The Awakening

The Awakening


Dear Jack,

I haven’t written since mid-December last year. It sounds weird to you, I know, because your words to me are always calm and collected, always wondering how I do these things. How I pull off these moves. How I manage these schedules that always seem so tight; juggling between work shifts, and still managing to write so beautifully about things I am passionate about, even when sometimes, those things are almost unbelievable, as if my words on paper are the closest I will ever be to them.

But it has been more than two months since I wrote, so that brown dust has gathered at the tip of my pens, caressing the empty pages of my notebooks, so that I am coughing in despair every time I attempt this thing; this writing about my life. This writing about the things that scare me. This writing about people closest to my heart and soul. This writing, and writing, and writing, until even myself cannot tell the difference between my life and these words I write about.

It has been more than two months since I wrote, so that, even as I write this, today, my heart is beating wildly in my chest, as if afraid that I have gathered too much darkness, hope, laughter, and life in these two months, that any attempts at writing these down will be nothing close to the happenings on the ground. So that as I write this, today, a part of me is asking why I really am doing this; this writing as if my life is dependent on it. As if I will lose my purpose and direction in life if I let go of it. As if I am nothing, on the inside, without it. As if I will never know how to speak about myself without attaching my writing to it.

It has been more than two months since I wrote, so that my heart leaves my chest, always, whenever my phone pings with new messages: Is everything okay? Why did you stop your Thursday blogs? My heart is bleeding, and the only medicine has been your blog; why, then, isn’t there anything new?

In turn, I have been retreating further into myself, allowing my heart and soul to cover me in warmth and zero-guilt, even when almost all these messages went unanswered, allowing myself to accept that I needed more time to rest. I needed more time to do other things that have been seated on the wait list for too long. I needed to re-evaluate my writing, my editing, seeking to find answers to all the whys in my own head. I needed my writing to speak to me, and for me, first, before doing this to any other person.

So that in the past two months, I have been staring, for hours, at blinking cursors on blank pages, allowing my hands to shake at the thought of writing, allowing my heart to understand that these things I long to write about are way beyond me, whose voice might not be my own.

But then you showed up on my front door one day, long after tens of your calls had gone unanswered, and your patience for me to get out of my hole had run out. So that you stared right into my eyes, wondering why, for the first time since we knew each other, there was little to no darkness in them. That my face was radiant, almost bubbly, as if this calmness and happiness I was exuding has always been part of me; that I had never, ever had a brush with any form of darkness.

So that you were sitting across from me, your legs crossed under you, asking me why I was not writing. How my heart was beating, normally, without me writing. Where I was getting the strength to get out of bed, every morning, without even thinking about writing.

So that for everything you said, you insisted that I was doing injustice to myself by not writing. That these answers I am seeking before resuming my writing, might never come to me; even if they do, they will come at their own time, not mine. That this running from my own writing because it has ceased to speak to me, only because I am in a season of happiness and calm, will only but drive me deep in the gallows when the darkness, somehow, finally returns.

So that as I am writing this, today, it is your words that keep ringing in my head; I understand it is difficult for you to write when you are happy, calm, and collected. But I need you to know that there is no permanence in these things. Someday, somehow, darkness, anxiety, hurt, pain, and shame will crawl in, rendering you helpless, with nothing to fall back to. This writing you are excusing yourself from might be your only fall back plan. There are no two ways about it; you have to do it. Everything else will come to you later, and only then, will you understand how vital this writing is to your life.

So that after you left my house, my spirit crushed into my stomach, realizing how much I needed this; your voice reminding me that the very things I am trying to find should not be the reason I defraud myself, and others, of the beauty of my writing. That my quest for the meaning of my life should not hold me on chokehold, drawing me away from the things that keep my heart beating; they should, instead, only serve to fuel my drive for this thing that has kept me sane all these years; writing. 

So that even as I write this, today, despite my heart thumping in my chest, afraid my creative mind has gathered too much dust, I am allowing my heart and soul to rest in happiness and calm, knowing that someday, incase darkness returns to me, I will look back at this day, at you, and a ray of light will shine upon my face, reminding of these times, this happiness in which I am wallowing in, unafraid of the darkness that lurks in the corners of my eyes.

So that, someday, when darkness is the only thing around me, your face will be the first to come to me, drawing me out of the pits, and still carrying me in the same warmth and light as you are now.

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Meet Eunniah Mbabazi
Eunniah Mbabazi is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a deep passion for books and literature. She has authored Breaking Down, an anthology of short stories and If My Bones Could Speak, a poetry collection. She also co-authored Kas Kazi (a novel) and When a Stranger Called (an anthology of short stories).

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