A Performer’s Baby steps

Somewhere between yesterday’s impromptu violin lesson and the practice session that followed..this girl had a little epiphany of sorts.

It is every violinist’s dream, well,I guess every instrumentalist, to get past the technicalities of the instrument and get to that point where you and the instrument are just one.
Where you literally speak through your instrument..really communicate.
Not just reproducing notes on a score but making music.

Becoming a performer is quite the journey!

I realised,to be a performer,one must be conscious of every moment of their playing..but,at the same time,not to control it too much.

I’m talking about developing a certain consciousness about one’s playing.

Conscious enough to allow every inflection to show through,

every little inspiration to find voice in your playing,

like that moment of colour in that loong note,that would otherwise be just an annoying drone.

live out these moments of creative expression,those little things that you won’t find on any score,but that come from within..and allow them to carry you through the music.

Active thought..painstaking as it may sound,that becomes second nature,
and the music just flows
such that a listening ear
perceives it as effortless

I believe beautiful music is made of this.

The Night’s Broken Song

The quiet breathing of souls at rest after yet another day,
so subtle you barely take notice

but in that peace and quiet,
the night whispers a troubled song…

Somewhere in a solitary hospital bed,
short laboured breaths,gasps for air.. as life leaves the body of an octogenerian who’s probably seen it all,
and as his chest descends in that final exhale,the young lungs of a new born give out his first sound,
the onlookers are overjoyed! Baby Danny starts his voyage on planet Earth…
Circle of life,they call it.

Quick,short bursts of air emanate from a tired girl,running for the second time in a week
cops won’t give her peace..did they think she enjoyed the shameful life she had to put up with?
she loses them for a bit,
hurriedly she pulls out her phone,and speed dials her lifeline,Cathy
‘…cannot be reached’
oh the damning words!
as another tries to convince his racing heart and bewildered eyes,that his project,due in a few hours is gone.
Both staring at screens..
convinced their lives were over…

The night’s broken song…
troubled dreams,disturbed sleep

workaholics burning the midnight oil n letting the fire in their marriage burn out

psyched youngsters gyrating to their favourite jams,hoping to drown out the sadness within

the night’s peaceful song exists no more
The night sings a troubled song.


It ain’t always where family resides,
simply where love resides,
with those you share this love,those become family.

It’s where you’re free to be
where all your idiocies somehow make sense
and when they don’t,find an accommodating ear

It might be that front desk where you stop by for some friendly banter,
and leave with enough to keep you laughing for quite a while
repose from the drudgery of every day
if only momentarily…

or that group of ‘familiar strangers’ among whom you find yourself all too often,
brought together by music, art,culture, politics, poetry, religion even
people who, perhaps have little else in common, save for this common language understood by a people as varied as night and day.

Home is sometimes in the most unlikely of places, with the most unlikely of people
like minds,
common beliefs,
shared ideologies,
where you feel a kinship
and above all a feeling of belonging.
No judgements or lofty expectations.

Shared experiences that have borne families,
with ties stronger than blood
people who accept you no matter what.
Better even when these people are actual family,
People who make you feel like a part of something treasured.

Home,whatever it be for you,
cherish it
relish the precious moments
and if it is taken away from you,
worry not, for all you need
is to recreate that place where you stop running
to once more find that place
where you’re free from society’s expectations,
or even your own demons
wherever you find yourself,
there,you can call home.


Today’s not gonna suck
Today I create my luck!

Today I set my first foot on that lil mountain in my life
Today I start my climb n slowly go up,up..

Today…I’ll send back a warm smile to her permanent scowl
enjoy the confusion as the resentment starts to melt.

Today the dust residing here finds another home,
today this blog comes alive!

Back to the beautiful dance of words in song
that song that dictates the spring in my step..

Today you’ll wonder why am so happy
perhaps it’s those timely m-pesa messages*insert that smile that comes with them*

Today I’ll find bliss in brokeville
celebrate what I still got instead of what I don’t

Today I’ll stop wondering and finally just ask that question..
that one at the tip of my tongue
the one that’s held back by fear and imagined consequences…

No holding back today
away with fear..

*oh boy,did Dr. Phil just get his African correspondent:-D*

Today I write this with no thoughts of refinement
or perfection.

coz today,really, is a small scene of the ongoing play called life.
and my exit from this scene could be my last..

Anything goes today!
coz today’s all I got.

