Tickled toes

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Travel the Universe in your imagination
Crater the Sun, reset the Moon
Tickle the stars and give the sky a hug
Woo the springs, sing with the birds
Whisper to the Onyx, nestle the corals and dance with the Dolphins
Turn the tides, touch the ocean floor, kiss the reeds, and capture a thunder
Rise with the mist, catch a shooting star
Swing from the trees, unearth gold
Twirl on a taut rope, jog with a Cheetah, sip on love
Put down the stone in your hand, etch a poem on it, give your anger to the echoing mountains
Smile, laugh, curl your toes and open your mind
Tame your pounding heart and take a step to-ward your dream
Enjoy what you do have
Celebrate life

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The Unfolding

Psalms 137 to 126

Day after day, we would sit by the rivers of the present, forlorn and lost in daydreams and wistful memories of the past.

We remembered all we have been taught; stories we have heard, virtues to hold dear, songs we have sung- sweet music and beautiful melodies. Joy dried up in our bones, our hearts choked with emotions and tears freely coursed down our faces.

We shared, soliloquised, mused, ranted, dreamed, tear-ed up and prayed. We saw ourselves free; free to live, free to love, free to have dreams and high expectations, free to be (all that we were made to be).

With longings for the days of plenty, we fantasized about overflowing vats and brimming barns, honeycombs and rich corn. We had reveries of family gatherings, ringing laughter and children’s squeal of joy.

Strangers shared glad tidings from lands afar, several others around us popped celebratory wine and broke merry bread. But we silently panted for hearts to sing and make merry, for surely, this is not all there is to us: We shall have His promises take on flesh in us too?

We would sit, not for an affinity for nature, nor overwhelming love for the beauty of the gliding mass of liquid that refused to sweep along with its tides, our massing miseries.
The waters have a freedom we only dared to hope for; its majestic expanse invites, flirts, caresses, refreshes and energises. harbinger of life, it is unassuming in peace, but formidable in wrath. We wished for a life similar to its.

From our disadvantage point, we remembered not just the glitters and gores of a past gone by but we dreamt of the future that may never be.

At the (present) shore, we remembered and dreamt.

Remember: Past Faithfulness
Dream: beautiful future

Strolling in the alley of miseries and darkened shadows of death’s hangout, we dared to hope, we dared to believe, we dared to dream. Oh, how we dreamt! season in-season out, we did, but nothing seemed to change.

Our backsides burned abiding imprints in the sands of the shore and surrounding low hills.
We sang the ‘kumbaya’-equivalent and our stooped, meditative stance invited curious glances and parties of pity.
Some drew near, questioned us, grieved with us, but still, could not help us; others’ mocking shrieks of laughter haunted our sleepless nights.

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You would please understand why we had to pinch ourselves, slap our own cheeks, rub our eyes and do double takes just to be sure…

For when the Lord turned around history, when the pains left and the lines fell into brilliant places, it looked too much like our dreams! Our endless riverside dreams- drenched in tears and sorrowful melodies, an eulogy of stolen innocence, shattered hope, botched plans, lost purpose, interrupted happily-ever-afters and incapacitated visions.

Dreams written in agonizing tears but cast in joy, hatched in the dark of night but screened in the light of day. Produced at the dusk of draining hope, and premiered in the dawn of new beginnings; our secret (night) songs taken up by a heavenly choir.

It was our dream come-to-life but we almost could not believe it. Our fortunes were restored but much more, a new beginning heralded. The awesome things we heard of became our experience and our experience became others’ desire.

We pinch-slapped and blinked, called and texted, IM’ed and DM’ed, asked passers-by to double check… and eventually, we confirmed and accepted that it was reality afterall.

Our hearts burst within us in amazement and laughter spilled forth from us like the waterfalls.
From our hearts, it filled our mouths, our souls, our environments and even the cloud above us was precipitated with joyous laughter.

We took down our hung harps and cloven tongues… we sang and the nations were bewildered. Our preciously borne seeds, sown in tears have doubtless become glorious sheaves which we joyfully bear- along with this report: “The Lord has done great things for us, wherefore we are glad!”

Lily Chronicles 3- Homes and Alleys

First, I really must apologise for going MIA on this blog practically all year long.

I’ve thought of this blog every single week and my heart yearns to post something but I somehow find that the months roll by and I still don’t.

Excuses won’t cut it, I OD’d on those already.

So, to every person who visited here and found the same old post(s) every time, I apologise for not coming through. Forgimme?{puppy eyes}. Thank you {bright smile}, I’ll try harder and do better, I promise.

Now, here’s an old story (purely fictional) about an unlikely beauty queen. Let’s just say Miss congeniality, is not an undercover cop, but a one-man rebel government this time around.

