Passion Without Heart Is Dead!

Each time I retire to bed, I sleep with conviction that I do not know where the next morning is going to get me. I could wake up well, sick, with a paralyzed leg, blind, deaf, or the sun could rise and find me dead. With the onset of terrorism and people who are just unhappy with their lives that they go on shooting others carelessly, you would think of paying God to give you a peaceful death. JProblem is unless you are suffering a serious disease that assures you death, nobody knows what will kill them. The wheel of life is so unpredictable it could lead you to any direction no matter how much you think you are in control. That brings me to the value of living one day at a time, passionately. The truth is so many of us are too focused on the things they want to achieve tomorrow that they forget about being their best today.

Nobody knows what the future’s like no matter how hard they work at it. You can call that unfair, but really, it saves you loads of trouble to be compact for the ‘now’ as you plan ahead. What you do today is a pre-requisite of how things will go for you tomorrow. There are few people in this world who go out to do the things they love most to the extent of earning a living from it. In these harsh economic times, we can argue that you would be cheated to think that you can survive with one source of income. But that of course will matter to you if you have something extra to do to earn you that extra coin. 

I didn’t want to talk about that. I meant to engage us in how well we do the things we love. I’ve met aspiring poets who confess to want to be like me, but they are never ready to go through what makes me who I am. When Chris Mukasa begun Kenyan Poets Lounge and we had our first ever meeting at Central Park, Nairobi, back in 2011, many poets turned up. We lay down plans and strategies of how we would like to publish an anthology and make the Kenyan poetry scene the thing it has never been. Two years down the line when the book was ready, we only had each other, after a rough time working to make things go through. A third partner even quit on our face a week before the book launch. That was heartbreak. But we held on. The launch was successful even though it was a miniature of what we had originally planned. 
Chris and I argue many times. In fact, had we been an immature lot, Kenyan Poets Lounge wouldn’t be where it is today. It’s because we love what we do and we both want to see its success. We’ve learnt to be tolerant with each other because teamwork needs you to tone down on your ego to limits you could never have imagined. #FatumasVoice is the best thing to happen to us so far. I remember Chris explaining the idea to me while we stood along Ngong Road one fine afternoon back in July. It didn’t even take 5 minutes to comprehend the concept because we have learnt each other’s language. That’s a colorful camaraderie. I do most of the implementing while he pitches most of the ideas. The heart we put into our passion is monstrous.

I figured out the mind goes where the heart wants. If you love something, you put your brain into it. When I’m writing a poem, nothing else matters at that time. I completely immerse myself into the realm of the words and lines and thoughts, that it’s very hard to do anything else however enticing. In anything you do out of passion, the power that gets you going especially in the hard times is the heart you put into it. Heart in this case translates to work: perseverance, an open mind that’s willing to learn, tolerance, prayer, and precision in decision making. That will give you the mental strength you need to keep at it. If you want to make a difference in your field of specialization or even in your general endeavours, be certain that you have to push yourself beyond ordinary limits.

Post Author: Eric Onyango Otieno

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