I wrote this a while ago but left it simmering in my laptop, unsure of what to do with it. I have decided to post it after all, unedited. It is self-indulgent. But where else can I be this way, if not here.
I want to write about walking my dog. I have a whole story mapped out in my head about the things one can learn about life, from dog walks. This one is going to be funny. I am going to call it ‘Woof, There It Is.’
But it feels wrong to write such frivolity with all that is going on.
Yet I have no words.
I remember Wambui Mwangi’s timeline this morning about silence. I wish I had storified it.
I think, I must not be silent. Silence breeds compliance. But I have no words. I have no language for this.
This morning I went for yoga somewhere new. At the end of the session, the lady took us through a guided meditation, where she told us to imagine our energy as a lotus flower. I lay there on her wooden floor, with Julie the silver haired limber 80 year old on one side, and framed embroidered doe-eyed ladies staring down at me from the wall, and I pictured my lotus flower. It is green, a flaming, fiery, emerald green, with glittering sequins, palm frond wisps, and licks of flame. I picture it coating my limbs and my organs. She told us to imagine our lotus flower whenever we felt any negative energy. I close my eyes, desperately trying to imagine my green blaze forming a glaze around my thudding, dulling heart . It doesn’t work.
I walk from room to room, restless, looking for solace somewhere. My body wants to sleep, as it does whenever I feel disturbed, wants me to crawl into bed and close my eyes. I refuse. I will not shut down. A part of me wants to drown myself in the slick world of Mad Men, where everything is a problem that can be cracked, and all solutions can be found in the golden elixir of a single Malt.
I refresh twitter obsessively. I watch as Kenyans crack jokes. That is our modus operandi. We can’t cry, so we make each other laugh. We don’t have the language for what we feel, so we play wise-crack slams, and watch as our retweets climb furiously.
I want to contribute. I have no words. I don’t know what to say except I.Just.Can’t.
I refresh twitter again, and watch curiously the tangle of Gikomba outrage tweets intermingle with noise from the Housing Expo.
People say sensible things, useful things. I want to retweet them. I feel silly. What use is that? I think, maybe it is better than nothing. I feel silly again.
I wonder what will make me feel better. I feel acutely self-absorbed. I call a friend. We talk. We wonder who ‘they’ are that we should be furious with, or be scared of. We wonder who they are targeting. We exchange conspiracy theories, as I am internally conscious that maybe someone is listening in. I tell myself not to be ridiculous, what would they want with me.
I remember the 200 people languishing in Kasarani Concentration Camp. This is not a logical government.
I remember the absurdity of the tinted window witch-hunt. I remind myself, there is no logic.
Ten people dead. I wonder if their children know. I wonder how they will sleep tonight. I know people die every day, in other circumstances. But this feels different. I imagine families huddling close, trying to seek out warmth from this icy news.
My inbox is flooded with messages about remaining vigilant of further attacks. What does one do to be vigilant, I wonder.
The sun is setting, it is beautiful out there. I am thankful for beauty, for the consistency and reliability of beauty.
I want to be angry at whoever is responsible, but really I am angry with my government. I think about how this entire government is founded on the basis of no consequence. Two alleged human rights violators – no consequences. Post Election Violence – no consequences. Westgate – no consequences. Illegal detention in a concentration camp – no consequences. Making laws at will and arresting people willy nilly – no consequences.
A ball of dread fills my stomach. This is a free for all.