thewordsounds

"Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his work" Virginia Woolf.

Counting Days

Greetings from my city good people,

Well, I am almost hitting the bed but I couldn’t call it a day without talking to you. First of all today is the 29th which means that it is almost end of July which also means it is almost the end of Summer.

To be honest I didn’t believe I would survive Summer here and when all this begun I had a list of the dates up in my wardrobe where I could cancel them out at the end of each day. The only other time I had to cancel out days was when I was teaching History at Ol’ Dexter High and I hated it at the start. Now that I have survived one month I have this feeling in my heart. I am so scared that it is almost over and the Uni will reopen for the fall semester which means that the students will be back. The students I am talking about here are my roommates, what I hate about their return is the noise. Seriously, I haven’t seen louder people!

Now I mark off the date at the end of each day and with it my heart breaks a bit. I guess I am also a little bit scared of what the new semester will bring. I am scared of doing an MA in Turkish and also of the professors I will find at the department. Given that when I start over-thinking I start worrying I guess I should take a breath and maybe enjoy the one last month of a Summer that might be my last here.

Today I also made a list of the things I want to do for the rest of the year. And by year I mean 153 days-yes I got it all counted. Well, I know this is just but a list but it will be kind of good to look back on the 31st and see what I have managed to do. In the meantime I can’t stop thinking about that noise that will befall me in a few days. If I keep pretty still, I can hear it.

Sh…

j.

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100 days.

100 days today 276 girls in Nigeria were forcefully taken by armed militants in the dark of the night. As I write they are still out there. I can’t even begin to imagine what they are going through. Therefore today’s post as I have done in all my social networks is about them. It is a call to everybody to rise, to get angry and to act so that we can:

#BringBackOurGirls.

j.

Mr.Fines

Hi,

Today I was going to tell you about this place I visited yesterday after getting lost the day before yesterday. But to borrow from a cliche, that’s a story for another day.Instead I will tell you about my friend.

Mr. Fines.

Probably if he ever reads this he will now know this is the name I gave him. I always told him I had gotten him a name. I know you are wondering why we are talking in the past tense. See, it has been months since we spoke. I feel like I have left him somewhere in my past, like he is still living in the past. Problem is I can’t move back to the past. First the name – Mr. Fines from the many fines he liked to subject me to. A fine for failing to meet a promise, for forgetting something, for this and that basically. I also swiftly learnt to fine him. Mostly the fines came in the form of coffee and yes books. I think part of the reasons why I meet and make friends is because of books.

Mr. Fines just like me also loves the written word. We exchanged books and yes discussed the books. He is also a writer, he has a way with words. Which reminds me that the last time we talked he was in the middle of writing his novel. I say this with a bit of a heavy heart, I don’t even know if he really got to finish it. Worst thing is I have no way of knowing if he has. See, he has sort of disappeared into a continued hibernation. So I guess I will leave him a note here-

“Mr. Fines I can only hope you are fine in light of  everything. I dunno why but for some reason I have been thinking about you a lot lately. I hope whatever has caused this hibernation passes and I hope you master enough strength to emerge from it stronger. I wish for you and the family good health and best of luck. I hope you still haven’t lost the muse. I hope the gift of the word is still with you. Oh and I hope the dream is still there because so long as there is a dream there is a hope. I also hope you are writing. Oh I have a lot of pieces out there that I have penned, I need you to get back so that you can critique them.”

Anyway sometimes we go through things in life and the only thing that we have to do is to close into ourselves and try to hope that whatever it is we will go through it or that time will get us out of it. I know this because I also do that. During such darkness I sit in my corner and just want to be left alone. However, should some soul call unto mine during that darkness somehow I get back. I guess that is why I am trying to reach Mr. Fines. I can only hope that these words will call unto his soul so that somehow he can get back. For now I sit here hope against hope that my friend is okay and when time is right he will get back. But for now ladies and gentlemen, meet my friend Mr. Fines.

This one is for my dearly missed friend Mr. Fines.

Later then,

j.

