Tag Archives: LOVE

So this is Christmas

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So this is Christmas

I thought to write of Yuletide past – singing Noel, the plays, the Christmas Carols, Cantata, the tree, decorations, balloons, new clothes, that Christmas cassette, the lights, family photo in matching clothes – the longest church service , village visits, new clothes and that Christmas meal that almost always left me feeling ill!
Kulya Christmas – to eat Christmas! That’s what it was…

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Now two days to and I can’t seem to feel the buzz – it is a break from work, a chance to go on holiday, every family member planning their own gateway – bills, jam, worrying about January – oh! How the years go by

Somehow we forget to put the CHRIST in Christmas
– replace with X – where X stands for food, bingeing, holiday, leave from work etc

And whilst we wait for the spirit to kick in, it escapes us the real reason for this season…

I don’t know what X stands for in your case but you could say in the comments section

Merry Christmas to you all and all the best in the new year! Feliz Navidad

Three Kinds Of Rain IV

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I staggered backwards, eyes transfixed on the spot where my night-time companion had been. Slowly I inched away, overwhelmed by emotions I barely knew. I kicked over the mug in my motion, slumping into the ever-welcoming settee. Chin in hand I sat and sat, blinking slowly as if expecting the television to reappear when I opened my eyes – like a mirage, a disappearing act, a magic trick!
My eyes held steady and then I lay back, head on armrest. I pulled the other blanket over my legs against an invisible chill and then looked towards the ceiling. In the middle of the sagging formerly-white cardboard were concentric circles of brown. So, the roof leaked1 I would have to confront the old hag about it. But how when I was a month over due in rent arrears? I lay back sighing, the sofa in engulfing me in familiar embrace. I thought about calling in sick at work. “Eff work! I don’t really care right now! In my mind, the previous night’s events replayed like a technicolour picture. I bit my lip and clenched my fist as I reopened the door and relived “hospitality 101”, cursing myself for not asking questions. My thoughts strayed to other regrettable incidences, like a movie screen behind my eyes. “Oh! What a loser I am”, I thought.
I turned over to face the back of my seat-cum-bed, the effort causing it to creak as I shifted my wait. And the tears came, large and hot on my cheeks, salty on my lips. Then the sniffles. Where was my hanky? I blew my nose into my blanket, folding the adulterated corner away. I tried not to, but sobs shook my body with every effort to stifle them, my breath in short gasps heaving my chest. And then I let loose! Like a man on a mission, silently yet all out. Spent! I cried for mother Theresa, for World Peace, for my TV and missed opportunities, rejected advances, my broken heart. For my exes, my parents, the suffering in the nation. I cried! Why did life to be so unfair? I cried with abandon, trying not to be loud. Like someone had opened up a jerrycan and turned it upside. I cried til my head pounded behind my eyes. My temple throbbing like my heart was nested therein. I cried and hoped to sleep or die. I cried. Amidst the torrent I thought I heard a knock. I ignored it. Then it came again. Three deliberate taps.
“Knock!!… Knock!!… Knock!!”
I held my breath, trying hard not to give myself way. Sniffling. I waited, hoping the knocker would leave, willing them away. They must have for it was silent again. I thought I heard the shuffling of departing feet. And I had no more strength left, no more cry, no more tears. I just lay there in my old sofa, oblivious to the dampness beneath my cheek. And then the rap of knuckles on wood, followed by silence. I held my breath.
“Knock!!… Knock!!… Knock!!”

On fatherhood -Fathers’ day 2012

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“Any man can be a father, but not every man can be a dad”

Male penguins, apart from having one life partner, sit on the egg till it hatches.
Lions laze in the sun whilst their companions go hunting. They also kill off their male offspring if they can get past the ever-watchful mothers. I guess to reduce the competition, the odds of being run out of the pride when they grow old.
Other animal species are known to mate with their sisters, aunties, nieces, mothers in a disgustingly incestuous cycle that scientists choose to call in- breeding.

And then there are HUMANS.. and infanticide, incest and monogamy come into play!

but that’s not my story!

FATHERHOOD is a full time job! Through the ante and post natals, the terrible twos and threes, till the toddler gets through school, teenage with its pre-pubescent and adolescent needs, to college and the world there after. Funny thing is he remains The Father! To the groom or to the bride, in-law until the birth of grand children.. A grandfather he becomes, thanks to his small donation in the throes of passion, hopefully… Or in sinister circumstances (i won’t even go there! ) that go beyond duty, continuation of a lineage!

The man you fondly call dad, Papa, Pa, Daddy, Taata or Baba. FATHER! Is he the man that pummels his wife on a daily, pregnant or not? The sperm-donor that flees the village for safety or fear? Is he that coward that won’t pay the cultural price nor admit that the child is his? Tis not the absentee labourer in the big city, sending peanuts home or not at all? The village drunk? Chief? Village terror? That mothers, children and neighbours alike have a wide berth in case he lost his cool? That relegated you to the other rooms by his presence in one? The “uncle” that comes at holidays like clockwork with gifts and clothes and meat? The man to whom you take your academic report so he may be obliged to “suponsa” you for another term? That silhouette in your dreams, a knightly figment of your imagination? That black and white photo you hold so dear? Or is he the very opposite? The provider, anchor, refuge… Dictionary, encyclopedia, towering figure… The one you report your mother and siblings to, the guy you boast about to your friends till you’re his height and he no longer seems indomitable!

