A cuisine of herbs…..


Herbal Broth

“Men of genius are admired. Men of wealth envied. Men of power feared, but only men of character are trusted.” – Arthur Friedman

Character is not a gift, far from it. It is the end result of a process, and more often the process is back-ended with loads of trying and very frustrating times. However it is in the process that character is formed and from an engineering or building perspective, forming or forging is tasking on both the smithy or technician as well as the object being worked on.

Children are truly precious and even though I have heard many rueful comments concealing wishes that babies would stay babies, there is no negation of their pricelessness. But alas even at that, those wishes are an aberration in life because change is inevitable. Several years ago, I recall trying to explain to my 4yr old daughter why she needed to eat her veggies. It was both amusing and just a tad annoying seeing her with brows puckered in a frown, assiduously separating the veggies from her meal. A couple of months later, with a hard fought win tucked in my belt, I remember her complaining bitterly that she was outgrowing her fancy shoes because she was eating tomatoes. Today, that’s a memory that she vociferously claims never happened.

I have come across some very fascinating people (pretty sure I am listed under that category in someone else’s journals); a chap who believed water was solely to be used in CPAP machines, humidifiers et al, another who believed bread was created specifically for culling the human race. However one thing that acts as a common factor across all types is that regardless of our perspectives, in order for there to be growth, sometimes we have to make some concessions. Growth in itself is not always that process that we so eagerly await because with growth, there’s always some form of discomfort however yin yang is one of the many attempts at explaining the process. Life consists of many exercises encompassing the need to understand and appropriately apply balancing.

Most often, the largest obstacle to our growth is the image staring back at you when you stand alone in front of a mirror. Ignorance has never been the best of reasons for the mistakes we often make because we are humans however embracing knowledge is setting ourselves free. No matter how hard we battle with the process, we just have to delve deep into that herbal broth because therein lies the very nutrients we need to grow. The more of a struggle we put up, the more exhausted we become and the more of a delay we unknowingly throw in our own journey. Understanding all things is impossible but in order for us to move on, we must embrace hope, trust and faith in The One who we owe everything to.

Right now, it’s quite a struggle for me, because having a sprained shoulder definitely gives me no edge over dystonia. However it has forced me to search out untried ways of reaching my milestones and attaining objectives. In this season, I have had to remind myself that although herbs might be bitter, I had rather look beyond the bitterness and dwell rather on the intrinsic positives that come with ingesting them. Trying to make head of everything at this moment would simply be an exercise in abject futility and so I am yet again reminding myself that waiting might seem pointless but there’s so much more going on that remains unseen. Someday, like the phenomenon of the Chinese bamboo, there would be a visible and significant change in who and what I am today.

Engaging in battles with myself when I so obviously do not have all the answers is not moving on. For there to be a move in the right direction, sometimes we just have to admit that although we have the vision, there’s also the undeniable truth that time and chance happens to everyone. Every life; a piece in the puzzle of God’s masterplan, we each must apply ourselves to the circumstances we find ourselves because in doing that, we do not only recognize divinity but we also positively affect the lives around us. Our positions today are a function of the lives before us and so selflessly we ought to also pay it forward. Ridding ourselves of every bit of resentment and bitterness that we allow build up in the face of opposition is usually a step in the right direction, because failing to do that irreparably hurts us and self-inflicted wounds attest to ignorance, naivety and sometimes just plain old stupidity on our part.

No battles have been won without making room for a retreat when the horns sound. And yes, most battles are won by the side that stays longest in their trenches because sometimes all that is needed is to hunker down when the barrage seems unrelenting and wait for the silence and peace that is the prelude to the joys of victory. In our frenetic lives, we get so enamored with the society’s definition of success that we fail to realize that we are trampling underfoot the very herbs we need for nourishment and growth. And so when we are falling headfirst into the chasm that signals burnout, then we realize the utter folly of our wrong choices. Failure to recognize the need for reassessment, rest and a possible detour is entirely nobody else’s fault but ourselves.

Trying new and unfamiliar ways do not in anyway portend emasculation, rather it is the highly undervalued second opportunity that we so urgently require. Today represents another opportunity to realign ourselves with our purpose, today represents another call to wait in trust because His Promises are true and infallible. Though they tarry, they are in no way having the similitude of or are they denials. With the patience of the lapidarist, a trait that comes with discipline, we must be thankful for what we have before us. And when we start to entertain doubts regarding the safety found in the multitude of counsel, there’s One Counsel that is completely devoid of the slightest of shadows.

Nourishment is not fast food engorgement, and whilst the latter is so easily available, the truth is that the herbal broth (though plain looking and bland tasting) is what is needed to initiate the growth needed to occupy the next season in our lives. For us to grow above and beyond today’s bleakness, there has to be an acceptance that every experience can either be a stepping stone or just another stone in the wall that further shuts out the glimmer of tomorrow’s riches. I choose to make mine a stepping stone and even in the silence of being different, I am thoroughly convinced that when the night seems to embody just weeping, surely joy and growth comes with the morning.

Remember, rather than complain about the thorns among the roses, be thankful for the roses among the thorns!

עד ניפגש שוב, תן אהבה שלו למלא ולשמור אותך!


The Flip Side…..


Age, my dad once said(still hear him) is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Now that I’m on the back end of my race, I appreciate the wisdom within those words however reality bites just when you think you are all alone. It’s the wee hours of my birthday and it’s quite surreal because the silence of the night can either be unnerving or welcome. For me, it has always been the latter and the ticking of the clock reminds me that time inevitably continues its passage and with its passage comes the realization that being alone is not always dreary or boring. I do apologize for the long break however writing without a suitable device can be a turn-off.

I have absolutely no regrets because every time life tries to make me accede to regrets, I choose instead to see a learning point. My life sometimes feels like a hospital corridor, busy during the day and as the day winds down so does the traffic till eventually it is just devoid of human presence. The flip side is not the predictability but rather the incongruous relationship between the interaction that occurs during the day and the silence of the night to muse over. So much to muse about and quite a lot probably still left to do however I’ve learned that life is best lived when you acknowledge that all we have is a collection of moments. Some seized hurriedly, others like the fermenting of wine gradually but surely assuming shape and content.

Contentment is one of those words that should not be used lightly because you can put up a facade resembling it and yet without an iota of doubt, you know that much effort can be applied to things that really do not matter. The worst thing a man can do to himself is convince himself fo believe in a made-up lie. Does the sun cast its warmth and glow on a select few? Do the stars twinkle for just a select few? No, it is our choices in response to the fluid constants of life that determines how much we are committed to being purposeful. Does time and the light of day wait for the man who slumbers all day? Undeniably, he who chooses to toil at night most likely has his own reasons.

I am thankful for the lives I’ve been blessed to encounter. Grateful for the opportunity to empathize with those who continuously battle the demon hordes of sickness, pain and death. To every season, there is always the start and the finish. Where you decide to stack your chips is a choice you have to make yourself otherwise you face an absolutely horrifying life of trying unsuccessfully to make sense of the choices you inadvertently allowed others make for you. I made my own choices and true, not all were right however I did it my own way. There is truly beauty in brokenness and as long as I put the brokenness in retrospect, I can focus on the beauty.

For me, this is a new year and today as always, I reassess and reevaluate, not for lack of activities but rather to ensure that I am still aligned with my identity and purpose. I know that there can be no darkness without light, so I choose to look for the light even when the darkness threatens to overwhelm me. It will never be about how far but rather how well and with that in mind, I choose to wear myself out as against rusting out. No man, to the best of my puny knowledge, has had it all nicely put together like a rubic cube. Regardless of the roughness or smoothness of my path, I choose to make it a path well walked and with every new day, I choose not to give up. And when those times come again when I’m all alone (because they must surely come), I can encourage myself by saying, “I did it my own way!”




My Life With A Movement Disorder

I hate when people are put in boxes. When they are overgeneralized as lazy, unintelligent, worthless or any other adjective you can think of. We tend to want to put anyone who is different from us into a category that is lesser. We most often either judge someone and do nothing or judge and try to help. I don’t believe either is okay. Doing nothing is simply uncaring and unloving. Trying to help on the other hand is generally just to inflate our own ego’s. When we try to help someone we try to make them into a morally better person which too often is just a version of ourselves. Before writing someone off as hopeless or in need of your help, first try to understand where they are coming from.

I’m a white, middle class, male who lives in a society dominated by white males. I know little of…

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Bon Anniversaire!


“In the ladder of lives we are given to climb, each life counts for only a second of time. The only one thing to do in that brief little space is to make the world glad that we ran the race.” – E.W Wilcox

Chronicles Of A Dystonia Muse

14605022_s editedA year ago today I pressed the publish button on my newly created, blissfully pink WordPress site, a simple motion that shook my very core with far greater velocity than Dystonia. I’d embraced a new self-view removing shame from my equation, embarking upon an exploration of alien territories within myself and new roadmaps to human understanding.

My blog marked the end of one odyssey and the beginning of another, perhaps even more transformative than the first. I set out with lofty goals – no less than unburdening my soul, sharing deeply felt insights and describing my strange disorder without it sounding like a virulent medical horror, starting with the post pinned to the top of this site. I ventured into foreign lands endlessly more foreboding than the manipulative villain lurking in my brain. I’ve tackled my deepest nightmares of how I might present to others, wildly misplaced self-phobias, misinformed perceptions of disability, even notions…

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This is going to be like a journal of some sorts and as the word goes, it is an expression of my various encounters and my continued triumph over the neurological disorder termed dystonia. For the benefit of the countless who are still  ignorant, remember that the message is always in the details. DYSTONIA IS NOT A DISEASE, IT IS A degenerative DISORDER! And going by the dictionary definition, a disorder is a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning while a disease is an impairment of health usually caused by a pathogen. Kindly desist from making some of us pull out our hair in frustration and it is worse when confused by a medical practitioner who ought to be in tune with dynamism that accompanies everything in life, careers and professions inclusive.

Which reminds me of a hilarious episode in a divorce proceedings which I am keenly following whenever possible. The parties in dispute are individuals just like you and I, and as the case where maturity usually precedes the natural bestial nature of man, the man has opted to seek redress and dissolution by going through the appropriate channels whilst the woman, a self acclaimed and proven pseudologist, (note that not every female is a lady) despite being an epitome of shamelessness and a walking catastrophe cannot but revert to being bestial irrespective of her ‘decent’ origins. Well that said for the two, the counsel representing the woman (again note that birds of similar plumage can only flock together) was so severely trounced by his counterpart – a younger attorney with decades separating them in terms of practice that it was actually bemusing to be reminded that stagnancy in life is worse than being dead.

No matter how hard truth seeks to be muffled, in the end, freedom and true liberation comes only from acceptance and acknowledgement of the truth. As we watch with bated breath, the health struggles of Mandiba, the legacies fought for and left behind can never be eroded. That the actions of a simple illiterate black lady who refused to submit to the oppressions of apartheid has become one of the most notable events in black Africa only drives home the point that in every one of us lies the resolve to make a difference in the world. If each one of us can tell ourselves that truth, then what a wonderful world we will live in. A simple black African-American Minister, just like anyone of us dreamers dared to be different and today, decades after his demise, his words still ring loud and true.

As I contemplate on the events going on in my life, and the seeming uncertainty of the future, I can still proclaim that there is hope as long as you can dare to grasp it. Angelina Jolie, in yet one of her sterling performances in “Changeling” ended the movie with these lines…….’now I have gotten something I have always looked for. HOPE’. What else do we live for but hope that there will be a better tomorrow? What else will make a previously healthy individual, now seemingly bested  by dystonia, still able to make his voice heard and proclaim to as many that life is not determined by the state of your physical condition but by the strength of your spirit. And what determines the strength of your spirit, is the source of your strength. I know what my source is and I choose Him over and over again.

Little gestures of kindness, a friendly pat on the back, a friendly smile are inexpensive acts which cost us nothing but are received with much appreciation. I made a new friend in Zimbabwe and her husband is dystonic, and all she needed were just a few words and some empathy because whether we like it or not, irrespective of what we are going through, there is always strength to offer a helping hand. What helping hand have you offered in the past twenty-four hours? How many words have you directed towards someone on the other end of the divide? What act of kindness have you shown someone else apart from yourself in the past twenty-four hours? These are the very things by which our own lives will be measured at the end of all things because it is not so much as how much you intend to but what you really get done that matters.

One of my very good friends, Hody is finally getting married and I celebrate with her because hers is a story of choosing to triumph over life’s unfairness. In as much as she can look back at it all with a strength of spirit formed over the years, I can attest to this fact that we are the only ones who can change our lives however we should not be content with just our lives but endeavour to reach that one person who is also going through stuff. Hody, knowing you has been a privilege indeed and just like you always say, remember to do whatever makes you sleep at night especially as you wade the waters to begin a new life with your physician and teamie.

I am seeing a new Neurologist in a couple of days and as I anxiously prepare for that meeting, I know that my choices have already been made. For the rest of us out there, who are contemplating life’s sometimes aggravating tantrums, remember that the will to live is also a choice but the passion to dare to be different is a battle that will be continually fought and even now, you can determine to be the winner because the truth is that the victory has already been won, it is now up to you to cease that victory or continue to wallow in the squalor that life has tossed you into. Get out of the muck and live a life of purpose.

I leave you with the words of Johann Gottfried Von Herder, “Without inspiration, the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.” Do yourself a world of good and inspire yourself, utilize the best powers of your mind and dare to be you.

Also remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….




DIFFERENTIt is yet another beautiful day as I look out my windows and just enjoy the stillness of the moment. To many, it is just another day but for a few, it is a new day completely replete with its own portion of ups and downs, joys and despair, achievements and failures – summarily it is a different day. With a temperature of 17oc, it is truly an amazing day to possibly get atop a power bike and let your hair down even as the wind courses through your hair and reminds you with startling clarity that you are alive in today. Remember that today was yesterday’s tomorrow so if for nothing at all, bask in the fact that you made it through.

I recall vividly with a smile creasing the corners of my mouth, one of the very first lessons instilled in me by arguably one of the greatest men that has walked and is still walking the earth. My father! “Always remember that the greatest battle we all have to fight is to constantly be ourselves in a world that persistently and consistently wants to make you someone else.”

Now, I can understand the meaning of every word in that sentence and wish today to share it with you even as you take out time to go through this piece. Of-course, there are a million and one things vying for your attention but Opportunity Cost….right? As at the last time, I paid attention, it was said that billions of humans inhabit the earth and guess what, there are no two identical humans. Siamese twins? Nope, I am getting down to the nitty gritty of high school biology – the chromosomes and genetic make-up can never be the same. In other words, there are billions of different humans inhabiting this earth and so the questions comes a-begging, why settle for something less than who you were made to be? Different.

Last night, I watched Piers Morgan as he gave room for David Cook (I think) to let us into his mind (he is presently incarcerated for life for murdering both his parents) and what really stunned me was when he was given the opportunity to reach out to those who could be contemplating similar acts. In his words, ‘I know what you may be going through right now, and the events that may be pushing you to take that plunge. I can assure you that I have been there and it is not worth it……..’ Now that brief clip reminds me yet again that irrespective of the circumstances life seems to always leave you in, there is the issue of making choices. And because we are made to be different, we all have to make different choices.

Now one of the ‘beautiful’ things about being dystonic, is that without seeking my consent, I am compelled to be different; the very thing I have always strove to be. Now it makes me doubly different, isn’t that just a blessing. And even with this incapacitating pain that recently began on my right foot and the traction devices that I wear regularly to ease the cervical tremors and the pains of sitting and/or standing (I only need a costume to complete the look because the world really needs super heroes). Living with dystonia is a blessing in disguise, funny right, considering that there are only about 70,000 UK residents living with dystonia so that makes us a small community and being able to be on the same page with even a tenth of that is simply an awesome opportunity and a unique pedestal to reach across and touch the lives of just a few persons beginning with that one person.

Why are we so scared to be different? What prevents us from daring to be different? Care to know what my answer is? Nobody or nothing, just YOU. I was talking with an old high school mate and making him aware of dystonia and as he was expressing sincere concern for my well being, I reminded him that sometimes, especially when least expected, life has the funny habit of throwing you a curved ball and you had better swing as hard as you can because that ball just has to be dealt with. And mind you, those balls are hard and can really hurt when taken in the face of the body. So keep swinging, practice makes improvement.

Vivian Stanshall captures it so succinctly in these words I’m not different for the sake of being different, only for the desperate sake of being myself. I can’t join your gang: you’d think I was a phony and I’d know it.” Now what better way to express life’s greatest battle – a desperate fight to be different, heck! That is how you were made. The worst life lived is being on the band wagon with everyone else, you do have company and you are just another face in the crowd but then what happens to the real you. Sucks! Why not dare to be yourself? Be proud of who you are because these days, if you don’t blow your trumpet (by being yourself), someone else is going to take that unused trumpet from your limp hands and blow it for himself.

Begin today when you arise from your bed or wherever you passed the night and look yourself in the eye – use a mirror or get to the nearest puddle, and behold an astonishing Masterpiece. If the Louvre in France can hold such a collection of acclaimed masterpieces created by individuals just like you, what prevents you from creating your own niche regardless of how small it may be? The world is large enough for everyone and sometimes when I pass by the cemetery, I wonder how many undiscovered geniuses are entombed there with nothing but just a few words etched on their headstones and some distant memories left behind with just a few persons. You can begin today, but remember that even as kids, your first fistfights hurt like nothing you were prepared for. So be prepared, this is a fight that is going to call upon every lesson that you learnt or should have learnt along the way.

