Blogging 202: Who stole my mo, jo?

It’s a frustrating thing when you can’t do what you love to do, and what I love to do is create.  Does that sound arty farty?  It does, doesn’t it?  Apologies, I may be many things but I am most definitely not an arty creature (just between you and me, I think calling it art is a fancy way of saying, ‘I don’t know what this thing does, must be art’).  What I’m trying to say is that I love to make things; spaces, pictures, conversations, even food.  Why are you frowning?  What’s that?  You don’t believe that I cook?  I live alone, and I’m not emaciated (look at my cheek, does it not look somewhat, but only somewhat mind you, fleshy?), and I’m a cheapass (read broke, most times), and I’m thaate fae (been around for a minute, or two).  Of course I can cook, a girl’s gotta eat, no?  I’m just saying, I like a good stew, with a good waru, but I digress.  I love to make things, useful things, things that serve some sort of purpose, even if only for myself.  Problem is, for the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been making anything of maana, and its driving me slightly mad. 

Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasing pavements,
Even if it leads nowhere,
Or would it be a waste,
Even if I knew my place,
Should I leave it there,
Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasing pavements,
Even if it leads nowhere…

Quick disclaimer, this will be a vague and rambling post.  If you’re looking for my customary clarity (or not), then I’m afraid you’re shit out of luck.  With any luck, I’ll manage to sort out what’s going on in my head and normal service will resume shortly.  I can see you clicking off in a huff…  Pole, but at least I warned you early, no?  Hello…  And they’re gone.  Ah well… 

I’ve been reading a lot the last couple of weeks, this after I got it into my head to go in search of new blogs, once I realised that most of the buggers I’m currently following have gone into (forced?) retirement.  It all started harmlessly enough one morning, when I clicked on the recommended blogs link in my Wordpress reader, because most blogs are on Wordpress and I figured who better to help me find them…  Sweet Jesus!  Its official, there are too many blogs on this internet.  There are also way too many Christian bloggers with pictures of sunsets on their blogs (I get it, sky=heaven=God, but all of you?  Really?  Then again, you are all working with the same source material so…).  I’ve gone through about 50 blogs so far and I’ve barely scratched the surface.  See, I mistakenly thought I had seen everything there was to see out here, but oh how wrong I was.  So, so wrong.  Just when I was finally getting to the point where I think I’m a half decent blogger, maybe even, dare I say it, a writer, I found buggers who make me look like an illiterate idiot, and they’re doing it with what appears to be one hand tied behind their backs, brilliant bastards!  There’s another world of good, nay, brilliant writing out here, quietly going about their business, their mafans jealously hoarding their riches, refusing to share. 

I must detour.  Can all you bloggers out there please put up some form of blog rolls to share the good reads?  Its frustrating to stumble upon brilliance by chance, only to find someone you’re following waxing lyrical in the comments (Flani, you didn’t think to share that Kiriga genius with me?  Bloody Nkt!  Wait, I should have done this by email, no?).  Share, dammit, not all of us are internet junkies, constantly scouring the net, some of us need the occasional heads up.  So help me, I will stop following buggers who can’t take the time to tell me what they like to read, and I know you buggers all like to read, so stop hoarding.  Useless buggers…  Detour over.

So I’ve been reading, and in the process I’m being taken to school.  It’s easy to sit here and type my usual nonsense, wrapped up in my cocoon of deluded brilliance, but when you read someone else tell a story so brilliant its all you can do not to kiss the screen, you’re forced to engage in a bit of self evaluation.  Thing is, in as much as I like to blog, I like to read more.  I love stories, and when I say love, I mean I will give my left boob for a good story, and I will even more happily give said boob to a good storyteller.  Well, I’ll lease the boob out, because I need it back, to give to the next idiot, no?  That may have been TMI.  I love a good story, but after reading many good stories, I’m sitting here wondering if my stories are half as good, hell, mine aren’t even stories, are they?  Should I be trying to tell a story here?  But I can’t write fiction, I don’t want to write fiction, that’s what the bookshop/internet is for, no?  But if I’m not writing fiction, and I’m not a journo, or an academic, what the hell am I doing here, other than having a bit of a rant every so often? 

Reading good writing is humbling, but it’s also disconcerting.  Whenever I read good writing, I get a little gun (word) shy, suddenly second guessing myself, am I good, or am I delusional?  And the same applies to life in general.  When I see a beautiful building, I ask myself, when I’m done drooling over someone else’s creation, why the hell didn’t I think of that?  I then ‘Nkt!’ myself.  Then I toast to someone else’s genius, envious, but not jealous (yes, there’s a difference; envy is lust in the eye, jealous is murder in the heart).  Let me put it this way.  You know how you get all tarted up for a wedding, or a fancy party, pulling out your prettiest frock or shiniest suit, thinking to yourself that you are the shit?  And then you get there and you spot someone rocking a similar outfit, but looking so much better than you ever will?  That’s the feeling I currently have.  Its not that I don’t see and appreciate what I have here, it’s just that she looks so much better in that damn dress than I do…  Why, dammit, why?

I build myself up,
And fly around in circles,
Waiting as my heart drops,
And my back begins to tingle,
Finally, could this be it…

The song is ‘Chasing Pavements’ by Adele, she who has surprised me greatly.  I won’t lie, I didn’t think I’d like her music; experience has taught me that when the masses are waxing lyrical about something or someone, more often than not I will not share their glee, because I am nothing if not contrary.  Its hard to be contrary when it comes to Adele, she can sing, she can write, and she doesn’t look like Barbie.  Its brilliant!  This song is either another sad love song about losing something, or someone, you once had, or a dark, yet optimistic, song about finding something, or someone, you want, but are scared to have.  I hear the latter, its the most apt description of blogging, and life, I’ve heard in a good long while.

And thus we get to the point of my rambling.  I like that there is good writing out here, good Kenyan writing in particular.  I like that there is a multitude of voices, all doing their own thing, all contributing to the collective psyche of a generation constantly derided as being shallow and lacking direction.  I don’t like that most of said voices are on the wrong side of thirty (my side is the right side, no?  No?), but that’s a factor of the media I guess, us geriatric types are averse to most things computer, except porn, porn on a computer we like, apparently (easier to hide, no?  No?  Moving on swiftly…).  I like that my O.C.D. Type A personality is constantly unsettled, and therefore constantly striving to do more, see more, read more, learn more, and ask more questions.  Life is not static, and neither are our minds, and that’s a bloody good thing.  So please don’t pat me on the head in a misguided attempt to reassure me, there’s nothing worse than a sympathy pat, it just leaves you feeling more pathetic (read unsatisfied).  What I would like you to do, if you want to be helpful, is to tell me what you’re reading.  Send me names and links, share your good reads with me.  I’m assuming that if you’re here, with me, then it’s possible we have similar tastes, no?  Help a sister out, please, I need to broaden my horizons, and I am desperate for a good short story, better still, a nice long essay on why African rebels are so fond of weed… 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try and put down something of slightly greater maana, because I’ll be damned if I let those talented buggers keep my good woman down any longer.  I’m off to find my mo, jo!