I heard the clatter of letters through the post box as I walked out of the bathroom after a long weary bath. It was almost midday on a wet day in late February 1993, and there was very little for me to cheer about. I ignored the letters and walked into the bedroom. It was pointless rushing for the post, there was no reason why anything should have changed today, for that matter. I had graduated the summer before and still walked around town like a vagrant without work. I had sent out over two hundred applications and still hadn’t received anything positive. I was running out of time, patience and money. I was behind with my rent for over two months and the landlord was crowding me. I had negotiated my position having mentioned to the estate agents who ran the property that with my university qualifications sooner or later I would be employed and would be in a position to pay my bills. That had been over two months ago and I was now nearly into the third month and still had very little confidence in my position.
My bedroom was empty, except for a bed and old television. My clothes where laid out in a large open suit case that took up a good section of the room and I wondered each day if my situation would ever change. I chose simple clothes for the day, in fact there was hardly anything else to choose from as I couldn’t buy any new clothes since I hadn’t earned for a long time. I slid into old jeans trousers that I had worn in college and a worn out looking tee-shirt. I threw on an old denim jacket and then proceeded to seek my driver’s license. It was pay day in my unemployed career and this meant collecting an unemployment benefit’s cheque this time of the month. At a ration of eighty pounds a month I could barely survive. However it was something to look forward to and I wasn’t knocking it as it came in handy for food. After putting on an old pair of trainers I left my apartment without pausing for a glance at my mail. This was my routine this time of the month and I was sticking to it. There was no point in breaking it by checking the post as what lay there were only the dreaded bills. It looked as though no matter how hard I tried there was always one thing each week to sink my demeanor.
I walked unsighted down Clarendon Street where I lived on to Seven Sisters Road and headed for the tube station. I passed people and felt their presence but refrained from making any eye contact. I was in my own world and wanted to stay there. The understatement of the month would have been I was depressed because I knew that I was beyond this. I believe that depression comes when one first hits rock bottom, I think I had hit rock bottom and gone further underground. Now I did not know what I felt. I told friends that maybe it was amnesia as I could never remember anything or it just might have been a world of illusion as I placed my mind miles away in the future where things were better for me. I had graduated from college eight months earlier and still did not know my results, my fees had not been paid and having been escorted from class more than once I had managed to negotiate with the university a practical compromise. I pleaded my case to sit the final exams even though I could not attend most of the classes and offered to pay my tuition as soon as I got a job. The university had agreed to my terms, although now that I had graduated I was wondering how it would be possible to get a job when I had no proof of my certification. Having spent four years in higher education putting in every ounce of my being in passing my exams I was feeling suffocated from my chances in life. It felt like an uphill struggle all the way. I had watched my friends graduate from college while I stood outdoors like a spectator as having not paid my fees it was unfair that I should stand amongst those who had. Now I felt as tough as nails believing that if the past hadn’t crippled me then why should the present. I told myself that whatever the outcome I would not cave in to depression.
The events of the day happened as they normally did with nothing to brag about! Eventually I returned home to confront myself. My helplessness sunk in like a rash and I walked through the one bedroom apartment like a caged animal. I was frustrated with my life and my existence. I needed something fast and I needed it to be really good to help me through life. Having resided into this frame of mind I then began to seek a way out. I brooded over things past and present seeking reassurance and inner strength to raise my moral.
‘I had missed out something,’ I told myself, for today was unusually harder than other days. I decided to check my mail believing that maybe the Lord would send me something positive to release the distress I felt. I ploughed through the junk mail for a while and then came upon a letter from one of the companies I had applied to. I had gone a step further with this application and attended an interview and now awaited the results. I put all my mind and spirit into it, believing that this was it. I believed that this was the one thing that would save me from my situation. I prayed that it should be before I opened the letter and read its contents.
Thank you very much for coming up to our offices. We have received many applications and wish to tell you that unfortunately on this occasion you have not been selected.
We wish you all the best in your future career.
‘Why me?’ I exploded in disgust! After everything I had been through even this letter had failed me. I was saddened by it all. It looked as though the Lord had abandoned me, he had forgotten about me and my wishes. He had betrayed me and left me to rot in life. My pacing continued as the adrenaline built up in me. I was really having one of those days where I needed something to happen for me. I needed something to go right. I turned on the old television to liven up my surroundings while I paced as the silence was so deafening that my heartbeat and the insults I was shouting could be heard for miles.
