Celebrating East African Writing!
Yeah, I did wake up to some UB40 today.
Someone thought I should have done the Kenyan Romance piece from last week today, on account of it being Valentine’s Day and all. Probably, I should have. Except I have just one small thing against some saint of love’s day being overly commercialised and being sold to me as the only day I can tell the people I love that I do love them.
Love is hard work. And I don’t mean romance. I mean love. Romance is as easy as 123. With love, you have this plot in your mind that tells you what you want to happen. But the plot didn’t take into account the cataclysmic combination of your madness, quirks and flaws coming into clashing contact with the other person’s madness, quirks and flaws. Soon, you find that the script is veering way off the plotline you’d designed. At some point you find yourself so far from where you’d envisioned yourself, and then you have two choices. Stare at the cursor on the screen until inspiration comes to you, or fold the script, put it on a shelf and move on.
Now, you might think that when I say the above, I am only referring to romantic love. But I am not. Ask any mother who has raised a child to adulthood if it all went according to plan. I know my mother would have a few things to say about that.
She thought baby girl would be this sweet, compliant and gifted princess. I came out with really bad allergies, and I was anything but compliant. How many times she was called from work because I was in an emergency room with a broken bone or a cut that looked pretty much fatal! And then I grow up, and no, I do NOT want to be a doctor.
Or you could ask my friend who lives up the hill. She loved her man for 40 years. And he was stubborn, and proud, and the best friend she ever had. He was a good father, in spite of his temper. She always had to be the voice of calm and reason. But she loved him, and together they were the best that could ever be. And then he died on her.
Maybe, we should talk about Tom. His best friend is highly intelligent, funny, kind, honest, and schizophrenic. I am not sure that I can be what Tom is. To watch my friend slip away countless times, and be replaced by an angry, violently paranoid man. Tom never gives up. In the good days he reminds his friend to take his meds. And in the bad days, he’s there to help his friend’s parents round him back home from the market.
And then there’s my best friend. I know, I’m not 16 anymore. But I do have a BFF, forever linked no matter what. Well, he did say there was one matter, and I agree. If you chose to love someone, it should be unconditional, UNLESS that person hurts you deliberately and becomes a detriment to your safety and well being. Otherwise, love should be unconditional. And sometimes, unconditional love means letting go. Tough, I know. But true. Sometimes it means holding on no matter what gale is sweeping the town away. Also tough. Perhaps tougher than letting go.
I think love is a big deal. There are many kinds of love. All of them are a big deal. All of them should be held sacred. All of them should be celebrated.
Whatever the case, it’s not up to me to decide whether YOU should celebrate love once a year or not. Besides I know there’s some who might not quite agree with my opinion. So enjoy your Valentine’s Day wisely and safely.
So I did end up writing about love after all. But now allow me to send you to this week’s reading.
We begin with something that’s not quite a story but which I know most of you would like to read and thus the inclusion.
P.S. The Fan Fiction Contest was to run today, but perhaps it was too daunting a task? I would have thought we have writers good enough to hack it. Anyway, none of the stories submitted this week fit the contest guidelines, so no prizes this month.
I guess I could go shopping. Hmm…
Well, that’s it! Enjoy your day and have a wonderful week ahead!