Mother

They say the walls have ears, little do they know that the walls have mouths too. And they speak to her, they teach her what it means to be aware

She lived with three siblings which was invigorating but she still hid who she was. A girl that heard the walls when they spoke. Then came a day darkness consumed the land. She saw the a shadow take the form of a hat with an arc drawn around a woman’s eye. Birds perched on barbed wires saw it too.

Nobody else did.

They had been looking for mother. She’d gone into the woods to harvest wheat at the bank of the streaming waterfalls. And now as the moon swallowed the sun and grew fuller, darkness ravaged the earth like an Octopus devouring a sardine.

Something was coming their way, and it was neither mother nor was it as charming. Whatever it was, it took the form of a woman and was drenched with the darkness.

The earth created a mouth that beckoned on her to flee. The birds squawked like they were perceiving an erupting volcano. She tugged at her siblings burlaps and yanked their arms. Two of them hearkened to her bargain and they began running home but the eldest chose to dance the tune of a cowardly lion. Somebody had to find mother.

As he approached the thick of the woods, there was silence so deafening, his ears began to bleed. Soon he came face to face with darkness in a woman’s form. He smiled and drew closer, that had to be mother. In a way he was right for it looked like her but her eyes were black like they’d been replaced with iron ore. There he stood entranced by the likeness of his mother as she sucked out his soul into a calabash and filled him full with darkness.

Alas , three kinders running in the woods. The tentacles of darkness close behind them. One of them took a wrong step and twisted her ankle. That moment of weakness was all the darkness needed. It enveloped her without delay and like a breeze she was gone.

The darkness grew stronger with the fullness of the eclipse.

Two kinders arrive in the cottage. They shut the windows and light the lanterns. The illuminating candles will protect us. They huddled at the east corner of the cottage. “protect us”, muttered little girl to crumbling walls. Though crippled by fear and terror, little girl incanted louder. Her voice echoed through the room. However, mother was stronger and needed her family. She grabbed the boy’s ankle and dragged him away.

Before mother could take little girl, the sun is hurled from the moon and returns as the center of attraction. Little girl takes a breath of awareness, rising off the floor of the house that was once saturated with a mother’s love.

Mother retreated deep into the woods where the trees formed a canopy shielding against the sun. she counted the souls of her special children. Each unique and vulnerable in their own way. She thought, Maybe it’s not hogwash when they say, the best thing you could do for your kids is not have them at all.

Ready to let it go

Yesterday was a considerably long day because I made a phone call. This phone call was one which is particularly important to me.

It was my brother’s birthday, and I needed to confront parts of myself that is connected to him. If you haven’t already, please visit my post titled; Young. If you gave that a read and you were wondering what that was about, here’s the other part I purposely omitted because I wasn’t ready to go into depths that day I published Young.

My brother started behaving different when I was maybe 8 and he was 10. I was prolly the only one who noticed at the time until his grades came in.

We went from being best friends to me wondering why he was so withdrawn. He wasn’t talking much and I spent a lot of time hypothesising what it could be, I just couldn’t fathom it.

I was mad. I was resentful, I eventually became withdrawn as well.

When folks ask questions about my family, I’m always avoidant. A lot of people actually think I’m the first born until I get too comfortable and spill, something I regret immediately after, they would then go; ” Oh, you have an older brother? what’s he doing, where’s he at?

And I would deflect and feel ashamed

The authorities, doctors in Nigeria didn’t know either. When I learnt about Autism and Autism spectrum disorders, I began comparing it with his routine and repetitive mannerism and I was so sure I’ve diagnosed it.

The more I researched Autism and Asperger’s, and compared with him, the more I realised this wasn’t it. But for lack of better diagnosis , I stuck with it.

When his MRI scans came out, it showed that the plump parts of  the internal capsule that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain did not develop completely, so called agenesis or hypogenesis of the Corpus callosum. Extremely rare tho

Finding the pathology brought a touch of closure for me, I guess. Since I was 8, I’ve only ever wanted to understand what it was. For those interested, I will leave a link here and below.

Odudu didn’t go to uni or technical college because he doesn’t have the mental capacity to deal with it.

Nevertheless, his meek soul is one I’m proud of.  A lot of our childhood experiences taunted me with guilt, shame and with a touch of inadequacy, feelings I’m all too familiar with and extremely tired of. Right now, I’m working on  building a new ,unbreakable relationship with my brother again

When I struggle to get my life together and to get a continuous stream of income, only 30%  is about my future.

Life is not fair but my brother deserves a future and it’s up to God and me to bring it into fulfilment.

Thanks for reading my daily thought <3

Here’s the link on Ageneis of Corpus Callosum

Young

My mother’s thigh were my stepping stone to the world beyond when I was born.

Day in. Day out. I sat there listening, never understanding the sounds from her mouth.

I clung to her bosom, it was all that I had.

I remember my first movie, Elizabeth Taylor being swooped off her feet.

Maybe I could be a damsel in distress in a marble courtyard  someday, I mused.

It was such a  honor to be chosen as a damsel when I was young.

Some night, mom was my enemy, other nights, dad was my enemy.

Both nights I had someone I could confide in, an ally. My brother.

He stood up for me when  I was defenceless.

The hero I’ve never known until the day he became  mute.

The intimacy I had never appreciated until we became estranged.

Not by time, space, barrier, but by words.

I watched him detach, I watched him change.

Before my eyes I saw him become what I could never describe, what he may never be able to explain.

And that day came when I held his hand, I cried and bursted out in anger

He bowed his head for he didn’t want me to notice the creeping duress that was becoming too real.

His unflexible smirk revealed a cold war unfurling within him, he was no more than ten.

When I was born, I clung to my mother’s bosom, it was all I knew .

I knew my knight in shining armor all too well,  until he went missing, hidden inside a conch.

Now, I have even less than I did then, but I have chosen to be a knight to nobody, but him.

He is small and compact but  will always be my ally.

Then I met a man and when I told him this, he told me, “youth is wasted on the young”.

As we steadily approach the third decade of life, I have to admit that perhaps he was right.

 


Thanks for reading my daily thoughts . Have a lovely weekend and don’t forget to  share your comments and subscribe to get my free ebooks . Much love <3

Image Courtesy:  Silas Onoja on Twitter

 

Meghan Markle hosts cookbook fundraiser with her mom

Three of them are so cute.

Her mum seems extremely humble and that’s probably where the Duchess of Sussex gets her integrity

…and good looks, y’kno black don’t crack, ehem.

But I gotta confess your girl has  been brooding since the Royal couple officially came out together, I mean I could be 86th in line for the throne too, cut me some slack.

I  believe in an Ideal world, this is what love looks like, transparent and complete.

Good eye Harry!

Unto today’s story….

LONDON (AP) — Meghan Markle was joined by her mother Thursday to launch a cookbook aimed at raising money for the victims of London’s Grenfell Tower fire.

The former actress from the United States, who married Prince Harry and is now the Duchess of Sussex, hosted the reception at Kensington Palace beside her mother, Doria Ragland, to support the cookbook titled “Together.”

The book celebrates the power of cooking to strengthen communities and bring people together.

Harry also attended the event. The book was inspired by Markle’s visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen in North Kensington, which could only open a few days a week for lack of funds.

The cookbook features recipes from women in the community who prepare food to help and heal. The dishes include coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala, caramelized plum upside-down cake and spiced mint tea.

The 2017 Grenfell Tower fire killed 72 people and prompted nationwide calls for tightening building codes and increasing firefighting capabilities for large apartment blocks.

Source: Apnews.com

Transcension

“Be whatever you want to be”, they say, although what they really mean is, “You can be whatever you want as long as it is what I want you to.”

My sister told me this two years ago.  Now she’s eighteen and in the first year in the same school I just graduated from, medical programme. The truth is, I acceded to the decision to study medicine, It was more like a psychological attunement, people would say; “You like to read, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you should be a Dr”. Uyai, on the other hand chose medicine.

Her struggles now give me flashbacks to when I was  naive and in first year. She had a bout of clinical depression that landed her in psychiatry outpatient, I suffered depression in between 1st and 2nd year as well, though it never occurred to me to me to visit the hospital, I turned to writing, drawing, and lots of crying. By then I hadn’t discovered the therapeutic values of exercise, nature walks and yoga, so I bottled it all in, no one knew.

I was praised for being strong, but matter-of-factly, Uyai-abasi showed admirable bravery for realising she had a problem and dealing with it. Our school system, unfortunately, is rigged for majority to fail, or at the very least, lose hope.  Now, my parents parenting style is absolutely contentious, in fact I’m probably scared for life because of their so called “African mentality”, but one thing our dad taught us was to stand our ground and never give up.  So the trials ensued, and boy did it rain down in full force, but I was too stubborn, and I know how resilient my sister is.

