Posts Tagged ‘memories’

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wpid-img_20150215_074809.jpg

So… My take on why love doesn’t need to be proven by Valentine’s celebrations.

I’m not known for being emotional or affectionate. This may have something to do with me leaning the wrong way on a particular psychopath scale but I believe I’m still relatively ‘normal’, granted I’ve never officially been tested but I digress… VALENTINE’S! The day when love is declared in swirls of chocolate, hues of red and drowned in copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. Single or not.

My “problem” with Valentine’s isn’t anything ‘new’ or unique I don’t think. Its the fact that love can ‘only‘ be declared publicly and preferably expensively. A day may come when I will celebrate this day not for what it means to my heart but for what it means to my wallet.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE love. I love being able to sit in a living room with a laundry basket overflowing and it not mattering because the company I’m with makes it not matter that I haven’t achieved perfect cleanliness. I love the fact that because I am terrible in the morning, the person I share my bed with gets up to ‘start life’ and I join him.

Love (for me) isn’t about what other people see. Its about how you feel when no one is looking. So often, we idolize couples that lavishly brandish their affections and it hangs in the air like a cheap cologne choking the rest of us, and while we scramble for air, we forget that love isn’t about what people see, its about how we feel.

I could talk about how you can boost your romantic feelings with less than 5 steps in a specific order but there are way more expert resources on that than I can count. I’d like to talk about Valentine’s friends.

When you were younger, did you have a (totally platonic, possible even same sex) friend you shared Valentine’s with because they ‘got you’ and no one else did. I’ve had a pretty decent run of friends I’ve ‘gotten’ and ‘got’ me back but the older I get, I find I’m losing the ability to hold on to those with quite the same depth. I get more impatient and convinced that I’m just a filler in their lives.

I haven’t had a truck load of friends even though I’ve had the opportunity to amass an eye watering number of connections on any social platform. I normally have 3 – 5 really good friends and never enough drama to piss anyone off enough to actually make them an enemy but the problem is that small pool seems to have been contaminated by life somehow. Some of the people that I thought ‘got’ me seem to be speaking in a tongue I don’t have a dictionary for and they make me feel like I’m smaller than I believe myself to be. And friends who love you should never actually do that.

Which reminds me of Valentine’s when I wanted to receive those aforementioned chocolate, red stuff and pretty bubbly drinks but never did because well… my face just didn’t call for it.

Love comes in many forms but the feels remain the same. Those that love you should leave you feeling bigger or at least somehow better than you felt without them. Once they start to make you feel smaller, you need to evaluate whether having them around fits some kind of external validation but doesn’t feed your feels and whether its worth it.

I hope I make those that I love feel bigger and if I cant then better, in whatever form that comes in. But those that make me feel less. I’ve taken a step back and know I need to cull them from my life but still have brief flashes of ‘That’e the you I love and have missed’ but then we revert back to me somehow feeling smaller and that feeling sucks.

Here’s to catching and keeping those feels that build us up and obliterating the feels that diminish us.

Happy Valentine’s Day for those that celebrate it and for those that don’t. May the love still tickle your skirts.

O&O.

posted by on Imaginary Tea, Rambling

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Credit: Paramount Digital Entertainment and LXD Ventures

Credit: Paramount Digital Entertainment and LXD Ventures

A while ago I came across this video (Coming Out of Your Shell) and my heart did weird things in my chest (like it could do them anywhere else) because I GET IT! You should check it out. If only I had talent with the rest of my limbs and REAL co-ordination, I could create such beautiful visual things… *sigh*.

For a lot of my childhood, I was an immigrant in various places. And language has always been a “problem” for me. Apparently I used to speak Portuguese before “proper” school (lived in Mozambique at the time) but my mum would pinch me (or atleast I think that happened… but it may have been something I made up to make my loss of something so beautiful mean something) because she wanted me to speak English so I lost that right quick. I have an ear for languages but my tongue sits in my mouth like gum at the bottom of a shoe when I try and make it obey other linguistic rules. I cant even do slang properly. I am terrible at trying to sound “street”. Terrible… but I am running off the rails again. Lets get back to topic.

I have generally always had a good “command of English” and it made my mother proud but it didn’t really make me fit in (and what child trying to be normal, doesn’t want that.. or rather, that was the norm at the time, attempting to stand out didn’t really make you special). Among my own countrymen I couldn’t be a part of their private jokes and stories because I could not speak my own mother tongue or any other language from my home country (technically, English is my mother tongue because that’s what my mother used “on me” but “biologically”, my father is Tonga and my mother is Lala, both from Zambia) . My mother didn’t want my siblings and I to be “polluted” by the local languages we were bombarded with because that affected the sound of our English so we were a purely English household except when my parents wanted to share something between the two of them.

