I don’t know what type of words to use to describe September, but it is about to end with a special kind of silence that I cannot shake off. Like a long heavy drape with silence dusts spread on it. A hill of silence. I don’t know if it is because of the tiredness of the week pounded into my body and mind, helping me to enter a certain kind of cognitive dissonance, but I am weary and have been overly stimulated, that all I want is to sleep for a long , long time. Try as I did, I could not, and just when sleep was precious, I needed to wake up to do human things, like feed myself and my pets and swallow many times because I felt that familiar offshoot of a sore throat which had to be medicated with tea, just in case.
I feel thoughtful and serious, but it’s too early to judge the limits of this one. I have enough experiences with myself to know that I become really thoughtful when I am hungry and tired, which is why fasts help clear my mind and obsessions many times. A pity I have stopped taking this part of my spiritual life seriously.More things become less important after a fast.There’s always something to learn about the position of man in relation to God when you’re hungry and focused on the human situation.Starvation is different from a voluntary fast, but Still.
There are so many things this month has shown me but I don’t know where to begin, more because nothing is really distinct as I think they should be. Since this is the first thing that has come into my mind, I’ll just mention it, that I feel this month has left me feeling okay with being ignorant about many things.one of my goals now is to make mistakes with pride and some class. And I don’t mean going around to insult people, I mean being less worried about my false, incomplete ideas about things, my ignorant opinion which are subject to change, on being properly convinced to dither away from previous misconception. I’ll summarize this as saying, I am open to education and re education. This month has left me feeling that I am not at my complete stage of manifestation. Sounds like high, spiritual language that I did not intend to use, but it conveys my point of not being rigid in my ideas about life, people, concepts. It’s interesting, I believe, that life can unfold and show you new sides you never thought existed.
I am going to put in more effort in the next month to be more diligent, more accepting of myself, more hardworking and to keep learning. There’s nothing much to do and I have the time to learn and study and I will hang on to my faith that God will be there with me even till old age. This is one thing I will believe in more strongly in the coming days. Faith is not written on the face, so it’s little wonder people with seemingly equal countenance have different results in life. And let’s face it, trusting God is exciting. At least, you know that something will be up in your life and one thing life will not be for you, is boring. God makes the ride worthwhile.
Back to school
Back to school
Lol lol. That’s the song children sing every September nowadays.Looking at the minion above caused tears to form in my eyes.I am feeling emotional for the strangest things lol.I am a fish, who drinks vodka and gets high on cheap drugs, together with juggling my full time witch enterprise and evility on a daily basis, and having offers more recently than ever to have myself killed because of my use of emojis and teasings…I don’t know if you have kids reading this who are below eighteen, but if you do, you might want to skip all these. Like my friend Peter Pan says, he unremembers things when asked. Seeing that we’re both geminians until Nasa recently decided to change the location of continents, thereby affecting entire systems of horoscopes or maybe horoscopial coordinates, honestly don’t know which word it is, but seeing that all that happened, we might not even be
feminists geminians anymore, but long lost ancient civilizations hanging on to the last thread of glory.because you know, civilization ended the moment I decided to write this blog post. In the event that Peter pan decides to finally subscribe to my blog and read it regularly, this is me just winking ;).
Peter Pan is the Nickname of a Nigerian friend of mine, so stop thinking fantasy here. Today is Sunday. Be blessed.
I spent a greater part of my morning today nervousing in my room because school resumes tomorrow. My cough is even back more intensely again lol.With the way I was lying in near fetal position with two heavy covers on me because it is autumn and we have not yet fixed the new heating system which means it’s cold as Antarctica, and with the way I knew that the way I kept my hand on my lips and the way my eyes were opened looks exactly like my late mother, I almost think I won’t make it really long, but this is dreadful and we’re not here for dreadful. So nervousing didn’t go as planned because I realized, what on earth are you doing to yourself girl. So you procrastinated,so you don’t feel like going anywhere, can’t you go and eat some cake and be fine? After all you just told your Titi friend same thing about worry. And so brethren, I followed my advice and went a-happying.
