I’ve been planning on how to write this letter for many days. Little details creep in and many others leave as I rearrange the order of words , but today and now, none of them are present for the roll call. Even the pervasive mood of those times when I felt really pressed to pick the tab to write has disappeared and I wondered if like all other things, the more I kept away from you, the more I would forget of what it was to write to you and the easier it would be to not write at all.
Time is a constraint now. It always is whenever I want to speak. It has become an excuse for laying aside things to be done sometime in the future; a thing which never comes as expected. I had a bad dream last night, something that should be the result of being very nauseous in the evening , to the effect that I did not have dinner and I felt very tired. This morning, I am slightly better but tired and not anticipating any joy from food tasting still. But I shall try.
When I made this decision some days ago, I felt— and now that I’m slowly remembering—I feel freer. There isn’t a word to replace the staple with, so I hope you will not be dulled by its banal form. I decided that it would be nice to be the sort of person who could be depended on in times of difficulty or when people needed information of the useful sort. I thought about what it must be like to be very aware of things so I could give advice on various matters, take practical steps to help someone and just be useful. I have not yet decided on what exactly I need to learn in order to make that happen, but I don’t think I’ve made the serious acknowledgement before that anything of this sort could even be done by me. This means that I have decided and its something I will consciously work towards without expecting anything in return.
I have started reading a book ” open city” by Teju Cole, given to me by a friend I am trying to keep in touch with. I felt it would open up pathways for further communication in what had otherwise felt closed and on and off with long periods of silence. I also read few passages of Beowulf as well as this poem from The Bard of the Dimbovitza, First Series, p. 73:
Yesterday’s flowers am I,
And I have drunk my last sweet draught of dew.
Young maidens came and sang me to my death;
The moon looks down and sees me in my shroud
The shroud of my last dew.
Yesterday’s flowers that are yet in me
Must needs make way for all to-morrow’s flowers.
The maidens, too, that sang me to my death
Must even so make way for all the maids
That are to come.
And as my soul, so too their soul will be
Laden with fragrance of the days gone by.
The maidens that to-morrow come this way
Will not remember that I once did bloom,
For they will only see the new-born flowers.
Yet will my perfume-laden soul bring back,
As a sweet memory, to women’s hearts
Their days of maidenhood.
And then they will be sorry that they came
To sing me to my death;
And all the butterflies will mourn for me.
I bear away with me
The sunshine’s dear remembrance, and the low
Soft murmurs of the spring.
My breath is sweet as children’s prattle is;
I drank in all the whole earth’s fruitfulness,
To make of it the fragrance of my soul
That shall outlive my death.
I think it’s a beautiful poem. Its been a while since I read something this soft and memorable, may be because it takes away from the concentration on humans and fixes it on nature or maybe because the humans present have their minds also on things flitting past; time. I don’t know, but it’s a poem I will not forget.
I’ve been reading a lot too about old english, middle english nd new english. I worry about all the things I have to remember, but the subject itself has ceased to be boring, I even look forward to it now. I can say I am even dreaming of a time next month when I will spend hours on the linguistic side of quora. You have no idea how many snobs we tend to harbour in this side of the language world. Literature and language are filled with nazis and snobs, which at the end of the day can be an interesting source of entertainment, because terrible as they are, they are mostly right.
