Past the Block

Amy began to write onto the screen. The words seemed to flow rather well, complete in her mind. Her fingers crossed the keyboard severally only posing for a full-stop break.
“On that fateful day I stormed out of my blankets and into the cold atmosphere abruptly. Struggling to open my eyes, I stretched unto the handle of the door and dashed out of the room. Banged unto the door head first. A painful attempt that eventually opened my eyes. Wide open.Too much light was thrown at them. They shut down again. This time, I made my way with my hands and feet. The Knob was turned. Water splashed out. My frozen back. I made my way to the heater. A warmer pour it was then.My thoughts drifted to the long day ahead of me. I felt sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I then began to arrange the events in my head for consolation. They flowed well till there was a brief interruption of motion. Something was different. I opened my eyes just to see it. Ooh yes! It was the annoying drip of water onto my back. Ah! Not Again! I forgot to pay the water bill. I walked out. Disappointed at myself, she wrote.”
She struggled to continue from there, typing and retyping sentence after sentence. Her mind seemed to hit a block. She hit the block so hard that she couldn’t see past it. She stood and walked out of the house for a brain-clearing stroll. Continue reading “Past the Block”

Please the eye, plague the heart

They walk adorned, adored
Other beings altogether, disguised in an aura of confidence
Behind, tails their gentleness, their touch of humanity
They stand tall to the eye
Dead at heart
Frustrated at who they are
And will become
Their souls so lost that they hear none
After all, they are experienced
They have lived in this world a while longer…..

As I sat in the matatu staring out the window a thought crossed my mind. I had not so long ago walked on the dark evening streets of Nairobi to the sight of a young child whose limb was chopped off lying on a cold cartoon. Beside them was a board written in red ink the description of what supposedly happened to the child and a plea for assistance. I may have paused for a while not completely comprehending why exactly I had been so numb at the moment. I then crossed the road to board the last of the matatus that charged fifty shillings that day (this, I consider my luck as it was a rough week on my wallet) .At the back of my conscious lay the comfort of an excuse that probably the child was one of those street opportunists. All the same as I sat next there, minutes after, I couldn’t help but question what exactly happened to the child. I mean, I may have been told once of a developing event of poor street children being subjected to the cruel chopping of their limbs just to make ends meet. When I did first hear of the event, I didn’t think much of it, till that moment in the matatu. I remember asking- “what is becoming of this world?” and proclaiming bitterly “some people are heartless. In deed there may exists such persons, then again, am I any better a person for thinking the worst of that child in their moment of need? I then began to question my position in relation to an earlier conversation, with a friend, about how in this day and age, we are so numb to violence that we don’t comprehend or react to it assertively.

Allow me, if I may, offer my option of a solution towards the so called numb behaviour towards violence. In the communication field of studies there exists a specific theory (the cultivation theory) which I will pay reference to. The theory argues that television has long term effects which are gradual, small, indirect but cumulative. Greek,perhaps? I apologise. The theory simply addresses the concept of cultivation. Just as a crop is cultivated, so are our attitudes cultivated through exposure to the media messages. Thus, heavy watching of television begins to cultivate a certain direction of attitudes which reflect the world created by the television rather than reality. On that basis, I seek to question- are we, as a society, exposed to violence at a tender age that it numbs our reaction to any violence presented to us in our lifetime?
Specific studies on the television programs may offer substantial evidence that in deed our minds are cultivated to respond to violence deceptively. For instance, as young girl, ( just a point of reference, not that I didn’t grow up….”A note to my young person” effects) I enjoyed the cartoon- Little Mermaid without the realization of what I was exposing my little mind to. A little mermaid named Ariel, who is presumably little in title only since she has one impressively big rack, dreams of living her life on shore and finding her true love. Well, a clearly evil sea-witch named Ursula offers to give the naive mermaid legs in exchange for something she probably might need in the future: her voice. When Ariel makes it to shore, she realizes the sea witch screwed her, as her legs work with the grace of a drunken paraplegic and she can’t speak. So now she must somehow make Prince Eric fall in love with her while appearing to be either mute or retarded. By some miracle, the prince takes the bait (again, note the rack) but then Ursula, who in the cartoon seems to be portrayed as a black drag queen, goes after the couple. The prince is forced to kill Ursula by stabbing her with a ship. As a result, Ariel gets both her legs and her voice.

