Scars We Carry
Okay lately I run on Saturday mornings and once in an able while when the financial gods allow, buy a once weekly gym session. I don’t know but I wasn’t influenced by peer pressure per see. Like running because people run. Naa. I just woke up. No waistline fats. Nothing. But thought running on Saturday morning could be fun especially when it’s at earlier morning; the rich are still sleeping and the grass below is still wetted with morning dew. Disclaimer: a rainy day is an off day. This one day I brag to some kid about my running and gym. I think I wanted to make him feel sorry, bad about his running_less life. Boy he tells me “you know what buddy?” And am like “what? Tell me.” silence. Then he goes “we will all die (with a strain on d_i_e.) Goal 101 achieved. See that kid felt bad about himself and it morphed into him venting to tell me that whether we run, walk or seat home we will all die. And then yes death comes in different unexpected ways. I am moved to return a feeble blow. “Yes I will die but on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday”
That first part looks misplaced. Until you realise that kid is my elder bro. Leaving it at, us having endured strained childhoods, my brother and I talk not as often as we should. In fact it cuts across the family. Our calls are what you would call issue_based. Like you call for a reason. “Hey bro, how have you been? About that neighborhood goat that birthed quadruplets did the elders settle on excommunicating him?” “Not yet. The elders are assembling at the Baraza this week” “okay good day bro” At one point it was so such that your mind shifts into creating possible frames of outcomes. That was back then. Lately though on a scale of 1_10, I give six.
Friday morning. It’s three going to 4 Am. I have had uncoordinated sleep. Music is playing on a low volume such that it can’t Penetrate the walls and disturb the neighbors. Mum calls. It’s unextraordinarily too early of her. I pick in less than 3 seconds of ringing. “We are the hospital. Thieves broke in at night. They cut your brother. He’s responding well.” She signs off by saying that she’s going to update on his further progress. Just like that I lose the last pint of sleep between my eyes.
Personally I have no scar from a cut on my body. Apart from the deserving cuts they inflict on our members down there nothing more. But then again I said deserving because the cuts turn us from boys to men. Every time you visit the washrooms and shake after use you feel man enough. It’s a good scar because it reminds you of transition. My mind drifts to my bro having to endure those cuts in the mid night cold from something as crude as a panga. The fact that he’s at hospital nor talking shivers me. I want to talk to him already and get the crude ordeal from him first hand. I mean how was it? Did you anticipate it coming? The first cut, this one here, were you a sleep still? Sorry did you wrestle? In your mind did you feel like taking to your heals would be an option? Possibly you got this feeling that the judgemental society would term that cowardice? Come on bro. Easy si there is this saying of sijui cowards live longer? So sleep goes completely and tucks away in a far land never to return. My mind lingers with questions and prayers.
I might not personally be in those shoes but you can bear me witness, a panga sinking in your head in the cold of the night is no child’s play. It disturbed me. I spent the entire part of that morning doing nothing in particular. I was so uncoordinated. I touched on stuff and stopped midway. And my whole self slipped into limbo. I thought about the fate of my bro who was struggling in hospital. The phone continued to ring uncontralably with friends, family and cronies asking about the entire ordeal.
We had not talked one on one ever since that stupid incident of early morning. Family members kept on saying he was okay. I kept on doubting. I was scared that perhaps those chaps cut his neck and oxygen would leak through there and he’d die. Or worse off, they’d cut his member. And he’d heal but never sire again. Which would be antagonizing. So I kept calling and asking. But they kept dodging. Eventually his voice came through on phone. I was hesitant to speak back. Like the way you would feel it’s ghostly. Then we broke ice but still I didn’t want to appear insensitive by asking him to explain to me what happened from his hospital bed. Such questions as what exactly happened are better asked from a one on one position. Perhaps starting from touching the wounds and speaking hope.
My prayer. God being the gentleman he is, will see him through. And he will heal. And he will walk again to face the world with some confidence. The confidence of a survivor who battled death. The bad part, he will have to carry scars with him to the future. Scars of deep cuts on the head and in the flesh on the hands. And those scars will ignite Conversations. People will want to talk to him about his scars. It will be scars from the past. But they might haunt his future. Because they will remind him of the fate of that ordeous night when he brushed it close with death. And he might get moved to want to narrate between tears.
