Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Stranger things have happened...

You could believe that the worse thing you could do is listen to the word of someone else, a stranger for that matter. They are not clairvoyant I hear you say. You could also believe that the worse thing you could do was take it for granted that you are not yet beyond your sell buy date, that your time hasn’t passed. I know where you are going with this, I hear you say, but I’m not convinced. Sorry, I’ve been there and done that.
Humor me this one time. Say you listen to this stranger and it works out as he says, I’m not saying it will but just say it does. You would be one step richer, one step closer to fulfilling your happiness. Or say you change your mind and accept that you may not have seen it all. That the trials, tribulations and the heartache are still just worthwhile for one more time to see things to the end. You just never know it may be your time, your place and your day.
There I say though, be wise but not in your conceit for that which has been is now and that which is yet to come has already been. If there is vanity in everything that we do then you just never know…

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Get in line sinner I was here first!

He took the dictionary and smashed it hard on the table shattering the glass beneath and scattering the beads that lay in the saucepan. He turned, reaching and then looking for it. He was moving, snatching the phone and throwing it violently against the wall listening to the sound of breaking metal as the fury burned within his soul.
‘I am flawed,’ he whimpered, breathlessly. ‘I am indeed truly flawed.’
And then he was on the ground grabbing his head in his hands and locking himself away from life as he had come to know it. The bars in his despair where closer than he could have ever imagined. The nights were longer, the waiting nauseating.
‘I can do this I know I can. Yet I fail to see the purpose as I am already there. This voice makes no sense, it comes with a penance that leaves me distraught. How do I do it, where do I start?’
Endless questions, time afforded, reasons. Yes! Reasons! They where there when one needed them but still they were difficult to accept. A man can do good when it serves its purpose. A man would sacrifice when he sees the benefit of it. Still what lies in a man’s heart is what he will do when he faces the truth. This is the tell of his darkest hour. On this day he will make a prayer. It can go many ways but here is one way.
‘Dear Father, what does this sinner tell thee that you do not already know. I have failed to comprehend the wisdom that you have shown me through the years. I have failed to hear thy voice when confronted with the truth. I am my penance when my lust overcomes me. I fear my wrath because it controls me. I fear my folly because it is my disguise. Guide this servant to hope and thy faith. Guide this servant to the riches of thy bosom. When a man faces the storm he should be able to cry out. Call to his maker and father and say forsake me not for my burden overwhelms me. I am thy son and need this break father. Grant me this wish and make my joy holy. I cannot tell what lies in my heart because this sin that I commit is new to me too. One thing I can promise is to uphold my end as your grace desires. I am the fool with needless words in this prayer. I am the beggar that steals from your table. I am shameless in my search for victory. I wish for those things that I know only you can provide. I am lost father and seek you more than ever. I am lost father as I seek a path of escape. Make my burden lighter and remove sin from my shores. Make my burden lighter and take away resentment from my bones. I need your help father and your aid in my plans. I am dead to this world and hopeless in promises. I lie, cheat and steal with false promises. Help me dear God for I have fallen from thy grace. This is the prayer of the fool that kneels before thee. Help this great sinner to find peace and good shelter. I ask this through your son our Lord and savior. I beg this through our lord Jesus Christ, Amen.’

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Word for word...

I am not held captive by the body that surrounds my existence. On the contrary I know very well that I direct and tell it what to do and how to think. This has been the case from its inception even though it took us a while to get to this place. Today it listens to me, applauds my reality. It agrees, that I cannot succumb to its whims because I have its greater interest at heart. In this partnership we share a bond. I say we must go through the valleys, some darker than others and then crawl through the thickened verges to emerge as one.
There have been those days when I have seen this body of mine collapse in a heap, broken and despondent and there are other times when I have seen it race through time. Neither occasion has changed me. Unlike this body of mine I do not age or become shaded by my experiences. Instead I learn more of its world so that I can help it more to succeed amongst its own. It’s a funny thing my job, I learn more to help that which uses me without its knowledge. It is not a fair partnership but I’m not complaining because I am rewarded far greater than it for my purpose and service.
I have to say that I am dumbstruck at times when I’ll be insisting to this entity of what will come to pass. I shall tell it repeatedly and be ignored with insolence. Eventually I will see it bawling or moaning as it does and I shall ask myself why it fails to heed the voice of one that has direct access to privileged information. In its world they say I cannot talk about myself this way because I am one with it and what we share should be as one. I’m done with all the niceties.
The fact is I am the life of this body that surrounds me. It will perish but I wouldn’t. I am not its doubts or its uncertainties. Neither am I the fears or failures its feels. It does all that by itself with something called a brain. That which beats rapidly in its chest cannot overcome who I am, for I cannot be physically exchanged. Neither can I be measured on a scale crafted by other bodies similar to the one I live in. My name is spirit and I am here for eternity whether in this reality or the other.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Ring Leader

