This is the second instalment in my Lockdown series. Throughout the pandemic, I had hope that this situation, like those before it, would pass and the Bible quote in Psalm 91 verse 10 helped me cope when life was hectic. I hope this encourages you to look forward with hope, knowing that it is possible for us to rebuild the future and learn from the past. Do stay safe and alert!
In light of the civil unrest that's plagued our world recently, hot on the heels of the pandemic, I felt it was appropriate to revisit the poem I wrote in Oct 2019 in celebration of Black History month. I personally fail to understand how any human being can treat another in such an inhumane way and be able to justify it. Are we not all flesh and blood? Do we not breathe the same air? Do we not all share the same earth? Are we not all born and will we not all die? All I can think of, is the sheer fact, that those engaing in such atrocious behaviour, are simply ignorant. And it is this ignorance, that leads them to make such hurtful decisions such as the one we've seen in the recent case of George Floyd. May his soul rest in peace and may his untimely death bring the much needed change we all need to see.
What does being Black mean to me?
By Kemi West
You asked, ‘What being black means to me?’
I respond, with a question, so you can understand me;
Do I have red BLOOD running through my veins?
Do I LIVE on this earth like every human being?
Do I ASPIRE to achieve the dreams I have within?
Do I CHALLENGE the status quo and stand up for what is right?
Do I retrain my mind to gain KNOWLEDGE so I can grow?
I know my truth and I know I do.
You ask what being black means to me?
But I ask why a label you created applies to me?
I am first and foremost a human being;
A valuable contributor to the human race;
My past, my present are my heritage and my teacher;
They enhance my humanity and give me vision without borders;
Being Human is to experience the good and ugly side of life;
Whatever our race, there’s a common thread running through our veins;
We breathe the same air;
We live and we die;
We can’t make a life neither can we prevent death;
When you ask the question,
What being black means to me?
I can honestly say, being black means you’re the same as me.
B.L.A.C.K is HuMANity
© 2019 by Kemi West
The recent weeks has been topsy turvy at the best of times and this series is about my personal journey through it all. Sometimes I took a stroll, other times I listened to music, wrote in my journal, took pictures and took time to reflect on life. The first series looks at the things that drew my attention on my daily commute to work. Hope it encourages you to find your own ways of dealing with the challenges that may come your way too.
It is an understatement that nurses have worked tirelessly to protect the nation from the pandemic. This street art by an artist doing his bit to give back to society, is a befitting way to acknowledge the hard work of nurses across the nation. Nurses, you had our hearts in your hands and you took great care of it. We appreciate your hard work! Thank 'YOU'. xx
Please note: The artist's instagram address is on the artwork below in case you're interested in seeing more of his work.
Since journaling has become increasingly popular again inlight of the current climate, an archival box can proof useful. It could be used to store journals, notebooks, letters and prevent your keep sakes from gathering dust. All you need do is take care of your box by dusting it regularly and your keep sakes will last a while! In the video below I made an archival box for someone who wanted a neat way to store their keepsakes and this box seemed to do the trick.
Been reading about prople coming up with creative ways to deal the lockdown and one of the things that keeps coming up is journaling. I have to say it's a great idea to capture this once in a life time occurrence when the world pressed stop, as I don't think it's something we would want to repeat again. Nonetheless, we have an opportunity to tell our stories to the future generations and how best to do that than through journaling. Of course there are other ways to document the times using photography or film, art and so on. The key thing is to take note of the things that capture your attention at present, in the hope of sharing it with those who would appreciate the history in future. Below is a picture of a journal I made in 2016 and I still use it now. That is why, it's great to use a handmade book as they last longer and are ideal for archiving your history.
Who knew when I was watching one of my beloved Korean dramas a short while ago, that I too would one day be wearing a face mask. In fact, wearing a face mask has become such a norm for me that I barely leave home without it. Sometimes art truly does imitate life. The 2011 movie contagion Directed by Steven Soderbergh was a good example of this. We live and learn!
If self-isolation means protecting ourselves and others, I will gladly oblige. After all, when will we get the time to ever experience a national vacation that forces us to care for one another like this again. The elderly are being cared for by their loved ones, families are forced to reconnect with one another by spending time together and there are those key workers who selflessly keep the nation going. Whatever the case, we didn’t choose this situation and we have no control over it. The only thing we can do, is to remember we are all in this together and we might as well make the best use of this opportunity.
The one thing I must admit that I discovered from this experience, is that the world momentarily regained its compassion and went back to being loving again. Why? Because we are fighting a common enemy and this somehow reunited us. I don’t know how long this would last, but for now, let’s drink-up the lemonade that came our way when life dropped us this lemon!
On that note, here are some personal things I thought of, that may help you adapt to this self-isolation period. Hope you find it useful.
Tip 1: Pray, Read The Bible And Mediate on God’s Word
As a Christian, this is the most important thing to me. It’s how I like to start the day. It’s basically fueling my mind for the day ahead. It’s also important to pray for our nation and the world at large for things to go back to normal.
Tip 2: Maintain a daily routine
If you were going to work, you would have a routine in place and this period should be no different. This could mean, waking up the same time you go to work, changing from your pyjamas into comfortable clothing, having breakfast at your usual time and having a list of things you want to do. By doing these things you experience a shift in your thinking that would prepare you for the day ahead and prevent boredom!
Tip 3: Excercise
Do what works for you! This can be strolling (which gives you time to stop and notice things along the way), excercise indoors or go jogging in your local area. Remember to adhere to the lockdown rules in your area!
Tip 4: Eat Healthy Foods
The reason why we’re self-isolating is to protect ourselves from the elements. So, it makes sense to eat foods that would fuel our bodies and build up our immunity against those elements.
Tip 5: Have Fun
Do something you enjoy. The key word here is ‘enjoy’. You could:
Tip 6: Stay digitally connected with others
Just because you are self-isolating doesn’t mean you should lose contact with others. You can stay connected through video calling via Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime or use any Digital application of your choice to keep you connected with the outside world. You can also stay connected by phone or text.
Tip 7: Take care of yourself
Nothing is more important than nurturing yourself. So use this time or shall I say, this opportunity to pamper yourself.
Hope this spurs you on to find creative ways to embrace self-isolation. Here's hoping we all stay safe and keep healthy!
Sanitizers have become a rare commodity due to the current Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic. Therefore, learning to make yours could proof useful as you can make some whenever you want without the fear of running out! Hope you find it useful. Stay safe veryone!!
In light of the current health scare, we are facing testing times, but we are a fighting nation! And we've managed to 'keep calm and carry' on despite the challenges. That is why I would like to thank all the Key workers around the country working tirelessly to keep the nation going. You are highly appreciated!
Welcome to my blog, where I share things that inspire me. My faith, nature and the simple or imperfect things in life, are what brings me joy and inspire me to create. I look forward to sharing my inspirations with you. Thanks for stopping by!