100 QUESTIONS

So I received this challenge to answer the following questions about me… If you ever were lurking somewhere and wanted to get to know a few more things about me, here’s your chance! A bit lengthy (100 questions!), but yeah. And maybe you can also do it yourself, or challenge other friends.

1:Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

Ehh… Closed, because paranoia is real.
2:Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from the hotel?

Sometimes, if I like the smell of them. And all other goodies that hotels give.
3:Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

Out, definitely. How else would I get to kung-fu in my dreams?
4:Have you ever stolen a street sign before?

Are they even stealable?
5:Do you like to use post-it notes?

A.D.D.I.C.T.
6:Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

Only when Nakumatt used to have them on the back of their receipts.
7:Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?

Is that bear a teddy?
8:Do you have freckles?

No. But I find them amazing, unique. Probably have wished to have them sometime…
9:Do you always smile for pictures?

I don’t usually know what to do in front of the camera…
10:What is your biggest pet peeve?

People that don’t get it. You know the kind? They just don’t get things, and I am not very fond of repeating things.
11:Do you ever count your steps when you walk?

Count steps, not step on lines in the pavement, count seconds… That’s right up my alley.
12:Have you ever peed in the woods?

Yes.
13:What about pooped in the woods?

I have contributed to the dispersal of guava seeds in rural Western Kenya.
14:Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing?

Oh yes!
15:Do you chew your pens and pencils?

Another pet peeve…
16:How many people have you slept with this week?

Zero.
17:What size is your bed?

3 x 6? Campus bed… the one at home is a 4 x 6 (Juliani fans, anyone?)
18:What is your song of the week?

Jesu Rato La Hao by Joyous Celebration
19:Is it okay for guys to wear pink?

Yeah!
20:Do you still watch cartoons?

Cartoons give me life man.
21:Whats your least favourite movie?

Horror films… wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.
22:Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?

When I was a child, I would run around the compound and imagine I had treasure to hide, but I never really did get round to doing the hiding. So now? I still don’t think I’d know.
23:What do you drink with dinner?

Tea. With dinner, and with everything else. #maragoli
24:What do you dip a chicken nugget in?

Salt… Ketchup… BBQ sauce… Chili… Sweet and sour… Whatever is provided.
25:What is your favorite food?

Wow… For the longest time it’s been rice and beef stew… Maybe nice, dry-fry tilapia with ugali and lemon?
26:What movies could you watch over and over and still love?

Ha! Pitch Perfect. Confessions of a Shopaholic. Any movie with Captain America. and Wolverine!!! Gladiator. Transformers (if Bumblebee asked to marry me I’d say yes.) STAR WARS!! Guardians of the Galaxy. The Age of Adaline. The Notebook. Legally Blonde. Music and Lyrics. Notting Hill. Any other Hugh Grant. The Hunger Games. Any Drew Barrymore. Sweet Home Alabama. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. HSM. OMG and I have not even started on the animations!!! The Book of Life. HT. The Lego movie. Legend of the Guardians. Rise of the Guardians. How to Train Your Dragon. Rio. Madagascar, and its spin-offs. Brave.

***These are actually (mostly) the only movies I watch, over and over.
27:Last person you kissed/kissed you?

Daisy smooched my cheek for a selfie ❤
28:Were you ever a boy/girl scout?

Yes, for 3 weeks!
29:Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?

NO
30:When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?

Last week.
31:Can you change the oil on a car?

I don’t even know where that is done.
32:Ever gotten a speeding ticket?

Cannot drive.
33:Ever ran out of gas?

In a matatu, yes.
34:Favorite kind of sandwich?

Cheesy, and meaty!
35:Best thing to eat for breakfast?

Cornflakes!! Weetflakes!!!
36:What is your usual bedtime?

11:00 pm.
37:Are you lazy?

Yes?
38:When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?

In whose house? Riswaa!
39:What is your Chinese astrological sign?

What?
40:How many languages can you speak?

