In Dependence and Other Things 

Vanessa existed in the way Oliver Twist did, the way Shakespeare defined love for us.

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​  All fact is fiction, and all fiction is fact. It is a mystery the individual can, and should, never unravel, much less, understand. 
  I accept the above statement, and rather unwittingly, live by it. I think I’d have preferred to say, I find myself living by it – like a student finds herself bored in a French class she’s forced to attend. In retrospect, she realizes she’s not just bored of the class, a seed of boredom for the lecturer has brewed into a cauldron, therefore controlling her subconscious self. In like manner, we find ourselves in a habit, while, really, we’ve allowed the roots of that habit plant foot. 
  But, we aren’t talking about these things today. It’s fact and fiction, and the fuzzy line between. Hear this: I fell in love with Vanessa while I squatted on my decrepit bed. She was comely, and with a plaid shirt, appeared to be a character cut from Miss World. She held my stare such that I felt a breeze of comfort, even if I was being defiant. I strolled up and saluted. She smiled, the smile that says, “He’s actually interested in me. Me. Oh my gosh, like really!” We talked for a few minutes, and as I turned to depart, I requested her number. 
  Her response was a knockout. 
  “You’ve got none?”


  She grinned, clear blue eyes misted. “Dude, I don’t exist. I’m just a means to an end, not the end itself. Sort of…”
  Something in me snapped, like a ram pushed to the edge of the cliff. I lifted my head as the door swung inside, spewing an athletic young man. He approached me and took the book. It was then, when he sniffed the purple cover, that it came in clear words. 
  Vanessa existed in the way Oliver Twist did, the way Shakespeare defined love for us. Thrice, I had become enamored of a character. A mere character. 
  Maybe they are not mere characters. Maybe the people we read in magazines and fiction are as real as the lanky girl who hawks dried fish past our gate. Maybe Oliver Twist was once a young boy and not Dickens’s brainchild. Maybe Ishmael was in all forms aboard the ship hunting Moby Dick as there were captains steering the wheel of Titanic. I’m not much into folklore, but what if the stories we heard by the moonlight were events in some people’s lives. 
  And, how about facts being fiction? Would it be awesome if Trump being president was an upcoming writer’s imagination. What would your response be if you learnt your spouse was your spouse because a crazy writer wrote it at such? Or that the child who laughs at every tickle happened to be your son because it raised the stakes of a bestselling novel. 
  A glum stare fills my face as I imagine the story in Showdown playing itself out – kids who have been schooled on good and evil being able to write events into reality, then watching these realities spiral out of control (purchase the novel to enjoy the juice). 
  See, it’s back at takeoff. We can not separate fact from fiction. We can not hate one because of the other. And we cannot understand it either. It’s like Ted Dekker said, “The questions shouldn’t matter. It’s about loving as Jesus loves us, and knowing He does.” Amen? 
  Vanessa is the heroine in In Dependence, a novel by Sarah Ladipo. She’s British, unlike the one before her, an American detective. You, as I did, may peruse how I came to like a detective. It’s the magic of books, good books, great books. They slip into our world – the one built on facts – and swoosh their wands. Out it goes, through the window, and we are immersed in fiction. Until we get jerked out of the ‘fictive bubble’ (Dekker’s words). Do we for these purpose dump books in a bonfire? By all means, no. 
  No, we read. We accept. We let these things shape us, not too much or too little. Enough to make us understand who we really are. Whose we really are. 
  For that is the greatest quest, the most noble of all. 
Here’s an excerpt:

“Care for a drink?” someone asked. 

“Would love one.” She took the glass and drank the wine quickly. 

“I’m Charlie,” he smiled, “and you?”

“Tired.”
P.S: Miriam was her name, the first lady I loved. She was cultured in Saudi Arabia and fled to America, falling in love with a Clairvoyant geek, while on the run with the same man. Of course, she’s Muslim, and I thought it so real I nursed the idea of marrying a Muslim for a week. Is that fiction? Or is it fact? 

A Christmas Change

christmas-pic

We were taught, “Whenever you don’t feel like doing something, then go ahead and do it. For your feelings are the least thing you could ever trust.”

The beautiful thing about the world we inhabit is, there’s no absolute truth in this world. There’s my truth, your truth, and the truth.

The truth doesn’t change. Everything else does.

For this reason, I decided to trust my feeling the past two weeks. Not that I really had limitless options.

For fifteen days, I haven’t posted on my blog, my longest streak since I owned one. It was my intention to communicate with you readers at least twice between then and Christmas. On my Facebook wall, there’s no Christmas message. Not on any of my social media account.

How this started?

The week before last, the house was full. Christmas was waving ten fingers at us, saying, “I’m here, and that means you’ve gotta slow. Gotta slow down, gotta slow down.” I did not heed. Of course, I had things to do. And I wasn’t willing to get into the mood.

Twelve days ago, I still had a whole lot to catch up to. Writing, writing, preparing for changes, New Year resolutions, books to read, stories to share online, things to learn…

Ten days ago, something changed. James Scott Bell wrote in Plot and Structure, “There’s a door through which your protagonist must pass, almost always reluctantly. This door should lead to a change.” But it’s reluctant.

The best changes come after we’ve been pressed on every side. Same was mine. Passing through that doorway slammed a pause on everything. Suddenly, I wasn’t writing again. I wasn’t thinking of platform. I wasn’t interested in reading books. I just wanted to curl in the fetal position and let the tears roll.

And then, the inevitable frustration seeped in. It didn’t come like a truckload. It began as introspection, then concern, then panic, and finally fear. But then, I didn’t cuss.

Thanks be to God for that. It could have gotten much worse. I could have grown angry. I could have allowed the ill feelings grow.

I started to forget the essence of everything, focused on the present. I was bothered others were making progress. I was afraid the days I couldn’t work would greatly shape the future. I was bothered things weren’t running along the path I would. There was a willingness to trade joy for happiness, contentment for a feeling of satisfaction.

I wondered if anyone would still visit my blog, if my Instagram account would now be banned (as if it were possible), if… ifs, ifs, ifs.

But.

Christmas isn’t about ifs. It isn’t about the things we do or do not. Christmas is remembering the Word became flesh, giving us power to be the sons of God, translating we who sat in darkness into light-givers. I consciously told myself, “I’m not worried about the things past or the things coming. I give thanks for the present, for the things done.”

And.

I am better now. Yes, I still haven’t written. Social media is playing background. Christmas is come and gone. The change remains though.

It isn’t about the turkey, or the dancing lights, or the deadlines. It is about reminding ourselves of who we are, as we believe.

A son and a daughter to our Father.

P.S: Thank you for staying here through 2016. For reading and liking and sharing.

2017 is four days away. I’m not a regular New Year resolutions setter. What about you? What do you hope to begin next year?

 

The Kaleidoscopic View

A line I saw months back said, “There are three truths: My truth, your truth, and the truth.”

I’m thumbing up the inventor of that quote, though Mark Twain would greatly disagree that no one is the real inventor of a thing. All new discoveries are old ideas refined, or bits by bits dropped by a gob of people packaged into one staggering presentation, delivered by one human who forgot, there’s nothing new under the sun.

Continue reading “The Kaleidoscopic View”

Live, Love, Learn

There’s a disorder commonly known as OCD. It basically gets its bearer so worried to the point of refusing meals and every other necessary survival kit. It is an anxiety disorder, and anxiety is no good.

I am, as usual, seated on the yellow plastic chair, laptop on, fingers punching furiously (at least, I presume). The sun is afraid of escaping its shell, gifting the neighborhood a cold weather.

Continue reading “Live, Love, Learn”