Catch up on and

And the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom -Anais Nin

The days keep counting, alternating between being exhilaratingly fast and frustratingly slow. The euphoria wears out, public attention wanes, there are new scandals, news piece and everybody is moving on but my life, my course is forever altered (or maybe I just got on course?).

Today, I got a call from Emayo, whom I fondly call ‘PG’. He is the Projects and Programmes director, so both letters P and G find a cozy home as acronyms of his job description. More accurately though, the acronym stands for ‘Parental Guidance’, my way of giving parents with little kids a heads up around him.
His language is vulgar and rated PG-13 at least, also, he is quite the lady’s man, and adult supervision (R-rating) is advised if your pretty, young daughter is going to be hanging out around him.
It drives him up the wall that I won’t quit my PG parade and as a way of payback, he calls me ‘Lil’. (Who on earth shortens the name ‘Lily’?!)

He calls and asks if I have gone through the slides he sent me and if I didn’t find the pictures too disturbing.

I almost let loose a guffaw.

Those pictures, to me, were like flipping through an album of my life, only they didn’t contain any picture of the past 12years that I’ve lived –outside of that kind of environment.

High definition pictures that depict the standard selling point of Africa- as many outside the continent know it. Poverty. Call me paranoid, but I think that is why PG chose this particular project for me, to make us look “good” to potential investors.

What an irony! We sell our worst stories to attract charity. The inspiring stories hardly gets a media once over, local innovations get booted to the curbs, SME’s sweat tears and blood, the political landscape is fraught with backward policies, violence and corruption but hey! who cares, right? So far we can attract international pity with our poignant stories of squalor and window dress our festering sores to look “good” for foreign investors.

I go over the slides again and smile sadly… there were shots of children playing on extensive fields of debris: If you look carefully enough, you will see the not so odd bodies of dead chickens, goats or dogs, at different stages of decay.
A child with an alarmingly distended tummy and a half eaten mango celebrating a swarm of flies paying homage to the bounty that she holds, stands on one part of the field.

There were pictures of Mothers – with teams of kids- in different states of undress, going about their daily chores with no self consciousness.

These particular photographs made me chuckle.

How these women would have their delicate sensibilities offended and talk haughtily about city girls and their trending barely-there dresses, when they practically would have on their undergarments and a shy piece of wrapper and go to the next street to fetch an errant child or pieces of firewood.

In this state, they would unabashedly greet male folks and smile warmly at strangers (this is a show of their hospitality and is not intended to be sensual).They watch the movies and see “modern” ladies with no social qualms as loose and a bad influence on their young daughters.

Slide after slide tells a story of domestic abuse, police brutality, environmental degradation, sad state of social infrastructure and dehumanization of epic proportions.

The town in consideration is not far from a mega city. It, infact produces a huge proportion of the food items supplied to the city, besides supplying it with cheap labour in form of teenagers and ambitious young adults.

Small towns like this one mostly has a distribution of the aging and the really young population- both dependents,as the work force migrates.

Everybody wants to go to the city and make something of their life. The drive is mostly from the stomach.

They operate a communal setting with likely tradition of jointly raising children. Your child could do something wrong three streets away and neighbors will already help you deal with him before you show up, you just thank the neighbors and promise the child additional hell when you get home. Vices such as lying, stealing et al are frowned upon. Hence,a rumbling tummy would more likely drive a youngster to child labour than to the neighbour’s (money jar) till.

To fix, to empower,to sensitize,to educate… this is to be my project. I smile. I am going home.

Home, not because I am from there, but because I can identify with their struggles and pains.

Home to me, is a distant but ruthless memory, which comes once for an annual visit… on the anniversary of my guardians’ demise.

Cape a-drape

Maybe I vented, just a little. Maybe I projected what wasn’t yours unto you.
You do not deserve to be so treated, I know. But I needed a scapegoat, you see… and I’m sorry, you were it.

Tired of living every moment in a spandex trunk from Krypton, why can’t I be the woman in the red trench coat and long silk gloves?
Why can’t I drape my cape, loosen the severe bun and allow my hair a kiss at the nape of my neck, spread my arms and have my world give me a hug, just because.

Being superwoman is not as rewarding as it looks. I just want to be a woman- a man, if you will. I want to be vulnerable, I want to let the hurt that I feel show in my hazel eyes.

I want to shed tears sometimes and not have it taken for some grand weakness.
I want respite from saving perilious babies (from burning buildings) and men from brewing brawls.

Tired of hunting down bad guys, I desire the love of a good one.
I want a breath of fresh air away from boardroom battles and social protocols observance.

