I have been glaring at the white space and tapping my keyboard without writing a word for the last two months. I had this incredible idea that this year my writing would be hard and regular. The sweetness of reading about writing has the deceptive side of thinking that reading about writing is writing itself. After you have read and been ‘inspired’ you perspire under the guilt of not writing the next morning and become a writer who defines himself in the ‘wish’ tense (I wish I had written).
So a buddy who went under just called and wants me to write. He does not just want me to write, he wants me to write for some small stipend. He does not just want me to write anything. He wants me to write a tribute of an actress, an actress who just won best supporting slot this morning (African time) – Lupita Nyong’o, (or Niioongo pronounced Hollywood style).
So I have asked him, how much, how long, what’s my deadline? And he has gone quiet so I decided to write for some time and just get back my groove as I respectively rant away about stardom and ‘type fatigue’ (a disease of people who believe they must write but don’t).
Let me be a child today and take Lupita’s words seriously, that to every child anywhere who dreams – your dreams are valid. The moment of receiving a prestigious award like the Oscar is not just exhilarating but also in some slightly unfair way summative and provocative. Such moments summarizes what seems to be the publics best moments of you, not necessarily what you consider to be your own best moments. The people get what they have miniaturized of you and every judgment after that is based on that very one moment – a glass casing you must never shatter. Your roles and words and thoughts and walk are derived henceforth from this expectation.
The artist carries the dreams and expectations of her audience like delicate eggs. They might drop or be fried. I have not received an Oscar and may not. But a writer is also like a dream manager. He paints possibilities, intrudes into the inner recesses of our unseen thoughts and brings out both ugly and good. Whether good or bad they are still dreams that are valid. When you stand to receive the Oscar you must at least thank someone. This thanking thing is also summative. It reduces your audience from those who have just known you to those who have always known you, from the roundabout of ululations to the rounded ring of bosom nurturers. You thank three people or two or just four, not the whole world just few who are the world to you when the larger world is sleeping.
So the reason why I gaze into this page is to start with that one person solidly placed in the arena by himself to type away, think away and forge some thoughts into dreams that are valid. I think I am starting to get my groove for as I have thought so have I written and as I have written so must I live. My Oscar my not be some golden torso but the white expanse of plain background in a summative beckon challenging me to validate my dreams as I write myself away to the point of waking.
Last modified: March 4, 2022