The African Dream by Dad

They toil. Branded the upwardly mobile crew, they work their asses off.
Blue and grey days pass by so swiftly. Nothing seems to change on the surface. But right below, a metamorphosis takes shape.
Time melts together into an endless continuous sequence of the sun rising and setting at arbitrary times. And they dont just feel like slaves of time, they are prisoners of space. Something deep within them yearns for the ability to fly away.
Ridiculous! As though that could solve anything.
Soon, it becomes clear what they really want. What we all want. And all we want is the mundane existance we have built ourselves in the name of prosperity and security to pause for a tiny instance. The danger seems like it would be worth it for just that instance. Blasphemous intrusive thoughts creep into our psyches and make us curse all the right decisions we have ever made to lead us here. We resist the focused demeanor we have embraced. We are disgusted by the fruits of our organizations and prudence. We grow bored of the African dream. We now fantasize about fistfights, drunken profanities, minor car accidents, raucous bouts of infidelity, mild psychedelics….opportunities to feel something intensely chaotic. To relish something unapologetically wrong. Something akin to danger; anxiety, fear, infatuation, rage, the kind of deep remorse that causes a man to shift the entire course of his complacent existence.
The married man wants his wife to perform depraved acts on him. Whereas the married woman…to be honest, Im not sure what qualifies as acts of passionate spontaneity for women. Homework, I guess. Yay!
What is abundantly clear is our appetite for risk in life and how it spikes upwards after prolonged periods of mindnumbing repetetiveness. We look at the disorganized with envy. They seem to have the appeal of pigs playing in the mud and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Bliss, ignorance and and all that.
I said it before “We have built fortified cities to guard us against the elements only to desire the spark it causes within us and invent the danger anew from within.”People say they love danger in moderation. Perhaps that is so. People do a lot of things to kill boredom. I find that danger is usually the main ingredient in these things.
But working in an air-conditioned office is the sort of thing that can kill a person’s spirit. In there, we are meant to stay composed, restrained and well-behaved. There is inherently no danger there and consequently no true satisfaction at the end of the day (save for the money we earn).
But its hard to break the habit. Also, in truth, most are scared to jump off the deep end worried they might get swept away or drown.
So in the evening, bars become playgrounds. All the games we play in the bars become our lifestyles. They start to seem like the only way to exercise catharsis and find relief. All because we have become victims of our success. It’s all ridiculous if you think about it: studying for decades to avert danger and brokeness only to desire it later.
“Let me reward myself”
That’s how we justify these conflicting ideas. And that, my dear people, is the Kenyan way.
That is the African dream.

Sleepless in Njombe 06.03.2019

A steady percussive beating shunts me out of the circus of my slumber. Unwilling eyelids part to meet the sterile light of a dazzling bulb. It shines through supposedly opaque curtains. Nightmares again. And the cold. It bites with viciousness. Gnaws at my sockless foot. The rain outside doesnt just pour. It beats at the world and against the pane of my shut window. Somehow, I feel as though people might still be walking about out there despite the ungodly hour and rain. You know that feeling? I am at the mercy of the elements. Sitting up and stretching to shift curtains to catch the limited view outside, I find comfort. The fog is pleasant. Somehow, the cold and desolate land outside is in no way bleak. Even with its screaming muteness of torrent, it grants me peace. Peace grants me a chance to think. And the most obscure yet meaningful contents of my mind come forward in a shocking violent wave. Beautiful thoughts flood the mind. Such things that can make us cry that are neither pain nor sorrow are confusing. I now stand beyond the disillussion of failure to meet one’s goal or the pangs of a broken heart. I should relearn how to cry. I recalled the last time I did. Aged 17 and foresaken. But that is a story for another day. This is not that sort of moment. It’s the sort of moment where an unsettled mind has raced and crashed. And now it has to take stock of all the things in ones life. So I thought of these things that are greater than the accumulation of wealth, conquest and victory. I thought of my ego and how pointless it truly is. I sat on that bed and took stock for once in a long spell of how fortunate I have been thus far. To have loved ones, a sane mind, happiness…People should do this more often. It is calming. It settles the mind and reinvigorates the zeal. Solitude is heaven. As a dead night paints the world outside with a storm, I smile.
I travelled almost 1000 kms for this.
“Everything is fine.”
My eyes reach out into a dark room as something declares this. And that is happiest I have been since the year started.

