Thursday, October 2, 2014

I can't

I need to instantly take advantage of my want to sit down, keep still, and slam the keyboard to at least make some sense out of myself. I have to write for myself, having written for others and having been judged by people's keen eye for mistakes in grammar, syntax, and use of English itself.

But this time, I don't want to write for myself. I want to write for you.

I want to tell you that I'm only an average 25 year old lady struggling with mid-life crisis. It turns out I am not the same person that you have admired a year ago. I am not good at words. I am neither good at socializing nor conversing with people in a casual manner. 

I struggle everyday. With my fears and doubts. Human frailty, so to speak.

I don't know how to play any music instrument. I can't meaningfully press piano keyboards and come up with a soulful music that can make you giddy. I can't play the guitar and jam with you when you want to sing your heart out. I can't be an awesome drummer and make you proud of my strums. The strumming that I know involves my palms, the wall, and my incoherent appreciation for noise. 

I do know how to play the flute, but that needs a review of my grade three music lessons. And also, I need to clean my nearly two-decade flute that is now covered with dust.

I don't know how to sing like a pro. I do know how to sing, but only for myself in the shower. I also sing with videoke machines. But I can't make you proud for singing on stage while being admired and applauded because of a crystal clear, unique, are-you-human voice that can interpret music. You can do that. I cannot.

I don't know how to dance ballet. I even find it hard to reach my feet in an upright position, for Christ's sake. I do know how to dance, but I have to learn the steps before I can make you proud in the dance floor.

I don't know how to write from the heart anymore. I can't fiddle with words with you anymore.

I am a mediocre quarter-of-a-life old lady who struggles with myself. 

I can't even.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On dawn of Wednesday

I should have been asleep by now.

Should have been.

Apparently, I am still wide awake. I actually feel more awake at 2:30 A.M. than 9 A.M.

For the past hour, I have been browsing stuff that I have never done in maybe about half a year.  I am now being real about my attempt to expand my territory and look beyond the horizon. There are potential targets, though I know very well, it is still too early to aim at them. I still have months to count, hundreds of stories to write about, tens of thousands of nagging stories and gossips to hear, and millions of explicit and surreptitious insults to bear with. And a deep -- very deep -- well of patience and optimism to dig on earth where all I can hear are vague, fearful voices of all sorts.

Yes, I should have been asleep by now.

Should have been.

But I feel a lump in my throat that wants to burst into tears and dry up as humid vapor in cold dawn.

I want to cry. And shout my heart out.

Will you heed my pleading?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A letter to a fighter, a brave warrior

To a fighter, a brave warrior,

We're off to the same but different journey in the coming weeks. We may be together, but not actually. Our story carries on with you and me as the protagonist dealing with several antagonists in our set (and many others in our own circle). We will be together everyday -- but majority of the time we will be in our mutually exclusive worlds. You will be fighting your own fight, and I will be fighting mine.

I am seeing events when I want to take a step forward and lay my hand on thy antagonist and use any power I have to keep you away from harm. They may also be those when you want to get a message of love across through bold gestures. Life may be tough when we want to battle it out together in a way our hearts know how, but we know, we would have to hold back.

We can lend a hand to each other at times -- when valid reason permits. In some realms, nonetheless, we have to keep distance.

We will be fighting the same fight in our own worlds. We will meet halfway in the jungle which we -- you and me -- apparently don't like to be in. We will both have our similar and mutually exclusive reasons why we are evading the honor and obligation that come in darting into that treacherous territory.

I'm pleading to Heaven to endow us the right perspective and the values that we have to bear in our coat of arms to make it through the jungle alive and even stronger. You, tougher and wiser on your end. I, braver and wiser on my end. You and I, tougher, braver, and wiser on ours.

Fears are still lurking around like a bask of crocodiles, leap of leopards, and a nest of vipers ready to prey on me. I fear to lose in this battle -- that you will lose in your own, lose in mine, and lose in ours.

But we have to catch those distracting predators, seal them in a cage, and tell them in their face that they are no match compare to what God has in store for me and you. And us. Adversities may break us everyday, but it will make us better, bolder, stronger, and wiser in the long run. It will pack us with grit, determination and willpower to carry on with whatever path we choose to take.

We will wrestle with the antagonists of our own story everyday, but always, we will meet in the end. And tell each other that everything will be alright. All is well that ends well.

Right in the middle of the war, if we got wounded from a firefight, we just have to close our eyes. Inhale. Exhale. Pray. Then, fire back.

We will sometimes get tired and walk towards the edge of an end. But we should choose to close our eyes again. Inhale. Exhale. Pray. Then, walk back and carry on.

The light at the end of the tunnel is not too far. A good end is not far. God has promised victory for you and me. He will meet us in the end.

Let's hang on. Hawak-kamay.

My fighter, my brave warrior, Heaven is seeing us through.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


No one can go back, but everyone can go forward.

And tomorrow, when the sun rises, all you have to say to yourselves is:
I am going to think of this day as the first day of my life.

I will look on the members of my family with surprise and amazement, glad to discover that they are by my side, silently sharing that much-talked-about, but little understood thing called love.

I will pass a beggar, who will ask me for money. I might give it to him or I might walk past thinking that he will only spend it on drink, and as I do, I will hear his insults and know that it is simply his way of communicating with me.

I will pass someone trying to destroy a bridge. I might try to stop him or I might realise that he is doing it because he has no one waiting for him on the other side and this is his way of trying to fend off his own loneliness.

I will look at everything and everyone as if for the first time, especially the small things that I have grown used to, quite forgetting the magic surrounding them. The desert sands, for example, which are moved by an energy I cannot understand – because I cannot see the wind.

Instead of noting down things I’m unlikely to forget on the notebook I always carry with me, I will write a poem. Even if I have never written one before and even if I never do so again, I will at least know that I once had the courage to put my feelings into words.

When I reach a small village that I know well, I will enter it by a different route. I will be smiling, and the inhabitants will say to each other: ‘He must be mad, because war and destruction have left the soil barren.’

But I will keep smiling, because it pleases me to know that they think I am mad. My smile is my way of saying: ‘You can destroy my body, but not my soul.’

Tonight, before leaving, I’m going to spend time sorting through the pile of things I never had the patience to put in order. And I will find that a little of my history is there.

All the letters, the notes, cuttings and receipts will take on their own life and have strange stories to tell me – about the past and about the future. All the different things in the world, all the roads travelled, all the entrances and exits of my life.

I am going to put on a shirt I often wear and, for the first time, I am going to notice how it was made. I am going to imagine the hands that wove the cotton and the river where the fibres of the plant were born. I will understand that all those now invisible things are a part of the history of my shirt.

And even the things I am accustomed to – like the sandals which, after long use, have become an extension of my feet – will be clothed in the mystery of discovery.

Since I am heading off into the future, I will be helped by the scuff marks left on my sandals from when I stumbled in the past.

May everything my hand touches and my eyes see and my mouth tastes be different, but the same. That way, all those things will cease to be a still life and instead will explain to me why they have been with me for such a long time; and they will reveal to me the miracle of re-encountering emotions worn smooth by routine.

                                     - Paulo Coelho, THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA