TENDING TO THINGS WITH LIFE: A dose of literature to get you through Monday (series 18)

Some days are dull and uninspiring. Sunday is dull and uninspiring. I manage to evade church activities with the eagerness of an agnostic girl from a Christian family. While Tom, Rabella, Juliet and Mom and Dad go to church, I stay home presumably working on a writing assignment that is due the next day.

I make an attempt to write a short story but my writing is dull too. My imagination is limited and I decide that it is because I keep indoors most of the time. Haruki Murakami (one of the authors I admire) advises that walking is good exercise and it is much needed for the sedentary life of a writer.

It rained this morning and the roads are probably muddy and wet but I have decided to take an hour’s walk in search of inspiration.

What things one might see on a daily walk around the area!

A winding narrow road that goes through gated residences built close to each other like carriage containers lined longitudinally at a dead bay.

A child playing with his pee. He pushes hard to watch the fountain rise, then withdraws: entertained by the intervals of the rise and fall.

An old man retiring home with a cigarette in his hand and a look of shame on his face. It is too early to be returning from the bar where you spent the night.

A miserable garden of cabbage in the backyard of a naked storied building whose bare bricks and empty window frames seem lifeless and stagnant; but whose balconies bear clothes hanging from a line as evidence of human habitation. They are baby clothes. The sight reminds me of the sacredness of washing baby things.

Baby clothes can’t be washed together with adults’ clothes. The milk bottles must be washed and boiled to kill any germs resistant to soap. I have always thought all this superstitious and I regard it as rich people’s wanton mannerisms aimed at showing off.

I walk on and see more of what a cold Sunday has to offer.

A teenager crying near the gate of a High school: a teacher with a raised stick in his hand threatening to cane him some more.

Bushes by the road side, mud and my shadow on the ground as the sun attempts to break through the dull cloudy sky.

Hooting bodabodas ferrying milk in green crates to supermarkets and shops.

A child hiding from her mother at the corner of the house and sucking her middle and index fingers as she waits to be discovered.

Another child pouring what appears to be urine from a basin into the grass while her mother reminds her that she must sweep the front of the house/shop.

A voice preaching at ‘Ambassadors of Encouragement International Ministries’: it is a Sunday after all!

The hour ends and so does the walk. I have no story to write and my shoes are heavy with mud. I contemplate making it a daily habit: an hour’s walk in search of stories to write about.

Copyright © 2016-2017 by Daphine Arinda

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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