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Learning Lessons

Hello everyone,
I am sharing my fortieth year as a writer. It was a bit surprising when my husband noted thatthis year makesit the fortieth year of my writing experience.
So I had to ask myself a few questions. what has been my experience. I live in a country where the reading culture had been bastardised.
What have I achieved in all the 40 years? Is it worth celebrating?
Given the country I live in,I have grown a lot, my writing skills has improved. In recognition of that length of time, I changed the look of my website. made a conscious effort to reflect on what has moved me through the years.
I am bit surprised to note that I have always been socially conscious, from my romantic plays, to my detective series as well as so many other stories. I even wrote horror stories which recently changed forms to religious and fantasy.
I have published quite a number of novels, poetry and produced plays.
I am musing today and will share in the weeks to come my stories, rationale and lessons learned.Meanwhile let me share this with you
TREAD SOFTLY

Don’t get lost
In the weft of threads
Don’t swim west
From the heat of sweat
Don’t make mounds
From life’s hounds
Search through the chaff
From the flowing stream
Each clap of thunder
Each sighing hiss
Of the fierce lightning
Evidence of streaming light
Follow the rainbow stream
And friend, you’ll be home.

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Conversations with Mama

The pain didn’t have a location and it was not physical. But it hurt so badly I sighed awake for three straight nights. I was also embarrassed. I remembered mother. Then I prayed weeping silently in remorse. Could I talk with mother now? But then, I still felt pain about the whole episode. Forty three years was a long time to hold pain and Mama had been dead for twenty years of that time. We had not talked for the first fifteen years after mama passed, the pain was too raw all that time. I had simply ignored all the silent promptings that explained it was in my best interest to hold mama in love.

The horror of one day in Time, being brought to face the chasm of lovelessness had forced me to get a firm grip of myself and I made the first tentative approach to talking. I had no idea where mother was now in the beyond, I had not even prepared her seat so she could sit with the ancients. So I had to call her with my thoughts and use my love to search for her through moonlit nights amongst the stars.
mother-and-daughter-668167_1280

It took a while, but finally mother responded one morning while I was in the bathroom. She simply stood in her thoughts watching me critically and then said simply, she had received the messages. I asked Mama how she was faring and gave her a critical look.
Mama looked …well….Mama had shed the toga of a ghost and looked young, in fact younger than how she was before she passed.
“So, you didn’t send me such messages just to wonder at my age do you?” Mama asked
“No, Why didn’t you give me any inkling of what you thought of Alex when I came to tell you about him” I blurted
“I did” Mama said and I could imagine she had raised her eyebrows as she always did when she thought I was asking a stupid question
“Mama, you never said what you thought was wrong with Alex, just asked that I should not get pregnant and said it was okay to agree to marry him and he promptly made me pregnant. Why didn’t you tell me about love Mama? About waiting and preparing for the Mr. Right and not living with a man out of wedlock”
“How could I tell you what I only sensed, your father wasted no time getting another woman when I did not birth a son for him, what did I understand about love too?”
“My daughter is sleeping with her boyfriend now and I don’t know what to tell her, I wish she would wait for him to come and ask for her hand properly, Alex never did for me. Three children later, I left him and live alone now. The moral standard is much lower than when I met Alex Mama and as a parent, I have tried letting my daughter know about decency, but she says she is getting on and must marry quickly or be left on the shelf”
“I see, so you want me to spook your daughter by appearing by her bed and tell her she is committing sin?”
I laughed outright, alone in the bathroom with the misty image of my mother. She still retained her sense of sarcasm and fun.

I wanted to ask her what I am not doing right about parenting, and why all I said to my daughter always sometimes ended in painful arguments and silent days of mutual hurt feelings.
I wanted to be a perfect parent, show out all I had missed why growing up and fill in the gaps.
“In short Olayemisi, you want to live your life all over again through your daughter. Interferring as usual with the threads of fate of your gift”
What?

I was alone in the bathroom and Mama had returned to history and left behind the lessons of love, prayer and patience.
Parents were never created perfect, that is why procreation was allowed, so we learn through each other and with each other.
Talk soon..

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When Parents Dream…..

For me it was not going to happen, I knew it from the moment she started telling me how she loved their white clothes. My heart sank each time she started the subject. I had a rebellious streak. Father passed away in my last year in secondary school, being a nurse would have been the next best thing. However I was not buying into that. We stared at each other. I was close to tears but stubbornly refused to back down. I told her very firmly that I had not the slightest intention of going to a nursing school. In the first place I was not going to have any relative pay for my nursing fees or any fees for that matter. I wanted to be a surgeon and since my father had passed away I was reviewing my choices. There was pain in mother’s eyes as she had to painfully let go of her dream of seeing her daughter wear the nurse’s uniform.
Years later it set me thinking, do parents live their dream through their children. I met quite a lot of parents who tried to push their children to one profession or the other. Tope was one of them. He got admission to read medicine at one of the best universities in the country. His father swelled with pride each time he told us and we all assumed that Tope would one day don the short coat of a doctor, I even envied him as I had wanted to be a surgeon remember? Then Tope came to look for me and I saw his discomfort. After a lot of nervous coughing he blurted out that he would be graduating as an accountant and had secured the firm that he would do his articleship. The shock was that his father had assumed that Tope would be going for his clinicals and housemanship.
Tope stared at me, he asked me to break the news to his father. I gulped asking him why he had kept quiet about his change of course. He shrugged and said, there was no way that he could tell his father about such a change. He explained that in the second year, he had quietly changed to accountancy , kept his grades clean and maintained a decent CGPA he had not had any problems, he did not fancy cutting people up and would have made a terrible doctor he explained.
We sat in silence as I had picture of breaking the news to his father. I did not look forward to that assignment, and I remembered my mother and I sighed. When parents dream…Could I one day be guilty of this? In Nigeria of those days, children of the sciences were valued and I remembered that my principal had insisted that I was going to be a science student even the fact that I consistently failed physics and was indifferent to Mathematics. He had a faith in me that was agonizing for me? I was happy debating, acting, reciting poetry but was stuck in the science class.
I became a firm advocate of career counseling thereafter because the opportunity became clearer to allow the child to choose irrespective of the dreams of our parents.
I became a parent and I understood why parents dream. I caught myself telling my children that they should opt for professional courses. Something that they can be masters of when they leave school and have to fend for themselves in a world that had rapidly changed from what I knew of it.
As a parent, I had dreams of them becoming self -reliant, the government jobs were gone, factories and industries needed a different kind of worker. You no longer needed to have understanding of the general Rules of the civil service code anymore. Nobody wanted to be in service to a nameless person but children wanted to hold their survival firmly in their own hands.
There was now the age of technology and the world had shrunk to a village.The language was now different, abbreviated to a level that you needed a dictionary ….a new dictionary to understand new words. Can Parents still dream?
We need to look for new dreams and search through our hopes and prayers what should be the pattern of our new dreams.
Sometimes we look at our children, they are now children of a new age , a new vision, it is fast paced and the parents have become the children as they look on confused, grasping at their dreams. Time to take a look and see what you can safely dream about
The world still need love, decency, uprightness, justice and we may still dream of honesty in the blind rush for money.
I take a look round and still tell my children, there is still opportunity, to be decent, have a sense of justice and fairness, be upright, share love to another human being and be a creature of the Creator. Now maybe the colour of the dreams may change but these values like threads run through life.
Be a man in the cascading confusion of a new age
Now when parents dream…… they see hope of a new dawn for man