All along I thought this inferred I was responsible. That what I had started, created would have a rippling effect and make others follow in my footsteps. It began with a phone call I received on a Saturday morning. It was simple,
‘You are needed,’ followed by ‘the client has asked for you.’ However nothing is ever that simple as it seems.
I gave this some thought and decided that this was my opportunity to ask for those that needed more than I. Their complaints had kept me awake for many nights as I tried to figure out a way for them. Now it was their turn to get something back.
‘I cannot help you, unless you pay for overtime. I have told you on several occasions that this is what the team needs. You have failed to listen. I can’t help.’
I had made my stand. I was taking the mantle, standing up for what I believed in and hopefully those that needed the most would profit from my bravery.
‘Wrong time and wrong place to be asking this of me. You must go to site. We can talk about this another time.’ Was the reply.
‘Perfect timing I guess since as you never listened before. If you need me I would need verbal consent that you would adhere to our terms, that’s the best I can do.’ I said the words through gritted teeth. They would taste like bitter tablets in his mouth but in due time he would know what I had done for him.
After an hour of hurling stones between shores our battle subsided and my wish was granted. I did not need the money but others did. I was setting a precedence that would make change inevitable. This was what was required to keep the boat afloat.
Two months later in a meeting when the crises had reached a level beyond comprehension, I was put to trial for my endeavors. Oh don’t get me wrong I had earned recognition. Even got promoted to the top but still some situations are just bad no matter what you do.
Anyway in the trial I stood firm, believing that I had stood up for what was right, justice for those that needed. And as every trial goes there have to be witnesses and mine were supposed to be the needful. Naturally I looked to them to follow my lead make us stronger and we shall all be winners. There was no one behind me. They had scampered behind excuses and let me rot before management. They had too much to lose, they had family and everyone else to take care of. It was better to be poor but keep the little they hung on to.
There was a lesson to be learned from this experience. Leadership was about sacrifice, knowing that you did what you did selflessly without personal profit because in the end there were no guarantees that your time or effort put in would be rewarded as expected.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Friend or Foe..

I will make you a better writer the Lord said to me. First I would take everything that matters away from you. This is not a test although it would seem like one. This would feed you emotion and compassion in your words and thoughts. When you feel helpless you will need love and kindness from others. When this passes your words would ring beauty and there would be peace.
Next I would take away the good health you so closely standby. This you relied upon, to do those things that come naturally. You will walk miles and feel like you are crawling. You will run lengths and feel like you’re drowning. As the weight of this shadow crosses thy path you will feel wisdom and add this to your words. Without this wisdom you cannot return to what you have written. You cannot read without feeling a sense of elation. This is my second treat to bring you to life. You have been punctured yet stand to be counted.
Now I would take something else that matters to you. This is the curse and disease you live by. I would take victory, your words and your vision. This will be your blindness and cross to bear. It is a crown of thorns that separates you from the others. It is at this point that you will turn to me and cry:
‘Father I hate my life and this wretched feeling. My ores are wrecked in this boat of despair. Give me a break and don’t make me forsake you. I am but human and need spirit to live.’
You will think you are at the end when these words escape you. Then I would answer your prayer as I always do:
‘Fear not my child I have reserved something for you. Your term is completed sooner than you think. I am not the enemy but a friend indeed.’

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Indelible Vision...

