There shall be peace on earth
Or there won’t be an earth
-you can take my word for it
there shall be wise men
To rise up and lead
With bold action and a sure step
Going forth with a steady vision;
calm gleam in the eye
Where shall we live on earth?
shall we live by the edge of the sea
to guide back returning ships
heavy-ladden with goods from foreign lands
perhaps we will be happier further up the coast
where we will live in a staid villa
And take walks in expansive quiet parks
There will not be snarling dogs
Or hissing snakes
I dream of a forest nymph
Doing a dainty dance all alone
Oblivious to obvious stare
Eerily at peace
I dream of a time to come
Such as non before
A time of sovereignty and peace
We will take our walk along the boulevard
And survey our grand empire of a city
In the soft light breeze of an evening hour
And atop a hill off to the side,
take in the sweeping view
and marvel at the wondrous nature
of our work
music and laughter and mirth
shall be all we know
come with me mon armie
lets take our walk
our walk of truth and purpose
more certain of our beliefs
come with me on a whim;
the word is right
1. :a simple object (such as a tool or weapon) that was made by people in the past
2. something created by humans usually for a practical purpose; especially : an object remaining from a particular period <caves containing prehistoric artifacts>
My definition goes like this:
“man-made [material] objects produced within a given society over a given period of time and which represent a particular time in that society’s evolution”.
As society, we progress and advance and we carry with us our ‘materials’, our tools and devices that we use to perform the tasks necessary to live. There are some things we need on a daily basis like our cell phones, and all the other small accessories that have come to define the tech age of civilization. I like the solar phone charger. There are numerous other new products out on the market and for one who lives in Kampala, if you want a phone with any type of feature, be assured you can find it here! We are indeed living in wonderful times. Speaking of ‘artifacts’, there will always be the Sony Walkman. The turntable. The Panasonic mash stereo player with the super-woofers. Such stuff. I feel we are at a crossroads, like something is about to disappear from before my eyes while i am looking at it, still enjoying the look of it and savoring that look. Some images are disturbing to look away from. You see, as technology gives us more, it takes away what we cherish so more than anything new life could ever give and i know there are folks who feel me on this.
We give up something in order to get a taste for what gets served next. We give up what was familiar. It’s like losing a friend. We give up the joy of physically holding something, we give up memory. Texture. Contours. I myself need to find the wherewithal to collect some of the precious things from my past and hold those close before they disappear like a mirage before my very eyes! The good things have this tendency to disappear before one’s very eyes. Fellow nostalgics, be pleased to learn that i don’t want anything new immediately. I want to preserve the music and the iconography of it’s various genres/artists. In this new hormonal, utterly selfish, irresistible sudden urgent feeling, i am like a teen. I want the classic pin-ups on the walls-wrong; i want one classic pin-up on the wall. Wrong i want all my pin-up classics on one wall. Ugh. Bye y’all.
The beautiful picture above is of Nairobi city. The angle it was taken from is atop community hill and the photographer is none other than the inimitable Mutua Matheka. I know community hill because i lived in Nairobi for a while(i grew up there) and there is the Kenya National Library which i frequently went to. Very well-stocked library. I am writing this in fiery reaction to a story i have just read online about the “top intelligent cities” awards. It is essentially about cities that have continually adopted to changing technological, social-economic and business environments and innovated in this new era, using different strategies to cope and adopt- i mean actually thrive. Well, now i am back home and living in my capital city; Kampala which at this time of year is very hot and everyone is perspiring and the smart ones hydrate themselves often.
What i miss about Nairobi is the road network. The connectivity and ease of movement from point to point. It is very convenient to move about in Nairobi. You can go from east to west, north to south without passing through the CBD. Over the years, there have been intensive capital investments in the Kenya’s real estate industry and to see what i am talking about, just visit the suburbs such as West lands. The Kenyan governments from past eras have encouraged this development of roads infrastructure to see to it that it helps improve transportation to and from hotels to airports. This emphasis was meant to ease the movement of Kenya’s formely numerous tourists. Thanks to Al-Shabbab, that, sadly; is no more.
Nairobi was very well-laid out from the very beginning. Contrasted with Kampala, whatever they ever laid out has survived through periodic maintenance and upkeep. We in Kampala suffered the travails of war and political instability and the tanks rolled in the country and through Kampala, guns blowing holes in the buildings.
President Museveni came to power in 1986 and found a war-torn, emptied Kampala. Soldiers and rebels had been living in the hotels which were mostly shattered. During the 90s, i went for school holidays and was dismayed at what i saw. Gaping holes in the sides of buildings and a warren of paths through a local second-hand cloth and agricultural produce market where most of those who sold decent bedsheets/bed covers were Makerere graduates. I could not understand this. Well, it was because there was very little office space then. There was a miniscule bureaucracy and so there were no jobs for all who streamed out of universities. The culture of ‘magendo’ or dealing in buying and selling of industrial products, cloths, small hardware, things like bar soaps, sugar sacks, confectionary, cloth, etc took root during this time. People did it this way to survive. There was almost no existing industries in Uganda then, all our industrial needs were met by Kenyan imports. Especially medical and household supplies.
