Freshman Year Chronicles #1: First Day and Purpose

“Tamaraebi, try a new activity—perhaps, praying,” she said as she handed a little book with blue back. “Read this too. It might help.” You liked that she did not talk too much, or ‘preach’ but that even with her suggestion, she wanted you to find your way of handling ‘yourself and your motivations’.

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You looked to the children’s park a few meters from Dapo’s house and just then, you noticed the seat beside the one you loved on the swing set and for that moment, you missed him. You laughed at yourself, especially at how your thoughts seemed to correlate things to him these days—even a swing —and it made you think about the first time Mr. Wale, your biology teacher, mentioned ‘ecdysis’. Continue reading “Freshman Year Chronicles #1: First Day and Purpose”

This Is Why I Write

Writing was all those things to me. It was secrets seared, moments treasured and time traveled. Writing was attention gratified, my life told in different ways, anytime I picked up a pen.

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Writing, for me, has always been synonymous with memories.  My childhood was not one of those one seeks to forget. Rather, I recall most of it with fondness, of the adventures and contentment that were sprinkled through. I was a girl unrestrained by fear, circumstance or pride. These are what I remember. These are what I write about. Continue reading “This Is Why I Write”

Fanning Life’s Embers

How many other things do we overlook daily? Whether it is family or friends, being healthy or having a shelter over our heads, we have grown into unobservant people who do not pay attention to most things. We overlook or do not even notice that we are alive – full of life – amidst the unending bustle of our daily existence.

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Wie viel ist aufzuleiden – How much suffering there is to get through. – Rilke

The sky is beautiful. The thought hit me as I sauntered down a well-worn path as the sun had begun its steady descent from view, on a late evening in early May. It felt like a new discovery but then I understood that it was not. It was simply the first time in a long time I had paid attention enough to the sky to notice its beauty. I had taken its presence for granted, with the belief that it was the sky after all. It would always be there, and it sure did not need my appreciation. Continue reading “Fanning Life’s Embers”

Being To Becoming: Family

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“I am apprehensive about using the gas, it is unsafe. Can’t you smell it all over the room? It’s dangerous! Do not use it, too!” I screamed at my ten-year-old cousin from the door of the kitchen with stern eyes that housed undissolved fear.

“But, Idara, I can use it, I used it this morning,” she said as she lit a matchstick. The spark came like an immediate decision—nearly touching her facial skin in its overwhelm. Whoomp! Continue reading “Being To Becoming: Family”

Blank Space

blank-spaceYou were five when you first met him. You saw him clearly, as he stood just beside the billboard bearing the name of the Primary School. It was your first day there. For some reason, he smiled at you and waved, before running off gaily while calling out to a group of three boys, about ten feet away. It had felt familiar, perhaps a scene from a long-forgotten dream. You nodded and smiled, understanding at once what he wanted. Continue reading “Blank Space”

An Open Sea

A personal essay about freedom

(Inspired by Inky, the octopus who escaped the National Aquarium of New Zealand)

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“For to love is to know, to be aware of”

By the time I was ten, I knew I could talk well enough to make anyone listen, it could be in school—my classroom, on the corridors where all students gathered or the school hall with its space of silence; it could be church, me, staining its thick seraphic presence with my subtle whispers, wherever, it was, I could talk. Communicating and controlling conversations were native to me; I did it easily and, when listeners would turn to take note, I became used to it, unashamed even by the unsuitability of my conversations in place and timing a little too much, and with time I lost the skill of cautious silence. Continue reading “An Open Sea”