That’s not the end of it though. I also went on nairaland to read Raheem’s diaries again.I have a major crush on Raheem, and his writings. We’re still trying to decide if I like him because of his writings or I like his writings because of him. Seeing I like both now, it’s a little tricky to decide the genesis of all this. Sometimes I think I would be depressed if i was that funny and intelligent and no one knew about it.
Let’s get serious now? Okay. So about those things I have learnt this month. I decided to start writing on paper for some reason, to lay low for a while. Somehow I have resolved some personal issues through that paper route which feels good. Also, I have read through the book of Romans with the acquaintance I mentioned a while back, as well as completed the book of Colossians yesterday. I feel accomplished in that respect.
I learnt from a tedx talk about how to be a millionaire in three years Big. Big stands for books, individuals and goals. It’s individuals I want to focus on. Apparently, you’re very much limited by the people you surround yourself with. Read sometimes ago, that its really only possible to be close to five people at a time to avoid spreading yourself too thin. I agree. Also, read recently that our friendships can be judged in a way by what we become around these people. It’s interesting how we change around certain people. I can’t say more but I advice watching the ted talk.
Well that’s about it. Lessons from September will be coming in a while. How time flies!
No one should have a favorite Fela, for all Fela was made perfect. And these apostles — I reckon you deem them somewhat sacred — but I shouldn’t take their word. Especially when it has the effects of other-ing and subjugating whole cultures and ways of being. Jamaican reggae is music from the street corner, from the wretched of the earth: you can’t like the music and denounce the people, the culture.
This was in response to the question of helping me pick a Fela Kuti song, a possible favorite because it looked like I was very much into white oriented music.But I like Reggae! And after saying a little nonsense about how reggae should not hold on to it’s exclusive pagan roots and Tobi promising to fight me 😂 and accusing of appropriating culture as well as including the statement that nothing culturally organic is pagan, I agreed to listen to form a final opinion on Fela. Gone is my ‘ I will no longer be a pundit’ resolve.
Fela.Son of an Anglican Pastor who founded the Nigeria Union of teachers, and a mother who won a Lenin peace prize, first cousin to Wole Soyinka, and once classmate of Obasanjo, this is the stuff elite families are made of;connections.more here
The first time I mentioned the name Fela Kuti was in secondary school.I mistook Fela Kuti for his son Femi Kuti and said something about how I listened to Fela give an interview on tv, only for my classmate to say he died a long time ago, leaving me to hang my head and say that familiar ‘oh’ of shame.The second distinct time I had to think about Fela was three years ago. I cannot remember the events surrounding the propelling of my fingers that day,but I ended up watching this documentary about Fela and his 27 wives.I shut my door and prepared myself to be intrigued by what I thought would be an unfolding disaster of a man who was known for being high and half naked on stage most of the time. I was waiting for my ‘lizzy-the-savior-look-at-this-one-sef’ hit to knock me out. That was my kind of high.I did not find anything to make me leave my lips in that wide state of shock, or maybe it is because this is all now written in retrospect.I must have found the number of wives shocking and the way they passed the joint so easily around.Those women were beautiful.
Having an opinion on Fela is like choosing a football club.The need to guard superior knowledge or superior taste to the point where meeting people with dissimilar ideas about your club can lead to a fight or death; this is the same way I feel about people who talk about fela. The line is usually drawn. You either appreciate Fela or you’re an idjat(insert ‘i’ you know where), and it was because of this that I felt the need to not want to be infected with the Fela hype, which is interesting when you learn that Fela was contrarian himself( he later divorced his wives in a later ceremony withdrawing his position that these women needed to be married to him to not be seen as prostitutes)
Which brings me full circle to what I think of Fela since I am not afraid to state it. Seeing things clearer, with the help of lyrics, I understand that my previous disinterest in Fela was not because of his nakedness on stage, but because of the length of his songs.No, I was not that privileged person who had extra minutes suddenly given to her, his songs really do drag on forever, but what Fela lacks in what is our new found modern brevity, he makes up/made up for in the lessons his words taught. Fela is the king of afrobeat and deserves to hold the position of one who lived what he preached, easily verified in the tragedies he suffered;the Kalakuta republic was burned and his elderly mother was thrown out of a window, because he criticized the government.
