Sunday, 5 November 2017

Be Still.




Today I was nearly swallowed up by all my worries

Am I helping or am enabling this family member?

How do you help someone, when they don't think they need help?

When do I help? and when do I step back?

Will I achieve what I have been tasked with  this week?

Did that person really try to throw me under the bus?


Should I take another Panadol to help this anxiety headache?

Did I save enough money in the month of October?

Have I packed all that I need for this trip?

Did St-Micheal hear my prayer about my father?

Should  I text this family member and tell them how I really feel about their behavior or should I let sleeping dogs lie?

Am I on track? 

Am I making the  right decisions for my future?

What would my mother say?

Bla....Bla....Bla...Bla

The questions continued, till I came across this You tube video with T.D Jakes- "Leave it Alone!". As if God was hearing me thinking out loud in my head. Wondering how I would fix all these things myself.  I listened and I heard the message loud and clear.  I took three deep breaths  until I could hear the quiet of the Sunday afternoon world around me.  I said alone in my room to God 'I need some help.' I said again, ' I need help with all of this.'. So Simple.

So I guess I can now go about being still.... while watching my You Tube videos πŸ˜‰

Monday, 30 October 2017

Maybe Your Dreams Aren't Big Enough...




Yes that's a  multi colored mammoth charging through my bedroom


Prayer is a regular part of my routine. It's one my favourite things to do at the very beginning of my day  and also just before bedtime.  I feel that prayer is a valuable peaceful  and reliable activity for me. It is also an extremely private one...like how Moses goes up into the mountains kind of private. I particularly love the safety,  the repetition and the rhythm. I don't speak in tongues, the holy spirit does not overcome me, it is always a subtle force of a whisper. I am  no expert on this topic, I just like order, I prefer to flip through my prayer book or seek inspiration from the bible. If I have to discuss something, then I honestly tell God in my own ordinary words.
"Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depth of our hearts." ~ Mother Theresa

Now why are we talking about prayers when in the picture above,  a talking mammoth is about to charge through my bedroom? You see, I think because I like order and repetition, I may be hiding behind my prayers.  I've  gotten so used to  my routine that I have been seeing in tunnel vision. There is some ignorance in my prayers. As if I  have forgotten how awesome this world is.  Hence the imaginary mammoth charging through.  You see as mentioned in the last blog post, I've been watching a lot of You Tube and one of the things  I really enjoy is a channel called PBS Eons, which has these short digestible mini informational videos on evolution . And yes I  know evolution and Christianity aren't meant to go together, but just bear with me...

So from these documentaries,  I learnt  that the last mammoth died 4000 years ago, or 10,000 years ago depending on which one you watch. There is a term used for a species that scientists thought went extinct  eons ago yet their fossils show up in a different time period, it's called the  Lazarus- effect ( I kid you not, the person who gave it this name must know they would make some Christians angry, right?)

Nature is amazing. Even the people who study  life and nature that is extinct are amazing!

Did you know there were once woolly rhinos too? Everyone talks about the mammoths, but there were rhinos as well... yap google it 😎 It lived during the Pleistocene epoch (whatever that means...). And was roughly the same size and weight as the modern white rhino today ( source)
from earth touch news network ...


As I learn more,  my random discussions during prayer change. The world is complex. We used to be encouraged to learn about these things in primary and secondary school, once I started university and chose my career path, learning about nature just dropped off my radar. After watching these videos, at times my prayers seem minuscule and limited  in the grand scheme of things. Once in while I need to thank God for the bigger picture.  And when I come to God with doubt in my heart, maybe it's because I have forgotten the awe that is represented in nature and life. Maybe I need to find a way to regularly remind myself. God . Is. Great.
  
Did you know there is a plant called 'Devil's Fingers'? Look at the picture below. Disgusting, right? Trust me when I say you need to go to You Tube and search for a video of  this thing hatching...yes it hatches 😨😨.  I predict that you will first cringe and cover your mouth as if you can taste it, and then you will press the re-play button five more times in disbelief, cause nature is just fascinating like that!

