Someday

 

Dear Someday,

I hope this letter reaches you. I meant to tell you all this in person but something came up, as it always does. I’m sorry. I promise, Someday, well meet.

I always talk about you. I think your name has stained my lips with a  promise and  its made for colourful conversations. I talk about you with my friends, with my family, I even find myself talking to complete strangers about you. I tell them about everything we have drawn up in those little dream books of ours, they seem to love you. The people around me haven’t been too impressed with some of my decisions lately, so its kind of a big deal that the like the sound of you. Heck, I really like the sound of you too, you make it sound so easy.

I often revisit those notes we drew up in the hours spent scheming in leu of work. At the top of one of the pages we started a list with “6am Wake up”. 6 am wake up, boy, I remember being as excited as you were when I wrote that down, it was powerful. 6am meant getting a jump start on any day, with everyday we would have had this full day to get things done. I think I must have slept with the laptop on that night, because the light from my screen tends to mess with my REM cycles, so I had to snooze a few of those 6am wake up calls. Dont worry Someday, Ill do it.

Its such a shame its not as easy as writing these things down and then just watching them happen. We could definitely be kicking back with a talk glass of something cold to celebrate our winnings. I mean, look at these lists, of course wed be well on our way to something major. Running a 40 minute 10K, entering a writing competition every month, training 3 times a week, eating well, meditating everyday, and reading at least 2 new books each month. Why wouldn’t that lead to greatness. Only if it was easy as writing it down and watching it happen.

When we talk about all the little things and all the big things that we could be doing, its like you were painting a fantasy. Asking me to just erase a whole bunch of stuff that’s been around me for so long that world looks fuzzy without them in it. You have the best intentions when you try to teach me about taking chances. The whole thing about missing 100% of the chances you don’t take is straight out of some Rich Dad Poor Dad speal, but sucks that it makes sense.

I know you aren’t as far away as I’d like to think sometimes. To some degree you scared me with your willingness to break the mold and walk where there wasn’t a road. I’ve stacked a lot future against your name, I guess its time I shouldered my share of the burden.

See you soon,

See you at Sunrise.

 

Yours

 

Blissful Nomad

 

Gold-Mind

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There is so much gold inside your longing to be you, this is the most precious intent. No heavy cloaks of foul feelings can dim a diamond cut by the goodness you feed your mind. The mind, so precious an instrument, when seeded with love will yield abundance. Make the mistake of welcoming thoughts with ugly features and you run the risk of stepping into an ugly world, cold and uninviting.

Its okay to be you, let the manikins muse. So often revered, this jury of your pears has played a role in stifling your sunlight. You have earned your summer, so smile and forget shame. Learn to love all that your heart conjures in its hunger for life, its thirst for love, and its wants in the throes curiosity.

I have never seen a rose recoil in shame. It blushes often, but bears its head with pride, unashamedly a rose, be a rose. Let all the goodness in you blossom and let the world return the favour. There is nothing more contagious than true happiness.

…If you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Roald Dahl

 

 

Father Forgive Me

On his face, the years are telling. His eyes, once alive with colour, were now shadows, long bled of there vibrant qualities. His skin, once taught with youth, draped as the last shroud of a man who has forgotten himself. The ushers of the  great hall were accustomed to his coming and going. It had been years since he attended a service accompanied by wife and son, now he creeps under the silent vigil of the crucifix to say his prayers. His lips had counted away the years on the varnished pine of that old cathedral.

Every man has in him a story without an audience. To the crucifix with its burden still pinned to it, he offered the secret journal of a man burdened by bitterness. Some of his hidden stories he is liberated from, jaded by the decay that meets thoughts long since unused. Others still hang to him heavily. The icy countenance of the grey walls gained a kinship with his story. He spoke of family, he spoke of life, he spoke of the dark folds hidden in his memory, he cried. He spoke of Mary.

