The Journey

A Diary of my Pursuit of Life\’s Best

Turning the Pages

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 

I continue to grow – in my speech, my thoughts and my reasoning. Over the years, I have learnt that some things remain constant, some things change and others remain constant as they help you to change. One such thing is reading. When I was younger, I sat in with the Secret Seven as they devised their plans. I remembered the passwords and savoured the meals. I got angry when they got caught and exhaled with relief when they didn’t. I believed that a circle of salt would protect me from witches and sorcerers, and toyed with fantasies of riding on broomsticks. As I grew, Nancy Drew taught me about the Morse Code. I learnt how to look for clues in seemingly ordinary situations, and that locks could be picked using a nail file. I felt the adrenaline rush as we ran from criminals, or raced against time to save a life. I felt the frustration of reaching a dead end, and hit the roof, when our enemies got the upper hand. I became
Elizabeth in Sweet Valley High, and fought fiercely with my twin sister, Jessica, who was every bit beautiful as she was bossy. I read Sweet Dreams and wanted to fall in love. On some occasions, I found my stomach in knots as I met the captain of the football team. His smile took my breath away and left me tongue tied! I fell in love … I fell out of love … I got my heart broken, and wept with heartache.
 

I dared to dream of what life was like for the characters in my books. I tried to live these dreams and learnt that it was only through my imagination that I could be in those places. So I let my mind wander and wrote stories of my own, where my dreams came alive and my fantasies were within reach. I rode the rollercoaster of emotions as the lives of my characters took form. I felt courage, when they dared to dream, bliss when their dreams came true and frustration when their expectations crumbled to pieces. I captivated my audiences with the weaving of my words – and received applause when they encountered A Twist in the Tale. Then, my horizons were only limited by my vocabulary and the world was mine. When I grew older, I met Dr Ben Carson. I felt the disillusionment when he was young and unable to perform well in school. I celebrated success and love with him as he grew older, and held my breath as he performed delicate and grueling operations. I grappled with exhaustion and uncertainty as he did, and rejoiced when his patients recovered! With each book I read, my mind was exposed to new ideas and I felt my frontiers expand. I journeyed and rested, I rose and fell. I had wisdom and experience beyond my years, and was able to savour many instances of intelligent conversation. 

Then I joined Toastmasters and found the complement to my reading. I heard Ewart paint pictures of captivating soccer, and Millie weave story book scenes into a story of her own. Kari unveiled her knowledge of wine and her mastery of language, and Matu took us from bungee jumping to polishing shoes.
Eureka! I had found the place where the rubber meets the road. No more fumbling for words – no more struggling to speak! This was where I would learn from those who read more than I did.
  Six years after my first Toastmasters experience, I have discovered the thrill of speaking and rediscovered the exhilaration of reading. I have stumbled upon gems like Purple Hibiscus, in which Kambili’s fanatic father drives his children to the heights of love in some instances, and loathe in others. I have laughed at Frank McCourt’s humorous accounts of a trying childhood in Angela’s Ashes and been amazed that his experiences did not break, but build him. In the Alchemist,
Santiago’s journey challenged me to follow my heart and read the omens strewn along the path of life.
 I am also excited, because I am looking forward to reading James Frey’s controversial book, A Million Little Pieces. I want to learn from him as he dines and dances with the demons of addiction, is imprisoned by them and struggles against them. I am hopeful that his story will challenge me to listen more and judge less – because in every story, whether fictional or true, there is a lesson, and it is better learnt through the lives of others. 

Today I am who I am because of my experiences and the experiences of others. I am stronger because of their weaknesses and wiser because of their mistakes. Finally, I am hopeful because as long as there are words, and there are people, there will always be a good mind, a good story and a good book, where the two finally meet.

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March 28, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. GREAT SPEECH…Impact was great when listening. Endelea vivyo hivyo:-)

    Comment by Yvette | March 28, 2007 | Reply

  2. Wow!! Powerful speech. I haven’t put my hand on Angela’s ashes but somehow i know i will.

    Its funny how the BAD BOY always triumphed. Tell me you skipped hardy Boys.

    A book i couldn’t keep down was Dolores Claiborne, you gotsa read that one.

    For some reason I thin’k I’ve read that book – by Woolly Lamb?
    Can’t remember the name, though, but it was a veeery good book!!!

    Hardy Boys … ? Didn’t like them much … read one or two books, but I think you agree with me that you either liked Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys … not both. Or am I alone here?

    Comment by Shiroh | March 30, 2007 | Reply

  3. Read thru and thought to myself how ever do u watch someone grow a talent; they speak as good as they write and can pick the best of situtaions from the slightest events.

    Well, I should add and say books are not music to my ears … quite true… but your words strike some odd familiarity than is abound only by rare imagination and prose. Read my first Nancy Drew at sixteen so u know why.

    Long live your mind, heart and pencil!!!!!!

    Comment by Daudi | April 5, 2007 | Reply

  4. That book is by Stephen King. Very nice book, the one by Wally Lamb was the She comes undone

    Comment by Shiroh | May 14, 2007 | Reply

  5. Interesting i must say. I recall the Nancy Drews, Famous Fives and a magazine called Pied Crow that used to be brought to our library in primary school. Then there was Brer’ Rabbit, Enid Blyton collection and My Dear Bottle. Then i met Sydney Sheldon and my reading went a notch higher. Am now re-reading Ben Carson’s Gifted hands and i can swear there are some passages that i never saw the first time!

    click to http://complain2me.wordpress.com

    Comment by complain2me | August 21, 2007 | Reply

  6. hmmmm…very interesting!
    Thanks google

    Comment by Viat | January 18, 2008 | Reply


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