Voting with your feet……

Standard

Use your feet, don’t stop at the mouth

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”  – Elie Wiesel

I have just washed down my clonazepam and yet I am still up, the warm eyes of my bedside radio faithfully tell me it is a few minutes past 3am and there is just something really serene about the night-time – it is the best time to actually have a conversation, and I know only One who is up at every moment and I am truly grateful for the alone time because usually it is a time of replenishment especially after struggling through the week on a gas tank that gets depleted faster each time. I really should have gotten round to this earlier on but I just needed to really try to step it down a notch. I take my last 300mg of gabapentin round about midnight and then wait, watch and pray for the sleep to really come. By the way, you know there is this thing about true victory – in the effort, lies victory. And for me, undeniably it has been a full week and just like the tastefully prepared Subway sandwich, there has been loads of sweet and sour and spicy but together it tastes great.  The fact remains that life is all about moments and so we have to choose those that will push us just that lil bit further down our path.

Going by the words of Aristotle “man is by nature a political animal” and therefore the way we live our lives to a very large extent determines what party you belong to – the crowd, the nonchalant and indifferent, the vociferous or the egregious,the nay sayers or the doers. We all each need to truly realise where we are before we can then aspire to be where we want to belong. However this is not a political pitch, I am a firm proponent of being a flag bearer of the truth and therefore in today’s world that makes you alone most times. Beautiful memories of days of activism still serve me and yet I still commit myself to bestir me from the lethargy that so warmly embraces most of us. Just choosing not to do anything and even when there is a need, we prefer to ask more questions (and usually end there) as against just doing something. I would love to appreciate my friend and brother – Uch for giving me the title for this piece and be assured that the word ‘vote’ certainly transcends ballot boxes anyway.

It is always more intriguing trying to express my journey through these words but I am assured that there are many who are presently sitting on a pile of lemons, battered and bruised by the impact of being constantly hit in the face with lemons and just out of ideas and it is really to you that I speak to because there again, you have to vote (and in this context, it simply means doing more than just talking) to either wallow in a putrid atmosphere of rotting lemons or get to work, making lemonades. I just responded to my cuz that the lemonade has become so normal to me now that I have chosen to spice it up with a little tequila……funny right, considering I do not imbibe alcohol. Thank God it is Saturday morning – it is a new day and every morning that I can behold the rays of the sun awakening in its splendour, I know that I can and will make it.  And like Dan Ruther, I would much rather wear out than rust out.

But what happens when you cannot help but acquiesce to the fact that your feet simply cannot go any further? That was the amusing event that occurred on Monday. It takes me about 390 seconds to the shopping mall and as usual, because I do have to really rest, I usually kinda try to make my outings count even though I get to do it alone but hey! we all have to vote and our feet need to take us from point A to B in order to make that vote count – this includes me with my trusty staff of authority that is already showing signs of strain and wear but I dunno about you, every accoutrement of mine says ‘I am still here for you’ and from experience, I have come to actually believe what they tell me in comparison to the deluge of unkept promises and insincere statements that I am inundated with almost daily. And so I decided to see if I could do just a lil bit of shopping as I was almost out of instant meals and fruits. Now the weird thing about this disorder is that no matter how much you would love to ignore it and just carry on for once like the average human being – before you know it, it eerily whispers its commands to my neurological system and the alarm bells go clanging away. The state of independence and emergency rule is declared – you cannot help it.

So there I was, after barely being able to cross the road, plunked down on a road bench wondering how I was going to get home. And I really cared less for the little groceries I picked up, I just needed to get home but how was the issue. The cab companies were not too forthcoming and so I prepared myself to wait for some miracle to take place because miracles do occur every moment. And then It hit me, I had scheduled a house call by my friend and brother and so immediately, with barely responsive fingers (thank God for bluetooth ear pieces), I called out and he rushed to my assistance – helping my quivering  mass into his car and home. Phew! that was really a close call. Anyway we got talking and at the end of the nice company, absolutely unexpected gift and him being there for me, I took away that phrase that until each of us begin to vote with our feet, we are pretty much consigned to a world where anything goes. A case of whichever goat cries the loudest is taken to be the hungriest. And here again, I am completely flummoxed….why do we spend more time making all these neighing noises and yet still standing where we are. One of the fundamental principles of life is that a real man puts his money where his mouth is and in this case, money represents action. We are constantly inundated with words from all sides but the real difference is the ones that actually get put into action.