Mary was the persistent thread, a vibrant yarn of red woven into his life patiently. Now a frayed parchment of a man, turning to the abundant flame of faith to help seal his loose edges. He was riddled with questions. The cold bottles he swallowed whole, hadn’t simmered the fire in his belly. Maybe a prayer rushing through the hollow house of holy communion could extinguish his inquisition.

For a man that the world had forgotten, Mary and the church offered sanctuary, she gave him a family again. He hadn’t swooned to the holy books as she had done, but the unrelenting love she claimed came from her faith was soothing to his spirit. As a boy he was hard to love, they said, no mother to teach tenderness, so her loving him was as water on wanting earth. As a boy his spirits were hoisted higher than most, and he had a nose for finding trouble enough to test his fathers heavy hand. In learning his father trade, the firm hand of an infirm mind, he watched his palm weep the faces around him to a cold distance. Only Mary’s warming smile and vibrant eyes, speckled with blue, were true and brave enough to warm him to the notion of worth.

He always blamed himself for the return of his father in him. He regretted that on that evening he was his fathers son again, riled into agitation by his sons action. That evening had lived in every evening since then. Any evening quiet enough, any evening potent enough with liquor to ease him into sleep would conjure the incident to life. He always woke up as he hears the last note of life, the last tumble at the last stair as she laid to rest. She was only hoping the calm him. There was ruckus, then there was silence. There have been 7 years of silence since.

**********************

On leaving the church he followed the empty roads to where there is a mounted stone and his Mary’s name etched on it. On that day it had been 7 years since he let her rest, the earth was never a fitting place for her. He’d always thought she would lay her wreath for him, never him for her, so he watched in ceremony and laid his apologies where her memory lay. The sun was running away from the day, the last light sinking into the ground waiting for the night to greet him.

He was startled by a sound. Greeted by two nimble arms pulling him close, little Hope wrapped her arms around her grandfather and help him tight. His only son had arrived to remember his mother, the two exchanged nods and separately made peace. Hope was alive by his feet looking up at his weary face with hers still full of life. She greeted him with her eyes, bluer than life and swollen with undying youth, speckled with blue. Playing with the ends of her red sweater, tugging at the loose thread at the sleeves. He stopped her short, stilled her hands and held her close. She saw him as Mary had always done, a man worth loving. A promise of life had found him, in Hope.

 

 

Choice

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Sometimes its easy, sometimes its hard, but making the decision is key. There are a thousand tributaries rooted in every second, every moment presents an option to reshape the course of the river. This body of time has life and a mind of its own, it keeps coursing, swallowing the world in its fluid steps. Gracefully supple, undeniably powerful, you have to take care and take to it in the right way.

There is a song that plays in the air as it cuts a course.The sweet and sour notes of this able bodied wine, aged since time in memorial, winds a testing harmony, demanding action or provoking complacency. Branches will fall from family trees, the ground will give way, there will be rapids that will beg you to find the strength to find air when it leaves you. When you fall victim to the notion that you are merely a passenger, you turn you lips to sour curves when greeted by the dissonance in the melody of you maladjustments. These twisted features steal from your chance to take ownership and rescue your rhythm. Tread carefully, pause and tread water, find the strength to command you minds oars.

I was in the habit of watching her lead. Infected by everything inside her, I lost sight of sense while spending time in her tranquil torrents. Like anyone else, I had my senses, I had my character. Without faltering I proved myself the master of my own thoughts on many an occasion rich with with her clear waters. She paralyzed this truth, with rapids, blankets of wash that showered me, washing my hands clean of confidence stolen from worldly things. Naked, I felt nameless, the river left me with many questions. Who was I? Where was I headed.

I believe our words are heavy, so I heaved a statement into existence that yoked my sense of self to effort. The river will always run, its race is longer and truer than mine. I will dive in and run with it while my body is able, while my breath is in action I will work with the waves and hold up my end of the bargain and cut my own course. There are a thousand tributaries rooted in every second, every moment presents an option to reshape the course of the river. I will be ready when the rapids return, captain of my voyage.