The main area of the canvas was covered in a blood red stain. In the centre of it was a black object, somber, a lone human represented by a line. It looked like it had been striped off any sense of dignity, a lost soul of insignificance that had given up on the world around it. The artist had chosen the world around it to represent blood, a wilderness of uncertainty, penance in an Armageddon of sorts. The dark object a reflection of the self within and the darkness of the human succumbing to what it was surrounded by. He watched it with some interest.
‘This is how you see yourself?’ he asked.
‘This is how I feel,’ she replied.
He was silent, observing. He let his mind absorb the moment. We got to these places in life when we could see no outlet or instance for reprieve. We were drawn in by a force of loneliness, loss and illness. Our disease was life itself. We felt and saw darkness in every corner of the universe as we fed on it as much as it did on us. Unfortunately in the long run it had a wealthier appetite than ours and fed at our soul. This was eating at his friend’s and he could see it in her work.
‘There is no light in this room,’ he commented.
‘There can’t be when we get to this place. Light is our darkness, this is what we have,’ she replied.
‘Perhaps because we think this is all there is, this is all we know,’ he said silently as if he hadn’t heard her.
‘One with darkness doesn’t mean we are dark. It could be a place, a passage, a period in time,’ he continued.
‘Or it could be our eternity,’ she said.
‘I guess that would depend on if we controlled our own destiny,’ he replied.
‘You don’t think we can. I think we can make ours. This darkness can become ours if we choose it to be.’
‘Then my question to you would be how did we find it. No one chooses helplessness. It is when they get there that they discover it exists. We are a people that find places in life, peaks and troughs laid out in our path. By the same token that life can bring us into darkness it can also take us into the light.’
‘You are doing it again, you are playing with my mind.’
‘I am calling a spade a spade,’ he replied.
‘And I am telling you that my spade is darkness now,’ she replied.
‘No argument there. It’s just that the operative word in your argument would be now rather than eternity. No one knows that far ahead.’
There was silence as they returned to their thoughts. It was almost impossible to resolve arguments such as this. They resonated from centuries and represented two sides to a coin.
‘I hate you now more than anyone I know,’ she said quietly.
‘I know.’
‘But you give me hope,’ she smiled.
‘This I know too.’
‘What would you call it?’ he asked, he was curious.
‘I don’t know. I have very many things in mind but I can’t find the words. What do you think?’
‘Indelible Vision.’
‘Sounds deep, profound,’ she said.
‘It should do,’ he said ‘This is an important time in your life, let it mean something.’

Friday, 22 April 2011

Take me back...

Or should it be take me back if you can. Silence, I’m all that has been said and there’s nothing else you can do now but take me back and hope she believes you. Over and over, in your mind I lurk, I am one dish that is often served with purpose and intent. Fair enough you were provoked but was I necessary? Hear the headlines of my fanzine, watch your mouth before you hurt someone, think before you speak, keep silent if you have nothing worthwhile to say.
I sail over rooftops as people hear me from their bedroom when grown men scream at each other. I am the words from your lips that have made her frowsy and a slattern. Don’t you know that even the sybarite treads cautiously in my presence? Pounding your fists on your head won’t resolve this situation, I warned you about me, a rogue of sorts imprisoned until released to lash out at those I’m directed to. Even those who grasp pieces of me, stray fragments through thin walls shake their heads in disgust. Tone it down they say, that temper of his would kill him. When you were young you had all the excuse in the world now keeping me out there is letting the fox run riot in the pen.
Take me back and seek forgiveness, take me back and avoid retribution. Fury may have caused me and perhaps on this occasion I came out the wrong way but after me follows sorrow. I work better under different circumstances and I know for certain these aren’t them. Okay it was spontaneous, a rush of blood to the head, you were bitter and I was spewed. However when one suffers so does the other and when this happens I prefer being a thought than the real thing. So take me back if you can for I am the words you should never have said.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Temporal Enemy

My patience is your fury, my absence your state of ignorance as we have not become enemies by war but merely a season of time. Solitude seeks this path and for the victim the matter is personal. I bear more from this burden than you can ever imagine so do not let your bones wither in despair or the curtain drop in your wrath. We both want what’s good for each other as your journey is as important as mine.
Between places is uncertain and sometimes difficult to explain. Fend off the delirium temporal enemy when tough love becomes necessary. Take comfort that in our green veins runs the blood of he that knows best. He separates two to create one, as we become the pieces of a greater mystery. Our mirrors of perspective shadow our blindside, they are the flat foot that imprints the pavement; a raiment of distaste to the vulture that craves ignorance, a cherry on the pyramid to the flirtatious dove of wisdom. Your judgment of sorrows is but a sigh in consideration for if I fail the alpha I shall have no breath forever. Hate me my temporal enemy but love my spirit of faith and courage. This I call a fair trade of peace for we aren’t solely bound by the thoughts we inhabit as the deed is fulfillment.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Epistolary to the future

