Borrowed Parts

Borrowed Parts

I am lost inside a junkyard of borrowed parts. Not the typical parts you’re thinking about. It’s kind of complicated; but again, complicated usually means “I have too many attachments I just can’t let go at once.” Yes, I feel like I just can’t let go of all of them at once. You see, these parts are habits, I have to intend to get rid of them first before I let them go. But to intend to let go of something that I like is not something I want to do.

Okay, enough floating already. Let me add some sense to all this gibberish. I tend to get hooked on people’s habits that impress me. If I like the way you talk, I’ll probably be doing a version of that in a few days. If I like the way you walk, well, tomorrow I’m rocking that walking style! See, this is a huge problem because over time I’ve had encounters with so many people and so many different things that I liked, I can hardly find myself in the midst of all these skins!

I even forgot how I used to laugh! Gosh, who does that? Anyway, somewhere in between the conversations I’ve had since my last unique laugh, I lost that long laughing technique and now I’m stuck with some weird giggling sounds.

I’ll tell you how it feels to be someone you’re not. It feels superficial. There’s no depth at all! You look at yourself in the mirror and the depth in your eyes gives you the feeling that you’re diving into a shallow pool. There’s just something about being a mosaic of different people that removes all authenticity from an individual.

Even the smallest of things, like the way I orient my mouth in different situations is a problem these days. I try putting my lips together during conversations but it just doesn’t feel right, so I decide maybe a small gap to show some little teeth would do the trick but nadah! Just close your mouth boy! You see, I told you this is a huge problem. In all truth, it’s a struggle I have.

But then I shouldn’t have to struggle like this. Loss of Authenticity is the prize we pay for not loving ourselves enough. It is the cost of singing anthems of low self esteem when we should be out there rocking the uniqueness we carry as individuals. My problem with borrowed parts; smiles, voices, mannerisms, walking styles, is having to sacrifice my effortless originality to accommodate a struggling character.

Okay, I have an answer to which I need an urgent question; yes, that’s right, I have the answer… A clown!

The urgent question… Who am I?

THE JOY OF BECOMING

The Joy of Becoming.

A tweep said,Nobody has figured this thing out, man. That you keep doing, trying, messing up, trying again, learning, and you keep going, because it’s a long ass journey. And also that if it ends, it ends. And its ending is no failure on your part or hers, it’s just an end.

Maybe, Life is not meant to be lived too cautiously, always watching and prodding for fault amongs’t those we develop feelings for , maybe it is our faults that humanise us, maybe we cannot evade the pain and suffering that comes with giving our person to another. Maybe, as Nietseche writes ,that “the point is not to hide from the world but to find a way to live in it and to even find “gratitude for existence.”

Maybe, we cannot really know love without first experiencing loneliness, beauty without ugliness, nor faith without doubt. And these pains need to be preserved within those pleasures in order for the latter to remain meaningful ~the joy of becoming,” which means taking the narrative quality of life as a feature and not a bug.

Maybe,as we try to figure out life , we should be kinder to ourselves whilst taking comfort in words of Soren that “it is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand.”

Notes

Soren kierkegaard

Seven Of My Most Favorite Poems

Comprende?

I have had poems that resonated with some of my deepest emotions during times when I could hardly look at my own reflection. They lifted me from pits that I never thought I was in to begin with. In a generation that possesses a form of godliness but denies its power altogether, I have found powerful devotional solace in reading some of these poems. Here are seven of my most beloved poems in no particular order. 

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.


“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.


“Stopping by woods on a snowy evening” by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


“No Man Is An Island” by John Donne

No man is an island,

Entire of itself,

Every man is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

Or of thine own were:

Any man’s death diminishes me,

Because I am involved in mankind,

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

It tolls for thee.


“If” by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream- -and not make dreams your master;

If you can think- -and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on! ‘

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings- -nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And- -which is more- -you’ll be a Man, my son!


“If you forget me” by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know

one thing.

You know how this is:

if I look

at the crystal moon, at the red branch

of the slow autumn at my window,

if I touch

near the fire

the impalpable ash

or the wrinkled body of the log,

everything carries me to you,

as if everything that exists,

aromas, light, metals,

were little boats

that sail

toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,

if little by little you stop loving me

I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly

you forget me

do not look for me,

for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,

the wind of banners

that passes through my life,

and you decide

to leave me at the shore

of the heart where I have roots,

remember

that on that day,

at that hour,

I shall lift my arms

and my roots will set off

to seek another land.

But

if each day,

each hour,

you feel that you are destined for me

with implacable sweetness,

if each day a flower

climbs up to your lips to seek me,

ah my love, ah my own,

in me all that fire is repeated,

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,

my love feeds on your love, beloved,

and as long as you live it will be in your arms

without leaving mine.


