The last few weeks have been a bit rough. Our family lost our Big dad and then my friend from highschool passed away … if you follow this blog, you know I generally take time to process events like these. While February hasn’t been the best, it also came with some good and now, I need to take some time to do a big job relocation because but will be back with a book review and then another Bemba video … stay tuned.
Today, I was meant to be posting a review …
But I find myself musing over a lived life I barely knew
mourning a man who always brought a smile to our faces
He was funny
He was gentle
And until I was about 8 I somehow was lost to his existence
And ohh that booming voice, gentle voice
He made every moment light
In the short moments we spent, I somehow got to love him
In the short spaces of conversations on skype and messenger.
Twenty Twenty came with so much promise and in a space of weeks,
We had celebrated life and before it ended, it had eaten more joy than seemed possible.
His voice no longer to be heard,
His hearty laugh no longer to offer any warmth
Turn back the time … return to us the promise of a year barely started;
Give us a chance to finish listening to stories of the dynamics of life.
You never finished telling us stories of where you grew up
We never even started writing them down.
One of the things that irritate me, is people exhibiting a sense of entitlement to my writing … especially when people take a poem that I have written and propagandise it … okay, maybe propagandise is too strong a word … I have, however, had many instances where people have maimed a poem because they felt it didn’t convey what they wanted it to convey. I guess it is different if you are approached to write a poem with a specific theme in mind but even then, people don’t seem to understand that when you write anything, you pick specific words to convey specific messages. That applies to a greater extent when it comes to poetry because a poem has a rhythm to it and this rhythm helps convey the desired message.
I know it might sometimes be hard to understand, but writing a poem is not a 2-minute job … sometimes can be, but very rarely if ever, and … well, I guess for me … the poems I write are an extension of myself; a way of me getting more acquinted with myself, a way of releasing whatever is brewing on the inside, a way of making sense of God — a way of coming to Him — a worship of the master Poet.
This might be something that is hard to understand, but the poems come from me walking out the poem. I sit there imagining each step as if I am either the centre or witness of the story I am trying to convey. I feel the emotions and convey them as I write, make sense of a situation as I describe it … and it is for this reason that I say, I primarily write for myself and not for others; It is a cleansing, an act of surrender but also a gift if I choose to share it. So next time you see a poem or piece of writing, be careful not to turn it into something it was not meant to be.
Are there any poets out there who feel this way? Is it the same with other art forms? Have you ever exhibited this entitlement?
I remember a time when I used to just go with the flow and do things as and when I wanted, but the older I have gotten and with the pilling of responsibilities, I was finding myself forgetting important things and feeling out of control … I hate feeling out of control (yes, yes … that’s despite me knowing that God controls our days.)
Planning has done a lot of things for me, including reducing my anxiety levels (Control freak, anyone?). I love to be in control and planning my days helps me feel in control … however, it can get overwhelming when I move things to hang out with people, or when I feel I am not meeting my self imposed deadlines … but that’s something I am working on because people are important to me and I wholeheartedly believe that I should always be willing to be interrupted for them … and I am interuptable, I just sometimes think too much about the to-do list instead of enjoying the people around me.
Probably the greatest thing planning has done for me though, is help me take stock of my days as the
bible says we should do.
I am a procrastinator and part of that has been me telling myself I have enough time to get things done and then beginning to panic when the day is almost over, and my deadlines are
looming. The other problem I have is I will put 20 items on a to-do list and exhaust myself trying to do them all. What planning out my days has done is shown me just how much I overestimate my time and that has allowed me to be more realistic and made me feel more relaxed.
I started using a day to a page planner that I made and tried to plan my 24 hrs the night before factoring in my 8 hrs of sleep, work and family time. I don’t always get to this, but I discovered that on most days the to-do list far exceeded the number of hours in my day, esp. when I factored in the hours at work. Doing this has also made me realise that in order to achieve things, I can’t sit around
How has planning helped you?
At some point in my life I developed a love for writing stories. I remember being in grade six, slaving away over a story in a creative writing task. If I am not mistaken, Mrs Munsaka was my teacher at the time. I loved telling stories then and I still do — to those who would listen — to those close to me. For whatever reason, when people, especially those closest to me do not listen, it hurts more than I would care to admit; worse though is the feeling when they laugh at an idea … and no, my family are extremely supportive, but for whatever reason, I would rather put my stories out to be judged by those with little or no connection to me.
I have been thinking a lot about what I write and why I put off writing deadlines or the dream to publish. Part of it is the fear that people will find my writing mundane and uninspiring. Part of it is that I am afraid that I might actually be good at it, but the scariest thing for me is that my family might hide in shame at the things I put out. That my dad might not like a piece of writing despite not saying so … that my mum might think that whatever I have written falls into the category of thoughts that God did not intend for everyone to see … Maybe my brother might see it and shake his head, that my sisters might find it heavy, or full of grammatical errors. That people might see it and think my husband married a diva, that my daughter would want to hide her face and not want to be associated with me.