The Supposed Message:
True love conquers all!
The Actual Message:
A little compromise with evil is okay, as long as everything works out okay in the end!
The story may justify the act of Prince Eric as a means to an end therefore justify his action of killing (of reference of violence). Others in this category may include The Beauty and the Beast which revolves around the myth: just because he’s abusive, doesn’t mean he’s not a really good guy (Eureka! I may have solved the first lie about relationships leading to abusive relationships….who knows!) At this point, I understand why the series shows- Bones; CSI; How to get away with murder- intrigue my mind.

As I conclude, I see the importance to quote:
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and will find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
John 10:9-10
(On the side, we seek death and death in abundance in what we feed our eyes and minds to)
AND
It may please the eye
Intrigue the mind
But eventually plagues the heart

Devoid. Filled

She walked into a room filled with persons but devoid of humanity. Her eyes took in the entire room from each corner seconds after. She recognized none. Confident yet trembling deep inside she approached the few persons at the front. Her soft voice meet their ears as she greeted each of the five persons in the room.

She had greeted all. All except one. One who she couldn’t greet least she loses herself. The eyes of the other four shifted to her. They had realized the intentional omitting of a friendly encounter to one person. She had hoped it wasn’t so.All the same she clicked on ignore.

“Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the official debate for all candidates vying to be members of the honorary Student Council. I will be your moderator for today. Kindly take your seats at the front,” a voice spoke into the microphone awakening us to the reality at hand.

One after the other we approached the front seats, grabbing whichever was closest.A moment of silence.A question was thrown at us, one after the other. A challenge. A test.One after the another, we stood and expressed the wisdom known to us to the persons in front of us. Some voices shaky others inaudible;anxiety filled in the sounds.

My name was called out. My moment to speak. My 5 minutes of fame or what could easily be my 5 minutes of defame.

I walked up onto the stand,slightly trembling. Silently praying that I can eventually speak. For the very first time. Upon reaching the podium, i take my a moment to take in the moment then i breathe into the microphone.

For the next few minutes, my mind runs before my mouth and my words seem to fly rather quickly from my mind and mouth.Then it was all over and my nerves were calm. I returned to my seat disappointed. Disappointed of my previous anxiety. Disappointed that i had feared that very moment way too much. I was, however, glad that all was well.I am glad it had began well, I am as well challenged to have it end well.

“When all is said,let it all be done.”

For we are blessed with many persons who can speak and make belief that they could make our lives a little better. But, speech is no action. And action is no speech. One has to give way for the other.So let it be said to all who take up any leadership role: What is said, it should be done. If not let it not be said at all.

The room was devoid of ground for action. Yet filled of all manner of words.

Devoid. Filled

 

Innovative Slaves

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He wakes up faceless and picks up a face
She wakes up faceless and picks a different face
They leave the room with a face
A new identification
A new entitlement

In the evening,
He walks back into the room
She walks back into the room
They leave the room faceless.

As we come to the close of the Black History Month, I can’t help but think of the reference of speakers to the ancient slavery of the black people in history. I am definitely glad that I was not born nor didn’t exist in that era. Don’t you? Then again, I question whether this era is any different.
We are definitely not slaves to slave masters as our ancestors were but we are definitely slaves to various things. One of which was invented to make the life of man easier-technology.
I speak of specifically the items that have become the very extension of our hands. You guessed it, our mobile phones. Have you ever thought of the world today without the gadget?
I didn’t till moments ago. Honestly, I couldn’t quite get my head around to the thought of the world without our precious mobile phones. That alone tells me that I live in a world that has proven not to exists without the gadget. I say chosen because its something I do think we choose to use every day. The only problem being we choose to use it extensively so.
The end result is that we are identified by the extension in hand and how effectively we are whilst using it. Who knows! Maybe in a few years, spouses will be chosen on the basis of who can buy the most expensive phone. A phone in hand…
The other slave master I wish to address is the social media and its influential power. The instrument of communication has as well defined that which is taken in as correct. It has managed to decide on a scale the estimates of beauty, wealth and everything related to it. More so the definition of happiness which is projected by the little faces on our mobile phones-Hello smileys
Don’t get me wrong, I do like smileys .However; I would not advocate the change of smiley faces as often as it is used on a text message.
Somewhere between all the facebooking ,twitting and instagramming we are losing a bit of ourselves.We are held captive by that which we made to help we. Who will then set us free?