You cannot put a time and place to it. Perhaps the tears in your eyes are the giveaway that you still remember. The truth is no one tells this story better than you do. Do we really come of age, find out that our past was meant to be for our future to hold a purpose? Hard to explain the experience, for who knows what story they wish to tell until they try their hand at it.
There once was a time when my mission in life was to seek out those places and people from my dreams. Eventually I could hear myself whisper, ‘fait accompli.’ Only to be followed by, ‘Now what?’ It was as if finding these places and people brought me to a full stop. On this river road to nowhere one easily became aware that one wasn’t better than the world they had been given to be a part of. It was as if whatever one desired had already been provided for the time that they needed it. I began telling myself fervent is the nature of the man that ascends beyond the stars. I would listen to the heart within and it would give me the sounds of places I knew of. Suddenly I would be able to hear them from a distance in many volumes. Train lines overhead, a bright afternoon, tracks lain out miles ahead of me and all around me, would be this continuous pounding noise. Then would come the shadows as one crept beneath the tress. I would remember vividly because I was there. Inside this nest that rattled silently the sound of my own voice, ‘the landscape is now different you can’t return to the past because before you matters more than behind you.’
When this wouldn’t suffice, I’d ask myself what an epistolary to a future me would read. ‘It was eons ago but it seems only like yesterday to you. The things that you do not know of will become known unto you when you need to know of them. The times when you wait can be idle, distant and much alone as they are real. Do not fear for you shall connect the dots when you realize that you are still just I. It is amazing that when one has all that one has asked for one still needs more. You see it is a constant thing in one’s life to see if future would surpass the present and past. As I write to you with ignorance of who you may be, I have that which I do not know of that is why I seek that which is already mine. The truth to you my future is that I am the light in this darkness I created for myself yet I carry a light to see through it. I do not write to you old fellow for criticism of who you once were. Not my desire, for I never kept you away from the safe house you now inhabit. On the contrary we created it together, me looking towards you for inference because you alone are where we wished to be. No not me, I pencil affably because as time has revealed we still remain avid of learning about us. I shall leave you with one piece of advice. Keep those hands of ours real by trying them at different things for in my humble opinion it was the way I got to be you. If you call the future what you wish it to be it shall come to pass as you say. I celebrate alone today as you open my letters to you for if I knew this much then, it must be amazing what I know now. Take care, I know I am meeting me again where ever you may be and I am glad because I dearly hoped for this day to come to pass.’

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Basket Case...

On this lonely stool that I berth my squeaky behind, do I timely separate fear from the self. Before the rhythmic chimes of the turning pump I look unto fear and the dirt it accumulates. Fear is my corruptness. Had I learned anything in this enduring odyssey it is that to reach the purpose I serve, I must lose the fear to find the self.
Here indeed is my ruckus, ye have said that a man is cleansed when he is bathed in water, yet if water is mixed with wine, oil or meat does it make it clean? I think not. On the other hand a drop of ink in water stains its color as does a pinch of sugar its taste.
Ergo is a new wisdom proclaimed! I am as clean as the deepest seas with experience like the things that lie within its depths. I am not corrupted but reflect corruptness like the colors that surround me. Peace is the blue sky of my favorite morning that brings the sound of the quacking seagulls. Joy is the yellow and orange in the setting sun, a brightness that lasts for a short while. Darkness is a deep moonlight of fear that hides the truth in a black sea.
Ergo I shall take precaution in these words of wisdom to proclaim my wings of freedom. I am still the clear water of the sea but my color before man is a reflection of what surrounds me. I am no basket case before him but simply a reflection of one.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

This child of mine is my favorite...

A quirky brainwave led by a shuddering lapse of concentration. Have I been fair or just been manipulated? I saw calamity in their eyes and pledged allegiance in love. From within though, was a sharp gasp of conceit! It is true then that we do have favorites. It is true then that out of many we will pick a few.
There is no dark shadow to dart beneath or a fissure below to seal off this weakness, for none is loved less but one is favored amongst many. Effortless is that which is given for the favorite. A heartily endeavor and sacrifice is made for others so that they are not forgotten. I am the shameless and passionate fan for in the favorite I see myself as I see them within me. Not to say otherwise for the others, it is just that this particular one remains a mystery.
So I plead my cause and at this junction I take furlough from thee, not to sully that which must come to pass. No one can say they do not have favorites. Nor can they guarantee that there is no exception to the rule as far as all are concerned. It is not based on what others see or how we are judged. It is quite simply just how we feel.
Dare I say then that in the context of oblivion it is also the will of our maker to give accordingly as he sees fit. He is in us as we are in him so why do we moan the good fortune of another. And so I plead my cause humbly in this new light continue to express gratitude in what you have received for know from within that you are favored amongst many…

Thursday, 3 March 2011

High Wycombe...

