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The Invitation

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Someone shared this poem. I thought it said something about them but it didn’t or maybe I misunderstood them. That said I think it is a great poem and I would like to share. It inspired me it might inspire you too.

The Invitation

                                By Oriah

It doesn’t  interest me

what you do for a living.

I want to know

what you ache for

and if you dare to dream

of meeting your heart’s longing.

 

It doesn’t interest me

how old you are.

I want to know

if you will risk

looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.

 

It doesn’t interest me

what planets are

squaring your moon…

I want to know

if you have touched

the centre of your sorrow

if you have been opened

by life’s betrayals

or have become shriveled and closed

from fear of further pain.

 

I want to know

if you can sit with pain

mine or your own

without moving to hide it

or fade it

or fix it.

 

I want to know

if you can be with joy

mine or your own

if you can dance with wildness

and let the ecstacy fill you

to the tips of your fingers and toes

without cautioning us

to be careful

to be realistic

to remember the limitations

of being human

 

It doesn’t  interest me

if the story you are telling me

is true.

I want to know if you can

disappoint another

to be true to yourself.

If you can bear

the accusation of betrayal

and not betray your own soul.

If you can be faithless

And therefore trustworthy

 

I want to know if you can see Beauty

even when it is not pretty

every day.

And if you can source your own life

from its presence.

 

I want to know

if you can live with failure

yours and mine

and still stand at the edge of the lake

and shout to the silver of the full moon,

“Yes.”

 

It doesn’t interest me

to know where you live

or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up

after the night of grief and despair

weary and bruised to the bone

and do what needs to be done

to feed the children.

 

It doesn’t interest me

where or what or with whom

you have studied.

I want to know

what sustains you

from the inside

when all else falls away.

 

I want to know

if you can be alone

with yourself

and if you truly like

the company you keep

in the empty moments.

 

To me this poem is a reminder that life is not perfect but nothing beats knowing that no matter how difficult the circumstances you will wake up put on your overalls and keep going.

You can learn more about Oriah and her poetry by checking out www.oriahmountaindreamer.com Check out her blog “The Green Bough” too.

 

 

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Dear Kenyan Politician

Dear Kenyan Political Leaders,

I have lived in this country since I was born. It is a lovely place, very nice place.  You guys have lived here longer than I have. We have survived a lot of things, even when KANU was at its most unfriendly we survived and thrived. I don’t deny that we are imperfect; we probably will never be anything better than flawed.

We need leaders, we are social beings and require order and that starts with a leader. Think bees, ants, lions even elephants. There is always a leader, there needs to be a leader. Someone to rally behind.

We have seen all of you in government, all of you. None of you hasn’t had a chance to try running this country and all of you have done the same thing. You have done your best to ensure that you made money and your friends made money. Which is ok after all this is a capitalist society. Government has never exactly cared about ordinary mwananchi. We have lived with that, we live with that. To survive this we need to be free to work and earn a living.

So, we need for the nonsense to stop. The bickering over who we like better needs to stop. Come on, why pretend you care about what we think, you don’t, not at all. You are using us in your little rich people tiff. Why keep dragging us into it?

You convince us to run around in the street because you have made sure we have no jobs to go to. We run around hoping that when you are the leader we will benefit. We never do, we go back to our miserable shanties, our miserable once a week casual jobs and you go back to your lavish lifestyles.

We need you to settle this away from our miserable lives. You need to stop pretending we matter. Stop using us. Just do your thing far, far, far, away from us. We need to pay bills; school fees, rent,power, water  food… You know those things you people don’t have struggles providing for your families. So, find a way to settle this without putting us in the middle.






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When you are not good enough…

 

Every person goes through that part of the week, month or year when they feel like a tiny bit of sand in world of boulders. It may be because you can’t get the job you want. It could be that your dream girl or your drool worthy dream boy doesn’t know you exist, forget notice your new khakis.  Deep down you believe you should get what you want. You are not alone, it happens to everyone. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, it does and it sucks.

So what do you do when it feels like no one knows you exist? When all you want to do is go to bed and stay there because facing your life will be looking your inadequacies in the face. And inadequacies tend to laugh and sneer.

First thing to do is remember you can never please everyone. Take the Tyra Banks maxim “SO WHAT!” and be fierce while doing it. Your current boss might not appreciate your hard work but he is not every boss out there. So she doesn’t spare you a second glance. She is not worth the time you have already spent wondering how to get bigger muscles and money to buy a car you can ill afford. My point is you need to realize that life is more about you being happy than making others happy. As my brother Edward will say “I will not make myself unhappy to make you happy”.

You cannot control everyone. I have always known I am a bit controlling. I don’t want you to change who you are but it would be nice…J Seriously though it is important that you realize you can’t manipulate and order everything and everyone. Some people won’t like you, others will just be plain nasty to your sweet self and others just don’t know you exist. You need to chill (do people still say that) chill, relax. Que Sera Sera. Work on accepting that sometimes even with your charm and good looks people will probably not do what you want them to do.

Most importantly remember feeling small is rarely about you, it is usually about other people and their feeling towards you. You need to stop measuring your worth by other people’s behavior towards you. Know your worth and don’t base it on what anyone thinks. In your life, your opinion of you is the most important. I am not saying not to take good advice just don’t bend over backwards so people like you.

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Never Give Up

 

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I have heard that I don’t give up. In truth I have wanted to give up so many times. It hurts when all your efforts seem wasted on a goal that as things stand you will never reach. It is worse when something you really want is taken away at that moment when you really believed that you were going to get it.

