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The Chase

dbpensioner:

The Sultans wife…

Originally posted on sultanswife:

I love men… I love men maybe as much as the next girl. Okay that’s a lie; I love men a little more than the next girl. When a man passes by me, I instinctively turn and check out his goods – you know his butt or his legs, I know it’s insane but hey, to each their own. I think its this roving eye of mine that has kept me single for this long, I get attracted to someone with nice legs and before I’m done processing how I truly feel about their legs… some god with gorgeous strong looking arms passes by and I’m sold.

The latest object of my affection is to die for, his arms, my God his arms… So strong I could lay in those forever. His legs are not equally as exciting but that’s okay, a few weeks at the gym can fix that…

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(Sharing) ~ The Bird and the Cage…

In Kahlil Gibran’s book; The Prophet, the quote below and the excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes speak the nature of human beings… The Moral of the story, that is for you to figure! Don’t forget your crush as you read this…

“A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?”

From Maria’s diary:

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers.
One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him.
She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.
But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains!
And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird.

And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.”
The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.
She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.”

However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest.

The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.

One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.
Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door.
“Why have you come?” she asked Death.

“So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied.
“If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.”

Bearing the brunt of death…

In three minutes, 300 people will die and another 600-something people will be born. While other families mourn the loss of a loved one, others smile at the arrival of a son, daughter or niece… We all at one time we were a birth statistic and some other time we shall be part of the death numbers… However, we don’t like to think much about death…

You know that news bar on news channels highlighting 3,000 perish in a flooding disaster somewhere in a distant place never bothers you and I when it is coming off the TV news feed… To us news viewers, those are ordinary numbers being churned out by news channels about Ebola victims somewhere in Liberia, to another human being, a loved one has passed on…

When we are going about our daily lives, we have that cover or false sense that ordinary life disguises death… We only awaken to the brunt of death when a person we love passes on, and that is when we appreciate the cruel hand of death in its original form much as it is commonplace. When it comes close to us, it is strange, and we always seem utterly unprepared because of the disbelief. We are unable to bare the loss and breaking of the bond with which death comes and this always takes us by surprise…

It hadn’t/had never occurred to me that my mother would die, yet the time lapse of I being sent to buy something from the shop and coming back; she was gone… Yes a life had stopped, I always thought she would grow old and also be as tough as my grandmother. But her hour of death had come… The stabbing-numbing-hollow-hopelessness pain to the heart that you go through after losing a loved one… Experiencing loss does not get easier with time… I still have sweet memories of my mother much as time has passed and truth is there are days I don’t think of her… The space between the times I miss her or think of her has grown longer ;-(

The other day my colleagues lost a friend, you could tell the grief they were going through… it was unbearable and had cut deeply into their souls. One of the friends shared a video of the demised gentleman singing to one of the Bob Marley songs (full of life and energy), but now he lay in limbo… motionless, a life had breathed its last… It was a sad tale. I remember watching that particular video at 2am; I lay there in the dark, numb saying to myself, one day some day I will be no more…

When death moves from the TV news feed and camps in our backyards- it comes like torrential rains, it ceases to be statistic… it makes you reflective and appreciative of its existence…

In Steve Jobs’ last days in 2011 as he battled cancer, he said this about death…

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Steve Jobs’ insights on death though may seem harsh and true it is hard to tell a person in grief that death of loved one is life’s change agent and a way of making way for others to emerge… but the most important message in that passage is to acknowledge that death like birth is with us and strips us bear naked. We should be a littro crazier and do things we ought to do with passion and and and… pick up the phone and make that much postponed greeting to your mother. Who knows… (Tokamanya…)

A wise man once said: “death is always sitting by your side so that, when you need to do something important, it will give you the strength and the courage that you need”

To the departed souls, you fought a good fight…

The unbearable lightness of making friends at an old age…

We have all gone through these motions, where friends have dropped off our grid. That friend you felt you bonded with, you did things together, knew the same girls or boys. Had those littro bar secrets that you vowed to go with to the grave; maybe she/he kissed some girl or crumbled in the famous crates in the basement of some dingy bar…

Yes we all have those friends. Along the way, yes the university churns us out of the beloved comfort of the campus and our values, aspirations gradually change. The friend you used to see buli daily now is busy and you are busy too looking for the famous buck or trying to sleep with as many girls as you can. Yes that is usually the preoccupation of boys after finishing campus, on getting the first job. Then eventually the communication ceases… ok unless one has wedding meetings…

The most passionate friendships in life- the love of a man for a woman or a mother for a child are somewhat mixed with obligation and instinctive. Then we have the relationships whose basis is not physical desire (man for woman) or protective (mother for child) and is not built on any hope of gain(sometimes we get hoodwinked to think so); what we call friendship! Friends make life sweeter, stronger whether they are far or near. If the friend is near, that is the best and if he is far, you still think of them, wonder about them and always want to share life and experience…