“Why didn’t you just teach yourself?” Might be a logical question and to that I would respond “Have you met other children?” They are brutal. Trying to speak a local language when you “look like it should be easy” but sound like a well meaning although ill mannered tourist is torturous and if you do not have the self esteem to ride through the bullying, you give up. Which is what happened to me, I gave up trying to learn my own languages and tried to ace “exotic” sexy languages like French and make sure no one else could “out-English” me, this was of course ridiculous.

I love the sounds of different languages and while I don’t have the same kind of negativity towards my parents languages, there is still too much residual failure in there for me to seek out teaching my tongue to move in that way at this point in my life. If its something my children want to learn in the future, I will not block them and will do everything I can to provide the tools necessary.

The problem with being an immigrant for so long is that even when you return home, it doesn’t quite settle on the bones in a way that truly fits. It may be comfortable but its not entirely “made to measure”. I know I found it easier being an immigrant when it was obvious that I didn’t belong than justifying why I didn’t belong because I looked just like everyone else.

I hope you find your own tongues and come out of your shells. You can only be the best version of you, you choose whether that best version is a watered down version of someone else’s expectations.

O&O

365 Days Later

Mar
2014
25

posted by on Rambling

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So…

This blog has been up for a year…

Happy Anniversary to me!

And yet, for all kinds of crazy reasons I have made up reasons to not be happy and not acknowledge my little victories.

Last month was a bit of a hard month emotionally for me, February generally is.

My sister died in February and the whole month turns into a countdown to that day and then after that I descend into “why the hell is nothing really different? Something should change!”. I don’t entirely have all the words for the feelings that her death gives me but hopefully one day I will.

New post coming up shortly!

O&O!

posted by on Rambling, Rhymes Optional

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So…

I have been gone a while, haven’t I?

Life has been keeping me more occupied than I care to admit and very little of it has been constructive but some things have been pretty damn good. I will go into the deets in a later post but for now here is a project I am working on.

It doesn’t feel “complete”. I am not sure why but I will be tweaking it in the future I imagine.

Enjoy!

O&O.

Along the Shore

Along the Shore

Beside the Murky Stream

Upon a stream of memories,
You road a float of hope.
I watched you sail away from me,
Without a backward glance.

You took a sliver of yesterday
Wrapped it in a cocoon of tomorrow
And nestled it into today
Tied in a bow I didn’t know

I kept on my sandy path,
Loyal to torture and solitude.
Under the shade of remorse,
I tried to sing but only sat.

You took a sliver of yesterday
Wrapped it in a cocoon of tomorrow
And nestled it into today
Tied in a bow of wispy string

You watched me from afar
As my fingers danced on sunlight
I didn’t feel your stare
And dug deeper into yesterday

You took a sliver of yesterday
Wrapped it in a cocoon of tomorrow
And nestled it into today
Tied in a bow I couldn’t see

The stream began to overflow
Carrying you back with it,
The sun blocked my view
But you rode it all the same to me

You took a sliver of yesterday
Wrapped it in a cocoon of tomorrow
And nestled it into today
Tied in a bow of forever

We took our time wiping the mud off
I’m sure there is still some left
And sitting under that tree of remorse
I finally noticed some fruit

posted by on Rambling

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The Voodoo Snowman

The Voodoo Snowman Lives!

So…

Ever since I was a little girl I have glamourised new places, not really “things” because they didn’t stay new for very long and I had to share which I didn’t find fun at all. There was always something very private about discovering new corners knowing only I could see them in the way I was. I created stories for people and things with less to go on than stereotypical movie quips (South Africa was nothing like Sarafina when I moved there but in my head it was but in a happy way, like The Sound of Music in Brown Skin (in my head)). Beginnings give me hope that what I have had is not the best I will ever experience and fascinate me more than endings. This can be a problem when you are trying to be a writer because your stories need to end at some point or in some way. So how do you give endings to things when you are enamoured with starting new ones? Haven’t the foggiest but I need to figure it out soon because beginnings don’t really help me if that’s all they remain.