English, Swahili, Maragoli, bit of French, bit of Kikuyu… written German, as well? And some snippets of Spanish. Greek too… but very little.
41:Do you have any magazine subscriptions?

No…
42:Which are better legos or lincoln logs?

Everything is awesome…
43:Are you stubborn?

Mules are stubborn like me.
44:Who is better…Leno or Letterman?

I don’t know those people that well.
45:Ever watch soap operas?

Haha! Yes! But not any more… Amongst all the ones I watched, the Brazilian ones were bomb. Shades of Sin, A Love Story India…
46:Are you afraid of heights?

I hide it very well.
47:Do you sing in the car?

I sing everywhere.
48:Do you sing in the shower?

Like I said…
49:Do you dance in the car?

Oh yes!
50:Ever used a gun?

Water gun.
51:Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?

Are passport photos portraits? Sometime this year…
52:Do you think musicals are cheesy?

Some…
53:Is Christmas stressful?

Getting all the little ones to church and back, yes…
54:Ever eat a pierogi?

What is that?
55:Favorite type of fruit pie?

I don’t really eat those…
56:Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Ha! A pediatric cardiologist, chef, secretary….
57:Do you believe in ghosts?

Spirits…
58:Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?

Weekly-monthly basis…
59:Take a vitamin daily?

Technically, my body synthesizes Vitamin D daily… or something like that.
60:Wear slippers?

Yes
61:Wear a bath robe?

I once had this blue satin-y one… Though it was more of a dressing gown than a bath robe.
62:What do you wear to bed?

A dhera
63:First concert?

Can’t remember…
64:Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?

NAKUMATT!!!!! Nakumatt is my happy place…
65:Nike or Adidas?

Nike!!
66:Cheetos Or Fritos?

?????
67:Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?

Peanuts
68:Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?

No
69:Ever take dance lessons?

From Wacuka, in high school. Expert choreographer!
70:Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?

If he’s not a doctor, all my medical puns will be wasted!! But then, on a serious note, I don’t know. Doctors get extra points, still.
71:Can you curl your tongue?

It’s in my genes baby!
72:Ever won a spelling bee?

Oh yeah!!! Twice.
73:Have you ever cried because you were so happy?

Story of my life…
74:Own any record albums?

No?
75:Own a record player?

No
76:Regularly burn incense?

No
77:Ever been in love?

Yeah….
78:Who would you like to see in concert?

Christafari. Jars of Clay. JOYOUS CELEBRATION!!! ABBA. 30STM. J Monae. P!NK.
79:What was the last concert you saw?

Adawnage.
80:Hot tea or cold tea?

Cold tea.
81:Tea or coffee?

TEA…
82:Sugar or snickerdoodles?

What are snickerdoodles?
83:Can you swim well?

Yes!!!
84:Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?

Yes…
85:Are you patient?

Yes and no… it’s very relative.
86:DJ or band, at a wedding?

Both?
87:Ever won a contest?

Yes
88:Ever have plastic surgery?

I’ve been in theatre during a plastic surgery, but not on the table.
89:Which are better black or green olives?

Black
90:Can you knit or crochet?

Yes to both
91:Best room for a fireplace?

Is there a room like a cosy room?
92:Do you want to get married?

YES, YES and YES
93:If married, how long have you been married?

In my mind? To Bumblebee/Captain America??
94:Who was your (HS) High School crush?

Hey Mo!
95:Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?

No, but that doesn’t mean I’m not passive-aggressive.
96:Do you have kids?

Not yet…
97:Do you want kids?

In high school I wanted 13
98:Whats your favorite color?

Green. Blue. Black. Red. White. Gold. Yellow.
99:Do you miss anyone right now?

Yes…
100.Something that happened to you in middle school.

8-4-4 equivalent? Upper primary-ish? That’s all vague to me…

 

So yeah, that’s a bit of me. We’ve barely scratched the surface, but it’s a start.

XOXO, and peace!

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Wh… What?

