Writivism: Partying is not a stage

Writivism

Could someone just rewind this week back to Monday so that the Writivism 2016 festival would be just beginning again? Or better still, could someone just fast forward to next year so it’d be Writivism festival again?

Anyone?

Because I’m not done. I don’t feel done. I am unable to deal with the fact that it has come to an end. But like all good things….

I could say I’ve learnt a lot at this festival but I’d be lying, because a lot is too little. From Monday all the way to Sunday it did not relent. The book launches – I never thought this possible – were so much fun; the readings had me going broke, scrambling for copies of these wonderful books (especially a certain amazing author whose name is Chuma Nwokolo, he just finished all my money. You people must buy How to Spell Naija in 100 stories and enjoy with me, I don’t want to be selfish with my joy). I met and got into interesting conversations with so many people, from readers to aspiring writers to writers to bloggers to authors to publishers to Greek gods and goddesses. This thing brings together so many beautiful minds and souls.

Also, this year, our Francophone brothers and sisters have been fully included in everything, from submissions to judging and the events themselves, which has made Writivism more wholesomely African by reaching out to more African nations. This particularly gives me so much joy as a lover and speaker of the French language.

The biggest lesson Writivism 2016 has taught me, however, is not one you’d quite expect: that partying is not a stage. You read that right. You might wonder how on earth partying came in, but yeah it did. Let me explain.

Have you ever had that friend (or are you yourself the kind of person) who doesn’t really go out clubbing, partying or drinking and generally doesn’t do any interesting stuff by Ugandan standards? People always say such a person is missing a stage and will one day wake up in their forties or fifties and crave the party life they didn’t live in their youth and begin hitting the clubs mixing with people half their age to kind of pay back a debt to the gods of youth. Well, I disagree. Partying is not a stage. What the stage is is that time of your youth when you enjoy your passions and explore your interests. Being at the Writivism festival this week has had me feeling some type of way, the way I imagine many of my agemates might feel after a good party or after great night out on the town. I am actually in a state of hangover; I didn’t think I would make it to the office today. I get my high off things like these. I feel like I need a few days of to digest all the Writivism bubbling around inside my brain.

And to crown it all: Acan Innocent Immaculate, who is a friend of mine (yes I must show off), won the fourth Writivism short story prize. Glory! Talk about friends who inspire! Talk about a great end to a great week!

And time will pass

From a time in my life when I was afraid I’d waste so much time;

And time, as it always does, will pass. Days will still go by. They may have no life in them, no excitement, nothing to look forward to, and no passion; but they will not linger. They will go by. They will not remember that I lived in desperation, begging them to come with something more; to bring some jump to my soul; to be bright and full of colourful bubbles. They will quickly forget that I sat by and waited for life itself to grant me the things I should have worked for and hand me prizes for things I’d made the mistake of giving up on. They will sneer at the fact that I watched other people thrive instead of survive, that I celebrated when other people achieved their dreams while I passively pondered upon mine. And they will not sneer for long, for they don’t dwell on things not done but on things that are done, because something is greater than nothing.

They will sigh a little, not from annoyance, but from disappointment because I wasted their time. In twenty four hours, a single day, others will have dreamt a thousand dreams and made a thousand realities, while I just sat and looked on. And the days will feel betrayed and hollow for I threw them away like the kind of smelly garbage everyone’s always eager to get rid of. They will not even bother to look back because they’ll not think me worthy of craning their necks so hard. So they’ll give up and move on, they’ll have given me their chance. It comes once. A day, two, three, three hundred. They’ll never return for a second round. And they’ll be gone, and I’ll be here, having had a feast in front of me from which I refused to eat.

Maybe one day, the days will come back and I can ask them for forgiveness. I can tell them of all the new plans I’ve come up with and how it can all be worked out. We can plan new things together, have new visions and dream new dreams. We can rewind to those wasted days and fill them with passion and action and love; we can make them worthwhile. I feel the jitters now; they’re butterflies in my gut; we are going to re-write history! This is hope!

That was hope. There’s this thing called logic, though. Guess what logic tells me. Days indeed never return. So I’ll just never get back my wasted time.