I need a wife. 


They said,

My son,

The work is too much for you-

You need a wife

One who cooks, does laundry and irons for you

One who saves for you,

Advises you on the correct investments,

Gives you money to start a business when you get fired,

Takes loans for you in her name,

Prays for you,

And forgives you when when you cheat. 
Well, I looked at their sons around, 

Their baby-like dependency on another human being,

And thought-

Wouldn’t it be lovely to also have a wife? 

But not a businesswoman and a house help mixed together,

 A wife who is wowed by the lunar eclipse as I am,

Who we’ll travel over mountains and valleys just to see another beach like the one at home

Who we’ll exchange cars as well as we exchange ideas,

Who we’ll drag each other to a dispensary after being tear gassed demonstrating against the government,

Whose body belongs to her- but sharing is highly encouraged, 

Whose mind makes mine looks less insane,

Whose humor is darker than mine, 

Whose ideals we share,

Wouldn’t that just be lovely?
They told their son that he needs a wife, 

I looked at their son- 

At whatever he’s proudly bringing to the table- 

An empty table is all he brings-

And whatever he’s asking to be brought to his table

Everything on earth a human can be and carry-

And I thought, with all this that I have – 

It would be a waste to bring it to their son’s empty table

But it would be a worse tragedy for the woman their son exchanges his emptiness for wholeness with,

So why not do the world a favor,

And marry a wife? 

So see- I need a wife. 

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These women..

Growing up, I never had a role model. Like there was no one I looked upto or wanted to be like. But as a child, and a brilliant one at that, after the question, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Came the question “who is your role model?”. 

So I lied my way through that question the whole time. In class three I heard a class seven girl mention that Ben Carson was her role model. I had no idea by then who that was but I immediately adopted the guy as my role model in case anyone asked. 

But the fact that I had no specific person I looked upto doesn’t mean I had no people I admired. And I think all are women. Like I’ve scratched my brain to try to remember if there is any man I ever looked upto and none came to mind. 

In my career and education I’ve met and heard of many women whose lives had my uttermost respect. And the first woman to have that honor was Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. I remember keeping her picture from class 4 to class 7. My social studies teacher loved mentioning her. And I admired that feat of being the first woman to do something, not just in your country but in a whole continent. 

After her came more women who one way or another got me pysched up to achieve a great feat in my life. Especially our High School alumni. They made me want to go out there( now here) and shine the light then go back to tell those small ladies that its possible; you can be anything you want. 

But what has made me think about all this has been this particular breed of women in my town. Two to be specific. They are beautiful and pretty. They have brains. And they use them in the business world to thrive just like everyone else here. And more than that, they are sensual. They own their sensuality. Like they are sexy and they use that to their advantage. 

You see, all those women I admired before, kinda followed a script: work hard, be disciplined, go after your dreams and remember to put God first. And short cuts are no good. And that worked for them. 

But these two didn’t exactly follow that script. They are not exactly bad girls but they aren’t good girls either. They went to school and studied as much as life allowed them. They worked where possible. And when short cuts or opportunities that good girls may have by passed showed up, they took them. Like marrying into a rich family or going out with a multimillionaire. 

And a part of me is intrigued by that audacity. To just live life with no caution. To not only use your brains but also your beauty. I don’t know where these thoughts are leading to, but I can’t help but respect these two women. And a part of me looks upto them in some way. 

Like do we have to suppress a part of ourselves to go down the hall of fame? Can’t I be everything? Beauty and brains? And will it matter which path I choose to achieve my dreams? And to who will it matter? Like who are those stakeholders in my life that kinda determine the script I follow in life? 
 

Dear Younger Mercy..

Dear Younger Mercy….At 22, let me tell you how your life pans out and lessons you’ve learnt so far. Some will shock you. 

The stars always shine

No one told you 20s are a hard age to go through. They just said they are full of freedom and life shaping decisions. But you will discover in your early 20s, that it will be harder than expected. The rough days will be rougher than you anticipated. Tarmacking will take a hit on you more than you had expected. You’ll cry more than you ever did as a child. Bad days will be more than the good days. Way more. 

But all in all, one thing you’ll learn at 21 that will keep you going on is that; the stars always shine. 

What that means is that even during your lowest and weakest and darkest moments, it won’t be the end of you. And life moves on. And better times come. You reach the peak of mountains and go down to the deepest part of the valleys. But you don’t stick there. You trudge on. The sun won’t last. The moon might not always be visible, but at all times, every single night, the stars always shine. Always. Shine. 