For many of us, Elijah Woods is just a kid but hear what he has to say (which again reminds me that age and wisdom are not directly proportional) “I think being different, going against the grain of the society is the greatest thing in life”…hmmm! Age is indeed just a number, what counts for us are the amounts of trials we have gone through and emerged scarred but triumphant. Today, we are yet again faced with a choice. Deeply contemplate these, the choice to be you, different and unique or to be just another fleeting memory in the minds of a few. There is the choice today, to dust yourself up and start to live a life. The greatest tool in the world lies within you, remember that centuries ago, people just like us without the most obsolete equipment but just their hands almost put up the world’s tallest building. They wanted to be different, what is that thing preventing you from reaching out and changing lives for good, starting with that one person.

As I exchange experiences with my friends all over the world living with dystonia, my message remains the same – We are the ones responsible for making the choice to live a life that counts despite the handicaps and limitations we face. Nobody can change your life for you, only you can. And it must begin with a critical self assessment of who you really are and even if I have never met you before, I can say this about you – there is just one of you and that makes you THE ONE (like Keanu Reeves role in the Matrix). Make the right choices, ascertain what you were created for and plunge into that uncharted territory. You are a winner, I am rooting for you.

And remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….





Mark Twain wrote this ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect’. Kinda whimsical, many would say but right on point I opine. There is a long list of words that even though they lack the property of malleability, have been persistently knocked out of shape so as to suit the whims of varying categories of individuals. Awakening this morning to the beautiful sound of rain falling, the glistening drops of each pearl of water collectively falling upon the good, the bad and ugly – one cannot help but contemplate on the mysteries of life. Why do good things happen to bad people? Why is it that success seems to favour but a few? What is so alluring about success that makes her twin; failure an orphan? To get a better perspective, I checked and affirmed that the etymology of the word is from the Latin phrase succedere ‘going beneath’ which has metamorphosed into the word ‘success’ which means ‘not going under’. Now the question arises, under what? Who sets the benchmark? For me, the answer is as clear as the glistening drops of rain falling from the sky…..YOU DO!

If you have been to the Victoria Station or Oxford Street, you literally can lose a child if you are not firmly attached to her. Even on the escalators, those of us who are no longer as nimble have to keep to the right except you want to hear ‘get out of the way mate’ in that beautiful London accent and with all the hustle and bustle, you can only but contemplate the varying driving motives behind all the rush. Life is to be lived and the resources to sustain ourselves abound all around us and whilst we adhere to the infallible instruction of ‘he that does not work must not eat’, I tend to draw the line between being enslaved by our ambitions to the detriment of all else. For me, the question we all ought to ask ourselves is who is really in charge of our drive and if the answer is a hesitant yes, then take a moment to really hear me out. Being successful is a function of who sets the benchmark for you and if you did set the benchmark, what else have you sacrificed at the altar of that benchmark.

Living in London has been so enlightening because irrespective of whether you are in the top echelons of society or at the bottom rungs, there are always the bills to be met and so being in a situation of utter dependence on others is certainly not a viable choice for many of us. Yet again, what are the needs of man? And if we acknowledge that our wants are insatiable then why do we choose to esteem our wants higher than all else? I remember being introduced to the subject of Economics prior to my seating for my O’levels and what really intrigued me was the topic on Opportunity Cost. For everything we aspire for or aim to attain, there is something else less prioritized and the issue is what do we give up to meet the distorted use of the word Success. Right outside my windows is a birch tree, and every morning without fail, the twitter of the birds remind me that no matter how hard I strive, true freedom is in the ability to do those things that I would love to do without fear or favour even as they remind me that my value is worth more than one of those cheery winged friends and yet without ceasing, they have something to always be thankful for.

Now, being a success in life is contextual but for me, I dare to say that, take a glance at both your arms because right at the end of those arms or arm are the very things that you should be most thankful for. You are a determinant of who you want to be, whether employed or not, salary earner or not, wage earner or not, it is the satisfaction of being content at the end of every day. Delighting not in the fact that you have finished a day’s work but that you have been able to accomplish something worthwhile not just in your own life but in the life of the very people around you.

The Word says that an infidel is one who is unable to cater for his family. What then do you need to cater for your loved ones? It is the ability to share a word of upliftment with a loved one who seems low, being free to share your time with them, enjoy peace and joy with them because love cannot be bought and a meal of herbs eaten in a happy home is a better treat than a banquet in a mansion shadowed by strife and inordinate desires. Freely we have received; freely we also ought to give. Behind many of those gild gated mansions are a world of chaos, spite and longing. As you desire that Ferrari or Cadillac roaring past, be glad for the fact that even whilst on the bus – you are happy and content. Aspire for the very things that matter in life, friends.