It took eight years of arduous training to become a Doctor, that day almost didn’t want to come, but as one of my favourite bloggers isaiahministry, noted, on their blog; “when God is working, he does so extraordinarily so the world knows that it is he”. I continue thanking him for honouring me in the way he has,  it took a lot of humbling experiences for me to finally succumb to his will,  I know he will bequeath his favour to Uyai-abasi. Because I’ve lived through them , I am now her biggest supporter.

 

A Haiku:

Pitter-patter of our DNA footprints

Juxtaposing faith’s light on grace

Attuned with signals of transcension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey

 

Graduation week. I was fatigued, mentally, even before it began and although I turned to exercise to recuperate, It only seemed to worsen with physical stress. The only person this was harder on was my sister. My beloved Viktor was on an emotional rollercoaster, he was trepid with anxiety. Now some may wonder why graduation would be anything but Joy and relief,  while some of you might already have guessed it. My parents, the Ukuts, were coming to town.

Naturally, I was more worried about my boyfriend’s first encounter with my parents than I was about the graduation, to further complicate things, Nigerian tradition demands a formal introduction.

Dr Otuekong Ukut has made quite a name for himself because he is determined and strong-willed. He’s the type of person you notice in a room because of the panache way he carries himself, he can be rather obdurate—kinda like me. Then you have my Mum, Mfon Ukut, a torrid energetic Leo and a colossal bundle of fun.

To God be the Glory, both my introduction and graduation hit off well and I unknowingly achieved two important milestones in my life. I will definitely not be missing med school. Next week, I will go back to posting on Fridays. Here are some of the photos of events that took place these past days. Official Grad photos will be uploaded later.

arrivederci, Dr Idara-abasi Ukut. 30/06/2018

 

 

memoirs of Alex

memoirs of Alex 62018.06.30_1342018.06.30_087memoirs of Alex 2memoirs of Alex 13memoirs of Alex 8

 

 

 

Follow the sun

7.38 AM

The streets are crowded

A glowing yellow ball

seats at a vantage point,

hiding behind rooftops.

Ike tiddled his flute

This early in the morning,

he had to go the farm.

He spent the first hour

lying on his back,

playing the instrument

then he buckled his belt,

and begun harvesting cassava.

Other kids his age would frown

at the thought of picking up a machete

or being stuck in a field

for most of their day.

They would rather play football

or shoot arrows at bush animals

but not Ike,

he didn’t see the need to play

when he had four younger siblings

relying on him.

Both his parents were gone

few rumors have settled across the village

regarding their disappearance.

Some say they couldn’t appease Sango

on the eve of the New Yam’s festival

as every man had to present his harvest

outside his hut.

In the still of the night,

Sango would descend on the land

and claim what is rightfully his.

However, the god was offended

by the measly bundle of cassava

at their doorstep.

He was so appalled that

he broke into the home

to kill them all.

Ike’s mother pleaded for the sake of her children,

asking Sango to spare her younglings

Pity overshadowed Sango’s wrath

so he agreed.

Others rumored that his parents

were so frustrated with their life,

and responsibilities

that they took off in the dead of the night

without so much as a farewell.

Ike doesn’t recall much from that night,

except that his mother sent him

into the other room in their minute two-room hut,

and instructed him to not come out

till dusk.

In the morning, his parents were missing.

In Ike’s world,

there was no time for football

but on this particular day,

the sun was deterrent to his job

He straightened his posture,

and in a burst of fury he exclaimed;

“Oh Osun, You know my heart and all I wish to do

is plowing the earth so I may feed my siblings.

I have no shilling,

only a leaky thatched roof above my head.

Why must I be cursed by the sun for my ambition?”

When he finished, the sun grew black

Ike froze in fear.

He wondered if the day of reckoning

the high priestess spoke so frequently of was nigh.

He could feel his heart implode in his chest

and minutes later, the sky became bright again

but something had changed.

The ember hue beamed eastward,

away from the field.

Ike picked up his machete and gear

He ran across the fields into adjacent farms.

He ran into the village,

past the maidens bearing terracotta pots upon their head

He crossed the village stream

and came to a halt at the east border of the village,

before the forbidden forest.

The forest was home to the gods

Only the high priestess and witch doctor

were welcome to enter for their customary rituals.

Without much pondering, Ike ran into the forest

He came to a halt at the foot of the tallest palm wine tree he’d seen.

That was the vantage point of the sun, he was certain.

He dropped his gear and tugged his weight up the tree.

Once at the top, he could see not only the village,

but other settlements,

even the city of Lagos,

where the traditional King lived.

