Dream Men

Maasai Cricket warriors
Maasai Cricket Warriors by Francois Nel/Getty Images

When I see this picture of black men moving their bodies with ease and control; displaying this capacity Africans have to embrace new things and learning without prestige. learning them without abandoning what they already know. I remember my dream man.

As a young girl growing up in Kenya, I never had a dream wedding, just my dream man. He was black, like the men who brought me up – he was dignified, he was “the silent, strong type”. My father drunk too much, so my dream man did not drink. My father smoked and every hug left me feeling like I was hugging his shadow and the real man, my father was hidden behind the layers of cigarette smoke and alcohol. My future man would not smoke.

He would look like that man swinging the Cricket bat and I would adore him and he would adore me. Maybe, if he was kind, I would even *let* him have a mistress to massage his beautiful ego.

And then I moved to Sweden and my dream expanded in form and content. What a twisted rope life is!

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Born, bred and intellectualized in #EastShitHole

ShitholeThe land of many many wonderful people who reared me with confidence, civility, trust and love.

We are here. If colonialism, dehumanization, the slave trades and all the other genius plans in history didn’t kill us off, nothing will. Except the nuclear bomb that will not discriminate the shit holes.

We are here. Live. With. It.

 

 

Lady Chatterleys Lover Vs. Kenyan Independence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was on TV this holiday season, and of course, we watched it. The details are irrelevant except the affirmation that I love the endlessness of the Lady Chatterley and Oliver story. But, every single time I watch or re-read Lady Chatterley’s Lover and get astounded, it is ruined by the context in my head.

The context is:

Lady Chatterley LoverIn 1959-1960, when the Penguin trial was ongoing in Britain, to un-ban D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover that was banned under the Obscene Publications Act 1959; my father was 12 years old and mother was 10. In Kenya, a state of emergency had been ongoing since 1952. Kenyans were rebelling against colonialism. In 1959, a good number of Kenyans, both men and women,  were tortured, raped, humiliated and murdered. In one such camp, Hola camp, the deaths of over ten detainees kicked the already rolling ball of freedom.

You will now think that I should have forgotten about colonialism and be able to enjoy a good story, dramatized as love. Well, I don’t go around thinking about colonialism. I go around thinking about freedom. The freedom to do whatever the heck I want. And in 1959, when the Great Britain was banning books that described sex, my grandmother assured me that she was still having the wild romp in the wild. Although it was banned as wild, primitive and unnatural by the masters of the world.

My grandmother was married to Rubeni since she was fifteen. Or, rightly said, they were partners for life. Their marriage was not a documented matter. Nor was it a Imprisoned by Societal Expectations kind of marriage. In Kenya, in 1959, marriage was a Together for Survival kind of agreement. Scratch my back, I scratch yours. I may love you, I may not love you, but if I respect you and we are headed in the same direction – I will loyally walk beside you. The religion and law of one God and one partner for life, came with the masters of the world.

So, every time I see Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the contradicting thought in my head is how a society can be fighting for a freedom for themselves, that is already a freedom elsewhere; a freedom that they call primitive, unnatural and wild when exercised by others, but a freedom they want for themselves nevertheless.

 

Happy 2018! I am Really Looking Forward to This Year

 

20171231_232243[1]
Enjoy that desert darling! You are worth it!
Firstly, in Sweden, Dickensian was aired on TV during the end of 2017 giving me one of my greatest wishes as a present. Almost all of Dickens’ characters in one place. Imagine Mr. and Mrs. Bumble, Ebenezer Scrooge (The name Ebenezer gives me goose bumps of happiness!), Inspector Bucket, the Havishams vs. the Compeysons and the rest of the gang. I would have been satisfied and happy for the rest of 2018 just for this.

To multiply to my joy, Rihanna allowed the upload of

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Mattemoiselle Ma’Damn. I Really Want Grizelda!
Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick on Harvey Nichols. Online. You see, the only make up item I don’t leave home without is lipstick! I have them in colours I don’t even use and bought at prices I can’t afford.

Thirdly, my 2017 ended with a brand new contract for a new job starting in 2018. I had been itching to leave my beloved job for something new for a while. Looking for something to go to, as opposed to leaving something, was not easy at all. I need to learn new things and new people, and a new job was exactly what I needed.

Fourth, Sebastian and I ended the year with an 20171230_185230[1]agreement to walk this walk together, to make things work and last. A long term plan.

