Tag Archives: nature

Still In Love With Him

I’ve been finding it difficult to feel anything for a few years now. I don’t really like to be touched in any way and it feels like an invasion of my personal space when anyone tries to engage with me beyond necessity. I often try to avoid being emotionally aware of other people’s feelings and I find it all to easy to walk away when I feel pressured. I am repelled by crowds and the only place my heart feels settled is on undeveloped land, with fresh air and cleaner skies- no expectations, no conversations, just peace.

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Breathing

Alas on this earth, one cannot live as an island, frolicking among the speechless green and brown furnishings of the earth. So when I do have to engage, I am assisted only by courtesy and whatever vessel in me demands performance of cultural, social and professional duty.

Lately, however, there has been one person I have wanted so desperately to speak with. The image below is of my grandfather’s Pass Book. During the colonial era in Kenya, blacks were required to keep a Pass Book that contained ruled pages titled Movement Permit. These pages would be filled-in stamped and signed by a white issuing officer that would record in detail the permissions, validity, purpose and destination (among other things) of the Pass Book holder that needed to travel to a different part of the country. My Guka (grandfather) was allotted a number, visible in the picture below that was used to identify him. Every time I look at this, I am overtaken by anger and pain. How any man could impose borders on those who are born of the land they seek to roam is well and truly beyond my level of comprehension. Yet, here is proof that such men lived.

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Still, my grandfather, though ill-treated in his own country, found light in life and became a lantern illuminating the paths of many. When I was child I remember the way he used to embrace me when he would visit, and how he would discipline me in playful ways that made me want to be better. I remember how I could never get my small arms to fit around him because of his big stomach and I always thought he must have had so much love to give it was bursting at the seams. I remember how he spoke to me and the effort he made to be patient and listen to what I had to say. I remember how his stubble used to brush against my cheeks when I would jump onto the seat beside him for a cuddle. I remember the scent of his clothes and the loud slurps he would make when he sipped hot tea. I remember the way he would smile when he was proud of something I said or did, and the warmth of his hands when he held mine.

He’s dead. Has been for many years. Out of desperation I went to go look for glimpses of him in my other grandfather’s eyes and was reminded that no one man’s words are a replica of another’s heart. Now I don’t believe in talking to gravestones, but if I could send any letters to heaven:

 

Guka,

It still hurts to know you’re gone. Lately, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I am lost in my own ambition and disgruntled by my failure to accept pragmatism and mediocrity as living. I have no real idea of what it is I want from life anymore and no real connection to the ground on which I stand. How did you find God in the chaos of such a dark period of history? Where did you source the strength to keep going?

If you could come back just for a moment, and hold me up while we walk for a while- I think I could use the company. Thing is, I’m stuck loving you until the rain doesn’t know how to fall anymore. Until the sand is so dry and rough that it cuts the breeze and the bleeding wind wets the thirsty earth.

Gendo

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Tasting Freedom

Photo Credit: Little Zoker

I’m looking at a tree and it’s waving at the sky. What has been decreed by the wind, so the leaves and branches must obey. They are slaves to something free; attached to limbs, fastened to bark rooted in the earth. If the wind blows one way these leaves must bow without thought as to what they are offering passive acquiescence. This tree has no mind, only movement, and even that is governed by something separate from itself. As human beings we live to become a version of ourselves that can be substantiated by our experiences, our capabilities and perhaps even our dreams. But I believe it is our limitations that shape what we ultimately become. I believe they are the roots that keep me grounded like the tree; my failures, proof of what I am not and reason to continue the search for my independence and identity. When I am hopeless, in my own way I demonstrate my compliance and lose a little bit of myself. But when I have hope, it is more a dance than a bow and in that moment, however long the privilege lasts- I feel free.

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Sometimes

Infinite Sadness by Richard Davis

Sometimes speaking is too much effort; smiling is duplicitous and being attentive is damn near impossible. Perhaps the world is just too much. Or, could it be that some of us aren’t enough? It, this, all of life may well surpass our limitations.

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To Pity the Birds

Sometimes I wonder if birds got a raw deal. They come closest to heaven but every cloud is a red herring for the real trapdoor into the supernatural. They can take short breaks from humanity’s indiscretions but ultimately they too must be part of the dance. So while they whistle songs of the free, they only move to the tune of the enslaved. The strings that keep them in flight; the Puppeteer in all His glory ensures that they will never fly higher than what was intended. They may spend their days in the skies but their bodies will inevitably rest on the earth. So home is where they nest because even for them, paradise is met with great limitation.

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Sunrise

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My dad woke me up to see this sunrise. It’s like an alarm that commands the earth to recognise the heavens. It brings with it new hope, new dreams, new love and simultaneously carries forward the baggage we willed to leave behind the day before; like a bearer of bad news ushering in a sequel to yesterday’s misery. But what I admire is its strength. It breaks the binding chains of night to end the lions’ hunt and enhance the birds’ song.

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Like the rising sun, I must break through the night and see the dawn of each day as another opportunity to try again. I can’t just move on, I have to move strong. I must end the hunt of my demons and beg the presence of what is good in me. I must live, I must love, I must become my very own- my sunrise.

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The orange sky

The sky is orange. It’s dark but it’s orange. At least that’s what it appears to be, looking out of my window passed the burglar bars and into this thing they call the night- this sinister phenomenon of the sky. This defibrillator seen to be restoring the order of sin and adventure to once stilled hearts. Sadness, seduction, rage, miscommunication, mistake, malice. We’ll hear their voices in the street. But at the sight of the rising sun, all will be made well or excused and we will wonder; what is it about the orange sky.

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Above ground.

As I took this picture I wondered; if birds did not need to feed off the ground, would they spend their lives in flight searching high above the earth for heaven?

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