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Nostalgia

You know, there is always the question of asking yourself if you are ever going to be a best seller in your lifetime. These days, those are the questions that I find myself asking each time I start writing a story. The question started simply enough. A very young child came to my house and we started chatting. He wanted to know why I was hunched over my computer almost all the time he was in the living room. I blinked and tried to focus on the young man. He noted that most times he called to say hello to my children, he invariably found me typing. I took a deep breath and wondered if I should do one of two things.

You know look down my nose at him and reply in a pitying voice on how he has missed the true calling of the writer and tell him he was not likely to understand what writing meant to me, yeah, I am still broke and I am not sure if I can claim that I have sold my book in thousands never mind millions. What? No, I am not about to discuss my despair either. Hey!, I mean my despair that I am never going to finish writing all I have to write. I never have enough time and the stranger thing is, I have had days that I sit by the computer and the stories just goes on in my head and the computer remains blank. That is really frightening when I wonder if all this is going to be worthwhile. I am not trying to change the world neither am I likely going to change my immediate community, unless I wish to be a liar.

That is another thing, my niece doesn’t think I work anyway. She came over to spend the holidays when I was part of a television series on teenage reproductive issues. She had liked me and was enthusiastic about the series, I NEED TO KNOW. She read the stories every night, staying up all night sometimes. I was preening and waiting for the commendations to flow in. She looked up and I saw real bewilderment on her face.
“seriously auntie, I have never met all these people you talk about in your story, you are just forming them up right?”
“You mean like I am making them up”? I asked her slowly puzzled at what she was implying. Here, let me insert a warning: We are writing Nigerian English and my friends across the pond may have to hold on for a translation later.
My niece nodded and I smiled, “Yes of course , that is what is called fiction, the situations are real though”.
“You mean Ikechukwu is not real?”
“No my dear, the young boy that acts the part is real but that is just his television name”.
“Hmmm, very easy job Auntie, just sit down, dream up stories about people and you get paid for having fun”.
I stared at her, opened my mouth to explain what enter- educate drama is all about and clammed shut as she stared askance at me. She commented that she envied my job and wondered why I had not become a millionaire at the very least. She said she might one day take up my job.

That was years ago, the juice train left and I stared into the hard glare of straining to make two tired ropes stay glued. Digital television, internet radio and programmes took me to hunger street and I needed to look at dim areas of my creative mind to quell the noise of my growling belly.
I have been writing since I can remember the meaning of pain, hunger, dreams and a compulsive need to talk to persons I have never met. My imagination wakes me up every dawn as the sun dips her fingers on my hopes and gives me a taste of its promise. I have like a thousand stories, impatiently jostling for attention. Men I know so well in my head, conversations that seem unending, situations crop up and I ponder on their solutions. An urgent need to tap a shoulder and start a conversation.

I am doing one right now right? Were you interested? Oh well, you got this far. That must count for something. But you see, a new fear is peeping at me. How much time do I have?
Will I ever write a best seller? Sometimes I picture a vast field, the sun is setting, the players are all gone, I am staring at the lonely abandoned ball in the field, the stands are silent and a lone figure walks onto the field, he touches the ball and hears in his soul the roar of his dreams and he makes a lob into the far end of the field. The sun yawns and calls me over.
I will see you soon my friend.