"Devil's Fingers" from www.littlethings.com
Have plants been secretly watching us all this time and we just don't know it? How do they know the colour of blood and flesh? What about the smell? People say 'Devils Finger' smell like putrid flesh... how did it figure out the smell?

In a forest some where...
Nature is smart..intelligent..jaw dropping....[you fill in your choice of words here] ...

The world is huge and now we are adding our own creations and innovations to the mixture. I only picked a few things to write about here but there is much....much...much more. 

Nature makes  me want to assess my prayers. Nature is constantly outperforming us without even trying too hard. Just think of the number of illnesses we are still fighting to find cures for, researchers look for inspiration from nature. Which brings me back to my imaginary mammoth, and the title of this blog and my prayers...



Need I remind you these plants know what rotting flesh smells like!!!! And you, what are you doing with your life?
 
The sad realization  that comes to mind when watching videos about the history of the world, is that this is all temporary. I  don't  know who said it but change is the one thing you can guarantee. The Sahara didn't start of as a desert. We human beings, are a species that is just passing through. Like all the rest that came before us. So what will our legacy be? Who will dig our fossils up? What will they say of us? I read somewhere yesterday that Mars probably had life on it before,  but we know nothing of what that life actually entailed yet. Imagine how many civilizations we know absolutely nothing about. 






 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Taking Stock - September 2017







Making: I am painting now, I bought my own set of water colors along with some brushes, some pencils, some sharpies and two sketch books. I try to paint in the weekdays after work. I am attempting to build my skills for the drawing pad that I want to eventually start using regularly (Right now it only gets pulled out when I am feeling brave😣 ). There is something very liberating about creating without restriction, and also creating for nobody in particular but yourself. It is all thanks to @paintklanight for helping me pick up the brush. I attended two of their events and can't wait for the next one. Notice that I have not called myself an artist. There are real professional artists out there. I am not an artist, I simply paint. 


Drinking: Ummm....I have started drinking Apple Cider Vinegar in water again. I take a bottle to work every other day...750ml to be exact. I mix two table spoons in my bottle of water. My stomach is a very happy place right now 😊😊😊

Reading: I just finished reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi...wow! Loved this bookπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–. It follows the linage of two sisters from the days of slavery to the present moment. Took me a while to finish with all the other things I had to get done but it was totally worth it. It's a must read, go out and get it if you can.

Playing: Played some google art games the other day. I am considering getting my own set of board games.

Wishing:I usually leave this section blank but this month I am pining for a whole bunch of things, too sensitive to put in this blog post. 😭😭😭

Enjoying: Bikozulu's two blog posts Njeri and Guy. I can't wait for his book.

Writing: The daily free writing exercise is quite fun; when I can force myself to actually  sit and do it. I pick the strongest sentence from it and afterwards see if I can write some fiction, but I need to stick to a story line for a little longer than 30 minutes.

Loving: You Tubers, I discover new ones every week. Now I don't even bother to watch TV anymore. I just catch up with their daily vlogs. You can even get your exercise routine from You Tube....yoga, Pilates, dance...it's all there!

Eating: Popcorn...I mean who doesn't love popcorn? Also..why is it when you start eating popcorn it's impossible to stop? You have to get to the very last one.πŸ˜…

Needing: The furry square pillows in Mr Price. I might as well have a pillow spree, you only live once..right? Well as much of  a spree as possible given the goals I must achieve this year.

Wearing: Lipstick. It's a staple now that I have figured out how to use lip liner πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ God help me if I get my hands on a good highlighter or bronzer....πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Knowing: I think I say the same thing every taking stock, but prayer and God-time is important.

Thinking:  About Louise L Hay's death. She was the author of the  first self help book I ever bought. I know we are not supposed to admit to buying self help books, but I do buy them because adulting is tough. Took me more than a decade to understand what she was trying to say πŸ˜‚. I needed some life experience I guess. Very simple and subtle points but very hard to master. RIP Louise L Hay, you certainly won't be forgotten. Those affirmations require work buts it's good homework to have.