“Love after love” by Derek Walcott

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

About Trying Too Hard

Okay…

Trying to convince a guy in a club that you’re sober is hopeless. Its like trying to convince a psychiatrist that you aren’t mad and they give you that judging look, and now you feel like you have to repeat yourself and end up yelling; then you realize that you might have just screwed your chance to prove your point. That was me trying to convince a nice guy in a club that I’m sober so he could let me sit my tired bum next to a lady. I almost cried. I was holding a glass of water and it looked like a glass of something a sober guy shouldn’t be having. I felt like asking him to sip and see that the drink was just water but the guy was hearing none of it! Hopeless!

Trying to convince people that you’re the right guy for a position without looking the part outwardly is hopeless. You can quote the entire collection of quotes on google but they’ll have none of it! I was at a dinner the other day for medics, and there were awards for such and such category of things and the winners were supposed to be determined through online voting and a panel of judges. So the nominees were told to walk on a green carpet as we cheered them one by one and some of them even danced the heck out of their knees. Poor guys! Everyone actually thought that everyone had an equal chance. Pff! The shock we got!

Getting into a supermarket then walking out without buying anything is a feeling we shouldn’t let ourselves feel, but we do. Man, the guilt! I usually feel like I could literally just walk to the soldier on guard and clear things up, that I’m clean. I’ve never understood why it feels weird to do this, but anyway, understanding has never been a prerequisite for feelings.

Let them be!?

It’s my life bro…

So, its September and the Universities are flooding with young excited fellows joining the adulting team. I told myself I won’t be the one bursting their bubble but again I thought, what’s wrong with some little pointers from an experienced senior? Seriously, I had said I won’t spill any spoilers, unless maybe I got a next door fresher drinking himself to a pulp and spending the night in the hostel toilets. Yap, that’s true.
I was minding my own business like I always did. Just walking around hoping I could catch some serious freshers asking for the bursar’s place. I eventually found one looking for directions but this one was too serious. He was holding on to the corridor walls like his life depended on it, trying as hard as he could to fake that sober look. It was working until he bursted out, “Bro mimi niko poa, ata sina shida.” He was so loud I almost took the nearest exit. He could have just kept quiet I wouldn’t have known that he was drowning in Jeremiah’s water.

Again, I don’t like poking my nose in things that don’t concern me. So I took the news to my roommate; that we got ourselves a screamer next door. Apparently, my roommate had also met him and so this wasn’t me peddling some hot news around. “Ah, just let him be bro.” That’s my roommate trying to sound like a modern parent.

I did. I let him be. But I needed to go to the toilet before I put my tired bum to sleep. So I got up and rushed to finish my business. I got there really fast but the guy inside was not responding, at all, and the door was locked from the inside. I knocked until the neighbours started peeping but still; not a sound! I decided this guy won’t waste my time so I called the soldier to tell the guy to get the heck out of the toilet. He still didn’t move a single muscle.

At that point then, we thought that the guy was probably not well. So we got a chair and peeped to see if there was actually a person in there (I know, pervvsss!). But yea, he was there. Looking all cozy in the toilet floor. Ah, I’ll just have to hold my short call. I’ll have to take it tomorrow.

So, this is what people call excitement? Anyway, who am I to tell people that they shouldn’t sleep in filthy toilets and gutters? Welcome to campus life new neighbour!

The Narrative of A Psychosis

Psychosis

Illustrated by KlarEm

My friend is bipolar. He experiences a wealth of emotions, high and low. Often times, he visits with his guitar to teach me a new progression or goes out with me for walks in the coffee stretches of our estate. He says its therapy for him. I don’t mind. He has battled depression for close to seven years of his life. Those times in the sunken abyss of dark emotions have had a toll on his higher education. He is very good with languages but stands behind the walls of his potential courtesy of periodic mood changes.

He has a beautiful daughter. I figured he loves taking beautiful photos of her because he is also a very skilled photographer. I know he bears a special heaviness in matters parenting because of his condition, but he makes an awesome dad. It is hard to decipher his emotions at times because he is usually neutral from the medications he takes.


He once told me that the line between sane and insane is faint and hard to draw. One moment you would be fascinated by the beauty of a coffee bush and the next you would be counting how many leaves it has. You would see no disparity of abnormal from normal because the psychosis kicks in all too smoothly that you never realize you’re tripping.

He is a legit mwanafunzi (student) of mental health crisis. He boasts of a history in depression, episodes of psychosis, long days and nights in rehabilitation centers and young parenthood. Yet he hopes. He lives a day on another to add up the years he lost to his condition.

My prayers for him go forth in love and in optimism…. because we all DESERVE a GOOD life.

