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Friday, June 22, 2012

a quarter

The hands on the clock criss and cross and criss again, the sun sets and it rises and it shines so bright it hurts, the pages on a calendar fly by leaf by leaf and weeks turn to months and then the weeks turn into a year and before you know it you are back where you started. In the same place, on the same earth going round the same sun at the same pace and magically you find yourself at just that point in the orbit when the world was blessed by the coming into being of one just like you

so, i turned 25 today. A quarter century has passed with me on this earth and it feels like a big deal. I remember watching a movie called Waking Life, its a Richard Linklater movie about people talking, people talking about life and the various things it entails. The whole movie revolves around these cartoon characters having conversations about philosophy, art, literature "we are all characters in a great big Dostoevsky novel one of them says." i didn't really understand completely how the meaning of life and the meaning of meaning could be put this way, it seemed backwards, a novel should imitate life, it should be the aim of the novelist to make us feel like the characters are alive but they couldn't be more alive than us could they? Then i read some of his books and i began to understand. the people there feel so much, they confront their thoughts and doubts unflinchingly, they mercilessly analyse what's going on in their lives and the world around them and honestly, people seem to scared of their feelings. The world as we know it is full of such self denial about how we really think and what we really feel the biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves. Consider charity for example, charity is a great thing, its part of humanity to want to help but why do we do it? i really do believe that a vast majority are driven by some selfishness, not everyone can be so Mother  Theresa, to give until it hurts, we give until we glow, until we feel good about ourselves. The beggar on the street who you give 20 shillings to is providing a valuable service, he is selling you feelings of wholesomeness and worth. You feel like you helped somebody and for a day, an hour, a minute you feel good about what you did, you feel great and that's why we give to charity, that's why i do it in some deep part of me. If not to feel better at least to avoid feeling worse. Again this is probably not true for everyone but its true for many of us, we give away our money but not our happiness and this is just one example, many people react violently to this they don't want to think that the better angels of their nature are driven by the same motives as the devils perched on their heads, piercing their hearts with lusts and greed.

But i turned 25 today, in the same movie one of the characterless talked about how the cells in the body get completely replaced every 7 years or so, meaning there is nothing in you that existed 7 years ago, biologically and physically you are a completely different person than you were back then. If you think about it once you turn 7 there is always a point that existed 7 years ago. A wholly different you than there was before at least in body and many times in spirit. i read somewhere that the great difference between literature and other books is character development because that's what happens in life. People develop, they change into things they weren't things, they never imagined they could be. Its been a year since I wrote a birthday post back then I had one more day of university my life was going to change dramatically, my body was shaking with excitement as i tried to prepare for that last paper. If you had told me then that i would be writing this one from a hostel in Hungary i wouldn't have believed you. If i had told anyone that they wouldn't have either but that's life i guess. It takes you by the hand and as long as you clasp it and don't let go it can take you places. Places you never imagined you would be visiting with people you never imagined you would see.

I have done a lot of travel since i turned 24. Ethiopia, Egypt, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Hungary and its something i will be eternally grateful for. i know this kind of thing doesn't happen to most Kenyans, the border lines around our country can be the ultimate proof that the world is flat. They can be magic lines you never reach out to and touch and see and cross, they are the end of the world. For 3 or so years i told myself i would live in Europe for a year after university. i halfway achieved this and am not sure i believed it when i said it. but i said it and the winds of words seemed to have powered the ship of my life and brought me to this point.

When you travel you have a lot more time to think am not sure we use it all in the sit down and really consider life way of thinking, its more like there's an undercurrent that we can't see. Outwardly things look calm but in the sea of our lives there's volcanoes and sharks and the lochness and other things we have never fully explored and we may never. The ocean is the last big frontier of human exploration on this earth. Such a high percentage of unexplored species in a place so vast and deep and dark that our best telescopes can't see anything. Despite this when the change manifests itself we can tell. We know that global warming is making the sea rise and we can predict hurricanes. We don't know our whole souls but if we studied it, and really studied it we can tell the violent changes that are happening beneath the calm. The more we spend time with just us the more things fall into place and pieces jigsaw together.

i know more about myself than i did last year, i have changed somewhat and the main thing is that now i can feel the grey winds of mortality rattle the glass panes of my fragile life more and more. Its amazing that this poorly treated body made it this far and when i think about how much farther i want it to take me am scared that i'll let my addictions overcome my ambitions. Those are the angels fighting forever in my soul. My propensity for self-indulgence battling with my feelings about how i could be. Every year we should try to be better than the last but all i seem to become better at doing is predicting what would go wrong and convincing myself that i should do it anyway. i am forever mired in the muck of my mistakes, mulching in their manure. Mistakes of carelessness and carefreeness. Case in point this was meant to be posted from Romania why am in Hungary instead is a shitstorm  i'll explain later. i feel closer to death without feeling older. Some people my age are married and i went off on a flight of fancy where i imagined myself being one of them. Most people at this age have met a girl who a part of them says they could settle down with if only, if only, if only. The reasons vary wildly oscillating from financial to spiritual to it being the one girl you simply cannot have. Am not sure what we need in life to be happy or if we can be but one of the saddest things is when money can't make you happy and this may be that we need to say to ourselves, life would be perfect if only i had this or that and i have been asking myself why i like her so much if she makes me feel so sad, every goodbye has the tinge of forever and every hallo isn't filled with the possibilities that i want it to be filled with and maybe this is the thing, someone i can point to and say if only, if only, if only and go through a half happy fully content life telling myself there is a way it could be better. If we had all we could and still had nothing we may be living a nightmare we can't get out of.

But at 25 there are other important thing is to decide. Am done with university, done with my third internship abroad and there are tough decisions to be made about where my professional career will carry me. Which winds whether they are of fate or of my own making will not let me make that fatal mistake. i say am not sure when am asked but that's only because am scared that i won't be able to do it. i won't be able to cobble together all the pieces to fit my road on the way to wherever, but not trying is the worst kind of failure. am not sure who but somebody once said that half the fear we feel when we stand on a really high edge isn't that we may fall, its that we may jump off. maybe the fear of failing is like this, its not that we may fall if we try: we are scared of jumping and discovering to our shock that we can't fly and that our father does not send angels to guide us softly to the ground. We hold on to the if only so strongly it seems our only way out.

but i read this Carl Sagans quote about books...What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other,
citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."

And all i want to do with my life is work magic, cast spells and weave sorceries, But my wand seems weak sometimes, my spells not strong enough. i don't want to be whispering the prayer of the one who was too scared to see if there were angels waiting  maybe it is better to be dashed to pieces against rocks than to wonder all our lives if there really were wings on our feet. A full quarter came and went and am still here. Hope i see the half.

and for now..."thanks for all the wishes/ am a quarter bitches!"