There’s something about funerals. How funereal and sombre they are, the end of a life (not) lived, the beginning of the reality of one’s life, and for the loved ones whose times they still await, it’s a period of perpetual disillusionment before they find there sanity again.
Cruel blessing, i like to believe.
Her head, draped neatly in an African embroidered scarf, embellished with beads of patriotism; droops lazily as we peered over the horizon of the Kenyan skies at the rooftop.
This world, Latifa, it’s so broken.
But i know too well.
Only i wish i didn’t understand, that i wouldn’t have to travel to galaxies and universes it has finally dawned i will never even reach. Then we could beguile ourselves with utter pleasantries, small talk and the filtered selfies.
Blissful ignorance 🙂
About a month or so ago, someone said something to me that i could hear my spirits shutter, which explains my absence from these streets. Pretense, an art we have come to master so exquisitely for the ideology that holds showing emotion is weakness, i went down with that. Shook it off, brushed my shoulders and walked on with the pride of a Brazilian weave that hangs on to the head of a Nairobian lady with perceptible courage. Because it’s what we have become, a society that shuns anyone or anything to do with expressing emotions. Apparently though, one of the core reasons for our existence is to seek validation. Facebook friends, Instagram likes, Twitter retweets? Mirrors? All too familiar. Though with aging moons you become cognizant that the only validation worth seeking should be coming from within, more so, from above. You learn as well to ignore constant echoes of what you ought to do, ought to become, and the multitudes of expectations awaiting to be met, that just your state of being in existence, sometimes, is enough.
The masses of people that pace the streets, each carries with him a myriad of sorrows, joys, worries, pain and a story, a story that is shaping them to be who they are becoming, one that you might never hear..
At a wedding somewhere, a man walks down the aisle to his bride with tears stinging his eyes; tears shed for the one person he would love to be holding his hand at that moment, a father who rests in his grave.
There lives a daughter whose every wish with all the breaths she takes is to hear her mother’s voice just one last time.
And there’s another man breaking his back in a construction field somewhere in the fulfillment of his promise to love and to hold, for meagre earnings at the end of the day for a wife battling cancer in a hospital bed.
Yet another man returns to his house late in the night to mayhem and bedlam with constant fights and arguments, a man whose only desire was peace.
There lives in the street a homeless little boy selling peanuts (unintended pun) at the highway during ungodly peak-traffic hours to motorists who just want to get home. A boy whose only mistake was to dream wild, that he too, would one day have a place to call home.
Daughters of their fathers who can not comfortably put on headscarves without hurtful comments and sneers. All they did was love.
And there’s the thousands locked up in prison cells for they did only what they knew right, fought for what they deemed right. Better are they though, for only there bodies are trapped than those whose souls search freedom day and night.
Not to mention the innocent children in war-torn countries who’ve learnt the sounds of gunshots and grenades like the back of their hands. Children who will never know childhood. The only playground and toys they will ever know is the shambles of the remnants of their homes.
So its difficult to be and not to be, to feel and not to feel, to pretend to be oblivious, as much as the heart rejoices at the magnificence of the universe created in the image of the One, such that everywhere we turn, we could seek and find Him. Yet the deadliest malady of the 21st century remains to be the separation from the One. An ailment that no doctor holds the prescription to, nor would any scholar detect from the top of the pulpit.
That’s the thing about death.
Maybe they weren’t really meant for the dead.
That sometimes we’re all in need of one, to bury our former selves, or a loved one.
Or lay to rest that which we can’t control.