I don’t know if I will ever achieve the goals I have when it comes to writing, but it has become exceedingly clear that I am afraid to drag those closest to me through another failure, another walk of shame … and here I am, sitting in my leaving room, my mum’s voice telling me, “You have gifts that you don’t use …” knowing she is right, I wonder “really what is the worst thing that could happen?” Does anyone else ever worry about such things? How do you fight such hidden, seemingly petty fears?
I recently found out that fear is sometimes … if not most times … born out of a lack of faith. A lack of faith in myself that causes me to question if really God has given me a gift. But more importantly, a lack of faith in God and who the word says He is. A lack of faith in the giver of talents, the one who says even if I fail at this, He will work it for my good.
If you would like to help visit the ABC website at https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/bushfire-crisis-how-can-i-donate-and-help/11839842 be careful as there are scams out there.Continue reading “Blue skies and starry nights restore”
There’s a tag at the heart
Every time one comes along
Soft skin, soft hair, and oh, those cries.
A part of me longs for one, or two or a dozen … haha
A part of me wonders if we are at all ready
Oh, to feel the kick of God’s dream
To cradle a small soft fragile person
To clean soft bums and smell the fragrance of baby powder
To hear the welcome cry of a little one
To rest them in the beautifying light of God
To bring them into the unifying love of Christ
To add to our thanks for His grace.
Zebi I did it … challenge done
This year saw me crying a lot! The year started with hopes that my husband would be in Australia but it was only a year and a day from the day he left that I would be seeing him again … a total of 21 months of visa processing and 2 years and 2 months of a long distance marriage.
This year brought with it one of the greatest loses we have experienced, a child gone with no real answers or explanations, and a whole number of “what if”s. We lost family, one of whom we just found 3 years ago.
This year was anything but easy. Finances were tight, work was stressful … sometimes and there were times where I wondered where God was. We saw dear friends split up … some friendships were lost and other’s still gained. There were a few trips to the ED and deadlines that had to be put on hold …
Through it all though, God was faithful and we experienced His undeniable mercy and love. He has provided through work, through, family and through friends. He has inspired, He has fulfilled His promises in regards to our daughter and given life to dreams I never thought possible.
Yes 2019 was full of experience. It came with warning of impending sorrow, but even with the sorrow, God added joy and peace and He fulfilled Habakkuk 2:2-4 in many ways. Yes there is more healing to receive but my God has been too too good to me.
2020 hear we come
A little background to this, I feel this is more in line with what Blessings on a hill is all about and I decided that I would do a short lesson on the sounds and the letters that represent them. I am Bemba and Nsenga because my my mum is a Bemba woman and my dad is Nsenga but I am more accustomed to my Bemba roots and constantly learning on both fronts.
So the letters present are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, S T, U, W and Y. We do not have J, Q, R, X and Z. To get the best understanding of what the sounds are like, please view the video below.
A makes the same sound as in Apple
B has a special sound usually mistaken for the V or W sound. Most non-Bemba speakers struggle with this. B is only a hard “b” as in Baby when preceded by the letter “M”
C makes a “ch” sound all the time. It never makes a “k” sound ever! The intonation changes if accompanied by the letter H or not. E.g. iciBemba vs ChiBemba. The pronunciation will be different and the two mean two different things. The first refers the language and the second to the language
D and G only exist if preceded by N.
G has two possible sounds. If followed by an apostrophe it makes the same sound as in morning. If not, makes a hard “g”. eg. Ng’anda vs Nga
E makes the same sound as it does in egg
F same sound as in Fish
H is only seen accompanying c and changes the intonation of the “ch” sound
I makes the same sound as in India
K makes a ‘k’ sound
L makes the same sound as in Lama
M makes a ‘m’ sound as in Monk
N makes the same sound as Nancy
O makes the same sound as in Orange
P always makes a p sound
S makes the same sound as in snake
T makes the same ‘t’ sound
U makes the same sound as in Snooze
W makes the same sound as in went
Y makes the same sound as in yellow
J, Q, R, V, X and Z are not present and for hardcore Bemba speakers they will often replace these with the sounds of Y, K, L, B/F, “es” and S.
I do not consider myself an expert so I am happy to year people’s thoughts.
So I recently fell behind on my planning. If you haven’t read any of my posts lately, my daughter lost her best friend and our whole family has been mourning; and obviously my daughter has been hit the hardest by this tragic death, we are all trying to support her and each other as best as possible. Honestly, my planning hasn’t been up to scratch and If you ask me what days I worked, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you.
My bible reading has suffered, phone dates with the long distance lover has suffered and probably a whole lot more, like work … definitely work because I can see it reflected on the pay slip … yikes! But honestly, that’s okay. Life doesn’t have to be rigid, fixed squares in a book. Life happens and sometimes we have to throw out the plan in order to make it to shore and plan another day or year …
I now need to re-establish what planning looks like for me and try and stick with it. So that’s my goal today. My first goal for June is to get back to planning and taking stock of my days.