As I went through the motions of my sufferings my door bell rang and I rushed to it believing that my calling had finally come. I heard the doorbell ring and I told myself that the Lord had answered my prayers. I opened the door and standing out in the darkness was a man who declared himself as a representative from the television licensor. He wished to see my television license and asked if I had a television. With the background noise glaring away I couldn’t disguise my position so I declared the truth and told him I had not yet purchased a license. He offered to see my television and I invited him into my apartment. The state of the television was enough for the man to give up on me. The picture was blurred and the antennae turned out to be an old coat hanger I had found in the house. The licensor said it wasn’t worth charging me and left. In that instant I realized the gravity of my situation and my spirit sunk to its lowest.
I lowered the volume of the television and sat down, broken to the knees at how isolated my life had become. This was truly happening and I had finally reached rock bottom with no help being granted to me from the Lord. I felt the pain sear through my veins and into my heart and I broke down and wept painfully. I cried for a while and then drifted into sleep. I must have slept for almost two hours for when I woke up I felt different. Something in me had gone. I had lost a part of me, as if it had died in an accident. My situation hadn’t changed but I felt better because life was no more what it seemed to be. My life was no more about getting the things that I thought I was meant to have. For some reason or the other I understood that my life was meant for me to look beyond things, beyond man and beyond what man believed needed to be right for one to be happy. I accepted my life for what it was because there was no other way out for me. In the day I had made the best of what I had and the night had come without any changes. All the time I had tried to seek for answers, relief from my pain and depression I had sunk deeper into the well of agony. Finally I had been trapped, idolizing what man believed was the only way to survive and then it had finally broken me.
In the spiritual world to build a foundation of our existence we must all ask ourselves this question: “What is our first love?” The answer to this question determines our survival and the patience we have in enduring the longsuffering that exist on this mysterious journey.
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
The club was steamy as smoke rose from the cigarettes of the many sailors and the hostesses that entertained them. It was a sixties environment and for the life of me I could not understand what I was doing there. I listened to the sound of old songs bellow from the gramophone and knew I had landed myself into an old war movie. I sat in the corner observing the scenery in wonder and then I saw them approach me. They looked like brothers only one was much taller than the other. They sat down without asking for an invitation and began talking to me as though we had known each other for many years. The shorter of the two did all the talking making claims of his escapades and boasting about his charm. His claims were backed up by the way the girls immediately swamped around our table and gave him all their attention. I saw him rise up with one of them almost lifting her off her feet as he guided her to the crowded dance floor. His taller companion remained seated and quiet watching his friend dance with the lady eventually he too was approached by another girl who appeared to be shy and they joined the others on the dance floor. I watched in fascination as the two couples in very different styles let themselves unwind to the music. How I had come to be in this place was a mystery but what was obvious was that I was there for a purpose.
They eventually returned to the table and continued talking in the same way as before. I couldn’t hear the words clearly but from what I could see the short one was assertive of his position and gave the impression that he was in charge of all around him while the tall one was quiet with a resolute determination only depicted by his silence and the peculiar look in his eyes. I sat there mystified believing that anytime soon some one somewhere would eventually interrupt my dream and shake me back into reality.
As time would have it I was roused up from sleep as the morning noise filtered through my windows and realized that I had been fully engrossed in a dream world that had sent me back in time to the sixties. The interesting thing about this dream was that it was vivid and I felt that it had a message from the Lord hidden beneath the surface. My first thought was to remember what I had asked of the Lord. Yes! I remembered my prayer had been for him to shed light on the direction of my life. I had wished for a sign, anything to give me hope that the path I was dreading wasn’t covered in doubt and fear. I was afraid that my decisions in life had been plagued by guilt and the sole purpose of building prosperity. For the first time in a long while I was taking a step back and denying myself my ambitions holding firm to the virtues of faith and relying on the Lord to carry me to my destination. I had isolated myself from everything and everyone feeding solely on revelations in my life yet weakness had crept in and again I delved in self pity hoping after time that the Lord would show me a sign that I was on the right track. I couldn’t remember when I had last had a revelation and hoped for one with every ounce of my being. It looked as though in response to my prayer this was what I had to go by. This dream was all I had and it was up to me to figure out what it meant.
I prayed to the Lord to shed light on this dream as I knew it was a gift from him in response to my wishes. It was Wednesday and the week was still young yet with my state of mind I wondered with apprehension if I would make it to the end of the week without loosing my mind. I knew Saturday would be okay and I felt this because the weekend had a way of taking care of itself, but who could tell about Thursday and Friday? I was only in Wednesday and there were two more days to get through before the weekend. It looked as though in my ply to avoid incessant badgering for success I was now sinking into a state of desolation. I needed a way out of this maze and I hoped that the Lord would guide me through it.
