Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Of Walking And Dreams July 25, 2011

Filed under: Scenic — Betty @ 5:32 pm
Tags: ,

Hello all. I know it’s been a while. I have no half-hearted apologies to render, it was for the good of all. This here is a story I’m working on. Working on, because I’d like to develop it. This is a draft I enjoyed writing. I hope you enjoy reading too.

The gong I beat is mellow. Faint and nostalgic. Dreamy. Listen for the underlying strings, the strums of the return. Listen.

... walking reverie...

My love for walks started with my father.

When we still had money, I loved riding with him to buy petrol for the generator. We would sit there, not speaking, listening to all my favorite people on the radio. At the filling station, he would give me the money and ask me to get the keg out to be filled- I liked the sense of responsibility. But the walks. I loved them more. The walks started when the money went. We would take the short walk out of our small estate to the Malaam to buy candles because petrol became too expensive.

But because there was no radio noise to fill the quiet, we spoke instead. We had long conversations of what I wanted to be; what he wanted to accomplish and what he wanted for us- each child. We would walk so slowly, walking past the bigger houses that were lit up with a thousand lights because they had money to buy petrol for their generators. Past the smaller houses like ours, some bright, some dark. Walked slowly as fast cars zoomed past and other pedestrians briskly overtook us. Till we stopped in front of our faded red gate.

Father always looked a bit sad when we got back home. I didn’t figure out why until recently. I think Father got sad when we got back because it was a rude jolt back to reality. See, Father was a dreamer, he had these big aspirations for himself and the family; he had all these plans laid out and he spoke about them with such zeal, each time. But getting home was like a douse of cold water at three in the morning because the dreams were just that- dreams. Nothing was happening. His projects were still failing. We were still being called out at school because the fees hadn’t been paid. We were still eating meat only at night. We were still buying candles.

So, whenever we stopped at that faded red gate, those palaces we had built with our words quickly faded into nothingness. But Father was such a sport; he’d bound into the house with jokes for mother and sweets for the little ones. We found other reasons to go on walks. Just him and I. And then, we stopped walking for reasons at all. We just did.

I paint now. I was a sculptor a few months back. I was writing for a magazine last year and I was a freelance photographer before that. A boyfriend once told me I was a lot more like my father than I thought. Picking a project and then abandoning it in pursuit of another dream. We fought that day. Not because he was wrong, not because I did not agree with him; but because it had never been put to me that way. I fought against it. So cold but so true. Abandoning one to chase another.

My younger siblings are grown now, working in banks and owning schools while I paint and write and play my guitar and take long walks. But I find that my walks do not end when I arrive at my tiny, cluttered studio apartment; it doesn’t end when I see my battered wooden door, I go on dreaming. I have translated it to what I call my art. I sing my dreams, I write them, I draw them. My life feels like a leisurely haze of pastel colors. Surely, this isn’t a bad place to be.

None of Father’s dreams came true. I should probably say instead, none of Father’s dreams have come true because he hasn’t stopped dreaming. I visit him four times a month, every Sunday. My parents live now in the cute flat my sister bought them after her last promotion. We walk, even slower now that he’s supporting himself with a stick. We walk, past the houses that are all lit, because it is an upscale area. We walk as the faster cars cruise past. We walk on the lush lawns and neat pavements. We walk. We walk and dream.

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38 Responses to “Of Walking And Dreams”

  1. I see myself in this story. Is that good or bad?

  2. saboswhite Says:

    A vry nice piece.almost tot i waz dreamin mysef while rushin tru.rily felt nostalgic few minutes afta readin…

  3. iamsamsie Says:

    Poor child cursed with her fathers arean dreams.

  4. I gotta say, I’ve missed this. Funny enough I was reading about dreams this morning…
    A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. – John Barrymore.
    Is father’s name Joseph though? Cane in hand, I guess It’s fair to say father’s still young at heart.