Every one has different views of their father. Some good, some too good… Some ugly, horrible or just plain not like others… Unique!

Here’s to the men that have raised us… To whom we owe our existence; a little grooming, a contribution, food or fees… Advice or a swing of the stick.. Headmasters, teachers, strangers at the bus stop… Some not all… The adult men that treated us as equals whilst we were young, sat us on their laps and listened to us dream.. Those that didn’t take advantage of our trust, our youth, our naivety or blindness Here’s to those we owe character or physical features, that we love to hate, idolise or villify.. To they that made us who we are… Present or long gone.to those that stepped in, and loved and cared for their new families as their own. (some never).

To Fathers!

And in silence to those that didn’t see this journey through.. That got caught up to glory whilst we were saplings, green and young… Before we could ask them questions on how to stand alone, on parenting on life! We miss you! To those that had to become mothers too. [Moment of silence, pour out libations, let not their memory be in vain.]

To the fathers whose sons and daughters we admire, cherish and adore day by day.. Fine ladies, wives, children, mothers,friends, companions, husbands…even those to-be… Thank you.

But especially to you Daddy! She’s daddy’s girl, your girl and she sure turned out fine.. Would have loved to meet you, and drink from your fountain of knowledge . To sit at your feet and partake of your wisdom.. I know you probably know, that she’s taken after you.. she loves you still and misses you more. She speaks of you fondly and holds your memory well. You would be proud, I am.
Your daughter is because you are… And the world and I, are all the better because you gave!

To the fathers, uncles, grandfathers.. To men of honour in my life, whose chiding and advice guided and still guides. I hope it makes me a better man.

To you Taata, tis all love! In tears, I could say it all…for the things we can not say, we feel! .Our dealings are a story on their own, bitter-sweet but worth it. . Here the outpouring of a grateful heart, I couldn’t possibly put it in more meaningful words- from every ounce of me, from the bottom of my heart… I love you!

Sun Jun 17, 2012

Three Kinds Of Rain III

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She didn’t stir. Except for her quiet breaths, the refrigerator and a distant cricket, all was silent. I lay there, face in pillow, hands at my side like a soldier on parade, a gazillion thoughts racing through my mind. Strangely, the long-legged beauty by my side only featured a few times. And then it rained! Soft drops at first. I heard them on a tin roof outside. Then harder, their thud against the grass and ground like music to my ears. I could sleep soundly now. And harder still, now the plonk as they fell into the puddles forming outside. Then someone put a plastic basin out to harvest the rain and the symphony was broken. I gritted my teeth, willing the basin to move, to fill, and to stop making noise. Urrgghh! In my mind I pushed the basin aside but the rude rat-a-tat of raindrops on plastic did not stop as the basin was emptied and replaced. I pulled the pillow over my head to drown out the sound and although it was muffled, I could still hear it. Those fools! At this time? It must have been way after midnight, for I myself had returned late from work, hours before my bizarre bedfellow. I do not know how long I lay awake but my thoughts gave way to dreams, and my dreams to more dreams.
I awoke, startled by the harsh light streaming through the curtain. I propped myself on one elbow and looked across to the other side of my six-foot mattress. Empty! No sign of my guest. Was it a dream? No! It couldn’t have been, I never make my bed, nor sleep so neatly. I jumped out of bed and into the living room and saw large writing on a plain white paper across from me. I moved closer and knelt down on the threadbare red carpet I had bought for a song at one of those monthly flea markets. I couldn’t even remember where.
“Thank you!” the two words, large and neat, stared up at me. I turned the paper over and read my printed leave application form. I grimaced. Now I would have to go through the process of requesting for a new one again. I replaced the note it on the coffee set, and warmed to those words of gratitude,and smiled. Wait! Since when did I own a coffee set? I lifted my eyes slowly, methodically to the ugly beige wall, formerly hidden by the television set. And the oddity struck me, registering like it had been made out on an ancient typewriter. Ping!
“I have been robbed!!!”

coming out

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For a princess turned 18 this May Day 2012
Many are my thoughts and wishes for you.
And as you go through life it’s victories and challenges,
You’ve all the support you’ll ever need.
And when you’ve hard choices to make, God’s given you the “dopest” Ssenga.. she’s more mother than you’ll ever know, more than I could ever put in words. And I love her so so much. Without her, I’d be lost to you and to love. My life would be an empty shell

My child, I pray, not that you will be protected from Life’s trials and strife, but that you’ll triumph at every turn. That you will stand strong and tall even if you stand alone. I ask that you will not despair or give in to loneliness, that you wont know rejection or walk this world’s paths on your own,. that you’ll cling on to hope when all seems lost, that you’ll know love at it’s truest

I wish I could sit you down and brief you ,on what is yet to come, on what to expect; but life is a journey and your story is yours to write. You’re are surrounded by battle hardened warriors, but their story is not mine to tell, their wealth of experience all yours for the taking

I read Horton hatches the egg by Dr. Seuss and couldn’t blink back the warm tears of joy at the thought of the Elephant bird, a creature that only Dr Seuss could possibly imagine. At the end of the story surrounded by admiring friends… a creation of love, care and faithfulness in spite of ridicule and doubt.
It reminds me of you and these formative 18 years… if only you knew?!