Like I said, it has been a week – commenced the novel Redcord therapy (redcord.com) here in the UK and undeniably it is something new and worth a shot. Why curl yourself into a ball, throw a pity party and allow yourself be thumped into submission when you can simply get up and actually do something about your present circumstances. Vote with your feet, enough of the semantics and the speeches – it is time to do something and even if it has to be baby steps – get your feet moving. In a bid to fight insomnia, I have downloaded ‘Sleep Time by Azunmio’ which helps record my sleep cycle and tell me how I am faring and even though the stats are not very encouraging, at the very least I am doing something about something. Thanks Vas! I do understand how difficult is it make you understand how difficult it is to really get that sleep but I am thankful for the few hours I do get to notch because I am aware that there are a few who cannot even get an hour. So irrespective of how beaten down you may be, just take a second to realise that there is someone out there who could with a sincere expression of love, humanity, kindness and compassion because it is only in giving off ourselves that we can truly make room for something newer and different.

I recall the teenager who after loads of tests (as usual) was finally diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia, which is an entire reverse of insomnia but I applaud her resilient spirit because nobody can take that from you. And what an awesome experience it has been for me, choosing to place that resilience (it needs upping sometimes) in the Hands of the One who is sure to stand by you through the gloom of the valley of the shadow of death because there is really no hiding place from Him but you have got to vote with your heart and feet and then trust Him to do the rest. It is definitely no bed of roses but you know that you are never walking alone, and that feeling is priceless because no matter how much, a friend, brother, acquaintance pledges to be there for you – this is your journey and they have got yours so save yourself those heart- wrenching moments of despair when they just cannot fit you into their plans, remember it is their plans, not yours and there is only One whose plans for you are true and He will also be there walking you through them but you have to vote with your feet and heart, begin with a sincere conversation with Him and give Him room. I have done that and it sure keeps me going when all else fails.

I have learnt to continue giving for as long as I have got something to give and amazingly there is always something to give but you just cannot let the thought simmer forever in your heart, get those feet moving. Stand for something at the very least or like the crowd on the bandwagon, you will fall for anything. If you have truly experienced the pleasure of seeing that glow light up another’s face when you can share something positive in deeds then that alone is a dead ringer that you are more than just mere statistics. As each day affronts us with its myriad of opportunities, let us do less of words and more of action because you will be remembered not by the words you spoke but by the actions you took – and it begins with casting off that indifference and nonchalance and actually doing something. Thank you for the likes of gorgeous Ure, Funsh with his persistence even if he always has to say the last word, Estee for simply wanting to be different, solid Lola, amazing Shirls, Dee and HCM and a host of many who have been raised up for times such as these. I am giving back too and will continue to because life in itself is a test and you either choose to take it or be forced to take it. It is such a beautiful day indeed and yet again, I see hope even as the morning rays make their way into my room. Grab the opportunity and actually do something for a change – givers never lack and that is why I have chosen to be one. Anyway I really cannot afford to lack more than I already have but with each day, I know it is gonna be better than the last.

Remember what woes of miseries betide they who are simply existing when you can truly experience a life of purpose.  I cap my thoughts for now and see what catnaps i will get 😀

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

Catching The Glimpse…..