Some of my most fulfilling friendships have been with people whose whole view of life and whatever life has to offer are sharply contrasted with mine; the energy in explaining some of my choices to other people has always been daunting but when you find a loyal friend, you employ all your energy to emphasize their other virtues that other people don’t see… Along the way you learn to respect the choices of friendships people make…

We all have had that single meeting, of a particular person, who in unexplained ways begins to matter to us. Have we not? The person may not be attractive, or has the intellect, or appearance that is eye candy as we like to say but there is a strange bond between you. He is engaging, whether he speaks or is silent, whether you confer in opinion and perspectives or not. Something that yokes your fortunes… Something…

However sometimes, we are mistaken and the nearness fades and wanes which is not so often (but it happens). The secret euphoria of joining hands is based upon something deeper, some spiritual resonance and subtle likeness. Nkebyo… No doubt that we differ wildly in our power of attracting and feeling attraction! No doubt…

As we grow older (like me of course hehehe), most of us tend to make fewer friends partially because we don’t have so much emotional activity to spare or maybe we become more cautious and circumspect and also we become aware of the the unspoken responsibilities which come with friendship and naturally we don’t like responsibility. The vast number of friends you had at a certain age, how many do you still can count on…

And along that road, we acquire a point of view that is easier to keep (we fear change, or rather we don’t like to take in new ideas); so we tend accommodate people with a similar point of view as opposed to modifying the point of view which tends to come along with meeting new friends. For those who are able to to change their point of view, they no doubt go on making more friends…

All the above very good reasons perhaps, yes perhaps but for whatever reason we make friends less easily as we grow old… Don’t worry you will get there!

The types of friendships vary often beginning with the mere camaraderie arising out of habit and proximity (that happy hour chap) and that is the commonest which we all make. Some of these friendships can sometimes nurture into the simplest kind of loyalty. Yes sometimes… Then the friendships of teachers and pupils, old and young etc, which sometimes can evoke devotion. You notice the last form of friendship usually has a power play…

Then come the passionate, equal bond which exists between two people of the same age and sex; those that we form at school or university which often fade away into a cordial glow (strange but true), implying during the formation of those bonds we have no particular communion of life and thought. In my experience, as the years go by, time tends to emphasize differences between two people unless there is an effort to have an interchange of thoughts and ideas… and values! Yes values… No I am not saying anything new… I know!

I remember my campus roommate, we looked alike as people used to say and yes we were always together, did the same course, were in the same discussion groups. Circumstances led to a suspension of conversations between us… When we meet now; we have a visible anxiety between us… You can touch it! We barely have anything to say to each other. I always say to myself “what a passion of friendship we had”; well that has a connotation of melancholy but the reality is that the friendship glow faded. (Sniff, sniff, pass me some tissue)… Sad very sad, C’est la vie…

I ask is it possible to keep alive the warmth, the color of youth that we have in friendships formed in school or university? Honestly I don’t know…

Friendship comes with responsibility; much as we wish to have the pleasures of friendship and if we are not willing to shoulder that responsibility, that tends to extinguish many a friendship…

Experience has taught me that the worst of friendship is the idealization of friendships rather than comradeship and there is a danger of persons we idealize. Human beings, we tend to only to display the best of us, then we create that superficial and extravagant picture of what we are not… hence  the friendship idealization… Then our friends we make with this idealization discover that we are not what we actually portray… They can’t tolerate our faults and unless… I will leave this hanging! Nye!

The “bestest” friendships are most often those that seem dull at the beginning but slowly reveal themselves to insurmountable degrees of beauty and worth…

PS: ZC I love you good people! You keep this soul of mine alive!
So this piece is dedicated to you ZC-Does anyone have a small pin charger? *Drops mic and walks off stage*

Walking a tightrope…

One writer said Being in a foreign country means walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the country where he has his family, colleagues, and friends, and where he can easily say what he has to say in a language he has known from childhood.” There is no better way to express it than this!

That passage pretty much summarises my month or so in this place and what it means it leave your country and seek to do kyeyo. Well this is not like any other country (like leaving Rwanda to come work in Uganda), this country has a set of rules that are not radical per se but yes it operates under the Sharia Law. When I was offered this opportunity to leave my beloved Uganda, I knew what it was going to be a tightrope I would be walking. Iguana, Legends, and even installing Whatsapp; those would be distant memories. The adherence to the law is one of those things that you are briefed about and yeah it is followed, yes was followed by two Skype calls for emphasis but of course rules are there to be broken. Nye!