As I struggle to put my words down in meaningful order, I remember some new friends I have made along the way. Being able to make them understand what dystonia is and hearing them say I am an inspiration to them is one of the greatest joys that I get to receive in daily doses. Amidst the hurts and pain and sometimes apprehension, lies a spirit that acknowledges that it is not about my status in life but what I am able to do with those I am privileged to encounter. That for me, truly defines how successful a life one is living. Just like the little puppy that was chasing its tail in circles, so many of us are sacrificing everything meaningful to reach for that which is already ours. Just live your life with a purpose and success will truly follow you.

My friend, Jess is in Malaysia on holidays and we all partook in the countdown because life consists of these little moments where we can truly spread our hands and exhilarate in the beauty all around us. Dystonia or not, we are committed to living and not just living but living a fulfilling life. I look around me and I see not just obstacles in my way but the opportunity to put a smile on someone else’s face. I see the opportunity not to be stared at with pity but an opportunity to bolster someone’s spirit that despite how unfair you think life has been to you, your very life is a success story if you choose to make it one. I want to end with this challenge to you “BE DIFFERENT!”

And remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….



In Another’s Moccasins(2)………


Hollas amigos,

Phew! how quickly time flies. (“Time flies, but the memories collected along the way can never be replaced” – Ashley Tisdale). A week has gone by and this should have been posted before now but I’ve been kinda busy, dealing with the ups and downs of life and living with dystonia. There is absolutely nothing comparable to walking a journey with a loved one and you are more blessed when you are privileged to have more than one. The moccasins are pretty worn out now but there is this thing with breaking in new footwear that usually leaves one sentimentally attached to the old especially when they have walked through varying seasons of life.

It is a beautiful day indeed, the thrill of opening your eyes and beholding a new day can never be recaptured especially if you choose to appreciate the fine moments that God blesses us with each moment. Life is good, right? Choose to acquiesce and see how better your week turns out because we are in charge as delegated by the One who reigns, so choose to proclaim that life is good irrespective of what the circumstances may be saying because that is just what they are circumstances. I really wish that sometimes we could borrow a leaf from Professor Dumbledore and just pick out memories and place in that bowl so as to avoid gushing endlessly once we get started on a subject because life consists of inter-related memories.

One of my friends just had her Botox treatment session, botoxulin helps ameliorate the tremors so it is a phase of management procedures for people living with dystonia. Just wait for it………………her session consists of taking 30 injections, yes THIRTY. I have taken only four and I know how many macho men are still scared of needles, so imagine taking 30 at a go and regularly at that. Now do you agree that you have more than a reason to say thanks to God for health even if your moccasins are fraying or your cuffs are better folded than buttoned down. Take it from me, get out of that self-induced pity party and live life with eyes wide open. Breathe and exhilarate with each breath of fresh air, some cannot. Listen for the chirping of the birds and the insects, even the occasional rodent that is a nuisance with your trash and appreciate these little moments, many would die for just an opportunity to.

I have got this traction device that never ceases to amaze my brother whenever he sees me in it and I have to remind him that it is no toy, but that is the way of life, we kinda prefer those things that we certainly do not want. Walking in another’s moccasins is way different from admiring them and so I kindly ask that whilst you hustle and bustle in order to get those resources in, take a look around and spot that one person who would do better with an encouraging word. Just like Mma, the beautiful air hostess (I think she is still single and she was pretty well-mannered) who almost refused me boarding her tiny aircraft because I looked like a fragile version of robocop. Eventually, she turned out to be quite a wonderful companion all through the flight and she did promise to read up on dystonia and take time to be more accommodating. Mma, do well to drop me a line or two because if you are as true as you portrayed yourself then you would make a very good companion for a deserving fellow and I might know a few *winks*

Are you familiar with these words?

” We all face stormy times in our lives. Storms that can seem impossible to bear, however once the storm is over (cos they surely will), we wonder to ourselves how we got though then and managed to survive. One thing is for certain, those storms we go through will change our lives and occasionally, we will not be the same people who walked into them” – Anon E. Moss……italics added and mine.

It is however more despairing when we do the natural thing and look out with troubled souls to those who we feel will help prop us up only to get the inevitable result;  the arm of flesh will always fail and just as the tides and seasons are determined by God, so also is He waiting for us to look to Him for help during those inevitable storms. I did the unusual yesterday(after reading a very good book by John Bevere) and called up a couple of my old buddies who just happened to be very absent during the begin of this storm and I told them that I actually had resented them for their indifference but now I can look back at still be thankful that they were indifferent because it has made me more knowledgeable about adverse times and the privilege of being alone save for a few. Now I can truly understand and connect with people who are experiencing rough patches im their lives, because these storms can strengthen or break you, again it is yours to choose.