The fog I had seen through the bedroom window for miles finally cleared to reveal the hillsides that gave Buckinghamshire its air of beauty. I wandered down the path for a while and then skirted a sinuous route behind several bungalows before breaking in stride to cross the small road that led into the cul-de-sac. The grass, so green in the gardens, was groomed like the beard of an old man and it left me wandering what it would be like to thread barefooted on it. In the mid afternoon I could hear the children playing but could see none of them. I walked blindly through the small village mesmerized by the peace and tranquility that stemmed from the rural countryside. It felt like the moors but with houses, equidistant from each other as a finishing touch to an already polished landscape.
I felt the urge to scream, even at the expense of running and breaking the silence but I kept my peace deciding that just the mere thought of this action gave meaning to the moment. I had read about it in books and even had the opportunity of witnessing it in films but living in it was different.
My Mum had departed three months earlier having made the journey with me to ensure that I settled in university and I was now left to discover for myself the true identity of my aunt and cousins. Things had been different with my mum around. We shared the beauty of the countryside and compared it to the home we had left. At eighteen I was poised to make my own decisions in life. I had settled for electronics at Manchester having failed to make it into aeronautics because of the lack of places on the course in Loughborough. Oh! How I had wanted to learn about planes, to fly planes and to wear the uniform. Yet even the serene hills of the midlands could not assuage this desire. We had driven for endless hours over hills in search of the university to no avail. In the end the next best thing to aeronautics was electronics.


The trumpets blared at us from the television set as the carolers sung their hearts out to celebrate Christmas. It was my first Christmas away from my parents and I wondered what the festivities would have been, back home. I was not complaining about moving to England and the dazzling scenery of the countryside but the difference in the values of the people was certainly something to ponder about.
As I sat at the table listening to my cousin’s banter I reached for a chocolate sweet in the basket.
“You should not eat chocolates they are bad for your teeth. I taught my children from young not to eat chocolates because it is bad for them.” I heard my aunt say.
“I don’t think having one chocolate once in a while would kill me.” I responded shocked at what I was hearing.
“Well that is how it usually starts and then before you know it you have bad teeth like most of the young people around these days.” She continued, her eyes looking at me directly across the table.
“Mum, leave him you know how these people are, we call them bush people over here.” I heard one of my cousin’s say. “What he does after he eats is usually go straight up to his room and start reading. I have complained that he has no social skills but he says nothing. Rarely have I seen a boy so quiet.” She said teasing me to say something.
“Well over here if he cannot talk then he cannot have anything in life. This is not back home, you know.” My aunt said.
I took the comments in my stride feeling like a jackaroo on his first day out wondering how it was possible that one could be talked at in this fashion. Was it possible that I had to defend my reasons for eating a chocolate? There had been a time that my aunt had even complained that I refused to watch advertisements on television. She told me that they enabled me know what to buy in the shops and so they were compulsory to watch. I found this bizarre having known all my life what I wanted before going to the shops given the amount of money I was going to spend. I had explained to her that it was not the fact that I did not want to watch adverts but that I used the opportunities to switch through the channels and check for other programs. Well this did not get me far because I was reminded again of how little time I had spent in the country and how little I knew of what was required of me. In the end I was shunted into a world of silence to listen and understand what it took to survive in England.

I walked through the small tunnel that led into High Wycombe town passing a fellow traveler and his Pomeranian dog reflecting upon the challenges that had managed to manifest themselves in my newly found life. I never heard my aunt or cousins talk about the beauty of their surroundings. They never seemed to see the life that lay beyond the intellect that man had granted himself. I was no fanatic of agriculture but no one could discount the absence of pedology in a place that changed so rapidly mile after mile. Even the narrow roads where a feature that could not be overlooked, hedges grew in close proximity to the road that climbed into a small forest in which one could lose one’s self in just seeking for adventure. I pondered at what would have been had I grown up in the area. My hunch was that hopefully I would not have turned out as my aunt, stuck in an artificial world suffocated by rules in society that were as misguided and hopelessly insular to what the human mind was capable of. I had no doubt that no one could miss the beauty of the scenery but what was the response to a society tied up in rules, class segregation and whims born from ignorance. Where they truly happy with themselves? No doubt their world would come crumbling down if one threw them into a dimension that they had never experienced before. Or maybe I was the loser, an outcast in a place that I did not belong to, seeking to be part of a society that did not welcome me. I listened to my thoughts meander through the meadows that climbed into the hills and I felt alone in my new world. I had dreamed of England, back in Cameroon wishing to seek my birth roots and a place that my parents had told me was were I would garner the best of educations and yet deep within my heart I questioned the people and their motives. Surely not everyone could be like this? I did not know many people in the country yet but having started making friends at college, I begun to wonder whether they had drawn the same conclusions about me. Was I too quiet? How could one talk about what one did not understand? Here I was eating heavier food, getting used to the pound and at the same time understanding how to manage my own bank account. I was filling the gaps as I went along getting to know town after town and appreciate the mannerisms of people. It was a challenge to deduce when someone was being sarcastic or serious, and even with this load bearing down upon me I was still getting the tenth degree about my life on Christmas holidays. I had talked to my teachers in the faculties, talked to the people in the banks and even began socializing with some friends yet I never felt as though I needed to change myself or put on this collar of class. Surely my aunt and cousins were wrong about England? If one struggled so much to be something that they weren’t how could they be truly accepted in society?
The doldrums of my world kept my mind busy as I circled the small town courtyard and I decided to make the long trek home. I simpered at my own ridicule deciding that time would tell and life would grant me the answers that I desperately needed.