So he will remember that dark day and with tears in his eyes narrate about it wrapping it off with a token of a pint of salt from his tears for those dear listeners. He will say perhaps how the previous day had been as fruitful as last day on earth. He will tell of how he slept happy and sound and assured of possibilities to come. He will delve into the night all of sudden was occupied by cry for help them commotion with space. Just like yourself and I, he will say he thought the dream thing was taking a tall order of him. He will speak of how the first panga sliced his flesh then everything else sank into a myriad. Not to remember the in betweens. We will miss on the details yet the devil lies deep there in the details.
Am overly grateful for your prayers and hearty messages of hope; it shall be well. That guy is responding well to treatment and we are positive of his quick recovery. Thanks you all who found time and continue to purpose to check on him at hospital. Thank you once again those who pray heartedly from the comfort of their homes. That beside. It might sound paranoid but the security apparatus have failed us as a nation and I strongly think it’s time we, in individual capacities rethink this security question especially in this moment and time when deep down in villages people live under yokes of fear of insecurity. We have to brainstorm on what we can do about the whole pathetic security scenario. It’s the Wearer of the shoe who knows where it pinches the most. Because it’s only us who can then act in response. And as Bob Marley would sing, “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind. Redemption songs.” We got to redeem our situation.
The same thugs walked away with a flat screen TV. It’s disturbing that in this age a sane person will kill and maime to take a television set when such have lowered by up to 50% in price. In thinking of what we need to do, it’s high time we embrace behavioural change in our individual capacities. Because, well, such stolen goods end up in the ever ballooning black market and they are bought by us. Us who are not willing to put in an extra year to afford a television set at market price but rather take the short cut of wanting to buy it cheaper from a thief who almost killed to get the TV. If we divorce from actions that cause such markets to thrive, we will achieve greatly by starting the black market and by way of ripple effect, the thugs will have no place to dispose off stolen goods. It might not necessarily mean they won’t steal but the need will be starved.
Coincidentally and before the scars crossed my mind, I has wanted to write about Policing with plight of the ongoing political stalemate. It gets me remorse that a government can not rescue an innocent Kenyan being butchered in his own home when the same government can afford a police to citizen ratio in times of political fracas. Think about the not armed rioters. Think about the kids caught in the innocence. Think about the members of public who meet the brutal force of the police.
In that same political fracas thought think about the scars that the same politics have left for us. Remember baby Samantha. Then baby Pendo. An innocent kid meeting live bullet and oops! A life is lost. Linger over the deepness of the scar it left on the nation as a whole. Go deep and think about how neighbours and first hand witnesses of the incident took it. Okay reflect on how her family in particular feels when they touch that wet scar😢
Where in particular is the place of policing in matters security? Yes we have navigated from the Moi era of brutal police force to the modern days of a friendlier police service but there still exists a gaping gap to be filled in terms of the role police service plays in aspects of community policing and ensuring safe neighborhoods.
We all have scars we pick along the way and carry with us to futures beyond. Scars are a remnant of pain. Pain hurts and leaves scars to live with. They say that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But then it’s not the pain that makes us strong but the types of lessons we pick from the scars and how we act upon. Think of Magreata Johnson enduring the pain of living as a second class in a racist society. She was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She went ahead to rebrand. She ended up as Angelou Maya; a renowned wordsmith who’s got a myriad of titles to her name. She wrote a memoir “I know why caged birds sing.”
Like when an earthquake occurs in a city, it leaves scars yes. But what causes rebirth is the commitment by the city dwellers to rebuild guided by the lessons picked from the earthquake occurrence. For instance, they will build stronger foundations that are otherwise tremor resistant.
But just how do we learn from our scars? On the moment of enduring pains and earning scars, we got to question. Not on the energy sapping aspect of “why me?” but in the aspect of it did yes happen but what is the way out of it all? Where do we go next from here? Get to earn a new appreciation of life in your new state of scars. Appreciation is a guiding path towards picking lessons and moving towards solutions. Finally there is need to talk out. Talk. Talk. Talk. In talking there exists relief. Most people healing from scars will curl inside and tend to hide from the world fearing that their problems will define them. Sharing however is a way to relinquish.