Men by Dad

Being a man is a painful affair. But then what is a man if not the ultimate masochist?
From birth, we are faced with higher mortality rates than our female counterparts. We survive that and make it onto playgrounds where we learn to deliberately simulate death in the name of games like ‘cops and robbers’ with fake guns and fake swords.We grow older and develop an unmistakeable propensity for contact sport. The rougher the better. Martial arts, rugby and barefoot football over bone dry dusty pitches canvassed by a blazing sun. And thats not nearly an exhaustive list.
Brawls were personally my favorite part of boyhood. The chaos, the wreckless abandon and fetid frenzy revolving around thumping of underdeveloped fists upon flesh thats only learning to be manly. I recall frantic crowds gathering to see the pecking order established, reestablished or destroyed. And an image comes back to me of cowardly boys posturing and many times ending up with heads locked under sweaty armpits fighting off the urge to submit infront of their peers.

I think most men loved the direct and overt confrontation. Still love it too. The joy of being immersed in instances charged with bile and blind rage had an almost incomprehensible allure. Maybe it’s because from chaos arises opportunity. Maybe we loved those primal moments because they compelled us to become stronger. And that would become our central ethos of living.
So we grew stonger discovering a drug called machismo. This is undoubtedly a major cause for risky behaviour and consequently higher male mortality rates later on in life.
The quest for physical perfection was established. We yearned for strength. We knew that the path to this was lined with pain, sweat and suffering.
But it wasnt just physical power we sought. The greatest power of all is ofcourse in money. Chasing it had the promise of making us powerful. Superior even. And those that laboured to find it gained the world around them. They were granted reverence, convenience and adoration. But the path to that as well was harsh. Not enough sleep or pleasure to be had therein.
I would be remiss if I didnt mention the discovery of the fairer sex. A truly epic moment for every young man. We wondered “How can something so dainty and graceful cause so much internal unrest?”The onset of puberty presented the greatest puzzle we would ever face scented in something sweet, speaking with a soft voice and shaped like soda bottle. Soon, our lives and very manhood became defined by the attainment of a desirable mate(or mates, for the polygamous at heart). We learnt to somehow forage and earn just to impress these creatures. We painfully underwent the unlearning process so as to embrace softer methods to verbally appeal to them. And we bet our very pride on this exhilerating endeavour for conquest.
Eventully, a man grows up and establishes a family of his own. He becomes the provider. This extends beyond just his unit but to the whole clan and all the tedium that arises with that.
But the enduring spirit of a man is admirable. It bears the suffering of an entire clan. It beckons him to stand in the gap of his kin and community. And he heeds the call.
This ‘masochistic man’ gives of himself. He pays for the sins of his father and mother. He pays the ultimate price. He takes all the pain letting a harsh world swing at him and draw blood because behind him is an entire village that should never be allowed to burn.
He is the quintessential warrior and protector.

To all men out there; You are rarely appreciated. So this is one of those rare occassions. A toast to you