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Blood Contract

Hey, I am feeling pink, because Bobby took me back to my very first novel internationally. He read my very first novel with IFWG publishing. BLOOD CONTRACT.
Couple of my religious friends were scared off by the title imagining I was going to write about some voodoo stuff. Those were very puzzling days, confusing to me as well. It was an ey-opener learning that my side of the pond had yet to get over the bogey thrown into them by our white masters about our local brewed religion. I think that was why I wrote the Numen Yeye series. I must have told you how Numen Yeye started and so much has passed since the days of BLOOD CONTRACT.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00061]
However as I learned and hopefully grew in the novel writing business, I got into the habit of reviewing books for authors like me. Some of the authors paid me back by offering to read my own books. That natural law of give and take happened recently with Bobby and I.
So he first bought Rose of Numen and then gave me the extra gift of reading my very first book. This is what he put in amazon.com and goodreads.
“I really enjoyed Biola’s book Blood Contract and recommend others read it. It kept me intrigued and wanting to read more. As someone who knows nothing about the Niger Delta, I found this book to be very informative of the land, culture, and societal problems. Blood Contract deals with issues of corruption, greed, evil, rape, oil bunkering, family, societal norms, God and poverty, just to name a few. I am now more informed of the Niger Delta, the damage of oil bunkering, the corruption of young boys and men, and the suffering that exists in that part of the world. I also found Biola’s writing to be inspiring and I look forward to reading her other books as well”.
A river has passed under the bridge since that book was written. I had an offer to have the book made into a film script. I even had the script written and my excitement rode the skies, but then this was my country and for all the dreams of mice and men. Sigh…. Who knows you just might read this and decide to send me a query about the book. So I will be waiting okay?
What makes us write? What do we want to achieve? For every million unknown writers out there in the great world, there are the tiny few that attract attention and somehow hold that attention.
When I started to write some 42 years ago, I had very small illusions about making the millions or even smile to the bank. But I had stars in my eyes about the written word and that excitement has outlived all other feeling till date.
I am crazy about writing. I have written television plays to educate adolescents, parents, and written just about every topic including horror!
I hope I have matured over the years, 42 years ought to count for something right? But I am still interested in human beings, our dreaming, and the painful thud when we have to face the hard grind of reality.
An elder in my community who had written for longer than I have, answered my naïve question about living on writing with a gentle laugh, said I might be hungry for a long time. He was right. But I feel like a child in a candy store when I am asked to write a story and I can deliver that story within days. Television scripts I might add. Writing a full length novel was a different kettle of fish.
So what do you think? Did you ever read that my first love affair with the virtual world when I clicked on a name and he became a much loved publisher… Gerry Huntman.
I have been blurbing right? I don’t know really but I feel like just sharing with you this time. You know like some friend you are used to warbling with. Lol.
Chat soon

Resolutions and the New year

Hey there, happy new year from my blog to you . There is something scary about new year resolutions. You make them in the heat of the moment and you make every attempt to keep them. But the problem is , you rarely keep them because the resolution was never really intended to be kept. I am wary of new year resolutions and avoid them as much as I can. This year though, I have plans to post daily as much as I can and share with you as much as I can my thoughts, my books, my authors and my friends. I hope to review books for friends and authors I admire. Some of these authors have impinged on my mind and I find I can’t get them off, I keep thinking of what they have written.The most telling for last year has been Bobby Uttaro. He wrote the book, “To The Survivors”Book Cover a book on rape survivors.pic
It is like an obsession these days. I guess it is because he touches me in a part of my soul that I have kept locked up for years. It seems every time I turn on the television or radio, there is something about rape or sexual assault. I find myself talking about it, asking friends and wondering what I could do about it. In the beginning of the year the police were giving an update of crimes they had covered in two states and the Federal capital territory, I was chilled when they mentioned a hundred and thirteen (113) rape cases in just two states! Crikey!
I never could understand violence in any form and I stand uncomprehending before violence against women particularly sexual assault for the scars of a simple slap tend to go deeper with a real woman. Why did I use the word real woman? Simple, I have read, seen and heard of women who enjoy being slapped around. I do not understand nor do I want to say negative things about them, I just do not have an understanding of it. That was why Fifty Shades left me wondering.
I will be doing more exploration of my inner understanding of the world around me. I will have chats, light hearted ones, deep ones, dark ones, the odd spiritual ones, no, there will be no religiosity. Can’t stand that myself. The Truth when you find it, is not wrapped in religious clothes. I admire Pope Francis a lot, but I will not do confessions and I listen to the Dalai Lama and my village diviner when they make sense. Spirituality is the evolution of the inner man to see beyond the stars and universe and attempt to fix himself somewhere in the cosmos. A thousand years is nothing in eternity right? So I am wary of getting into that as well or at best would like to tread carefully.
I will post stories, poems, and just about anything that flits across my mind. When I reach out to you, I hope you will respond too. So for today as a starter let’s roll with some of the poems I wrote last year. Not all of them but just a few.
Chants from the Rose

The day drapes herself with purple hues
as she wakes.
makes ready for creation
all that is needed to weave
from the golden sun,
experiences of Light.
As you open your eyes
to the greeting of a shimmering morning,
may the Light rays
find you happy and well.

Persuasion

The sun can be persuaded
to have roses in the desert.
The dew at dawn is as
soft as the outer reaches of the sun.
the hand that holds the Sword is loving and firm.

The scalpel of the surgeon is sharp
to remove the errant tissue.
It is mercy.
The eagle lives on the crag
as the dove descends
and the sea breaks out on victory song.
The unicorn sniffs the golden air
for the sun is up again.

PEACE

He who cannot walk away
from his anger,
cannot in trust,
approach the peace of Love.

Those who betray us,
those who revile us,
who hate us,
show through their ugliness,
the awesome beauty,
of God’s compassion,
as they mirror to us,
what we must never be.

To the Survivors…Revisit

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As the year closes, I thought, I should share some of those things that have left an impact on me. One of the things I have learnt over time is books I review tend to stay with me and some of the authors tend to become my friends. One of such authors is Bobby Uttaro.
It could be in the style of writing or the contents, Bobby’s book, “To the Survivors” has stayed with me and in a way has become a kind of comfort book for me. I live in a country where rape and rape victims are on the peripheral vision of the country. I am sure there had been reports of rape before I read the book, but my senses became real sharpened enough to take particular notice and that became depressing.
How do I mean? I came across cases of rape, from infants to elderly women for different reasons. It appears women have been under siege in my country for longer that I imagined and we don’t seem to be doing anything concrete. I am not about to start another article on this but I want to thank Bobby for at least making me know about one of the dirty secrets of humanity. To the Survivors
Rape is not exclusive to a particular nation nor is it alien to any society, I guess rape has existed amongst us from the time of the cave men, but it is the oldest shame that man has on its collective soul.
I am thus repeating my interview with Bobby today, with the hope that somehow, we will be reminded of the road we still need to follow to achieve that which we are seeking. For as long as we deny the woman the right to refuse a sexual advance, I think we are diminished by that violence.
How do I mean? I came across cases of rape, from infants to elderly women for different reasons. It appears women have been under siege in my country for longer that I imagined and we don’t seem to be doing anything concrete. I am not about to start another article on this but I want to thank Bobby for at least making me know about one of the dirty secrets of humanity.
Rape is not exclusive to a particular nation nor is it alien to any society, I guess rape has existed amongst us from the time of the cave men, but it is the oldest shame that man has on its collective soul.
I am thus repeating my interview with Bobby today, with the hope that somehow, we will be reminded of the road we still need to follow to achieve that which we are seeking. For as long as we deny the woman the right to refuse a sexual advance, I think we are diminished by that violence.
Please enjoy
To the Survivors…..Book Cover
I opened page one and was sucked in.I raged, cried, was angry and kicked but Bobby had me by the short hairs and dragged me through me, through the minds of every breathing human being making me look at a crime, issue that for us in my corner of the world we have been unable to define properly let alone classify and give it a name.
The innocent girl on her first wedding night to a man old enough to be her father as she is dragged to matrimonial bed and raped by her elderly husband . Her terrified screams and flailing arms applauded by all. She is welcomed into matrimony through the red mist of her violent entry. That was the story. In my corner of the universe, that is how you marry. In my time and age.,I learnt about this during my first visit to my hometown in the south west when I came to my family for the first time. I stood in shock as I heard the wild screams. Rape.. a word that young bride never heard of but has been made to experience as a received standard response to sexual activity. The women watched the men, resentment in their heart, hate to the mate who is brought in and polygamy grows hand in hand with hate and resentment. People of my mother’s age and some of mine. This is a hard book for me and anyone who has ever empathized with rape, assault, and even molestation and I passionately ask you to pick up a copy for yourself. It is a must in libraries and schools. In fact any public place.
I am not telling you my story, but the subject of Bobby’s book and the very painful reactions he has made me go through. I want you to meet Bobby and I hope his answers will help us.
1. Welcome Bobby to Ephesus.

Thank you for having me. It’s a blessing and honor to speak with you.

2. Can you define rape in all its ramifications as you understand it?
In my opinion, rape, especially child rape, is the worst crime human beings commit against each other as it causes the most damage to a person’s mind, heart, and soul over significant periods of time. People who are raped have their power and control taken from them. Some believe they will die during a rape and others want to die after. Think about how terrifying and sad this is. The pain and suffering that rape survivors experience can often last many years to a lifetime. But the damage caused does not just hurt the survivor; it hurts that person’s family and friends as well. Significant others are often devastated, sometimes more so than the survivor. I know of a man who was so broken after he learned that his girlfriend was raped years before. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to process it. It was as if nothing in life made sense anymore.
There are so many ramifications of rape, probably too many to list now. In my experiences, I have yet to see a crime that causes so much shame. If one feels shame, one will inevitably have serious health problems. Many, if not all rape survivors at one point in their lifetime, possibly even for years, have suffered deep shame. This is so incredibly sad because on top of being raped, a person most likely lives with shame for years. Shame is crippling and paralyzing. Think of the suffering people who have this undeserved shame live with and how it affects their lives and the lives of those around them.

The ramifications of rape are vast, but I will mention a few. Rape is linked to shame, anger/rage, depression, insecurity, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts and suicide, eating disorders, and other health issues. It causes low to no self-esteem. It can alter people’s perceptions of themselves and the world around them. Many rape survivors live in fear. Many rape survivors are physically and spiritually shackled. Rape can shatter the soul. And on top of all of these horrific effects and sufferings, many rape survivors blame themselves. But I want everyone to know that it is not their fault and that they can regain control back. Their lives can be happier and healthier if they are unhappy and suffering. The soul can be strengthened and healed.
Lastly, there are many societal and financial ramifications from rape. Rape can be linked to drug addiction, prostitution, organized crime, and our prison populations, to name a few. For example, I had a meeting at a women’s prison in hopes of getting the book To the Survivors to the inmates. At the time of my meeting there were approximately 100 women incarcerated inside. The Director of Women’s Programming told me roughly 75% of the women had been raped. Also, the Director of Mental Health Services told me 99% of the women had been raped. Why were they incarcerated? The majority were incarcerated due to drugs and prostitution. There is a clear correlation between our female prison population, prostitution, drug addiction and rape. This is also true for some of our male inmates as well.
Ultimately, rape causes more damaging ramifications than I can answer in your question, but hopefully this is a good starting point and answers some of it.

3. Is Sexual assault, rape or sexual violence graded?

Some people grade different levels, but I don’t think that it is necessary to do. I don’t think we should. Every sexual assault, molestation, or rape, is a crime that causes suffering. We should help anyone affected and not grade their experiences.

4. Rape is not gender sensitive and is prevalent in every society on the earth, what can be done to stop it?

The prevalence of rape can decrease if more people make changes within their own hearts. I believe that we can stop and prevent some acts of rape, but I do not believe we will stop rape entirely. I believe rape will exist as long as human beings live on this earth. This is not meant to sound hopeless. I am very hopeful of what can be done and I know more people can heal. I would not keep doing this work and be speaking with you if I did not see real human and spiritual growth within people. But I do believe it is important to be realistic about the world we live in and the evil atrocities that will continue to exist.

Rape is the most prevalent and least reported violent crime throughout the world. The majority of people do not even speak about it, let alone get active and help people affected. Minimal rape crisis centers exist worldwide and too many people don’t want to deal with the realities.

It is believed by some that the second most lucrative illegal business in the world is human trafficking. Billions of dollars are made every year off the sale of human beings who are forced into sexual slavery. In addition, little boys and girls are raped in homes by relatives. People are raped by their spouses. And we know that even some individuals who work in the most trusted public service positions – from law enforcement to religious clergy – rape. How will this stop? I don’t believe it will ever stop, but we can help people in their healing process and we can raise awareness through education.

Education and people intervening if they see something inappropriate is necessary for the prevention of sexual violence. Sadly, many people don’t see the signs of a rape or sexual assault before they occur. If we educate people on some of the signs, we may be able to prevent some crimes. For example, there were many signs of early troubling or inappropriate conduct in the lives of Jim and Chris, who are speakers with individual chapters in To the Survivors. If people around them were educated on the signs and empowered through that education to act, those innocent boys may not have been sexually abused. However, no one noticed, or some noticed but did not intervene, and these boys suffered.
I don’t believe we will ever eradicate rape on this earth, but I believe that we can help people in their healing process and live healthy and productive lives. We can listen to each other, show each other compassion, and empower each other. Too many survivors suffer in silence alone. But I want to tell people that they do not have to suffer in silence. They can heal and they can also help others if they choose to. Our voices are incredibly important and valuable. We can make a real difference in the lives of those who are struggling and suffering. I hope and pray for more of us do that.
Ultimately, rape can stop if human beings stop raping. It is a choice. Sadly, it is a choice that people will continue to commit and many others will continue to not speak of.
5. Would it be right to say that as much as the assaulted is counseled, the aggressor also needs assessment and managing?

So many acts of sexual violence are hidden from others. This, of course, makes assessing and managing a perpetrator exceptionally difficult. How do you assess and manage a person abusing another person when no one knows or speaks about it? This happens too often. The majority of rapists are not arrested, let alone convicted and then sent to prison. And even those who are sent to prison, how long is their prison term? The majority of those convicted come back into our society. Should more be done to manage them? Yes. But the majority of rapists freely walk this earth and commit vile crimes.

I do believe the aggressor needs counseling, but only if the aggressor wants counseling. Sadly, some people commit these crimes with no remorse. I believe remorse and redemption exist for those who want it, but not everyone wants it. If you read all of To the Survivors, you will see that none of the perpetrators showed any true remorse for their crimes.

In order for people to change, they must first make a change in their own heart.

6. Is the rapist mentally deficient and may be classified as disabled?

No. I do not believe we should call rapists disabled. People in wheelchairs are disabled. People with autism who can’t adequately communicate to others are disabled. Rapists choose to commit a crime. Some doctors, teachers, lawyers, police officers, politicians and religious leaders, to name a few, commit rape. Do we look at those professions as disabled?

7. In your book you are neither a rapist nor a victim so why did you write about it?

God. I did not consider myself a writer and never once tried to write a book until the experience of an intensely vivid dream one morning changed my life. I woke up from this dream and said, “I have to write a book.” I interpreted this dream as a vision from God. I prayed to God, moved from the bed to the computer, opened up Microsoft Word, and continued to pray. That is how To the Survivors began. To the Survivors would not be helping the amount of people it has helped if it weren’t for God. I would not be speaking with you now if it weren’t for God. There are too many people suffering, and I know this book can help with that suffering.

8. Some cultures really do not believe in marital rape as rape as they argue it is a male right to enforce their conjugal rights, what do you think?

I think this is horrible. Words cannot fully describe how awful this belief is. This absurd belief and reasoning allows for women to get raped. This kind of thinking accepts rape and too many people suffer as a result. Where does this ludicrous belief come from? Rape is rape. It is an evil crime. I believe it is a demonic and satanic crime. It does not matter if you are married or not; no spouse should rape or endure being raped. No one should be raped. What makes men inherently superior to women? Nothing. Why should a man have the right to rape his wife? He shouldn’t. There is no logical or rational explanation for this and it should not be condoned. Unfortunately, it is.

You say that some cultures do not believe in marital rape as they argue it is a male’s right to enforce his conjugal rights. I know it is hard to believe, but some women do rape men. Should women rape their husbands? Of course not. So why should a man be allowed to commit an evil crime against his wife? Why would he even want to? The belief that men can rape their wives due to their “conjugal rights” is wrong and it sanctions rape. Marriage is supposed to be about love, not rape, and complete dominance of one over another.

9. The first thing that happens to a person that has been sexually assaulted, molested or harassed is to hide, keep quiet or feel shame and they go into hiding the event, how do you identify that to help?
It is not for me to tell people how to act. It is solely up to the survivor to do what he or she wants to do. Personally, I would like more and more people to open up to a trusted individual in their lives, but I cannot make a survivor do that. Rape and sexual assault are so incredibly hard to talk about. But I believe we have to be there for each other and let others know that we will sit and listen to them if they ever need anything. I pray that more people create loving and safe environments in which people can disclose their stories and pain if they choose to. More people will come forward as more people come forward.
10. Your THP sounds wonderful, have they thought of extending their great work to other countries? Through affiliations, overseas training to create awareness to communities?