SHe wakes up another morning
In every breathe takes their power
And gives it to the world
To decide whom SHe is that day
SHe lifts their hand and picks the person the world has decided
And walks of wearing the mask of her new identity
SHe loses themselves
Every day.

Note:In the poem the She represents both genders poetically not the common transgender expression that is: (He+She=She)

Block of Salt

The story of Lot’s wife is quite popular to anyone who was raised in the Christian religion or had the chance to read the Bible in Bible study or Sunday school. The position of the woman is described as one as a result of disobedience to the instruction given to them by angels -messengers of the Lord. So her fate was sealed in the many particles of sodium chloride. Dehumanized.
I am convinced that we have actually judged her too harshly. We only think of her from her point of weakness and her weakness alone without actually understanding the circumstances of her situation. She was leaving the only life she knew, probably her only possessions that she had accumulated all her life. She was probably leaving all her friendships and the people she had known all her life. She was leaving herself behind, quite literary. Come to think of it, I would have probably turned as well, if not twice.

She stands in the pathway

looking onto the path before her

the shadows of her husband before her

moving further and further away from her

She tries to follow him

but

decides to take one last peep behind

then

Her body is curled up in the particles

Her body. Her soul. Her heart.

Cold.

I speak of her not to depict my imaginative understanding of her position, but to bring forth a point which is can anyone can relate to. Block of salt, as I would like to refer to it from now henceforth, is the shadows of our pasts. Just like the salt, the sour taste feels our present with anxiety as the particles don’t quite hold together.

Just like Lot’s wife,we  are tempted to look back and tap into our memories. To bring them to life and re-live them once more, just for a second more perhaps.Eventually, our strive to bring them back makes us drown or freeze.

My take is, one has to give hope about the past so as to ensure that it doesn’t freeze their existence

A familiar stranger

As Amy stood in the doorway to the house and bid me goodbye, I could see the fear in her eyes, taste it even. She blew a kiss in the air to me and warned that I should call her if I was uncertain or in any danger. She stood there. Still. Staring at me. After a few steps away, i heard her voice call out my name. She was rather worried, I didn’t blame her. I was worried as well. I walked back to where she stood and embraced her in reassurance. She held me tightly, sobbing. I slowly let go of the rather tight embrace and walked off and again this time, without looking back.
My strides grew slower as my knees grew numb in anxiety. The wind blew strongly towards me, pushing my strides back a step each time. I could hardly move forward as I was pushed further away. I should have eaten my plate of food yesterday or put a stone into my pocket .Envious I was of the strength of the wind. Strength I deeply needed at that moment. All the same, I proceeded on wards till I came to the bus station.
Wawili Tao, wawili tao!” He shouted as he hustled me into the bus.
I really should have eaten that plate of food. Irritated I was, as I sat onto the seat closest to me. My thoughts drifted to what my sister Amy had mentioned about him. My memory of him was not truly of him but of his absence.
He was of a different kind; from a different tribe she emphasized. He spoke and talked different, she continued. He is different, she warned. Yet somewhere in me, I knew he was not so different. I knew the blood that flowed in him was like mine. We weren’t that much different. After all, I knew he was human, that’s all I needed to know at fourteen. I wouldn’t know any different.
As I alighted the bus, I was still uncertain about my uncertain-soon-approaching reality. I came to the place where I would finally meet him. Each step towards the mammoth twin building took me closer to the reality by the minute. With each step I felt my now strong legs hinge at my hips, feeling each stride, my lungs expanding fully, my arms swinging and my back bearing the weight. I approached the concrete door.
For a moment as I stood there everything was silent. Too silent that it was loud enough for me to hear my thoughts. A pen across my thoughts drew up the man whom I had known through the eyes of those around me. It drew up his presence in the room and his absence as well. It drew up that which I couldn’t fathom. Perhaps, it was my fear working against me. My courage turned into cowardice. I couldn’t turn the knob. Well, not yet.
A moment of silence. My arm stretched. The door knob turned .A shadow of a person at the room .It begins to approach. Behold the familiar stranger approaches.