Giggling Over: The first paragraph of Luvvie Ajayi's new book,  I'm Judging You -The Do Better Manual 


From the Louise hay Website


Comment below, What does the month of September hold for you?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A Creative Writing Jump Start- Writivism Festival 2017



From now until the end of the year, I am supposed to spend 10 minutes free writing every day, so in true-aspiring-writer-fashion, I have been avoiding my notebook and pen this week. I attended a writing workshop last Sunday, it was part of the Writivism Festival. At 10.00am, I arrived on time for the workshop in my fave grey marble print dress and new L.A Girl matte pigment  lip gloss 'Black Current' with daunting and catastrophic imagined expectations in mind. The night before I had dreamt about all the worst possible scenarios, so I was hoping both the dress & lip gloss would help my confidence, because the one fear most writers have is reading their work in front of other people (people who are very talented). I was frightened that I might have to read my rejected story out loud, since they had asked me to bring a print out. So the dress and lip gloss were meant to be my Armour, but thank God I never had to read my story.

 Any who....I discovered that I actually have a lot going on in my mind and this free writing exercise  during the workshop allowed me to sit and spew out all the unnecessary clutter, no longer restricted by grammar. Free writing is when you write down whatever is on your mind without editing yourself. You just write and write and write, within your specified time limit. Sitting in a room surrounded by fellow writers of different nationalities and cultures,  I wrote possibly 150 to 200 words uncensored, real (and maybe a bit raw)in just 10 minutes. We were tasked to write about our names by the facilitator from Short Story Day AfricaEfemia Chela. And when she shouted "Time's up! Pens down." you can just imagine the struggle that took place between us the writers, our hands and the pens. We had all enjoyed our freedom without our internal editors breathing down our backs  and were reluctant to give it away once again.

The Writivism festival took place at The Square this year, which is most definitely an interesting building. I can describe it in four words greyish, blackish bare and huge. You can't deny the fact that the place was constructed for creatives. It's a structure located in the industrial area of Kampala that one can mold into what they need for the time they are there. The festival was dynamic as always.  Each time I attend I leave with my renewed enthusiasm for African writers. I attended the #MEIREAD session hosted by the Ugandan publishing house  Sooo Many Stories and listened to a lively discussion on the book Black Ass with author A. Igoni Barret,  now I MUST get that book!  I am so happy that the festival gives us access to books that we might not find in our usual book shops; not only access to the books but a chance to meet the authors and understand their creative process. It makes my reading  experience so personal, a purchase for me becomes an investment in the future of African literature. Our grandchildren will be overwhelmed by the choices, I am elated about that.  I bought  some books I am looking forward to devouring πŸ˜‚ Shout out to Turn the Page and the Writivism Crew for  ensuring they were available. I would have bought more but many of the books that were launched were sold out by the time I got there...

Yes, this photo was taken at night so I used a flash..

                       
Can we also talk about the Salooni exhibition by Darlyne Komukama? It made me proud to be female and Ugandan. Dare I say.... I think our ancestors would be proud of these amazing photos? I do believe they REALLY would be. 


from the Writivism website


One thing I was looking forward too was the creative rush, imagine a sugar rush but substitute sugar for creative energy . The energy that makes us paint, animate, design, photograph, even write... is it the same as the muse? Although it doesn't feel like the muse. It feels more like jump starting your internal creative vehicle, because each person will still has to go away and do the work. The jump start just gives us the visionary spark of electric energy. There is something about being around like-minded people that makes your mind dig deeper for the story, and hopefully helps you produce your next best work if you remain committed and intensely focused. So I highly recommend festivals, workshops or writing retreats cause we all need that creative push every now and then, before we lock ourselves away in solitary confinement to passionately labour away on the next great hit.

This post was initially a free writing exercise but 
I have edited out around 100 words so I could post it. 😀

In  the comments below, tell me, have you tried free Writing? How do you get your creative jumpstart? Have you bought any good books lately?