Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Inspiration Matters and Paa Ya Paa is featured in The East African Magazine

There are people that fuel the fire. Trailblazers who keep their focus. I think about them, and I am inspired. I have written about them, and I am sure I began with Just Want To Say Thank You, because I have manners; then I begged my mother to Tell Me.  After that, I shared The Antelope Rising  because my parents envisioned Paa Ya Paa as a spiritual calling and I too promised myself that I would flesh out the hints of the melodies that pulse beneath the surface: in my soul and in yours...Along the way, I have asked whether it was Too Raw, manifesting creative independence, authentically, without worry. And of course, life being what it is, I am learning to live Beyond The Ashes.

So when Paa Ya Paa is recognized, once again in the African media, most recently, on March 15, 2010, in The East African Magazine and we read about my father "Elimo Njau's living art is testimony of the present and past" I have to share the fuel that fires me.

"The spirit of art should float like the dollar: "one never knows when it will rise or fall!” says Elimo Njau. Since he believes art has neither a beginning nor an end, he sees himself as merely one phase in the entire saga.Despite his many years “in business,” Njau refuses to give himself any grand title. Njau is no stranger to the world of art. In fact, he ranks among Africa’s greats." Read more.
After I leave my 9-5 cubicle in corporate America every work day, this is what keeps me writing.

Wiki njema,

Mama Shujaa.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gasping For Air

Her ample chest heaved two quick short bursts, her nostrils flaring in defiance.  This is it, she thought. Manicured fingers moved feverishly over the short dense strands of the white berber carpet; then slowed to a soft rhythmic caress.  She could feel the sinewy muscles of her lover beneath her palms, comforting like midnight under Nairobi skies. Sorrow overcame her as the air from her lungs made a final escape through her glossy lips.  Two tears began their journey down her cheeks.  This is it, she thought.

One of these days I will write a romance, what do you say?  Right now, I'm deep in a piece (working with an editor) for a literary magazine, not a romance; but I'd like to distract myself and continue with this, and see where it leads.

Weekend njema!

Mama Shujaa.

Copyright © Mama Shujaa 2010. All Rights Reserved.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Urafiki

Dear Tiffani,

Ever since you phoned me last week, I have spent time reconstructing our conversation; interchanging your sentences with mine, in a back and forth exchange that recaptures and breathes fresh life to the core of our sharing that day.

I’ve spent time daydreaming about you and I realize how I have missed you.

When you talk about anything and everything, your language is infused with details most ordinarily skip over. My heart finds its way through the layers of thought you plant on it. And then emotions that encompass my life, your life, our lives, provide a limitless reservoir of means by which to celebrate joy, and confront reality.

My friend, we talked often enough when you first moved away. Then slowly, our conversations became fewer and far between. I became lazy. I succumbed to geography. But deep down, I knew you would always be there.

When you called to wish me happy birthday, you awoke my senses; and they sprang involuntarily forth, organic. I felt freed, naked. After I hung up the phone, I picked up my pen. And my words had a clarity that was yours, ours – connected. And I wrote in remembrance of you and our history together; and about a time before you, a long time ago, in Nairobi, Kenya. You gave me permission to detail.

I love you girl. And as we say back home, akufaaye kwa dhiki ndiye rafiki; a friend in need is a friend in deed. Asante.

Kwa upendo [with love],

Mama Shujaa.

Copyright © Mama Shujaa 2010. All Rights Reserved.