Re-ignite the Dying Embers

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Do you remember… that first time you moved in. When you looked around your little space, and what you saw was the infinite possibilities lying ahead. You envisioned a nice 5 by 6 bed by the corner, a book shelf with all sorts of books in the other. Oh, the paintings you longed to put up on the walls. The picture frames with your smiling face and joyful spirit. The shells you collected from your last trip to the Coast. You saw yourself dancing to awesome tunes from your new stereo as you made breakfast. Singing at the top of your lungs at midnight if you so wished.

Yet today your home brings you no pleasure. The frames lie dusty and lonely, the smiles faded and ghost-like. You haven’t danced in forever. You lost your voice before the serenades to your heart started.

Do you remember… When you got that new job. Oh the paths it illuminated..! The pride at the responsibilities accorded to you. Every day was a brand new opportunity to shine. Every paycheck was glorious. Every meeting was life.

Yet this morning you woke up, but didn’t want to get out of bed. That office has become nauseating. The pennies not worth their worth.

 

Do you remember… When you fell in love. The stars aligned in salutation. The world was suddenly greener, the sky positively blue. The wind whistled in music. There was a spring in your step. This soul ignited your fire. They completed and complimented you.

Yet today they barely exist. Right next to you but you see them not. The spark in your heart was extinguished. The glow in your eyes went out. They are no longer your happiness. You forgot that they ever were.

Do you remember… all the things that made you whole. All that once inspired you. All that once excited you. Do you remember, how they made you feel. Do you remember, how good it was. To see all the things you could achieve. To see the start of your dreams.

Yet today you have forgotten. You have gotten lost in the fears and exhaustion and frustration. And the things that once filled you with light now lead you in darkness.

Remember today. Run your fingers along those tiny walls. Dust the pictures until that smile sparkles again. Put up new art in bright and beautiful colours. Renew your joy at the work that puts bread at your table. Grind those peanuts at the end of the month into delicious butter. Kiss those lips you haven’t desired in so long as you once did. Walk through the memories of all that made you. Let them bring back to you what you lost. Let them re-ignite the dying embers. That you would find a new kind of delight in things old. That you would see a new kind of beauty in what always was. That you would never grow slack in zeal, remaining fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord.

©2019WisemenChronicles

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When did you Last

This is another one of my random musings that has been in mind since yesterday. I hope that as you read it you will consider… When did you last…

Happy Food-for-Thought Friday to you

When did you last
Walk with a smile on your face
Not one that you painted on
That you had to keep checking to keep straight
One that was true
And born of your heart
One that didn’t hide
The frown and the tears beneath

When did you last
Laugh your heart out
Not the kind that is hollow and empty
That echoes strangely in your ear
But that was rich and full
That rang from your soul
That showed in your eyes
And the clutching of your sides

When did you last
Fall gently asleep
Not the fitful restless naps
That leave you haggard and exhausted.
Where you didn’t wake up scared and anxious
Afraid to close your eyes
That took you away on a cloud
That slumber given to the beloved

When did you last
Walk without a worry or a care
When you didn’t stumble from the loads
That weighed heavy upon your back
When you didn’t wipe away tears
Hiding from strangers’ stares
When you walked with your head held high
Your chin safe from trembling

Tell me when did you last
Feel free and unencumbered
When the misery or the sadness
Didn’t prowl in your wake as a shadow
When the yoke of the whole world
Didn’t suffocate your very essence
When the thoughts in your head
Weren’t so loud they drowned you
Tell me when did you last
Find peace within you
When did you last
Find rest for your soul

©2019WisemenChronicles

Dots in Boxes

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Indulge me for a moment please. See these dots up here..? They’re nine in number. Pretty basic. Here’s a simple exercise. Join these dots using only 4 straight lines without your pen lifting from the page i.e (in a continuous fashion). Shouldn’t take you longer than 2 minutes. Did you do it..? Great!

I had my first class this semester last Monday and this is how we got introduced to the course. My, oh my, what shenanigans we pulled. I must have scribbled about 10 lines while pretending that they were four… back and forth, crossing over others, diagonals here and there… all the while laughing at what I knew was just utter nonsense.

So after that exercise, we observed that most of us tried to fit these lines into the square outlined by the dots. This guy (our lecturer), with the slight air of Master Yoda slash Master Oogwey, asked, ‘now, what made you think to confine yourself to the borders of the 9 dots?’ (It is at that point that we started making small sighs of Oh!) He asked another important question, ‘who told you that you had to confine yourself to this box?’ The answer? Why, it is our own thinking that informed our scribbled decisions!