The Echo of Her Absence

A constant through the ages

A riddle, you know it.

by Mwatha

Cardiovascular failure due to hemorrhage and shock. Short and painfully precise. The words in her death certificate. You would think, for a minute, that maybe, just maybe, the doctor sighed the words out instead of dryly heaping the mound of shock on us.  That maybe, the nurses halted their fuss in honor of a departed favorite soul. That maybe, in an all-too-common normalcy of death, they bore in their hearts, for a moment, the weight of a grieving family, a newborn… If only to ease the pain of a foregone decade long grief. 

She was forty-one. Beautiful. She was, in an understatement, a critical thread in our family’s fabric. Intense on discipline.  Even stern. You would see it in the eyes of folks who dared to make her use the ‘visitor’s plates’. Respect. She was a proud woman, a mother….  an embarrassingly warm person. My mother. My father’s rib. 

To us one was given and another taken, 
In a coincidence of events, a celebration of life and a remembrance of death, 
An ever-ticking clock that left us maimed at heart, 
9/10/11, a date like a sign to follow the tide, 
A birthday, a death day, a newborn, 
the renaissance of a mother gone too soon, 
the representation of a paradox of existence, 
Of presence and absence,
An echo of a long-departed soul, 
Alive in the charming eyes of a beautiful baby. 

#A constant through the ages, a riddle, you know it.

Growing Up

A throwback article from when I was 19

It just happens. Inevitably. One day at a time until eventually we become guests at the places we once called home. The homely society casts an eye of expectations and we find ourselves treading thinly on the path of that guiding light.

It is an extremely delicate balance between acceptance and denial. Those who find acceptance in societal expectations quickly realize that, it is not about them. It is about perpetuation of life, survival of the fittest and intrinsic competition to attain top notch self-realization. Those who harbor denial wallow in the philosophies of unfairness and in the old debate of how corrupt and unjust, established systems are.
I’ve been holding this thought at the back of my head for a while. I am nineteen years old, going on to twenty,  and it has been a year and a month since I last saw my little sister…since I last walked through the doors of a place I used to call home.

Slowly, the society is pulling my wings apart, pushing me over the cliff to see whether I will soar above the ridges of opinionated expectations, or  close my wings in denial and fall into the pit of chronic regret.

At this point,  it might seem to me, and to many more,  that to be or not to be is now a question beyond mere will and choice. I, for one, believe in God, and through faith, dare to place my hope in Him in the assignment of a good testimony for my life. I accept that the old cloak of a resident is gone, and behold I am now a guest in our home. I cling loyally to my mantra of catching the elusive end to beautiful dreams, and foresee a bright future beyond the present health pandemic.

#treadingpositively
#Byfaith

Next time tunasomea lib…

A Scene to Ponder…

by Mwatha

Hey Mel, I was thinking... maybe we could link up and go through some of the things we did this semester...??

Yea, sure. I’m okay with that. What do you suggest we go through?

Anatomy, pelvis and perineum and maybe some neurochemistry...

Okay. Hit me up with the venue and time. I’ll be there.

Cool! My place. Thursday 4 o'clock.

Friday 7 a.m…

Kevo, next time let’s just do our revisions in the library.

Yea, totally agree💯

No, I’m serious. I know we said we’ll do some anatomy, pelvis and perineum😂, but next time…library please!!

😂Library it is✌. BTW Mel, the movie was epic, I loved it...

Aahh, library next time!!😂

Like Glass

Like Glass

by Mwatha

No one ever imagines that the next day, people could wake up to a world without them and still live. No one ever entertains the thought that a year could pass by leaving them in gutters because of alcohol. No one ever stops to imagine that they could very easily cuff themselves to insanity as a normalcy because of stress or too much work. It is all so delicate, yet we never realize.


My mum passed on when I was eleven. Home one night, gone the next. Like a candle light extinguished between fingers. Honestly, before then, I had never contemplated the possibility of her absence. It’ll be a decade next year, and the memories of my mother are now like a distant echo in my head, forever chained to the delicate synapses of my childhood memories.

The balance between being the victim and standing on the sidelines is like a schizophrenic mind. Unpredictable. One puff of that cool stuff your friends smoke, the engineer becomes a street philosopher. A yes where a no could have been served, a pediatrician turns mother at 19. A glance where eyes could have avoided stare, an evangelist now feeds on the flock and a poor teen can’t get his head out of pornography.

We ignore too much just how delicate normal is. We scoff at the mirrors that dare to show those lines of weaknesses, baptizing condemnation on all who show their cracks while we harbor mounds of broken pieces inside. We poke on those delicate souls with words and negligence until they shutter.  And when they break we wail because we realize just how delicate they were.
The truth is, the line is thin, and these things shutter when you least expect.

Make a deliberate choice to be kind.