Dancing by Dad

Dancing is divine…and the key to happiness can be found in pelvic thrusts. That instinctive motion that not only leads to the creation of life but the addition of pleasure and meaning to it.
First of all, I beseech you to understand my meaning in its most earnest form. Pelvic thrusts are simply the basic structure of all human dance. They are the form of communication that breaks through all existing notions of language barrier and cultural boundaries. These motions innately dwell within us all till one day, we achieve a grand awakening.
Allow me to shed light on said awakening: We are born with this hereditary condition that suddenly activates when we reach puberty. Once we acquire it, it lends grace and rythm to our response to music. And this music is the music of drums, love, guitars, lust, horns and anxiously beating hearts.
We become enthralled in its primal necessities as it arises on its own within us. Yet it is not taught. It cant be. How could something so pure be taught in a class or on a field?
You see, this motion goes on to consume our every waking moment as we grow into men and women. Its transfixes us in the only wild things we are allowed to do in this day and age of civility and polite mannered society.
It becomes a form of worship. And we dedicate shrines to it in the name of clubs, bedrooms and performance stages.
Nightclubs are where the magic truly happens. I particularly love how alcohol gets people onto the floor and makes them believe themselves to be phenomenal dancers. Some truly are. But even for the ones that objectively aren’t, it’s still a magical thing to watch. The dedicated look one has thrusting their pelvis while spotting a cheeky grin is entertainment enough. Somehow, tipsy patrons find space to place brownian steps through a packed dancefloor with inadequate ventilation. Any logistical challenge is easily overcome when one is alcoholically motivated. Oh, the resilience of the social drinker…
Admittedly, as a man, watching women dance is my favorite activity within the nightclub ecosystem. The sensual wiggling of a voluminous backside can (in the words of Kanye West) convert atheists into believers. Sometimes I wonder; perhaps the only right way for a woman to dance is for her to dance dirty. But I digress.
This whole dancing business is part of the mating ritual. It enables the robust industry of hospitality to exist and thrive. Consequently, the collective stirring of loins and desire to gyrate ensures that the economy runs like clockwork. It is obviously the grand incentive to do anything worthwhile. We build empires, bridges, foster trading relationships and even kill to ensure this motion is made.
How then can one say that dancing is not divine?
A line from the song ‘Kadori’ by Dr. O. Kassam Kale loosely translated into English:
“Kadori, you are the pretty one that makes the guitar player smile”

Lessons From a Nightmare by Dad

Once upon a time, a dark unnameable figure haunted my dreams. This figure seemed to torment me till one day it leaned down and said “You must learn to take with an unwavering heart”. Years later, I realized that I had been given a most terrifying and valuable gift.
In life, we shall meet triumphs and failures. That is a given. Most of us know how to handle failure. It’s literally documented everywhere. But triumph, not so much. You see triumph requires something different: An evolution of the self into something that accepts boldness. Boldness that ensures doubtless action. This is despite the fact that in many cases, it actually causes laxity and/or arrogance.
What is certain though is that a little triumph inspires envy in others around you. Envy causes conflict because most humans are petty. You succeed a bit and you dont stop being their friend. But they stop being yours.
For instance, if an introvert like me were to achieve a modicum of success, ‘they’ would say that I am suddenly arrogant in my isolation. That I dont feel like I need others now. In truth, I loved solitude when I had nothing and I will still prefer it long after I have gained the world

(perhaps family is the only exception to this rule)
The message in my dream was clear: That a man must be ruthless with the world once it perceives his success. The world sees your success and on a deeper level is intimidated. Threatened even. The world supposes that it is staring at something smarter, faster and stronger. It is for this reason that you(Dear Reader) must protect yourself. Because when they come for you, they will fight dirty. They will fight you with everything they have and bear not a shred of mercy in their arsenal.
Make no mistake, if they find a chink in your armour; an irresolute mind or even the slightest weakness, they will swallow you whole.
I recall the lesson from that dark figure every now and again on a deeper level. It contradicted everything I was taught by my parents about being a decent and fulfilled human being. It was the ultimate call to change. That as you mould the world around you, you should allow it to mould you into something ferocious. Life’s journey and the things we chase set the stage for a battle. In this battle, it is clear that love is fickle and that fear can sometimes be a more reliable motivator.
If the things we chase are truly worth chasing, then I see no other way. As these little victories pile upon each other and the grand victory begins to take definite form, you must become dangerous from within to battle the danger without. You must take with an unwavering heart. And that heart must never hesitate and it must never doubt when it guards what is rightfully yours.

