Celebrating East African Writing!
Facebook inspite of all its acclaimed ill-effects, is wonderful for sparking conversations. I’d like to share part of a conversation I had with a friend with regards to inspiration.
J: To love life, is to be inspired.
A: Let us turn it around. If you are inspired, does that necessarily mean that you will love life? Alas, not. Art through the millenia confirms this truth. Inspiration can come in different forms, and the Divine can elate us beyond ourselves, can bless our path with roses and lilies; it can also strike us with madness.
J: Look at it from the other side, if you hate life, you are listless, stuck, scared, not very inspired. I find that even the maddest of the mad is inspired because there is something in life that they love – the spirit of genius is anchored in passion. But that does not exclude mad genius from extremes of moods. Most of them are perfectionists, and it is this that brings on the trail of madness.
A: Eduard Mörike – Trail of madness in his youth (a great lost love at 18, the famous Peregrina), and a flight into ultimate philistry as a… country parson through his adult life. I fully agree with your remark on passion. But as a hispanophile, you should know what the word “passion” means and denotes. (lat. passio, span. pasión) 😉
J: Pasión – Love, Obsession, Madness. Si, I do. And it is exactly that, that I meant. I am mad, because as crazy and cruel as life is, has been to me, you know some of the details, I still love life. Why else would I keep writing stories about humanity, keep cats just so I can love them even if they really are of no other practical use to me, keep loving someone even if I know I might lose them…? Indeed, Pasión. To be creative you debe tener una pasión por la vida y todas sus locuras (must have a passion for life and all its madness).
A: You now provoked me into reading Goethe’s “Marienbader Elegie” (on his last love).
“Act, then, as I, and look, with joyous mind,
The moment in the face; nor linger thou!
Meet it with speed, so fraught with life, so kind
In action, and in love so radiant now;
Let all things be where thou art, childlike ever,
Thus thoult be all, thus, thou’lt be vanquish’d never.”
J: I like the reference to childlike, in the verse you chose. I, to be childlike, in loving life and living it, but never childish in takings risks and losing it.
The power of loving, and all yearning sighs
For love responsive were effaced and drown’d;
While longing hope for joyous enterprise
Was form’d, and rapid action straightway found;
If love can e’er a loving one inspire,
Most lovingly it gave me now its fire
And now to this month’s poetry exhibition
Before we go, just a little note:
Gender violence in Kenya is an ongoing national calamity. Join Sauti and Storymoja this Wednesday (8th December 2010) evening at 6pm at the Vineyard on Rhapta Road in Westlands for cocktails, bitings, music, and even beauty touch-ups for early comers. Let’s stand together to make clear that Anti-Gender Violence has to stop. NOW.
Join musicians – June GACHUI, Helen MTAWALI, Krax BLAZE and author/performer – Muthoni GARLAND as they stand against ANTI-GENDER VIOLENCE.
Muthoni Garland of Storymoja will perform a short dramatised reading drawn from Al Kag’s book, Living Memories: the true story of a Pokomo girl, violated multiple times in 1940′s to 1950′s Kenya that sheds light on the historical roots of gender violence in Kenya today, and also celebrates the incredible tenacity of women.
Tickets ksh 1500/. Please book your seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or respond directly to me. You can pay by Mpesa or Zap or reserve your seat(s) online and then pay cash at the door. Limited seats so please call your friend(s) to come with you and book today!
Have a wonderful week!