Last weekend I had accompanied a few of my pals for a swimming session at the Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa. They were puzzled that I declined to swim and instead opted to spend my time spacing out and typing on my laptop. Coming from the popular coastal city has always been a challenge at times. Everybody assumes that Mombasa is your backyard and you know every street and alley like the back of your hand, you’re good at swimming and cooking. They think that most afternoons are laden spent by sitting under the shade of a coconut tree while sipping palm wine. I detest to such thinking conundrums. For one I can’t swim. The only safe water for me is the one I can be gladly assured that I can see the bottom. Basin water to be precise.
“What makes you write?”
“What brought out the writing essence in you?”
“What sparked the never ending fire burning within you; regarding that you loathed the idea of writing when we were young?”
Those questions they asked made me think about when I first embarked on this awesome journey of writing. As they splashed and turned in the water like agile dolphins showcasing their skills and prowess, I went back to where it all began. It all began when I was going through various enigmas in life. Funny thing is that I showed two of my close cousins an excerpt of an article I had just written and I was reluctant to post it. Well, they pestered me. They set me out onto the first step. I took it unsure of what the new path had for me.
I have often been asked what’s going on in my mind when I pen down these articles. I was at a difficult place when I began writing. It was at the same time that I felt I had lost a bit of my footing. I was battling out various issues and emotions which took a toll on me that shook the very core foundations of the fundamental beliefs I believed in. In those early days when I was having my baby steps and the Baby Shark doo doo dooo song was still fresh in my head; I held the flood back from my anguish. I felt that I had given all the sweat and blood only to feel that I was going to drown.
I couldn’t tell at that time if I was bigger than the sea I was sinking in and I didn’t know what I had. Yet all the answers were at my finger tips. The lights went out and it felt as if like the sun had set and left me out in the dark. Not a single soul had told me it would be hard channeling one’s thoughts and emotions to pen and paper. And when I felt that the fire was burning out. Someone saw me shining. That someone gave me hope.
So, I wrote. I was a bit bitter and angry at first, bursting emotions and misplaced words. I didn’t want the bitterness, hurt feelings and anger to overcome me. I didn’t want them to corrode whatever little belief I had left in me. I didn’t want self pity nor outbursts of anger. I didn’t want to be imprisoned in my own purgatory caused by factors that were beyond my comprehension and control. In that window I realized that one can’t imprison imagination and creativity. It gave a new lease of life, like the joy forthcoming from a farmer when his seeds begin to sprout.
With that self realization, it brought out a humane side which I didn’t seem to know I had. We can imagine the future, past and all manner of things be it spiritual or physically. We tend to believe and imagine that when our loved ones die, they go to heaven. I knew I could do so much more with the imagination. So I created characters, places, events, spiritual realms, apocalyptic events and brought them to life. Made them have our normal lives. Others procreated while others died. It brought such joy, and relieved me of all the tension I had. It was like a pain relieving drug. Nope. It was like falling in love for the first time with someone that truly loves you back.
I fell in love with writing. I like depicting my writing as a “her.” She sure has her ups and downs. At times I’d just stare at a blank screen and words won’t come out, then out of the blues, a story would form in my head and words would flow with ease like water flowing from a fountain. I haven’t yet reached the position to say that I’m great at what I do, but I’m pleased knowing that I’ve made relevant strides and improvements from the recent feedback I’ve been having.
Through writing down I’ve been able to reach out and connect to people from various walks of life. People who feel, relate and understand on the different experiences and topics I jot down. Recently a certain euphoric feeling has been my serotonin. I’ve met a few who have allowed me to share their stories in my blog. I try my best to reach out and tackle issues ailing our society.
I’ve been asked when I’d release a book. I can just say there’s work in progress. I won’t divulge much more details on that. Though there’s a sequel that I try to make sure that I release an article religiously each week.
“Boss bado unaingia kwa maji? Ama maji ulsema ni mzuri ni ya karai?” (Are you still getting in the pool or what? Or you’d rather prefer basin water?).
“Ama umepata mwanadada amekuzengua hapo kando yako?” (Have you gotten a pretty lady next to you that has taken over your senses?)
Their taunting queries brought me out of my reverie.
“I won’t get in to the pool. I’d be content having a smoothie as I type away the already forming words in my head.”
Cause no ones word can define you.