RSS

Tag Archives: women

Long-distance loving

IMG_8331

 

I am grateful to have been loved
and to be loved now
and to be able to love,
because that liberates.
Love liberates.
It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego.
Love liberates.
-Maya Angelou

 

Writing that last post unexpectedly drew me into a space between melancholy and nostalgia, contentment and exasperation, as moments with my wife replayed in my head. Like our first dance together when her moves told me sexiness was her middle name. Or when she asked me to take a week off work, pack a bag and come with her; next I knew we were in Cuba – land of my Utopian feminist-Marxist self.

IMG_0788You put a spring in my step and make me feel ten feet tall, she told me. That was eight years ago. You brought sunshine into my life and make me feel deeply content, I replied. Our journey has been an adventure in living and loving. From exploring the mesmerizing Buddhist caves in Ajanta, and sunset dhow sailing in Lamu‘s magical mangrove channels, to cruising in the Baltic Sea.

090120121097Bliss interjected by everyday couple differences like her unrelenting pursuit of culinary delights in every meal while bran cereal morning, noon and night is fine with me. Or my need to plan out every detail while spontaneity is her third name. Or her disinterest with tidiness as I obsess – yes babe, i admit it – about arranging each item where it belongs the right way up.

In choosing to have it all, a relationship and career, we pay the price of separation. Thank you Skype and WhatsApp for making goodmorning and night  blow kiss emoticonpossible, yet the longing to touch, feel and be under the same roof remains.

Having a plan has made it work. A plan on when, where and how to meet next. On everyday life projects, home improvements or involvement in causes. On how to conjure jobs in the same country if not city.

For now, our choice remains to be long-distance partners, allies, lovers.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Private Deejay

turntable

She loves her electronic turntable. It’s not new but gives her as much pleasure now as when she bought it three years ago. She loves how the lights rise and fall, bright, dim and brighter again, dancing to the rhythm of the beats. All she needs is to hook it up to her laptop and surround sound speakers for the music to fill the room. She mixes like a pro, knows every song by heart and which one blends to the other. Most of all, she loves to play for her wife.

She sits by the turntable, waiting for the music to work it’s magic.

Turn off the lights
Light a candle

From the corner of her eye she sees her waltzing into the room. She lifts her head up and watches. The newcomer’s eyes are half-closed as she sways her hips, drinking in the music. Slowly, sensuously, she’s dancing towards her. Without a word she holds out her hand, inviting her to dance. She stands up and begins swaying with her. They dance their way to the middle of the room. Holding her hips she draws her close.

Heaven’s my destiny when I’m with you
The only place to be just you and me

Her hands slide upwards from her hips to her waist, rest there a moment, then back down round the hips and behind to her butt. She catches their reflection in the mirror across the room. She sees the way her dress flows with the music, with their moves, in perfect synchrony. She draws her closer.

And you’re like a rose that blooms in my garden
Innocent and sweet, my love you are

The feel of her, her breath, her scent make her heady. No, she mustn’t lose focus. She dances them back to the turntable. She sits down to queue more music. Her wife continues to dance. Time to pick up tempo, just a little. Set aside the slow jam for a while.

Moyo wangu ni mwepesi,
Nafanya vituko kama chizi,
Sura yako mzuri mama, Aaaah

Her wife looks at her, smiles, pauses and begins to chakacha. She picks up a kikoi from the sofa, ties it around her hips and moves. Quick, slow and in short staccato moves.

You are my African Queen, the girl of my dreams.
You take me where I’ve never been
You make my heart go ting-a-ling-a-ling, oh ahh

She picks up the pace. Back and forth, around and around, side to side.

Your love dey make my heart do yori yori
Nobody can love you the way I do

She makes her way to the turntable, twirling here, stopping there, three steps forward, one step back.

Na this thing make people dey say,
I don lose my sense my brain
But nobody can stop me from loving you,
am with you ma love love

Time to let the lyrics say what’s on her heart.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

Her wife now sits astride her, facing her. She closes her eyes and feels lips on hers. The sweet, familiar taste of her tongue.

Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Her hand slides under her dress. And finds, the time is right to make a baby. As she stands she lifts her to her feet, takes her hand and leads her upstairs to the bedroom.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not a lost chapter

engagedBut one that took years to find a voice.
She would have understood, or, would she? She will understand, or, will she?
There it is, that quizzical look. Comprehension followed by disbelief, then shock and sadness.

Why did I say it?

Mum, coming out to myself changed my life. I am speaking my truth to you in order for the untruths to end. I am not salacious or lewd or dirty or evil. I am the child you raised to work hard, be honest and respectful.

At the height of my anguish I cried to the God I’d prayed to all my life asking her why I could not love like others could.

My journal told another story. A woman who made my heart skip a beat, twenty times a day. Who shared my politics about politics and kept me intellectually engaged. Conversations with her continued in my head long after we had parted. A woman whose skin I fantasized what it would feel to touch, soft, smooth and silky. Whose scent I breathed in, no, drank in, with every pore. A woman whose spirit melded perfectly into mine. Whose thoughts I knew even before she put words to them. Whose sorrows and joys I felt despite being thousands of miles away.

Mum, a weight lifted off my shoulders the day those words crossed my lips. Indescribable peace washed over me. I am a lesbian.

She hangs around me, and I around her, because we are lovers, partners, friends. The song she put in my heart six years ago still plays, a melody I had never heard before. She put a lightness to my step, encourages me when I need it, chastises me when I am not exerting myself. She warms my heart, holds me close and with her, I know it will be alright. I know for certain that I am capable of loving, of relationships that are sincere and true. You have come to love her too Mum. You’ve experienced her gentleness, her generosity, her thoughtfulness. She is your daughter-in-law.

I am a lesbian.

follows from I am a homosexual – Mum

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life journeys: ordinary or extraordinary?

life journeys: seeking destinyLast Christmas my wife gifted me with a voluminous coffee table book – a five-pound (yes, I weighed it), 354-page tome profiling over 70 Kenyan women that the author defines as ‘high achievers’. I leafed through the book eagerly, anticipating the surprise and inspiration the author claims the stories will evoke. 

True, most of the women profiled are known entrepreneurs, corporate executives, politicians or leaders in various professions. No surprise there. Most of them too, particularly the under-40s, were born with silver spoons in their mouths. No surprise nor inspiration there either; childhood privilege has paved way to power in their adult lives, albeit with some extra effort on their part. I shelved the tome away with a plan to one day pick through it with a fine tooth comb in search for that elusive inspirational story.

The day arrived yesterday and with it, a renewed determination to find at least one story that would ‘surprise’ and ‘inspire’ me. Hidden in the profiles of predictably affluent women are a handful of stories of ordinary women who by their visions, life philosophies and/or actions have achieved the extraordinary. 

The older women whose stories are inspirational lived through the hardships of the British colonial era and an array of struggles post independence, gender-based and other. Muthoni Likimani remembers “I have suffered because I am a woman”, recalling being passed over for promotion at the public broadcaster Voice of Kenya (now Kenya Broadcasting Corporation) immediately after receiving the highest commendations for her performance. A woman I admire tremendously former member of parliament Phoebe Asiyo has relentlessly pursued the gender equality and anti-female-discrimination agenda in spite of the heavily patriarchal political and cultural context.

The relatively younger women whose stories are inspirational have either turned around otherwise adverse situations to spur social change, or have been proactive in countering inequality. Asunta Wagura’s life is one seamless, deeply motivating whole; no strictly public nor purely private nor anything in-between persona. Her work to challenge stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS since her public declaration of her seropositive status at a time when such openness was taboo is well-known through her regular newspaper column. Lorna Kiplagat is another of the handful who, with her earnings as an Olympian, has established a philanthropic foundation and a sports academy for underprivileged girls. 

These, in my opinion, are stories a person engaged in everyday struggles of the masses can relate to and from which inspiration can be readily drawn. Acknowledging privilege is a first step towards enabling us separate the extraordinary from the ordinary, the inspirational from the mundane, in any meaningful way. 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: