On commitment

Commitment is a fine thing, fine enough to feed the heart that wants love to remain, to be there, to be committed to one. But, commitment is a big thing too. It’s a bonding, a joining, a togetherness, an agreement to be influenced mostly by something, someone…are you ready?

No…

Commitment to me is a big issue. It’s big like a house you imagine carrying on your shoulders. Head first, shoulders next. I have been committed before. That did not end well. I became de-commited.I’ll keep saying this; our experiences color our lives.Commitment does not strike a cord with me , maybe because I am not ready to leap into the sea, a big sea. Maybe because I understand what it requires and can’t help but snort at the idea of the egocentric human who requires me to stick to him alone…pardon my anti-Christness…I am polygamous. Blasphemy? Ha.
Let’s be serious.
But I meant that.

What is commitment? Simple question. Let me answer it the way I think it is…
Big question. Big answer.
Commitment is an agreement to be influenced by someone. Are you ready?

Commitment is having your life experiences colored by one person; your new sandpaper, as you rub against each other and become shaped and the rough edges that might have been smooth edges if you had been with someone else, now become his personal smooth edges..

You become tailored to fit the description.
He fits like a glove…
She fits like a glove…

Commitment does that. Are you ready?
No.

Big deal. Deservedness. It restricts. Now, you have one person with limited insights. Love. Commitment plus love. Feels like a bubble of happy closemindedness or maybe I am wrong.

Commitment keeps you together, forever and ever. One man, one woman together.

Is he worthy?

Is she worthy?

Just one?

Come on?

One? Really?

Commitment is good. Pardon my  previous anti-Christness. Maybe it would come when I am blown away…

Off my feet…

Then I would not rationalize it…

But be blown away into it..
Like falling in love…

Commitment. Are you ready?
Not yet.

Like consent, don’t let anyone pressurize you into making them exclusively yours. If it’s your time to mingle and explore, do it for yourself. Don’t commit to the wrong person…

Advertisements

Approve yourself…

I have been thinking about approval and validation lately. At the heart of it is the conflicting desire to want to show people just how great you are and get their attention with the other part of you that is tired and just wants to be who you are without the need to prove this to anyone . To just be in the state of being and not exhibition. “You are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago” should be one of my favorite quotes when it comes to living to people’s expectations of me. My expectations of me change regularly, so it’s with great pity that I look upon anyone who takes it upon his or herself to tick the done things on their check lists concerning other people. How have I come up so far? Really. Don’t do that to yourself. This also means that I do not have expectations of others set in stone. Oh, you are not like that anymore? Great! I was rather expecting that. No, it did not take me by surprise. You have changed and it is okay.

I want to able to do things because I really want to do them and take responsibility for my act of doing and not because I want to continue the tradition of doing things that people are already used to seeing me doing. Evolving constantly as time sails along with us should be expected. Life in the end is something personal and brief. Emphasis on ‘personal’. It is left for us to remix it with elements we truly desire, to mold it into something we would enjoy living. What if I gave up writing for a while to stare at old pictures? Will that be okay? In my book, the answer should be ‘yes’. What if I decided that I give up on continuing the series on Romanticism (which I have for a while), will that be okay? Sure. It must be okay in my book. I must feel good about my decisions. They should give me peace of mind first before considering anyone else.

The summary of all approval quotes is this: Don’t seek it. Approve yourself and be Okay with it.

The Great Gatsby

Let me start by saying that my reading of this book was written in the stars. A few days ago, I had clicked on this link of Hemmingway giving some advice to Fitzgerald read here and I loved it. I liked the gangster way of shaking Fitzgerald and pushing him to reach his potential. So, when it was recommended to me two days ago, I instantly liked it. Even the fact that it is American together with my not very comforting brush of experience with Flannery O Conner’s work( don’t worry Ife. Taste gon’ grow with tym’ )  did not do anything to make me feel I would not like this articulate American piece of classic. This is what biases are made of…

The Great Gatsby is a phenomenal representation of the roaring twenties in America. I felt the language was breezy, upbeat type of magical poetry( ehem* …) Fitzgerald really had a sophisticated way of writing.

Narrated by Nick Carraway,  a New York bond sales and war veteran who graduated from Yale, it plunges into the lives of the mysterious Gatsby who lives next door to Nick in a lavish house, Daisy Fay Buchanan, his second cousin , Tom her husband, and Myrtle Wilson, his mistress. All this takes place on Long Island, a fictional village of  west egg.

I feel this book portrays finely the quest for happiness by people who feel that you only get to live once, so you might as well damn the consequences. Affairs were spoken of without the element of shock, a very accommodating atmosphere was provided for it to flourish. There is no mention of moral values, just personal happiness— a characteristic of Modernist literature.