 

Writing 101, Day 4: Seriously lost 

 

We slip through this river of time together, I remember your faces. It’s a crowded place sometimes, at times its deadly silent, I don’t know where this current takes us, but I’m certain our journey’s end. We are never in the same place twice, that is the nature of this river, it is the beauty of time.

We start off with nothing, we leave with nothing, somehow somewhere in the middle we feel as though we’ve earned things, gained things, made things ours. Sometimes we hold tightly to everything we have, sometimes we lose a thing or two to the white wash of passing moments. Maybe we lose them because we couldn’t hold them tight enough, we were not strong enough. Maybe we lose them because we held on too tight, or maybe we lose  them because there was nothing to there hold on to in the first place. 

Loss is inevitable, I have lost and left a lot behind, I am familiar with the sudden sense of lacking. I’m not saying I am happy about losing, I’m not saying it has gotten easier with time, but I look at the losses differently now, I see what it is left, what it was I truly  lost. 

I never thought I was losing you when I dreamed of change. I assumed, I assumed you would follow, that you would finally see the visions I painted into our summers. I just assumed you’d always be that spontaneous voice on the other end of the phone, coaxing me out for another day under the sun, another day to settle our tumultuous spirits, away from where the world teased us into tightly clenched pockets of confusion. I miss always knowing your home was mine. I look back and call for you at times, I try to pretend you’ll come, but you only wave and smile at me, I guess that’s enough for now. 

I never thought I would lose you, my second in command, my partner on my every conquest. We took to life with the winds of youth at our wings, with the endless string of chances we thought we had ready at hand. They doubted us then, they are doubting us now, but still we cut our way against there negativity. It’s a shame that we seem to doubt each other now, just as much as they did us.

 I never thought I’d lose the stage that claimed our memories. Behind our closed doors we dreamed of building our legacies. I realised that I had to swim to build that dream, treading water has lost its allure. 

I remember our wildest nights. When the sun forfeited its flight, we did what they all did, we marched amongst the wild and free. I hated when the guise had worn thin, I could see the binds. I was taken by fear when I saw the truth, what I thought to be my freedom had held me captive. 

You were the faces of my memories, I forever hold you close. It is not because of lessened love that I appear to remain hidden. It isn’t you that I am leaving behind. I know that you have seen them, those troubling sparks inside me that have always burned brightly and coloured our conversations with something memorable. I want those flashes to be a beacon in the night. I will disappear into black, but I promise you’re not forgotten. Watch for the beacon and you will find me. I hope you have the patience to wait.

Writing 101, Day 3: Top 3 Selected, 2.

Daily post have presented a nice challenging task for writing 101. Select 3 important songs to you, they say. Little did they know about the panic and intense pondering they had plunged me into. For me, selecting only 3 important songs to talk about, is like gathering my close friends and family into one room and telling them that only 3 of them are important, and only 3 of them will be joining me on a special prize holiday. It’s mean and it’s cruel, but it definitely got me thinking, like one of those house fire scenarios, those “If your house was burning, what 3 things would you grab?” Type questions.

I remember the songs I chose for my last contribution to this challenge, last time round. At that point in time, those three songs were the three songs that I felt deserved a mention. I have decided on a fresh three today. A trio that are relevant to my current lever thinking. So I appologise for the lack of diversity in genre, because it’s hip hop time, we’ll be touring some fly rhymers, with some dope commentary on some straight truth! Here are my current 3 important works of hip hop.

Can I Holla At Ya – J.Cole

 

