Sit back and relax for I am about to take you on a trip. The kind of trip that would put psychedelics to shame, if I dare say so myself. Close your woebegone eyes, gently breath in and out and in and out again and again until you start feeling the weight on your shoulders slowly evaporating into the gloomy atmosphere that has been clouding you for days. Clear your clogged mind, relax your dejected body and calm your dispirited spirit.
Now imagine yourself in a post apocalyptic world. You…..alone, the sole survivor…..or so you think. It’s dark but not too dark, there’s only enough light for you to make out the things immediately infront of you but even that is a struggle because for some reason there are a trillion dust particles floating aimlessly in the air.
The rusted metals that were once cars scattered all over with zero regard to uniformity, the collapsed buildings that once stood tall surpassing clouds and nearly touching the heavens with their pointed tips and the piles of dead bodies laying about are some of the things you can discern but only if you squint your eyes a little.
Most of the trees have fallen, thanks to the tremors that originated from the very core of the earth and shook the world to it’s unfortunate end. But you can hear the leaves of the remaining few rattling from a distance, dancing to the tune of the cold winter winds that has been slowly eating at you and leaving trails of goosebumps on your dirt filled skin to prove it’s point.
The earth is muddy given the heavy rains that poured the day before. Rains that saw you seeking shelter inside a cave that seemed to have been abandoned a 100 years before the apocalypse. You can’t feel the wetness of the ground, for you are donning your combat boots the ones you stole from the decomposed feet of the dead body that was completely far gone from life and sleeping peacefully next to you when you finally came to. You remember how some of the flesh came off with the shoes and this makes you shriek with disgust, a cold shiver runs through you leaving you pale like the dead body whose possession you stole.
You are desperately trying to find your way home, yes even amid all the nothingness there’s still bits of hope flickering inside you. Surely somewhere in the midst of all the ruins your home lies. So you start walking, looking, searching for a sign of humanity, familiarity; anything would do. You tried screaming but that didn’t help much, you only heard your voice echoing back at you, a voice you’ve already gotten tired of.
Then out of nowhere you see IT, at first you think it’s just your mind playing tricks on you after all it has done so before so you blink once, twice, thrice, a couple more times but the more you blink the closer it gets. It’s neither human nor animal, it’s as big as a mountain and it has a physique that reminds you of the demons you were warned about in your tender years. The ones you were told would come to get you if you didn’t act right. The ones you’ve been terrified of ever since
IT’s mountainous body is covered with hair soaked in blood, some fresh and some dried up and this gives you an indication that there were many before you who crossed IT’s path and who from the look of things don’t seem to have made it out alive. So you run cause God forbid you wind up a victim. But there is a problem, your legs can’t move. Like glue to paper, nail to wood you are stuck. “Maybe it’s the combat boots or the muddy grounds,” You start blaming everything but yourself, everything but your inability to move your own body and rightfully so. IT gets holds of you.
Too scared to face the demon you keep your eyes shut. IT is holding you up by your shoulders, your dainty legs are dangling in the air, fighting desperately to touch the muddy ground underneath. You feel IT sinking his sharp claws deeper and deeper into your skin. You feel a kind of pain that nobody ever warned you about, the kind that touches on nerves you never knew existed.
Then you realize that your combat boots would probably give IT a good kick and you’ll make a break for it. But you just don’t want to run for you are no coward. Cowards live long but what’s the point of living to eternity when you know you couldn’t stand up for yourself when you needed you the most. You ponder. The fighter in you wants to face your fears head on, to fight and emerge victor. So you dig deeper, somewhere inside you there must be courage, you search for it and find it. With your eyes open you finally see IT in all his glory. No words can put a name to what IT actually looks like. “A failure on the part of the dictionary scholars.” You think.
One thing strikes you. The blackness on IT’s supposed face. No nose, no ears, no mouth, no nothing just pitch blackness. Over the years you’ve learnt to see through things and to not just take them at face value. So you look deeper, through that smoky darkness you begin to see flashes of your face. Then it suddenly dawns on you that it’s you you’ve been running from. It’s you whose been out to get you.
So you fight yourself like Chester Bennignton does in the Heavy music video. You win but barely cause IT got the best of you in the process. In the human world they’d probably call IT depression but you wouldn’t know anything about that because you are African, born and raised in an African homestead and things like that aren’t talked about.
When you finally come back to life, you realize that it took you weeks, weeks that slowly seeped into months to fight your own demons and the first texts you get are from your friends cussing you out. Calling you all sorts of names. “Dumb, trash, go to hell, the fuckery, you are insane, bullshit, stupid” etc are some of the insults being thrown at you. Because while you were busy fighting IT, and fighting to put your life in order, fighting to be the you you’ve always wanted to be you somehow failed to give them the attention they so relish and how dare you do that. Don’t you know that your life revolves around them????
They had centred themselves in your life, thanks to their wanton self importance, haughtiness and narcissism that reeks of Ted Bundy. How dare you take time to work on yourself when you should be giving all your undivided attention to me. Aren’t I a priority to you?? You tell them that you were busy, that the harshness of life, living and being human had finally caught up to you. “But everybody is busy, everybody has a life, everybody is going through things.” They reiterate with an air of superiority and a faux sense of understanding of the complexities of human existence.
You are not mad, or angry just dissapointed. Dissapointed at the fact that by clumping you together with everybody and expecting you to react to situations the same way they do completely strips you off of your individuality. You have the courtesy of seeing them as individuals completely unique and distinct from others but they can’t extend the same courtesy to you????. This doesn’t sit well with you.
You soon realize that mentally you’ve outgrown them. People who don’t understand the intricacies and nuances of life have no place in your life.
The second trip I’m taking you on is a trip to Kitengela Glass. You fought the good fight and won so now you deserve to see the world in all her glory. You deserve to be soaked in her beautiful colours that profoundly contrast the black and white you were accustomed to.
A simple place but an endearing place nonetheless. The people there are loving and full of life like the many coloured glass artefacts they create that radiate happiness and brings vibrance to an otherwise dull environment.
You watch how glass is made. Men playing with fire and not getting burnt because that is what years of experience does to a man. They subconsciously became masters of their craft melting, molding and curving each artefact with the care of a mother to her new born baby.
There is so much to see; from the tiny man made village that looks like something straight out of a fairytale, to the abandoned swimming pool and to the spectacular view. The view from up there is astounding and the wind blows different when you are that high up and for a moment you get consumed by the beauty of life and forget about your worldly woes.
This one is dedicated to those secretly and silently battling mental illness (depression in particular). I cannot promise you that it gets better cause I’m no expert in that, but it does get better just take life a day at a time and listen to I Overcame by Ada Ehi.