Tuesday, August 26, 2003

black diamond

"Black Diamond" and her comrades may look like any bunch of street-wise girls with attitude but they have the military hardware to back up the look. (..more..)

Monday, August 25, 2003

a response from reading angel

i think of and about my mother in times of silence and deep contemplation. we no longer speak with more frequency nor see each other. and in the distance created by need to spread my wings and be more of woman, i have become more like her. my mother who birthed me. who because of my premature status, baptised me to the folds of mother earth. not realising, through the baptism i was welcoming the pagan self.

i feel i love her more now. as i struggle in ways to speak my truth. i feel her quiet strength. her charm. her lovingness. i love her more in distance then i did glancing at her as she shredded the cabbages or cooked chapati or made chicken stew.

i love her now because i understand with clarity, her rebelliousness. that she took the chains of patriarchy and molded her own life. loved unfashionably with a man cast as undesirable. and created a life for themselves. and when he passed on, she welcomed yet another man to share in the sweetness of companionship. a venture so unheard of. so uncommon. so looked down upon. yet so much like my mother.

i know she understood love as being a choice. a choice that rested in action of being-ness.

it is my prayer that as i rest more comfortably to my natural self, i shall share my truth with my mother. that we shall form a language build not only on a joined ambilical cord that stretches through the atlantic ocean. but also as one woman to another. women who are deeply intimate with suffering and with the abundance of joy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

summer is slowly breathing its last breaths and i feel a sense of sadness. soon, the long, luxurious, albeit under the intensive texan heat lunches will be gone. i have basked in the sun with the carefree abandonment. those one hour lunches have carpeted my spirit back to kenya. to friends i've missed. to conversations that stired me up. i have began to re-member myself again, and in turn, so have loved myself while i'm laughing. i've made the acquintance of the ladies of spirit and word and been transported back to the vigour and sincerity of the man, martin luther king. i no longer scorn that in dreaming, we can create the change we so desire.

it has been tough. the sense of vulnerability i've felt especially this last several weeks. the passing of my father as a young woman was hard. and painful and strangely enough catharic. this month marked ten years since his passing and it was akward. sad. somewhat lonely and frightening. it's funny how we bury the feeling of fear so deep within. i missed my family in a long distance, nostalgic sort of way. yet, feel strangely disconnected. like its them over there and i over here. with love of course. but still...

or is this how homesickness feels like?

i lite a candle, gave thanks and affirmations to his life and that of my twin spirit's folks. then i cried. from relief that i was still alive and kicking. experiencing the baptism of love with such acuteness and vividness. and, one the other hand, so desperately searching for something, someone familiar. as if i was drenched in a perpetual sense of loss. so direct and personal. i could no longer hide or pretend or cast aside as inconsiquential.

love is about feeling as it is of action and choice.

children have been on my mind as seductive and inviting as drops of rain forming patterns and shapes on a window. the spririt child has whispered in my ear and i have began to listen. although, afraid to speak out lest s/he begins to take form. become manifest. i even have a name, lerata. sotho for love. then i think it is ridiculous. i can hardly take care of myself how can i be responsible for another life. another being. and this begins a whirlpool of thoughts/questions/answers/statements. i think of the possibilities of time spent in solitude with my thoughts. would i like to share this with anyone? i know its not out of desire of missing out on something. i feel inviting anyone to become intimate with you is a way of nursing and birthing another soul. i feel we are to take care of each other and be part of something bigger and larger than oneself.

i'd like to write as eloquently as the words i often read from others. i stumble on my akwardness and gawk with wanting something else. is very strange, this english language. at work, i find myself with little patience with people from america. i am drawn to other africans like a moth to light with strange affinity for familarity. and i clamp very hard when approached with the slight touch of friendship. which is really sad because there are good, genuine people out there. i just feel i have really nothing to say and the persistant need to explain the mundance and feeling like an exhibit. an exotic something or another.

i want to make progress and embrace that which frightens me.

Friday, August 15, 2003

i was besides myself several days ago. while at the plantation, i thought she was on the other side of the phone. turned out to be just another southern sounding woman with a name like hers.