J.cole wins his audience with a level of honesty, he is a clever lyricist who doesn’t conform to many of the popular culture structures of rap. “Can I Holla At Ya”, with a Lauren Hill sample, mirrors an all too familiar sensation. Looking back and finally saying those words we never said. J Cole steals an opportunity in each verse to address 3 different subjects with honesty and a humbling openness. The emotional content is rich and without a doubt, very raw. He talks to an old sweet heart, exploring the possibilities of what could have been and the connection that may still underly, he wants to revisit the one that got away and he offers is a front row seat to the dialogue. He then portraits an honest monologue to a father figure, one that was filled with it’s fair share of tempestuous emotion. From a boy he remembers that relationship and carries a burden inside him, he shows us the development of the relationship and the underlying resentment, “by now you’re probably and old man, but I won’t be satisfied until we throw hands…” The reality of that relationship does scare call, maybe a part of that father figure lives on within him. He then addresses a childhood friend. From J. Coles start to his success he has understandably changed and the faces around him have changed in certain ways. There are people we lose touch of ,after a long time it’s hard to identify where we fit. Do we pick up where we left off? The beautiful thing about writers, poets, musicians, is the ability to connect with an audience on relatable strands of thought. J Cole knows how to do this well. He is calling his subjects aside in memory for an honest heart to heart. When was the last time you wished you could pull someone aside for an honest “Can I Holla At Ya?”

 

Family Business – Kanye West

 

Kanye West has played with my loyalty dramatically over the years. From late registration, college drop out days through to Yeezus, I have both celebrated and detested his work. But if he played it safe he would not be the Kanye I respect as an artist. Family business does what it says on the tin. We all have our moments of weakness, we have our strengths and down falls. Blood is thinker than water, sometimes it’s this density that might feel like a lead weight holding us back. Family is not a perfect word by any stretch of the imaginatiom. We are victims of our own humanity, so the ambiguity of character can cause harmony or friction at times. It’s undeniable that family is forever, just because I detest my cousin, it doesn’t make him less of a cousin, he simply becomes a cousins I hate. Kanye identifies different family elements, giving a guided tour of the different characters that piece together to make that family. “You know that one auntie, you don’t mean to be rude, but every holiday nobody eating her food…” Home truths. He plays with humour well. We will run shoulders, but as we done together, sit together at the same table we are bound to bump shoulders. We all have our demons. “We ain’t letting anybody in our family business” we may not be perfect, but we are one.

 

Bitch, Bad – Lupe Fiasco

We are confusing ourselves with popular culture. The conflict between the cool and our core is bordering on disunity. I have chanted along to “I like bad bitches that’s my fucking problem” by ASAP rocky, Knowing full well, I would feel a certain way of the special woman in my life would associate herself with the term “bad bitch”. We are casual with this conflict at times, we can nonchalantly draw the line between entertainment and personal values, those core principles. We feel as though we are relatively mature and can make that distinguishment. Sadly we are confusing a generation that are coming in after us. Lupe Fiasco addresses this confusion in Bitch, Bad. He talks about the possible confusion of a young boy watching his mother sing along to her favourite record, referring to herself as a “bad bitch”. He recognises her a source of support and strength, and in his head builds a picture of a bad bitch as a strong dependable woman to his mothers likeness. Lupe moves on to contrast this image by addressing the potential outcome of some young girls listening to the music, watching the videos online. The internet is there for everyone, even moderately tech savvy youngsters can discover the world, in good and bad ways through it, ” It doesn’t matter if they have patental clearance, they understand the Internet better than there parents”. The young girls attach themselves to a very different definition of a bad bitch, the video vixen, forever flaunting her flesh, the apple of the protagonists eye. Lupe furthers this confusion by introducing the boy to one of those little girls. Both have an image of “Bad, Bitch” with both conflicting with each other’s definition of the idea. He never knew a bad bitch to dress this way, in his mind a “bad bitch” was firm source of support, the the young girl “Bitch” was still an offensive term. There are a host of contradictions that we look over because they are a done thing, having slowly become some kind of a social norm, breeding confusion and conflict in the way we, and the generations coming into there own, perceive themselves and the world around. We say “it’s just music”, We are lucky when we cab make that distinction.However music has been a big influence in social culture for a long time, Lupe does a good job of discussing the consequences of these contradictions. Words have power, and popular culture does have the potential to confuse us and the budding generation, leading them astray. Message from me and Lupe, think about what you’re actually saying.

