the chord that struck

I swear every single time i hear this song I cry like a baby.

I found out about it from Renee Carlino’s new book, Blind Kiss. The character in the scene going through a divorce, losing her best friend whom she also loves because he is going away to France to live with his pregnant girlfriend, her genius son leaving home for university at 14 while she grapples with the fact that she is 34 and never had achieved much in her life.

She plays it and says its the saddest song she could think of and she is painfully correct. It makes think of my own death and being aware of it in my final moments while i think of all the deaths i have mourned over all at once.

I mean. I am listening to it right now and crying. This chord has definitely struck. I swear the man sounds like he is somehow crying while singing it too.

When the night comes, don’t be afraid. You’re only dreaming.

Advertisements

What does sex tell us about life?

He did not consult us when he invented sex.

Mere Christianity, C.S.Lewis.

I will start with a disclaimer that no. I do not revel or make it a habit to disagree with Lewis, who I truly think is the greatest Christian apologist that ever lived and I am not even a Christian. That should tell you something.

Just for today though, I will disagree with him.

The first phrase on this post is from his book where he discusses how we should be prepared for sex to be odd, repulsive and sometimes downright degenerate. How much of it we want, how we want to it. All of that. He advises us to welcome the oddity because rationale may be truly inadequate to explain the ins and out of the whole thing.

He says God did not consult us when he invented it so we should come prepared to deal with that.

I mean it’s true that God, the Higher Power or whatever you choose to believe didn’t consult us. I mean. he didn’t consult us about anything, but I think in that phrase Lewis was using the phrase more to mean ‘consider’ or maybe I’m just imposing my Freudian slip to his work because I really can’t stop interchanging ‘consider’ with ‘consult’ whenever I say it.

If that was the case though. I disagree.

I think God considered us particularly. So much so that he created a pocket called sexuality for us and us alone. Where our choice interacts with sex and sex interacts with our unconscious needs. Animals can’t have sexuality, in fact I think sex is the wrong word for what animals do. What they do is more or less just reproduction and what does reproduction tell us about them? That they live to die another day and further that cause.

So what does sex tell us about us? About our lives, how much we want it and why we want it at all, especially when it has nothing to do with reproduction. I mean to live to die another day is the obvious reason but that’s only part of it. What about the craving we have for it, the insatiability we have even after years of copulation. What does that tell us about our lives?

I think it tells us there is a great amount of loneliness in the world and it is as if this strange phenomenon of ‘horniness’ is the alert that we have more of it than we can handle at any one moment. By it, I mean loneliness.

In fact for me the physical desire for the act of sex is such a huge metaphor for the loneliness we feel and the true magnitude of it. The need to literally have someone hurtle into your body or you to theirs and I’m not talking about just the physical act even just kissing, it’s quite literal there too. I think in many ways sex is a comfort for the intense loneliness life has to offer us.

And I should say ‘correct sex’ that is just to mean, the kind of sex that fills the void, if only for a time. Any other kind of sex is incomplete in its goal thus more or less null and void, with the side effect of only increasing the hankering for ‘correct sex.’ The insatiability I was talking about earlier

Although, this void filling isn’t just about sex. I think sex is just a complex form of communication and more on the extreme side when you have had as much loneliness as you can take. ‘Horniness’ is not the alarm when the fire breaks out, it is the literal phone call to the firefighters when the heat is unbearable. There are plenty of remedies before we get to that level, not to say that those who do not want sex are not lonely because we all are and the physical desire has its roots in our biology too. But the desire coupled with the heightened intent to act on it usually points to the apex of loneliness.

As such this is why I think children have less inclination to want sex, usually. There is a kind of loneliness reserved only for the matured, when you no longer have your parents within that close reach.

In fact I think sex is the adult equivalent of bonding between babies and their mothers. When we are born we are truly vulnerable and saddled with our new individuality, I think we experience a profuse amount of loneliness. Enter mom. She provides the solace we need to encounter this new world we are now in away from uterine comfort.

When we want sex, we really just need to bond, badly, as the loneliness bites and thanks to our heightened awareness being adults the loneliness can be torturous. Unfortunately at that point bonding with our mothers like we used to, chest to chest, nipple to mouth is much less of an option.

I think this is why a mother dying in childbirth or a closed adoption is usually such a traumatic event. When the one person who could ease your new found loneliness is the one person you will never meet.