You’ll love someone seriously

I know, you can’t fathom that right now. But one day you’ll wake up and find yourself constantly thinking about a man somewhere. It will hurt. It will be exciting. You’ll worry on whether it will end. How it will end. And how to make it not end. You’ll stop worrying and take a day at a time. Some days will be worth it, some straight from the devil’s handbook. But they call it passion, right?

You’ll let go of your past.

This is will hurt more than anything you’ve ever felt. It will be painful. Full of hurt and frustration. You’ll break. Completely. You’ll be at a loss over how to get back up. You’ll seek for all help you can get. It will try but it won’t help. Until you get back up. It will hurt until it stops. Your wounds will be pried open, till they start healing. You’ll marvel at the you who comes out of it. She’ll be the most amazing woman you’ve ever encountered. 

And just before you get comfortable in her, you’ll break again. Every single form of brokenness will be harder than the last. More painful. You’ll be more alone inside there. It will hurt way more than you think you can handle. But surprisingly, you’ll make it out alive every single time. Remember our first point up there? The stars always shine. 

And its in line with the above point that you’ll learn to forgive people.

It won’t be easy. Forgiving those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt you and caused you to carry baggages not worth it. You’ll struggle. But ultimately, you’ll forgive them and aspire to rise up above the hurt. 

You’ll finish your 8-4-4 with a storm

You know the way very many Kenyans have finished 8-4-4 so its not such a big deal? Well, it will be to you. You’ll be over the moon. You’ll be happy. You’ll celebrate. You made it out. It will feel good to achieve something for yourself. 

Some of your dreams will come true…literally

And i’m not talking about the desires you have in your sober moments. I mean the dreams you get when you sleep. On July 2016 you’ll dream of going somewhere and breaking your teeth. And an year later that will come to pass. That will freak you out. But it will make you take your dreams more seriously. So you’ll continue noting them down. 

And most weirdly, you’ll meet a dream interpreter. Sounds freakish? Hehehe , it will be exciting and scary at the same time. To have someone make sense of your dreams. And a pretty diva while at it( not some old weird woman as one would expect)

God will become your best friend. 

He’ll speak to you. He’ll stay by your side. He’ll hold on to you at all times. 

And you’ll get used to Him. He’ll be the only being you are entirely honest with. You’ll get used to depending on him fully. 

With Him you’ll not be afraid of being too much. Or being too clingy. Or too anything. With Him you’ll find your satisfaction. 

He’ll amaze the hell out of you(or is it heaven?). He’ll floor you with surprises day after day. He would make a great lover that one.

But one thing that will catch you by shock, is that He’ll speak to you. Yes, you didn’t lose that as a child. Sometimes through dreams. But in most cases, through your everyday shenanigans. As you read, as you look at sunsets and as you meditate or doing such kind of normal things, God will speak to you. You’ll never get used to it. God getting that personal that is. So every single time, you’ll be honoured, humbled and overjoyed at the same time. 

Friends

Some whom you thought were gone forever will slide back. Some whom you thought you were strong for forever will drift away. 

Your friendships will change as you grow up. They’ll be fewer. Extremely few. But more meaningful. The you that you become can’t handle small talk or such kind of conversations over and over. You’ll dig in. Not afraid to get your hands dirty. 

And the friendships that you have will be worth it. So extremely worth it. They’ll refresh your soul. Like pure pristine water in the middle of a desert. Such that after you, your friends will come in second. Nothing beats them. After all, some friends stick closer than family. 

On your physical appearance

You’ll shave your hair. Can’t fathom that right now? Ha-ha. You see that beautiful mane on your head, on one calm September afternoon, you’ll walk into a posh barbershop and spa and bring it all down. All of it. 

And you’ll love it.  Completely. You will try keeping hair, but the woman you will have become will not enjoy it one bit. It will be a bother. So every month will see you seat at a barber shop and have it brought down. You’ll experiment with it a little. As your insides allow. And having short hair will be one of the things your 20s gifted you with. Freedom at last. 

You’ll finally appreciate your body. You will learn how to linger a bit longer in the mirror. The Lady that stares back at you defiantly will be a beautiful mess. Don’t worry, you won’t be a fashionista. At least not yet. But slowly by slowly, paying attention to yourself, you’ll discover what works for you and what doesn’t. I mean, who knew you loved beaded accessories? 

You’ll write over a 100 pieces on your blog. 

Yes, knowing how lazy your writer self is, that will be a feat in itself. That will be one of the major triumphs you could give to yourself. Sometimes when you feel so valueless, wondering what you did on earth, you’ll remember that you created over a 100 articles that didn’t exist before. And that will make you happy. Very happy. 

