Monday, June 28, 2010
Alfred Cherogony Cherutich, is the name of my father, my hero.
Not just because he is my father, but because of the Journey he traveled through life. From one of the poorest households in a village called Kiptum, Osen, in Baringo District, he managed to study at Alliance High School, began a quest to open a school in his village, rose to be a curator at the National Museums of Kenya at a pretty young age, where he met my lovely mother and convinced her to marry him.
He was a man of many stories, though we didn’t spend much of our formation years together. In 1983 he was involved in a road accident that left him with a Spinal Injury, he couldn’t walk after that and spent 7 years at the Nairobi Spinal Injury Hospital, where we could come once every holiday to visit.
We loved it then, coming to Nairobi to see him, and immensely enjoyed being with our cousins who gave us the whole city touch. But we missed him at home, and though we were young, the 5 of us siblings thought and talked about him loads, we prayed for him always and hoped for the best.
He came home in 1990, then I was in standard 5, in a boarding school called Kitale Primary School.(Kitale Academy).I rememeber that weekend he came, I went with May, who was my best friend (sister almost) to see him at the Mt. Elgon Hospital. It was unbelievable and the joy was palpable.
A few days later he was home. And from then on the 'Sunday Out' days were a treasure to behold. The school holidays were spent making up for the lost time when we didn’t have him home with us. He loved telling stories, and we, the kids, loved to hear them. He told us stories of his up bringing, his struggles, he was a real hustler that man. He was a man who stood for integrity, his outlook on life was amazing even if he was confined to a wheel chair and bed rest.
He taught me to write. He would dictate poetry and prose, and when he would finish I would read them out; he taught me to pronounce words properly, to speak confidently, and to recite. My Poems, my love for writing and my desire for learning are a constant reminder that I am my fathers daughter.
So does my stubbornness. During my teenage years we fought a lot, and more than once he threatened to send me to live in our farm, at a place called Moi’s bridge, where there was only a little hut and the caretaker’s family. We fought about everything, but my grades were always good, he made sure to that.
He taught me to fight, and he taught me to win. And I’m reminded when I win my battles that I am my father’s daughter.
I read Bob Geldof’s autobiography when I was 14. He had a signed copy and I read it from cover to cover, then we would sit and talk about the Boom Town Rats, the Beatles, Memphis and dreams. His Dreams, My dreams. And now, when I sit in history class and I can tell the story of Alexander the Great like I lived in that era, I am reminded, that I am my fathers Daughter.
I was to post this on Fathers’ day in Memory of his years in My Life, I didn’t get around to, but Dad, if you were here, right now, you’d be proud.
I have failed, but I picked myself up and have risen stronger. I have fought, and won many of the fights life spins my way. When your life on earth was over, I refused to see you dead, and you will forever be alive in my eyes, in my heart, and in my dreams. I will hold on to my dreams, just like you did, it reminds me that I am your daughter.
I love you Dad.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It isn't as if the wind cannot speak
Sometimes in a whisper
Barely grazing the bougainvillea purple on the porch
sometimes in a breeze
Still the creepers on the front door of our holiday cottage sway to its voice
Creepers still can speak, but only to the foliage underneath
And this evening, while I sit by the poolside
In this warm African sunset
The wind howls
As the sea comes back home
stories, trapped in the crushing waves
Swish, swash, on the wearing down corals beneath our love nest
white sand on this Watamu shores
The soft leaves of the bottle brush graze the back of my neck
caressing my barely there tan
The birds, they chirp the evening away
have stories to tell
Memories, some sweet, some hot & raunchy, some...they will never tell
And most, I will never know....
my heart longs to hear the tales
of the wind
from far away lands
of the sea, swishing, swaying
going and coming back home
of the creepers on the front door
and the bougainvillea on the porch
of the artsy driftwood so delicately placed above the bed
of the sea shells hanging by the bathroom door
of the canvas painting on the of white arabic walls
I long to hear the stories they can tell
But until then
I shall savor the beauty,
and this stirring within
That comes with the wind, the sea, the birds, the creepers, the bougainvillea......
I shall hide under my thoughts........