Most of the time we fear to meet the ones we have hurt, not because we are afraid of what they will do to us, but because we will be reminded of what we have done to them. In them, we see the parts of ourselves we are not proud of, the aspects of us capable of atrocity.
We see what we used to be and we see the desolation we left behind and the time we wasted. We witness anew, conscience permitting, the meaningless pains and the thousands of tiny injustices we inflicted that taken together caused the bleeding out of love and other good things.
So we hesitate to reach out and reach back out, lest we brush up against our past selves, our dirty previous selves that we have been working hard to clean up and, in some instances, burn. We dare not imagine that the blood and tears of the ones we have cut will drop on the ashes of our dead parts and invigorate them. The cold grey embers might still be fertile.
And worse, that they will not forgive your happiness or your pain, whether or not you deserve them. You cannot begrudge them this – how can you continue to live while the ringing of the flower with glass petals that you dropped remains vivid in their minds?
I watched Zootopia this weekend and I loved it. As we have come to expect, Disney delivered spectacular imagery, animation and voice acting to recount with a twist the old tale of the underdog. Like any good animated movie, there was something for everyone, as the cliche goes. Also, if one were to replace the bunnies and foxes with, say women and black people, the layers take on more intricacy.
The police chief Bogo struck me as particularly interesting. He is a buffalo voiced by Idris Elba. In one native Kenyan dialect, a buffalo is called a mbogo. The ‘m’ is silent and the word carries more of a thud than a rolling off of the tongue. Someone at Disney searched very hard to differentiate his name or was otherwise singularly lucky.
This is not the first instance of Gikuyu finding its way into Hollywood as anyone who has watched Star Wars and understands the language can attest.
Working with people intimately, helping them with certain of their problems for a living, is an expanding experience. You get to see the incandescent and the dull aspects of humanity, the good and bad and bland, the smart and the stupid.
What this does is put you in an interesting position. Some would call it humility or wisdom or some other high-minded virtue. I think it is just survival.
Your patience becomes as sharp as your awareness of wit, your heart no longer races at every perceived slight (the slights are almost always unintended, it is never personal), and you know what to say and how to get them what they need (the solutions are at your fingertips).
You come to expect it all. Few things surprise you and you see things for what they are: a lot of the time, clumsily and haltingly, we are all trying to do our best with what we know.
I think it’s important that all creatives understand the potential of finding ways to be more visible and produce content that allows their art to shine.
As a writer, there’s more that I could do to engage with readers. I hope to make up what I lack in visibility to be balanced by my consistency and quality. – Yoh, 2Yohz, aka @Yoh31
I thoroughly enjoy Yoh’s work! I found out just how much I admire his work when it hit me that the articles on Dj Booth that really jumped out at me were all written by him.
One cannot imagine that a writer on the internet can be lucid, concise, engaging and entertaining when tackling hip-hop and how it relates to modern life.
You would never think that great writing can be found on a website dedicated mostly to hip-hop, especially in an age when every other wag thinks that it is their right to be heard.
He challenges my perceptions about music and life with his illuminating outlook and I imagine him to be a hip professor giving a lecture in some stuffy classroom dressed in a tweed jacket, jeans and sneakers with me in the middle row rushing to jot down his every word.
On my rare sojourns outside my internet comfort zones, his words are a place I always find myself coming back to.
People notice when you are missing from a space you usually inhabit, one that you occupy however whisperingly. Most do not say they see your absence, occupied as they are with their own things. Maybe they choose not to say it or forget to bring it up. Others do not forget and do bring it up.
You may think you are being smart about it by doing it every few times only. Even as you tiptoe in the ether, quietly disappearing yourself, you cause a ripple in the waters of some still minds. Like dragonflies snapped out of buoyant reveries, they flit towards you, batting questioning wings in your face.
You cannot blow them away for in their squinting curiosity, they are the only ones who can see your tears and notice the cuts the world has made in you. You smile and shrug their concerns away. They linger then go to do their own things.
You do not, cannot, allow them to see your scars and your creaking bones. How can you when the world rests on your shoulders?
I feel a yawning disconnect between myself and the working world. My tribe members are going for a weekend out of town, somewhere in a conservancy where they will be running for a good cause. For two nights, there will be bonfires, nyam chom, drinks and laughter. I want no part of this.
I have been feeling some kind of way. It is a niggling frustration, an infinite itch that I cannot reach, or rather, that I am not the one who can scratch. The fingers that can relieve me are twiddling other things, more important things.
I was scheduled to be out of town on an assignment that was cancelled at the last minute due to some miscommunication. I ended up giving up my spot for the other trip. It, however, was not much of a sacrifice. If I had tried hard enough I would have gotten back in. But, I did not try hard enough to get back in nor did I want to. I will be more alone today than I have been in seeming aeons. This fills me with a weird joy that I feel guilty luxuriating in.
Driven to a wall I cannot seem to claw up or out of, I instead claw at myself, tearing myself apart piecemeal painfully. But, the universe has for a second opened up and allowed me to step into myself. This blank internal space born of an emptied external one brings relief and the giant hand squeezing me from inside slowly letting go, allowing me to empty my lungs of cynical air and fill them with crisp clean distance.
Enough of me is left for now and will regrow in the ephemeral moments before new time rolls in. New flesh to prune. How much longer can I do this?