LEAFY GREEN


I was a leaf.

A leaf so green and full of life.

I grew on a tree.

A tree so tall, it felt like one day I would touch the sky.

 

I was a happy leaf.

A leaf so happy, I played to the tune of the winds.

This way, that way, whichever way.

Oh joy untold, it felt like I was high up in the sky.

 

You were the sun.

A sun so bright, you would bring light into me.

Oh how you shone! Oh how the light fell on me!

A light so warm, I wanted to shout it out loud to the sky.

 

You were a scorching sun.

A sun so hot, you drained the water out of me.

Oh how you burned and left me with scars.

Scars so yellow, I longed for water from clouds in the sky.

 

I was a weak leaf.

A leaf so weak, I tumbled when the winds blew.

Oh how I tumbled, rumbled and stumbled on the ground.

A ground so low, I could no longer touch the sky.

 

There was a wind.

A wind so strong, it blew me off the ground.

Oh how it blew! Whish whoosh, and flew me up in the air.

Now I am a leaf, a leaf flying high up in the sky.

~Ryanne

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Of Fortunate Accidents.


 

Here’s something I’m certain my mother wouldn’t be proud of but I can’t keep mum over it any longer. In the past week, I have had some rather meaningful and decent conversations with two complete strangers. One on my walk to work in the morning, (Yes, I have been elevated to walking-working class now and I’m loving it!) and the other on my bus ride home. (Sometimes I pay to be driven home by complete strangers. Boss Lady.) For those of you giving me the odd looks, I’ll have you know that they didn’t hand out any sweets laced with drugs, neither were they psycho, jilted lovers now turned into serial killers hunting for a look-alike of their once one true love. Just two seemingly decent guys (good-looking I should add) looking to strike a conversation and beat the lonely silence we’re often faced with.

My first response to both of them was a forced fake smile in the hope that they’d realize I’m not into it. Besides, they were both quite charming and I felt their efforts deserved a little more than my usual blank look coupled with silence. It would also have been utterly rude to just walk away or change seats. But when they persisted I was forced to ask whether face to face stranger-talk had made a comeback in the 21st century while I was busy reveling in my ‘grand’ achievements.  It could be I’m the only one here who finds it peculiar that someone would master up the courage, walk up to you and join you in minding your business. Well, my two stranger-friends (I have no other term for them really) thought nothing odd of their approach.

“The universe has to be sending me a message,” I thought. Either, one, I have to stop looking dejected and lonely on my way to and from work. Two, my new official dress code is really working for me and therefore I should invest heavily in that sector (That should make a good case for a raise, don’t you think?). Three, I really have no friends because I have a lousy personality and it’s about time that changed. Four, this is how I’m bound to meet my significant other and meeting my two stranger- friends  was a practice run so that I won’t mess up the real deal. Five, serendipity.

It would be somehow naive to assume the two had no ulterior motive in chatting up a girl like me, that they weren’t secretly hoping I’d somehow buy their charm, dish out my number and call whatever happens next magic. Interestingly, neither of them did. It seemed like they both only meant to strike conversation and make my day (which they did). That’s the only reason I’m selling because the alternative would be that my hard-to-get game is so on point that they both couldn’t get to asking for my phone number. Something I wouldn’t be so proud of. I mean, age will eventually catch up and eggs will begin to shrivel.

So then I was left puzzled.  I am known to think too much and far about the most trivial of matters and as such, my grey matter would not let these two incidents pass by just so casually. The things that stood out the most for me were:

  1. That either, all the psychos have been locked up in mental institutions. Two, they’re all out there driving and have no need to walk or ride the bus. (That would really explain the madness on some of our roads) Three, I am yet to meet the perfect psychotic stranger therefore this post is a waste of my time.
  2. That a stranger could possibly be the closest you’ll come to a smile and a hearty laugh. That you never have enough friends in the world. There’s always room for more.
  3. There are still guys out there are full of charm and confidence. Not the macho, chest-thumping, bloated ego type, no. Suave, calm and decent which is attractive. (I think, because it’s rare?)
  4. That offering bottle service to a group of lasses at a night club; double-tapping that photo on Instagram she clearly made an effort to look good in; retweeting her posts however lame and recycled they may be; commenting on any of her photos wherever they may be, isn’t the only way to catch a woman’s attention.
  5. That you don’t have to pay to meet new people. Except if you’re taking a matatu in which case the cost is really negligible unless you’re using a route that bears a “Karibu Nairobi/ Come back soon” sign board. The streets offer you the platform to meet people and it’s absolutely free! The only price you pay is to look approachable. (Yeah, the only absolutely free thing I know is the ride around the sun all year)
  6. That, women out there looking to meet good-looking, charming and decent guys probably have to work on looking good, approachable but somehow still managing to look lonely and dejected. Perhaps the dame in distress look really works. And if you’re open to online dating you shouldn’t find feigning that look too hard to try. We’re all about faking it anyway.

I could go on, but the loyal readers here know I barely make it past 4. I’m looking forward to meeting my two stranger-friends in the coming week. Hopefully, they I won’t be wearing the same outfits they saw me in. And to save face, I promise I won’t go deliberately looking for them. I’ll leave all to chance.

Opinion onion

 

 

When The Living Dig Their Own Graves.


The Intrigues of life. I would love to write a book on that someday. Perhaps after I find a permanent cure to the recurring bouts of writer’s block I have been suffering from lately. Or  find a fresh and long-lasting source of inspiration.  Set out on a treacherous quest to find a muse, my muse. I digress. The intrigues of life…sometimes bad things happen to good people, good things happen for bad people and other times, everyone gets what they deserve. Interesting. Almost as interesting as fortune knocking only once on every man’s door while misfortune overstays its welcome.

Although seldom, golden opportunities present themselves at one point or another in our lives. They don’t always ask  if you’re ready to take up the challenge. It’s assumed that you are. You should be. The Irony. That you should bear no uncertainty about taking up an uncertainty…a  mere opportunity that has no guarantees.

Worse, we do not even create a conducive environment for these great opportunities to present themselves. We’re stuck so deep in mediocrity that our every morning routine is to convince ourselves that we’ve done the best we can so far with our lives. Well, have we? Have you? Or has life so far been a grave digging experience with the only progress made perhaps being from using a shovel to a backhoe?

I never write motivational pieces and this is hardly an attempt. But I was challenged recently by someone who dared me to be different. At first it made no sense because like everyone else,I am different from everyone else. It got me thinking, great things don’t happen to us mostly because we don’t let them. How?

1. Living a life guided by fear

Too afraid to try and be wrong. I’ll admit, the world is not too forgiving about anyone being wrong. Ask Nick Mutuma. Even when you being wrong is a perception the world has all wrong. Regardless, we should be quick to realize that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. You could very well be the famous_ misguided, overzealous blogger who later got her act right and now has better content in her writing which the world craves for daily. Lqtm. At the risk of sounding cliché, Thomas Edison would never have invented the light bulb if he was too afraid to try and be wrong. Remember that before you settle in the warmth of your cocoon.

2.Procrastination

You have a deadline for a project that could potentially change the entire course of your life but interestingly catching up on the latest episodes of Game of Thrones or turning up with friends seems more appealing. You tell yourself that you’re a smart pea in pod that cracks open best, when under pressure. The pod will burst open alright, but the pea won’t be as green as you’d want it. Opportunities like time wait for no man. While you’re out there giving your sloppy results someone else is giving more than was required.

3.Comparision with others

It doesn’t help that we live in an age where we’re all about sharing our lives with strangers and friends equally on social media. The beauty of it all being that we’re allowed to be biased in our sharing. Say for instance I was feeling lonely and vulnerable, or I earn peanuts from my 8-5 job..you’ll never know because my photos on instagram of me and my friends partying like it’s the end of the world (I may or may not have quoted a song here, but yours is to stay on point, not judge) at every out-of-town event do not give me away. So there you are feeling miserably sorry for yourself when in real sense, I have it worse. You might also want to read this for some deeper insights on the same
http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

4.Fixating on the past.