Journal Entry 14.08.2019

Donald Nyach,I have not dreamed. Not enough anyway. I have done terrible wrongs. I have fallen into temptation. Again and again and again. I have sinned and not bothered to ask for forgiveness because I was not quite done sinning. I have then sat in solitary reflection and decided to do the noble thing. Resolved to change even. Then I have proceeded to fail flatly in this endevour. And shamelessly so.
“The narrative of every man on the cusp of greatness” I have consoled myself with delusions of grandeur.
I genuinely fear that heaven is not meant for me. Or people like me. Not for people with this sort of skewed morality.
“The morality of kings!”. The voice within offers more consolation.
In truth, noone works as hard as a king. And I have not truly toiled. Not as I should at least. I have taken the easy route countless times. I have chosen slumber even when predeeded by spells of slothfull inaction. I have feasted as though I deserve the delicacies. I have drank as though there is actual warrant to celebrate a triumph. I have gazed at my betters and entertained the delusion of equality. Yet what have I truly done to deserve this greatness? Have I even taught myself to shed tears for it? Or would that would be too shameful? Or tedious even?
All I have done is sit complacently and desire with an eager smile behind an arrogant scoff. All held in place delicately by a few positive affirmations and a sunny disposition. And, Donald, you know that the sun sets, dont you? And that sometimes ambition is met by rainy days only to be ripped apart by the harsh torrent.
The guilt that comes with this state of self awareness is unbearable. It is almost a curse to know the task at hand yet have no zeal to do it. Just the zeal! I am riding a train straight into oblivion with every tool to stop this at my disposal. Yet the only thing that keeps me from rising to avert certain doom is lethargy. It is the knowing of truth and still not standing up for it that has birthed this sadness.
And so onwards I march, professing the gospel and yet not living by it.
I wonder; does that mark me as a hypocrite or a coward? And which of the two is worse? I honestly wish I knew less.Signing off,D.A.D.

Are you pissed yet?

I have something if only a bit of truth to say about the world.
I have stared at it hard enough if not long enough. At the way of humanity and its quest for advantage and comfort. I recoil at the thought of recalcitrant men feigning proficieny soaked in ambition and riding their bullcrap to the sun. Overlyentitled women and their cheap pagaentry and comsetic brilliance. Of how they feed entire clans through this ‘special’ ability of style over substance.
I shudder to think of how children have thus far been strewn from half baked dreams, captivating impressions and delicious mistakes.
Well, the future is here and its not what anyone of us could have dreamed of. We never really expected this heap of evolving garbage we call popculture that calls us by our names and baloons exponentially with our replies. And noone knows what critical mass looks like as the bloated gargantuan abomination grows ever so.
Perhaps I dont know enough to be this jaded. I am just a young man after all. Perhaps I just happened to be born as the world had its back turned to me and so all I could see was its dirty ass and the shit that falls out of it.
Perhaps the inevitable cyclical progression of existance as a whole shall allow me to at least catch a glimpse of the infinite beauty of creation one day.
But then I recall how we built fortified cities to keep the danger out yet our inherent brutality clawed within us to invent danger anew.
We have butchered in the name of holy books. We have spoken of the purity of heaven and damnation of wayward brothers all in the same breath. We have declared ourselves better than our neighbours because they sin differently from us.
We wound up a clock to the cataclysm that is the apocalypse we always dreaded and stare at it tick each day. Just so we can call ourselves a fearless generation.
We did it to hide our true fear; that we never really had anything worthwhile to fight for or over. No genuine cause but the evergrowing bank of alternative facts and ‘conventional wisdom’ we cling to to justify our social media addiction. And so the petty conflicts we invent are so dubious and transparent, a newly born infant could provide us with an elaborate and concise roadmap to world peace.
Pardon me if I am crass
But, then again, I take back my apology. The world doesn’t really deserve soft words. Soft action, definitely. But not soft words
The sum total of shit I see and hear lives and breathes in the tongue of disingenuity. Its speaks its universal language of bitterness wrapped in tones of cowardice.
But nothing is written in stone. How could it be? Stone is for permanence, and permanence should only be reserved for the honorable and the things they do. Not us. Not this.
We deserve this world ,its ass turned to us and all the shit we can swim in for 10 lifetimes over
So , welcome, children. Listen to the things I have to say, because I am just like you; I dont know enough.