With that, I learned something that marketers need to know (the class is Marketing, in case you’re wondering). I also learned something that I hear often but that hadn’t really been implanted in me. That in this life, we ought to learn the art of thinking outside the box. As a matter of fact, we ought to think as though there is no box. And what I went home thinking is, all the motivational speakers aside, all the quotes and mantras unrecited, where did the box come from in the first place..? Why do we put barriers and limitations to what we can do, confining ourselves to the thought process that life absolutely has to be lived a certain way… that things have to be done a certain way… even when the four bloody lines don’t fit! Still we scribble and forge and force the box to work. When all this time… there was no box. No one said nothing. And even if they did, at the end of the day the choices remained yours, as did the life.

So why did I create my own box… Stating that I couldn’t jump off a cliff higher than a height safe enough to land on my feet lest I suffer broken bones. Stating that I couldn’t sail past the reef into the blue ocean lest I drown (something else we learned that I may talk about soon). Stating that I couldn’t veer off the carved path lest I find myself lost in the wild jungle. Why did I condition my box to believe that if I jumped, I couldn’t possibly fly. If I went into the sea, I couldn’t possibly discover the wonders of the world beneath. And if I went off the road, I couldn’t possibly travel a new land.

Why did I ever tell myself that to fit 4 straight lines upon the dots, I had to remain within the boundaries…

In case you’re wondering, this is how we achieved our task. And surprise, surprise, we had to break out. Ain’t that food for thought.

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As always, do not grow slack in zeal. Be fervent in Spirit. Serve the Lord.

 

©2019WisemenChronicles

Rut-Race

I haven’t written in a while. Well, I have been writing, a lot actually. I just haven’t written here in quite a while. Often I switch on my laptop, all psyched and everything, ready to put down an awesome story. But I find myself stumped and turn it back off. Often I pick up my phone, make my way to my new documents, open a new one, and let my fingers hover over the keypad. But I find my mind lacking, so I hide away my phone (for fear of those idiots who slunk outside matatu windows, waiting for a golden opportunity to make away with the goods). I’ve been finding myself more and more blank. Like I have so much to say. Yet at the same time, I have nothing at all.

Perhaps when I think about it, perhaps if I were to really diagnose what this conundrum is all about, I would say it is that I’m all out of ‘motivation’. Rather, I’m not all out, I’m just in a place where I’m asking myself, ‘for all the thoughts you have shared. And for all the encouragement you have given. What would you say you have embraced? What would you say you have done yourself? Have you been brave, doing the things that scare you the most? Have you loved yourself so fiercely that your good thoughts about you never wavered? Have you lived a life so legendary, that if you died today they would raise a glass to a legend? Have you touched a life in a way that their days shall never more be the same? Have you lived fully…everyday, squeezing every ounce of life, out of every moment… And if you haven’t, why the heavens why not..?”

See, I’m finding myself in a rut…

Have you ever been in a space where you know you want something more, you know you need it. You dream about it. You see it. You long for it. Yet for some reason, you just don’t get off your ass and go for it? Or if you do, you just don’t give it the time, effort and energy it deserves..?

That is me right now. Knowing that I need to challenge myself. Having an idea of what that challenge is. Knowing what I ought to do, or at least the first few steps I ought to take. But then the sun rises. And it sets. Yet still here I am. So when I look in the mirror, when I listen to my inner voice, I hear Po’s tone saying, “I know, I disgust you.” (does he actually say this or am I imagining things)

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So why haven’t I written in a while? It’s because I haven’t reached outside of me lately. It’s because I closed my eyes for a minute, closed them to the newness there is to every morning. It’s because for a moment, I stopped listening to the voices out there and what they had to say. And when you allow yourself to see things the same way every single day, then you close yourself off from experiencing a new kind of awesomeness from everyday life. And the result..? Well, then the things we once held so preciously begin to slip through our fingers and if we’re not careful, one day we’ll wake up and wonder, “what ever happened to that spark? What happened to that bond? What ever happened to that thing that was oh so good, that now it feels oh so bland…”

I’m not sure what I have been trying to say here. But I do hope that in the midst of a bunch of random words written by a soul that’s in need of a revival, there is something for you. As always, do not grow slack in zeal. Be fervent in Spirit. Serve the Lord.

©2019WisemenChronicles

Forgotten

Do you remember that thing you first loved, that which brought you so much joy and excitement, but that you have cast away into the shadows..? What if it’s talking to you now… Asking you to remember it…

Happy ThoughtsThursday to you.

