Its a rare thing, to witness a star in the making. It’s as rare as a blue moon, or if that’s too generic for you, then as rare as a bloody steak on a Saturday afternoon.
I was sitted in the front row, just like always. And just like always, I was completely blown away. Michael Onen had a gift. A gift so big, so obvious that there was no denying it. Of course there was the additive that he had been doing this for quite some time now. Twelve years if you were to ask him. But if you were to ask me, I would say that it it’s been a whole lot longer than that. He penned his first song when he was eight and form his own group at the very same age.
Twenty-two years later and he’s still at it. Everyone is put on this earth to do something. For Michael Onen (or Mike-O to you), it is to sing. You can see it in his conviction when he’s on stage. The way he hold the mic, the way he controls the crowd, the way he hits his notes.
The house is packed. And although they are not necessarily there to see him, its Power Fm’s Movie Night (I swear Muji you should pay me for that plug) they might as well be. As I look back at the crowd, he has them transfixed. Eating out of the palm of his hand.
I hear one person ask whether he’s Ugandan. Another, a girl, commenting on how he has the voice of an angel, too bad he’s married.
I smile to myself, they haven’t seen, or in this case, heard nothing yet. Get ready world, Mike-O is about to take Uganda by storm.
To listen to his latest single “Napenzi (the wedding song)” click on the link below:
she wore feathers in her hair. waking up every morning to go in search of them. red ones and blue ones and green ones and yellow ones. the white ones were her favorite though. dove feathers. she cherished them. kept them in a wooden jewelry box that she kept hidden under a floor board under her bed. “angel feathers” she called them. and once she had enough she would sow them together, make herself a pair of wings and then it would be goodbye jeremy and hello eternity.
she wore them all the time. when she went to school. when she went to church. when she brushed her teeth and when she ate her greens. she even wore them to her Auntie Sandra’s wedding. i remember Carlton, that was Sandra’s husband for all sixteen months that they were married, leaning over, kissing her on the forehead and calling her his “little feather girl”. everyone thought that amusing, i remember, because she was one of the flower girls and she went home beaming for days.
and then something bad happened. and she stopped wearing feathers in her hair. she stopped waking up to collect them and she threw out all of her “angel feathers”. i remember walking up to her house one saturday morning and finding them scattered all over the lawn. there were so many of them. a childhood of them. i knew how much they had meant to her and so instinctively, without even thinking, i bent down and began to pick them.
“what are you doing?” the voice was angry. angry but wilted.
i looked up. she was standing on the porch, one hand firmly on her hip, the other hidden behind her back. there were no feathers in her hair. there was, however, a somber expression on her face.
“your-your feathers…what happened?”
she took a moment before answering. a great sadness washing over her face.
“we’re not children anymore jeremy. the feathers were a fantasy. go home.”
but i couldn’t. no, not like that. not with her sounding so defeated. not with her looking like God had closed the door to Heaven right in her face, no. and so in cold defiance, which in retrospect probably wasn’t the best idea, with the feathers still in my arms, i walked towards her.
It was her sixteenth birthday.
The winds of change are blowing. East…then west…then east again. I sit by the sea. My feet bare. My arms bare. The chill of the breeze coaxing the hair on my limbs into standing on end. And the clouds. The murderous looking clouds. They taunt the sun into submission. Giving up its heat. Giving up its light. Until it is nothing more than a sickeningly pale orb sitting in a tortured looking sky. The winds of change are blowing. So grab your coat, grab your hat because ‘Change’, like its older brother ‘Time’ waits for no man. No, not a one. And so I urge you, that instead of being the man that change leaves behind, be the man who instead waits for change. Who runs ahead of it, longing for it like a long lost lover. As I do, sitting by the sea. My feet bare, my arms bare. The chill of the breeze coaxing the hair on my limbs into standing on end. Like a woman, waiting for her long lost lover, lost out at sea.
go ahead, call me that messy haired emo kid with the far away stare and off beat sensibility. see if i care. so what if i havnt shaved in almost 3 weeks. and no, i’m not trying to grow out my beard, i just havnt gotten around to it yet, ok? and my hair? yeah, after the last guy totally butchered it i’m kind of reluctant to let anybody else touch it. and yes, that even means Alex, my trusty barber of ten years…plus he’s way too far out of the way anyway. well, at least run a comb through it, you say. hmmm…tell you what, tell me that again tomorrow…
i needed this week off. 6 days (almost seven) of just slumming it. sure, i wasnt feeling well but more than anything i just needed to rest. to give myself time to think. Time to feel. Time to process the last couple of months. time to piece myself back together.