 

 

 

 

Not you or me, us. Society is a person. A complete third.

My idea of a relationship is one plus one equals three.

These are the words of Shan. A sex educator. I heard them on a clip on Youtube which you can find here. A conversation about monogamy versus polyamory, actually a conversation I would really suggest you watch. Anyway, I heard her words and this idea that society lives finally clicked in me.

At minute 18:40 in the video, they pose a question in the group for discussion. The question is, ‘I would feel incomplete without my partner?’ And Shan disagrees, enthusiastically, I assume that’s how she does everything.

She says she doesn’t connect with that. She imagines at the end of a relationship she would feel a number of ways, sad, disadvantaged and I might even add relieved. But what she can’t connect with is the complete loss of self.

You see, to Shan relationships are one plus one equals three. Where two complete people meet and through their interaction, a third springs up. A third complete person.

And it occurred to me. This is what happens whenever people interact, not just relationships. Whatever it is. The office, school, a date, church, every single interaction, there is always an imaginary third that lives.

I think this third is a paradox because in a sense they are at once the most powerful and fleeting person in the interaction. This is why people act so different in groups than they do when alone. It is the third, the presence of the third alone is so potent it changes the behaviour of the individuals.

But then again, when the interaction stops. It is the third that gets the axe. The first axe. So in a way the third is both the strongest and the weakest link. It is this third we are changing when we say society has indeed improved because in a sense the rest of us remain as we were.

I find this an interesting notion especially since we are always talking about changing the world and how that connotes with changing ourselves. And while I do not disagree with that. I think perhaps changing the third is just a tad bit more efficient. The whisper of the third does a lot more than the example of one of us. It’s the difference between using an elevator to lift something to a top floor of a sky scraper as opposed to having someone take the stairs with it in hand, in fact I think the difference is much more drastic than that.

The next question is, ‘So, who is the third?’ The law. Religion. The Internet. Our conscience or what. This I must admit I cannot answer but it would certainly be wonderful if this mystical third could be adequately isolated and truly utilized to ‘change the world,’ as we all so often proclaim.

Slaughtered.

The Christmas I turned 12, my uncles slaughtered a cow,

At the back of the house, where I was not allowed to go.

I peered through a nook in the kitchen, and through one eye watched fixedly,

unblinkingly.

I morbidly wanted to touch the squirted blood, to feel its pulse.

I was not allowed any closer.

Because women are afraid of blood and pain.

My younger brother was there.

You need to understand the butcher’s role when the time comes.

He shuddered, frightened by the dying beast.

Writhing in agony,

Exhaling life, Inhaling death.

I watched intently, unflinchingly.

Entranced by the rapidity and violence of death.

But it was only till i went to the toilet that I realized why.

I too was being slaughtered

Till death do us part… really?

 

As I have been peeling back the onion skin of marriage, love, lust and sex I have fixated on this vow. As old as love itself.

This expectation, avowal and dedication of forever in the context of marriage has always been there, the silent elephant in the marital room. In every civilization. When I think of my African traditional society I see it too. Even creations such as polygamy, wife-inheritance were pillars to support it. To avoid that severance.  Although in our African heritage this concept is not as implicit as the Christian vows that legislate it blatantly into the union.

Watching various wedding shows this is one facet I have seen in almost all of them. Wedding shows from all over the world that is. There is always or mostly an overt gesture of the non-breakable bond of marriage and not just unbreakable but till death do us part.  Air-tight.

In fact this is the whole reason why divorce may just be as bad or maybe to say it more aptly more stigmatized than infidelity. The other part of this forever clause where the eternity is sexual exclusivity.

So my question now is why? Why must death be the only pair of scissors capable of cutting the tied knot?

I don’t think any of the ancient authorities sat together to conspire against all humanity and doom it to this fate. I actually think there is an incredible depth to the insight that inspired this rule to spring up in almost everyone that ever lived. There is something primal that is stroked when the mention of eternity is involved with mortal beings. This is a uniquely human dilemma. To doom itself to that which it is more inadequate to do. I suppose this is not a conundrum to God or immortal beings if indeed they do exist because that wouldn’t be the hardest thing to do after all. To dedicate your short life to something entirely.

And underlying this is the axiom of ‘the one’ which of late has suffered a major battering. In the age of fuckboys and girls, casual sex and sponsorships.