Gym

Hi,

Being an introvert and an internet junkie comes with its disadvantages. Sitting for hours on end working online means that you get very few hours to do physical exercise. This is what drove me to the gym this morning. An aching back. See I have done gym before and running in the morning but no I haven’t done this sort of gym before. The couch I am working with now comes from Mars and he doesn’t take shit like lazing about. I think he is a bit crazy. Let’s just say I am sore all over from all the workout. I am doing everything in a bunch of 15 for 3 times. Everything. Well, I need to summon all the will I need to do this. But the thing is, I have no option. I promised myself I would do everything I wanted and this is one. I have to be physically fit as well as mentally. So here is to a month of squats and more squats.

j.

Yoghurt

When you are away from home small things take you back home every now and then.

I am sleeping, okay I am watching Chef Ramsay on YouTube in preparation for my plan z when everything else fails, when my roommate walks in. Guess what she has for me? Yoghurt! No I am not talking the natural yoghurt the Turks love, I am talking sweet thick fruit yoghurt. I did a double take, leaped out of bed and embraced her in a bear hug. Okay I didn’t, make no mistake I wanted to, but I told her countless ‘thank yous’. When I woke up this morning the only thing I could think of is the yoghurt. Small pleasures like I said. I am waiting for that pleasure called chapati though.

This reminds me of food and so this post will be about food. Early this week I visited a Kenyan friend and she made me ugali. Can you believe it? I couldn’t believe it too. Well it was made out of corn flour so it was yellow and sweet but you bet I loved it! Funny thing is, when I am at home I rarely take ugali. They will tell you I hate it should you ask the family. I loved it. Again when you are away you take pleasure in anything that says ‘home’.

Finally, I can’t wait to get back to the kitchen again. I have a million things I want to try out. Yes, this has something to do with Chef Ramsay. Oh and now I know what I will do should they decide I am not cut out for the academia. Head to Fiji and open a roadside eatery serving everything from Scallop to Risotto. In the meanwhile, that yoghurt calls for me.

Later then,

j.

 

‘You write with clarity’

Hello there,

Guess what just happened! One of my most respected writer and blogger just sent me an email saying he likes my last flash fiction piece and that ‘I write with clarity’ . Hear that -I write with clarity! As you can imagine, especially in light of the past few days, I am over the moon with excitement. One thing is for sure, I can’t believe it! This is how it feels to finally hear from an established writer about your writing. To be honest, I never saw this coming. I think I am getting there somehow. Nothing like having people read your work of art and have that art speak to them.

To doing more writing with clarity! Oh and did I mention that he wants me to do a guest piece on his blog? Excitement! I read an interesting piece last week asking who you would want standing with you when your dream finally came true. I guess for me it will be my computer ;)

from j, the writer who writes with clarity.

The 26th.

As long as I can remember, I have been a constant worrier. Worrying about everything. Everything including the past, the present and the future. I live in a constant mode of worry and when once in a while I stop worrying I experience a rush of happiness. During such moments I think everything is going to be okay and I believe it. As soon as I reach the high of that joy, I come crushing back to the pit of worry. My brain switches back to worry mode.

How did I get here? How did I become a worrier?

Honestly I became a worrier when I was a kid. In that tender age of childhood. When I didn’t know shit and was just meeting the world. Normally, in an ideal situation a child is supposed to meet a warm world, a warm environment from which she can learn and create her own space. But in those formative years, the world handed me all sorts of stuff. I am not saying I had a bad childhood. I am saying the world handed me fear, gave me a grandmother who scared the shit out of me, then gave me lots of other things that simply told me ‘Worry child, worry’ …I have worried ever since.

I worried about the family. I worried about Tedd and Robb and what sort of life they would lead as they entered into young adulthood I worried about mama and the duty she had on her shoulders of bringing us up and I worried about Webb. I will tell you a story about somebody I call Webb someday. When I am ready. I worry about everything. For a long time I have gone about life feeling like everything is my responsibility and when things start going south I get crushed and most often get into depression – but don’t worry I haven’t had to be committed yet.

The past one year has been a tough year for me. How I lived through it is something I haven’t understood yet but yes I lived through it, survived a new country, a new culture,  loud people, different weather and learnt a new language while at it. While it has been tough I have done most of my development work with that kick ass online network I work with and reached thousands of young people across Africa who are passionate about development. I will always be grateful that I know that one thing that I want to do with my life. I want to see Africa become a self-sustaining continent. I am proud of the work I am doing. I know in the larger picture of things it is a speck but still it is something and I am doing something however small. The hardest part of the year though has been getting rejection letter after rejection letter especially from #ku that cool Uni I was gonna join this September. And worst of all the interview I missed the other day, I am still trying to understand how that happened.