I am an amebo, a term which brings to mind the amicable picture of a mouse eating her cheese in peace and doing that dance they do as they shake their soft buxoms before disappearing into a hole. Less picturesque would be just a person who likes gist and snoops around to know what’s up. That being stated with utmost humility, I am not the person to go round reading gossip magazines and blog posts but I often happen upon some news, with my happenstance game really strong. The stumbling upon does not create any minor injuries like a broken head and the less minor one of lying in an unconscious state, but the frequency of occurence has resulted in me having to learn flexibility as I try not to dodge them so much. I cannot avoid them, you see and instead of pretending I can really unsee what I have come into contact with, I adopt the stance that gossip as we call it today is not really what gossip was meant to connote. In societies that have to protect themselves, certain information is useful to have as we learn to navigate paths unknown. I believe it is this sort of interest in humans that led Sigmund Freud to value a young girl’s diary so much as it helped him in his research with…
Scandalous news always seem to drop just when we are about to get drowsy in our boredom. The devil’s workshop in its mission to get its customers back takes the credit. In recent times, news about a certain apostle was all over and together with his escapades with a certain 23 year old girl, even though it did not make him more famous , at least helped with eliciting reactions of Twitter people. I am not a fan of this prophet by any means, and once helped in generating lots of comments on facebook when I called him out for what I felt was a man of god tomfoolery and a pratting on about the sureness with which a god he served would strike and kill another man in an effort to prove him as his able and sure messenger to the masses. As you can still notice, my criticism is laced with some judgement and anger still, but one thing changed this time when the news broke out of his adultery ( not yet proven to his satisfaction, so really I should just leave it at rumours) was that even though I wanted to mock this man, I was restrained and decided to not want to see him through the perpetual prism of ‘ he has no sense’ that I was accustomed to. I will tell you why in a moment.
Some days ago, after talking to a namesake of the man after God’s heart;David, I stumbled upon as is my custom on this Solomon Twitter guidelines and sent it to the namesake even though I hadn’t read it to the end. My eye caught the twentieth guideline and that stuck. I don’t particularly agree with the last one because of context. I have been known to hype myself in a friendly context with playfulness and I understand in which sense praising myself would be prideful so the for heavens sake does take it a bit too far on the rolling eyes lane of what must be vain people in ludicrous motion( in my opinion).
Back to the matter, here is what that guideline says :
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles (Prov. 24:17).
I realised that my lack of appetite in glorying over the apostle’s failure must have been linked to this.it felt wrong. Today, it felt wrong too as I watched in my state of ameboness and shortly before I muted all the people sharing things that were in opposition to my resolve. A certain comedian was found out. He’d been stealing tweets off someone else and within minutes, memes were dug up, gifs were sent, puns in honour of his false punnery were fast forwarded to his person, and there was general joy and enjoyment in the wrong direction. What I mean is people were happy they could deal with him,something that is hard to find fault with because just think about it logically,shouldn’t we be glad when a thief is caught? Should plagiarism not be something that should be picked against. Am I crazy and taking my ideas to the extreme?
I think it is good that people do have a day of reckoning and meet it, but I also and because of that verse have come to realize that getting someone to face justice and taunting him and mocking him as he receives it are two different things, the difference might not be clear at first, but they really are. If anything, trust the bible if your logic does not align. It clearly prohibits us from wanting them to come to harm. This is Christianity. This is Twitter and sometimes they are at odds and this amebo had to tell you this this night.
Every three months I enter a new phase of world literature where I learn to contrast different periods and decide what it is they were trying to communicate to their readers. For so long I’ve looked down on the suggestion that writers strongly meant for a bowl or a particular hue to represent something, and it is us, the critics, teachers and students who have united into a great force to keep ourselves busy by dissecting what was never meant to be studied with such precision and in such detail. Because I think to myself, aren’t great works of literarure written after getting the famous flash of inspiration that is often spoken about? Who sits down to draw schemes and decide that he would write in a way that portrays romanticism or medieval culture or realism? Studying these periods where literature has been famously grouped helps to dissuade me of my fixed mindset and I can now agree that there is a methodology to writing.
The fickleness as I would call it and the cry for something new by these literary creatures is something I would compare to the jews struggle for dominance with God. It’s a weary situation as can be seen by the discarding of all ideas and adopting of new ones with the hope that this time around, man would be changed, society would be reformed and we would be rid of what makes us so base and artificial. Romanticism which idolized the simple man and the peasants and nature failed and realism was adopted in the mid nineteeth century . Naturalism was one of the branches of this movement whose aim was to depict things just as they were. The basic idea of this movement was that we were unable to change the course of our lives. Whichever way it was headed had already been predetermined by our genes, environment and social conditions and so we were not in any way authors of our destiny. The idea of fatality and determinism. This must sound familar already and you must be thinking Darwin. Social Darwinism is what this was called in the time when it’s founder Emile Zola, the French Novelist set the ball rolling.
