Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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my thoughts on newborns and purity

It is difficult to remain clean in this world.  Both in the spiritual and physical sense.

As mother of six children now, I have had the opportunity to observe a few things about babies.  The thing that is most pertinent to the title and about which I have been pondering much of late is: babies and dirt.

Have you ever noticed that babies get dirty even if they haven't DONE anything at which they might reasonably get dirty?  Maybe not dirty in the same way as a three-year-old playing directly in the dirt gets dirty, but somehow they collect dirt in the palms of their hands, in between fingers and toes, in the chubs at their neck, and under their arms?  I have!  At least six times with six different tiny humans.

Wanna know what I've decided?

It's just part of this fallen world.  Dirtiness is just part of this fallen world.  That's why we have to clean our nails frequently, take showers, repent every day, partake of the sacrament frequently, avoid environments in which sin is prevalent, and so forth.

This world is fallen.  But we don't have to stay down when we experience a fall.  We are able to rise up when we fall.  We can and must clean off the muck and mud. Each and every time we experience a fall, regardless of degree.  It is within our power.

Requirement: work.  We have to do the work of cleaning up.  Literally and figuratively.  When we end up dirty as a result of our own choice or because someone sped by a mud puddle when we were walking on the other side of it.  We just have to accept some dirtiness comes, but we can choose to get clean and work on staying that way.  We just have to make the choice to do so every time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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taking flight

I know everyone knows how to do it.  It’s just so difficult and exhausting.  I’m just not strong enough.”
That’s not exactly correct, and you know it.”
What?  What’s not correct?  What do you mean?”
Not everyone flies and you know it.”
Okay, well… everyone who is anyone knows how to fly except me.  Everyone in my kundi knows how to fly and I’m one of the oldest.  I should’ve learned by now and I just can’t do it.”
Pole pole ndio mwendo.  But if you think you should, will you to do it now, then?”
I know… I know: Slow, slow is the way to go and slowness is the better locomotion.  I just don’t know.  Honestly.  Maybe there is something missing in me and I actually cannot fly.  Maybe I’m incapable.”
Even those who choose not to fly are able.  They have simply chosen not to develop their ability to do so, so the gift lies dormant.  But all Watu are capable of flight.”
Maybe I’m not meant to fly.”
Maybe you hurry yourself overmuch.  Haraka haraka haina baraka.  In addition to that truth, your age does not determine your ability.”
Yes, yes.  I know: hurry, hurry, has no blessings.  Maybe… well, maybe flying is not my path.”
Carefully, only carefully speak of your Njia, your ways.  You are able to change order into chaos with words spoken amiss.  You know better, do better.”
I’m sorry, Bwana Mwalimu.  I will do better.  I guess I’m just scared and tired.  Shouldn’t I rest?”
You have not made an attempt in the last ten minutes.  Is that not a restful period of time?”
I guess I’d like to sit or lie down to rest.”
Do you think the tree in a storm would like a rest?”
Yes.”
Does it get what it wants?”
No.”
Is it stronger because it must endure?”
Well…  I mean….  I guess so.  But I’m not a tree.  I’m a little girl.  And I’m tired.  Won’t you let me rest?”
Are you so little?  I am not in control of you, Moja Kidogo.  Only you can choose to endure and work or lie down and stop progressing.”
But… you are my teacher and I must do as you direct.”
You would fly.”
What do you mean?”
If you must do as I direct, you would fly.”
But I’ve TRIED.  I really have!”
Try.  Try is a lie the weak tell themselves.  It amounts to no more than an excuse.  What is an excuse, Moja?”
An excuse is a well-planned lie.  But I’m not lying.  I have been trying!”
Did you know that Hofuya Kuanguka had a difficult time learning to fly?”
No!  She is the most amazing flier in our kundi!  I’ve wondered how she could fly so well since she’s one of the youngest in all our kundi and she flies better than others in the kundi above ours.”
Yes.  She is a good flyer now.”
But… if she had such a difficult time, how is it that she flies so well now?”
Because she did as I directed her to do she: asked many questions to understand the nature and principles of flight, studied on her own, practiced a great deal, just as I have done with you.  Additionally, she had me help her do something she was desperately afraid of doing.”
What?  What did she have you do?”
She asked me to accompany her to Kiwango Chajuu.”
Kiwango,” reverently.  “Why Kiwango Chajuu?  What did she want to do there?”
She asked me to push her.”
What!!??”
Silence grew between Moja and Bwana Mwalimu.
But… but… Did you DO it?”
Ineed.”
Oh.  … … Are you saying I should do that?  Do you think I should have you push me off of Kiwango Chajuu?”


WANT MORE??? Next part HERE.
Let me know in the comments!
Swahili Words and Phrases used in Taking Flight
Kundi - Group
Pole pole ndio mwendo. - Meaning: Slow, slow is the way to go/slowness is the better locomotion.  Application: Being steady and keen is important when performing given tasks.
Watu - People
Haraka haraka haina baraka. - Meaning: Hurry, hurry, has no blessings.  Application: More haste less speed. It is important to do a given assignment well and not to hurry for the sake of completing it.
Nija - Ways
Bwana Mwalimu - Lord Teacher or Master Teacher, this is both his name and title for the purposes of this story.  Most would probably call him Mwalimu, but because Kidogo is his student, she calls him by both of his names most of the time.
Moja Kidogo - One Little.  Because she is young, most would call her by her second name.  If she were to become of great renown, she might choose to change her name or add an additional name to alter the meaning of her whole name.  If she became a teacher, she would probably use a different name with her students.
Hofuya Kuanguka - Fear of Fall, The Watu often name their children according to what they perceive will be the greatest trouble they will overcome in their life, thus, when they are grown and have accomplished many things and are, perhaps, of renown, they will always remember what they have overcome.  Also, it helps others know a part of their past that might otherwise be hidden.  It enables all to know that they are imperfect, even when they may seem accomplished or nearly perfected.
Kiwango Chajuu - Level Top, The highest peak from which flyers could safely perch and jump to fly.
Hasira hasara. - Meaning: Anger brings damage.  Application: Prudence is important in decision making.
Mwanafunzi - Student
Mungu Upendo - God Love, As we know, God is Love, so to name God: “God Love” is simply a wonderful and constant reminder of his primary characteristic, of who He IS.
Akili - sense, mind, ingenuity.  Akili embodies all of the three possible interpretations of his name.  He is sensible with a great mind and ingenius, he is often considered the greatest inventor of his generation among the Watu.  Some suggest that he is or will be the greatest inventor ever.