No, but I will. I try my best to get this book and these messages to countries throughout the world and will continue to do so. You are a big part of that Abiola. God bless you. Thank you for this connection and opportunity.

11. Do you have any plans to make your book available to Africa and Nigeria?

Absolutely. One way to make the book available in Nigeria and Africa is by talking to other people, posting on social media sites and through this great interview. This interview will raise awareness of the book’s existence to people in Nigeria, and I thank you for that. To the Survivors can be found online at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, kobo.com, smashwords.com, goodreads.com, and other online retailers. The e-book can also be found on my website for free at http://www.robertuttaro.com if people cannot afford the book. I want anyone to be able to get a copy of To the Survivors should they have an interest. People can contact me directly through my website if for some reason they cannot obtain a copy. Lastly, I would love to travel to Nigeria or anywhere else if anyone ever wants me to speak about these issues.

12. Share your thoughts on what you hope your book might achieve?

I have many hopes for what the book might achieve in the lives of others, probably too many to list here. I will try to answer as best as I can:

I hope people keep breathing and do not choose to kill him or herself.
I hope people will not feel shame for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people will not blame themselves for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people understand that they are not alone.
I hope people connect on some level with at least one person in To the Survivors.
I hope people understand that they can grow and heal from any pain they experience.
I hope people who have not been raped or sexually assaulted become more educated on how to respond to incidences of sexual violence and the suffering of survivors.
I hope people stop raping and assaulting.
I hope people understand that God loves them more than they can even fathom, even if they do not believe in God.
I hope people talk to God and listen to God.

These are some of my many hopes.

Will you be willing to answer questions on your book after this time, if you will please tell us how we may do that.
Yes. People can email me at info@robertuttaro.com if they want to ask me anything.
Thank you being on Ephesus.
Thank you for having me. It’s been a true blessing. God bless you, Abiola.
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A MARRIAGE OF THE GODS AWAITS – Rose of Numen

“A beautiful narrative of our world and the connections with the finer world. In my opinion, this work is a depiction of the imagery of events that shall(will) NOW usher in the New Age of all our cultures. Consciously we will welcome New leaders and kings amongst us. I raise my ancient spear in salute to the author – Biola Olatunde. We all need to read it, fiction or nonfiction – the imagery that makes the new must flow!!” – Odjegberen Oghenechovwen ‘Keyan Ugen. Prince-Priest of the Ancient Ughievwen Kingdom.
These words gave me a sense of doing something worthwhile. Rose of Numen which is book two of the Numen series started something in me. It was meant as fiction but I had based quite a lot of what I wrote on the people around me. My village and her customs played a significant role in making me conscious of my roots. I had listened to my grandmother talk to me about gods and goddesses and they were not evil blood sucking leeches as my civilization had portrayed to me. Do I believe in this traditional form of worship? I am not sure but I find I was not willing to push things under the carpet as my friends and colleagues tend to do. I am Nigerian, specifically a Yoruba woman and was not prepared to call everything black magic. I am not into dark arts. Most of the practices puzzle me but I gradually learnt that by whatever name we call religion or even the lack of it, humanity needs to understand it. When we have an urgent need to feel that there is a purpose to our existence.
When I was writing the television series for the United Nations Population fund, I remember wanting to talk to traditional chiefs what they thought of female genital mutilation. I did not want to just dismiss it as evil but I wanted to learn why we started the practice in the first place and I asked myself where we missed the point even as I tried to rationalize the reasons for it. When I finally wrote against it, it was because I finally had a conviction of why it was wrong.
Couple of my friends are wondering if I had become a traditionalist after they had read Rose Of Numen. I sensed their restraint and was at first puzzled then as recognition dawned that they wondered about me, I felt pity for them. Our civilization has not done much for us. A large portion of our convictions is dependent on miracles, prosperity and the ability to weed out witches and wizards. We sometimes pay lip service to a religion because it is expected of us. I hate talking or writing about religion because it is divisive so don’t run away to another blog just yet will you?
My question has always been, if we recognize that Man lives at three levels of consciousness, what makes us accept that there were only particular races that had evolved on all three levels? Man acts, speaks and thinks on a very gross material level. In finer consciousness he is evolved enough to wonder about the cosmos, things beyond his ethereal consciousness and he wonders about a Creator.
My conversation is kind of heavy right? I guess it is, because the world right now is a puzzling place to be in. We are faced with the imminent realization to accept that humanity is at war with itself. An ideological war that brooks no compromises from the protagonists and antagonists whichever side you seem to find yourself. It is a question about a right to existence based on an idea, that goes to the very root of man’s concept of existence and the rationale for it.
Is there a meeting point? I remember Nostradamus warned that if humanity fails to resolve this, the next war will be fought with sticks and stones. A lot of things don’t make sense to me anymore so you could say I am a very confused old woman these days. I have tried to put all the killings into a perspective and I have failed to understand. There is a heavy sadness in me . I know I am not Atlas and it is a road that leads nowhere wondering how we have suddenly become a murderous bunch that kill without reason.
Where did we miss the point I ask myself. In my tradition, we would have gone to the gods and asked to know who had committed an abomination on the land and then we would look for ways to expiate it. Sadly we stopped listening to the cries of the gods that there is silence now in the market place just the rattle of the old bones is echoed by the eerie silence.
There is a dance in the forest of masquerades, who are afraid to come to the market because the drums they hear are the drums of war. We could fly a flag but only one flag will do, the flag of humanity and we do not even know what colour that should be.