A classic upgrade from using shovel to using a backhoe and still digging your own grave. So what, chances were missed before?! Dwelling on past failures keep us from moving forward towards future successes. I’m not saying forget the past entirely but learn from those lost chances and prepare yourself well enough not to lose out on those that are forthcoming. Misfortunes can be overwhelming and sometimes the only line between getting through them and drowning yourself into a pitiful pool of vodka is the resolve to let go and move forward.

As Albert Einstein rightfully puts it, “Great spirits have always encountered
violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Free
yourself from the rule of ordinariness and unearth your full potential instead of burying it. For purposes of consistency, that being my lame excuse for having thought of 4 ways you’re digging your own grave and missing out on golden opportunities that life has to offer ..I will leave it at that.

Tourist In Your Own Country.


The mounds of dust and cobwebs billowing out of this formerly ‘abandoned house’ could cause a blinding dust storm! Luckily, it’s a new year and within those 10 seconds to the 2014 countdown I had time to reflect on how to make this year better part of which, included rekindling my ‘writing flame’. That though, is not even close to the truth. I just really wanted to use that line. It felt befitting for January, a month that brings a renewed hope for fresh beginnings. The reality though, is that halfway through the year most these resolutions will have failed to launch.

The fear of being a non-starter pushed me back into reading. Clearly, after being away since June last year I needed to pick the brains of a few just to make sure the ‘game’ hasn’t changed much. So I read. Tweets, blogs, articles until finally I grew balls and got a book. Well not precisely in that order. The point is, I got reading. Currently i’m reading The Kite Runner by  Khaled Hosseini, an international bestseller with an intriguing story about a young afghan boy, Amir and his relationship with his closest friend, Hassan who is his father’s young servant.

My attention so far has been drawn to Chapter Nineteen of the book where Amir talks of feeling like a tourist in his own country when he goes back after twenty years of living in America. (Go buy the book or read it online here THE KITE RUNNER) There are two sides to being a tourist in your own country, one which is admirable  the other, not so much. With respect to the latter, a couple of things came to mind when I thought of Kenyan tourists in Kenya which I felt I had to share.

First off, let me say I am all about ‘live and let live’…every one being entitled to choose their own standards and lives and letting others be. However, the following characteristics of Kenyan tourists in Kenya, the kind that remain oblivious to the happenings, culture and situations in their country can be depressing.

  1. They speak every other language but Kiswahili. I’d include mother tongue but that’s being a bit too ambitious. I haven’t researched on this ‘phenomenon’ so I can’t cite accurate reasons for it but, your guess is as good as mine. For those who grew up out of Kenya or went to schools where Kiswahili wasn’t offered and lived around ‘fellow tourists’, it’s not your fault. All the same, learn the language. You can’t be more Kenyan than that.
  2. They know nothing if anything at all about the Kenyan government and the politics surrounding it but if say, the US government was to shut down, they would write a paper on it. I know politics can be boring. And on this side of the world, tiring! But, if a man was to rob you, treat you like a fool and lie incessantly to your face, wouldn’t you want to know his identity?!  They could name all 50 states of the USA. All 47 counties in Kenya? Who has time for that?
  3. “I don’t normally listen to local music…” Kenyan tourists in Kenya have a thing for this phrase. I only believe in labeling music either as good or bad depending on your taste. Where it originates from shouldn’t really matter. That song by a Kenyan artiste might have a crappy video and lame lines but there’s a catchy tune to it that you might surprisingly like or is insanely hilarious.
  4. Like the tourist they are, they compare every single little thing that happens in the country (that’s if they come by the information by chance) to the West. I mean, mattresses burn at a mall and let out a black smoke…” In western countries that smoke would be invisible!” There are more directions on the compass..look to the East, North and South as well. But home is best so, criticize and find Kenyan solutions for Kenya.

I could go on…but fortunately or unfortunately, my brain gave me an allowance of four. I will attempt to sound wise and leave you with this..”Explore your own country, the language, culture and heritage…and be the envy of the world!”