So this guy with whom I became friends wrote again. He just turned 23 and reading this piece reminded me of what John Eldredge says in his book, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul,
“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” and “A man needs a much bigger orbit than a woman. He needs a mission, a life purpose, and he needs to know his name. Only then is he fit for a woman, for only then does he have something to invite her into.”
Well, read on.
I want to get old; Really old. I don't want to die young. I want to die when there is nothing left to live for. When life has become flat, and not even sunsets excite my emotions. Except the squalling sounds of my grandchildren fighting to perch on my laps because I'll be this cool grandpa with a cool white goatee and white eyebrows, who tells funny stories from an era when there used to be a blue bird called twitter.
So I'll want to be around to teach my son how to ride a bike when he is 5. I'll want to see my daughter become a woman at 15(like her mother), and shove a gun barrel down the throat of the guy who will walk into my compound to take her away from me at 25. Just to see him wet his pants; dark bliss; because I'll have walked a mile on hot coals, to win my father in law's approval.
I want to teach my son about manhood, even though I hardly know about it myself. But I got enough time to learn. I want to teach him how to respect women and how to be chivalrous because chivalry transcends time.
I want to know God. And walk in His presence, because Christ is the zenith of manhood. So I'll have a bible: In Luo, because I understand my creator more in my mother tongue. Other languages are mere subtitles. And then I'll have a guitar with one string missing, that I will strum late into the night, to Luo songs. I don't know where the string will have gone, but it will not be there; perhaps to symbolize something abstract and silly like, ‘nothing is complete, even beautiful art’. I want to serenade my wife with music once in a while, because women like to be perpetually chased, not only to validate their beauty but also because they want to feel loved.
I want have a prayer room at the roof top facing East, where I can see the sun rise and marvel at the greatness of God each morning. I am cuckoo about beautiful sunrises. I want to send prayers for my daughter and son overseas because that's what fathers do.
I want a woman: A woman with the word, because I am beginning to see the tail coat of 30 disappearing around corners. I want a woman who will teach my daughter that she doesn't have to seek the validation of amorous eyes, because true beauty is a woman with God. I want this woman, who will walk with me towards God, because some journeys are better taken in twos.
I want to travel and see the world. I am restless and boundaries strangle my spirit. But I want to see Kenya first. Then I will to go to the Sahara, and take this shot that will have been hibernating in my head for a decade: Of a bare chested Husa, with a dusty turban on his head and a loin wrapper, leading a caravan of tired camels with big knees; punching holes into the desert sand, heading north to Old Timbuktu. Or this Turkana chap standing on one leg, propping himself with an AK-47, and chewing a blade of grass, while his goats hung on a bush nearby.
I want to go to Venice because it has the most romantic ambience. And the narrow water channels that fingers inland tickles me. I want to go to Russia and see the Kremlin and get reminded how fleeting and short-lived human power is. I want to see Big Ben and watch, in its might and grandeur, as the hands of time move humanity.
I want to drive to Madibaland with my missus in a Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4. For the valor mostly but also because I want to metaphorize the arduous journey of marriage.
I want to be a husband. And a good father to my kids. So that when asked by their kindergarten teacher who their role model is, they will stand up tall and say daddy. And that will melt my insides. I want to be a leader at home, something most men have neglected and left to the women in the chase for titles and positions. Society is looking for men who will stand up and fill the leadership gap: Men who will keep vows; Men who come home to their wives and children; Men who are reliable and trustworthy in their dealings; Men who will take responsibility for their actions whether good or bad.
I want to be that guy up there. Without a potbelly though. A potbelly is a middle class curse. I want to hit the gym. And have this awesome abs that I'll look at in the shower mirror for 15min straight. Vanity stalks me even in the most unlikely places.
And I'll want to come back to read this article when am 40. No, I won't be struggling with mid-life crisis. I'll just want to sneak back on time and see how I have developed as a man.