These are just examples of how blessed I am today. So you see, I cannot be greedy and wish for more. Still, for 2018, I pray for:

  1. Good health for my Mother as she ages. In 2018, she is turning 69, almost 70. It is an age. All my siblings have left home, I wish them well. We have not always agreed, my mother and I. We have not always loved each other either, if ever. But we have never been against each other, never on opposite sides when we face the world. Hopefully she will live a long life, filled with health and peace of mind and 2018 will just be the beginning of it all.
    20171231_235744[1]
    Light. Everywhere, Let the be Light!
  2. A world where we all can be refugees and keep some dignity, decorum and find love. I don’t want peace. After ages of wishing for peace, it now feels like a fool’s dream and I am no fool. I just want to know and feel that when the soldiers match into my corner, I can run to another place and there will be a small space where I can hide and rest for a bit. Maybe it won’t be me, maybe it will be my child running. Hopefully, 2018 is the year real refuges will start to exist for the refugees.
  3. In 2018, I hope for the death of Alcoholism and Suicide. Or, at the very least, the path towards the treatment of alcoholism that leads to suicide. Once alcoholism and suicide happen to you, you will know how much it takes from the lives left grieving. I don’t wish it on you or anyone else. From one generation to the next. My real wish for 2018 is that it doesn’t happen to another child, wife, mother, brother, sister, husband, friend, neighbor etc.

And I wish you all well in 2018! Good health, both mental and physical, love and some success in the areas you are looking for success!

 

Love Is…Circular Conversations – Happy New Year 2018! May the Light be with You!

candle light
The Dramatic Light

They start so innocently and with no insidious intention.

Knatte: “Did you turn off the lights?”

Fnatte: “Yes, except the hall light because you were still up.”

Knatte: “Don’t use me as an excuse. You forgot the light on, again…!”

Fnatte: “Why don’t you just turn it off? Its on your way to the bathroom…!”

Knatte: “Because you have to learn to turn off the lights.”

Fnatte: “Can’t you just turn the light off without making the biggest fuss about it?”

Knatte: “Noooo, because then you will never learn!”

Fnatte: “But…it is not such a big dea…”

light on
Now You see me…

Rudely interrupted.

Knatte: “Of course it is! Imagine if you forgot a candle! One day, you will kill us in our slee…”

Rude interrupt back.

Fnatte: “In these xx years, I have never forgotten a candle on. Why would I forget it now?”

Knatte: “hehehe, I love you, but anything could happen with you! It’s as though you have dementia or something. Remember when….”

Rudely interrupted.

Fnatte: “Please don’t drag the past into this!”

Knatte: “But it is relevant! Last year, after the new year party, you forgot the kitchen ligh…”

Even more rudely interrupted.

Fnatte: “We had been drinking! You forgot it too!”

Knatte: “Oh, so now you are turning it round on me? Typical!”

Fnatte: “Please shut up and let me sleep!”

Silence. For like 3½ minutes while Knatte brushes the teeth.

light out
Now You don’t…

Knatte: “I can’t imagine how it will be like when you get dementia or Alzheimers”

Fnatte: “Oh, not to worry darling. That will be fun! Whatever you have, you will catch it too! We will just walk around turning the lights on and off and then arguing about it!”

Knatte: “Oh, so you will get old with me, then?”

Fnatte sighs heavily.

Fnatte: “Come to sleep! Did you turn the lights out?”

Knatte: “Please don’t start that again! I am very tired…”

Knatte snoring.

Fnatte: “I did not start anything…”

Happy new Year! May the Light be with You!

 

 

Late Christmas Gifts

So, we had a NO Christmas gifts policy. We have done this for like 3 years now. And it works. Mostly. The problem challenge is, the business world doesn’t try very hard to help us honor this policy. Sales have to be made. Forecasts have to be met.

So the sales period starts immediately after Christmas! Like 25th, 23:59:59 immediately. Everything you didn’t buy before Christmas is on sale early morning on the 26th! You could just run out to the shops, those that are open, and get back in time for boxing day disappointments. Lawd help us!

In Sweden, this phenomena has a name: Mellandagsrea. Literal translation: The in-between-days sales. I know, genius! After Christmas, before new year sales.

new monitorWe are not too romantic, we buy the things we need or always wanted but were too expensive. This year, we went all in:

  1. Acer Monitor for my work-at-home space. I did all the setting up myself! My beloved Dell XPS 13 does not really have a HDMI port worth the name so I had to get an adapter cord. A USB 3.1 to VGA. I am very proud of myself!
  2. Sebastian received his bought-online-package just in time AFTER Christmas. Poirot box for those days when working-at-home is not at option and Netflix is not doing the trick.

poirotThe sales may get even bigger and better after the new year when they know that we cannot even afford our daily bread.

Love Is – A Messy Kitchen

kitchen2
That kitchen towel is wet! On the dining table.

Love is: Knowing that the kitchen will be a total, utter, mess when he is done cooking, and finding it in yourself, deep down, to relax and let it happen anyways. The meal will be delicious, so why the hell not? You have already fought, nagged, blackmailed and sulked one thousand and seventy eight times about this, so why bother?

I promise, every second meal, sometimes the simplest one, like tea with sandwiches, he will use all the kitchen apparatus, cutlery and utensils available.

thumbnailThe dishwasher will not save you when he is done.

Relax, Love is everything that happens while you Live.

The five dysfunctions of a team
On the wall behind the dish rack, you can see the above. I love Artificial Harmony!