Anyway, that was my year of 25 and when I turned 26 this June I told myself one thing- I have to grow up. What I should have told myself is that I have to stop worrying. This past few weeks have taught me to stop worrying. To stop it all and live life because I only get to be 26 once. So I have decided nothing matters anymore and worrying about shit I can’t change does not make any one single difference. I think what this means to me is that I can finally stop take a breath and do what I want. I can decide to wake up, pack a bag, the cool travel bag I bought last year, and just hit the road. I feel like I have the power to make a choice because this is life, I am not preparing for it. This is it and I could die now, on my computer in room 305 of this dormitory that I hate, and then what? What will I have done? Will I have lived? As such I owe it to The Man to live. To do the things I want to do. I know exactly what I want to do and nothing will stop me, not a million rejection letters, not expectations, nothing. Because nothing has nothing to do with nothing, if you want something you simply get up and get it for yourself. That is what I am doing. I have made plans already and the year of 26 is definitely going to be different.

I once read somewhere that you should believe that dreams come true because they do and you should have the courage to dream, but not just to dream but to dream wild, huge, dazzling, extraordinary dreams because dreams come true. I guess what I am saying is that I have stopped worrying and I have started living and dreaming crazy dreams because this is life, and the only thing I am sure of is this day, this hour, this minute, this second…it is the only life I have.

This one is for the 26th; let’s go rock it!

j.

This food is sad.

Let’s talk food.

There is a reason I did not always take food in the university mess in my undergraduate days. Well, maybe just once in a while. Fast forward to today and many kilometers away  I still do not take food in the mess here, at least from last night I won’t be taking any. Why, you ask. Come with me.

It’s been weeks since I ate food, besides coffee and biscuits, so I decide to go to the mess for food. As I always do I walk around checking the various foods. I see nothing that excites me. There is bread. I will never understand how the Turks take bread in every meal. There is rice. There is pasta. There is some other Turkish food I do not know by name yet. I opt for rice and french beans.

I carry my tray to the cashier and as I wait for the cashier that I like to serve me I see the cashier lady who is normally very mean to me beckon. I consider ignoring her but since I am holding up the queue I reluctantly walk to her. I watch her. She tells me that will be 3 bucks. As I pay, she smiles and tells me to go enjoy my meal. I look through her, pick my food and head to my table. Why would she want to be nice to me today?

I head to the table, get my phone and open that article I have been reading on ‘AEON’. I pick my fork, look at the food before me and this wave of sadness engulfs me. The french beans lay in lazy abandon in a river of fat, fat that makes me shudder just by looking at it. I fork one of them and lift them up to my mouth, knowing there is zero nutritional value here and knowing it will take a long while for me to get back to this mess again.

This food could make you cry. This food is sad.

j.

This Beach Converses in Russian

So today I woke up and I decided to go to the beach. Right? Wrong, my friend from KE who has been here a long while invited me to go out with her. So I wake up late and as I am taking a shower, she is waiting for me at the bus stop. Of course this I learnt later when I found her sitting at the bus stop with a certain look about her,that look you have when you have been waiting for somebody around Hilton in KE for two hours. She waited for one but still. I apologize and apologize. She brushes it off but not before telling me ‘I am a white time keeper’ I will let you decipher that.

Off we went to the beach. It was full. Full of kids, young bloods, and old ones. We joined the fullness. Today was my first day to go to the beach. I did not carry a swimming costume simply because I haven’t bought one yet. I don’t know how to swim also. No surprise here, the biggest mass of water I saw for a long time is from my childhood-a string of a river. Anyway, my friend and her son swim away with such glee I keep wishing for the water. The water keeps calling for me. I oblige.

The turquoise water is cool, it kisses my feet in wet kisses, the sand is a soft carpet of grey, the breeze comes to me in an undertone saying ‘we could be friends’ The promise of love. I knew I’d be going in and we would have something. I sat there by the sea and whispered secrets some not so good-like how I missed a fucking interview the other day. The sea looked at me and in one wave told me it knows nothing about interviews but assured me the world doesn’t stand a chance.

I closed my eyes, stretched out and listened to the voices from without.  They came to me in Russian.

j,

From the Beaches of Antalya.

 

 

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