Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Hard Life

Late morning for me.

Was early to bed, or should have been. A heavy workday, plus a meeting where I listened without talking. Silence is sometimes instructive. But I decided to hike back on my way from the meeting.

Kampala is beautiful. At least, that is what I believe, so I state. One of its assets is an ambient, very comfortable temperature range and mercurially changeable weather. It was bright and sunny when I was walking home. Not too hot, just enough to raise a sweat, and soothe the working muscles, and make me appreciate the scenery. A few days since it rained. The roads have a coat of fine red dust which vaporises whenever a foot lands, or a vehicle passes. But rare is it for me to walk with my eyes on the road. I look at the sky, clear blue and cloudless it was. I look at the green of the hills, the big monuments to man (why is it that the biggest, most prominent buildings man makes are tributes to gods?) and the birds wheeling in the air.

Minutes after I was home, was hearing on an fm station that it was raining in downtown Kampala, and a squall, rainstorm had greyed the blue sky out. Yet that was also transient. There are parts of the city which must have got a wash from the rain goddess. But not my place, not home. Now, this morning, the weather is calm and cool. Both cool as in temperate, and cool as in beautiful. Not too cold, the breeze on the skin is like a caress, the waving trees in synch with the beating of the heart.

Ever listened to a bird sing? I live in a garden. And I am just starting to appreciate that many times my ears are closed.

Pure liquid notes. Repeated again and again. Poignant, sunny, sad- all that is in bird songs. Not in the chorus of the morning, that is a cheery thing. But listen to one bird split the air with a call. Listen to one touch a mate with a croon.

Of the world, Kenya seemed to have settled down. Temporarily. At least for a while. Something which amazes me, the army has not taken the chance to intervene, of course in the interest of ‘public good’. In Uganda, the army is so much part of civil life that the difference is unnoticeable. Kagame, president of Rwanda, suggested that the Kenyan army should intervene. Reflected the feelings of many concerned Ugandans. Both countries have an awe of the military. I am happy that our cousins to the east are not so enamoured. The politicians may be bloated, gloating frogs squabbling over the flies of the nation's innards, but words are much cheaper than lives taken in war. I pity Annan. The Kenyan politicians hate each other too much.

Prayers for Kenya are still necessary.

I am not sure whether the peace deal with the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ (LRA) is going to hold anytime soon.

In the meeting yesterday, I was silent, listening to the coping methods of one hard hit group of individuals. People living with HIV.

It is something that people have to survive. And I listened and learnt of the compromises that people make. Life itself, coping with life, with love, with family, friends, with getting onto medicines. The tiny, infinitesimal decisions which I do not have to think about, which have to be ironed out, on a daily, hourly basis. There were some who were affirming the fact that they were positive. It was interesting to compare the fact that the stigma of HIV causes those who are positive to be in a kind of closet. And to find the same kind of bitter sweet relief that I find in affirming my gay sexuality.

Its true, and amazing. Life is a challenge. When I look at the challenges I face, sometimes I forget that others have some more challenging problems.

Now, my love has decided that he has to choose my clothes for me. He says my sense of cleanness shames him. That I choose from the wash-basket, and from the un-ironed if he is not around to make sure that I don’t.

So, he lays them out for me. Problem, my sense of fashion and his do not always coincide.

But I would rather face that problem, than some that I might if I was someone else!

Enjoy your day, it is beautiful, and wonderful as is. Take some time to appreciate it.



Anonymous said...

The saddest thing about the Kenyan situation is how it appears to endorse violence or militarism as a solution. Even Britain is now suggesting the army intervene; and the MDC opposition in Zimbabwe have taken on board the lesson that violence attracts international attention & concern in a way nothing else seems to.

tres jolie said...

Hey there, just replying to a comment you made on antipop's entry.....

I hate lies period. And if you came to me and admitted to me that you were bi before we began any sort of dating, then at the end of the day, it would be my call. Meaning that if i caught u cheating with whomever, i would not be so shocked.....I would just be hurt and move on....but imagine i didnt know...then i would be hurt, shocked and traumatised....boy do you want to kill me....and there is nothing wrong with being gay....we just have to get used to it i guess.

gayuganda said...

Hi anon,

Kenya, well, just needs our prayers. And may not settle despite that. Too many egos involved.

Tres Jolie,

I think I do understand you. And I do agree, about not encouraging lies. But one has to be realistic. With the stigma that is in Uganda, how many gay men are going to tell potential partners that they are gay? One has to understand that it is a matter of survival. Either tell the lie and survive, or dont and risk very dire consequences. So, should we blame them because they do?

Maybe I have a different perspective, because I have had to do the lying too!

Have you read the link to the Israel article? And yes, my next post is about a 14 year old boy who was shot dead because he dared to make a pass at a classmate.

Lies are not good, true. Lies may be necessary to survive, especially if you are in any kind of closet.


DeTamble said...

Ironed? Wow, I haven't worn something ironed since high school. Oh, for the crispness of something ironed, I envy you.

Post a Comment