And then they leave…

They leave
they always leave

you get close to people,
share good times and hearty laughs
make precious memories
find worthwhile and priceless companions for life

and then they leave…

some just for a while
some forever
sometimes they shut the door on their way out
other times we leave it slightly ajar
hoping they’ll be back
and we can pick up where we left off

unexpected exits…
and even when you saw it coming
when it’s down to that final moment
it’s not as painless as we’d want

I hate ‘goodbye’,has a heavy ring to it
even though we just might never meet
such finality!
that’s why am always a ‘see ya’ kinda girl
coz I do hope to see ya sometime
frail hope maybe,but still,hope it is

and no,I ain’t talking about attempts at love gone south
and trying to ‘get it right this time’
Cupid’s made it clear
at least it’s what I hear
he’s got enough arrows to spare

the connections we make with people
sometimes the unlikeliest of them
those who, even as you know not what lies ahead,
or where it all may lead
what you do know is
this thing called life
you’d wanna walk with ’em,
all the way through
Friends, we call ’em
others, just our very special ones

and then they leave…

Call me a dreamer…

Yesterday was a day where I found myself stuck somewhere in the bewitching magic of Scheherazade and willing time to stop and just leave me there.
Anyone who attended the Nairobi Orchestra concerts over the weekend will agree with the thrilling chills am still feeling!

There’s something about a live concert that cannot compare to anything you can name..especially a classical music one,where I am happily biased.*insert huge smiley*

Sweet and beautiful strings lyricism
echoed by the winds and brass now and then
as the percussion adds little perks here and there
moments when it gets frenzied
as each instrument communicates passion and raw emotion like no words can express,
the diminuendo that allows the chills to stay long enough on your skin
and then the strings start their pizzicato that makes those chills start an exhilarating dance,
as each movement grows and builds towards the great crescendo,
amazement, awe, exhilaration and a whole lot of heart-leaps and beautiful shivers…pure enchantment.

Believe me,this does not even begin to describe the magic of that afternoon.

Times like this I get a glimpse at what I want my life to be,and start wondering what I am doing in school. I kid you not. And it doesn’t help that yesterday I talked to three different people who felt the exact same way.very strongly,i must add.
And no,these ain’t just ‘concert blues’…
See,when you’ve already found your life’s purpose, anything else in the way seems so dour..just dull and such a bore. Sucks that something as beautiful and fulfilling as music is still looked down upon by many,and especially those we owe alot for gettin us where we are (read parents) Expectations pegged on you just coz you went to certain schools..and your attempts at following your dream met with ‘that is not a serious course’…

I hear a voice somewhere,’its your life,not theirs’ urging me to just get on with doin what my heart beats for,but that’s not exactly how it works down here on terra firma.

“All things shall perish from under the sky,
Music alone shall live!”

Well,the heart wants what it wants
And will get it by whatever means.
may take a while…
but soon,I know I won’t need anyone’s permission or approval
soon, I believe, am gonna be living my dream.

Miss Breezy

Little by little,the threads come loose
Stitch by stitch,perfect life comes undone
Slip and slide
Flip and fade…
She’s slipping down
alot faster than she thinks
coz time has a way of flying past
while really each second just ticked, tocked away
none out of turn
none before its time
jus tick… tock…
tick… tock

The reflective bug strikes
she takes a breather
stops pacing and chasing
starts gazing… realising

Casts a glance at her footprints,
blurry path they have etched out
some firm, some uncertain
but none strong enough
to last the gale that rocks time
and rearranges her footprints,
nay throws them all about

She’s left a mark here and there
but none really anywhere
Her faint perfume lingers some
her scent, not too memorable

Realisation dawns on her
it’s not just the destination
journey counts too
coz there’s no take-two

She stands rooted to that spot
This time her next move is slower
not too calculated though, just…
the one before was complete
fully and firmly imprinted on the sands of time.

Stupid Cupid

Would you look at that…a chance meeting with one I have wanted to get my hands on for quite some time now! Cupid,how do you do? Ah,let’s just leave the formalities for some other time.

So this is what you do when you’re not busy creating chaos down there,huh..how dare you snooze in the middle of an operation, or what do you call ’em, ‘heart-aration’?
You know,I saw you doing that random arrow thing..where you aim one at her heart and the other,the matching one, well,do you even care where it lands? I think it landed in some alley littered with dog poop and garbage. Now the poor girl wonders why he looks right past her…na umelala?!oh,that’s swahili for..what do you care..

Or the other version,where you wait for the perfect moment- perfect for you being the time when there’s maximum chaos potential- and then ping!come the arrows. Do you find it fun to watch ’em struggle through impossible times,have more misery than joy, when you could just have waited. Which reminds me of other times when you just couldn’t wait to start off the ‘perfect romance’ then yank out one arrow and drop it into your trash-can, never to be recovered…leaving a poor heart in love alone.