Journal Entry 11.09.2019

Donald Nyach,

One evening with a full tummy, this youngish chocolate bastard tuned in to a panel discussion.
“Are we headed for an economic crisis?” was the question that got my attention. Made me promptly put down that remote.
The distinguished-looking man on TV speaking in a panel of his peers stood out. They were all a cocky bunch loudly speaking into their mics trying to one-up each other on proficiency. The hosting anchor looked like he had a handle on things though. He was obviously used to this sort of erudite bunch. He also clearly had a firm grasp on the subject matter. But I suppose that should be expected.
At the point of introduction, it became clear that each of these guys runs their own individual organizations. They mostly carried the title of consultant which points to the fact they might be too proud to work for anyone other than themselves on a permanent basis.
They were all impeccably dressed and very well-groomed. But their confidence didn’t come from their clothes or outward appearance. They had set themselves apart as specialists in the fields of finance, risk and economics. They knew what it takes to touch the economy and watch it move. And thus a god complex would be an understatement in describing what they exuded.
This distinguished man in particular (whom we will call Daktari) sat at the centre with a self-satisfied grin. The discussion of the day was economics as I inferred earlier: his bread and butter. The layman watching at home was soon assaulted by a barrage of jargon. Fiscal policy, GDP, inflation, bullish/bearish markets and volatility were thrown around by the pundits to emphatically put forward their position on projected market trends. The anchor swooped in to rescue the layman every now and again with magic words like
“Ok, Daktari, in the simplest terms, what does that mean for Kenya in the next year or so…?”
Daktari smiled arrogantly before responding in a vaguely patronising tone with the expected proficiency that qualified him to come on this TV show. He is infact one of those people who begin many of their sentences with the words “Let me tell you something…”

I recall seeing this guy and immediately positing what his career history might have probably looked like; He probably got a 1st class in his undergraduate degree then almost immediately enrolled for a master’s program. This may have been concurrent with him landing a hot job in the city where he got a chance to share a board room meeting with the kings of Nairobi.( Note: He is the only one in the panel that works fulltime for a corporation).
Once your life takes this turn and you play your cards right, you can easily ride the waves of musical chairs the ‘kings’ play into the stratosphere. He obviously did some professional papers just to fill some gaps and make his CV more robust. Daktari has an intimate sexual relationship with the words “upwards social mobility”. His fake accent is how you know for sure how far a man has come up in Kenya. It’s that typical hybrid of American, British and something else that makes for the Kenyan brand. Although the guy probably grew up in Bungoma. He is of course part of that annoyingly obnoxious Nairobi coffee culture as are most posh people. It’s almost an obligatory thing to be these days, like a matching accessory to the atrocious accent.
Daktari is what we call an academic celebrity. That’s actually a thing in most former British colonies moreso in Africa. It happens when a person listens to his/her parents advice to study hard and rise in the world. That person then accumulates papers and certificates and at the same time is able to massively increase their income. As a result, many of the viewers hanging on to every word he has to say are obsequious students he has interacted with in the university visits he is regularly invited to. During such visits, young impressionable girls approach him and query the prospects of delving into such and such a career.
“What does it take to be a professional in this field?”
Of course Daktari has the answer. He has all the answers. And that is why he doesn’t bother to take their numbers. He gives them his business cards knowing that the ‘prey’ will come to the ‘predator’. This is a popular branch of what we call networking these days and this senior bachelor has mastered how to effectively play the advantage. Daktari has secured internship positions for so many young attractive campus ladies that it would be unfair to not call this a CSR activity.
That aside. I, on the other hand, could never get the hang of that networking thing. And I mean actual networking. Standing awkwardly in those events attended by corporate guests with my shaggy hair, I never knew what to do with my hands. I wasn’t as eager as most to spark relevant conversations with the guests. I tried to be. It just didn’t work. The ladies always seemed to have an easier time though. And some of the slicker gentlemen. The intricacies of the pageantry were just too overwhelming for a simple man like me. I couldn’t smile, I wasn’t as interested, I seemed more concerned with the food and drinks and most times, I just wanted to go home and read comic books(and yes, I am a fully grown man)
But not Daktari. He seems like back in his day, he was a champion networker. Most times, that sort of charisma doesn’t even need a 1st class degree to land a job.
Presently, the man knows how to court attention. His title of director or partner adds to the pomp and lends gravity to his words. So when he says things like ‘passion’, ‘deliver’, the ‘bottom line’ and ‘marketability’, everyone most definitely perks their ear. Impressing such a man could jump-start your carreer.
At this point, one could ask him somthing as impossible as “How did Theresa May sleep last night?”. The mundane nonsense he would spew in retort would have been woven so artfully that it’s made to seem as profound as the Dalai Lama’s words.
Daktari is a brilliant worker. And due to merit, he transitioned into management early. And so Daktari speaks a bit too loudly. He never got a hang of power or the fact that one doesn’t need to be loud to be heard or understood. Unfortunately, he hadn’t been seasoned by time enough at the time of his promotion. He went on to make for an effective leader nonetheless. Coming up in the world would have been difficult without that trait.
But I think Daktari doesn’t know everything. He seems like he does but he really doesn’t. Everything in his life so far has gone according to plan. And fast.
Sometimes it’s the achievement of our aspirations that causes us to doubt ourselves and not our failures. What do you tell a man that has never failed? What do you tell a man that fears that his lucky streak might soon be up? He himself has questions. He wonders. Also, he has never really taken a break counting aside those obligatory luxury trips abroad to exotic locations that have been well catalogued all over his Instagram page. Everything has been an effort-filled photo op, scheduled and scripted to portray the right image.