I lay in bed wondering how these two sailors could be of any importance in my life. Eventually it dawned on me that the sailors where two days of my life. The short sailor was Thursday for I expected to be rash, assertive and abrupt in all my decisions on that day because that is what the dream had foretold. However Friday would be a long day and the night would seem very far off. It would be harder and colder in its approach but in the end I would find it to be the better of both days.
It is hard for me to tell you that these is how these days turned out to be not by my own doing but by the grace of the Lord. The spiritual world is so mysterious that its mysteries can only be lived to be seen. I write with the hope that through my words when you make your own discoveries in the spiritual world and jubilate at your experience it can bring back memories from my story that would make you believe and strengthen your faith in the Lord. On this occasion I told my mum about what I had dreamt and my interpretation of the dream as I knew she understood the spiritual world and knew I was level headed enough not to let my imagination get the better of me. Things turned out as I had dreamt for on Thursday I found that not to my doing my friends called me. Friends I hadn’t heard from in weeks called seeking my advice. Time flew by as we talked about times past and before I knew it I was having dinner and on my way to bed. In a way I lived through Thursday without knowing what had happened. It had been short, abrupt and I had been assertive and boastful in a way as I talked to friends about my own experiences in life. When Friday came I was in recovery mode from a hectic Thursday and found it slow and cold to start with. The day was long and I wondered with hope what the night would bring. However it ended with me going out to the pictures and this is how I managed to survive through to the weekend.
Friday, 23 April 2010
Beautifully written in a first person format, Leslie Musoko brought me into the mind and thoughts of characters of immense spirituality seeking their destiny, in a masterpiece composition, ELI. Revelations between reality and the spirit world conflict within their minds, as his novel brought me into the depths of human awareness. Skillfully written using multiple dimensions of thoughts, feelings and actions of his protagonist, combined with the minutia of detail Leslie Musoko amassed from his life experiences and research, he constructs a philosophical pulpit. I felt transported into the mind of his character Cephas; seeing through his eyes, feeling through his touch, sensing all around him whilst listening to his thoughts, understanding his faith and witnessing first-hand his cognitive awareness. Kudos to Mr. Musoko for achieving such an artful literary feat.
I knew I was in for a treat from the very first page, during the Prelude, he writes, “Cry I say, cry I wish, yet there are no tears from me. I am all cried out, all dried up.” For those words written told me volumes about Leslie Musoko’s sensitivity and literary skills. His pen scribes an acme of articulation, reminiscent of eternal quotes and commensurate as a Shakespearian coinage. The introspective contemplative lamellate of his characters’ personality, juxtaposed against their logical layer, or public façade layer, divulges the depth of Musokos’ erudition of character development. The quest to find his character’s sanctuary in faith brings us all closer to our own. “Eli” translated meaning “My God” was exclaimed by Jesus Christ on the cross. “Eli, Eli lama sabathani,” said Jesus. “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
Eli is the second of a trilogy series of writing about Cephas, a Christian put to tests of his faith through a series of challenging circumstances. Achieving an advanced caliper of literary percipience, Leslie Musoko’s Eli is recommended to all readers with a cultivated appreciation of character development, epic storytelling, and faith based philosophy. I found it to be challenging and stimulating. One thought, written somewhere in the storyline, Musoko stated how odd it is for humans to have evolved to a point in their use of language where at times it is used to mislead or mask one’s innermost feelings. How absurd a culture would embrace such deceptive tactics, he pontificated. Mr. Musoko leads no reader down a path of deception, nor does he fraudulently portray his thoughts. Eli is communication at its highest level of veracity.
Believing that we are all called upon this earth to do something is one thing, however putting it into practice requires a level of commitment that very few of us are willing to put in.
As a child I read all the books I could get my hands on. I did not care about the subject or what it was about I just read. Mine was a hunger that needed to be fed and escape from my environment into another, time and again was much needed respite. Soon I was contemplating my dream. ‘If only’, was always a good place to start. I identified my weakness. I needed experience, I needed to understand the world I lived in. If only I could travel, if only I had been to the places I wished to write about, if only I had time to dedicate to my dream then nothing would stop me. I traveled, I gained experience, I learned a thing or two about the world, time was afforded me, I decided to write.