Fela is clearly not a hero for the modern feminist woman, he believed men and women were not equal, but maybe that can be forgiven seeing the times he grew up in. We have come a long way with many things, progressing towards democracy and transparency, or at least the freedom to proclaim these things on paper even when in reality we are living dreadfully in recessive times, but yet and at the same time, we have done some reverse evolutionary activity with song lyrics. Here was a man who talked about social ills, the effects of bleaching in a way that conveyed a blunt sense of humor with his song yellow fever, my personal favorite, who tried to startle us into awareness of our voluntary slavery even when our colonial masters were gone, and oppression by the regime.Fela was accused many times of being a radical, the use of the term was meant to be insulting,to which he responded:
“A radical is he who has no sense…fights without reason…I have reason. I am authentic. Yes, that’s what I am.”
I do not see where Fela made a declaration for the position of president of a country, so I don’t understand why speculations on whether he would have made a good one are necessary. Fela was an artist, a reformer.It is in this capacity that I’d say we definitely need more Fela types.
But yes, I can be fearless for a minute, but that would demand my full participation in the worry party of me, myself and I. To be fearless requires attention to myself, kindness and empathy as I give myself encouragement and excuses on why things are just not going to work out, and how necessary it is for someone to call the fire department to rescue, rescue, call 911. Shawty is on the floor and she is not dancing. Bruh!
None of us is getting out of life alive-popular statement, which is a great incentive to living well enough to die tired and spent in hopefully delightful service; a job, vocation.
Fear is tied to the things we value,the interesting scenes on how we could eventually lose these things is just what makes our fear cycle grow intense.Let it go, is such a good chant for more rugged living. The what if’s, and what will they think or what if this just falls flat and leaves me in a worst place than I was before? Would it not be safer to do the things one is used to? But these are not thoughts that inspire growth. These are chains.
Last year I prayed the prayer of obedience and kept making the request for an excellent spirit to be upon me. I have everyday asked for wisdom and knowledge faithfully for as long as I can remember and God has answered. The ease with which I know things intuitively is not something borne out of me, but given as an answer to prayers by God. This year I asked for courage and for fearlessness. The year is almost over, how have I fared?
Not that great by my standards, but I would not know how God sees it.I am still afraid of disapproval,afraid of not doing things as they have always been done,afraid of trying new things,afraid of trusting people,afraid of being vulnerable. Yes, I have done what seems like an extreme thing by cutting off my hair,by staying long enough to talk to people,picking my phone calls,and voicing my displeasure at things, I still am unsure of what kind of job I want to do, how long I would last without feeling like a disappointment to my employees or whoever needs me. In the Vernon Johns story, Pastor Vernon Johns tells his wife that it would build his daughter’s character if she is teased by her friends at school because of his strange ways( he refuses to take the bus because of the segregation and forbids his daughter to do the same. She had to walk and he organized a yard sale of watermelons because he felt black people needed more businesses to stop being consumers and putting money in white pockets). In my story, I think what God says about suffering works.it will build character.Fear is something that drives one to God for help.
Listicles I have not, but what I have, I give to both of us, because this journey towards a fearless life is not yet over. One way of getting a grip on oneself is by doing the things you are afraid of and facing the consequences. This falls into easy motivational speaking that can be annoying, but it usually is the way out.if you are afraid of speaking and making mistakes, open your mouth and make those mistakes, shock everyone and get it over with. Next time they’d be expecting you and it won’t be so bad lol. Easier said than done, who wants to be embarrassed? Which is why the real first step towards fearlessness is a new mindset.A new way of seeing your activities and efforts and less of talking down yourself. If you don’t cheer yourself on, who will?
Fighting shame is necessary to living a fearless life. Shame for who you are, what you have done, what you have failed at, what you have been arrogant about should not breed if you want to be courageous. Own those parts of you with humility, be transparent and keep no secrets and no one would be able to blackmail and laugh at you enough to hurt you.
Practice improvement. Fail and improve on your weaknesses. Make those areas strong like an instrument till you get a hang of it by becoming experienced. Like a seasoned sailor.
This post is about me. Just to be clear on that, and the picture above is one that was taken two days ago, before I cut my hair. As can be seen, my hair has been disappearing too much already that it makes more sense to have to cut it so it really ceases to exist for real.