You’ll fail

You’ll try out some things. Some will pick up slowly. Some will not pick up at all. And in some, you’ll cut your losses and admit that you failed in them. In some you won’t even learn lessons from the failures, but the you that finally admits failure will be stronger than the you that started out. Just like a kid, every single fall before they stand doesn’t teach them a new formula about standing, but it strengthens them for when they’ll finally stand and walk. 

You’ll read. 

Your ass will not be satisfied with just seating down and reading blogs. You’ll look for those books. African literature. Spiritual books. Motivational books. Yeah, you heard that right. Your head will be hungry for information. Because inside those  pages, you’ll discover things you could have avoided if only you knew. So to avoid future mistakes like that, you’ll score loads of books. Some you’ll struggle through. But most will leave a mark on you. And slowly by slowly, you’ll move on to your goal of reading a 1000 good books before you die. 

You’ll dream. 

Now not those night things you get when asleep. You’ll sit down and allow your mind to travel far and wide. Then take a pen and note them down. You’ll not limit yourself. No boundaries. And deep down in your heart, you’ll have this niggling feeling that you’ll achieve your dreams, all of them. 

You’ll discover things you don’t know about yourself

Like hiking. And your crush on adrenaline- filled activities will take you by surprise. But you won’t be able to see or read something that induces screams and not want to be there. This will see you get addicted to the boat ride at the Nairobi annual agricultural Show. To date, its the only thing that has ever made you scream. 

You’ll get connected to your inner self. 

I know it seems like such a lost cause right now, but worry not. One day, you’ll break so hard, that the only choice you will have is to go to that grave you buried her, dig it up and resurrect her. She’ll be very vulnerable and not in tune with your older self. But once she’s alive and in you, you’ll understand why people kill in self defense. You’ll protect her with all you have. 

There are so many I would have wanted to tell you younger Mercy, but for now, keep calm and just be. 

Stalking.


I see pictures of you. Breath taking as usual. I’m curious about your life. What happened to you? How has your life been? Have you undergone brokenness so deep you felt like dying? 

In all your pictures you look happy or calm and composed. I’m envious of that. I’m doing good, but I miss being happy. And calm. And composed. But I’m glad you look happy. Looks can be deceiving, but at least they show me that you had enough energy to at least pretend. Sometimes, that energy is all one needs to survive. 

I miss you. And I don’t miss you. I know, that’s complicated. Its just that I’m not sure I want you back in my life. But deep inside there I can feel the excitement and exhilaration you used to give me. And I crave for that. 

However, i’ve changed alot. I can’t say for the better. And I’m sure you’ve changed too. So is the new us compatible? Will I still like you? Am I still supposed to walk on egg shells around you? And assuming we even contact each other, where do we begin from? Where we left off or a new clean slate?

Nowadays I learnt how to live once. How to be open to experiments. To not say no to what I’ve never done before. But I think this one I’ll pass. I’m not strong enough to handle you back into my life. 

So this one I will let go. And observe you from afar. Maybe stalk you every once in a while. And when I grow old, and my daughter has a daughter who hopefully is like me, I won’t tell them about you. You have always been in my heart. And there is where forever you’ll stay. 

Soak. 

I sat next to a man yesterday in a lopha. I wanted to skin him alive for getting the window seat. Not when it was evening and the orange hue of the sun was visible. And as we started moving, the sun in its majesty took a peak from the extremely dark clouds. It was a sight to behold. I wanted to take a pic. But remember I didn’t have the window seat. And as I looked at the sun, I noticed that that man was taken in by the sun too. His mind wasn’t there at all. Its like he was part of that moment with the sun. 

And it occurred to me, that at times we are so immersed in our own lives, that it never occurs to us that we are one. That though our lives may be different, we go through stuff, we have bad days, we have good days. That though our economic situations differ, we worry, we fall, we cry, we feel pity for ourselves. That though believing different gods, we at some point wonder what’s the point of all this. That though headed to the same direction, our paths are all unique. 

Unique in the same way. And sometimes, we look at ourselves and wish we had more. Wish we were in better situations. Better places at life. We look at others and think that though they are struggling, they are better off. It never occurs to us, that our life will never be better. In a twisted sense. As in, even if I travelled the world, I would still be struggling with something. I’ll still be here writing about my highs and lows. I still won’t think that life is fair. 

