The “Freedom of Creative Expression” stories continue with “A journey of discovery” by ‘Mamohau Thetsane

It felt amazingly weird at first; everything around me seemed to have rhythm, an inexplicable yet beautiful melody that I could not understand. More amazing was the uncontrollable urge for me to reach for a pen and paper, to jot down all I saw and heard. Leaves rustling, worms slithering about, even dogs barking without purpose, not to mention the sweet yet mysterious endless chirping of birds in the highest branches of trees.

It felt weird because I have led a life abundant with overwhelming emotions yet speech fails me and I get an unstoppable urge to pour out on paper.

It began when I was in Durban. I stood at the window looking silently at the phenomenal beach view. My mind was invaded by thousands of thoughts that came in the manner of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. I proceeded to take a short journey to the bedroom, reached for my pen and put down all that I saw, heard and smelt on paper; the sandy beach shore, the gentle breeze from the sea, the inhabitants in their varied beachwear and cheerful young ones building sand castles.

When my mother got home, she took the paper and commenced reading it with blatant interest and I saw her face lighten up. “This is a beautiful piece of writing, I think we may have a writer in you”, she commented. At the time, I felt like she was simply mocking me.

The exquisite art of writing was revealed to me again when I took over shopkeeping at my mother’s uniform shop. I lost the store key one day unfortunately and I got into big trouble. Amazingly, that horrible incident got turned into a great written story entitled, “The Lost Key”.

At times I was reluctant to write about extremely personal matters like family issues. I would think “what if daddy finds it?” or “what if it gets into the wrong hands?” Then spontaneously one day I just wrote: about the father who drank himself to a coma every weekend and a mother who stayed in the obviously failed marriage for the sake of her helpless children. Every word I wrote relieved me of a heavy burden I had carried on my shoulders for a very very long time.

Every ink stain on the paper melted the gigantic lump in my throat which had been there and stayed there for as long as my memory could rewind and I felt lighter. That day I learnt a crucial fact; creative expression is a remedy that possesses enormous healing power.

I wrote more frequently thereafter and my words were born into rhythm. My own words made me feel like I was listening to lyrics that beautifully struck. I tingled with joy, ticked. Writing gave me the sort of fulfillment that I had never experienced before my entire life.

With time my sentences grew shorter and more mysterious with deeper meaning entangled in them. I speak of personified metaphors, irony and rhetorical questions, which I quite liked if I should say so myself. Those who heard me named it poetry. Stanzas made more sense than paragraphs, different, compared to other forms of writing I formerly indulged in. The feeling writing poetry gave me was inexplicable yet extremely pleasurable. A thought would spring to my mind, and then linger, then pen would start inking on paper. It was calming. My mind and I put down lots of words on paper, words inspired by all that surrounds me. My hand and pen dance joyful a’s and b’s on paper to a beat produced by the drum of my thoughts, my deepest emotions, sights my eyes rest upon and the scents my nose captures. Creative expression is my life!

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