I have been asked “how is Somalia?” and my response has been that I have not read in the papers what the situation is in Mogadishu. Somaliland is different from Somalia. Let us delve into a little history; in 1991, after the collapse of the government in Somalia, Somaliland broke off to form what is called the “Republic of Somaliland” and has remained peaceful, but this remains unrecognized by any country or the UN because of border disputes. Despite being unrecognized officially, because of its strategic importance in relation to the Gulf of Eden and being one of the largest livestock trade corridors and rumors of oil (of course), many development organizations (DFID, UN, EU, DANIDA name it) have a presence here. And Somalilanders don’t like being called Somalis. Yes that is the pride they have or shall I call it a condescending attitude in relation to Somalia that has failed to stabilize!

First the Muslims in Uganda are jokers (ok not all of them but the Muslims here make it seem so), here prayer is prayer, “Azan” blares every few hours from the various mosques scattered in Hargeisa. Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar…(Someone asked me who is Azan?; Azan is the call for prayer in Arabic). Meetings are adjourned or hashed because it is time for prayer and yes of course, I now partially understand why it is easy to radicalize religion and make it a rallying point for creating fanatics. Mindful to say, Islam is a very peaceful religion, I have always respected. Because everyone has three names, I am now called Ahmed :-)

When I signed up for this new role, I intimated to a couple of close friends that I would be going away to work in a place that has a strict Muslim doctrine, the first question was will you manage? I will not explore this further… The social life here is pretty much boring and routine(work-apartment-work-repeat) compared to the city that never sleeps but but don’t be fooled, human beings are creatures of habit and have learnt to adapt, folks always find a way of throwing parties in the big villas that house some of the foreign embassies complete with all amenities. Don’t ask me what the amenities are! Ksssh don’t let this out. The catch is to land that invite. For one to get that invite, one does not miss coordination meetings that are out of office, that is usually the gate pass and carry your business cards with the local number! Tokamanya!

I used to despise reading online newspapers because the content is usually nothing to write home about, but now the first thing I do in the morning is go over the newspapers to see what is happening. Is that being homesick or rather looking for a connection back home? Though, I don’t miss the endless hours spent in traffic in Kampala, I take 5 minutes to walk to work. That has been the serene part of being here and yes November-February the temperatures fall to 5 degrees, shall I call it winter?

The ironies of life though… females who live in cold countries are usually scantily dressed and those live in hot semi-arid countries are the ones who dress up and are covered up to 98% (I don’t know when I last saw a thigh…*facepalm*). But behind the hijabs worn by the women here, one sees a repressed sexuality that wants to burst its banks, well don’t ask how I know that. I would not say the people here are as benevolent as the folks back home, but they try and learning the Somali dialect is a very tall order maybe one could consider getting a “dictionary” but then again Sharia could earn one a deportation…

Carpe Diem…!

He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Martha Medeiros

PS: Martha Medeiros is a Brazilian writer and journalist. She works as columnist of the Zero Hora and O Globo newspapers. Wikipedia

[SHARING] Milan Kundera on the longing for order…

I read this passage today morning as I was heading out… and am just sharing. Milan has always fascinated me with his deep philosophy and I guess this passage speaks to human beings, who by our nature fear change…

The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty.

The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time.

Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed.

If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers.

In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty.

How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?… our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister…

Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable.

The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work… They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened.

The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy.

A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty.

You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you.

If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books.

By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill.

Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.”

[SHARING] Because perfection does not exist…

Bob Marley’s words… 

You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect—you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break—her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.

[SHARING] Who are we…? By Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera offers a perspective of who we are… He groups us in four categories, of course everyone runs for the fourth category. A friend shared this passage back in 2009 so one of those days sifting through those old emails, those emails that leave a sweet taste… those ones yes! 

Anyways let us see who we are…

“We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under…

  1. The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public.
  2. The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes. They are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners. They are happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives. This happens to nearly all of them sooner or later. people in the second category, on the other hand, can always come up with the eyes they need.
  3. Then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love. Their situation is as dangerous as the situation of people in the first category. One day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the room will go dark.
  4. Finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present; they are the dreamers.” 

Social media makes you become number one, then number two- those people who never say no to anything-the people pleasers, then number three-i have no comment and number four is the ideal one everyone will run for! 

PS: Milan Kundera is the Czech Republic’s most recognized living writer. Of Czech origin, he has lived in exile in France since 1975, having become a naturalised citizen in 1981. His Books are numerous and his writing style is one that would leave you reflective about life’s choices.

 

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The fable of the boy & the pencil… Being at peace with the world!

One of those stories that is simply told with lots of lessons… And I am just sharing… 

“A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:

‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’

First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’
‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.
‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’
‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’
‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action”

― Taken from Paulo Coelho’s, Like the Flowing River