Tales From Behind A Dusty Window

via Daily Prompt: Quill

This is a story that will be well told, I know it; but a sadness engulfs me because I will never know it.

There is a distance and space between me and the writer, a barricade of tar and gravel that I am not allowed to cross. A unseen boundary that has been enforced by words. The very same words that might be in the writer’s story, “never cross the street alone!”

These words my Mother has imprinted in my brain which in turn has created invisible shackles for my feet. I will never cross the street alone… not until my mother says I can.

So now, I stand on the other side, in the disappearing light of the evening, staring across to the window of the bookstore; not seeing anything but the silhouette of a man at a desk. In this hands, clearly illuminated by the light from the lamp on the desk is a quill dancing from left to right on top of a book; leaving in its wake, the imprint of words that will shackle a reader to it, page by page.

 

Image courtesy Flickr Via Neil Conway

Open Letter To My Father

A very beautiful read…

Forward With Faltering Steps

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Dear Dad,

This letter is an act of remembering.

I think of you as a person thinks of a sweet scent that he has smelled briefly only once and  yearns for because he will never smell it again. All I am left with are weak traces of what that smell was. I fear that the greater the distance between the last time I saw you and the present, the harder it is to pull together the details of your existence into an act of remembering. Still I shall try.

You died seventeen years ago, today. May 25, 1998. I was a month away from turning 12. I didn’t know you had died until about three days later, or so. Remembering can be hard, even impossible. But I don’t want to dwell on the occasion of your death, and how it was the bitterest thing I had ever tasted, and how…

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An Illusion of Choice

The realtor said with a smile as wide as her outstretched arms: “Look! You have so much choice and options, take your pick.”

I looked carefully, from side to side and asked, “Are they not all the same width and height? Do they not have the same functionality and number of rooms? Is there any difference between one or the other?”

She shook her head slowly in apprehension, as my steely gaze met her uncertain eyes and spoke what did not need to be said.

 

I hope you enjoyed my take on Sonya’s picture prompt, read more here.

Freedom or Independence?

Another Independence day celebration and I still wonder about the same thing.

The Contained Life

I wonder what the general feeling was in Nigeria on October 1, 1960? We all know there was a huge celebration countrywide thanks to archived footage; but what did it all mean to the individuals celebrating? When they were clinking their bottles of beer, what did they say cheers to?

This year’s Independence day celebration really got me thinking about what must have happened in 1960. Maybe because it has been our cheapest Independence day yet; so it was basically no celebration. Last year, billions of Naira was spent on all the pomp but it was cur down this year to a measly 70 million. My sister who lives in the capital city, Abuja said, the difference was extremely clear; everywhere looked boring and ordinary. The previous year was colorful, noisy and all kinds of decoration were on display. I saw (yes, saw) the silence, all the way from Jos…

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Skills

via Daily Prompt: Cheat

In life, we cheat.

When telling stories, when telling the “truth”, when “smiling”

Because a little editing never hurt nobody

And skill is a very useful tool.

 

 

In death, we cannot cheat.

Because how can you

when it is no longer in your hands

And at this point, skill amounts to nothing.

 

 

Featured Image via Flickr

Daily Prompt: Ghost

via Daily Prompt: Ghost

A four points intersection lies on the most popular highway of my town. And I did not know many travellers walked that way.

Right in the middle of the intersection I stood, lost in the sea of people, moving here and there. And I wondered what i was doing there. I also wondered why I had never noticed this world of pedestrians.

Then she tapped me, but it felt like a whisper in my ears and she said, “Welcome ghost, you are one of us now.”

 

Image via Flickr

Joke: One Word, So Many Faces.

via Daily Prompt: Joke

Merriam-Webster’s definition

Joke :

  • something said or done to cause laughter
  • a brief story with a surprising  and funny end
  • someone or something not taken seriously

Real Life applications

Joke:

  • a back handed insult
  • a derogatory comment that wasn’t meant to get to the person it was intended for
  • recording someone naked without their consent and posting it online
  • an explanation for racist actions
  • an excuse for meaness
  • a reason for bullying

The Contained Life’s definition

Joke:

  • If every one involved is not genuinely laughing at the end of it, it cannot be a joke

 

 

Image vis Flickr

 

Embracing The Dark: On Loving My Skin.

Poetry is not my strongest suit. But, like most things that pique my interest, I gave it at least one or two attempts, just to know I can. However, not all things get that one attempt no matter how much I am burning with curiosity.

Sometimes what ends up happening is a dance around the interest. This is like when we were kids and played ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’; we went round and round then crumpled down to the ground.So in that same way, one of the things I danced around but never did, was bleach my skin. And we will get to that before this post is over.

Let’s  start from the end of the discovery and it begins with an attempt at poetry. I wrote a poem to capture my moment of clarity titled ‘Embracing The Dark’. And it goes like this…

Heart racing, Palpitations
Twitching eyes,  Shaky hands
Ah! A new day has begun
Morning has come…

 

Yesterday, I was reminded once again
That progress moves faster in the light
I mean for the light
Or is it to the light

 

I always get confuse
And I try to rationalize
This is what leads me to my pathos
This is what leads me to my pawn broker
And our constant trade in unused jars
Of lightening cream

 

Throwing out and then replacing
And throwing out some more
And then replacing… some more

 

I stare at the jar on the table
and it snares back at me
beckoning, gleaming with a vague promise
I still do not understand
And another new day I resist the urge
Today will not find me slipping
Today will not find me dipping

 

Now I am good, I am dressed
I am ready to go
Opportunities abound, my goals are clear
Reality slaps me once more not to forget
Not to forget my mantra
It makes me believe in myself
For my children
And their children’s children
That is what this is really about

 

My mind clears it throat
let’s begin it says

 

Black is beautiful, I must not despair
Black is beautiful, Love without unnecessary compromise will find me
Black is beautiful, Black is my identity….

Let’s go…

 

Please don’t judge the quality of the poem, it was written six years ago and I probably broke a hundred rules of poetry. But hey…  I have learnt when inspiration strikes, you must run with it or lose it forever; so I took the chance.

 

But now we must go back to the beginning, where it all started.

In childhood being the darkest of my sisters. my mum decided to honor this fact by constantly referring to me as “the black one”. This wasn’t a problem while growing within the confines of my house, drenched in so much love that my ‘title’ was a special bond between me and my mum. But once I started school, black came with the understanding that it meant ugly and sometimes unwanted, outcast, unsuitable and a plethora of other things that really does not necessitate journeying to my Primary and Secondary school memories.

Thankfully, I’ve realize that there is a  confusingly merciless and unthinking part of our culture that gives people a pass to say whatever comes to their head; without fully weighing the consequences. One part of our culture I can’t stand.

Anway, what changed or helped?

Well…

First of all, growing up, my head was always in the clouds dreaming up all kinds of wonderful alternate realities. This means most things registered but didn’t stay with me. And at the end of every school year, I noticed all shades, complexion wise in the top and bottom according to our exam result. Immediately dark meaning dumb (a word we use here to mean unintelligent) lost all truth plus it helped that I got a lot of double promotions and recommendations to skip grades.This gave all the evidence that I wasn’t even near dumb or unintelligent. So… victory number 1.

When the boys started coming by, they were in all shades. From really light skinned to deep dark skinned. I always joke that it seems like I had dated the United Nations, not in the number of people but in the variety. But In all honesty, two things really changed my view of relationships as it pertains to skin color.

The first is, whether white, black or mixed, it really didn’t take long for me to ‘forget’ what they looked like. Somehow, skin color and complexion gets pushed back into my sub-concious mind and the individuals character and personality comes to the fore front. It is really hard for me to explain this but when I realised that, I chose to believe it was the same for them as for me.

The second thing and person, whom I have to give a lot of thanks to is Halle Berry.

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And it was the moment in her life that she was treated so badly by a man. I was extremely unhappy about it because like most people I felt and still feel she is a beautiful person. But her moment came with clarity for me; and if this can be done to Halle Berry a world(media) proclamed standard of beauty, then if the guarantee for happiness in a relationship is solely based on looks, no one will be spared from bad times.

I have reached my destination of total acceptance of my skin complexion. But I would be lying if I say there aren’t days I do not wish for a lighter shade. This has to do with my hair texture which some people naturally associate with being mixed race. I really could do without a day of inquistion. You can read all about it Here to understand what I mean.

However if the many Ethnicity tags, Mixed girl tags and the numerous ‘Where am I from?’ tags floating in cyberspace are any indication; it is safe to assume that if you do not totally fit a stereotype, people are going to have questions and opinons. Just the way of the world.

Bottom line, I have learnt through actively seeking to love all I have been given that, having the most widely accepted or favored skin tone comes with ZERO guarantee for a happy, fullfiled and purposeful life.

If you are unhappy and miserable about your life then no matter the ‘passes’ the world gives you, you will remain unhappy and miserable about your life.

And the world’s standards do not have to be yours. End of story.

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Silly poetry sometimes carries a ton of meaning.

 

So do you feel having your type of skin tone has helped or encumbered the quality of your life? I would really love to have as many perspectives on this as I can, if you would please indulge me. Much thanks in advance

 

 

Images via Flickr

Giving up on Your dream? You need to read this!

The right kind of wake up call!

Being1nsane

Giving up on a dream edit

Scared? Nervous ? And uncertain? Yes, for sure.

Because you have this crazyyy idea stuck in your head and somewhere an unrealistic part of you is ever believing it can come true. Stupid stupid part. That part doesnt know what will happen if you fail right? I mean yeah its not going to be the one facing rejection. How about you forget about all that for a second now?

Now think of where you want to be, where you will be if you take up on that crazy idea in your head and work like a dog on it. Think of how you will be proud of yourself, think of the satisfaction, think of the success of your dream. Now see where you are right now. On the first step, with this dull ache in your heart because you are not where you just imagined to be, where you…

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Imsomnia? Don’t watch an Adam Sandler movie at night and 6 other things not to do!

So true especially getting up to write ideas.

psychologistmimi

Imsomnia? Don’t watch an Adam Sandler movie at night and 6 other things not to do!

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Ever since I moved back out to California, I have been having a hard time falling asleep. I don’t even think about falling asleep early. And it is not like I am up all night working or stressing about things. California just has reset my biological rhythms. Whether that is a good thing, time will tell.

Here are some quick tidbits I have learned the last few months as to what not to do when having a hard time falling asleep:

1. Do not, under any circumstance, watch an Adam Sandler movie if you want to eventually sleep. His movies tend to be so bad that you cant help but stay up and watch the whole movie. It is perverse, I know, but true.  The last few weeks I have caught Blended and Just…

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