Paired wrongly,this is the story of Tom and Daisy; the girl whose voice was made of money “Her voice is full of money,’ he said suddenly. That  was  it.  I’d  never  understood  before.  It  was  full  of money—that  was  the  inexhaustible  charm  that  rose  and  fell in  it,  the  jingle  of  it,  the  cymbals’  song  of  it….  High  in  a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl….

She had married Tom because Gatsby had had no money at the time. Now, after running a successful bootlegging business, he had come back after five years to change the past and to bring Daisy back. Always trying to compensate for not having social connections and an old family to back his new found wealth, he threw very lavish parties and put it forward that he was an ‘ Oxford man’.

Tom has an affair with Myrtle right under her husband’s watch. I think one thing to note is the how levels of desirability rise when chasers are many. Daisy was a girl pursued by many men and this validated Gatsby’s desire for her. I wonder why value increases in our eyes the moment things become scarce…human nature at work again.

A well written paragraph I want to share:

Through  all  he  said,  even  through  his  appalling  sentimentality,  I  was  reminded  of  something—an  elusive rhythm,  a  fragment  of  lost  words,  that  I  had  heard  somewhere  a  long  time  ago.  For  a  moment  a  phrase  tried  to  take shape  in  my  mouth  and  my  lips  parted  like  a  dumb  man’s,  as though  there  was  more  struggling  upon  them  than  a  wisp  of startled  air.  But  they  made  no  sound  and  what  I  had  almost remembered was uncommunicable forever

This was when Gatsby had reunited with Daisy in Nick’s home.

Statements from Nick that I found humorous:

———I’ll  tell  you  a  family  secret,’  she  whispered  enthusiastically.  ‘It’s  about  the  butler’s  nose.  Do  you  want  to  hear  about the butler’s nose?’

‘That’s why I came over tonight.’

2)To  a  certain  temperament  the situation  might  have  seemed  intriguing—my  own  instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.

3)Their  interest  rather  touched  me  and  made  them  less remotely  rich—nevertheless,  I  was  confused  and  a  little  disgusted  as  I  drove  away.  It  seemed  to  me  that  the  thing  for Daisy  to  do  was  to  rush  out  of  the  house,  child  in  arms—but apparently  there  were  no  such  intentions  in  her  head

4)No … I just remembered that today’s my birthday.’ I  was  thirty.  Before  me  stretched  the  portentous  menacing road of a new decade. It  was  seven  o’clock  when  we  got  into  the  coupé  with  him and  started  for  Long  Island.  Tom  talked  incessantly,  exulting  and  laughing,  but  his  voice  was  as  remote  from  Jordan and  me  as  the  foreign  clamor  on  the  sidewalk  or  the  tumult of  the  elevated  overhead.  Human  sympathy  has  its  limits and  we  were  content  to  let  all  their  tragic  arguments  fade with  the  city  lights  behind.  Thirty—the  promise  of  a  decade of  loneliness,  a  thinning  list  of  single  men  to  know,  a  thinning  brief-case  of  enthusiasm,  thinning  hair.

5)Taking  out  my  handkerchief I  wiped  from  his  cheek  the  remains  of  the  spot  of  dried  lather that had worried me all the afternoon

This story ends tragically…Gatsby is murdered. Myrtle dies in an accident and Nick returns home disillusioned by the West. A great book to study the human spirit of the roaring twenties.

Lucas Isaac…short story

The girl had been found lying with her face facing the swamp. The morning dew had seeped into her hair. Her mouth open and stuck in a position as if she had wanted to say ‘ oh’ and has been shocked out of it. They had checked for the characteristics of similar attack. She had coily black hair just like the other girls, medium height, had green shoes by her side, the same five inches, just like the other girls. There were marks on her skull where he had used it to hit her into an unconscious state. With such great force, the blows has penetrated into her head and cracked the right side open. One of the guys working with the team had vomited as he bent down to pick the body.

‘Same style, it was him alright’, said the coroner to John as they drove to the restaurant for lunch.
Him. Him the man who had a preoccupation with green shoes. So far, three girls had met the same grim fate. What was the motivation for a crime like that. Rape, then beating to death with high heels?

‘ We’ve found him! We’ve found him!’ , cried David as the fingerprints matched the ones on the screen. Lucas Isaac. That was the man who had lured three attractive looking girls to swampy areas . The trembling man geek who looked like he might have come from a rabbit with his two front teeth sticking out?

Lucas Isaac worked as a web developer in a growing IT company. His days were spent doing his job which he loved. At night time, no one really knew much about him. He wasn’t known for accepting invitations for late night outs. He did not particularly need the free Wednesday therapy sessions the company had provided to help cope with stress. In fact , he could be described as a plain man. Only his car mechanic knew he had gotten his car redone two times in the last six months. He had repainted it completely, had some broken pieces fixed. At that time be had explained it as an accident. He had said they had almost died, whoever he was with in the car had been frantic to get out, he explained , and that was why the door of the passenger seat had looked so beaten and the Windows half smashed. No more questions had been asked and the car had been fixed.