Standard

Oh my! Spent last night counting down the hours as I sought the very elusive sleep but that is not the point behind my getting on to my keypad. Yesterday morning I did something that was completely out of character for me.  Mind you, I had a torrid week – frequent bouts of sciatica, each one seemingly more severe than the other and even immediately after my hurriedly scheduled session with my favourite chiropractor and friend, I was almost scissored in two as I was hit by another bout however I guess that is how the proverbial cookie crumbles. Life is consistent in its assigned task of the gradual process of crumbling cookies, whichever way the cookie does stand, someday it gets crumbled – an inevitable end! But in the words of Martin Luther King Jnr “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man (situation/dystonia/FMD) can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” (emphasis mine)

And so as I yet again dealt with the arduous task of putting on my shoes (I am particular about that task because it certainly brings to bear all the control I can muster up just to perform that seemingly routine everyday chore), I decided to switch on my cute iBush HD television to distract my mind from the associated pains. And I had a mind-blowing experience as I listened to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday hosting popular American motivational speaker, Iyanla Vanzant and as I listened to her story, there were certain nuggets that hit me in the right place and made me catch that glimpse that we all need sometimes in our lonely sojourn down paths that we would never have chosen if we were given the chance to choose. I pushed aside the pain and straightened my back regardless of the tremors and intense pain along my spine because whether we choose to accept it or not, He speaks to us every moment – the question is what we have chosen to listen to.

We are blessed on all sides by gifts but most times we are not prepared to receive those gifts even when we are handed those gifts in hand. And there again, I am compelled to return to my choice subject – chance versus choice. All of us are given the chance to make an opportunity of our lives, whether we choose to acknowledge that we have been created to live a life and not solely existing for the reason of being a statistic in global population. That is an express manifestation of whatever choices we make because the chances will continue to inundate us on all sides and even as I trudge through this tunnel, I choose to catch a glimpse of the hope and rest that awaits me – knowing that every day brings a ray of hope that the cobwebs of depression can do nothing about. I look around me and I see countless others who are struggling with their own pains and hurts and I choose to realise that I can set mine aside and help them realise that in each of our darkest hours, nothing can stop the light from piercing through but it is our choice to catch that glimpse and move on or succumb to the gloom that so eagerly desires to clutch us in its embrace of cold hopelessness and depression.

“Each days dawn is like a recurrence of the first act of the Creation as if again a decree had gone forth: Let there be light. And as the earth whirls on its orbit, there sweeps westward a band of brightness, fringed by the half-light of daybreak. The suns rays, themselves all energy, bring new energy to every living thing.” – Anon E. Moss

And so each new day, I choose to wait and catch that glimpse of light, confident in the knowledge that as long as there is a ray then the whole essence of creation is and can at some moment in our existence be awash with the fullness of the light that so clearly illuminates our weaknesses, resentments, hurts, anguish, betrayals and gives us that blissful opportunity to choose to be born anew shedding all that so easily besets us and forging on with the sparkle renewed in our eyes and hope in our hearts that we can be of some assistance to just that one person who like so many of us have chosen to be swept along the rapid currents of life, not even taking a moment to appreciate the fineries and beauty of creation. I have spent many a nights, tossing in agony trying so anxiously to tell myself that pain is not synonymous with birth. But the truth remains that there must be labour pangs before something more beautiful is birthed.

Not giving in to the crushing weight of helplessness, so graciously expressed by the ignorance of many a physicians but realising that we can choose not to allow our backs be bent by whatever assails us. I was recently discussing with my friend, Mwenya and we both agreed that the time for change is not to be determined for us by anyone but that  the catalyst for change lies deep within us. Regardless of the hordes that trudge past us daily as we struggle with this elusive disorder, nobody can stop us from catching that glimpse associated with each new day. Putting aside the neighing of many, as they pretentiously whisper the usual words devoid of any sincerity and warmth, I acknowledge the few who despite their inability to fully comprehend what FMD is, still yet stand by, pledging their availability whenever the storms almost overwhelm me. I know that it is not about the path most travelled, it is about the courage to walk your own path and dare to be yourself. Pulling myself by my shoe strings and accepting that on each new section of this journey, there will always be just a few out there cheering me on. I admit that I will accept those few gifts, whispered in hushed tones and discreet gestures, knowing that each life I meet – there is something to pass on.