  5. alex Says:

    The picking up and droPping… One person quite multi talented,yet unsure, which talent to focus on n develop, which ud do best…

  6. Brownegurl Says:

    The problem with dreams ‎​is that they are just that. Dreams! And sometimes its a matter of fulfilment. Some pple knw at once wot they want, others decide to settle for anything, and ther r the ones who just can’t find that sense of fulfilment and they keep jumping from one thing to another, till they find wot they think ‎​is right… Some of them never do. Lost in tryin to fulfil their many dreams instead of accomplishin their ambitions n facing reality. But oh well, what do ‎​​I knw. *sippin Ribena* Its a very good piece Pemi, Me Likey.

  7. ThinkTank! Says:

    Great story, Betty. You know, I love your writing style. Simple and yet vivid.

    I’m not sure why but this story gets to me. Of all his children, I spoke with my father the most. I knew his dreams, some accomplished, some not.

    However, I am no dreamer, I’m much too practical for that, I merely appreciate them, and sometimes, I help make them come true.

  8. Kemmiiii Says:

    Nice!
    Very vivid…
    But dreams will always be dreams…not all come true…

  9. georgeenah Says:

    Very interesting piece that captured my attention;I love the use of words,never got lost at any point.Dreaming has never hurt anyone afterall,the greatest empires have been borne from dreams too.
    Good one betty!

  10. BBB Says:

    we all can dream
    its transcending those dreams to reality that is insurmountable problem for some
    or
    maybe living your life half awake, and being content in the dream world like the girl in your story is

    who are we to judge
    the ultimate goal is to be happy.
    The girl found her niche
    the father though is in the place you do not want to be….regrets

  11. sirkellz Says:

    Very impressive piece betty…
    We all dream, though its usually much harder to bring into action when we factor in ‘reality’ but most importantly we are able to envision our happy place so we don’t miss it…

  12. 0latoxic Says:

    There’s so much of me in this! Only thing is, I’m the dreamer, both father and son. Many dreams fallen away, many others still alight.

    And the various forms of expression?! I majored in sculpture in school, headed a dance crew, toyed with rap, acted on tv, work in advertising now, doing graphics for a living… And still have a passion for all these. But, oh curse reality… And still, I am not content. I do not feel fulfilled… But I will… I must!

  13. 0latoxic Says:

    Forgot to mention my writing. Finally transitted from poetry to prose and am now hoping I can find my balance on that highwire between both…

  14. Ekwe Says:

    I identify. I dream. a lot.its what has kept me going,seeing that I have no social distractions.it is the only thing that has kept Ekwe sane in this world. unabashedly,I make bold to say that a lot of people who grew up in the same environment as I did have been the worse for it.I thank God. it is all possible because I dream.it is the only thing that has kept Ekwe sane in this world. unabashedly,I make bold to say that a lot of people who grew up in the same environment as I did have been the worse for it.I thank God. it is all possible because I dream.perhaps too much. identify. I dream. a lot.its what has kept me going,seeing that I have no social distractions.it is the only thing that has kept Ekwe sane in this world. unabashedly,I make bold to say that a lot of people who grew up in the same environment as I did have been the worse for it.I thank God. it is all possible because I dream.it is the only thing that has kept Ekwe sane in this world. unabashedly,I make bold to say that a lot of people who grew up in the same environment as I did have been the worse for it.I thank God. it is all possible because I dream.perhaps too much.

  15. Love this… very realistic. Good work blessed heart!

  16. ibetapassmynebo Says:

    Nice write up betty….quite nostalgic….cos I wish I had ds knda rel wv my dad…but its extraordinarily complicated…..but hopfuly my husband wud have wv my kids!

    Yea…abt havn difftent dreams…I can totally relate…infact I hav given up on all n ve decided to do wot comes wv time!

  17. Glory Says:

    Conflicting interests, limited time. Yet I find a lot of time to imagine. To dream. And I won’t stop.

  18. 'il Cicero' Says:

    Dreams… Dreams… Dreamssss… I remember concoting those dreams of grandiose plans and heroics… i remember having to build and redesign my house in the most minimalist of fashions… i remember losing concentration in class erry’time planning how i’d be like one of those bad ass guys in Tom Clancy’s novels… i remember having to tell my boss to f**k up cos im leaving – that was only just yesterday whilst driving home… if only…if only… my dreams would just reach out and touch me… not just a few, but everything! Then, i would have no need to want more than my dreams could afford…

  19. […] Hello all. I know it’s been a while. I have no half-hearted apologies to render, it was for the good of all. This here is a story I’m working on. Working on, because I’d like to develop it. This is a draft I enjoyed writing. I hope you enjoy reading too. The gong I beat is mellow. Faint and nostalgic. Dreamy. Listen for the underlying strings, the strums of the return. Listen.