But he hadn’t been too careful. John, who had been assigned to the case had combed the area. It was the area Lucas worked. Lucas had been found taking a walk around the area. He had wanted to see how much he had gotten away with the second time. The first had been adrenaline filled. He had been scared shit, but had gotten away with it. The girl was a girl he met at a club. They’d gone out for three months when he decided it was time to give her the shoe and take her life. He’d met John that day and talked a bit too much.

‘ He likes them thick, doesn’t he?’ , he’d made the comment to John as he smiled. The smile made him look a bit senile.
So far, no one had paid attention to the weight of the girls. It was too soon to infer that that had anything to do with it and this had piqued John’s interest.
‘ you live around here?’ , John had asked
‘ work down the road. Web developer’ , he had said.
‘ how do you know what the girls had looked like?’ , John had asked and the transformation was sudden. He turned red and began to stammer. Lucas had explained it as one of those things; imagination and he had to go back to work.  John had still not had a reason to take him up further on that, but he had remembered the name and done a background check.

Lucas Isaac. Arrested at 19 for assaulting mother. Used her shoe. Color: Green. David’s samples had matched and they had picked him up, the amateur murderer.

‘Lucas Isaac’ , called the plaintiff. ‘ is a man that should be locked up for life, your honor’ he concluded as he spun around to face the court. He was pleading guilty but trying to get his lawyer to reduce the sentence.

‘ I object, your honor’ , said his lawyer. ‘ Here is a man with deep psychological issues. This should be considered by the court in deciding…
Lucas looked at the man as his voice trailed in his mind. His mind was cast back to the time he was six years old

‘ Mummy! Mummy!’, he’d shouted as her puffy, drug filled arms had held him by the neck, almost strangling him. That had been his night treatment anytime she’d gotten herself drunk or high. They lived on welfare and the times she got herself laid , and then she’d hit head with the green shoe she had been forced to wear to attract men in the red light district.

‘ you scrawny piece of rabbit shit’ , she’d say as she pressed his neck and pulled at his sticking teeth, then with a rough and forceful shove she’d push him all the way to the small cupboard in their almost bare room. His mother, the one who was meant to protect him was the one abusing him. And then, at 19 he’d had enough and had almost killed her. Spent time in detention and when he was released he had gone to a different city, worked part time and studied to become a developer. But work had been difficult lately and he kept relieving those memories even a decade later at 29. Playing games had stopped helping and violent porn was no longer helping as before. He was searching for novelty and that was how his first girl Rebecca happened. She had been a nice one with the drop dripping down her nose…drip…drip….for his mother.

‘…and that is why I ask for you to consider my client’ , his mind was brought back from it’s reverie with those words.

‘Court rise’ , said the Bailiff. The case had been adjoined.

Sustainable interest

That is why you need to eat apples..

Because blog titles get into your head better that way..

I’ve started reading this book by Lisa Genova ” Still Alice” and even though the book has the problem of Alzheimer as a theme, something else caught my attention yesterday as I was reading. The relationship between Alice and John, that wistful longing to a time in the past where she remembered how he used to tell her everything about his projects and how interested she used to be , but with time, as it always is with time, that gradually came to a halt. Yes, she could give a decent summary about what project he was currently working on, but it had lost its newness. She wondered what happened first, if John had been the one to cease telling her things or if she had been the one to lose interest in hearing them. This is what caught my attention.

Many months ago, I read a blog post on desiring god relating to sustaining interest in our spouse. I thought it was the very best article on that issue. The thought I still have managed to sustain after all these months is the basic one that you should never assume you know all that there is to know about your spouse. We change everyday, don’t assume you know what their thoughts are and ideas and there’s nothing new about them. I think that this can be taken even further to include other people . How often does it happen that we come to a stage in a relationship with people where we decide there is nothing new about them and we have seen all there is, so we move on to new people for new intrigues, new conversations and so on? I am guilty of this so this is not me pointing fingers at ‘ losers anonymous’ . We do this all the time.

Sustaining interest requires a lot of effort. I should use the word ‘ cultivation’ . Interest should be cultivated and tended like a garden. There should be a time to plant, water, shade from excessive sunlight and heat and pruning. But of course I give in that you are allowed and should have a hierarchy of people-priorities. You are not asked to be intensely interested in everyone you meet, but only for relationships you value . A lot of energy will be spent so it is only reasonable that you should want to limit your circle for this sort of cultivation.