For as long as I can remember I have been in LOVE with Japan, not enough to learn the language (I have a concrete tongue that cant grasp the tones that my ears can) but I have wanted to “go” there and even declared that once I saw Japan I could die because there would simply be nothing else to live for… I may have been 13 or 23. I can’t remember. I planned on moving there to teach English after graduating but my graduating took longer than planned and by then I was a ‘responsible adult’ and that was nothing more than a longing of a little girl that didn’t exist anymore. Or so I thought.

A little before my 28th birthday, however, I took the plunge. Work was frustrating and draining me, I felt unaccomplished and miserable in my personal life and couldn’t appreciate the good I had because I felt I was swirling in miseries. The good moments seemed so few and far between that they became a punishment of their own. So, I convinced a friend of mine (from university) to go with me to a country neither of us could communicate in for an adventure that only we could share and since it wasn’t going to be cheap, we should do it in winter. Now… as the headline above says. I am an African… I had never crossed an ocean before and I get goosebumps at temperatures below 24 degrees centigrade and here I was saying we should frolic in below freezing weather because I needed a beginning (and my loon of a friend was cheering me on!). I needed something that said that what I had wasn’t the best I was ever going to have but I also wanted to know if Japan could still be the escape I had romanticised in my naïveté. I needed a whisper saying there was more to life than my daily toll.

Plus I needed to learn to give myself permission to give birth to schemes that defied my own personal logic. Responsible girls didn’t do such things and I was very responsible.

Again, as an African, I do not have the luxury of ‘getting up and leaving’ when the mood strikes me, it starts with the visa requirements and then the cost of the plane tickets (Oh my word! They should sooooo put better seats on planes for what they charge for long hauls), plus the whole not knowing anyone or the language made the whole thing rather daunting. But mostly I had to look at my own finances. A few of my previous posts point to me being somewhat of a people pleaser, so selfish trips that gave me no ‘direct benefit’ definitely are not the norm. My father was a civil servant and my mother was a teacher, they are retired now and have a very productive farm that keeps their greys at bay and when I told my father, he did not understand why I would spend my hard earned money on a trip ‘with no purpose’ when there were more responsible things to do with it and he was right. There is always something I could do that would benefit the family more than it would help me but that obligation was adding to me need for some kind of ‘fresh air’. But my Dad is awesome and didn’t try to stop me, and my mum quietly said I should do what I could because eventually I would not be able to, not in a miserable way but I am still young and there is nothing stopping me was more her line of thought.

Those two weeks in Japan were the best two weeks. Ever. On divulging my crazy plan to another friend, she gave me details of some of her friends and they were gracious enough to spend some time with me (and helped my friend and I birth that atrocious snowman in the picture above). I will be forever grateful to everyone who helped me out with that trip and I have tried to hold on to the memories of it because I want them to remain safe, inside me and pure, not tainted by life. That trip to Japan is my personal Patronus Charm, it defeats my personal dementers. It also helped me answer a very important question. Could I still move away if I wanted to? If I decided I wanted to live in Japan, could I settle there? Or atleast stay there long enough to study something while deciding. The answer was an un-resounding ‘YES’. I once had a Chinese maths teacher who felt I must have been Chinese in a past life and I can safely say she was wrong. Its more likely I was Japanese (oooh, or maybe I was a Chinese spy in Japan…that’s an interesting premise for a story… and African-Japanese spy on the Chinese mainland with a time warp element… ooooh! I like! See? Beginnings).

I cant ignore that after that trip, my savings were not the same but I do not regret it. Not the getting lost and wandering for hours looking for a sight we just could not see, or accidentally wandering into a ‘naughty’ store or heaving our baggage in the piddling rain not knowing where our apartment was because I read the map wrong (my friend did not know what she was signing up for when she agreed to go with me). Those experiences showed me that as restrained and sensible as I am, my imagination needs fuel and perhaps I don’t need to fly to the other side of the globe (but that’s immense fun) but when you know that doing something allows you to be the best version of you there is, why not dive in?.

