I watched was Temptation by Tyler Perry, which for me was one of those comme ci, comme ca type of movies, but well, this isn’t about Tyler Perry and his highly over rated production…No, it’s about “Save the last dance for me…” Which is something that I should have watched a long time ago…anyway~

Have you ever watched a movie that is not so thrilling, that is not so saucy, that is kinda predictable but you remain riveted on your seat because, well, you associate with the movie? Save the last dance for me spoke my language, when that girl danced, I felt like I was watching myself moving on the screen…its like she was holding the mirror in front of me. Maybe I am a bit too hormonal, but I found myself kinda too moved by this movie. 

save the last 1

It’s not a new movie, you have probably watched it, and maybe didn’t even like it…but for me, it wasn’t really about the over beaten story line of love that crushes all walls and barriers…no it was about the movement, the music, and how the lead actress danced. After her mother had died, she was down for a moment and even put aside her dancing shoes…because the gravity of the tragedy was too much for her, so she took her shoes and hid them….

And it happens in life. There are some things that happen to us that make us want to hide our ‘dancing shoes’. Sometimes we face tough situations that kill the light of our passion, of our dreams, of our ambition…and we find ourselves getting stagnated. It presses on us so much that we feel that we cant move again. 

candles

It has happened even to some of us who didn’t think that at one point we might be crippled by how the flower of life withers. What is important is how we rise from it and chase the dreams that we once conceived. Watching the lead dancer getting back her dancing shoes from the shelf, wearing them and doing her best is to me a testimony of resurrection, of the ability of humanity to rise from whichever shit hole they find themselves in, and bask in the glory of a new sun.

It was like watching myself really. Of the time when my spirit as broken and I was looking at new realities that I was too scared to confront back then. But slowly, I was able to rise, pick up my dancing shoes and get moving. I could feel it in my very core, my essence, and in every beat, in every movement I was able to capture and memorize those scenes, because they spoke to me.

I hope that in watching that movie, you were able to look at the deeper dimensions that it had, of the story about rising and following your dream, of putting the past behind you…because the past belongs to the past, and painfully rising to embrace the new uncertain future.

I believe in starting over. In a rebirth. In doing the ultimate cross over. I believe in looking deep inside yourself, embracing your inner strength and moving on with all the energy you got.

This year, this 2013, is my year to soar even further. It is a year of take off, and flight.

Its my year of dancing like it is my last dance…

Categories: I AM | 7 Comments

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