I’m proud of you my daughter, we all are. Sometimes I see the cheeky little things you do, believing in your own wit. I can’t spank you; not now, and after now, not ever. But I hope you realise your folly soon, that even we went through that phase, and are neither blind nor fooled. That we let things slide for we were once like you and debate on whether to call your bluff. “There’s nothing new under the sun”, The Philosopher said in his ecclesiastical renderings, and I believe so.
I hope you discover soon enough and acknowledge that we as parents are also your friends. That you can be honest with us about prom, plunging necklines, firsts and fantasies and that we will not judge you but advise as we see fit. The mutterings, emotions and things you cant make head of

I’m now reading Mothers and Daughter’s by Dr Bassoff, and in my eyes, my colourful imagination, you…
You mean the world to me and I’m proud, immensely proud of you.

I could go on and on and on for my heart churns love by the ocean, the outpourings thereof would be infinite…but I will stop here for now, and hope that my silent prayer, our hopes and dreams for you will be fulfilled…

And that this my random discharge shall be a landmark in our lives.

I love you, sin cera… without wax…and from the depth of my heart.

Bon anniversaire

Legacy

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I sit inside an old church, eyes to the rafters, above them the iron sheet roof.
Around me the sounds of untreated coughs and children running loose on the cracked cement floor.
The drone of the lay reader slowly lulling me to sleep. I sit upright and shake myself from my stupor, rubbing my eyes and staring into my neighbour’s bible, but reading not the words. I fold my arms across my chest and read the words on the pew infront of me; dedicated to a prominent ancestor of a reknowned family, the furniture a donation by his relatives.
The service drags on, my attention drawn to my thoughts… I can smell the ‘nativeness’ around me, a mixture of smoke from the kitchens, firewood and the local drink.
I actually wore a sweater, but I shiver with cold.. The weather and the emptiness of the sanctuary.
As a visitor from the Capital, they won’t let me sit at the back; ushering me to the dais beside the choir, in full view of the wanainchi.
I think tis a con, this show of respect, making us the visitors from the City a prime target of the auctioneer. Yes, there’s a church auction.. Cabbages, potatoes, beans, chicken, avocado… Food items brought for thanksgiving, sold to raise money. More often than not, these elite donate their buys to the clergy or one of the revered seniors in attendance.
I clap in unison with the drum, the same beat as always- I wave on queue with the rest of us visitors, to the tune of “Tukutendereza!”. But my thoughts are elsewhere.
Somewhere in the middle my old man is called forward to speak, a son of the soil, the local primary school, a choiristor, now a doctor and an elder in his own right. I break out of my daydream in time to hear the priest thank him for a window he donated, wondering how come his name is not on the wall. I prepare for the introduction, to stand, smile and wave, hoping this time he won’t ask us go upfront or speak. I think in vernacular, an emergency speech forming in my mind- surprisingly fluent. Yet I know from experience that that’s lost when my turn comes. The words I know, yet they come out accented, from lack of use of the language. I think. On queue-stand-smile-wave
I sit back down, barely hearing my father’s words. I imagine myself upfront, introducing my family, my wife or my girlfriend. Declaring intention to wed and hearing them break into song and ululation. Asking her to greet the church and hearing her choose her words carefully. A simple name and an expression of her gladness to be in my home village. I picture myself squeezing her arm, and drawing her to me. A kiss would be inappropriate so I edit it quickly out of my reverie, noticing familiar faces in the crowd instead.
My father’s voice resonates in the background, I know what he is saying. That he is glad to be there, and the progress they have made. The joy of fellowship, blah! Blah! Blah! He’ll probably donate another window or bags of cement.
Then he says something about generations, legacy; about handing over and keeping roots and culture. About setting precedents, showing the children them the way to go. About his children, us, coming back and making that speech.
Somehow I listen to all this, attentively, like I had a thought bubble above my head and he’d read things off my mind…
He donates an entire church floor.. I estimate 10 bags of cement, not to many! He’s thinking more of this our country home lately, a sure sign of age knockin..
He sits down and they break into song, the choirs melodies unique, as any village choir.
I walk out to clear my mind, to tweet, text or write… Anything to bring me back.. And my daydream continues unbroken as I sit back in the car. A sign..is she there? Will she be mine? Is this it? The maiden at the well, as of biblical times?