If you don’t feed who YOU are, YOU will starve, you will wither away. I sat on trains in Tokyo watching people around me and gave them stories and imagined histories, saw a hot fella with a guitar on a platform in Kyoto and cursed my luck for being on the wrong platform (everyone knows that all musicians have stories and I was after stories, you pervs!), I watched families in museums in Osaka and wondered which kid was the favourite or what was the last argument between the parents about. I walked always looking up to take in as much as possible, its probably the tallest I have walked in a while. I ate way more than I should have of ‘cheap’ food that tasted divine. My relationship with God is not very solid at the moment but I felt at peace at the temples (except this one time, another guy took a picture with a ginormous camera so I thought it was allowed and whipped mine out, only to be finger stabbed but a very stern guard/policeman in a very smart white coat) and in those streets in general. I don’t know how much of that trip I will share, because it didn’t last very long and my friend is extremely private and may not approve me blabbing about our odd happenings but I am making a few of my own personal discoveries offline and I guess I should share them here. The fella in my life gives me odd looks when I mention the joy you get from being immersed somewhere new and he thinks I romanticise adventure; if you said there was free accommodation somewhere and all I needed to do was ‘be there’, you’d hear me knocking, he is a ‘purpose traveller’ my fella. I probably do romanticise it and I hope the next time I am planning a Japanese escape I lug him along and will refrain from reading maps as that served with incredibly negative results.

I hope you take the time to feed your inner cogs because if you don’t grease them, you cant do or be you.

O&O!

posted by on Look! A Story.

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Indigo Sunset

By Claudie Muchindu

The moonlight crept into the large warm room, landing on a bare foot that had escaped from a vibrant red and brown quilt. The foot belonged to Noora Kim, she was sprawled across a couch that was not designed to be slept in but was not necessarily uncomfortable.

She had fallen asleep trying to read a copy of an 18th century Portuguese poem written by a traveller to ancient China which now lay on the floor. Her plan was to translate it and then make her way to bed but she soon found that it made no sense to her. The notes on this copy of the poem had Arabic notes and she only had a basic level of spoken Arabic and had more of an inability to read it than anything else. The document was useless to her and for quite a few of minutes she wished her mother had been more forceful in getting her to learn the language. Her mother had tried to get her to be literate in it and Korean but Noora believed that European languages were her path to a future with opportunities and her predication had been right. Noora had become an expert translator of English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Spanish and German but she shunned anything Asian. Noora had no interest for Asia and the Middle East.

Noora woke with a start, she couldn’t tell what had woken her up but she was wide awake. She lay back for a few minutes waiting for a sound to come to her and when nothing came she swung her feet onto the cool wooden floor. She walked over to the large window and looked down on the quiet street from an 8th story view. The streets had been asleep for a while and the only traffic that she could make out was pollen. Flowers were in bloom and the scents wafting into her open window in a glorious medley. She shut the window and drew the curtains closed.
Her apartment was silent and dark and she turned on the lights in the living room, checked her front door. She hadn’t locked it but she bolted it then and went into the kitchen and closed her windows there. There were no curtains to draw though. She put a container that had some leftover lasagne into the microwave to heat up while she closed windows and drew curtains in the 2 bedrooms upstairs. There was no need to close the bathroom windows because she didn’t usually open them. She returned downstairs as the microwave gave off a reminder beep that it had finished its cycle and she took the lasagne out and made her way to the more comfortable couch in the living room, putting her feet beneath her she turned on the TV. She settled on a re-run of an Italian cooking show and ate her lasagne with an Italian chef keeping her company. The phone rang mid way through her meal and she glanced at the clock by the door as she reached over to pick up the receiver.

“Its 10 o’clock mum” she said into it as she put it by her ear. “You are awake aren’t you?” her mother said with a heavy Korean accent and Noora smiled to herself.
“I could have been busy” she replied.
“You never busy. You maybe eating some silly food now, aren’t you?” her mother accused and Noora put the container of lasagne on the side table and lay back on the sofa.
“Maybe.” She said,
“Maybe, uh?” her mother asked, “Maybe you eat proper food once in a while” she went on to add without waiting for a reply.
“I make some homemade dumplings and sweet bread for you, you coming to the meeting tomorrow?” she asked.
“What time will Dad be there?” Noora asked lowering the volume on the TV before her mother made some comment about it.
“You can call him and ask if you want,” her mother said briskly and Noora rolled her eyes,
“Ma, its his mother that’s just died” she said softly.
“And mine has been dead for longer, he didn’t come to see me then but I better than him. I go and say my goodbyes…” she paused as if shuffling around, “after all, you should not be angry with the dead.” She finally added.
Noora nodded “Should I pick you up?’ she asked
“No, too much trouble. I think drive will be good for me. You remember directions to the house?” she could imagine her mother putting together the final touches to the basket that would feed everyone although chances are there’d be enough food without her having to bring any extra.
“Yes Ma, I remember the house. I’ve spent a lot of time at Gran’s, remember?” Noora was referring to the numerous holidays she spent at Petals Estate when her mother would give her over to her grandparents to bond with.
“That was long time ago,” her mother said with a whisper of sadness in her voice.
“OK, I tired now.” she said abruptly as if Noora had made the call and Noora smiled to herself.
“See you tomorrow Mum” Noora said
“Yeah, don’t sleep late. Also drink some water. Probably lots of oil in that food.” her mother added and Noora glanced at the container and surely enough a sufficient amount of oil has coagulated in some places in the short time she had put it down.
“Not that much” she said guiltily and her mother chuckled.
“12 o clock?” her mother asked,
“12 o’clock.” she agreed,
“Tomorrow.” she said softly,
“Tomorrow.” Noora said and hung up.
Her mother believed goodbyes were for the dead.