Maybe deep down, he just wants a week of inactivity in the verdant Bungoma he remembers as a child. So during his free time in those large halls with loud music and strong drink, this man makes the mistake of overindulging one day. He gets drunk and says the wrong thing. Something bigoted, too politically charged or sexually inappropriate for polite society (especially in the wake of the ‘me too’ movement) Then his party just goes quiet and everything becomes as awkward as the face you make when you wipe your crack in the loo. Venting can be disastrous.
Back to the panel discussion;
“…and Daktari, we are happy to have you over at the studio again…”, The anchor says
Clever guy, this anchor. You massage his ego and this gentleman will open up like a book. Which he does. And because he seems like the alpha, the rest of the panel follow in tow. Even the ones that would probably like to overthrow him from his apparent status.
I can’t help but wonder the kind of pressure such a man is constantly under: working long hours into night, weekends and most times carrying his work home. He has a tonne of money in his account but no real social life to speak of. He probably deserves the glory he basks in. Daktari has likely worked hard his whole life. Many would call him arrogant but I think his arrogance is justified by his brilliance and singular focus.
Donald, if I’m being honest, I like hanging out with arrogant people. They are fun. They are usually more sure of the things they want and they motivate you. They make the world seem bigger and more filled with possibility than it actually is. They are the salt of the earth. It these ‘humble’ fuckers I totally can’t stand.

Signing off,
D.A.D.

Journal entry 12.03.2019

Donald Nyach,

It’s been days since I last went on social media. Somehow, the result was me having a weird dream about eternal life and a messed up childhood. Perhaps that’s my subconscious alerting me of my own ‘issues’ with my parents. That can’t be healthy at all now, can it?

Consider how parents’ power over us was well defined from birth. Initially, this power dynamic was meant to keep us safe. They directed us and taught us to adapt to this world arming us with requisite skills and instilling in us a fear of all that is dangerous just so we can stay safe ‘by force’. That power served a very noble purpose.