So I reiterate, why?

Perhaps it is because there are some defects that can only be changed with the imminence of death involved. And this is not really easy to simulate in healthy youthful individuals except in marriage. This dichotomy of improvement or death.

I have recently learnt that marriage is where we go to cleanse ourselves of our childhood trauma. And as for entering marriage, that is easy to do, the wiles and promise of sex and love are seductive enough to get us to enter the relationship door. But they are not strong enough to force humans to do the gritty business of cleansing ourselves of the childhood trauma.

So the container needs to be pressurized and sealed shut. Enter marriage. The plug.

Now we can’t escape right. I mean here we are with ‘the one ‘in an airtight container forced to fix ourselves but in an odd twist of events there seems to be an out. Free will. We can still opt out of the repairing and divorce has made it that much easier. Which according to the institution of marriage is obviously the less healthy and probably worst choice of the two but a choice nonetheless.

But the point remains we seem to have created this unique situation for ourselves to help us when we don’t know what help looks like. And many have been healed not completely but for the most part because of this institution that grants death to he who refuses to choose growth.

Now there is a lot of politics with this issue that i will not get into. The right , wrong and pragmatism of it all.I will say though that this is just a theory. And I do find it interesting how we have always accredited this institution to the divine while in fact I think it is precisely the opposite because free will which I think is truly divine is the very thing that either complies or breaks this cage we built to rehabilitate ourselves. How interesting.

 

 

 

What does education cure?

 

Educate comes from the latin word educare or educe. It means to bring out. As if we ourselves are the libraries and the dictionaries but before education, our wonders and knowledge are sealed off. So this seems education unleashes the sleeping beast within all of us, whoever the beast may be. Which comes as such a surprise to me. This is why.

All my life I have idolized knowledge and education. When I hear the aphorism, knowledge is power, I truly do believe it. But in my head it registers as knowledge is the power to do good. A thought I have only come to criticize recently after combating the paradox of ‘evil education’ what always seemed to be quite antithetical. How can education birth evil or worse yet be the child of evil?

When I heard of the stories of the founding of Uganda and Congo. Stories encased in the Machiavellian princely mentality of how their respective erudite leaders, which counted for a lot in the days of post -independent Africa led their countries to the slaughter. I am indeed, extremely dazed. Not to say that my own Kenya and other African countries are better, in fact this is the tale of many a African nations. Putting hope and the future in the arms of the educated who in turn stab us with their corruption and malevolence. All wrapped up in glossy academic qualification and impeccable experience in leadership. But how can this be? How can education be the root of this evil because place an illiterate ignorant individual in the same position and they would not do half as much damage as that of the educated fellow.

It makes me wonder if education in its essence is rather ambivalent or possibly wholly evil in some instances?

Or worse yet is its power akin to the power of money, dragging the beast from within regardless of whether the beast is evil or beautiful.

I presumed like many others that the process of education is a self-checking mechanism. Enabling only the good to go out. Right?

I mean there must be a reason why we all believe in educating our children and why it’s a millennium development goal. If Education had the same power as money we would feed our children as much money as we do education. It would be in legislature all over that children have a right money the same way they have a right to education. But this is not the case, and I know that isn’t coincidental.

Education is a kind of cure. Education has the power akin to free will. A sword immeasurably potent but also rather dependent on the swordsman. It is the power of choice. Because education can be used to build bombs to kill innocents  or to build some beneficial structure to house the very same innocents from danger.

So it seems education isn’t at all what I thought. Education isn’t the one who breaks out the good inside. It just allows you access to the world inside and hand you the requisite tools to build its entry into the world outside. So I guess education is the cure of whatever we decide we are ailing from and the irony is we can decide that we are ailing from ‘goodness’ and use education to build ourselves bad medicine.

the chord that struck

 

You know i never used to understand people who can listen to music they can’t understand but i must say. Now I do. I grew up listening to my father play lingala which i regarded as blatant madness because i knew he didn’t speak any French much less lingala so I thought he was deluded. He must be. Right?

It is time for me to eat humble pie because i definitely get it now.I don’t understand a word of ‘Tajabone’ but i understand it not in my mind but in my soul. I welcome all of you especially those who can’t understand the lyrics, understand not with your mind but with your soul.

Music is understood in the soul not the mind.