Finally feeling tired she picked up the container of lasagne, finished it quickly, turned off the TV, put the empty container in the sink, gulped down a glass full of water and walked upstairs.

She was still wearing the shift dress she had worn to work in the morning and it had wrinkled considerably due to her nap in the study and she glanced at her reflection in the mirror as she took it off. Her hair was dyed a strawberry blonde and the braid that had started the day a little too tight was a glorious mess on her head and her underwear was definitely not a matching pair. She’d have to make sure she wore a matching pair tomorrow.  Her mother hated mis-matching underwear. Unclipping her bra she climbed into bed and fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow. Noora never had trouble sleeping.

Noora woke up at 6AM in went for her half hour cycle as usual, she compensated for her oily food by regular exercise and her body rewarded her by not punishing her too much. On Saturdays there were more cyclists than usual and she smiled to a few that she knew but mostly she rode with her eyes on the road in front of her, she stepped into the shower and had a warm long and lazy bathe. She decided to wear a brown and blue dress her mother had made for her that she never wore. It fit her very well and had the slim bodice and poodle skirt she loved. Having a designer mother had its distinct advantages.  Finding a matching pair of underwear proved a little more difficult for her though but eventually she did. The bra had been worn on Tuesday but her mother wouldn’t know that. It was practically clean and the underwear was ‘decent’ in her books.

She made her bed up, decided against opening her windows because she wasn’t sure how long she’d be at her Gran’s place. She trotted downstairs and washed the container that she had left the night before and put some music on while she made her cereal breakfast and sat down in the living room with a fashion magazine she had bought the day before and hadn’t read, she usually read magazines with a purple pen in hand to put her notes and ideas as she read. She wasn’t one for passively taking in information.

By the time she was done it was almost time to leave, her Grandparents lived two towns away and it was a three hour drive so she went into the study, picked the handbag she had taken to work the day before, decided it didn’t match her dress and transferred her purse into a larger blue bag that had similar detail to the hem of the dress she was wearing.  She briefly looked through some translations that she’d have to get through next week, picked up the translation that had fallen to the floor the previous night and made a note on her desk to pick up a few sheets for her Comparative European class before Wednesday and almost left the house bare foot before going back into house to pick a pair of pumps by the door and remembered to lock it before walking down the stairs to the parking bay of her building.

It was a few minutes after 12 when she pulled up to The Petals Estate. Her paternal grandparents owned a large farm estate that exported flowers all over the world. She remembered her grandmother claiming the judge of a woman was how she grew a garden because children have minds of their own and aren’t copies but a flower was the sole product of your efforts. She parked and noticed that her mother hadn’t arrived yet. She hoped she hadn’t met any trouble on her way. The large door stood open and she walked in to find her Grandfather sitting in silence staring at a large portrait of him and his wife.

“Baba?” Noora said kneeling down beside him,
He kissed the top of her head and reached for her hand.
“I was supposed to go first.” he said to no one in particular, Noora squeezed his hand and stared at her grandfather who looked like he had aged in the last 2 weeks since his wife’s death.
“She used to say that the first thing she would do when I died was replace that painting.” he said with a smile on his face.
“She did hate the way the painter made her smile look,” Noora said remembering all the times her grandmother would complain about the portrait that hung in the living room.
“I love that smile,” her grandfather mused, again, apparently to no one in particular.
“I fell in love with it.” he said to Noora with a smile on his face.
“She used to smile like that when she had an ‘inappropriate’ thought, well, thats what her mother called them” he said with a chuckle.
“She had a spirit that no one could pin down or hide and this painting is the closest I’ve ever come to replicating it.” he said and Noora felt his hand shake a little within hers.
“She was supposed to leave after me.” he said in a whisper and Noora was stunned into silence. She didn’t know what to say to her grandfather. Her grandmother always overpowered him but there was no doubt that his wife was as devoted to him as he was to her. She just had a louder voice.