They commanded or persuaded us once depending on parenting style. We mostly dreaded this call to obedience with no justification we could comprehend. But we acquiesced nonetheless. We had no say in this, especially here in Africa. What could not be doubted was the passion in their appeals that lent their rhetoric an almost divine quality. But in truth, they were mostly oblivious to whatever real benefits or harm such directions conferred upon us. Just as oblivious as we were. Frankly speaking, most of the times, they simply regurgitated whatever their own parents years prior had taught them. They repeated and reiterated their own childhood lessons. They sang said lessons like songs over and over till it all became painfully imparted in our psyches. And that is all we came to know. This is how our filial piety was rewarded.

Soon, we got older and their grip gradually weakened over us. We came to learn new things from the world without their help. We suddenly seemed more prepared for the world although not yet ready enough to survive in it on our own. Our parents saw us on the cusp of manhood/womanhood and it evoked a mixed reaction in them.

You see, on one hand, they now had less influence over us. They felt they had less to teach us about life or the world or academia (The advent of fast internet connectivity making this change even more drastic). We had become stronger, smarter and consequently closer to independence. Closer to leaving them alone. On the other hand, they were happy for us and how far we had come. But this could not negate the fact that they felt scared of losing us. Frightened of not mattering anymore.

Everyone hates the thought of becoming irrelevant all of a sudden. Admittedly, it is a depressing thought to entertain. A parent feels this way and suddenly flails at the world to take them back to the point of comfort. They turn resentful or hold on a little too tightly to the creature they helped build up because they desperately yearn to matter again as they once did. For the world to be simple again.

An exercise in futility. Everything changes. Everything ends. This cannot be helped.

Remember Donald, parents are just people. So they do what people do. They eat, they sleep, they worry, they cry, they shit, they nurture and they harm. Sometimes they nurture so much that they cause harm.
Someone once said that parents mess us up. That they don’t mean to but they do. And that is just how things are. They are simply imperfect beings holding on to imperfect philosophies trying to do the best they can. Ultimately, their very best is what they strove to give us, their children. There is no doubt that no one in this world wishes for your wellbeing as sincerely as your parents do. (7 out of 10 times at least)

A parent believes in you in spite of your shortcomings not just because they can relate but perhaps because they have lived long enough to figure out how to overcome such shortcomings. They have learned what you need to do to be a better version of them. With this confidence, they give wholeheartedly all they have till they have nothing left for themselves hoping their effort won’t be squandered. They understand that children, though imperfect are meant to be better than their parents from an evolutionary standpoint. They are meant to expand whatever kingdom their parents bequeath them. That is the ideal situation. This is what they worked towards in the labour of raising us.

True, sometimes, they are selfish. But honestly, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here intact without benefiting from that sinful quality. At times they may seem as though they stand in the way of our success. But in truth, they only mean to cause us to consider how badly we want to thrive. In doing so, success is given meaning.

When a child is born, a new journey begins entirely separate from that which the previous generation endured. The permutation of circumstances that forge an individual are so uniquely intricate and unpredictable that just one page of conventional wisdom seems infinitely meaningless. So it’s hard figuring out how to be a good parent.
We usually don’t think much of this or the toil it takes to raise a child (or children). Many times it takes us too long before we realize that we are all just lost in this world filled with uncertainty and scarce moments of relief attempting to turn tough situations into triumphs. We come to appreciate that one of the most earnest endeavours in this life is parenthood. It bears the highest stakes because our hearts, souls, blood and legacies are invested in it. Most of us only grasp this eternal truth once we become parents ourselves and dread infecting our progeny with similar issues. I suppose if for nothing else, I need to work through my issues for my own kids’ sakes. That’ll be a magic trick for sure.

Donald, I once challenged my father resentfully by saying that whatever selflessness he feels towards me was simply an innate desire to live forever through me and whatever offspring I begot later. I had simplified paternal love by equating it to the transfer and survival of genetic material through offspring. He laughed. I suppose he laughed because it was true. Or not. Who knows for sure how eternal life can be achieved.

I just know that you must be one happy bastard watching all the cool things your descendants have achieved thus far.
You lucky, lucky bastard.

Signing off

D.A.D.

