For the Love of the Profession

The fires in our eyes once shone brilliantly.
Burning with merciless vigour;
Ravenously, eating up everything standing in its path.
We barely slept because the heat of the fire
Made sleep uncomfortable, impossible.
We barely slept because we feared that while unconscious
The fire might consume us too, innards then flesh.

We looked with arrogant pity at those gone before,
10, 20, 30 years post-call,
Who in their eyes, we saw, instead of fire, flickering embers,
Their fires quenched by the realities of the trade;
Eyes dull, eye balls only glistening in moments of remembrance of the days gone before
When they could forego food, shelter and even life itself,
For the love of the profession.

We looked with scorn and disdain at those gone before
10, 20, 30 years post-call
Who have in their eyes the dull green colour of currency notes.
No flickering embers,
Eyes dull as though hypnotised, slavish in their pursuit of money.
‘These ones have sold their souls’ we laughed mirthlessly.
‘What do they know about the law, the common man, and justice?’
Where is the love of the profession?

But experience, they say, is the best teacher,
And learn we did,
That the fire burning in us while we burned the midnight candle,
That fire that kept us hungry, yet no food could fill us,
That kept us passionate and judgmental,
That kept us intrigued and blissfully naive,
That fire;

That fire soon gets enveloped in a wave of reality
When we realise that passion isn’t always the sole criterion,
Neither is qualification nor knowledge alone.
So in that wave, the fire is snuffed out for many,
Buried deep in the seabed of responsibilities.
And then we learn to look without arrogance in our pity,
For how can one be arrogant towards oneself?
And lose our scorn and gain reverence for those whose eyes are dull and green.
For is it not the comfortable place to bear the pain of regret?

We drop the naivety invariably attached to passion?
The naivety that things can change and we can change them
Just by the power of hungry hearts….
We learn the way the world works,
We humble ourselves,
And for the love of the profession
Hope that the jackets of our suits match the trousers,
And that the soles of our feet, while in our shoes,
Are not intimate with the soil on which we walk
So that we have reasons to walk dignified on the streets
While people hail ‘the law’.
So that they don’t snigger and point their lips at us
While we shuffle past, under the sweaty armpits of a yellow bus driver
Into our designated corner in the bus.
So that we never get to hear the words
‘The Law, your money no complete again o.’

OMA & IKUKU*

 

 

*I met Ikuku at Law School and at first he was just my fitness buddy, till he checked me out on facebook and discovered this blog. He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t writing anymore (I couldn’t either). I spent the rest of Law School avoiding him because the first thing he wanted to know each time he saw me was when next I would write. 3 Years post-call, it is still the same. Each whatsapp message and each call is started with his encouragement and bullying that I write something and ended with (many failed) promises to write something that week. The few times I have written within this time, he is the first to comment and to send his love and encouragement. I have been afraid and lazy to write recently,  but I wrote this with Ikuku because he deserves not to have his heart broken again by another failed promise. Thank you Ikuku for being there. Here is to hoping that the fires in our eyes for the love of the profession and our friendship keep burning for the rest of our lives.

For You

Maybe one day the sun would finally decide to take its job seriously, and outshine your smile

But till then, I will bask in the impossibly magnificent brilliance of what happens when your lips part into a smile.

 

 

 

 

 

For you, Elo

FRIENDS

May we find friends who are hard enough to break our shells when we put up walls in the hard times…

May we find friends that carry with them, brightly burning candles to bring warmth and light into our hearts when the blinds are drawn…

May we find friends that hold on steadfastly unto our hands and hearts when grief threatens to make us slip away…

May we find friends that slap us across the face to remind us that giants, warriors and heroes have no business in the dungs of despair and self pity…

May we find friends…

17 Questions

When you ask me ‘how are you? ‘

Is it okay for me to tell you that I am doing poorly; that my heart is broken and I do not know a way of piecing it back together?
Is it okay to tell you that my legs are sore from running round in circles around the purpose of my life?
Is it okay to tell you that I want more, more out of life, more out of where I am?
Is it okay to tell you that I am hungry for more than I have now, desperate and hungry for the rigour of adventure?
Is it okay to tell you that I wake up tired from my dreams, now nightmares, that keep me up all night while others sleep?
Is it okay to tell you that I am tired of rising and falling, starting and quitting, playing and losing?
Is it okay to tell you that I have thought severally of giving up, of lowering my dreams and expectations so that I don’t feel as battered like a piece of rag in the rain?
Is it okay to tell you that I don’t want to feel any of these things I feel and that makes me feel them all the more intensely?
Is it okay to tell you that I am scared that I have sold myself a big dream, impossible to  achieve; and I am too far down this rabbit hole to find smaller and more manageable dreams?
Is it okay to tell you that afraid that I am jealous of others; that seem as though their paths unwind in their presence while mine seems fiercely unyielding, no matter how hard I try?
Is it okay to tell you that I am angry at promises made, promises made with no intention or means of keeping; promises that never materialise?
Is it okay to tell you that I am tired of being told to work harder,  smarter and be more patient?
Is it okay to tell you that I am tired of words of encouragement and advice that don’t seem to get me past the day?
Is it okay to tell you that I realise that I am running out of time,  every day that passes,  to live my dreams?
Is it okay to tell you that I am tired of trying harder, crying longer , praying more fervently and having faith; faith like a mustard seed?
Is it okay to tell you that I am desperate, for my way out, desperate for this mountain to be moved?
Is it okay to tell you all of this when you ask how I am, how I am doing, how I am really doing?

You See Me….

You See Me,
Walking with both eyes shut
‘How stupid of you!’ you shout
‘Don’t you know you could die? ‘
‘You could be hit by a moving vehicle, fall into a ditch.. ‘
I tell you that my other senses are heightened when I walk without my sight
‘How stupid are you!’ You declare

Last night, I walked by you,
With a flourescent lamp at my feet
And both eyes wide open
But…
You didn’t See Me, because your eyes…
They were tightly shut
You boasted to all who could hear that you came by this
After insightful research and meditation
They cheered you on and they clapped for you.
‘How insightful’ they chorused.

I stand in the crowd and scream for your attention
For some recognition too…
I jump and shout and wave my arms at you…

But I sound just like your crazed fans
And in your new insight, I wished your senses were heightened enough to let You See Me….

 

 

‘Falling’ in Love

I didn’t fall in love with you
I suppose that phrase is an understatement
I didn’t fall in love with you
I somersaulted into love with you

Flipping in the air
Carefree
With abandon
Like little children do
When playing in the rain

I didn’t fall in love with you
I somersaulted into love with you
And without much practice
I landed – not on my feet as the experts do-
But hip first and bottom next
Across the cold hard floor
Of Unrequited Love
Eating the dust of regret.

 

His Promise

Sometimes pain grips my heart
Making my firm feet and proud physique
Crumple beneath me in mindless submission
Tearing open the floodgates of my glands;
Leaving me drenched in sweat, fear, tears and despair

I am lurched through unwinding channels of darkness,
In which no end;
No respite,
And not a glimmer of light
Lies within sight

Pain tugs at my heart, at its strings
Threatening to yank them off;
To leave gaping insatiable holes in their place,
To render this pursuit futile, useless, irrelevant.
To leave me bereft of all sensory and human feeling


On my knees, a cheek pressed against cold terrazzo
My eyes shut firmly,
(yet not oblivious to the yellow ceiling bulb
floundering in rhythm with the fluctuating current)
My arms folded across my breasts
In vain hope of calming my violently pulsating chest
I stay buried in the pool of my own bodily fluids
And wait for His promised passing
Of this solitarily raging raging storm