The Americans more than others had a lot of influence with gaining momentum and incorporating all the coldness of a laboratory dissection to human society without any sentimentality. Men were creatures, more correctly beasts and were ruled by instincts which could not be understood. The universe usually was not kind to them :
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.” –Stephen Crane
Aweblue, studying naturalism —which is very much a breath of fresh air because for once I do not have to read about the oppresion of the feudal lords or of gods or the bourgeois , and only have to settle into the inner world of man as he moves in a way that could be quantified experimentally and described as mere reaction to this and that disturbance— is interesting. It brings up questions like free will and how much of it is dependent on us, on nature verus nurture, on predestination and honesty , because here we don’t mince words. Nothing is doused in the flowery hyper romanticisaton of the romantic period and here we find that God is dead.
Social media has run down mad over the case of Kemen from Big Brother Nigeria, and as much as one tries to exclude herself from awon world people, as a social critic or even more correctly( since we began with the world exclusion and exclusivists naming) as a world critic, the issue finds its way into your backyard.
Kemen, a contestant for the big money comes from AkwaIbom state. He was caught molesting T-Boss,a fellow house mate.I remember when the irrelevant pride that courses through ones veins because of finding a ‘ brother’ like us in the house was pumping hard from hearts, ignoring the reality of how very little we knew about him as a person; his truthfulness and sexual perversion, darling.
The bridge has collapsed of course and the brother is coming home after being disqualified and there is still the issue of molestation and who is to blame.
I think we are changing into a world where we have made an exception for risk factors related to the perpetuation of rape. For our electric appliances, we have conditions to follow to prevent damage, for our cars, we have driving rules, which even when followed correctly can lead to death through no fault of the driver. He just needs to be in an unfortunate situation with many variables at play. Luck, chance, his time to die. It was/is not his fault. For rape and molestation, there has grown a peculiar deafness and blindness and a contemptuous outrage of the mob as it drowns reason and logic. Common sense and reality appear to be the enemy as if these things could be avoided.
How does one avoid the facts when the facts follow you around as your very existence? Every human is at risk to die just by virtue of being alive. No one is safe. Safety is an illusion. The world has been designed to kill us in the end. A realistic world asserts that crime will exist for as long as the world exists. Rapists and molesters will too, and this requires the conformity of victims to supply themselves actively or passively( just by being present and alive). This paints a bleak picture because as you can tell, if Jane avoids all the sadness that life has to offer, there is the probability and statistics to back it up that Jennifer might not be so lucky. One person has to experience this, sorry. This is reality and not utopia.
So whenever people ignore the facts about what happens in a real society whose ancestors have had to grapple with the situation of rape from the very foundations of the world and pretend that it is its generation that will make men saner to its women, it becomes a stretch too far in the leap of hope. We would not need a new earth and heaven if this could be achieved. How is it that behaviours that put its most popular victims are being mocked?
Men should not rape women. This is true. No one should steal. This too is true, but somehow we know people will steal still. The old news is people will rape too even when they shouldn’t and just as putting locks, getting security and protective measures do not prevent crime in its entirety, but maximizes the effectiveness of deterring criminals, same with rape.
We know fully clothed women in the comfort of their homes, good women, by general moral standards who get raped still and in even more vicious ways than their naked and ‘out there counterparts’ and this is not about victim blaming, but does this now mean that after accessing facts of how a near dystopian world operates where the majority of men would have it forcefully with naked women who keep shaking their tits at them and utter no in the same vein, gyrate forcefully and at the same time pushes them aside in an enviable act of unvirtual oxymoron ,gets drunk in an environment where her female counterparts are doing no better as well as being outnumbered by strange men in the same space whose sense of morality she cannot judge adequately, that taking measures would not be wise?