So what do we do? This can never be overemphasized. Live in the moment. What’s the use of worrying yourself to death or struggling to your end point to reach the next point of life which will be full of struggles anyway? As in, not to sound hopeless, but if you are riding a bike, enjoy every bit of it. Don’t spend the whole of your time on that bike wishing for a car. Do your best to get that car, but don’t let your bike days pass you by just like that, make the most out of them. 

I attended my first funeral as an adult as I mentioned here recently. And the moment that stuck with me, was when the guy’s grave was being filled up with soil. A group of people were singing. All those Kikuyu songs that require a drum only. And they danced. And danced. Men in suits danced. Women in sparkling clean vitenges sang at the top of their voices. You would have thought they were auditioning for a spot in heaven’s choir. While the family members of the deceased cried. They wept. Some stared stone faced into the grave. The men helped with filling up the grave hole. While the rest of us stood. And watched the scene unfolding before us. It was almost as if I was part of a movie but still watching it unfold. 

That scene has stuck with me. Our pastor always reminds us, that you are either going through a wilderness( a hard patch of life), just from one, or just about to get into one. I was in a wilderness. I struggled, I fought. But things got better. And no, they didn’t get better by me getting out of the wilderness(which would anyway only mean I’m about to get into a next one, right? Told you its pointless). I just got comfortable in the wilderness. Like found a spot in this desert and decided to call it home while I’m in here. And while in here, its so easy to feel as if life is passing you by. 

But i’m realising, that I’ll never be here again. So I’ll cry the most I can. I’ll laugh as much as I can. I’ll do what’s in my powers to do right now, because this is what life has handed me now. I’ll attend funerals and comfort those I came to see with my silence. Knowing that one day, I will be among the singers. And on that day, just like those men in suits, decorum won’t matter. I’ll dance my heart out as a source of comfort. And I do know that one day I will lose someone. And I’ll weep. I’ll grief. I’ll mourn. I’ll miss them. I’ll feel lost without them. But above all that, I know that one day I’ll be the one in the grave. And I hope that the singers and dancers will escort my soul with such vigour and violence that Saint Peter will have no option but to fasten my registration into heaven. 

And for now, I realise that I’m not alone. We are together in this thing called life. Don’t ever feel hopeless. Look outside yourself, people are going through stuff just as you are. They become happy, just as you laugh once in a while. They enjoy the things they enjoy. They have dreams and wishes. And just like you, they are doing what they can with the cards life has dealt them. So rise up. And just like the man in the matatu, soak yourself in the moment. 

Just like the sunset.  

My home town has the most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen.  And being a sunset addict,  I’ve seen different types  of sunsets to the extent that I now know how to spot one that’s  coming from miles away.  This one beckons me from the house. And weirdly enough,  it’s only last year that I noticed  it.  Yes,  after living here for almost 2 decades,  I come to see this sunset this recently. I guess when  you are overburdened  with life,  life passes you by.  Everything  becomes about your pain and hurt.  No wonder hurting  people hurt others,  because  hurt becomes  their world,  it’s the only emotion  they know,  the only emotion  they can express  themselves  in.  

But  on this sunset,  it beckons  you from wherever  you are.  Yesterday  I was in the house at around 6.20pm. I noticed this sudden deep orange glow on the wall.  At first I thought it was fire since the gas was nearby.  But on closer look I realized  its the sun’s rays.  And the sun I found outside was not only deeply orange,  but the horizon around it as well formed different  hues of orange. 

So today I came looking  for it.  You should  have seen me almost  burning  my fingers in a hurry to catch it before it’s gone.  And it disappears  really fast.  So I’m now looking at the diming orange color  it has left on the clouds.  And all I want at this point in life is peace. 

I want peace for my country.  But beyond that I want peace  in my heart.  That calm peace  that trascends my situation, circumstance and feeling.  That calmness that usually causes a smile in the middle of a storm.  The kind that when you reply that you are okay,  you mean it with everything  in you.  

I want God’s kind of peace.  I kinda need it.  Too many thoughts  are running through  my mind. Nothing serious,  nothing bland,  but still many thoughts. But I want stillness. You see,  for the longest time ever,  home meant trouble and work.  Like the moment I stepped into our house,  I knew I was in for an emotional  rollercoaster. And as i’ve stated before,  we are business  people, every added child  means extra  free labour.  

So now,  having sorted  out my issues,  made peace with my past,  and began a healing journey,  home feels different. Some things I know how to deal with.  Like my parents quabbles.  Which have greatly reduced  by the way.  But others I don’t  know how to.  Like what to do with the things that helped me through  my tough times.  Like filling my mind with irrelevant  thoughts so that we don’t  have to deal with painful issues.  The painful  issues are gone,  but my thoughts don’t  know how to stay still in this environment.