Journal Entry 12.08 2019

Donald Nyach,

I couldn’t sleep last night. The pending journey this morning induced insomnia. My eagerness to get back to my house can be a force of nature sometimes.
Hours later, closer to my destination and sitting in the top deck of a ferry, my mind was not as bothered as before. Now nothing mattered more than getting back to my house to sleep.
Staring off into the crowd buzzing soothingly in the south coast swahili dialect, the face of a certain young man stood out as particularly troubled. Aside from being coloured by the typical angst that all young men feel and exude, I could see anger poorly masked underneath a desperate face.
He was boiling in it yet noone around seemed to notice. And so he suffered in isolation albeit surrounded by what amounted to an entire village population.
I could remember once when I was a younger man, I bore a mountain of hot rage within me. Every aspect of me was weighed down by it. I bore it in my heart. I bore it in my mind and body to utter exhaustion. It deafened me to common sense and I believe that my soul was infected by it. Perhaps it still has scars left by that fire that fed on my vitality. And that is the way of young men. They cant help but feel every emotion in its entirety. Thats why sadness seems so bleak and love shines so intensely in youth. Infact, in youth, love and our pursuit of it consumes our every waking moment. Whether it is the love of a person or of a singular ideal.
Everything feels as though its consequences are much greater than they actually are. And then time goes by and age mellows you out. You somehow learn to not take things as seriously as you once did. But that same age has the power to erode a huge coat of your innocence, passion and zeal with it if your not careful. Unfortunately, that becomes the ultimate tradeoff. And so everything eventually achieves an equilibrium.
But who can say in truth that they dont miss the intensity of days gone by? Didnt it make the heart beat with all sorts of magnificent rythm? To experience splendid colour on a piece of art or on a naked lover for the first time. To hear that musician that you pledged undying allegience to with every skilled note they strummed. Or the taste of that food simply exploding with incomprehensible flavour in your mouth all those years ago. I remember the girl I felt a fercious love for when I was 20 years old. She was electric. I had not yet sunk my teeth into anything as tender or delicious as her since birth. It was baptismal. The first time intercourse was not clumsy or rushed. With age of consent on both our sides, we immersed ourselves in lust without looking over our shoulders. We derided haplessly in what can only be described as the pious worship of human skin.
In youth, the world kept offering a new flavour to feast upon waking moment after waking moment. This is before the persisting sameness of it all turned one bored. And disgustingly dispassionate. Conversely, with pleasure, it also gave pain. Pain so sharp and lightning-random in its strike that it caused one to question religion and resent all symbols of authority. In our pain, we cursed the sky and everything holy as it whipped us taking a piece of us for good each time it pulled back. New pain each day wears a man out. Turns him dissilusioned. And then tired. Eventually, you seek refuge in the monotony.
“Atleast monotony cannot break your heart”,you think.
It will not tire your spirit as carelessly as youth does with those belabouringly unnecessary soap opera-esque motions.
The world was true and exciting once. I suppose it still is even now though hard to percieve without the uncensored eyes of youth. Many crave that same excitement we gave up for stability. They crave to find a shore from the salty monotony they drown in each day. Youth allowed us to walk naked and play in the dirt with little or no consequence. It allowed us to act knowingly and unapoligetically foolish. I suppose therefore, we invented bars to serve as playgrounds for adults. Places where we could congregate and try to achieve anything if only a sliver of the immense passion that consumed us years ago. These beloved places where we can replicate the joy of yesterday. We can walk in and suddenly revert to zealous, petulant children. We can jump and dance awkwardly. We delight in drinking and spilling our drinks carelessly because someone else will clean up after us ‘kids’. And most importantly, we are allowed to get up and leave anytime we damn well please.The corporate animal then gave us teambuilding activities and corporate retreats to give us brief pause from the demands of being responsible taxpaying adults. It allowed us to be severed from the family we love and live for if just for a bit. And it allowed us to walk barefoot in the sunset and howl with the primal sincerity that birthed us all.
What Im saying , Donald, is that I envy that young stranger on the ferry reeling in unbridled rage. But… only because when he feels joy, it seems utter, infinite and complete.

Signing off

D.A.D.

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