Reality is that there are people out there who are not in control of their behaviour. This is their problem. The times have shown that women who are naked and drunk and in isolated spaces are at risk of being misjudged in their pure intentions of just existing and not being taken advantage of. To restate this, sober women have been taken advantage of and will be. The only sure safety tip is to be invisible as a woman as even death does not prevent violations of the body. With this knowledge at the back of our minds, wouldn’t it still be wise to keep on mentioning that we can and should try to protect ourselves while waiting for our utopian world, which being a pessimist in this very issue will probably be never? Can we try not to be in at risk situations as we recognise that not every one will restrain himself from taking advantage of us?
I call it a day on this issue
Martha, Martha, I come with my ‘do you remembers’ . Do you remember the time when we both read about the Hobo kid? Your first time with suffering, with seeing dirt on a child. And the men–rowing their boat. The red Indian? The story will always feel like Talcrum powder;smooth and sweet. The little girl as she looked into the water to find out if she was beautiful or not. The fairy who told her she was not beautiful inside. The tears she cried as she wept off her ugliness. Do you remember?
The joy inside of you as your heart sang. A new day, a new life , it seemed to say. It sayed, do you know? As you spat on the grass and rubbed it with your feet, always imagining that you were somewhere less rural, somewhere where the hedges did not remind you of goats and smoke from wood. You never had goats. Your grandfather had passed for dead before you could meet his cows. It wasn’t pretence. He had really died.
The stories you used to tell, of how Aunt Georgia once walked from one end of the forest to the next all by herself. I learnt from you that a grand aunt was not a magical creature with a halo on her head because you told me of how yours hated her own grandchild. How do you love your child and hate your child’s child, you asked me. I did not know. I could not tell, because like you I could not understand. This was how we learnt that things happen with no meaning, that life was in many ways filled with senseless acts and you were that grandchild.
I’ve not heard from you in a while, Martha. You don’t say hello to the ladies by the flower shop anymore. Your windows are shut and you scream a lot. People say its unbelievable how Martha drowned a child but you don’t remember, might never remember.
In the faith walk, you learn again, don’t you, that you were made for more. You will never be filled to the brim as I cannot be exhausted. I am infinite, pure and everlasting. This is why nothing satisfies. You just never will be and this was planned before the foundations of the world. Look at a cup of tea, filled, ready to be drank. Left on its own and untouched, the water evaporates. Nothing remains the same forever, they deplete. I cause it to be so.
What you want is intense. What you need is all consuming. You were made to be consumed totally from within and without. This is the way you were made, but the environment is poor. The world is poor and you will never get what you want from it. Be not deceived, you want to know that your every move is accounted for, that someone knows what you think and feel, and provides for you every second. If you were to ask this of a human, they would snort and think you weak, soft in the head, and why exactly are you not chasing after independence again? The anti -lie of the situation is you were created to be totally dependent. Dependence is your default position, My child. This is why independence feels alien, unnatural. So you try again to depend on the things you can see, feel, touch, and yet again they mock you, they fail you. Your dependence was in the wrong direction and on the wrong things.
My dependent, I am the rock, the solid ground, the palm your being is held by. I am the wings which shield you. Be dependent. Lean on me when you’re not strong and I will carry you. Lean and I will not shame you. Lean because you will never stand firm apart from me.
The gap is too wide, the best care and love and attention of this world will not fill it. My place in your life cannot be erased, the footprints I have made cannot be filled by seven billion people combined with generations past. Just imagine! That trillions and trillions of angels, shining and full of power cannot fill the gap in your soul. What you need , child is immeasurable, timeless, so great and powerful. It surprises you because you are so small, so absolutely tiny that from space, your scientists tell you about your insignificance compared to the planets, yet your hunger is insatiable, bigger than all the planets combined. Your hunger is like a basket underneath a fountain. This is for your safety, for you were made to be filled by the lion of Judah.