Tuesday, 28 March 2017


EDWIN KIPTANUI CHIRCHIR edchirchir@yahoo.com edchirchir85@gmail.com


I have this lovely clipboard, which I have named Lavender because of her confidence. The clipboard is a girl by the way and I feel like girls named Lavender are confident. Lavender helps me hold a number of foolscaps as I write.You should see the way foolscaps lie flat on her chest, with a sense of entitlement as if they have arrived at their final destination and nothing else matters in their lives. Now, I am that old fashioned writer who still writes on foolscaps, before transferring whatever I have written, into the computer, through the 'the finger harassing' process of typing, so you will understand why I fell in love with Lavender, my beloved clip board, the only clipboard in my heart.

So, last Saturday I lost my cool and temporarily ended my relationship with Lavender. It was at about 6:00 pm. I was tired and hungry, because I had been building the nation with my bare hands. For those of you who have ever had the pleasure of hosting fatigue and hunger at the same time, you will understand that at such times, you are in no position to make wise decisions, because your thinking is somewhat hazy. Your decisions are most likely to be rushed and poorly thought out. Don't you remember for example that Esau sold his birth right to Jacob, when hunger pangs struck?

So, in that state of fatigue and hunger, I started rethinking and re-evaluating my life's goals (I had not discovered that I had life goals, I thought having a wife and kids was the greatest of all goals, but no, hunger and fatigue told me I had other goals).

The outcome of that thinking was that this writing hobby had to go. I kicked my clipboard out of my life, just the way scorned lovers kick their partners out of their lives. Yes, I was done. No turning back. No going back to Egypt.

In my state of self - righteousness, I felt that this writing business could go to hell, together with my clipboard. My clipboard sulked. I refused to look it in the eye. After all, we had our irreconcilable differences. I kept myself busy. I even googled the words 'why writing sucks' and my long suffering KADUDA phone seemed to 'blink' out of shock. I got a lot of responses from google, but none of them seemed to discourage me from writing. Instead, they seemed to glorify this thing called writing. It seemed writing had more advantages than disadvantages.

But my horns grew longer. I refused to turn back. I was not taking opinions from anyone, not even if they had ten PhD's. I even took out some old high school math text book and kept myself busy with some sums, in order to distance myself from this writing thing and of course the clip board, but I discovered that at my age, high school math sucks even more. The sums seemed to be much simpler than they had been when I was at that level, hence making it look like child's play and we all know that there is nothing thrilling in solving simple sums.

Then I thought that may be I should have been a fine artist. I took out some paper and tried some drawing. I felt liberated for a few seconds, but then I realized I had just lied to myself, because I could not even draw to save my own life. The only positive outcome of this process of becoming a fine artist, was that I laughed. Yes, I broke into a prolonged laughter, complete with prolonged coughing in between the bouts of laughter. I was laughing at myself. If anyone had seen me do this, they would probably have concluded that I was losing my mind.

Then I checked my blog. It had received some 28 views from Uganda and around 37 views from various places including Russia and Switzerland in a few hours. I felt excited and sang the Kenya National Anthem, right there in my house (Okey, this is a white lie, nothing of that sort happened), but who does not like page views, huh? Trust page views on your blog to coax you back into writing. But I was still adamant.

Then I decided to sleep over this self-inflicted problem. Yes, I slept, but not as peaceful as expected. In fact, I did not dream of anything. I was disappointed. I felt molested because to me, sleep without dreams is a wasted opportunity and time.

Then I woke up feeling guilty. Guilty because I remembered guys like Bethwel Ogot (aged 82 I think) and Stephene King (aged 67 if I am not wrong, today I am too lazy to google anything) had written more than 70 and 50 books respectively. I realized I was joking. I looked shyly at the clipboard (Oh! Lavender). The clipboard was still there, a few metres from my bed and on the floor for that matter. I felt sorry. I felt like I had cheated on my clipboard. I picked it (or her) up tenderly, then I dusted it. I felt like hugging it. Kissing it would have been better. I felt like promising it impossible things like taking it to see River Thames yet I have never even been to River Nile. I felt like confessing and repenting my sins in the nearest church. I had truly sinned by neglecting my clipboard and denying it love, when it needed me most. In other words, the prodigal son was returning home. There I was, headed back to writing.

I learnt two things from this recent experience, one,never make decisions when you are tired and hungry and two, this thing (a disease I think) called writers block is real, but I shall overcome.



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