How has the first ember month been for you? I hope the weekend is going on well on your end. Alhamdulillah, I’m laying on my bed in the middle of studying, writing and watching Suits.
These past two weeks have been very much of a mixed bag, with peaking highs and very deep troughs. Looking back with the privilege of hindsight, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I remember thinking - and writing in my journal - how this month has been one of the most intensely dark periods I have had to go through mentally. And one thing I always do is document my life - pictures, videos, writing. So, I took pictures and I wrote in my journal. I rarely read old journal entries, but the last one I wrote ten days ago is so hopeful and a tad corny so I have decided to share with you, Beloved.
Aside: As someone who writes frequently, I sometimes think of who the audience is while writing. Because most times, we don’t just write for ourselves. we write to document, to summon to witness so I often find it comforting to place a face in my mind’s eye, but I have never been able to find a face comforting enough to use as an audience while journaling. Some self-help people would probably suggest imagining your older self, but that’s corny to me, plus I don’t know that babe enough to trust her with my secrets👀. Anyways, one thing I do sometimes is imagine a faceless child of mine in the future (even though I have not made peace with the decision to have kids) and I find it a tad amusing that some kid in future would probably go through my journals and have a glimpse of now - the life I’m living and the thoughts I have, especially this particular one I’m sharing. Noice. Must be nice for them. End of rambling.
Do you journal? Do you have an audience in mind while doing so?
I would very much like to focus on the small things now. Looking at the big picture and determining what move to make now to ensure I end up at a particular spot at a later date is exhausting, plus who knows if I’ll make it to that future I think of and speak of so boldly. ELKAFT. So, I’ll like to focus more on the little pleasures. Like washing my face in the morning. Since most of my lectures are virtual these days, I often don’t need to have my bath till midday, so one of the first things to do in the morning is washing my face, and rub lotion into it. Gliding my fingers over my facial skin feels so good, looking into my eyes in the mirror and patting the liquid in is so divine and I want to remember that.
Also, my first cup of coffee. My first cup of coffee is often the only cup of coffee I take per day and I like to savour the first few sips of it. I love the way it makes me feel. Also, the making of it, the stirring of the hot liquid and the gradual sipping. Right down to how warm the cup feels cradled in my palms. Counting my steps for every walk I intentionally take outside of my room, glancing at the mirror on my way out and thanking God (and marvelling) for my beautiful face and amazing body. Oh, and dancing too. Dancing in front of my mirror in my room serves two purposes now - I love pretending I can do it well enough, plus it helps me get heart points and close my circles on Google Fit.
At times, especially at night after a doozy lecture, I intentionally choose my heavy shiny spoon to have my dinner with. I clear a space on my table, put on some jazz and settle into it. Each lift of a spoonful is adequately balanced in my hands and is just heavy enough for a full mouthful - for one canst choke on the joy of life without thy mouth full. I take pleasure in the solitary act of the back and forth movement from plate to mouth. At the end of it, I recline in my chair, squeeze in water from a pure water sachet and allow the music to wash over me. Many nights, I delight in this ritual. It is often a nice way to end the day before I retire to my books or struggle to find sleep. It centres me and I thank myself for doing this for myself.
Sometimes I talk to my loved ones and delight in their full smiles in the rectangular interface of my phone. Most people when they laugh often tilt their head back or lean their body forward into the phone screen, and I marvel at how happiness catapults a body into motion and demands it overcomes the inertia of stillness. I watch myself in the tiny little corner of the screen watching my loves laugh with their eyes closing almost shut, and I declare this also a little big joy.
At times the small thing is me going out for ice cream and warm doughnuts. I do this often and alone and it is probably my go-to ritual for getting myself out there. I enjoy watching people come and go as I eat my ice cream. Sometimes, I am lucky to see a young couple show up and their easy joy in taking a picture together, or of the other or even just talking. I wonder at their lives. Does he have an elder brother he hates to love? Was she bullied when she was younger? Are they one another's first loves? Would they end up together, building a life with kids? I wonder if they will break up, and I wonder if they will keep in touch if they do. Will they be civil/courteous, or will they steal the company of one another, not willing to let go of the tie that binds them. I think about the transience of time and the impermanence of every relationship. I think of how disproportional the grief of an ending outweighs the joy of being together but then I reconsider. The joy outweighs the grief, it always does. In its intensity, in its longevity. And within the grief at the end is the pain of happiness ending, after all, what is grief if not love persevering?
And the little joy of writing or better still the large phenomenal joy of 'having written'. The fact that I can string random characters together and someone else's brain makes sense of it so much that it evokes a visceral reaction in them that brought them to search for me across internet islands into my DMs to say how much they love this stranger’s words. This is a little big thing and it is so beautiful.
And reading. Or talking about reading. Especially with someone who loves reading the same genre I enjoy. The joy of being sucked into another world that it takes a little moment to reorient yourself when you get back. The ability of a dead woman's words to push you to make better sense of your world and even create a new world to invite people to. Plus, the smell of old books. It should probably be a bottled scent. Or probably not, that'll be a scam, replicating it and making it easy to find outside of books. Writing with paper and pen in this journal this wet morning is a joy too. Sliding my curtains allowing in the streaming of morning light into my apartment, and sitting at my table against my largest window - conjuring words in my little journal I got as a gift.
Much of life is beautiful - and a lot of it is enjoyed in silence like this. I will very much like to focus on this for a while - all adding up to moments I'll like to mark and annotate my rich beautiful life by. There is a large potential in these details, and I need to hold on to these, for if I look too long and hard at the big picture unfolding before my very eyes, in this world, I don’t think I’ll be able to look away from the carnage this world is, and the implosion we are headed for.
One of my sisters has been here with me since Sunday and now I am thinking long and hard about my future life because tell me why I have to wake up and start cooking early in the morning because she's used to early breakfast so she wakes up hungry? Also, I have to buy noodles in my own house, ughhh. Is this the sort of thing I’ll have to do if I have kids? omoo.
Plus, this babe is more of a homebody than I am. I am literally threatening to drag her out to check out the town. I mean, how do you even go to a place and not explore just a little? Egbami
Also, now, she’s fallen sick. She’s been ill since Thursday, fever running so high I'm worried and about to pack her bags to go to her father’s house because wetin be this? In fact, I have my fan off writing this because she’s been shivering since evening and all my brain is saying is 'mess up o, wetin be this'. **
**I wrote this on Friday evening. It’s Saturday afternoon and my babe is feeling a bit better so we will be going out this evening. I have scheduled this email for later so hopefully, we will be having fun awtsyd by the time this drops in your box.
PS: Please forgive all the errors up here, I barely edited it😪 And we’re blaming it on my single motherhood status.
Things I’ve enjoyed this week.
This CNF on Dancing.
Re-read Sister, Sister yet again.
Till next time, Beloved❤️ Enjoy the weekend