Without them  choosing to be indifferent, I would never have come across some very outstanding individuals in my sojourn with dystonia. These people have also made me realise that ‘truly there can and are prophets in Bethlehem’, all it takes is just for you to choose not to be overwhelmed by your circumstances and appreciate that you can still do the little things possible and open up your heart to experience the love in the hearts of the few that God brings along your way.  And whilst my moccasins may be wearing out, I am glad for the opportunity to walk in them and be sustained all through. For as fleeting as the days may be, the discomforts and the incessant pain a constant reminder of the frailty of my humanity, the constant sacrifices of loved ones and the joy of finding love in a hopeless place – no better truth can be said than this “I am ever thankful for this process because I am stronger and better and more knowledgeable, and the love I have discovered on this journey will never be exchanged for anything”.

Although it is now a year since the best teacher I have ever had passed on, I choose to live my life in a way that would do him proud because he bequeathed a legacy that will last as long as life and in his own words, I have learnt ‘don’t beat him up, he is a madman’. Adieu Hilary E. Nzenwa!

For those of you who are currently being  buffeted by the storms of life, take a breath and glance down and be thankful for those moccasins on your feet.

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” – Stephen R. Covey
Remember that there is a purpose to everything that happens in life and we were created to live for His pleasure and not just to exist.


פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

Nine Lives or what?


I have got these feline furry and nocturnal friends who seem to have taken a fancy to my driveway for regular jousting bouts and it is always preceded by these eerie sounds (now I think I know why they are most probable companions for those in the dark arts) and it usually has me up and watching cos there is always a thing or two to learn from life and it is simply horrifying how many of us walk through life with our eyes firmly shut. Inevitably, the end is always the same; Ginger slinks away whilst Blacky enjoys the victory of a conquered territory…..but the next night they are at it again. I sincerely hope that there will never be anything like feliscatusophiles ever especially with flashbulbs always going off from my window in the wee hours of the morning…..lol! However at the current rate of decadence, am guessing it will just be a matter of time and some required publicity…..

An acquaintance of mine recently returned from a three-month stint in the London Chest Hospital, and no he is not a cardio-specialist/intern or tourist, he is recuperating from a double bypass (lovers of House, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs – can I hear an Amen!). Now considering his age and background, it is yet another astounding display of God’s love for us regardless of the millions out there who refuse to acknowledge this truth. We are simply because He is and will forever be. There is something about having a life transforming event in man’s life that brings him to careful speculation of what priorities really make up life. There is something about sorrow that causes wisdom to permeate all the carefully layered years of crap whether we want to or not, if you are still reading with a smirk on your face – try crossing the A140 at noon with a blindfold on and then continue reading.

In the words of the preacher, it is better to be in the house of mourning than in the arena of gaiety because the transitional realism of life is starkly uncovered and much wisdom can be learnt (even that is a matter of choice). For those who love practical sessions, try going to sleep with the knowledge that you may never wake up because that is really what major surgery is like. Now I have grown a wee fond of him although proximity usually evokes such affection especially when there is more of sanity than insanity manifested by both parties and it is always a good thing when I saunter along with my staff of authority announcing me and spend some time with him. I usually find such brief periods stimulating because of his longer sojourn here and yet another opportunity to learn something new or refresh the old even.

During one of such camaraderie moments, we got talking about two of his previous tenants who immediately reminded me of Ginger and Blacky. Their daily romps were an inevitability and it was only a matter of time before the Met guys would be called in because they would go at each other day after day despite the fact that they lived next to each other. Why? Firstly because they were ladies (no pun intended pretty damsels) and secondly because they were both ‘single’ (no pun intended, all the single ladies…..if he wants you, he had better put a ring on it). Now what was the aggravating issue, it was simply a case of morals. Ginger, although a mother, would leave her kids (yeah 2 kids) unattended to at night and go in search of male company and naturally Blacky would have no option but to keep an ear out for the lil ones. And like it is popularly acclaimed ‘this is London, you ought to get paid for doing anything.’

Fast forward eight years after, they were both evicted for being public nuisances, and 46-year-old Ginger is still at it. Selena is 8 years old, a budding song writer and Jordan is 11, an intelligent well-mannered south-paw. I have also come to love these kids because even in the face of such despicability, you can still glimpse the beauty of their innocence and forming character and it is a wonder that Ginger still believes that they are blissfully unaware of her line of work but my acquaintance says “well she must pay rent and pay the bills….”