“I hope everyone hungry” Noora’s mother had walked in and stood in the doorway with a large basket.
“I not smell food and that very bad Uncle” she said shaking her head as she walked into the living room.
He smiled and tried to say something but Noora’s mother shushed him and he sat back with a grateful look on his face.
“Auntie would be very upset with you” she continued to chastise him with mock anger and Noora walked over to her mother and helped her empty the contents onto the bar counter.
“You know, she no like it when you don’t eat” she added and he nodded with a smile on his face
“The judge of a man is by the width of his belt” he chuckled to himself and Noora thought briefly that her Dad had a very narrow belt.
“Noora, go get 3 plates” her mother commanded her when everything was displayed and uncovered.

“4.” another voice said from the door.
They all watched Noora’s father close the door behind him and there was silence for almost 5 full seconds before Noora stood up and gave him a hug.
“Play nice,” she whispered as she squeezed her father in greeting
“I can play as un-nice as I want to, I’m grieving.” he said through gritted teeth
“That doesn’t mean you have to be mean today” she replied with a large fake smile on her face and thought briefly that he never needed a reason to be mean she groaned inwardly. It was going to be a long day.

Her mother plated up while her grandfather went to wash up.
“Did you have a good drive?” Noora asked her parents
“No, its so far all the way up here and all the pollen made my nose act up.” her father complained
“Lovely drive,” her mother said, “You know, they put a new coffee shop with different teas at the bottom of the hill” her mother said cheerfully.
“A tea shop then?” her father said with a smirk on his face
“No, a coffee shop that also sells tea” her mother said glaring at him
“I haven’t heard of those. Maybe they have them back in Korea but over here a coffee shop sells coffe and a tea shop, tea.” He said with finality
“Did you see it?” she asked Noora with audible strain in her voice.
“No, I missed it” she said staring at her father, disappointed in his insistence on being sour.

“We should go sometime” her mother said as Noora’s grandfather walked back in with a small box that looked like it had been forgotten in a dark corner for at least a decade.
“This is for you” he said giving the box to Noora’s mother and everyone was silent for a moment.
“she hid it well but she did feel guilty about the way she treated you,” he said taking her hand
“but you know how her pride, she made herself a Queen in her mind” her said with a wistful smile
“What is it?” Noora asked staring at her grandfather.
“A wedding gift” he said
“A wedding gift?” her mother asked startled “Why a wedding gift? She didn’t even come to my wedding.” she said in a slightly angry voice.
”Even when she is gone she still wants to belittle me,” her mother whispered, a slight panic in her voice, “like I can ever find another husband.” He shook his head at Noora’s mother. “It was for a wedding that already passed, not one that about to happen” he said quietly pulling her to sit down next to him and her mother had a puzzled look on her face.

“This was for our wedding?” she asked looking at Noora’s father and he shrugged, apparently he didn’t know about it.
“After all, she could only be your mother in law through him” he said nodding briefly to his son
“Her heart was very proud. Sometimes I believe the only reason she actually gave me the time of day in the beginning was because I had a little bit of noble blood, even though it is not that much” he laughed “After all, how noble can I be being almost the 200th person in line to ascend to a throne no one even remembers?” he asked trying to lighten up the room and Noora was the only person that laughed a little at that. She loved imagining what like would have been if there hadn’t been a coup in Iran and her father’s family could have continued to live there in wealth and majesty that made this estate look like a pale paupers hovel. But she’d never know what that kind of life would be life, she had never even been to her father’s homeland…neither had he even.

“At the end she began to regret interfering with the two of you,” he looked at his son
“She smothered you beyond measure and when you rejected her choice for a bride, she felt you rejected her.” he lowered his head.
“She did reject me” his son said “She cut me off and said if I didn’t ‘fix my mistake’ I wouldn’t get a thing” he added, his voice laced with venom.
“I should not have let her coddle you so much” Noora’s grandfather said thoughtfully his head still lowered
“You put your mother’s wealth before your wife’s love” he said sounding as though he was struggling to stop himself from getting frustrated and raised his head to look at his son. Noora did not recognise the look on her grandfather’s face, it was a look of defiance he never would have had for his wife.
“You could have made your own money instead of getting only what your mother left behind.” he looked at his son, “She could never have cut you off, even if you became gay.” He added as an afterthought and turned his attention back to Noora’s mother.

