"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Thursday, 29 December 2005
Tuesday, 27 December 2005
Monday, 26 December 2005
Sunday, 25 December 2005
Saturday, 24 December 2005
Friday, 23 December 2005
Once upon a time in an African village lived a rich man in a huge beautiful house. Every morning as soon as he woke up, the rich man would open the curtains and the windows of his bedroom. He'd look at the sky, at the world marveling at the beauty of life.
Every morning, a poor man who lived in the village would pass walking by the gates of the rich man's mansion. Soon the rich man noticed him. He was curious our rich man. He would look at the passing poor man and speculate of the man's life, what he did, where he went, did he have a family. Soon started watching for the poor man's to and fro. Of course, he didn't know then that the man was poor. This unawareness did not last long. He investigated and was told that the man was poor. That he went every morning in the bushes looking for wood he'd sell at the market. That was his only mean of subsistence for him and his wife ad three children. Our rich man felt sorry for this brave poor man who carried himself around with so much dignity. He would never have guessed that this man sold wood for a living. He decided he had to do something to help.
The next morning, our rich man woke up early and went out in front of his gate to wait for our poor man. A little while later he saw him coming down the road.
"Peace my Brother!" he called. Our poor man stopped and answered likewise.
"Brother", started our rich man "I see you everyday going down this road. I've heard about you. They tell me you're an honest, God fearing and brave man. Brother, I would be very grateful if you'd allow the sinner that I am to do good by helping you."
"Help me?" asked our poor man "I gain enough to feed my family. There are many people who are more worthy of your help."
"Brother, I insist! Please do not refuse. Anything you ask for I'd give you. You're praying God for Mercy and Blessings on me and my family would be the greatest reward."
Our poor man thought a bit. Smiled. Looked hard at our rich man and said
Our rich man beamed and hurriedly thrust his hand in his pocket lest the poor man would change his mind.
"Wait," said the poor man calmly, "you said you'd give me anything. What I shall have would be on my terms."
The rich man looked worried "yes?"
The poor man smiled again and said
"I shall be needing a handful of dust only. I'd be very much grateful if you'd give me a handful of dust."
The rich man brows furrowed. He knew the man was not crazy. A handful of dust? If that's what the fellow wanted,then be it. Still perplexed, he bent down, took a handful of dust and poured it into the poor man's raised palm. The poor man thanked him profusely and went to attend to his wood cutting then selling business.
The days went by, the weeks. Every morning the poor man would stop to claim his handful of dust. Less than two months later he stopped by. The rich man too. They stared at each other. "Peace!"
"Peace!" our poor man waited.
Our rich man stood staring. Our poor man raise an eyebrow inquiringly. The rich man, who now, did not look happy at all thrust his hand into his pocket and took out a handful of notes. He took our poor man's hand and placed in the money.
"Look here Brother, I proposed to help you. Here is some money. This I can help you with but am not going to bend down every morning and give you a damned handful of dust. You want your handful of dust, you bend down and take it yourself! Am not going to take this anymore!! Understood??!)"
Our poor man smiled calmly. Returned the money. Thanked our rich man and went to the bushes to collect wood.
The moral of the story? I have mine. Let me hear about yours!
[Source: Memory. A story I remeber reading when i was still at primary school. The author'sname is Amadou Hampaté Bah. The Title of the book - collection of short stories - Une poignée de Poussière]
Tuesday, 20 December 2005
According to John M. Gottman, a Psychology Professor at the Washington University, there are SEVEN fundamental questions you should ask yourself, or ask each other in order to know where you stand in a relationship.
- Do we take interest into each other's lives?
- Do we have respect and admiration for each other?
- Do we wish to share our emotions?
- Are we ready to let ourselves be influenced by the other?
- Are we capable of solving minor conflicts?
- Are we ready to question ourselves in order to solve a conflict?
- Do we share the same conception of life and of our future?
If you answer "YES" to all questions, you're one hard rock couple.
If you answer "No" or hesitate over one question, you need to think about making your relationship a sound one.
Here are the typical, normal, I always hear conversations or see scenes between husbands and wife whose lives am part of. Because they're friends, acquaintances.
Husband yawns, puts on the slippers an heads to the bathroom. No second glance at the rumpled ed covers.
Wife in kitchen struggling with a bunch of cereal killer kids.
She (screaming over the kids morning lung strengthening exercise): Are you going to break fast.