I did not set out to compare two cities but the fact i want to point out that Nairobi won the spot for “most intelligent city” in Africa not by default. Kenyans have always embraced change positively, both political change and social and economic change. They are supportive of government programs that promote local investment. They are not all supportive but the supportive ones are those who matter. We in Kampala, with our natural resources-green countryside, abundant water resources and plenty of a wide variety of foods, exotic wildlife and beautiful hills, the good topography as well, Kampala could look very good if only we had enough capital to build a modern grid of roads and clear away the garbage. Perhaps if we streamlined the rate of graduates spilling out of our institutions of higher learning with meaningful job creation(someone actually working the job they trained for rather than merely rotting away selling chinese-made phones) we could grow our intellectual capital-people development whereby they contribute to social change. The business of development cannot be left to the few who hold real jobs. They are so very few.
Nairobi sped away while we were busy opposing different regimes in the name of the tribe and ethnicity- in the bush and elsewhere. After the war, government worked very hard disarming militants and clearing the country of weaponry. As a result of years of turbulence and lots of youths that had terminated their studies, a ‘kibanda’ or get-out-of-my-way-let-me-do-my-thing culture and way of thinking took root after the war. Those who survived the AIDS scourge and managed to prosper through the succeeding years are now self-made business men swaggering around or schmoozing with moneyed people, always talking about riches and wealth. To them, nothing else matters.
We therefore let in through our doors this element of small local business way of personal progress where everyone is on their own, ‘making their own money’, numerous small personal projects many of which fail or crush shortly after take off. Our eyes are not elevated toward the national horizons where they should be. To put it mildly, i think we lack a common struggle but many of us have not realized that yet. Happy new year to everybody!
this is a pivotal issue as regards the resources in our seas and that needs to be addressed critically.
Originally posted on Malcolm Guite:
I walk each morning in some woodland near my home and especially savour in this late autumn, early winter season, the damp carpet of fallen leaves, now decaying and forming rich mulch that will feed the soil for future growth. Even in their decay, losing edge and shape, melding and blending together there is in this carpet of leaves, a kind of grace and beauty. The other morning though, these meditations were interrupted by a sudden intrusion. There amongst the gold and mottled leaf mould, like some harsh alien excrescence, was a discarded plastic bag. It was totally out of place and told its own tale of indifference and carelessness; not just the carelessness of the person that dropped it, but the carelessness of the culture that produced it. The trees shed their leaves, and in that fall and letting go achieve…
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there are no tears to express the pain
i feel.. great
committed to the one and no other
being with you makes me feel i’ve been to other worlds
you are soooo cool i wish they’d made a miniature of you i swear!
do gods have a plan?
i dislike pretensions-
-if i meet you at a party we’ll brawl for the mike
i will sing for you RAINBOW-gene chandler
old copies of modelling magazines
a full page shot of mademoiselle
twirling with her glass of champagne
you ask how i feel, huh?
that other song the impossible dream
you are welcome
“i never dreamed you’d leave in summer”-stevie W.
lets here jerome chandler’s version
soul sister. 2004. Sacramento, ca. Bilal
rAphael saddiq-instant vintage
a true jewel
come back…toni braxton!
we’ll build a palace
in memory of you
“guess without you, my little life was nothing…”
truth Mrs J.
It feels good to be back. It’s been days, weeks months into this. I haven’t had the greatest of times in between but i am happy to be back to wordpress. I had plenty of meaningful exchanges with different people whereby i got away with precious nuggets of information to which i have augmented what i already knew. Being products of our environments, i am happy to say i feel enhanced by this experience so what you see on here is partly the result of being thus inspired. It is often the case the good is to be more desired than the rot. But being at once also human, i have had prolonged, fruitless arguments with people and learnt to avoid impending disaster by abridging conversation. By saying what needs to be heard. I have tugged at my mustache and sighed inaudibly and it ended there.
It is right to acknowledge the difficulty of ending some conversations when there are many divergent views. One may have wanted to put in one last word to highlight their point. Should the same person always prevail in a discussion? How much does it matter to them? If i initiated the conversation, i ought to steer it in the right direction and have the good grace; as well, to bring it to a discernible point of conclusion. They say communication is many things so if you feel so bad about shutting up, get yourself a pack of cards, find a playmate. Win a few games and everyone keeps breathing. Wanna be the only pet in the house? I don’t think so. I am a cat and i like to be stroked even though i have a lot of independence and i can find amusing things to do with myself. Cats know that well. If you lock a cat in the house, it won’t back.
There is something oppressively stifling about any four walls so get out more and look for fun in other ways, take in some air. I have thundered and blundered into things, ignoring the proffered door. I lived to regret it. Now i just want to slow things down a little. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that. There is the rest of life to live and a lot to see. Take charge. Be the one, just don’t cringe at the thought of giving way. God bless you.