And here is a second picture because I cannot leave without knowing that I have failed to show how tall I am.
Cutting my hair without any prior arrangement and planning, that obsessive turning of the idea till I feared I would go crazy is something that feels like a mark to celebrate a new phase in my life. One without the unnecessary hair tagging along and contributing nothing to my desire to use less shampoo and see less hair fall off from my comb as I comb it.I am not planning to grow my hair for a long while.
I don’t know what things I will begin to mark with words like ‘ so and so happened days after I cut my hair’ , but I know events will be marked by this period. I will be going to the salon to get an even lower hair cut and then maybe things will be clearer ☺
I am having a color crave. It was for those black and white pictures not too long ago and now the extreme is here to stay. Looking at colorful pictures today just made me want to squeal. Like a pig. Pigs are nice. Don’t be unnice.
Insomnia, the new fashionable disease I have picked up even though I know very well it’s not related to me in any way, has been quite the obedient fellow, no arguments, no nothing, no telling me that I am the one training it in the wrong path. If I keep myself, or mineself 😐:D up late till about two am daily purposely, it only logically follows that I should become used to it, right? But no. No, and I say no, I will instead say that something is trying to play an Ahasuerus on me. Well, whatever it is is winning and so here I am, wide eyed, in need of essential sleep, because I will be going a-visiting tomorrow. Someone praise the Lord! And as I was saying, I need the sleep solely for that reason. I am tired of this sleep talk already.
In the spirit of Ahasuerus, I want to count my blessings.Apart from having new shorts to wear, shorts you did not congratulate me on making, this is the middle of September and autumn is on it’s way. One thing I am appreciative of is the way God has made me read my bible this month. I have been unserious with reading and studying the Bible, but God always finds a way to make me study. This time, it came in the form of a facebook acquaintance I had never spoken to before. I still don’t remember his name even right now. I have no idea how this happens seeing that we have both been studying the book of samuel, first and second since the beginning of the month. These are little things I am thankful for.
I am grateful I have a family. I am grateful I do not have to live today again. One day down. It was a good day, but it is with relieve that we draw closer to the day of promise, when we will meet God finally. And that is what this post is all about.
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
“Killing Me Softly”-Fugees
I have found a new author crush…
His name is Chigozie Obioma.
It’s been a while since a Nigerian book was opened by me to be read, with my false believe that it will not be able to hold my attention as part of the reason, but this one did.This one really did. I am proud of Chigozie’s achievement with this book.Tiziana Morosetti writes here that
..the novel is marred by improbability (like the idea of a mother struck by bereavement and madness making a recovery in just four months) and shows some surprising inconsistencies at rather crucial moments – there are continuity problems such as characters knowing things they hadn’t been told, for example, and “.. despite having some of the ingredients of a remarkable work, it suffers, heavily, from its very own cleverness.”
I agree with those statements of hers.This story about four brothers Ikenna, Boja, Obembe and Benjamin, who secretly go fishing at a River for a period of six weeks, with their father absent because of an irreversible job transfer and a mother who is left to take care of them and know their whereabouts at all times,easily gains momentum when they meet a mad man Abulu, who is rumored to have an evil spirit in him, evil and correct enough to predict a dreadful future for the boy Ikenna. It is from this moment when he prophesies that Ikenna would be killed by a fisherman that fear and paranoia seeps into this book and mutilates the life of a once stable family where time was not measured, where moments were not often seen as distinct. Life becomes measured and seen as moments gauged from one tragic moment to the next.
Although the general opinion is that this book succeeded in lifting our hearts in the end, something that Chigozie does remarkably well despite all the evil that have made the lives in the pages prematurely bent and sometimes revived, and ours too who read with so much emotion, I would be lying to say I was not pained by how easily the supernatural triumphs over the physical here, and not just the good supernatural of which I am biased towards, the one of the Assemblies of God, or of Christians, but that of ‘the other world’, of ‘the spirits’, of Nigeria, of Africa. I dislike it a lot when visions that grab their beginings from the roots of tradionalism overtake and cause so much harm. Abulu sees a vision and prophesies and nothing, absolutely nothing can reverse the situation. This profound helplessness is something that is unsettling, in fiction, in real life.