He was amazed at the view surrounding him.

It occurred to him that he wanted more.

He wanted to explore life outside his village.

Eventually, he conceded to the blinding sun rays

and climbed down the tree against his wishes.

What he saw bemused him.

At the foot of the palm tree.

Ike was looking at a polythene bag

filled with iron ore.

He considered grabbing it

and running away

but he was no thief,

and besides, only a dumb fool

would steal from the gods.

“It’s yours,”

A familiar voice came from beside the tree

Ike stretched his neck to see his mother.

“The gods are rewarding your good will,

you could leave this village and live comfortably in Lagos,”

she continued, “or you can come with me, Ikechukwu.”

He wanted to wail and roll in the dust.

He had no strength left in him.

Eight years have passed since he last saw her

His eyes locked with his mother’s

and he knew if he left with her,

he wouldn’t have to toil the soil another day in his life.

He would have peace.

But, he wanted to be more

so he held her face, pecked her cheeks and bade farewell.

He grabbed the bag and begun his journey home,

away from the fading sun.

(In case you) Find your ghost

“A Toast,” she said, raising her glass, “to my adorable cousin, may no man ever traumatize her sexually, and physically like my uncle; her father did me”.

The venue went cold with unwavering tension. Out of nowhere, the head table overturned, shards of glasses glistening as they struck concrete. From the side of her eye, she saw her dad lurch towards the father of the day, gripped him by the throat before he could utter a word, his eyes red with fury.

And just like that,  the party was over.

 

********

 

Some secrets are too perverse to remain hidden. Secrets that burrow a hole in the middle of one’s chest. This is the story of a young maiden plagued by the ghost of the repressed emotions that she has never been able to confront.

This is the origin story of Alexander.

Born to working-class parents, the family had nearly nothing, except for a Volkswagen Beetle. Dad was never home; always at work, gunning for that big break that would catapult him to the next phase of his career; and mum, she too was hard at work, holding down the fort. Doing what good mums do.

About 18 yrs ago, on one of those evenings, an uncle visits for a meeting with dad but he didn’t come home that day which wasn’t unusual. At the time in Nigeria, you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call someone, NITEL was somewhat popular but people were adapting rather slowly. He stayed over solely because his village was somewhat far away and the sun was setting.

Her family were subtenants renting a one- bedroom apartment with a shared bathroom and while her mum and brother stayed in the bedroom, she slept in the parlor feets away from her uncle. Sometime between thirty to eleven and midnight, he drew closer and closer to her, then he began fondling her prepubertal body and genitalia…

Like a good little girl who always behaved in front of her elders, never spoke unless spoken to; she remained mute but then again, she was always a quiet kid.

Thought more than she spoke.

Wrote more than she was willing to say,…but that broke her. It solidified her antisocial exterior; her social awkwardness. Until this day, she would never be able to make eye contact or flirt the way normal people do.

********

A lot’s changed, the family lives in a big home, that old beetle replaced by numerous automobile model from Honda to Range Rover. What hasn’t changed is, dad’s still as busy as ever, and those flesh wounds never healed.

If he had stayed where he belonged—in the past, perhaps the ghosts wouldn’t haunt her.

Last she saw him, he came to the house with his then fiancée, to introduce her to dad and get both financial support and his blessing for their wedding. That was her chance to confront him, reveal these ghosts to the woman who probably thought she knew him so well, in front of her dad; so he would throw him out of their lives forever….but she didn’t.

Couldn’t.

Turns out she wasn’t ready. She would never be, but she knew she owed it to her younger self, that poor girl deserved even one honest moment where she didn’t have to hold it all in and pretend it was all okay.

It wasn’t until that day, years later, at her cousin’s naming ceremony when she climbed on that stage and her gaze settled on him, that her ghosts were enraged, threatening to unleash all the emotions of the past that have subdued her physically. Sobs welled up in her throat, her head buzzed with unsettling thoughts. This wasn’t the right time, but then again, there’s never a right time to talk about sexual abuse. Either she’d do it or she wouldn’t. So she swallowed hard, parted her lips and let the words spurt out….

A deafening silence.

A moment of sincere epiphany.

Through all the ruckus,  she swears she saw a little girl, not more than six years of age at the far end of the blinding stage lights whisper, “Thank you”.

From that moment, she began to see herself more as a force to be reckoned with and less like a victim, began trusting herself. She’d given herself the single greatest gift,

Freedom.

Some secrets are too perverse to remain hidden,…..

In case you find your ghost.