Today I like to think that High Wycombe was a place in my life that sent me to the eighteenth century and a time of carriages and the beauty of the countryside. My values in life remain intact having learned from the many years I spent in England that all was not what it seemed. Maybe as a child I had received the teachings of Christ differently. Perhaps as God said in the bible he had known all along before we were conceived in our mother’s womb of the type of people we would become. I had taken the right measures to ensure that I did not fall a victim of this misguided pride. In the spiritual world I had learned to seek the seat of humility to gain recognition through my actions rather than words. It had churned my existence making many friends in life and understanding the cultures of many different people.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

When people talk...

They say things like you don’t know me. With my back against the wall I have very little to lose. No gifts from the pot bellied man sliding down my chimney. No stopping at a red light at 3am in the morning. Am I not aware of the perilous nature of my existence? I have received obloquy in the best of times yet come back strong and unabashed.
Then they would say something like you don’t owe me. How can you? When all you see is your side of things, as if my purpose has always been yours. Am I the parent that must care for the child or the defender in your rye court of justice? The view from your mirror is a tawdry reflection that hides the mote in your eye. Can you see me as me for a change and not the you that’s scared of living? What is this message that you bring forth bearing tidings that rue the day I met you. Yonder sheds light beyond this fracas for I know that I have been with myself longer than you have.
Now and then they would say you cannot change me. I would change my own life for I have done so many times already. I have changed the way I walk, the way I dress and the way I talk. I have changed my eating habits, schools, jobs, exercise routine and views. I have changed many things, where I go to, where I’ve been and where I want to be. Your platitudes are in parody with the people that bore me. When I’m not with you there’s a lot more going on than you can imagine so go do your thing to those who need it.
When people don’t talk life talks to them. No one's privy to this except them and their maker. I guess there's no running away from this particular voice...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

God's time is the best...

Finally on its way, laden with all the necessities to carry me forth. I have waited for this moment for many days. It has been a countdown for years. I’d turn up at the docks and be told there is nothing for you. It’s not time yet. I return home disheartened but my spirits again replenished as I realize I haven’t completed my work. There would be always something that I had failed to do or see. So I would work at this until it was completed and again return to the docks with searching eyes. The answer would be the same,
‘Go home it isn’t yet time.’
Today was different because the answer was different. The message was, it has just left the docks and it’s on its way so be prepared, it is now your time. In one way I am ecstatic because I have been waiting for this moment like forever. In another way I am in wonder whether it is my imagination playing tricks on me. Still I cannot be in doubt because I have been here many times before, when this happens. I can’t hide behind words nor is it about the evidence before me. I can hear the voices around me, I hear the sounds, walk the streets day and night still this calling is deafening, resonating from afar. This time the answer I get back is,
‘It is on its way, be prepared.’
I am not hungry nor do I thirst. I am just thoughtful staring into yonder. I shall jubilate in this moment and be grateful that I have waited this long, for safe passage to the haven I seek. I thank God for this comfort and for revealing his secrets to me.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Am I my brother's keeper?

