Thursday, February 11, 2010

watching a man die

Yesterday I watched a man dying. It was at around 8 PM and I was leaving town for home after a date with Cugu. I was in a mat when we came to this huge crowd of people. We didn't know what was going on. We got word that a thief had been killed. Had he been lynched, shot, what? I asked.
Before I could make out the confusion. I saw the convulsing body of a man on the ground. He was lying face up. He looked around 25/26 and had three gunshot wounds on his head. It was a shocking sight. It was terribly tragic too.

A young man would lose his life. He had barely gotten a chance to live out his full potential. It was sad and I couldn't help but think of all the little choices that had led him to that moment.

Lying on the ground, surrounded by people who were clearly relieved(excited even) to have him out of this world.
I thought about his childhood, what made him so hardened that he chose a life of crime rather than be a normal young man, striving for society's acceptance and approval. I wondered. I thought about his family who had now lost a son, a brother, a husband, a broke my heart.

He must have died a few minutes after our mat had passed. But it made me think of the choices we make. The brevity of life. The finality of death.

I pray that I live my life forever conscious of these three things.

Monday, February 8, 2010

an excerpt from Donald Miller's book

Ok so I finally gave myself permission to be obsessed with Donald Miller and his type of wisdom. And how can I have a somewhat blog and not mention him. It's simply unacceptable! Here's an exceprt from his book 'Through Painted deserts'. Haven't actually read it but I'm looking forward to owning a copy. Hopefully very soon. Enjoy.
* * * * *
And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.

Feeling lost and out of it..

I spent probably 55% of my day yesterday thinking about work today. Dreading it. Worrying about it. Wondering why I wake up so early to go to a job I don't like. I have to. That's my response to that nagging question. In the western world people have options to live their jobs and pursue careers in art or homemaking. In Kenya, the corporate world is our ticket to happiness (or so we think!). A well paying job in a huge corporation is our definition for success. Never mind how stressful and emotionally draining it can be. But do we have a way out? Is it possible to live a comfortable and happy life of authenticity in Kenya? (please feel free to indulge me)I used to wonder why I couldn't fit into the system. Am I lazy or backward or a coward. I ask myself over and over again.
But I've come to this conclusion, that our search for our authentic selves cannot be deterred by social barriers and stereotypes. I must never be afraid to seek the truth about who I am regardless of how cast out and broke and alone I might feel. Because for me, knowing who you don't want to be is a step towards finding my true self. It may not be clear how my life will turn out but one thing I know for sure is that I don't want to be soulless and lost in this corporate illusion of happiness.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why I don't write

Today I got home resolved to write something. I read on Don Miller's blog that every writer at the end of the day knows that they must devote time to write. It may not be easy or fun but it must be done. And it got me thinking that I should put time aside everyday for that cause. So I throw my self on my bed immediately I come from work and fight the urge to reach for the remote and turn to E! (for the latest scoop on Brad and Angelina's marriage). I lie there facing my bedside clock...'just 5 minutes and I'm heading to my working desk' I think. 5 minutes come and go and still no movement. I'm always more relaxed after a dinner and a shower anyway, I argue with the more practical side of me.
When 10 O'clock reaches I get the courage to admit to myself that another day has come and gone without having written a piece, a poem, anything!. I suffer in the arms of self induced abhorrence for a few minutes, I enter my bed and finally mutter under my breath, the mother of all cliches 'Tomorrow is another day'.