Friday, September 18, 2009

Mornings in Africa

At first all I see are the eyes. Eyes without bodies. Big green dots lighting up the pitch darkness of the night like fireflies. As my sleepy eyes grow accustomed to the blue black darkness outside of my tent, silhouettes start to come alive.

The jagged edges of umbrella acacias fill up my horizon. A mournful wuuuu huuu huuu breaks through the quietness of the night and I see the curved outline of a bush baby crawling slowly into sight, its big sorrowful green eyes all the while watching me. The heavy built frames of buffaloes dotting the savannah, softly grunting. A flicker of a tail swooshing and somewhere out in the velvety darkness a hyena laughs at his own secret joke before running off. I hear muffled rustling in the tussock grass around the tent and turn my head toward it just in time to see a startled bush duiker dart out of one bush and into another. Up in the trees a twig breaks free, and an accusatory chattering ensues between the black and white colobus monkeys. I hear scampering and swinging in the trees, as Africa awakens out of its slumber.

The weaver birds always awaken first. Noisy and loud, bickering back and forth, chasing each other, flashing streaks of yellow into the blue hours of dawn, dangling from one nest, flying into another. The hadada ibises squawk loudly at them scolding and shaking their heads in disapproval, their loud cries resonating into the early morning. The go away birds pitch in their dissatisfaction at the scene, hopping from one branch to another calling out at everyone to just “goooo goooo awaaaay”. The noisy choir of morning birds in the air grows louder and louder and then all of a sudden there is silence.

There it is – that breathless sunrise. Just as suddenly as the first warm glow rises up from the dark abyss of the horizon, the noise of the world around me hushes into a perfect silence. It’s as if nature and I agree that this is a sacred sight that can only be gazed upon in the midst of absolute serenity. Peace and quiet fill my world for that one moment as the sky fills up with crimson and orange rising higher and higher up into the sky until a perfect fiery ball of red sets the sky aflame. It is only six in the morning but already Africa is on fire.

This isn’t the memory of a single morning, but rather the nostalgia of countless memories of waking up to countless breathless sunrises in my beloved Kenya.

~vagabond~ © 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The waiting

We play a waiting game – life and I. I wait for it to turn into what I expect out of it. And it waits for me to turn into the person it wills for me to be. Some days life wins. Some days I win. And in all the days that lie in between, there’s just the endless waiting.

~vagabond~ © 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Faces from different places

There he is. The boy who once knew me for the little girl that I was. The one I hung around with over my holidays, playing marbles in the dirt, riding our bikes around the neighborhood. The one who taught me to swim by shoving me into the swimming pool. I thrashed and slapped the water. But today I can swim.

And that’s her. The girl who became my very best friend. The one who befriended the shy seven year old me when I first started school in Kenya. The one who helped me make friends. The one who loved goldilocks and the three bears just as much as I did. And believed me when I said fairies were real even when everyone else didn’t.

That photo right over there? The one taken the third year of high school.
The mary jane shoes. Polished and shiny black with white socks up to the knee. White shirt and a gray skirt with a navy blue blazer thrown on top. Complete with a matching blue tie slung loose around the neck. And we all collectively hated it. A bunch of awkward teenagers, searching for self-identity.

And that’s her. The one I keep telling you about. My teacher from high school. Who always dressed funny. The one with the big glasses, who once apologized to the trashcan. And yet the one who believed in my ability to achieve more than I dreamed for myself.

Him. Him. And her. My college buddies. The people I travelled around Kenya with. The ones I get together with even now, laughing uproariously into the wee hours of the night, remembering shared memories of camping adventures gone bad.

Faces collected in different places over time, brought together in one tight space. The collage that makes me me.

I just joined Facebook.

~vagabond~ © 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


A congested mess. Words stuck together. Like an icky gooey mess. The blink-blink of the cursor, waiting and waiting for that single elusive word. A single lost muse. A single slippery thought to color its blank white pages with the splitch splotch of black ink that spits out onto paper when a hundred untouched feelings, a hundred unspoken words come undone. A dotted collage of black against white. An elaborate sketch of intricate feelings. Parts of a painting still incomplete. A single elusive word is all it takes. And then they spill out faster. Words chasing one another, tumbling after one another, bumping and colliding to fill the empty spaces between the lines. Words evocative and provocative. Vivid and descriptive. Begging to be used. Bringing to life a writer’s foggy dream. Spilling out the secret hidden thoughts buried within the innermost depths of the writer’s soul as a tight knot comes undone.

~vagabond~ © 2009