“So you mean you were you broken?” you might ask.
I was. I still am. I have been for a long time. and ive never taken the time to make the neccessary steps towards repairing myself. Thank God for being the kind of God he is and shouldering most of it for me but there are some things that no one can take on but me. things that ive neglected. things that need to be taken care of. on every plane of existence that i exist on. this week was a chance to climb up into the attic, scramble around in some boxes, dust things off and examine them in the harsh light of stone cold reality. it was a step forward. i still have alot of work ahead of me.
but i needed this week. these 6 days (almost seven) of almost no phone calls, late nights and do-nothing-but-think-and-maybe-watch-a-little-TV-plus-a-smidgen-of-writing days, of waking up at ten and making a breakfast fit to feed 5 grown men, of afternoon naps and on occasion evening walks when not feeling so beat down.
and would you please stop looking at me like that. i’m an artist (and no, that is not me being presumptive) and tend to become reclusive when dealing with stuff. when REALLY dealing with stuff. i usually write out my issues but lately ive been so busy with being the illest that i can be that all that stuff has sort of been piling up. and thats just on the emotional plane.
i do sorta wish i had had more than this week to get my head back on straight, my body back in working order. but no, i have a life to get back to. commitments to meet, promises to keep, a business, no a LIFE to build…
i’m thankful for the reprieve but its time to jump back into the fray…
so world, i hope youre ready.
P.S. Ive always wanted to date a model and now seems as good a time as any…anybody know any and willing to set a brova up?
(On Repeat) “Sway” By The Kooks
This is something for you to remember me by:
it is my hurricane in a bottle
my love in a capsule
my heart in a box
take it, hold it, squeeze it
fold it into a tiny little square the size of your thumb and place it, ever so gently, into the tiny little pocket inside that slightly bigger pocket of your favorite pair of jeans…
like it is one in a million
like that pastel painted sunset that you can never quite capture with the lens of a camera
because it is a treasure
but above all, above everything else:
never…ever let it go.
a lot has happened since i wrote to you last. hearts have been broken, friendships rekindled, partnerships formed, principles tested, suspicions confirmed…its been a journey. one full of sleepless nights, euphoric highs, devastating lows, heart thumping, chest beating, hand wringing and head holding. one that has enlightened, one that has incensed, one that has blown upon me the winds of change. change for the better…change for the worse? maybe…but change none the less. I’ve been encouraged, I’ve been inspired, I’ve been shaken into action…
one foot in front of the other, they say. you have to walk before you run, they say, run before you fly…
and I have to be honest, I’m a little scared. everything’s happening so fast. so fast, in fact, that half the time i have no idea what I’m doing. but don’t tell my clients that. the only thing that i DO know for sure is that this is what i want. this is what i was born for. God has made me see that. I’ve never wanted anything so bad in my life. and it brings tears to my eyes, yes, literal tears, to know that God has been there every step of the way. to see him opening doors that would have otherwise been impossible to open, to feel his presence around me ALL the time, fighting my battles, cleansing my wounds, giving me guidance, whispering in my ear, everyday without fail, “I love you, I love you, i love you…”
and you know what? on top of all of that, I’m having fun. and yes i know, i may get home bone tired everyday, not wanting to do anything more than just fall into my bed and snore it all away but in spite of all of that, I’m having the time of my life. I’m one of the fortunate few who can actually say, i love my job. And i have God to thank for every single second of it. and as i sit here typing this i pray to God that my efforts may not be in vain. and more so right now, at this very second, that he will place people in my life that will not hinder but help me further the work that he has started in me. because the truth is, i am just a man and i can not do this alone…
to bring this baby home, I wrote something a few weeks ago called “The Sailor’s Wife” (and no you haven’t read it, reason being i wasn’t satisfied with how it turned out. maybe one day, if you ask really nicely) and it was talking about the winds of change. something i touched on in the beginning. that change comes like a storm. with a chilly breeze and murderous looking clouds. and that like its older brother “time”, it waits for no man. and so we need to be ready. I’ve decided that I’m ready for change, that even though I’m scared half to death of change, I’m going to embrace it…
the question is, are you?
and oh, since it IS my part of my job, in case you HAVEN’T had a listen yet, i present to you…”Livid” by Chelle. (Plz check out the link below)
Okay, so i know i havnt been providing ya’ll with something to keep your eyes bouncing but with good reason…ive been working to give you something to get your bodies moving…check it out…
Lyrics & Muisc By The Scratched Records