I know that the problem I am having and facing currently can only be solved by God. And yet, I cannot bring myself to ask for his help. Because I feel like He had a role to make sure I do not end up in this place, and he let me down. Because, why did he allow the many unfortunate situations that led up to me being in this place to happen? Because, why do I always end up in the same place? A place I do not want to be in, over and over? A place that is more than just raw emotion, where my cognition is twisted and the morbid and bizarre become cool to me, and I suddenly want to be engulfed in darkness? A place where the only people that can get to me in are Sheeran and 30STM and P!NK and Creed and the Script?

I do believe, I believe that Jesus is Lord, that he has authority over everything, and that he is coming back. I do wait in joyous anticipation (at least when I can afford it) for that day, maybe more so because every tear will be dried and I won’t have to feel like this, and I will rejoice in my Father. Oh yes, how I do wait for that day. But now, I feel like I do not even believe. Like that man in the Bible said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” His child had been plagued by an evil spirit for long, and he believed that Jesus could cast it out… but he needed his unbelief helped. Isn’t that the situation my funks land me in all the time? And how does the Lord come through for me in such? I honestly feel like I have to be a certain way, to think in a certain way, to be helped. But that also feels like I actually am saving myself, only giving God the ‘glory’, so to speak. Like, yes, I followed religion, read  my Bible daily regardless of what I feel, prayed to my ceiling, and that the following of practices and norms and rituals got me to a place where I feel sufficiently happy with myself, and so I end up thinking that God has indeed saved me from my funky episode. On and on, until the next episode, which will then have me wondering whether or not really God had any role to play in this.

You see, this is my dilemma. I do not feel as though God can relate with me in this place that I am in right now. Yet, I also cannot let go, because, like Peter said, “To whom shall we go Lord, you have the words of eternal life.” So what does a tree that is not sure of its absorption of the living waters go to next? Where does the hungry man that does not see where the bread of life is go? And how does the 98th sheep explain to the rest of the flock why it is always feeling lost, despite the good pasture and watering holes and security it has always received, that it is lost despite not taking any of these for granted? Even though it has never gotten to sheep 100’s level of lost, although maybe that is what is needed, for the shepherd to go out and get it in a way that shows it is the one that was being deliberately looked for? That if, indeed, Jesus is the answer to everything, and his joy is the strength of our lives, then where does the Christian battling depression, anxiety, personality disorders – where does this person go, without sounding like a heretic? How does this person express their lostness, their dismal outlook, their raw, unedited emotion, without uttering a blasphemy? How does such a person stare into the deep, unending abyss, contemplate a state of non-existence, and still somehow fit in the flock? How does such a person, with self-inflicted cuts and bruises, and dead afraid of social interactions, distance themselves from others – blatantly disobeying the exhortation to not give up meeting together, and still be okay? How does a person like this, who is always encouraged to ‘pray it away’, pray? Or to ‘meditate on the Word’, when their mind is stuck in a state of rumination, think of scripture? When all the other well-meaning sheep encourage them to ‘find their comfort in the Lord, for his yoke is easy and his burden light’, yet they’ve been yoked for so long, so heavily, that they are one with the yoke? That they are the burden, at least in their sight? How does such a person ‘die to self’, when they cannot even find the self to kill? When the good book assures them that ‘they died, and their lives are now hidden with Christ in God’… how do they know that this is for certain, for real, when they feel like all they did is die, and that all that surrounds them is dark, black oblivion? How do you trust when you have been consumed with despair? Where do you begin to find hope, when all you are wallowing in is defeat and helplessness?

For Me, It’s You

Who had the audacity to decide which plants were weeds and which were flowers?