I want to kick back and relax; let someone else be the hero for a while.
When the next whistle blows, I don’t want to be rearing to fly, but be one of the anonymous screaming fans in a booth at the playoffs.

I want to proudly stand behind the scene or stand with the applauding audience and let someone else shine in the spotlight.
I want to eat hotdogs at the street corner and not have it make the News.

I want to be pampered, I want to be rescued too.
Sometimes, I’m out of breath and I need help; sometimes I need the kiss of life too.

I do not detest the weight of my responsibilities, I just want to be appreciated for who I am and not merely for what I do.

I want vulnerable. And I want it with you.

I may have communicated that in a wrong way, forgive me, will you? It was a smothered cry for help.

I know you say you understand, but I also know you wish it didn’t happen. I wish I could swish my cape and make it go away, but I want you to know that I too, hurt.

Blue Funk

Sometimes we just want to escape the drudgery of everyday life.
We wish to feel different, we desire some excitement, a shot of adrenaline, a tingle or anything to show us that we are still human and we are ALIVE. We want to at least feel different- if not special- from what we are used to.
We want some adventure, the kind we have read or heard about; we want to call the shots and have the game played our own way and by our rules – even if it is temporarily.
We may even want to step away from the limelight or for a while, feel like we are truly out of hurt’s way.

It is hardly unusual to, at times like these, have hordes of ideas compelling convictions on how this can be achieved; how ‘who’ is responsible for the present condition we are in or how lucky someone we know is to have a better life than ours.

The feeling of life’s unfair deal to us can degenerate to outright depression, bitterness in the more extreme cases. I hear you think that depression is a worse-case scenario compared to bitterness. But while you may at least have inklings about someone suffering from clinical depression, a bitter heart does not exactly wear a recognisable halo.
For instance, there are no pills to pop for bitterness.
Yes, it is an ailment. No, don’t bother consulting a medical dictionary.
Yes, it is dangerous; a trigger-happy condition.
No, neither depression nor bitterness is a good thing.

Now, I think you may have gotten my point. Thank you.

The sad thing is that, when the blues set in, we are magnanimous enough to sell others in on our misery.
Overcome by paranoia, we may believe there is a contrivance of people, systems, forces and events seeking to surcharge our lives.
In a bid to defend our sanity, we often lash out, dishing out blame to everyone – from the central authorities’ insensitivity, to the rottenness of our parents’ wombs.
If we have spouses already, they get charged with the murder of our dreams; the environment takes its share,even God is not spared our righteous indignation. “How could He…?”

Ourselves? Oh, we deserve so much better. Yes we have our flaws but no one should be forever punished for things they could not help. There are worse people out there and they do not (have to) go through the things we do.

Only a few are true enough to self to look in the mirror and dish the guy in it some responsibilities. This too can be done in the most self-depreciating way, where you make yourself feel like you are responsible for all the ills in the world. It’s kind of like committing suicide without actually killing your body off…

It goes without saying that, it simply is easier to have everything in soft focus when things appear to be going great. But a simple rock to the boat and we’re screaming foul play.
Yes, I do understand the rocking may be anything but simple. It may be more like a violent shaking that could lead to a possible capsize.
It may be the kind of turbulence that pilots dread, the kind of storm that captains loathe.

But we so easily forget.

Oh! How we so easily forget.
That all that can be shaken will be shaken and all that’d remain is that which cannot be shaken

That our interpretations and our choices/decisions added up to this point, making our individual lives what it is

That the broken have a greater tendency of becoming masters at healing

That there may have been a contrivance at some point, but nothing holds power over us that we have not given power to

That the saying that “a man’s enemies are of his own household” holds first for our body, our senses, our mindsets, and our belief systems. Yes, it’s all shut within that 5ft x” frame of yours. (Deal with it)

That if you had done all you could, all you can then do is to stand and not give up on yourself

That bitterness shrivels up our vitality

That playing the blame game will merely prolong the inevitable

That possessing the entitlement mentality sucks, nobody owes us anything per se, what we get from others are privileges. And if they refuse to man up, it’s not usually worth it to hole them up in our hearts;

That there is order in chaos; life is worth living and the sun will rise again. It always does

That the only way to see change is to (be the change) have a change of perspective

That that tingle, the fluttering butterflies, the grand adventure may just be a-step-round-the–corner away

That looking for an exhaustive list of how to’s, solutions and life’s recipe from one man is a laughable mission. There is a book and it is not called People Magazine nor blogs, it is called The Bible 😉

We often forget that, forgetting is not a problem if we never knew in the first place.
Know.
Understand.

With Blues, Hip hop and a hand-fan,
©301112
Lily.