This story teaches something about bravery, about a father’s love and strength when all is crumbling around him. He stands as a loving cover for a wife whose mind loses itself in the webs of invisble spiders, but she cannot be blamed. Who survives the death of two sons by their hands? It portrays finely the bond of siblings in an African home, loyalty, trust. The benefit of having someone to look up to and imitate, and how much the world seems to shift underneath one’s feet when that is removed, but above all, it shows how fear, deep, unrestrained fear becomes a monster. Words have power and intentionality in actions do too. I read somewhere that one decison changes the course of one’s life.It is what is vividly painted in this book.
I loved this book and it is one book I will consider rereading;something I rarely do. Haven’t done in years now.
Before I begin, I just want to say that I spent most part of today cutting my old jeans and turning them into shorts. That was three shorts together with watching one black and white movie broken strings 1940 and White Mama 1980 which I am yet to complete.Really great movies. I can’t explain where I acquired this taste for old films or strange, outdated in some people’s opinion, story lines like the unexpected Mrs. Pollifax 1999, which is about an old lady, (much like Agatha Christie’s Miss Maple)who becomes a CIA agent, but I do and I enjoy the bad picture quality of these films too. I think it should be my appreciation of being able to look at people who have aged or are dead right now, at a time when they were young and I was unborn but at rest. Imagine how the world got on without me! So well, so nice and now,I get a chance to partake of it.
I also started reading beloved by Toni Morrison and did not like it. I am glad I started with the bluest eye. It would have been a shame to say Toni Morrison does not interest me just because I read a book that did not agree with my current reading mood.Toni Morrison is a genius and I want to continue respecting that.
Now to where I actually planned to begin.Inspired by this quote :Train yourself to let go of all the things you fear to lose-Yoda.I can’t think of any other practical thing that could be done to curb one’s attachment to certain things in life except letting go step by step, ofpeople, of jobs, possessions and little precious things we can easily list out for ourselves.I feel that one of the worst things one can do is to always wake up and try to live according to some image of yourself as perceived through others eyes. This sounds mad even as you contemplate what this means and even madder when you picture yourself living this way. It is impossible to live in a way you imagine other people think you should want to live. For one thing, people do not think of you that often. You alone are the only one obsessed with your image.
Anytime I think about doing what I want or liking the things I like and not needing to have an explanation for it, I remember this one time in medical school, first few months into the first semester where with my breezy, reckless head, I was working with my friend Titi and we got this answer to a chemistry or physics question and decided to confirm with another coursemate if she had the same figure. Well, she did not and in my zeal, I began to explain how we both got it and she just said okay without caring to explain or change figures. Like she was satisfied and confident in herself .lol. I was erm stunned to say the least. To be fair, she had just come from having her bath so maybe that was the least of her problems for the day.But that day taught me that an okay is just okay to say at times when you don’t care if people think your choice of this or that makes sense to them.enjoy your stuff and let them be. If they follow you around, cut their feet. 😮😮
A brief anxiety update: I am currently worried if the things I have been reading are actually things I would like to influence my writing voice. Because what you put on is what you reproduce in a way.
Don’t help me.Just had to state it.
A cat just screamed.dreadful, dreadful scream. Not going out to check what happened. They’ll be fine.
So, about letting go of things to live freely.First I think they should be listed out. Things like approval,admiration, adoration. Too many A’s here. You don’t need that much.All these things are good things but if you live your life just so you keep up with you status of being admired, you’ll end up living like a doll in plastic,always afraid to take the next step because you fear you might suddenly do something mediocre and then everyone would stop loving you. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? This is why we need to keep journals to help us write things out and stare at them till we see their monkey eyes. Monkeys are nice, but not on paper. I mean you get what I mean, don’t you? This is the one time living for yourself in this context is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. Live to enjoy yourself, to please yourself and not for other peoples enjoyment. Remember, they don’t think of you that much.