Just like with an instrument one is trying hard to learn, many hours will be spent in “technical work”, in putting the effort to see how exactly this thing works. Same with people. You need to spend time and mental and emotional resources to draw them out in conversation, to share things with you. There should be consistency in pursuit, like a parent with a child. There has to be regular checking up on a child’s progress for example to make that child feel his or her work, talents and dreams mean something to the parent. Spouses need regular feedback from each other about their lives, adoration, encouragement, a healthy amount of curiosity to make them feel like they have someone who sees their contribution to this world as useful and interesting.

Needs

Having needs is not evidence of weakness – it is human.

Danielle Bernock, Emerging with Wings

Self sufficiency and needs can feel like two hands shaking each other happily if you are indeed self sufficient, but no one truly is. The competition for ego space in us to either be completely independent and reduce vulnerability against having a shoulder to lean upon is intense and futile, because in the end, no one is an Island. We need one another and we have needs only others can truly satisfy . This makes needs feel threatening and against our grasping for control in a world where the absence of chaos is shrinking.

Two ears on the head, but we don’t ask the second ear to listen to us when we have things in our hearts that we want to unburden. We seek out for ears independent of our heads to hear us out, in our friends, family or trust worthy people.

‘I have needs”
When I hear those words, I majorly think of sex and I think of Nigerian films as the familiar background of where those words have been uttered while growing up. But, needs are not sexual or at least not overtly and only sexual. Sexual needs are just one aspect of it and I don’t want to even get started on it’s masculinization. Needs are universal and range widely, just tailored to individual dispositions. As our faces are different…

But you need to depend. It is the word ‘ dependency’ , and alarmingly in need of trust for it to work that grips us with fear. How will we be viewed if we say we want, that we need, that we cannot do without, or that it makes us better if we get this or that from another person, so will they please give it to us?

I liked it when my mother made breakfast for me till I was sixteen. I only started making breakfast as the age of seventeen. My mother’s tea tasted sweeter, her buttered bread tasted better because they were made with her hands. I was lazy, true , but the main reason was I really wanted my mother’s touch on my food and that is why I was not eager to change my habit of not making my own breakfast. Need.

There should be openness to communicate a need and comfort levels propped up for a safe voicing of perceived need. Expectations should be discussed. Preferences. What do you like? What do you want? How do you want it?

Shame. The effect of rejection can be painful, but it does not invalidate a need. It sometimes means you are not the recipient of this source. There is no reason to feel flawed. It is in the mind and it is in the power of the mind to correct perceptions if it wants and decides to.

So, no one is an Island and there is nothing shameful about holding hands.

Just thoughts..

I’ve been holding this tab for what feels like days now. Hours on end I have been staring at the screen finding my way round these most used words ; the writer’s block. I hate overused words and I don’t like having to fall into the category of the ordinary and mundane and talk about blocks or walls or anything with the ‘ blank- dead- end” connotation,but this is it. This is the ordinariness that we have to bear as writers and as it happens that we have to swallow our medicines just as we have prescribed for fellow ‘ block junkies’ like us, inhaling this stale smell of resistance pull towards their writing, I have to take my prescription and write through a writer’s block .

And what about? I write because when I do, my heart does a sing song melodious pull up towards something ethereal, transient, fragile, breakable with the softest touch. It makes me tender. No, I have not said this about writing before. I have not viewed it as a soft pillow to lie on. It has been a mechanism, but now, at this moment, it feels like an all engulfing air with the potential to rejuvenate, to make me me. And, as much as it is positively healthy to dissociate self from the act of writing, I know that writing will forever be a mania impulse of mine. I just need to tame it in a way to give my life balance and not become a negative addiction.

I’ve had lots of ideas on my mind. Goals, plans, future simulations all going on at the same time. I’ve been chewing on words, thinking about life, my life, myself. I have been wondering about selfishness and if I understand it fully. If I am selfish enough and I mean it. I think that selfishness is useful. It might not be your word to use but for me it is the word I want to stick with. Selfishness against selfishness, in the push to keep myself happy. I want to be myself more than anything without shrinking.

Yesterday, I watched this episode on ndanitv what men want and one of the guys said ‘ I don’t want a woman who is vague about what she does’ and I’ve been ruminating on that since the second I said it. Yea, it’s true as was said that men mostly say vague things when talking about what they do for a living and there was this joke about oil and gas where no one really knows what’s meant by the male who says it, but still it threw a challenge my way. In plain terms, I don’t want to be vague about who I am and what I do and even though this was a criteria for female attractiveness, I decided to not let it be the first reason why i would want to pick this challenge. I want to be distinct for myself and if i am vague for a while before I meet a man, I want to be proud of that vagueness knowing it is a phase and that at the right time God will let the pieces fall. In summary, I am saying that line was a good one and I will keep it in mind but no because i want to be impressive for a man, but because this is good for me personally. First and foremost, me. I am priority and this is the selfishness I meant.