I realise that as the darkness swirls overhead, nothing can blot out that glimpse of hope and like many a sailors, perched on the wreckage of their vessels peering through the fog, someday I too with triumphant voice will loudly proclaim these words “LAND AHEAD! I have reached my destination” and whilst battered and bruised my body might be, my spirit is aflame with hope that victory is certain and sure. “I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this liberty, and support and defend what has been so fiercely obtained. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.”

Remember, to live a life or simply exist is a choice that must be made, nonetheless the fact is we were created for purpose.

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב בתזמון שלו עצמו

Adios!

Plunging Deep…..

Standard

P1010834

With a level 3 heat wave warning already being broadcast, the very first thought that crosses your mind as you step out into the streets is the alluring image of yourself in gaily coloured swim trunks, abs defined, plunging into a  cool swimming pool (preferably isolated for people like us) with a poolside bar that serves chilled daiquiris with the umbrella thingy and a rainbow straw or a chilled tumbler of well prepared chapman with bitters and then with the harsh brightness of the wonderful sun, suddenly you realise that the mind really can play tricks on you. Watching people of all sizes and shapes, many in very indecent apparels (all in the guise of getting a tan), you can only but appreciate the beauty of the seasons. For with every season, there is a beginning and an end, and the teeny weeny differentiator for us as individuals is choosing to pull out mid season or holding on till the end of the season and the commencement of a better one.

I have not been able to muster the funds for my standing air conditioning unit so I’ve chosen to utilise my little halogen fan and basically ride out the season (save myself a couple of quid especially as I am seeing my Pain Specialist on Friday and my spine popping Russian this week too). Admittedly, I have to admit that the last few days have been so filled up with appointments that at the end of the day, being passed through a huge milling machine is kinda like an understatement and when the questions come, I can only respond that certain things I just have to do myself even at my own toddly pace. As for the strength, you know as I do, I have run out of mee own strength reserves but thankfully with an upwards glance, I acknowledge that there is an inexhaustible supply which I gladly choose to exploit.

Now again, just as one of the many perks of being in this medically challenging period, I was privileged to listen to one of the most unique couples in this part of the world recount their tales of utilizing their time and God-given potentials to change the world one person at at time and it especially came on the heels of a video clip, that my solicitor and friend sent me of the shameless display of thuggery and sheer insanity in one of the ‘hallowed’ chambers of parliament in one of the states of the self acclaimed sleeping giant of Africa and it is in indeed no wonder that things have gotten this bad and obviously still will because I was also opportune to watch the debate between Tony and Ed which was almost like a game of who can provoke the loudest laughs in the chambers. Clearly a huge difference between both scenes but the message is clear that whilst we choose to do nothing, let us loudly remember the words of Helen Keller “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”

Aboard the District Line, we were regaled by a pair of jovial fellows with a guitar and a violin, as they chose to play and make that little moment something worth remembering and in response to my question, one of them remarked ‘we just do it for fun’ and I add life is too short to spend all the time on the dive board awaiting the perfect moment to dive in. I say, just plunge in and get swimming! For a huge number of us, we choose to spend more time on the sidelines being very vociferous even to the extent of being obnoxiously annoying when all that is needed is just for you to hold your breath and plunge in. Get those energetic words into action, life is way too short to spend it all on the bylines, sending out video clips on youtube and doing absolutely nothing else is abysmal. Like I always say, begin with that one. You may not know the decision makers for your borough but you do know your next door neighbour who has tons of decisions to make and whether we want to admit it or not, those decisions can very well alter your own life. Remember the story of the cow who was so indifferent when the mouse came complaining about the trap the farmer was setting, well life is cyclical and so opt now to do something about that issue that seems so unrelated to you.