  20. r3alitybit3s Says:

    Wow,everyone’s seems to be feelin nostalgia, okay well.I’m nt gonna pretend I didn’t enjoy d piece cos uberbetty ‎​ȋ̝̊̅Ƨ̷̜̌̋ always uber,neva took walks with ma dad cos he was neva available,nd m still dreamin nd will continue till I die.thnks pemi

  21. @sTvNNa Says:

    This …………. is somewhat magical! Deep, yet appearing so arbitrary, You r not just a dreamer, u r living the dream. Super luvly. A very gud read.

  22. Wow…ur writing just blows me away Betty. I love this story. The imagery is just so compelling, it literally draws u into the girl’s life.
    I can so relate to this story. Cos altho the youngest, I think I’m d most like my father. There’s nothing wrong wit dreaming, it’s d actualisation dat’s d crux of d matter, n d most difficult.

  23. JadenTM Says:

    Dreamers don’t always end up sad and unfulfilled, or do they? If they are running away from reality and they succeed, then is that not an end in itself?
    Leaving one to chase another… Perhaps the one has ended, stopped being a fantasy and moved to the dangerous realm of reality.
    Maybe that in itself is the tragedy.

    • Betty Says:

      I love this comment. Because it is one way people aren’t seeing it. The main character is happy. Is comfortable in her hazy world. Isn’t that what matters?

      And you’re right- ‘maybe that in itself is the tragedy’. That it’s no longer a dream.

      Thank you, JadenTM.

  24. I feel as though its referring to me – leaving one project unfinished to start another with gusto. Thanks for the jolt.

  25. Victor Odiba Says:

    Veeery real! i like!

  26. awizii Says:

    “I go on dreaming. I have translated it to what I call my art. I sing my dreams, I write them, I draw them. My life feels like a leisurely haze of pastel colors. Surely, this isn’t a bad place to be”

    I found this so beautiful I had to re-read it, over and over again. I read the story 3 times. I let the words sink in and I have to admit I actually did shed a tear.

    The power of the imagination is something I never want to stop having no matter what, and that is why I love art. There is nothing truer than art.

    The dreams never end, keep walking, keep dreaming. We will find peace in establishing that connection between our ideals and the reality that exists, and by so doing find the balance as long as the ‘image’ exists. My 2 cents. And yes, I’m still walking.

    • Betty Says:

      Your comment is so beautiful too.
      There’s a funny fluttering in my heart when I hear a story mere me has written makes such an impression on another.
      That. That is what keeps me writing. Thank you.

  27. MsBukonla Says:

    I never had walks with either parents, that doesn’t bring food to the table. But I created a vivid empire for myself
    , in my mind. I am very flighty, I have delved into a lot of things (none of them art) but I’m close to actualizing 80% of all I dreamt of as a kid. I’m not poetic but this, is a lovely write-up Betty.

  28. Sick_Sage Says:

    This is a beautiful story, wonderfully written, if this is a rough draft,I wonder how good the finished work will be

  29. Mia Farraday Says:

    This read like music. Feist, probably. It seemed very contained though….I’d love to see how you develop it. Can I just echo my minion by saying that I adore your writing style. It isn’t heavy or ponderous, it’s light but incredibly descriptive. A fan, as always.

  30. This is good, as always. I love the way you write. And I miss taking walks with my father. It would be very easy to be like the character in ur story, because I’m naturally a dreamer, and my dad is one too. But he made it clear that dreams will never get u anywhere without focus. So that’s what I do. I dream. And then I take tiny steps to make it happen. And its working for me.

    Btw, sorry I took so long to read this. Life gets in the way sometimes. Beautiful story. Romantic. And when I read it, the pictures in my head are sepia toned. That’s definitely a good thing. 🙂


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