It is early evening and in this quiet neighborhood with a light drizzling rain a bustle of wind manages to uproot the empty dustbin container on the sidewalk and send it sprawling into the road. The first pair of eyes comes along and stares blindly past the dustbin container lying innocently in the road and dismisses its existence. It is focused on its mission in purchasing milk from the corner shop several blocks away. The next pair walks past guided by the mind that is subject to events that happened earlier on in the day. A third pair of eyes skips a step or two infatuated in the world that awaits it at home.
A fourteen years old girl, waves goodbye to her friend and nods to her aunt as she rides home two streets away. It was a tough assignment but between the girls they have managed to crack the question and put something together respectable enough to earn full marks. As the leaves twirl in the wind, the girl starts whistling silently to herself because she knows something special is being prepared for dinner. It has been several months but finally she would see her elder brother who has been away. She is confident that her Mum will be home on time to put out the decorations and get the surprise party underway. She rides past her best friend’s dad and wishes him a pleasant evening.
A man is lying quietly in bed and realizing he can’t move a muscle. It is not what he needed on a day like this especially after so many months away from home. He would have wished to be there but the next best thing was sending his best friend instead. They grew up together and hopefully he would make do for the disappointment his mum may feel at his absence.
The first pair of eyes is returning from the shop and sees an ambulance scream past and wonders what lies ahead. He witnesses the little girl being pulled out from underneath a car and stretched away. The second pair of eyes walks into his home and hugs his wife and daughter trying to forget what happened during the day in his hateful career.
‘I saw your friend,’ he says to his daughter and she tells him of the assignment they just completed.
The third pair of eyes is already hard at work in her home and full of excitement because her son is coming home. She has no idea that her son’s best friend almost killed her daughter while avoiding the dustbin in the road.
It is late at night and the first pair of eyes goes to his knees to say his prayers before bed. He prays for the poor, the sick and the lame and for all those in trouble. He prays for the little girl and everyone else traumatized by the incident he witnessed that evening. Before switching off the bed lamp he opens scripture and reads the story of Cain and Abel. After this he shuts his eyes thinking Cain was a jealous and wicked brother and shouldn’t have killed Abel.
It is early morning and the wind of the night before is gone to reveal sunlight, the first pair of eyes pours milk into a bowl of cereal and asks God the question, what did Cain mean by ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The Lord’s response to him is,
‘Son you have eyes that cannot see.’

Friday, 28 January 2011

A road less traveled...

I thought I had beaten the clock and made it out of the grocery shop in time, only for me to discover that the doors were closed and I was locked in the store for the next hour. It was prayer time in Riyadh and all I could do was walk the aisles until the hour passed and we were again let out into the blistering heat that awaited us in the early evening.
Many would have said that I chose Saudi Arabia to write my second book but the truth is it chose me. If I remember correctly it was early 2006 when I hit the worst case of writer’s block in my apartment in London. I had been racking my brain for months for ideas to steer my new novel into the world and there was nothing forthcoming. And then I got an anonymous email from a long time acquaintance and before long I was negotiating my passage to the Middle East. I had great prospects in mind for what awaited me but writing was just a mirage I could dream of in the distance. It finally came three months into my stay in the Kingdom when I realized there was very little for me to fall back on during my spare time but rely upon this desert for inspiration. It was unusual and different for a start and given the conditions of the war in the Middle East anything was possible to the suffering fugitive within that badly needed to get his second book underway.
Riyadh had this thing about it. It was as if one force of nature was pushing against another. On a good day you felt as though you were on the rich boulevards of Miami, strolling past palm trees without a care in the world. You’d weigh all the benefits of being there, no taxes, low cost fuel and high salaries. The house in the country was possible and the yacht on the shores of Monaco glimmered in the moonlight. I had lived in many places before Riyadh, one time I’d penciled the events of a night out in Shenzhen China, barely able to see what I had written as the bus driver drove madly and almost killed a cyclist. I thought this was bad until I met the other side to Riyadh. You’d have to search desperately for that elusive gag to make you smile on bad days. It was mayhem until the moment you closed your eyes at night. If you weren’t screaming at the society then you were cursing yourself for being the fool that lived there.
I guess what I loved most about writing my second novel in Riyadh was the balance of these opposing forces. They stirred the right emotions within me, feelings I would have struggled to manufacture in familiar territory. I remember traipsing through the old city one day, Old Diriyah, thinking back to the days of sheikhs and dromedaries. It was then that I wished for time to stand still and let my fingers do the talking. It was then I knew that all along I was walking to this place and to that moment to fulfill a dream and write my second book, Eli.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Look but don't touch!

Creeping so close to that precious desire but ever so far from it. I have become the ensign with one fallow sense and four fully enhanced to no avail. What is this feeling within me that wishes to break all the rules and yet I know that’s not how this game is won. Her heels scrape the sidewalk causing chaos to those who stare blindly. I am the fool that lies in the trunk peering through the opening and waiting for that moment when it would be slammed shut! When temptation came to man of old he allured to it with a weakened sense of resolve. No one watches so why don’t I take that which beckons to my senses, he thought.
Even so the consequences of every action is untold until one crosses these boundaries. The fruits of my labor are a blessing in one context and far from it in another. I am none of those things that one would dislike. I’d rather be one of them then at least I’ll understand. Advice from friends is I should head in the opposite direction once I see you. Advice from the heart is I should do no such thing. Call me an ambulance when my trumpet blows over, so that I may seek humble respite in these words of comfort, ‘For that which I do I allow not, for what I would that I do not, but what I hate that I do.’
You know that I can’t turn the clock back to where we once were and neither do I wish it to go forward to a place I’ve never heard off. I know if I hide behind the laws I have fallen from grace. I’m not kidding when I say it’s been tough through this ordeal. Brethren, I besiege thee don’t turn this into something that we can’t come back from. For even unto this day when Moses is read a veil is upon our hearts. It is for certain that the creature in me was made subject to vanity, not willingly but by reason of him who hath subjected the same to hope…

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Best of three...