Any of these sound familiar?

Hey,where do you think you’re goin?! I aint done!

And then there’s that other dance you like to force us poor earthlings into. That one where you alternate the matching arrows. You pull his out and then sit back and see how well she can put up with the love-drought. She gets worn out, so now you pull hers out and put back his..pray,what do you call this wretched game?

Whatever you call ’em they all suck..these attempts at twisted humour,nothing funny Cupid!

Oh, I’d been hearing stories about that second set of arrows, the ones made of lead that do the opposite of your golden ones. From the look of things,you don’t use them much. What a relief! There’s already enough drama with the golden ones you’re supposed to create love with, y’know, love that’s supposed to come with loadsa happiness n all things beautiful; but where you like to throw in a little drama, and watch as poor hearts reel in utter confusion? Does that sound even vaguely familiar..what you actually set out to do before you got bored? Oh,don’t give me that ‘innocent’ look. I have seen that you are capable of infinite mischief. So,while I talk, you have the right to remain silent and play perfect scapegoat.

Ok, I’ma give you some credit for the times you actually did your work. Now kindly learn to follow through – there’s quite some resentment growing down there. And before you know it,there’ll be a demo; that’s how we do things where I’m from. Before you know it,you’ll be sacked or de-cupidised or whatever.

Yeah,so just go back to wherever you do your work..and actually do your work.
No more games,please. Seems you’re the only one enjoying them.

Ah-ah! Hands off,I’m keeping these lead arrows,just in case you decide to get ‘creative’.

Well,I think I’m done. Let’s hope our next meeting will be more pleasant.

Hekaya za Msafiri

There used to be this game called “chota pothole ushinde bibi” commonly played by matatu drivers to Nyahururu.the sensible thing to do,of course,would be to avoid the little ‘craters’ on the road,but i guess you can’t really blame the drivers.see,there’s this stretch of road,no,make that no-road(unless the endless potholes would qualify for road),just before you get into my beloved hometown that would ensure by the time you’re alighting,your backside is in serious protest.n some drums,much like the Tumtum drums(remember those compositions?) pounding in your head.but am glad to see work’s started on that road.maybe the year after next it’ll be complete..coz that’s the way things here go.never any hurry.

Today i make a journey i have made countless times.with every batch of co-travellers,there’s always some good ol’ kenyan madness to expect.
like the mum and kids behind me.the journey is only 3 hours long,which is why they’ve bought food supplies for an entire week.oh,n speaking of food,the lady next to me just unleashed her second orange from nowhere..i half-expected her to go ahead n unleash the rest of the salad.for now,she seems content,so phew!

Now one thing i don understand ’bout kenyan commuters is their aversion to opening windows.this is why i always make sure i get the window,which also the way comes in handy in case of any emergency exits..like a certain friend in a mat whose door jammed..n well,some creativity was required. Today,however i was not so lucky.. Now Mr. Cool on my left has been receivin calls on end.no problem with that,except that every time he opens his mouth i can’t help picturing some little fish bones floatin out..someone did a disservice to the toothpaste industry this morning.jamani,pk ni 5bob!

And the know-it-alls..tho today ths mat is lacking in these wags.maybe in the next travel edition.
anyways Mr. Cool n his buddy at the back were discussin how in Kigali,there’s cops after every 2m to inspect mats n make sure everything’s in order.hmm…

Well,with not much to do n everyone just lost in their own quiet world,it’s on to traveller snooze mode.

More than I can put in words

Oh,that somethin can be so beautiful…

It sends me to the heavens with my feet still firmly on earth; soaring in its beauty,everything is right with the world. It touches my soul in a way that, perhaps, only love can. Speaks to it in such refined tones…always just right. The feeling i get is more than i can put in words. To try n write ’bout it,to paraphrase a philosopher of yore, is almost like attempting to dance about architecture. No music is more heavenly, more beautiful, more perfect. Traversing through the eras, it retains its timelessness;its ageless beauty. The soothing sounds caress the soul in ways more passionate than any lover can convey in their touch. When life becomes an annoying cacophony of sounds,it brings perfect harmony to them;converts ’em in such splendour that only it is capable of. Breathes sweet life to the soul that life has dealt sour cards. The ray of light that illuminates an old, musty room. The beauty of classical music.. the words… they fail me. I rest my case.

>>this post is slightly over a year old,but i believe the words are timeless.