-@whorefrost

 

There’s nothing I want more than to take up my phone and text  you. To tell you how you are my writer’s block (click here for post). How I cannot write because of you. How everything I put down has a memory of you. How I was a fledgling writer, just starting to put my thoughts out there, when I met you. How I shared everything with you first, how I lapped up your affirmation… How you were the wind in my face on that game drive, the cake I really savored, how my literary sun rose and set with every word of yours. How, one day, I held my musings up to the light that was you, and you declared them juvenile. Half-baked. Not well thought-out, because who cares that famous people have died if we will all die anyway, if our existence is but fleeting? Because my angle was skewed, because all men are like grass and how dare I suggest that some deaths are “more important” than others based on how well-known the deceased was? How dare I?

Well, now, more famous people have been dying of late. And, again, I have been getting reflective, but not because of their fame. I think I know death, I have seen more death in my field than you ever have, maybe more than you ever will even. Yet, I still wonder at the “famous deaths”, because I get to see worldwide and nationwide reactions to the death, and how it manages to galvanize people, and how, for the few days afterwards, all we do it try to find the best in the deceased and in each other and it’s all about tributes and celebrations of achievements and/or mourning what we deem to be too soon. What makes it weird is that now, instead of concentrating on these aspects that had formed the very core of my thinking in earlier times, I concentrate on the justification. I justify it, in my own head, to a fictitious figure, why I have the right to be moved beyond social media condolences, why I have the right to think about what has been and what could have been in that life, what they could have done different, better, and how I can learn from that. Do you see how you changed it?

I find it funny, this thing death. It comes and takes, and takes, and takes. Without second thought, without remorse, without apology. Just *poof*, just like that. And the living are left to grapple with the aftermath, to find a way to survive, to adapt, to keep on keeping on, to hang in there and be there for one another and think and muse such strange musings. But what’s even funnier is one person’s ability to stifle another’s voice, to act as grim reaper to an honest-to-goodness fellow’s voice, even if their naivety is off the charts and may maybe need direction. That, when Pat Monahan (of Train) strains to deliver in “For Me, It’s You”, as he sings of what he would prefer to sing about, to laugh about, to talk about, my thoughts shift to writing and I think that for me, it’s you.

The only difference is that he actually wants to do it…

 

 

Her Best Friend

Cold…

Cold on the outside…

Cold on the inside,

As well…

 

She placed her palm on the window

And watched the raindrops,

Trickling down,

Forming mini streams,

Collecting at the base

On the other side of the windowbox.

 

The beauty was amazing

Yet she felt…

Empty, alone, dejected…

She thought she’d shed enough tears,

She wished her reservoir would run dry

But

There was always more,

For every day,

Every situation,

Every little thing –

Or lack thereof…

She thought it was weak,

Pathetic, even.

But every time she was

Among people, her friends even,

She felt it acutely.

 

She’d never match up

She’d never amount to anything.

They were all so accomplished,

So achieved, driven…

She was surely just a shadow,

A gnat in their sight.

So she shrunk back

And withheld…

 

A little mouse

Watching life from a little hole

In the wall – her hideout

Wondering if, when

She’d break out of her little shell…

 

Taking a stroll out in the rain

Hoping it would hide her tears…

Hooded to inrecognition.

She bumped into a wall,

A wall of a person.

He promised to be solid ground,

To be there for her…

To hide her tears, at first

Then dry the reservoir later…

By and by, as time passed

She could raise her head,

Look crowds in the face,

Feel like someone

Without caring what someone else thought…

He taught her independence,

Took her by the hand.

Into sunny meadows he led,

Taught her to be happy,

Taught her to live.

 

Cold…

It was cold outside again…

She sat at her windowbox

Looking at the raindrops

But

On the inside,

This time around

Was the warmth that came

With the satisfaction of knowing

She had a best friend.

Sat, Nov. 6, 2010

My Writer’s Block

What exactly does it mean to have “writer’s block”? Many people have said that they have experienced this, that this is the reason for their not putting out any work… Does this phrase have a specific, fixed, direct, immutable meaning? Well no, of course not, but then again that question was dumb. I just googled it, and apparently, there’s even types of writers block. TYPES!!!