The bluest eye was not something I planned to read this soon. I downloaded it as a later I’ll read this kind of book. Not until I read her foreword with the first paragraph saying ‘There can’t be anyone, I am sure, who doesn’t know what it feels like to be disliked, even rejected, momentarily or for sustained periods of time’ , and I had to go on to read the whole thing. I especially liked that Toni Morrison admitted that her “breaking the narrative into parts that had to be reassembled by the reader did not work as many readers remained touched but not moved”. Another reason why I planned to read a Toni Morrison book soon was because of Homegoing, a book by Yaa Gyasi which I liked very much. Yaa said she read a lot of Toni and was influenced and Homegoing left me emotionally limp,which is why there has been no review yet. I just can’t write one without going back into the lives of the characters that moved me. I am not ready yet.
D says I should stop reading too many rape books and as you can already guess by my not so subtle hint, this book has rape in it, but more than incestous rape—I am not pushing this aside, but more than that is the longing for blue eyes. For blue eyes which means beauty. For eyes that can make the ugly face of Pecola Breedlove no longer evoke indifference, if indifference is something that can even be evoked, since by definition, it is that which is lacking. For blue eyes and a curly hair on a white head, attached to a white neck and further, a whole body,is something precious, something worthy enough for aww’s and uhh’s. A white baby doll should be the dream toy of a black little girl, thinks the adults, but not for a girl like Claudia who narrates this story.
Why do bad things happen? Why is a little girl born so ugly,why does she see her blackness as something unclean, why does she spend so many days praying to wake up with blue eyes someday, and why are the Shirley Temple’s of the world easily seen as cute? Why do white men force a black man to have sex to amuse them? Why does a little boy have to be born only to be abandoned by his mother and later his father? Why do the events cause so much trauma that he ends up passing liquid poop, and later becomes a drunk who rapes his own daughter, the type of man who wants to “fuck” his own daughter tenderly and burns down the house? Why does Pecola’s mother find relieve in serving white people and views her life with this drunk man and children as extensions of her real life, as a nuisance that should never have happened? So many why’s and Toni Morrison says there is really nothing more to say–except why. But since why is difficult to say, one must take refuge in how and I think Toni did an excellent job of explaining the how’s.
It is from the genesis of situations that we understand why characters behave the way they do. This book is lathered with failed unions between man and wife. When the family as a unit fails, many things take their cue. A man stops being tender, a woman clings to a man for reassurance, for entertainent, thinking he is all she needs to fill the gap of loneliness in her life,and she becomes disappointed and disillusioned. She turns to clothes, to seeking approval from women she neither cares for, just to impress and becomes bitter. Children come and again she is disappointed. They do not meet up to her standards of beauty for they look like her and she has never learnt to love herself by herself. She transfers the aggression and the chain has gotten one more link into the next generation, if all things go well. And bad things have an uncanny way of going on well. This is how little things trigger other little things to cause a great problem, a feeling of helplessness to surround one person, a little child left alone and feeling unwanted:
“All of our waste which we dumped on her and which she absorbed. And all of our beauty, which was hers first and which she gave to us. All of us–all who knew her–felt so wholesome after we cleaned ourselves on her. We were so beautiful when we stood astride her ugliness. her simplicity decorated us, her guilt sanctified us, her pain made us glow with health, her awkwardness made us think we has a sense of humor”
Pecola becomes mad in the end, mad but happy that she has these blue eyes that no one can see because she imagines they are prejudiced, so this is not a book with a happy ending, but this is life. Life does not always end well.But life teaches, life leaves you thinking and seeing you can only live one life, books like this one help to expose other people’s lives to us, showing us without painting, without promising that all will turn out well in the end, but hopefully increasing our understanding of why people do the things they do, what happens to such people and that tragedy, irreversible tragedy is as much a part of life as happy endings.
There is no safety in this place, in this place made without nets and walls. An open field, an open field with strangers and hands. Everyone is touching,struggling to hold onto the other, hoping, hoping they’ll be caught right under. But not so in this place. This place runs on falls, and faltering steps. This place likes the unconventional push and pull and Strain, like the tug of war. Quite like a tug of war.In this place, they get tired of you after a while. In this place, your time is limited. Seconds are counting down to the day you will be forgotten with the dust, the dust spread. The only thing you know in this place, and this is for certain. The only thing you know in this place, is that you survived it here. You are leaving this place, one day, some day. This place will become a memory, soon. Soon. And you know that you stood here, right here, mark the spot as I show you where, exactly where you stood, in this place. You stood, you struggled, and you won when you finally left this place…