Your Craft.

I’m not one to make resolutions, but this year, I endeavored to write a tad bit more than I did last year (when I barely did, so the bar is low.)

A passion, a craft, a skill, needs to be sharpened often, otherwise, it becomes too blunt to cut through to any real joy. Similarly, words need to be churned out so often, otherwise, they’ll look for their own way out. If you’ve got a craft you’ve dedicated your life to, never let it slip away, follow it into the dark crevices of the unknown, fly close to the sun just to grasp at it. Dedication is the essence of life, the art of giving up yourself for something greater than you.

So take out that violin you spent your savings on, that guitar you’ve been strumming an imperfect tune on, that code you’ve been dabbling with. Don’t wait for inspiration, it doesn’t always show up. Be your own inspiration.

Moving on, I’ve seen many people call this a year of restoration, and rightly so, because last year was rock bottom. Why? An unseen enemy. Gripping fear, then panic, then anxiety in the midst of a new normal. Loss. Disruption. In the midst of all those, it’s understandable that many of us lost our centre, our sense of groundedness, our anchor.

It felt like walking in pitch black darkness without a light. Only that we were required to be indoors by the time darkness took over from the sun. We felt imprisoned.

Freedom. We often take it for granted. The freedom to decide what time we get to our humble abodes. The freedom to mingle freely, a hug here, a handshake there. Ah, the simplicity of a handshake. A casual drink with a friend. Only when you lose it do you discover that you had it. It pains you. The knowledge that you’d take something so valuable for granted.

Discipline. One of the hardest virtues to master. A workout regimen, A diet. A content calendar. A promise to your readers that you’ll show up for them every week. Perhaps because discipline has no immediate rewards. The value for delayed gratification has diminished. Most people want immediate success. But if we got everything we wanted immediately, what would we do with the rest of our lives?

The world is changing. Fast. Woe unto you if you blink too slow. For instance, did you know there’s a Chicken Inn along Kenyatta Avenue? And there’s KFC in Eastleigh? Visit the CBD once in a while, otherwise, in a few years time, you’ll be the lost one on a busy downtown street asking for directions to Afya Centre.

Reading culture. At least this one won during the pandemic. Because when you’re holed up indoors with a curfew that begins early, you can only watch so much television, or drink whiskey, or go for sleepovers. During such times, there is nothing more comforting than getting lost in the covers of a good story. With a cup of hot cocoa by your side. Therapy comes in many forms.

Thoughts. They can be empowering or destructive. With reduced social interactions, many of us found ourselves alone with what we fear the most – a deprivation of distractions. And boy, we were terrified. Bad thoughts come in many forms: regret, remembrance, nostalgia. The emotions that accompany them equally gripping – fear, anger, desire, compulsion. I pray that you learn to increase the quality of your thoughts. Then you won’t be so afraid of being alone. In short, meditate.

I don’t have much to say for now. Never been one of many words. Sina story mingi. But you’ll hear more from me. A time will come. A time for stories. A time to reconnect. Meanwhile, this space till exists. Come read, leave a comment if you may. Or just tiptoe. No judgement.

Till next time. Asante.

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