What is the beginning of a good thing? Taking the form of life and walking the earth as one was meant to. I cover my ears and make my own music when the sounds of the birds are quenched by the thunder outside. The gulf between where I once was and where I am is light years between stars. Squatting and hiding behind the door I peep through the keyhole of creation. Am I ready or not? What awaits me behind those doors? Knowledge is not forbidden, however the time it takes to achieve this knowledge is a different matter. Suddenly I am claustrophobic, doing a somersault and pushing my way out to existence. My arrival is alarmingly fortuitous but unbearable by my standards. After a sharp piercing smack I awaken and shed tears for others to jubilate.
A journey, one step at a time, one place at a time and like everyone else behind the apron, a protective sheath of fig leaves I think I have it all figured out. Time has elapsed and knowledge amassed, in my disguise no one can see me and on the other hand I can’t see anyone. My first hand has been played and it is neither here nor there because I don’t know better. Then it is the hour of the night bandit and before I realize it the only way up is down. It begins with loneliness, loss of sleep as my dream has come true but at what price. The once adoring audience ferriages away and life takes its toll. The inner self becomes the answer, the profound truth that nothing I have seen is real except for the spirit of God within me. I take a recap and rid myself of sycophancy, count my blessings and notice that two of everything is still there. This is my rebirth, a new beginning and second chance to correct all wrongs and be who I was always meant to be.
My, oh my, is that the time? The canon ball run is almost at an end, still though where does my destiny lie. In the rebirth things improved, I corrected the old wrongs for what was right. The refulgent light of my epithet shone before others as my repertoire became a library collection. If memory serves well two of everything at one time was a blessing, now though this has become a strain. Age has overridden youth as my spirit sails five yachts ahead in sonorous waters while my ancient body lags in the shoal. Death is the new kid on the block. A constant reminder only in name as my new truth lies in the resurrection. This is the grand finale and placing my bets on my favorite pony brings in my worthy dues.
Dare I ask again what is the beginning of a good thing? Life. Make the most of what you have today, look behind without regret and do not be careful of tomorrow but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be known unto God.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Endangered Species...

‘Go away I’ve had enough!’ Is the blazing cry over the tannoy. ‘I tread in this place of failure because you make me feel this way. It is rainy on this dreary day and destruction can’t come any sooner.’
A child’s plea but when stray words flutter in the wind they eventually land at the doorstep of thoughtful creatures. Waiting for a way out from this derision these creatures are tongue tied in frustration. Fear is taken into consideration and despair a natural outcome when these words become judge and jury. There is no age or gender preference in this domicile and the guilty verdict is often relied upon as the sole means of escape.
I bore witness the other day to two brothers arguing endlessly as one tried to convince the other on improving himself for his forthcoming marriage. As Sibling A increased the pressure on Sibling B he got berated with pellets from bullet spray as Sibling B’s words became more hurtful and irrational. Sibling A never gave up though but pursued his course of action and eventually the argument subsided and became a discussion. The next day Sibling B was talking about his relationship with a lot more ease whilst Sibling A was left recovering from the harsh words that had been thrown in his direction.
Seeking more purpose to how our good could be repaid for bad I decided to try the kindergarten approach. I asked my six years old niece whether bad things happened to good people. Her answer was yes and then I asked her whether she had witnessed this before. She said in class, a girl scribbled in another boys book and the teacher scolded him for it. I asked her what she thought of this and she said she felt afraid and thought maybe the boy had been bad that was why the teacher scolded him. She then said sometimes when you are good you can be blamed for something you haven’t done.
Perhaps at one time or another you have represented the watch night of reason. You have told others the error of their ways and paid the price in more ways than you had anticipated. It is a steep hill to climb with many rocky edges of frustration. During these times it is injudicious to fall victim of self-pity or blame. It is wise to consider the incapacity of those you seek to aid with the knowledge that your help is not in vain. This is merely the entrée rational into a new school of thought and keeping equanimity for counsel serves better until the truth is exposed.
My niece’s words reinforced a teaching from scripture, ‘He that loveth his life will lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world will keep it unto life eternal.’
Thus, pay yourself homage good one for your species is rare in this age. Your triumph is not in the results but in keeping your end of the good deed. Do not seek appreciation when none is forthcoming. If you wish to teleport from this world to another then you have already succeeded in your endeavors, for the results of your heartfelt efforts are in the struggle rather than the results.