Noora’s father cleared his thought uncomfortably and stared at his mother’s picture on the wall.
“She put that together when Noora was 3. She would have given that to you then but his mind had already been poisoned too far and she thought you would read it the wrong way” he said softly.
“I would have” her mother said looking at the box with an envelope taped to the top.

“When you feel pregnant and she knew it was a girl, her heart began to change. It almost killed her when you gave Noora your surname and not ours but she did not blame you. She blamed herself.” He squeezed her hand and gazed into her eyes and Noora saw a shimmer in his eyes. “She saw you in a new light when you gave her her mother’s name though.” he said smiling at Noora

“She could have said something” Noora’s mother said with a slight whimper.
He laughed “How could our Queen tell you that you were becoming a better mother than she ever was.” there was no bitterness in his voice. “You know, it was her request that Noora holiday here, not mine” he sat back in the chair, still holding Noora’s hand.

“She tried to give you the mother you never had at the end. I know it could not have been easy for you being brought up moving from home to home without any roots. Never feeling like you belong and when you finally have a chance to earth some proper roots to have someone come in and interfere in that” Noora’s mother was sobbing now and Noora’s grandfather put an arm around her shoulders.
“She grew up like that in the beginning too, that’s what made her heart a little heard to you. You were her when she was younger and she wanted a woman for her son that was like the woman she had become, not as she started.” He paused, staring at the portrait again.

“Yes, she had many regrets with you” he said with a sigh “A chance to have a dutiful daughter that she could never have or be but she didn’t know how to fix it.”
“The envelope on top is your family history and why your parents gave you up.” her mother choked and Noora patted her back.
“In her death maybe she can give you both the history and a future she never could when she was alive. Maybe you can set some roots now.”
“She never told me about that” Noora’s father said abruptly
A flare of anger fleeted through Noora’s heart, this wasn’t about her father but he insisted on making it about him.
“She could not, she was ashamed” her grandfather replied without any expression.
“What did she have to be ashamed about?” he said in a huff
“Being wrong.” He said curtly.
“Maryam was not a good match. You threw away the best wife you could have and to appease your mother…no, to inherit from your mother you married a woman ill matched but of ‘good standing’. In her old age she realised good standing doesn’t come from the blood, she could not find peace with the fact that you crumbled so easily. You walked away without a thought when she threatened cutting you off.” His voice was strong and had an authority Noora had never heard before she gazed at her grandfather. Never had she heard him talk so much or in this way before. She could not think of what to say.

“She was ashamed of raising a son too weak to be the kind of man she wanted him to be.” he added before turning to Noora’s mother again.
“I gave up everything to move down here with her. She knew I had nothing when we found this beautiful patch of land to work on. She had nothing.” he said with a longing nature to his voice.
“She said she could live as a pauper if she had children with royal blood.” he laughed.

“It was hard for us, foreigners in a new land.” he was staring at the portrait of his wife again.
“She forgot that those hard times made us stronger than anything else could have” he looked at his son.
Noora stared at the portrait again; from the looks of things, her grandmother had gone through her life constantly with an ‘inappropriate’ thought running through her head.

This would be a long day for sure.

*******************************************************************************

So…

This is the raw version of one of the stories I am editing for my collection of short stories.

Yesterday I read this article, “Story First, Writing Second” and I finally GOT IT. Often my process is get vivid imagery of something I want to write about and figure out what that image is as I go along, which is great but eventually means I hit a brick wall and cant move my story forward so I stare, go backwards, chop a lot, add in more and hit another brick wall. Now I need to structure myself more and figure out what I want my image to say before just running along with imagery which works great if I could actually draw, not so much when I have to use words.

Over and Out!

posted by on Rambling

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sisters

So…

I live with two of my sisters and I love them dearly. I am trying to figure out the best way to describe them but the only thing that comes to mind is if we were a litter of puppies, we’d all be the runt. Which defeats the purpose of a runt like description… we’re all round pegs trying to force our way into square holes. I have a brother too but seeing as he’s the wrong kind of peg for this story I need to omit him for the time being, don’t worry brother. I’ll have a post up just for you!

We suffer through each others joys, groaning on the inside because we know the value of spending time together. For example, the youngest and myself LOVE Asian pop, the middle one groans every time we squeal about a new video (right now I cant wait to share EXO’s “Wolf” video, if you haven’t seen it and Kpop is your thing, check it out). The youngest loves soppy romantic stories and vampires. The middle one and myself groan through such movies, while the youngest and I lament every time the middle one gets excited about a new fitness regime or extremely loud pants… seriously, if she could, you would HEAR her pants, but I digress (and I am not always the most common denominator).