This brings me to the question, why do we often choose to play russian roulette with our lives believing that maybe we are like Felis silvestris catus and have spares somewhere in the probable event that the gun goes off because come to think of it, there are six chambers and one-sixth is worse than a zero. Why do we spend so much time pursuing the wrong things only to spend later years musing about them after a life transforming event, mind you, not many survive these events so it is a case of being like flotsam on the waves. Getting it right early is better than waiting for that transforming event, you may make it to the shore or get lost at sea. If you do make it to the shore, you may make it dead, barely alive or worse still decomposing.

Taking a look at Lady Gaga’s song, I want to ask why settle for the edge of glory when you can bask in it and leave a life and legacy worthy of emulation? Why opt for a life of derision hiding behind the all time lie of ‘I have got no choice’? Why spend your life hoping that just maybe you are one of the extra special ones with nine lives and when you get to the last life, it’s all gonna fall in place? It sure does not need to take that event to bring us to serious contemplation of why we are here because in the words of Dr Seuss “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”.

I have to hustle because I am meeting an amazing Russian today but remember……….we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.


פרידה עד שנפגש שוב ….




…….A Night With Beverly TrotmanIMG-20130127-00407


Nothing absolutely prepares you for the delightfully delectable and heavenly notes that emanate from the lips of the once ordinary everyday mother and middle school teacher. Every note, pitch perfect and voluptuous in its delivery and even in her simple all black ensemble singing alongside her eighteen year old daughter from a marriage spanning twenty years, nothing can be taken from her well deserved spot in the limelight. She was once the cynosure of all eyes on the globally acclaimed UK singing/talent show – the X factor and ironically this was right on the heels of a devastating year marked by both the passing on of her granny and a father she never really knew.

Assailed by the tidal waves of life that most often than not confronts every individual at one point or the other, she battled through it all despite not having the succour and warmth of the normal nuclear home – a teen mother she has no memories of (who passed on when she was only 5years old), who gave her away at 10days old to her grandparents where she became the 11th child in an already large, strict but loving Christian home. Striving through the tumultuous identity of being both a niece and a sibling, it was simply a journey that prepared her for the unique persona that she has become. A father who never was; alienated by choice and ravaged by the demons of alcohol and a life based on persistent wrong calls, but through it all she was equipped with something unique and life defining; a knowledge that there is One who administers over the affairs of man and whose love is incomparable but palpable and sure. A life manifesting the joys of salvation acknowledged at the same age of a generation before hers, despite the Christian upbringing – hers was a choice personal and with knowledge but complete surrender to God.

It is true that the choices we make definitely shape who we become and her choices irrespective of the hard knocks only served to bolster her faith and fuel her desires to be who God wanted her to be. As a parent and teacher, she eagerly gave what she had received – an incomprehensible peace, compassion for kids and a faith in He who is. Seeking first the Kingdom of the Sovereign King and its righteousness, she sought to impart the real meaning of life in Christ Jesus in her home and her school. One clear fact stands out in her story, and that is God prepares and processes you for a purpose but yet again it’s yours to choose, hence the clear voice of wisdom still shouting out in the streets “the reverent fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, seek her and in all thy getting, get understanding for the fear of the Lord is like a fountain of life that keeps us from the snares of death.

From the security of her family and the world of teaching, she was thrust into a world that is easily recognised by today’s society – a stage characterised by glitz and glamour, pressured by the demands of a decadent society that so eagerly clamours for the bizarre. She became a contestant on the X Factor and borne on the wings of grace and a garment of favour and an undeniable manifestation of God’ s excellence, she revealed to the world the potential God had deposited within her. The middle school teacher/ mother/ wife turned singing icon, week after week,  braved the world that so desperately and consistently battles to make you become someone else other than who you truly are and triumphed she did – becoming a finalist on the show. Her unflinching faith and knowledge of God was a critical key in keeping her from being besmirched by the world system.

Riding on the crest of global fame, being tossed to and fro is inevitable except you have an anchor but for her, there was a rock that is higher than high and a foundation that is firm and sure – Christ Jesus. She found succour in God’s grace, and sought to ratify God’s calling upon her life, turning down a pathway to ‘stardom’ and choosing to return back to her family and thus stands today not just as an X-factor finalist but as an accomplished mother, wife and minister of God. An instrument of praise and profound worship for the Lord and in the vocabulary of today’s youth, a ‘sick’ vocalist. Succinctly put, glitz and glamour undeniably ‘enhances’ an individual’s allure depending on the audience you choose but what distinguishes whilst definitely and certainly propping a man up is simply the inexhaustible and profound grace of an awesome God.