29 Jan 2008

I Wept For My Country

Last night was one of those nights when i have deadlines to beat and the only way to beat them is to work really late. Anyway, by midnight, i was done but my internet was misbehaving. After i finished the last article, i was only too happy to get into bed. Bad habit i have acquired when DVP is not around...watch TV till i fell asleep. Last night however, not even the House MD could lure me to sleep. When that happens, I try watching CNN. Take it from me, at 2 am , the last thing you want to hear is how the Kennedy Family have endorsed Obama blah blah. I tossed and turned until I gave up. I was disturbed. Not only by the fact that Lars (DVP) is stuck in Baringo, but by what is going on in my country. It been over a month now since we went into elections and a month of unrest in a country that boasts to be the epitome of peace in Africa. I sat up in bed, thinking of how hot I was and I made to open the window. It was drizzling outside and the breeze has never been more welcome at that time of the night. Then it hit me - I had the option to open the window or close it to suit my needs. There were, however, some of my countrymen and women in makeshift shelters in open areas who did not have that same pleasure. Not because they did not once have that option, but because what they once knew as home was a pile of ashes. I thought about a woman who had been on TV with her less than one week old baby. From the back of my eyes, tears welled up - and stung. It was a painful thought and equally painful tears. And when the breeze turned into a squall, i chose not to close the window. I wanted to feel the cold. I wanted to not have the option of closing out the cold and snuggling deep into my covers. I came () this close to walking outside and standing in the rain. But i figured that if i caught pneumonia and died, I would not have helped that much. It's not that I was seeking to help, I was seeking 'kinship' by putting myself in the same 'shoes' as the people in Jamhuri Park.

I wanted to feel what they were feeling, experience the anguish of being displaced, and though I could not get to the level of frustration at not being able to have a place to call home anymore, I could, at least teach my mind something. I could engrave in my mind's memory the feeling of that night, the cold in my bones, the feeling of not belonging would so deeply etched, that the next time I looked at any person who was not from my tribe, I would remember that night and think twice before I spoke or acted. I would remember that on that rainy cold night, no tribe was immune to the chills and the fear of uncertainty.

Note: (18th Feb)

I drifted off to sleep bundled up on my bed with no covers and my window open. When I woke up in the morning, I had a cold, that lasted 2 weeks. and you can be assures that in those two weeks, I was more cautious on what I said about people of other tribes, I was more cautious on how I related to others. And I still I'm and I guess that was the best humanity class I will ever attend.

24 Jan 2008

A Knight's Tale

Wednesday morning, last day I’ll be seeing DVP in a while as he is leaving for his bird watching escapades in Lake Baringo and the surrounding areas. So, there I was, trying hard not to sulk, trying even harder to have a decent conversation with him as if I was okay with his leaving for a week, yet he is leaving for Denmark in two weeks. I make it a habit to watch at least 10 minutes of CNN every morning as I get ready for work. Jenny Harrison or the other weather lady (the Hispanic one) was talking about about the weather in the background and i mentally switched off. I was aware that the weather was over and something about this years Oscars and the nominees of the same. I became attentive around the time they mentioned Cate Blanchett(what with recently just watched Elizabeth - The Golden Age), then drifted off again. I was about to leave the room when i thought i heard the mention of the word dead and Heath Ledger in the same breath. I stopped dead, no pun intended, in my tracks. Slowly i walked back into the room, picked the remote control and sat down on the bed. Took me a while to register...Heath Ledger and the dead part. I just sat there and stared at the TV screen , showing clips of him, his daughter and his ex-fiance. Then Lars, who was still in bed and virtually blind without his contacts, asked, 'Heath Ledger is Dead??' It's like he had just picked the words as they had been running through my head and reconstructed them in a such a way that i understood them. Like completing a jigsaw puzzle by moving the last piece that i had been struggling with. Actually, those same words had been been colliding in my head in no particular order, completely refusing to make sense. Ain't it funny how your brain refuses to digest information that it knows is not acceptable. Like 'You're fired' or I'm not in love with you anymore' or ' We tried our best to revive him / her...' Funny i should say those words, since i heard them a day later, still in regards to Heath.

Let me start on how we met.