You can “easily” lavish money on people but time, that’s a different playing field and even if the time is so miserable all you want to do is bash each other’s heads in, it still trumps not spending time together. Well, for me anyway, they may probably want to slink away but as the oldest I get commanding rights which they cannot escape {insert evil laugh}.

Its not always laughs and yoga poses in the kitchen though (that actually did happen). I have (once or twice) pretended to be asleep just so I can have a few moments of peace or pretended not to hear a call so I can have some quiet. This does not mean I love them any less but we’re not the same kind of round and sometimes that means we each need our own times and methods of re-booting.

The point of this ramble is basically to remind them and anyone reading this that simply “buying” something isn’t always enough, you need to “know” the person you live or just deal with. We are always so busy “proving” our affections with things that we don’t share ourselves. I am not a mother yet but I remember hating having to share my bedroom with my sisters. My parents forced us to share not only our bedroom but communal time as well. All I wanted was my own space, and because I am a selfish human being I still do on occasion, but being forced to smell each others morning breath and argue over underwear space I know their cries even when they aren’t being vocal about it and I also know when I am the wrong person to address their problems but knowing that you aren’t the right person doesn’t mean “do nothing”. It means find a way to help that doesn’t involve your own hand making movements, it means finding a voice to say the things you wish your voice could, it means pointing them in a direction that may be the complete opposite of yours. Love is never doing nothing, love is never being OK with a state less than contentment.

Do something.

 

Always.

 

Over and Out!

posted by on Rambling

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{Memory Lane isn’t Yellow Brick by Claudie Muchindu}

So…

I recently had a conversation with my mum over love of stories in general (I told her I was reading A Song of Ice and Fire and she refused to see the enjoyment in reading “the same story” that spans seven books).  I asked when I started to read, she said “early”. When I was five, apparently I was happiest with a book on my lap figuring out the world that lay in front of me tucked within crisp pages, she said we’d share books together sometimes. I have no recollection of this though. I don’t have many childhood memories and not because of any trauma (unless I have forgotten that too), I just don’t remember any strong emotions and that’s what makes a story live. For me anyway.

Some memories I do have though are of lying. In fact I may have led myself to believe I was some kind of demon child because my lying knew no bounds and people seemed to believe me, no matter how grand said lies were. For example: I have some scars on my back from a wonky infection (that story shall be told on another day), and when one girl at a new school asked me about it (we must have been in grade four or five), I told her it was where kidnappers had hidden emeralds in my back when they held me hostage. Her eyes bulged as I narrated this horror story to her and I have no idea if she believed me or not but we became fast friends, until as most girls do, we grew apart and in different directions. The point is I knew very early on that I could weave a tale that caught other people. I knew that telling stories was what I wanted to do with my life when I discovered that other people had “real” stories that I could re-tell and adapt, I was in heaven. While other girls played with dolls I perched in trees and dreamed of far off lands with warrior princesses and talking animals.

Unfortunately real life got in the way and being a writer just wasn’t practical in my environment so I shelved my ambitions and pursued an economics degree because “you can do anything with it” and eventually got a “proper” job that helped finance the last stages of my degree. I was decent enough to get a few promotions but while my head was entirely dedicated, my heart just wasn’t, still isnt. I had dabbled with the idea of teaching, but wasn’t sure I had enough patience to be a good one and I needed to be good at whatever I was doing. Its not enough to just “do”, you know? Then I thought maybe a psychologist because you can “what if” the hell out of other people issues but dropped that because I didn’t think I’d be able to separate their problems from my own. Studying languages also wasn’t feasible because there was no “career path” and I was “talented” in math so it was considered a “waste” to pursue words, especially when you couldn’t find a job in them. I still dreamed of seeing my name on covers and I have spent an obscene amount of money on new books so I can smell the new pages as I dive into new worlds.

This brings us to what this blog is all about. This is my little patch to showcase my work. I dabble in poetry, short stories and various opinions I may have. I am not genre specific, I am after stories that have some kind of journey and evoke some kind of emotion. My attempt at a novel sits obstinately in a corner and snarls and pouts in alternative measures when I approach. Not entirely certain when I shall tame that beast but in the meantime I am simply seeking the joy in stories, mine and those I find trawling the web.

Over and Out!

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