Why have you forgotten me
Left me alone in the dark to die
Why have you cast me aside
As though I never meant a thing to you
Why have you deserted me
As though we never shared a bond
Why are you so far from me
As though I never once was your closest

Do you remember
When we first met
How your eyes sparkled
When you saw me
How your heart came alive
Whenever I was close to you
I was your hiding place
When you needed time away
I was your resting place
When you had loads to unburden
Why now have you forgotten
All the secrets we shared
Why now have you forgotten
All I once meant to you

I am the one that loved you
When the world knew you not
I am the one who showed you
Just how beautiful you were
I am the one that drew out
The fire in your spirit
I am the one who pushed you
To share your light
Why now do you forsake me
As though I were a stranger
Why now do you discard me
As though you never loved me

I sit here watching
As you take your place among kings
I weep in joy
At the warrior you have become
I continue to cheer you on
From the depths of my dejectedness
I continue to love you
Through every triumph and every moment
Hoping that you would remember
Me your first love
Hoping that you would come back
As though you never left

©2019WisemenChronicles

The Grind

I have had a number of sleepless nights lately. Nights spent trying to balance a life that teeters on the edge of chaos as deadlines rush up. It made me think of all you driving yourselves mad working to find your treasure. It made me think that surely there must be something worthy of praise in the end. For you and for me too.

Happy Food-for-Thought Friday to you.

The Good Book says
That a little sleep
A little slumber
A little folding of the hands
And poverty will attack
As an armed robber in the night
So I lie awake
Burning at the midnight oil
At dawn I rise before the sun
Walking with it to the West

They told me
Mocking and encouraging
That there be no hope in the land of the living
If I lie as one with the dead
So with every ounce of my being
I toil and I moil at my earth
In every second of awakedness
I push and I pull at my portion

My eyes burn with fatigue
Yet still I work
My back creaks and aches
Yet still I break it
My hands tremble with weakness
Yet still they are put to the grind
My feet swell and blister
But there’s not a stop to the walking

There are tears
As the sweat and blood flow
Lamentations are written
In the silence of the night
The spirit called Quit often visits
In soft whispers and gentle caresses
Yet all these must be shaken off
As though they bear no weight

Today I set out
Gathering all my zeal
Hoping that in due season
There will be a harvest for the sowing
I rejoice in glorious labor
And the fruit promised for bitter roots
That when I lay my head to rest
It will be in pride and honor
That when it is all finished
T’will be celebration for a job well done

©2019WisemenChronicles

Bloom where you’re planted

I traveled to one of the regions of our country that is known to be highly marginalised. The kind of place that is mentioned and people go all solemn as they say, “Oh. That place where civilisation does not seem to have arrived. Aren’t those people the ones that keep fighting left, right and center..? Aren’t they the ones that uphold the outlawed traditions in the name of culture..? They must have been cursed by all the gods.” Okay, perhaps I exaggerate a bit there, just a bit.

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It was an 8-hour trip and my, what fun that was! Lord grant me the capacity to travel more and more. That in my short life I will get to see the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps and wear flowers in my hair in Honolulu. That I would cross the slightly stinky canals of Venice in a canoe and marvel at the architecture of the pyramids. But I digress.

So we traveled. And we saw the Universe stretched into infinity in its beauty. The Aberdare ranges half-hidden in mist. The Great Rift Valley which truly is, great. There were zebras grazing alongside cows. Baboons that greeted us. Dust and acacia and everything else that defines the grasslands. There was a rock upon which I sat and wrote a love letter. It was magic.

Finally we arrived. And we met a most interesting bunch of children! What we expected was perhaps an emaciated bunch, a group of doe-eyed, innocent souls, ravaged by drought and famine and constant ethnic clashes. What we expected was a people with very little hope.

What we found however! They are the most energetic bunch ever..! So warm and welcoming- they spent half the day just celebrating us in song and dance. Their confidence oozes out in a way that makes them so bold, the king in every little boy, the warrior in every little girl.

And they have dreams. They want to become doctors and engineers. They want to see their homeland from the sky. They want to become teachers. Yes, in this day and age when teaching is hardly considered a career, so many of them want to be just that, so that when they are grown, they will give in equal measure or perhaps more, exactly what they get from their own teachers.

We talked a lot. And through the talking, I got small peaks into their souls. They are kids who want to defy everything the world knows about their home. They want to do a Perez and break out of their situation. They want to soar far, far above the clouds. They are just like you and me, holding on to every morsel of hope, waiting for that day our wildest desires are achieved.

I looked into their bright faces as they danced and thought that surely they must have discovered the secrets to a blissful universe. A world where ‘impossible’ and ‘unreachable’ are alien in their dictionaries. If Lupita had accompanied us, she would have shed a tear or two as she implored them to hold fast to what they desire, for their dreams are valid.

We went there hoping to impact their lives. Instead, they impacted us. They reminded me of a sermon I once heard years ago: That it does not matter where you’re at, or what you’re circumstances are like. You can bloom where you’re planted. Cacti bear flowers in the deathly heat of the desert. Lilies spring forth from pools of oxygen-sucking water. Roses emerge from brush and thorn. Each with their divine beauty. Each bringing color and light to this world. It does not matter. None of it does. Just bloom where you’re planted. And as you do, do not grow slack in zeal. Be fervent in spirit. Serve the Lord.

©2019WisemenChronicles