I would say I have been experiencing it but then that wouldn’t be entirely true. I have had content to write about. I have written all about everything, and then so much more. The only problem is, everything I write has boiled down to one topic. One. I could be writing about the beauty of the wind in my face on a game drive, and then you become the wind. It could be about how I had the most beautiful cake in the whole wide world, and suddenly you’re the cake. It could be about the beauty of the views I have of the sunrise and sunset from my room, and then there you are, my sun rising and setting with you.

Truth is, nothing I churn out is untouched by you. The thought. The idea. The memory of you. You are everywhere. Usually, I wouldn’t mind. But I want to write, I really do. I want to put all this beauty around me to paper, and not have it infused with yours. I want to capture the sights and sounds, and not have them filtered through you. You are forbidden fruit, and it has to stay that way.

NEWS!!

Hey people!

Yes, it has been a while, buuuut, I am now done with what has probably been the craziest exam period of my entire life… And I’m still alive! Ha! God is great!

So, news item number two, and the reason for this post…. I have a new site! It’s still here on wordpress, and ehh… I created it because I felt like it would be weird to put everything together over here and have sijui tabs and stuff (or it could be because I don’t know how to, or because of my OCD categorizing things….) but it will mostly have insights on life, spiritual things, you know? And then this one will have arts – written, crafts, hair, the non-serious things. This makes a lot of sense to me, by the way… Plus, I had another blog, but it was under a different user, and so I don’t want to keep signing in and out to post here and there, so that content moves to seshthinks (that’s the new site) 🙂

So yes, both sites will be active :). Double joy! And… (I just forgot what I was going to write there). But catch me on seshthinks.wordpress.com 🙂

See ya!

Over the Edge

This post will most definitely be weird. It was inspired by (and quite frankly, WAS written by) Cristian Mihai, and even he begins by saying that the post may not sit very well with many people. Cowritten by all the people who commented on it, from whom I have taken excerpts. It tackles the darker aspects, the bottomless abyss, whatever you want to call it, but the post itself is about his battle with (what I think is) depression, and what he learnt from it. I wanted to reblog it, but that wouldn’t reflect exactly what I got from the post and the comments, because I know many peple don’t read comments. How? Because several people that found me reading that post asked me what in heaven’s name I was doing reading the comments. But anyway, here’s what I carried away from Cristian Mihai’s post, OVER THE EDGE, October 2014 on his blog/website… http://cristianmihai.net/2014/10/07/over-the-edge/ (I really should learn how to do that linking thingie… bear with me meanwhile)
P.S. These are really just excerpts, I would suggest you read the post for the whole picture, lest you draw conclusions that have no basis… 
Cristian: Freedom comes from the realization that you can kill yourself anytime. It’s a special kind of freedom, one you’ll never taste again… You can see that your life is your own, that you’re exactly as free as you want to be.
Frankregan17: Sitting out on the ledge or staring down into the abyss – it is amazing how comfortable it can be and how damn hard it can be to get up and do something; anything!
Repeoples: Sometimes I feel like a mime trying to get out of an invisible box.
Ida N.: I stare at the same abyss daily, and kind of like you said, I feel I can live a more fulfilling life knowing I have chosen not to fall in.
Alexander: A person can be dead long before they pull the trigger… Your life is a beautiful thing and to bring the story of your life to an end in one final, abrupt chapter would truly be a tragedy. To persist in hardship, against all odds, is part of the human condition and your ability to stare total defeat in the face and stand right back up is not a testament to your failures but rather an assurance of the strength of your own personal character, if you continue ‘trying’, luck will exit the equation entirely as your efforts will surely provide fruitful rewards. If ever you find yourself staring back down into the omnipresent abyss: simply reach out and there will be others willing to sacrifice their own internal flames to keep yours alight for that much longer – and you can count me among their ranks.
Jerry Hall (Jerry’s mother said): If you don’t have dreams, you will die.
Plainandsimpleempress: Pessimists are far happier people than optimists are. We are never disappointed, and sometimes we are pleasantly surprised.
Steve Perrin: Once you plunge into the void, you cannot change your mind. Pulling back, you can always reconsider.
Endlesssojourns: I came. I read. I understood. Had my own edge and abyss. What fascinates me is how did we reach this abyss. Why us. Why not others. How some have moved on while others stay forever at the edge. And why some take the leap.
Susan: I laughed. I cried. Yes, I have looked into the abyss too. Thank you for the hope you shared.
<>
Shantisram (shantisram’s lecturer said): Every situation is one we can learn from, it’s just that some come with more pain than others.
X (a band, someone posted these lyrics of theirs): “This must be hell, she thought, as rain began to fall, To have everything you want, and hate it all.”
Blackbird: The curious thing about hope is that it gets stronger as things get worse… Lift your eyes up to the dawn and keep fighting.
And the last line that Cristian put in that post, after sharing his lessons from that period of 3 years of sitting at the edge and staring into the abyss, trying to see the bottom, is this: “What you take from it, if anything at all, is not my concern.” He wrote because he had to write, because it was his way of coping, his wayof dealing… HIS.