Oculus

Dearest buddy,

Yesterday, after a protracted battle over television rights, you managed to negotiate a one-hour deal for the afternoon. We obliged and retired to our room to read. I came out for a drink of water and was surprised to not hear the usual raucous sounds of Curious George or Yo Gabba Gabba. Instead, there was silence. A beam of afternoon sunshine streamed in through the window illuminating a small patch of floor where you sat quietly. Reading a book. Whispering each word along your steady and determined progress through the sentence. I remember not paying attention to what the book was about, I was simply transfixed by the sight I’ve just described. In a few short moments you took me back to some of my childhood’s happiest memories.

You probably don’t realize what an important moment this is, for you and for your parents. We started to get…

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The Exodus Case

There is something about this picture…

Yes, THIS picture.

Uh uh, that one.
There they are, walking on the Sea floor! Imagine how tall the walls of water to their sides are. How ominous and precarious it must look. The sight inspires awe, the concept itself is mind-boggling.

For a moment, let the world be and let’s take this delightful journey together.

Wait a sec, are HD & 3D technologies mutually exclusive? Doesn’t matter, we are merging both :-D, let’s go!

Imagine a bustling sea separate and flow backwards before our very eyes. The maker that commanded its boundaries in the beginning, stepped in, and the ocean rumbles back.

Think.

**If the water continually flows forward, when the sea parts, isn’t everything on the on-flow path suppose to reduce to trickles and then maybe go dry? That will be tantamount to halting the waters and setting new boundaries. But then again, that will discount the facts of tidal waves and currents.
No matter.

They see this gapping, amazing, paralyzing sight but the dreadful thought of the Egyptian torture jolts their hearts and feet to action.

Fast forward ⤍⤍
So, they hoist on their backpacks (lol. No? rucksacks then? …Well, you get the picture) and go through…

At this exact moment, what goes through their minds? I am sure not everyone is synced in faith. C’mon, this is Israel we are talking about here, there would be that guy thinking: “You’ve got to be kidding me”, the random one thinking “what if the water-wall collapses?”, the more logic-wired one, wondering: “What freak of nature caused this?”.
Or were they too preoccupied with fear of what’s behind to be bothered/enthralled by the unusualness of the help they’re getting; to be in awe of their going-through experience; to be excited about their helper or their future? Surely whoever can suspend natural laws for our sakes will stop at nothing to help us? Who was it in the fold silently cussing director Moses out?
I don’t put anything past those guys.

Is any (say a child) curious enough to run their hand through the wall of water as they walk past it?
Is it glazed? I doubt that.

An abrupt spring containing a boisterous sea!

The testimonial roar of crashing waves on the other side must be majestic, impaling the sound of million footsteps. Or, wait a minute, is it all just so quiet you would not even know there was water there? I feel like clapping and jumping at the picture my Dad painted with His Israel, His pride.
A track, no please, make that a huge road network in the middle of the sea, successfully landscaped- to either flaunt the amazing “ocean deep” or navigate around it.
Five(5) minutes ago, it was not conceivable and now, not only do we see it, but we walk the length of it and get to trail our fingers through walls of water as we go!
*okay, if they went in vehicles like the picture depicts, the savour would be lost. Thank God they walked. 🙂
What? we are on the scene together, remember?

Moving on.
Are there shells or precious stones bared on the seabed? Plants? Reeds? Nobody noticed?! oh, right, a promised mean war was fast gaining ground behind.

Hey, this is not plan B for God, He is not in a hurry, disconcerted or flustered, not about getting His people out, not about the Egyptians in hot pursuit, not about anything. Not at all: Not ever. He had this planned since the beginning, so I don’t put a display of splendour in an already majestic situation, past Him. Easy. He specializes in such.

Back to the scene.
The guy that dared run his hand on the wall, was he shouted upon, severely warned (I can almost hear them say “oh, you have brought woe upon us, what if the water crashes now?” fear, uncertainty…) or was he stared down in ominous silence? Did anybody even dare to be lost in the wonder of walking on dry land/trickling/lapping water smack in the middle of a sea?

Maybe not in a war, but this is a one-time experience; enjoying the moment when God steps in, it is definitely worthwhile. But we can get so boggled with what the situation looks like that we miss the amazing details of Israel’s God in the middle of a sea. The “man” is an artist afterall.

Enjoy the process of God. He is still in charge. Infinitely better now, He resides on your inside. And what more, you can choose to roll the sea up, roll out a bridge on it or step on out and walk on the waters! Haha. True. The force of faith is that astounding.

Things may look so difficult now, but He is working it out, if you see pearls on this journey, pick them and gather gold. This is His fight, His trip, enjoy it.

He (the greater one) lives… in you.

I hope this encourages someone.

Thank you for taking the trip with me, you rock!

**MP, this one’s for you 🙂