A friend  once told me,  that you can’t  get over things that took years to form,  in a matter of days or months.  Then I thought  she was talking about the bitterness  and anger only.  Now I realise that a healing journey is more than that.  What about the free time,  and emotional  space that’s  left after an addiction  or letting go of negative emotions?  What  do you do with that newly formed freedom? 

What did the slaves do after they were set free? After years of thoughts of freedom  occupying their minds,  what did they now think about  after they got that freedom? What do people do, when  the things you were hiding  inside a fortress are gone,  but the walls protecting the fortress are still there?  What do people in the army do when the enemy they were fighting is defeated?  

I don’t  know.  But all I know for now is that I need peace.  Calm in there would be good. And just as the sunset is calm and still,  even when it knows that in a few minutes,  it will  be gone,  I need that peace. 

Random


Today I’ve had one of those introspective days. I would almost say melancholic but my thoughtfulness has not come with sadness. Everything just seemed blurry and unmeaningful but meaningful at the same time. Its not a day I’ll remember, but its a day well lived. 

I’ve listened to a woman today. A woman I would like to be one day. I loved how calm and composed she was. And how she delivered the word to us. I’ve been having one of those times, when you have a thousand little things that you just don’t know how they’ll turn out. And they’ve made my mind a chaotic place. Not like a bus station. Like our little town at night. All seems quiet and contained, but inside those houses, battles are being fought, women are being beaten, power is shared, children are sleeping hungry, soaps are misleading people, football is the cause of friction, babies are being made, people are praying and on it goes. But from the silence, you would imagine that the town is asleep. 

And in the middle of all that, that woman caught my attention. She stilled the a thousand little things in my mind for  over 40 minutes. Only halfway through did my it hit me, that unlike during the first half of the service when my mind was everywhere, it was quiet in there. We were listening. Me and all my little a thousand worries. Just like that, she made me listen. She didn’t walk at all from where she stood at first. She didn’t use her hands to express herself as she spoke. She just spoke. Calmly. Not softly. Not too loud though. Just the way a confident person who has nothing to prove would. And on and on she went on. She used movies to preach, not christian movies. Just movies. And books. Not romance or fiction, I’m almost saying real books. 

Had I been younger, I would have fawned over her. But adulting happened. And now I just stare at good things from afar. 

I don’t usually watch the trend. I think I have seen less than 10 episodes. But accidentally I’ve watched or rather listened to it today. And Larry is leaving. And he didn’t cry. He read a heartfelt farewell speech. He came, he saw, he conquered. And now its time to leave. 

” And for the last time, I’m Larry Madowo….” That was the last line he said. And I don’t know why that moment has stuck with me. Weirdly enough, all I could think of, was a farewell to my life. Not in a gothic way, we will all leave people and things. But has it occurred to you, that rarely do people do farewells? Like you just finish school and off you go. You get a better job and off you are. For the lucky ones, a farewell party is thrown. You get into a relationship, as it ends, you just quarrel and leave. Or go silent and leave. Parents die without warning. Things just happen and life moves on. 

No farewell. God knows I love farewells. Not the actual ceremony or wording, i mean, I always lack words when I’m leaving. But the actual closing of a chapter. The shutting down of that door in your head. I prefer knowing that on this month or week, this ended, it allows for closure. I remember looking at my ex one day, and I knew right then that we would break up. We did break up after a month or two after that day,but that day is the farewell day for me. 

On the other side, farewells only work, after a job well done. Not when you are fired, or he cheated, or you are just not friends anymore, etc. So is the absence of farewells a sign that most transitory situations for most people are usually on a low note or from pain and sadness rather than on a high note or a job well done like Larry Madowo? But anyway, the likes of him are rare, we mostly prefer comfort zones than moving when we are still doing well. I don’t even know where I am going with this. 

I feel like taking a break from my life. I know you all feel that way at some point. So its nothing new. Is there anything new on earth anyway? Except that its my time to feel that common feeling. And that makes it unique. Well, at least that’s what I’m telling myself. But I’m tired. Of even reading books. I’ve been debating on watching a movie or reading a book. A normal me wouldn’t be having such kind of a debate. I might end up doing none. 

Anyway, I’ve thought of a more interesting thing to do. I’ll look for pictures of a place I really want to go. If all goes well, I’ll be telling you all about it in less than 3weeks time. 

Farewell.