Lyndon Bowring (CEO, C.A.R.E) shared one of the most memorable moments of his life, not from his offices across Westminster, not within the rooms of 10 Downing Street but in the steps of the Oxford Station (if I recollect clearly). Just as I advice everyone I come in contact with, do not ask ‘you doing alright’ just because everyone else says it but ask it with sincerity and expect an answer because you do care. So Lyndon came across a laddie vending the Evening Standard and asked him the question………and waited for the response. Wait for it……the laddie with a grimace revealed that he was so sorely pressed that he needed to dash across the street and avail himself of the restroom and was only hoping for someone who would be kind enough to cover his post for a couple of minutes (nobody is really that fast…lol!). Now there was Lyndon, briefcase in hand confronted with a need and with a second to choose, he offered to help. Within seconds, briefcase plunked down by his side, there was Lyndon (not just any person) vending the Evening Standard whilst the laddie hurried off to do his business. In Lyndon’s words, those moments remain one of his most memorable moments and permit me to say that those very moments are so hurriedly passed by when they constitute memorable in every letter of the word. Yeah, he sold off quite a few and was just getting into it when the moment passed but he plunged in and got refreshed and continued with a lesson learnt.

It is not always behind the doors of Parliament that lives are influenced, yes, decisions concerning all of us are made there but for many of us who are awaiting that moment when we can strut through the front doors of 10 Downing Street to the awaiting paparazzi, every day presents a unique moment to plunge into the life of someone and make a difference. I have this to say to the many professed Christians “Christians have no business thinking that the good life consists mainly in not doing bad things. We have no business thinking that to do evil in this world you have to be a Bengal tiger, when, in fact, it is enough to be a tame tabby—a nice person but not a good one. In short, Pentecost makes it clear that nothing is so fatal to Christianity as indifference. ” -W.S Coffin Jnr

We are regaled every waking moment with delightful opportunities to plunge in and get refreshed by doing just lil bits of kindness and good to just one person, but alas many of us choose to watch at the sidelines forgetting that life is a moving train and you definitely cannot be motionless on a moving train. With a series of severe back flares yesterday under the keen eyes and hands of JOIV, I still had to answer the call of my good friend who just returned again from the hospital for the second double bypass surgery in less than three months. And even as we sat chatting, I chose to make it memorable by reminding him that we are all alive for a purpose and in moments like these, when we awaken after a life threatening medical challenge, the onus lies on us to make better use of the days we now have. It does not have to be when you are incapable of speech and bereft of movement that we are compelled to make that choice, we can choose to plunge in now. I may be incapable of walking the miles or giving lengthy encouraging speeches however I have chosen not to be trampled underfoot by this disorder.

I choose to live, and not just live but live refreshingly through the lives of the very many fascinating individuals I come across. Like Teddy, with severe Down’s syndrome, who was joyously showing off his brand new wristwatch to as many as he came across. As I watched with dismay, the looks of annoyance flashing across the many faces he shared the moment with, when it was my turn – I delightfully exclaimed his was nice but mine was even nicer and just that response evoked a gentlemanly kiss on the back of my hand as he and his fellow mentally retarded peers were headed away. Now that made me beam indeed because “It seems to me that no matter what religion you subscribe to, acts of kindness are the stepping-stones to making the world a better place–because we become better people in it.”
― Jodi Picoult.

Let us take that plunge today, and I am all ears when it is time to share how refreshing an experience it was.

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

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….

Adios!

MY JOURNEY…….

Standard

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Image

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 ….

Adios!

In Another’s Moccasins(2)………

Standard

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.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

In Another’s Moccasins……(1)

Standard

hola queridos amigos,

Lovely aren’t they? (the moccasins, incase you tend to be slow in the mornings like me). My best friend, JOIV has a pair like these and on a good dry day, it is the most probable item to be adorned and sometimes I would be glad to wager a bet (Vas my chiropractor says bets are wagered by a fool and a brave man so naturally I incline towards being the brave party…lol!) that those moccasins could find their way home on their own in the event that JOIV left them somewhere. 