 

Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With a View

 

The prompt for the day was to write a descriptive piece. I had to think of one place I would love to journey to, I’d have to go there, I’d have to share it with you, paint you a picture of this important place. I turned to nostalgia for my answer, and I wrote, what I’m hoping to be an effective portrayal, of one of my favourite weekend outings as a boy. Enjoy! 

 

It was a weekend, It was always a weekend when we went there. We waited until the sun was nice and round, full and clear, sitting perfectly in the sky. 

There was a long stretch of shore line. I’m not sure what you call it when a man made body of water meets land like that, but the grass was right up against the water. You could see right across to the other side if you stood at the right place. Sometimes the water went on forever, an endless sheet of dancing sunlight, dropping off into the distance. The whole thing was like a mirror, wobbling and dancing. This wasnt a river, or a great ocean, so the water had a bit of elegance I guess, because it danced a shy little dance against the warm air that swept through.

There was a large building, it was the unmovable guardian of the water side. It stood sturdy and still, it was the long standing sanctuary from the Zambian sun. I could tell it had been there for a long time. It had these cracks that traced its walls, like wrinkles on a face that has seen more than its fair share of sunsets, I’m more than sure that it had seen its fair share of setting Suns over Mindolo. It’s once white walls were faded and had clearly been kissed by the sky’s offering during the rainy season. It was an old building but it housed everything we needed, the bar, the restaurant, the old slanted pool tables that sat right in front of the dj booth.

Between the mirrors edge and the old building, there was a wide stretch of grass. It was littered with rounded wooden tables, revarnished on occasion, but sporting there age in withered edges and dented slacks. There were unevenly spaced deck chairs huddled around them, waiting for the crowds. I remember how those tables attracted the herds of folk, hooves of happy patrons clip clopping across the worn grass paths to those sun lit perches. 

I could tell people went there a lot, I could tell because of the grass. There was grass everywhere, but in places you could see it had been worn away by the frequent visits. Around the picnic tables you could see the green bleed to gold. I can imagine the little feet running around the table, as the adults sat down, drinking their cold drinks, drinks far too bitter for their youn mouths. The adults would occasionally stand to have a dance, joining the little feet in tracing another map of a joyful weekend in the blades of grass. 

There was always music in the air. From the heart of the faded white building the disk jockey would spin his afternoon magic, he kept the air filled with music that kept the spirits high, matching the tempo of the peaking sun. He had a way of making it so there was always a song that made mum and dad dance, I remember mum shuffle in her seat pursing her lips the way she did, I remember dad stifling a laugh, I remember us all laughing.

 I remember the fishing rods that dad would make up for us. Dad always brought some hooks and a reel of fishing line along with him, they might have been guitar string but dad was always resourceful like that. Past the big building and further away from the crowds, there was a place where the reeds had grown wildly against the wavering mirror. Dad would fetch us some reeds, he tied the line onto the ends and fix our hooks with his unmovable knots. He would help us bait our hooks and sat us down by the waters edge. It wasn’t very deep close to the grass, when the water was clear we could see the little fish swimming underneath the semi permeable  mirror, I liked how sometimes I could see broken pieces of the sun in it, stealing a moment from the sky to dance in the water. 

Everyone threw there sauced and seasoned meats onto to the barbiques. There  barbiques pits everywhere, each was stood next to the picnic tables. With a hiss and a subtle mist, the air came alive with a world of flavour. Dad would watch over the pit and turn the pieces of meet with an experience eye, sending another cloud of flavour in the wind to tease the other tables who had just finished there share, or were readying there food for the fire. 

We enjoyed the day until it was close to spent. Dad always liked the way the sun dipped in the water at the furthest edge. The sun dawned an orange hue, lowering itself into the water. I have watched dad look at it the same way every time. He watches very closely. He watched it until only a small corner of the sun was left peaking out of the water, the whole sky was tainted orange, the air grew cold and the loud music played on. There were less of the yoingervoices. We knew this meant it was time to go home. I always savoured those days by the water, the sun catching in the shimmering sheet, at Mindolo where we forged our memories.