Money, Muscle and Common Sense

I used to wonder about the civilized world. Wondering bemused into a virtual world and you wonder at the value system. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of what I have seen. You know there are times when you suspect that your uncomprehending look at some of the things could be the reason you wonder if you would ever get the hang of the civilized world.
They saved us from ourselves and showed us how to help each other yes? Okay, I could buy into that, but I am completely puzzled by our greed for the trivial, the mundane. It is like this, for quite a while I read and watched the hype to the fight of the century as it was dubbed between Floyd Mayweather and The Filipino congressman, Manny. Can’t get the spelling right, so I don’t want to disrespect him. Manny caught my interest because I saw him as a man using his fists to help his people. Floyd on the other hand leaves me worried.
There is hype about how Floyd uses his money to help his friends and I hope complete strangers. The world however seemed to have received two riddles at the same time. Like in those Greek times, humanity was asked a question and I am not sure we heard the question let alone if we took time to answer it well.
At about the same time, Nature struck and slapped an Earthquake on us via Nepal. I watched fairly numbed as the death toll escalated and then as some kind of comedy relief, the supposed fight of the century. Floyd made another hundred million dollars and would probably pick up another rolls Royce, or whatever other toy. Those in his magic circle would probably get something too. A four month old baby survived the earthquake but would take his chances with the health and living standards of Nepal, it is not really Floyd’s problem. Heck he earned his dollars trying to bash Manny’s common sense out of him. These two gentlemen were egged on by others who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to watch the supposed gentlemen beat sense out of each other.
I have never understood the rationale for justified violence. I never did comprehend the sport of wrestling and boxing and have always wondered at its rationale. Okay, we have African wrestling but my confusion is still the same. Why don’t we have a sport that help a fellow human being? Sometimes in our dim past, we took interest in helping each other.
There is a saying by our elders in my corner of the world, and it states very simply, that for as long as there is a poor unfortunate person in your family, the rich man can never lay claim to being truly rich, for he is the sore finger in your hand. One sore finger is the discomfort that keeps you awake.
By the same token, for as long as there is a desperate country in the world, the rich countries and their economy stand threatened. Human beings exist on the understanding of the fundamental rights and would therefore not heed imaginary boundaries and seek haven anywhere they can find it. That is why Italy and Europe is swamped by boatloads of desperation on daily basis. They drown, get sick, get shot but the tiny sliver of hope that they may survive, keeps them trying.
Maybe it is time, the rich nations start looking at that, hope. Every human being was born screaming for his own share of oxygen to stay alive, his own space, his own sun, and is programmed to search for the rationale of his existence, pushed to fulfill his definition of himself. Failure is a smell he does not want around him. No man known in history has ever had life mission to fail. Not the four month old baby pulled from the rubble of Nepal. Interestingly, the 101 year old man who made it out of that rubble was glad to be alive. He would like to stay alive as long as he can.
What is my point in all this?, just hoping somewhere that Floyd might postpone another Rolls Royce, and give a thought to that four month old baby. The cost of one RR, could change several lives. Might give a rationale to the official fisticuffs he enjoys.
Money and muscle should be balanced by common sense and a common understanding that we all are connected one way or the other.