It is no news that most of the EU are battling with economic recession so Spain isn’t left out and prior to today, I swore that I would never board an Iberia Airways aircraft but my recent trip to Madrid aboard their National carrier has changed my opinion (not a very easy thing to do when it is someone else’s objective). What has brought this sudden vacillation of opinion? Definitely not the aircraft, they have not changed their fleet to the newer swanky aircrafts, but my experience at the hands of the unique set of individuals I have ever had the privilege of encountering. Just had our first young adults dystonia meeting and for a change, it was more relaxed and summarily cool – not in Madrid by the way, pre my trip and so it was with the right sense of apprehension that I embarked on this trip because living with dystonia kinda makes you a special needs traveller.

The North American Indians have a saying “To understand the man, you must first walk a mile in his moccasin.” and honestly whilst you may be drooling at the beautiful pair of moccasins depicted above, wipe the spittle and come back to reality because they belong to another. Those pair have been accustomed to another’s feet and they have seen their own share of wear and tear but just like JOIV, they are simply accustomed to another’s. Life as I always point out whenever the opportunity presents itself, is all about relationships and the beauty of relationship is that it is like a seesaw, you have to give so as to receive. Just as you experience the thrill of rocketing upwards, you cannot always be the one to catch the clouds – just across you is a friend or mate with his/her weight firmly planted to the ground to enable you get that thrill.

As I was being wheeled from the aircraft to the terminal, I had the unique opportunity of meeting Senor Victor D. Rodriguez and Senorita Mercedes who made me understand the difference between holla senora and holla senorita. And with a very cheeky grin on his face as he wheeled an 80.4kg bloke all through, Victor talked about himself and asked me what I thought about his ‘spanglish’ and it was less ‘span’ and more ‘glish’ even as he struggled with using the right terms and phrases and correcting himself mid-sentences. He shared the story of his friend who relocated to London and is desperately trying to get back (because the grass always looks greener as long as you stand on the other side of the fence) and as usual it got me thinking. What is it about us that makes us want to always be the one to be at the receiving end especially when there are benefits? How strong is that streak of selfishness that makes us choose to ignore the little kind gestures we can give out to the closest person who we can clearly see is having a bit of horrid time, at no cost?

For those of us, who are still clearly choosing to ignore the obvious, there is One in charge of all that happens on this earth and He again sure is in charge of what happens after our little sojourn here – you could ask Matt Damon ‘Hereafter’. And even as we rocket through life, experiencing the thrills of life, remember to look across and see Him choosing to plant His weight firmly on the ground just for you to get the thrill and instead of being all grumpy and upset when the tides change (cos they surely and always will), remember that there is more joy when you can and choose to do that teeny weeny bit just to make the other bloke experience some thrill too by walking in his moccasins just for a little while.

Senora Marissa, the senior flight attendant/chief air hostess took out just a little bit of her busy time to sidle in close to me and ask me with a twinkle in her eye what dystonia was and even whilst she was cutting my cuttlefish into bits, she responded to my profuse thanks with a cheeky ‘I am not doing anything with my hands right now’. Now these are the people who by their actions , not words changed my whole apprehension of flying with Iberia because there is always a choice to spend more of our energies engaging in heated debates on the pros and cons of a subject or just spend less energy doing the little to make that next person going through a difficult time just a teeny weeny bit more comfortable.

God says “I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood!” Aha! I don’t turn away from my relatives when they are in need….hmmm! we are all of one source, doubt that? Well, the next time you are walking down that busy street, rushing off to that appointment, take a moment to look at the flesh of the next person and I dare you to point out the difference and make me eat my words and if you are as adventurous as I am, ask for a little prick of blood and tell me it isn’t as red as the one flowing in your veins.

Have I forgotten to mention the beautiful Indira, who is as gorgeous as a lady would ever be and ideally should keep to herself because of the predators out there looking around for a single woman to fill her ears with deceit and filth. Guess what, she relocated her seat and ensured that I lacked nothing and leaving off what she was doing – most likely sending word to her wonderful family of her itinerary, she made the choice to just talk with and listen to me. That meant a whole world of good, Indie. And what we fail to acknowledge is that whenever we sow, we must reap so why devote time and energy in sowing the wrong things because inadvertently our harvest is in multiples of what we have sown. Besides, it kicks against the natural instinct of self-preservation for any sane person (yeah more insane people are being discovered each day but we yet out-number them) to sow something detrimental to self.