I have been there. I have felt the despair, the sorrow and the “why did I even try”. No one really understands because we all want different things. What matters to you does not matter to me. When you feel suicidal about it, people can only judge you for being juvenile, selfish or such other thing.

I believe that walking away means that you do not believe that you have the power to face the situation. You do, the fact that you exist in the particular space and time facing the circumstances that you are means that you have the ability to deal with anything you are faced with. I believe God, destiny would not let you be in that situation if you have not the power to deal with the hard times.

Life is about challenges. Think of the earth, the mountains, the valleys, the deserts and the savanna. The mountains are cold, the valleys are steep and the deserts are dry. It is not easy. If you walk away because it is too hot in the Sahara you will never know of the beauty of the barrenness of the sand dunes, the shifting landscape.  In this same way you cannot give up on your dreams just because it is getting difficult. To really live you need to feel complete. You will never feel that way until you have done everything you could to get that which you want.

Success is sweet. When you feel that you can’t try anymore think of the joy of success. Think about how good it will feel when your struggle has borne fruit. Nothing feels better than getting something you have worked hard to get.  Don’t let the weight of despair drag you back to zero. Think of the future not the past. Stop thinking about all the things you could have done different think about what your plan is going to get you in a year or two when it is complete.

Do not walk away. I know you want to because it seems the work is not worth it any more. If you walk away now you might miss out on the best thing of your life.

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Dare to Dream

Everyone has dreams. We all want to achieve something, be someone and maybe conquer the world. Not in the William way or even the Alexander but in a way that means we matter. We all want to be someone, to feel like we are something, something special.

Why is the road to love strewn with broken hearts, bitter souls and lost hopes? Because we all want that person who makes us feel like we are something special. There one person that can make everything alright with a smile.  Problem is many people can fake that.  We are all looking for that thing that fulfills us in the way love can. That one thing that you hope to get to feel complete.

Simplicity

I want to be a professor. The simple kind. No bushy eyebrows, ill-fitting clothes and skewed spectacles for me. Just a tidy desk and a few students to teach the deep mysteries of life. I would like to inspire people, my students of course, and teach them to open their minds to new ideas, question every thought. Let them know that there is nothing wrong with taking the road less traveled. You know you have dreams too, things you wish for every time you sit at your desk and do what you must to pay the bills.

Wishful thinking

I sometimes think maybe I am being unrealistic, think I am not the brightest person in my village or my clan or even my family. I was born to worship at the altar of this or other professor. I have heard that I should not sit with my betters and embarrass myself. You have heard the same things too. That is why you have spent most of your life making excuses. Choosing not to try but building castles in the air. Wishing you could but too afraid to try and fail.

Here is some good advice. Go out there and try to reach your goals. You want to be an artist save up for classes. You want to own a business go out there and start researching the market. You want to be a music star start singing today. You want to write a great novel pick up that pen today.

Dare to dream

If you want to make your dreams a reality you have to work for them. They will forever be dreams if you do nothing about them and in your 70s they will become nightmares. They will haunt you and make you a bitter person. Angry with the young for misusing what you wish you could have back; a chance and time to make dreams reality.

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YOURS, MINE, OUR HOME


The other day I heard a lady say to a group of friends, “Akaaibisha nyumba yake!” They were talking about a female acquaintance of theirs who had caused her husband some embarrassment by calling him out on his B.S publicly or telling someone about the husband’s behaviour when he was in his cups. The husband is only a unit of the family. Just like the wife and the children are but to a proper wife if you undress the husband, man of the house or other title of respect you give the fellow that has loaned you his name, you are embarrassing the entire family and that includes his mother and father and of course your mother and father. No wonder the lady seemed scandalized by the behaviour of the subject being discussed.

I am a traditional African woman. I am all about respecting my husband, covering up his inadequacies, smiling through the pain and making his favourite as often as is humanly possible. I therefore have nothing against the idea of bearing with my husband’s imperfections. As one of my bright relatives says one should choose to marry someone whose faults they can bear with. So, fact that he is not the kind of guy your friends would marry does not mean he is not right for you. It also does not allow you to tell all and sundry what happens behind closed doors. Especially after you have locked three different doors… inner sanctum manenos.

Yes, you are angry that he refused to buy the family food and you nearly starved this Easter but honey, telling your friends doesn’t solve the problem. It only feeds the grapevine. He drinks too much? Everyone already knows that. He does it at the pub and sings all the way home. What they don’t know is what he does when he comes home. Don’t give them that. The sympathy is  fake and the empathy is imaginary. But the grapevine’s glee is real… very real.

My issue with this conservative view to the affairs of the home is that it doesn’t seem to recognize the humanness of the woman. She is supposed to bear with her husband and never tire. He is free to prance about disparaging her to any and everyone. He can sleep around and claim that she is too stupid or too trusting to notice. Tell anyone who will listen that he built her a house, bought her a car and he therefore does not see what more she could possibly want. In this way he suggests she is more or less a prostitute. She married him so she can have a house and a car. Isn’t she part of the Nyumba whose honour she must guard? Does her honour not matter just like the man’s? She deserves respect and honour and understanding of her flaws.

So the advice to honour your spouse, your home/household should apply to men too. Stop asking your friends what to do with your wife; go ask her what she would like to do. Don’t tell people she is boring go home and suggest something fun. Yes, she is not the sharpest tool in the shed but that is none of your friends’ business. See a therapist or a lawyer. Don’t embarrass and humiliate yourself.

Just to be clear I am not saying you should let your better or in the case bad half give you blood pressure or let him or her kill you with disease or violence. If you can’t deal with it get out of the situation. Truth is people will talk but you can’t let public opinion decide your life, its quality or how long that life is going to last.

Photo from: bjws.blogspot.com

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