Twin Crushes??

I am willing to bet that everyone who will read this post has had a crush at one point or another. Several, actually. And we can all relate with the feeling, how those butterflies come unbidden when you see the object of your affections, how you swoon, how you build an entire kingdom of castles in the air thinking about being together and how much fun that will be… Yah? Crushes are awesome, very good, wonderful, even. And then they die a natural death, or he gets a girl and your heart breaks into a million pieces for all of 3 days before you get a rebound crush, or something. Note, I’m talking about crushes today, not relationships. Crushes. Infatuations.
What happens when you develop a crush on identical twins? You don’t really know them yet, so you cannot exactly tell the difference between them, but you like one of them. Am I the only one who has gone through this? Something happened within the past week that reminded me of an incident like this that took place a while back. I was 13, and thoroughly in like with a guy who had an identical twin. Then, it was easy for me to tell them apart because they had only their looks in common, everything else was very different. One of them was the cool guy, he hung out with cool guys, he had cool clothes, girls liked him a lot. The one I liked was more reserved, chill, quiet-ish, simple – just how I like my guys. His acne had also checked in earlier than his brother’s (I’m not even sure if he developed it eventually, will explain why), but that didn’t matter to me, he was very kind and nice – you know? Personality. Inner beauty. That stuff.
I never really spoke to any of them, at least not at length… But my mother knew their father. Not that it changed anything anyway… and the only close interaction (and by close I mean in terms of proximity) I ever had with any of them was one day when we had a class retreat with our parents and teachers and got divided into teams, and I was in the same team with one of them, I think. The details of that day are a bit fuzzy. So yes, I had this debilitating crush on Adam for that entire year, and it died because we finished primary school and I went to a boarding high school and they disappeared off the face of the earth entirely – which is why I cannot say for certain whether John’s acne ever came knocking. I never saw any of them for the four years I was in high school.
Fast forward four years, and I bumped into one of them. We were 18 then, and the moment I saw those big eyes I was transported back in time to the days I couldn’t say a single word around any of them. We participated in a volunteering program together, and even then I couldn’t speak more than muttered hellos, because I was crushing again. However, this time, I wasn’t sure who was who… There was no acne, no brother to contrast with, and he was cool, calm, collected. Because I wanted to, I guess, my mind decided that this was the guy, after four years, ergo second chance. Rekindled crush. For another while, I revisited those early days every now and then (I know, right?????), until I had to move on. Because it was pretty silly, I said.
Again, fast forward another four years, to last week. I was doing my rounds on facebook, and I find a post by him with a few people tagged in it. I recognized the name of his twin and decided to check out how he was doing, and you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the revisited crush in the previous paragraph was directed at the wrong twin!!!! Mortification!!!!! I didn’t even know where to start, I still don’t… but at least now I can see some humor in it. Which brings me to the question that had me writing this post in the first place… What happens when you develop a crush on identical twins you cannot as yet tell apart?
P.S. Adam is not his real name 😛

