Taarifa Rwanda

The Shape Of My Destiny

This hand

It could be used for cooking

But

I hold a pen

A pen to put words on paper

To sculpture the shape of my destiny.

These eyes

Can be used to watch TV

Football

Evening News

Football

Football

Gooooaaal

 

Headlines from all over the world

Violence and disasters

Reality shows

 

And talk shows

And shows that show

nothing at all

 

Or

with these eyes I travel in the pages of a book

 

Do you know why?

 

Cause I am a spirit of words

My spirit is held together by poetry

Poetry is the keeper of my garden

A garden of flowers

That gives me peace.

 

Words keep me alive

Words make me breath

They give me the direction to move on

After stumbling

Again.

And sometimes

I wake up

In the middle of the night

Sleepless

My mind is disturbed by thoughts that give me pain

 

And then even before I drink my first coffee

In the morning

A grasp of that book

Of poetry

A bible of

Of thoughts

To find a word

A quote

An inspiration

That gives me strength

 

And once I find it

It hold it

With care

So it guides me

Back to my dreams.

So it follows me

During the day

 

As a girl,

The library

Was my favorite grocery shop,

To get sweets

Delicious moments

Of letting the candies

Melt in my mouth

 

I was “eating” pages

Before falling asleep

So that my quiet place

Was opened up

To deeper experiences

To more guidance of what it means

To be a man

To be a woman.

 

In the morning

Back to earth from my nightly explorations

And travelling far,

I faced my shyness with a smile

The distance to my friends couldn’t hurt me

I was a warrior inside

 

Yes A warriors inside.

 

Indeed, I was a child

But the fights and struggles

The joy of my heroes

Made me grow

 

A girl

I was hungry to discover the world

With every book

My Universe

Became inhabited with people from all over the world.

 

I entered airplanes

And busses to cross the continents

Before I even knew about the dimensions of a plane

I was riding a horse

To explore the steps

I’ve sat on a camel

To cross the dessert

 

One day,

Back from the Far East,

I climbed on the horse in my neighborhood

A REAL one,

But to be sincere,

It wasn’t as much a friend

As the one from my fairy tales/heros book

 

With my books,

I discovered the smells of India

The wind blowing over the waste land of Russia

Sensations to make my imagination blossom

I entered into a new dimension

Where I could touch the sky

 

My family was composed with people

Living in the four corners of the world

I was a guest

In the tents of the Indians of America,

The roundhouses of Papua New Guinea

In the igloos of the Eskimos

 

Difference was not fear

But smiled at me, with beauty.

 

My mind was the place

To hold them together

My family

Of people from all over the world.

 

With those strong

And adventurous friends in my mind,

I could ignore

The boredom of my home

The ignorance of the elders

The loneliness

In my playground.

 

Sitting in my quiet place

I was reading

Entering into the history of humanity

 

The destruction of the Herero People,

The nameless deaths of Americas original inhabitants

The crimes in the name of civilization,

The humiliation of the powerless

 

They shaped my emotions

They shaped my mind

 

I was frightened by war

Angry with injustice

And I grew

With knowledge

 

 

I walked in the footsteps of Winetoo

Feared and screamed when he was facing his enemies

I cried at this tomb

 

Oh save me,

I jumped back into my bed

Warm and quiet

 

But with every book

A small piece of my heart

Stayed at the place of my friends

And with time

My heart got scattered all over the world

 

Growing in age

My mind and heart

A library

With experiences from all over the world,

I started walking out of my small place

And learnt

That I was able to write,

 

The story of my own life,

 

One story within the stars at the sky

One story along side with your story

As well

As you know

 

That your hand

Can hold a pen

That draws lines

A whole universe on a piece of paper

 

A Universe that allows

People to fly

Beyond the border of their space

Beyond the limits of their thoughts

 

So that they are able

To embrace Humanity

In their thoughts

And in their heart.

 

_____________________________________________________________

Andrea Grieder is a poet, director of transpoesis, an organization which aims at fostering poetic creativity. As a social anthropologist, she is teaching at UTAB (university of technology and arts of Byumba). Dr. Andrea Grieder is co-editor of Poetry and Ethics, globethics. 2018.

Currently, she is participating in the IUAES World Congress in Brezil, florianopolis.

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