I'm a sucker for children's films, and medieval times films. I got introduced to the world of romance by a historical romance novel, the ones with Lords, Knights, serfs, wenches, Ladies, ladies-in-waiting and chamberpots. When all my friends we reading Mills n' Boons and Silhouettes, I was on to Amanda Quick, Connie Mason and Johanna Lindsey. I was getting Timeswept into lands of vikings and into the arms of outlaws. Now, i live the reverse of that. I'm in the arms of a viking and in the lands of Outlaws. Sometime in 2006, i got a copy of a film that changed the way i looked at Heath entirely - A Knight's Tale. It was awesome, splendid, out-of -this-world.

I fell in love with Sir William Thatcher/Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein of Gelderland instantly.

Thus begun my obsession , which was later fueled by Casanova, then The Order, The Brothers Grimm (which he appeared with my other love, Matt Damon- said in a sotto voce in as i imitate 'Team America' Mmmaaattt Dammmmmooonnnn ) and the the grand finale, Brokeback Mountain. He is or was up there in my list of hot men, with the likes of Patrick 'McDreamy' Dempsey....

.....Johnny Depp (ooh, I'm thinking of him in The Libertine) and Matthew Mcconaughey.

I have to admit, Heath rode at the top of that list more so because he is Aussie.

Now he is no more. as of 3.36pm, when the medical workers moved Heath to the floor from the bed, used a defibrillator and CPR, and pronounced dead. More here.

He was a sweet man, i never met him, but i have watched clips about him, can't quite remember if it was on E! or some other celebrity channel but no one said a bad word about him. It was all about how easy it was to work with him, and how eager he was to learn and deliver. Unlike most young actors who money and fame cloud their judgment, Heath (called by many Ledger) maintained his down -to - earth personality.

It is sad that all we have left to see of his fine work will be 'I'm Not There', while he is not really here. Rest in Peace, Heath, my Knight.

15 Jan 2008

Kenya Election - One Good Outcome

Desperate times calls for desperate measures, quote loosely used. Like sleeping in a stationary train in Mombasa because we could not travel to Nairobi due to insecurity reasons after the Kenyan General Elections. The Steward thought that rioters just before Voi would try remove the Railway tracks. Why anybody would want to do that is beyond me, but the again, haven't we seen looters getting away with Persian and Turkish carpets and microwaves from supermarkets even though they live in mud huts with cow-dunged floors and no electricity or solar power? Back to the train...I tried so hard to ignore mosquitoes till I couldn't take it anymore. I woke Lars up, and kicked him out of our cabin. It was his fault anyway, he had insisted on leaving the window open claiming it was too hot. Well, it was but anything was preferred, anything but the mosquitoes. Shutting all windows and the door, I declared war. Armed with a towel, I thwarted them, one by one, and watched triumphantly as they fell. All the was missing was a war cry and war paint. At this point, I suddenly have a mental picture of Jack and his army of choirboys in Lord of the Flies. Minutes later, (read 15 minutes less of an hour later), I was done... and victorious, just in time for breakfast anyway. As Lars counted each mosquito bite, with a twinge of pride in his voice, I cursed them. (Image courtesy of Diary of A Mosquito Abatement Man.) Now all you proudly black people out there know how it feels like to talk about mosquito bites that no one can see, only that endless itch to elaborate your agony, while our melanin-deprived brothers and sisters proudly display reddish bumps and get all the sympathy. Unfair I say!

A few more days of forced holiday made sure that our finances took the easiest way out. And final minute get-away-from-trouble decisions took care of the remaining coins. And that's the birth of this Blog.

Now that desperation (for cash) has hit, and hit very hard, have decided to turn back to my old flame - Writing. Writing and I have had a troubled relationship, one marred with infidelity and domestic violence. I'm ashamed to say, that my faithful estranged partner has been the victim. I stand culpable of all charges, and i have nothing to say in my defense. And if Writing ever asked for alimony, I would pay, non-begrudgingly, and maybe even offer to double the amount...As I write this, I'm all apologetic, teary even, at the neglect I have been giving my faithful partner and who has, despite all, stuck with me, always there, even when I was not aware. And I feel really bad that I now remember him (notice it is a he) in time of need, driven by my greed.

I'm reaching deep into my memory, to remember how it felt like to touch, to hold, to be engaged to Writing. How it felt, to run free, hand in hand, thought in thought, in sync with each other, joint at the hip...no, joint in mind. I'm exploring the possibilities of being re-united with my long lost love, my soul mate. It's a pity that I'm getting back to mend our relationship with an ulterior motive - the prospects of making money. It does settle my guilt conscious though knowing that Writing does not mind what I use him for, as long as it not libel or slander.... and plagiarism. In our relationship, those are our Trinity of Evil.