Keshy

My grandparents have a farm help, Njambi. She is very good at what she does, very meticulous, very diligent. Everybody that has ever been to my grandparents’ place before and after her arrival can testify to the fact that the house, the compound and even the cows – everything looks better. Waaay better… but this post is about Njambi’s daughter.
Wangechi, whom we call Keshy, is a bright 6 year old girl. When I say bright I mean not only intellectually, but personality as well. Her smile, oh, that girl’s smile is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. She smiles with her whole being, she looks like a flower that is fast-forward blossoming (you know the way they do it on Nat Geo?) right in front of your eyes… Her whole body seems to light up. She has these very white, very small milk teeth, and her smile gives you a free front row seat to view this gallery of twenty. Her eyes light up, they look like they hold the essence of all the fireflies in the world, all the innocence, all the simplicity one could ever wish to acquire. Somehow all the beauty in the universe, in the night skies, the sun and the moon and the stars fit in that little, little body, when she smiles.
Now, in my grandparents’ house, there’s this room I really can’t name, but it plays a central role in today’s narrative. It looks like it could be a dining room, except that there is already a dining room. Each of its four walls has a door… two doors that are directly opposite one another each lead to a bedroom. The third door opens into the living room, and the fourth into a porch that faces the outside kitchen. This room has a cupboard that has been there since my mother and her siblings were babies, and it still keeps leftovers and salt and matchboxes and milk from the cows and flour… mostly. It also has two tables, one next to the cupboard that holds dishes that are in transit from the washing area to the living room dish cupboard, and the other that holds food in transit both to and from the kitchen. Under the first table is a small gas cooker we use to warm food in a hurry, and under the second table is a karai, where hens hatch their young. In one corner, behind the door that opens to the porch, is my grandmother’s kibanji, a huge earthen pot where she stores her drinking water so it stays cool. I think now you kinda understand why I cannot exactly give this room a conventional name.
Yesterday, Keshy introduced me to her child, Stella. She came into this room as I was preparing vegetables for supper, and I see something strapped to her back. So I asked her what was going on, and she told me that that was Stella, her child. And she was fast asleep. She needed my help adjusting the pink jumper that doubled up as the baby carrier so I obliged, and she left promptly in search of food to prepare for Stella, so that when she wakes up, she won’t have to stay hungry for long, or at all.
Stella is a very fortunate doll, if I may say so. She’s not much really, not as much a doll as she is pieces of cloth inside a larger pink one, but the love and the care that she gets is out of this world. Whenever she isn’t being cuddled and coddled, she is strapped to Keshy’s back, sharing in her adventures as she explores the farm and bush around. She is always fed on time, and I find it beautiful how Wangechi models her mother in how she takes care of that doll. She will speak to Stella, explain things, tell jokes, ask questions – even prioritize and put her before playing with her friends. She doesn’t just place Stella anywhere, she has to find a place that is stable, firm, safe, soft, fit for an actual baby. And then she will cover her well to protect her from the elements, just as she has seen it done, before she can go out to play.
So Keshy went out to search for food and left me very impressed. When she returned, about half an hour later, I asked her whether she had found the food, and whether Stella had been fed already. She said no, she hadn’t found food yet, and then looked at what I was preparing with this glint in her very white eyes. Catching on, I asked her to fetch a plate from the dish rack, and I scooped some (really like two tablespoons) out of the pot and gave her, to go feed her child. We were speaking in conspiratory whispers this entire time, and when she left holding that plate of food in her hands, I wished I could bottle up the joy that little mother was exuding. Since then, every time we meet, she has this look in her eye, and I would imagine Stella does too… the look you give a fellow conspirator when you did something and got away with it… But that’s not the point of this story and I don’t even know what the point of this story is!
All I know is that this little person inspired me to write something about her, and made me so happy just to sit back and observe her go about being a small person in such a big world, still hopeful, innocent, untainted, pure.