Chalks Down

 

At about seven o’ clock on an early September morning, the train from Syokimau neared the city square at a slow speed. It was still slightly chilly though the warm beams of sunlight could be felt in the atmosphere .The train eventually came to a complete halt. I stared at my feet as I slowly took several steps out of the train. They ached from the knees to the last of the toes from exhaustion. Reluctantly, I begin to walk down the streets of the town.
The town was silent, almost pale. Void of almost anyone. A few workers could be spotted moving around as they swept the streets clean. As I walk past them, I couldn’t help but envy their position. I had longed to use my feeble hands to do something constructive, yet the opportunity had presented itself not.
As I approached the ranging crowd from a distance, I could see the pile of dust rising above them. I could hear their roar in the midst of all the commotion. They chanted all manner of broken rhythms. Their voices unpleasant; expressing their hearts’ only selfish desires. They seemed unified in their plea. Singing their allegiance. I stood still contemplating whether I could handle another day of the strikes. I knew deep down I needed to rest my feet. I needed at least hope beyond this destructive tunnel.
Worry, anxiety and fear filled my thoughts as I drifted back to my home. Just hours before, I had stared down at my little boy’s angelic eyes and promised him that I would bring back a glass of milk. He smiled in assurance of my statement yet his stomach rambled rather loudly. He embraced me, slightly embarrassed. As I thought more about it, I immersed myself into the misery that is my home. At heart, I did wish I could help us out of it but I was reduced to none but another voice in the crowd.
As I wiped the cold tears off my chin, I began to walk away from the crowd. Hardly had I gone a few meters away than I felt something strike my back. Before I could comprehensively understand what had happened, I was met by one stone and another. A rusty voice followed the tremendous beating,
“How dare you walk away from your fellow colleagues? Who gives you the right not to strike?” I heard.
More and more voices arouse while the stumps of feet behind me increased immensely. I knew, at that moment, that I had been classified the classic betrayer of the cause. I began to run for my life, least I face their cruel judgment. Unfortunately, I stumbled a few meters ahead which eventually took away all the little energy I had. I growled in pain while still crawling away from the crowd behind me.
They approached much faster than my limbs could handle. My pleas fell on their deaf ears as my voice was muzzled in all their voices. I closed my eyes hoping for a miracle.

A cursed blessing

Jonathan picked the last of the pieces of the bread he was so kindly offered by a passing by stranger. He was beyond glad that he had received the first meal that week and he didn’t have to beg for it. He cautiously walked out of the tunnel which he had hid in, from the other boys, as he munched on his meal. He approached the champ and sat in his respective corner. The leader of the camp distributed the pieces of blanket they had collected the previous week to every member.
Jonathan was a street boy for as long as he could remember. He had learned to call the ‘champ’ his home and the boys in it his family. Energized from his earlier meal, he began to tell a story to the other boys who were rather sleepy. It didn’t take long before his voice faded as they were all captured by sleep. Jonathan soon realized that he was speaking to himself and drifted to his thoughts. His thoughts revolved around the one mystery he seemed not to have the capacity to solve. The mystery of his grandfather’s curse.
Jonathan had a biological family once. It was not as big as he would have wished but it was his family. He lived with his parents in a village close to the border of Tanzania. He remembered quite vividly that every evening his father would entertain them with stories about his childhood days. This one evening, he called Jonathan specifically and told him of the story behind his grandfather’s curse. Jonathan’s father explained that his father was the sort of person who loved himself too much. Egocentric and arrogant was how he described the old man. His world revolved around him, him and him. It was this attribute that lead him to declare himself the sole owner of their great grandfather’s land upon their death. As the sole authority, he sold all the land belonging to his ancestral family which left his family homeless. At that point of eviction, his mother pronounced the curse to him. The curse, as Jonathan’s father described, was to extend to the children of his children hence they would never succeed in their life’s endeavors.
As Jonathan’s father told him that story, he didn’t understand that it was a warning of what would come over his life. His father expressed that the new religion, he called it Christianity, would prevent the curse’s effect to befall on him. He shrugged then and didn’t take head of his father’s warning. Unfortunately, a few months later, his family was taken away from him in the incident of a flood in their village. He, Jonathan, was left to feed for himself since then.
He began to wonder whether he had finally remembered the way out of the misery he lived. He wondered how he would encounter the new religion which his father referred to. He questioned whether the curse of a tradition world would be reversed using a different religion altogether. He was stuck as to which he should follow to restore himself and hopefully his children’s children. His worries and questions were drowned in the sleep that came over him.