Friday, August 08, 2003

this is so wrong in so many levels

Saturday, August 02, 2003

midsummer night morning

first of all, asante sana yinka.
im so loving the mariposita trails. i so badly needed a change of look.

air on g-string never sounded any sweeter than it did yesterday. there i was huggling my ka-zillions of bags from the mexican supermarket under the gastly texan heat waiting for the hourly bus to arrive. wondering, how the hell i go myself to this situation: too many bags and one pair of hands. the texan heat and humidity. folks staring at me in their air conditioned cars and i, staring back at them wishing so bad to show the finger. i mean why stare if you aren't going to give me a ride. so rude! listening to a wedding album and is not like im the marrying type and lastly and certainly not the least, literally spending my last paycheck on fees for next semister.

yet, air on g-string never sounded more divine.

i remember the first time i heard the piece. here i was in a deep throb of nairobi city. heat. dust. people and cars fighting for the right of way, with no working traffic lights may i add. me, seriously broke with only bus fare. as was with the norm then the exception. and in the midst of these rather parched conditions, there was the oasis. music land store. now, nairobi is not known for its wide array of music delights. we dont have music stores that store everything and anything you need to hear before you've even heard it. consequently, it would be safe to consider music land as the tenth wonder of the world.

in the late eighties, music land was one of the two music stores in the capital that sold music. and quite naturally as per the laws of demand and supply, folks flocked the place in multitudes. right. wrong. it was expensive like hell. that and a menacing guard at the door, guarding the very crown jewels with his own life would make anyone turn back home. head looking down. shoulders slouching and wanting that one huff, the stairway to heaven.

i remember braving the imposing and threatening guard at the door and checking out the clarinets that were on sale. its not like i could play music. and read music for that matter. i just liked the sound that come from the wooded thing with many holes. it was deep and groaning. like a hungry teenager in public boarding schools fed on sauted beans and maize garnished by weevils. yet, strangly archaic and primal. it could also be i was fascinated by a blk and white advert for this company that had take five playing in the background. who knows.

i never bought the clarinets, but, i fell in love with bach. and thereafter, vivaldi, hayden, mendelsson. and the man with the hardest russian name that i cant quite spell it tchaiko-whats his full name. over the years i've discovered the singers also. kathleen battle was the very first and most prominent in my mind. not only is a black woman doing her thing, but the voice, in my opinion is the gauge by which all other instruments are measured with. earlier on this year, i discovered other singing delights..marian anderson and ms. leontyne price, cecilia bartoli and of course the great la divina herself, maria callas.

listeneing to the piece and other highlights brought me back to a time with less cluster, more simplicity and a delight of the best of times. and to quote william congreve: “music hath charms to sooth the savage beast, soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” i absolutely agree.

later on this week i spoke with the object of my slurpy fascination. so there i was again..the scene of the first encounter; the restroom. tum..ta rumm...then she comes in. she says hi. i look up from the sink. i say hi back. and quickly dart my eyes back. lest of course, she notices the fire in the eyes. i fumble quite quickly about the conversation we had last evening touching on poetry. i ask whether she likes poetry. she doesnt mind much she says as she touches and re-lines her lips and brushes her hair as i oogle at her from the side. unnoticed of course. i mention she reminds me of someone (insert the turkish de-flower with amazing skills and a desire to save the world). i arch my eyebrows for a moment and transposed back to a time where i glazed at these small breasts with three moles crisscrossing the browned skin. [ inhale ].. i pluck enough courage and ask the decisive question.. do you like t.s elliot. silence. the she asks, 'who is that.' i mumble someother guy..and the fascination is no more. tsk tsk tsk. objects of fascination are just that; fascinating

i wish i were more eloquent on the last post about nostalgia. english really did come by ship. i have discovered how hard it is to describe the most felt emotions with english. since coming to the states, i don't talk much in my other languages other then when im talking with my mother or my roomates. language is such a pertinent vehicle for cultural identity. citizens of post-colonial countries understand this dissonance in a very acute way. english as with french, portuguese and spanish were colonizing tools and the reverbations of its impact as still felt way after the warungis have left. consequently, the inhabitants are left rather bewildered and forced to take sides in identifying themselves with one language over another. m.nourbese philip in she tries her tongue, her silence softly breaks, discusses the context and dissonnance of language by stating that, 'language, therefore, succeeded in pushing the african further away from the expression of her experience and, consequently, the meaning of it.'

today, i'll work on searching for my tongue.