Being a Mother

I am missing my mum. When I told her that, she gave a wan smile and was silent. I knew why she smiled , both of us understood that, you see, we had not started really talking properly to each other until a few years back. We only had angry whispering conversations before . Both of us were confused then, it took her a long time before she could tell me about being jealous of me.
I was shocked when I learnt that one could be jealous about one’s own child. I was close to my dad. She accepted it as a natural thing and was even happy about it for me, but we left her out of the circle. She had left my father when she could no longer come to terms with her pain. When we finally talked about it, I understood the meaning of jealousy. I had felt left out sometimes too by my own children when they will discuss me, make their own plans and rarely considered putting me in the picture.
I used to fantasize being able to tell Dr. Phil if he has ever wondered about women like me who live in a completely different world. I mean for people like him we might as well live on Mars. Hey, might be a good idea for a study.
I am from a village you have never heard of before, if someone dropped you there, you would be well and truly lost. I have this awful habit of just wandering around in my head. Quite a lot of space and rooms. You know some doors are shut tight, I know what is behind some of the shut doors but it is not the day to talk about them. Okay before you give up on me altogether, I was telling you about me missing mum. Thank heavens I still remember. I have been known to carry on a conversation and never really finish it. It used to irritate my husband no end. He says while what I am saying might make sense when and if I finally get round to finishing it…okay alright, no need for you to sigh. What was I saying? Yeah, me missing my mum. I said it before, why did I miss her? ..Oh okay, might have to pause for a nanosecond…
We were talking you know and she said something about being jealous of me hmmm..me and dad right? Okay got it.
Can you be jealous of your child? Feel left out in a closed out relationship? I go through that you know. First was the extreme happiness of looking at those tiny fingers, making a silent vow to be everything to the child. You dream, you ache and your heart lifts when the child calls you ‘mama’. Those first steps, the first fall, first day at school and your dreams balloon out of shape as your heart feels too small to contain all your excitement and you whisper your love for your child softly to yourself. It is bigger than having a secret love affair. “this is my baby” you tell yourself and you feel you just owned the planet. You are a mother now.
It is not important if your husband is thinking of a second wife or in my mother’s case they were already two other women sharing him with her. Those nights when he gave you his wicked smile and asks you to share his bed, you must hold your breath and release it slowly so as not to show you are excited. Feels indecent for village women to show they can enjoy lovemaking.
In the tradition, you are expected to be cool, calm and reticent when your husband reaches for you or else you are suspected of being flirty and thus not to be trusted. Stay quiet under him and should you feel like exploding, sigh and turn your face to the side. Who ever heard of a village woman having an orgasm?. That word never existed, good girls don’t show their feelings. I stared and groaned, “mother, please, you mean you felt love for my dad”? I asked her shocked and suddenly irritated. I stared at her wonderingly, suddenly feeling guilty as well. I am a product of my village too.
Did she feel jealous of me as a mate, I mean as co-wife? My thoughts were riotous, could you be jealous of your own child? I was about to say no, when I remembered my reactions to my own children each time they came home on holidays and showed preference to stay with their older sister. My sudden sense of being alone, feeling used and dumped. I remember my eldest daughter’s confusion and pain as she wondered if she was doing something wrong. I understood , when we are asked to share what we never owned. We could not possess the child, it was right to love, it is however greater to let the child go when it is time to for the child to fly out of the nest.
So I gave my mum a real prayer of love and gently unknotted one more thread and strengthened my prayer for her. Her smile brightened and I felt the glow from the door in my mind as I closed it gently, our conversation today at an end. Mother passed fifteen years ago.

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