Spinning it from philosophy to blogs, writers are full of surprises
By Juliet Mwangi
‘Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure.’ -Baruch Spinoza.
We start this one off with one of Dismas Okombo’s favorite quotes from Baruch Spinoza, the 17th century Dutch philosopher. If he were to meet any author, dead or alive, then Baruch would be his pick. He opines that there is a certain air of peace that his writings inspire in him. In the opening line of his first work, Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, which he wrote at age 25, he resolves to escape the ‘…hollowness and futility of everything that is ordinarily encountered in daily life…’ and to live a life of calm simplicity. “In him,” says Dismas, “I find a man who was truly at peace with himself.”
Dismas Okombo, who studies sociology, psychology and philosophy in a university of his own loves cycling and chess which he hopes to play professionally one day. His favorite dish is gizzard stew with chapatti and he sure is enthusiastic about writing and a good friend of Writers Guild Kenya. We had a good chat with him after graduating from the Write Your Passion course we offer.
A philosopher who is fascinated by concepts of death and suicide sure did have a lot to say as we had this shot but intriguing chat with him.
- Having successfully gone through the Write Your Passion course, have your reading or writing habits taken any different course?
In regards to writing, the golden lesson the course taught me is that, inasmuch as a writer might consider writing a hobby or an escape, a serious writer must also consider writing as a duty. Something they must do. And to quote Gabriel Dinda, Writers Guild’s CEO: “…when it is time to write (referring to a writer’s daily schedule), write.” Since then, my writing is more disciplined.
On the other hand, reading habits, not so much. My reading habits were stable by the time I took the course. However, interacting with course mates introduced me to some other fascinating materials, like The Concept of Irony by Soren Kierkegaard; a blessed gift from Gabriel and Vera Dinda.
- What are your wildest dreams in writing?
I envision a writing that concisely expresses the chaos and the confusions in me; a writing that bears the truth of my naked soul; that diagnoses my human condition. Thus, refining my writing to quietly speak the truths, the lies and the illusions within me; this is my life’s goal.
- When should we expect a book from you?
I am currently working on about three projects. Answering the when part is a little tricky, because often I can’t seem to overcome my hasty inclination to lie in bed all day. And also, I possess a meticulousness of an impractical degree in the projects I undertake. But in hypothetical terms, I like to fantasy that my first book will come out on 5th March, 2021. So watch out for that, and please survive this season. While waiting, why not enjoy some of my pieces here; https://www.writersguild.co.ke/category/wr-dismas-okombo
- Kindly write here, the last paragraph of your dream book (imagined or real).
Mine will be what I think the last lines of a book I began two years ago will read;
‘His feeble hands directed the poison to his dry lips. In one last flare, his eyes gleamed with glints of immeasurable joy. Death would offer him what life couldn’t, eternal peace.’