It is a brand new week, and what better start can we have to do things just a little bit differently. Begin with the person next to you even as you are seated in church or anywhere, share a smile and ask him how he is doing and then as you part ways, tell him/her in all sincerity that you would want him to have a pleasant week and tell me you did not feel better after that. There is a spiritual aspect to our lives, when we give, we receive so be careful what you give.

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everthing, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.” – Helen Keller, and remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

I believe I can fly…..

Standard

What makes an eagle so majestic amongst its avian brothers? Do animals have souls? Can the loyalty of a dog to its loving master be ever put on trial? Can the stars ever be put out in response to the rising mayhem globally? Can the ant establish a school in order to avail us the wisdom of their ways despite their tiny size? As the Preacher put it, too much studying causes only weariness for to everything that is, there is a purpose. Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do the wicked seemingly go unpunished? Why do we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves by our motives?

I never cease to chuckle at the antics of my elderly neighbor’s Jack russel terrier (I simply love dogs, they are undeniably man’s best friend) whenever he brings him out for the evening walk. Snapping at every thing in motion, straining at his leash and then my most enjoyable moment is when my neighbor attaches his leash to his bike and lets him run. With every muscle straining, off he goes – almost single-handedly pulling the bicycle away (probably in his mind anyway)Jack Russell Terrier (Smooth). And that simple daily chore always sets me thinking with a huge grin plastered on my face as I turn into my driveway, that we are always limited by our own selves. Nothing is really as bad as it seems, for with every roll of the dice on a board game – fate decides what numbers come up but we do the counting. I recently watched a video blog of a courageous young lady who is also dystonic but has overcome her fears to begin a video blog and yet again I am in awe of the strength of the human spirit.

The world’s greatest #1 bestseller recounts the tale of our ancestors who came together and decided to build the world’s tallest building (sorry I’ve seen the Shire, London and the Burj Khalifa, Dubai and the Petronius Platform and this is no reference to any of them). The project commenced and stolidly they plodged on undeterred in their motive, without today’s modern day technology and but for the intervention of God, they were going to get there. The question is what could be so powerful a motivation that God had to intervene to restore the rightful order of things. It is simply two words numbering 9 characters…..I BELIEVE. Nothing fancy in the words themselves but the underlying truth and conviction makes it more than just words but a theme to live by.

We live in a world, constantly buffeted by the waves of life and yet for many of us something unexplainable keeps us going regardless of how high the waves seem or how close we were to drowning from the last encounter. It quickly brings to remembrance the paralympians from the most populous black nation in the world who not only achieved what their able bodied counterparts were unable to do but still have to face the stigma of a nation largely populated by clowns and cowards. And yet with the flames of self belief, they soldier on past the odds and the stigma and create legacies for generations to come ( if they can still learn anyway). Listening to the words of the popular song by R. Kelly

See I was on the verge of breaking down. Sometimes silence can seem so loud. There are miracles in life I must achieve. But first I know it starts inside of me……. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it…….”

Nothing can be put in a better way than this truth, and whilst we croon the words, let us also imbibe the lyrics. There are miracles in life that each of us must achieve and if only we can just dare to believe, we will realise that there is indeed nothing to it. So just as the eagle watches and waits for that gust of wind with outstretched wings, believing that it can soar to heights unimaginable – let us with each new day, prepare ourselves for those miracles that we must achieve by simply telling ourselves those two words “I BELIEVE” and astound not just ourselves but those who have irretrievably put you down in the past by saying you are a failure by flying. There is no better vessel, no stronger source, no greater reserve than the Spirit of God within us. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit”

Today, I charge you – if only you can believe, you can fly. Gotta run now, Jeanette awaits me downstairs with a team of champions in life who are flying despite cancer, RA and whatever fancy names are assigned. Guess what, it is a marvellous start to a new week. Just believe and you can fly.