Thursday, August 28, 2014

Romance etc

Looking into my introvert mirror I am forced to wonder where my cynicism towards love came from (I have been avoiding the topic). Out here on the internet I collected a clue: men act like realists whereas at heart they are hopeless romantics. Ladies, meanwhile, pretend to be romantics, but their inner instinct is realist to the core. (In other words, men love romantically, with all the ideals in place and all. Women love realistically and pragmatically.) Once I read this it became clear: there is the source of my cynicism, in so many words. I had already subconsciously suffered the truth of it, long time ago, though it never matured into active thoughts until, wandering on the internet, a kindred spirit brought it to life on his blog.

Emotions and hormones complicate women's realism for them, so realism is not always a straight, coldly calculated strategy on their part. They acquire the romantic's outward mannerisms and deportment. It's called bait, because like attracts like, therefore a man is drawn to a pseudo-romantic woman. No, really.

Romantic overtures are commonly regarded as such when they conform to the common rosy-colored feminist Hollywood format, whereas "it's the thought that counts" gestures far outweigh that other stage-managed circus.

Now see how this mind game plays out. A Kenyan girl, or a girl from anywhere, will stand up and declare "Kenyan/wherever men are not romantic at all! So unromantic." The emotions accompanying this announcement will nearly condense into tears. Remember it's a mind game, therefore the nearest Kenyan man who has always been far more romantic (think "affection" not "flowers") than the girl ever will be, he invests some kind of effort to conform to her plastic definition of romance, notwithstanding the fact that his ardent strength of feeling merely lacks any instrument strong or big enough to accurately measure it. But at the same time (remember, it's a mind game!) no man will openly confess to being a romantic, so, in order to preemptively save face so the boys don't rib him about it, they collectively imprudently surrender the label Romantic to the female party, who take it and run with it, and then at opportune times they jump up and lament in male hearing how unromantic Kenyans (or Africans, or humans, as the case may fit) are.

A man could be staring into a potential partner's gaze while hers is trained on his bottom line, real or potential. Her eyes are looking at you, but her mind's eye is guessing how many zeroes, give or take. But I half-joke. It's not commercial like that. Just concretely appreciating the depth of that article I read.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Feast of Tabernacles

Camp meeting week is always the most tiring week in the year for me. Very little sleep and so much work, and I mean physical exertion type of work behind the scenes to make everything tick. Still I love it. The whole day from dawn to midnight is a revelation. Maybe its the fellowship with believers. Maybe its the way everyone involved decides their daily bread can be put on hold for a whole week of worshiping GOD. It's amazing the unity that shared faith brings about, the sacrifices people are ready to make in faith are stunning. Then there's Bible study. Never a week passed by that I did not learn something new, or came off with my library enriched somewhat by the literature evangelist at hand. Singing in the choir is always uplifting. The company of my fellow church youths lend an air of comradeship to the occasion, and the selflessness that's evident everywhere is disarming - people looking out for ne another and helping out, sharing freely, without expectation of reward. I can accurately predict that come Saturday sunset I will be sad to return to the real world, because the end of camp meeting week saddens me. People do not live like that any more. But what am I saying, it's only Sunday! It begins! so much to look forward to. By GOD's grace I pray this one will be more than merely enjoyable, certainly the times are perilous, and the flesh is weak.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Looking back

Pretending to chase an enemy that fled,
I fled the fighting, fooled everybody,
and vanished into jungle foliage,
cutlass aloft, to hack away at
shrubs and snakes and
the imaginary enemy.

Soon I felt, the more I ran
the more I would have to run,
and for what? From what?

Looking back, the enemy is me;
The war is mine.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Warm the Bench

Life is full of ups and downs. A bit like football. Sometimes you’ll be on form and sometimes you’ll be in a slump. Injuries will come and heal. The coach will gain or lose confidence in you for reasons good and bad. As such, one’s skill set is not complete if all one knows is merely how to play the game perfectly. One must also be well acquainted with the skills of warming the bench, be it the substitutes bench or reserves bench or even Perennial Benchwarmers’ Bench.

I know what you must be thinking: “What could be so hard about just sitting there on the sidelines and watching the match? Fans do it all the time!” But for a player, it is not as simple as that.
A player on the bench is somewhat more invested in the outcome of a game than a fan. Even if their leg is broken and their foot is in a cast, they are itching to get on the pitch and make an impact. That is why, sometimes, in replays of scoring chances gone bad, you see the entire technical bench, including the coach, all subs and reserves plus the first aider, shooting to their feet to grasp their heads, their hands framing anguished facial expressions. But this is no way to warm the bench.

One must sit still. Unfortunately, equanimity is a forgotten art in this fast-paced, melodramatic twenty-first century. In order to warm the bench, it is best to position one’s center of gravity precisely perpendicularly above one’s sitting base, and limit movement to the turning of one’s head as the ball traverses from the opponent’s half to one’s own half and back.

It will help to have teammates alongside you on the bench who are of such a peaceful disposition, and to keep commentary at an austere minimum.

Resist the urge to abandon the bench and run to the corner flag to celebrate goals with on-field teammates. This will defeat the purpose of warming the bench entirely.

With any luck, if by the end of the match you have not been subbed in for tactical reasons, you will have successfully warmed the bench by quite a few degrees. Just sit still.

PS: Of course metallic benches are colder at the outset but more agreeable to conducting heat from the body into themselves, as such they get warmer, faster, but are just as quick to lose that heat. Wooden and plastic benches, on the other hand, will present greatest resistance to all attempts at bench-warming. But once they get warm they’ll take a great deal longer to cool down again. A bit like women.