She: What? (to the kids) just shut up and keep quiet, I can't hear your father!
He: Can't you make them SHUT UP!!! (under his breath) Can't even here myself thinking.
She: And what do you think am doing huh? And.... (her shrieks are covered by the sound of the running shower and the cereal killer kids' shouts).
He: I gotta go. Am late.
She: Are you not going to have breakfast?
She: Are you going to grab something on your way?
She: pardon my asking. That's what I get for caring. Insults.
He: Insults? Who insulted you?
She: See. That's what I meant (pained look).
He: Huh, Ok,we'll talk about it later.
She: That's it. Yeah. Sure. We'll talk about it (she mimics).
He (looking at loss): hmm, Ok bye.... bye... huh... Cherie.
She angry, angry,angry turns away the cheek he's bending over to kiss.
He shrugs and goes to work.
On the way, he'd grab something to eat.
She (on the phone): What do you wanna eat tonight.
He: Anything would be alright.
She: Anything is not on the menu. What do you want to eat.
He: Ok, what about some roti and curry?
She: That's what we ate yesterday. How are you to know. You seldom eat at your place with your family now.
He: I had a meeting. You know that.
She: I don't know anything at all.
He: What do you mean you don't know nothing at all. I told you I had a meeting.
She: Sure. Whatever. (hangs up)
Husband looking bushed has no meeting today. He's back home.
“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”chant the kids.
“Leave you Dad alone, he's tired” says She.
He: What are we eating?
He (not in the mood for a fight): Ok.
“Food, Food, Food!” chant the kids.
She: What do you mean Ok?
(She's sure he's making fun of her)
She: You don't even listen to me when I talk to you.
He: What did I say?
I'd love having your analysis on these “conversations”. What's your prognostic for this couple? Two more years together? Less? Say it!
Of course, the conversations differ in relation to the families situation.
- The both working parents with kids “converse” about who's going to pick the kids up from school.
- The childless both working newly married couple have “where are you?” phone conversations.
Monday, 19 December 2005
Friday, 16 December 2005
A teacher, at school, told us once that, the reason why doctors refer to sick persons as “patients” is because, these people are waiting for their sickness to go away; they are holding on to hope. This is the most close meaning of “Patience” i could get to.
Thursday, 15 December 2005
Tuesday, 13 December 2005
The Broken Bridge of my soul.
Enveloped by a loud thudding heavy sound,
The loud thudding heavy sound of my beating heart.
Trying to escape the eerie images,
The eerie images in my mind,
"There is," I think "Nothing louder
"Nothing here louder
"Louder than the sound of Silence."
Walking under the watchful eye,
The Watchful eye of a bright full moon,
The full moon above the guarding trees,
A ghost like figure moving about,
Moving about, reaching forward,
Reaching forward holding me tight,
Holding me tight and warm,
Being my ONE and ONLY friend,
Silence embraces me for,
For there is nothing as loud,
As loud as the silent sound of Silence.
Tonight, tonight my sleep is light as,
As light as the kiss of a flying butterfly brushing by your cheek,
For there is a heavy sound screaming in my mind,
in my mind, in my soul and broken heart,
So loud I can touch, taste and see it,
So loud is the heavy sound,
The heavy sound,
Sound of my Silent heart,
The Silence of my heart,
My broken heart devoid of Life.
Monday, 12 December 2005
A couple of months ago I had a a very heated argument with one my fellow passengers in the van. According to her people don't normally die young. Of natural deaths. It's always accidental, due to a disease, murder.... Anything but natural causes. I asked her what age she thought is the age to die of natural causes. She said, at least seventy. I asked her what according to her are “natural causes”. She thought hard then came up with “cardiac arrest”. “That means you're dead”, I told her. “That your heart stopped functioning”. She doesn't talk much tome now. At least, not of serious issues. She think I am bizzare.
Our African oral traditions taught us a lot. Am using the past tense since oral traditions are less and less in use. “When an ancient (old person) dies in Africa, it's a whole library gone to dust”said the famous Hampaté Bah. 100% right. To come back to the subject, my philosophy on the issue my fellow van passenger argued about is completely different.
“Why God? I am going to be the most hated Angel. People will always curse and speak ill of me.”
“Rest assured,” said God “for never shall your name be mentioned in case of death. Never shall your fear be founded.”
“For what is to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?”
When my sister who got the call from her colleague told me the news, my first question was “But how? How did he die?” For us, people, having an answer to this question is primordial. It consoles us somehow to know the circumstances and reasons for the loss of our loved and dear ones. Nothing is as bad as not knowing.
Heather's post about the Invisible children comes to mind here. My little brother lost a friend. A. was his best friend from Standard 1 (First class of the primary level) to Standard 3. He was such a cute little boy. My brother used to boss him around. He just disappeared. His pictures are flashed from time to time on TV but less and less now. His mother is still interviewed sometimes for programs related to disappearances. It's sad. She clings to her little son. Younger than the one who disappeared. She talks about him in both the present and past tense. More in the present. It's been around 5 years now since he'd been last seen. He was in front of the gate to his house one minute and nowhere to be found the next minute. I can't imagine nothing as bad as the pain his parents are perpetually going through. It's a pain which won't last till they find an answer as to his whereabouts if he's still alive....
Thursday, 8 December 2005
I've been intending to post about this French movie I saw a couple of months ago, but something else, another idea, would come up and then...
The movie is called "Comme une Bête" (lit. "Like an Animal"). I'd decided that it wasn't worth being watched and would do to bed as soon as it'd start if the MBC didn't replace it by another one at the last minute, which they often do. But they didn't and I watched still. With reason. It startled me.
Scene 1. Furious guy manipulating gun steps into call booth and dials number:
Guy: "Inspector X?
Inspector X: "Yes?"
Furious guy shoots the phone. Inspector X with his head exploded still holding the phone appears on the screen.
(My sisters and I look at each other, too surprised to laugh at the absurdity of the scene).
Scene 2. Woman sitting as if she's posing for an ID card photo is crying, she sneezes once.
The screen goes blank then the words: 5 months ago appear.
Now the movie starts.
Leo, Our Furious Guy, was born and raised in an orphanage founded by his father, a veterinary, in Indonesia. The Furious Leo, who is very happy at this stage, has monkeys as playing companions. He loves them, the monkeys. He is very agile and strong. He speaks very literal French. His words carry no double meaning. He is so very innocent. Then the father dies. The authorities decide to take over the orphanage. The monkeys which his father used to let roam around would be put into cages. The Happy-Soon-To-Be-Angry Leo is not happy with the new measures. He decides he'd go to civilisation, to France. He knows nothing of both. He's just a simple guy to whom poetry and music had been taught and nothing more. He has a pure and idealistic conception of life.
He knows his father came from France. Leo has no possessions. He takes some money, his motorbike (he's a great rider, rather an acrobat really) and goes to the harbour. The captain offers to take him in exchange of manual work. He says OK and wants to pay still. The Captain says all right then tells Leo to keep his money after taking a look at it. It's very out of date useless money.
Our Leo steps into a cabin he's supposed to share with another guy. He stares at the man. The man, annoyed, scowls and demands to know why he's being stared at, like that.
Leo: "You're black!!!?"
Other guy (scowling more): "Yes, so what?"
Leo: "It's just that I've never seen any one black before"
Other Guy (sotto voce): "Damn racist"
Our Leo, pointing to a Pamela Anderson like picture plastered over the cabin's door: "That your mother?"
Other guy stares at him speechless.
In the canteen, Our Leo spots a lone man with long hair. He pulls a chair and straddles it facing the lone man. Lone man looks behind him then realises he is who is being stared at. He stops eating and barks: "What the hell are you staring at?" Our Leo says: "You have such beautiful hair. May I touch it"? Lone man leaves muttering "fag" under his breath....
Our Leo does reach France, after being almost thrown over board for freeing birds the Captain was intending for the black market. Our Leo meets character’s who personify the evils of this our times.
He finds himself implicated into a murder case. Then, because he tells the truth, he’s considered mad and sent to an asylum. Because he cannot lie and is not believed when he is actually telling the truth. In the asylum, he falls in love with a girl with a problem. She believes herself ugly and fat and goes mad when weight related words are pronounced into her presence. He cures her, through music and poetry. He’s crazy about her. Because she does not wear perfumes. He cannot stand perfumed women. At one point he’s almost raped by a perfumed woman.
When the Girl-from-The-Asylum loses her weight in circumstances too strange and long to be narrated here, and turns into a star, she dumps him. He'd end up killing.
The end is sad really. Our so very innocent Leo dies. At loss. He screams that he'd have preferred living into His forest among his animals, at least there, he was understood.