So the year has finally wound down to today. Some countries may have started their celebrations early but hey, it is a new year soon. This year has been topsy-turvy (is every year not like that?). I think 2013 will stand out in the 2 decades plus of my existence so far.
People died. That is my catch phrase for this year. People died. From Mandela to Paul Walker to my mate Maxwell Essuming aka Tee Bag and the poor bank worker and Immigration officer who were murdered in their homes.
Then there are those who deliberately chose to walk out of our lives. Die to us. I went through that nasty experience. I hope I never have to go through that again.
This year had its perks as well. I met an old friend for the first time. I fulfilled an old unlikely promise. I actually taught children. (A trying experience if you ask me.) I started blogging for real. (I wish it were mental instead of having to type down my thoughts.) I finally became a force to reckon in FIFA.
The world opened up to me. As a free world environment, it means character choices are unlimited. The great paradox of life is we live to die. The transient permanence of the past is our moth light. Some of the population go out with a whimper when they have to die. Not I. We die a thousand times and are reborn every moment. I realised there were some deaths I would not die. Even when the other party forced my hand as happened this year I refused to roll over and die quietly.
I realise I have my beliefs and philosophies about how my life should be lived. These came to the fore time and time again. It was a year of faith as well as frustration. Often my words seemed to contradict my actions and vice versa. I matured as a person and made new friends.
My friends, my family. Most of the time I cannot distinguish between the two groups. I lost a friend but then I made new ones. Each soul lost cannot be replaced but then there are new souls to find. My new and old friends; barmy old codgers and tenderfeet alike I say thank you for letting me into your lives.
To the one I lost, I hope I never meet another like that again. Now and again, we need clean breaks. I guess I was part of the deadweight thrown overboard.
So there my 2013 has been a trying year. I am still here. The New Year is shrouded with moments of joy and sorrows. There are battles to fight and win. As always, strive to live in the moment. Each moment astounds you and gives it back. Happy New Year everyone. God richly bless and endow you with fortitude.
Writing and I have been close friends for a long while now. From class four when my mother aided me to write the best essay my teacher had ever seen I knew I would have to step up my game. I lived in books then, cutting my teeth with illustrated classics like Black Beauty and Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I relished reading and encyclopaedias and National Geographic journals would churn my head in ways few nine year olds could comprehend. My grandpa, an avid reader himself encouraged me.
I whetted my appetite with newspapers even package info. Imagine my glee when I found out that the “bofrot” wrappers were cut up newspapers. The older I grew the more I read. In class five I wrote my first short story, about two towns went to war. It was a page long. Nonetheless, I felt pleased about my accomplishment. My aim was to write many and submit it to the school library. I do not think I ever did though. I moved to a different school and there inspired by a senior, Sheriff Iddrisu I started my first book. It was essentially my take on a story he had written. I never got to finish writing it though. I met Harry Potter at this stage. For the next few years, JK Rowling captured my imagination. I wrote another book too titled Nigel Dunkar. (My version of Harry Potter.)
I never got past the second book of the series. The first book always ended up stolen. In form two in Achimota School, I planned a new book with my friend. Titled the Hunter, I wrote on a half vampire named Giovanni who was chosen to be the tool of destruction by Erebus, god of darkness. I explored my favourite themes: fantasy and Greek mythology. I was heavily influenced by the movie Underworld. It proved to be a hit. Some scenes of explicit content as requested by my audience snaked their way into it. In my twilight year in Achimota I started another one, a fantasy story titled Harrow Blane; the odyssey.
I never finished it as exams had me by the scruff of my neck. Naturally, my audience made up of almost everybody who loved a good read was a bit let down. I discovered poetry by accident. Hitherto I rather disdained poetry. I could never come to terms with expressing myself in a few stanzas. A change in my emotional and social status albeit brief set me irrevocably on that course. To this day, I do not actively seek out poems to read. I have like-minded friends who share their pieces. I fear my story writing days may be over as most of my works are in cold storage.
As a pseudo-poet, I write largely on my experiences and interactions with my environment. I do not like adding political or cultural overtones. My writing has improved markedly over the years. I bring my experiences to light, experiment with ideas and juggle themes. I may or may not establish myself as a spoken word artist, whatever the case I believe I am a brilliant writer. I think I rub shoulders with the best of my age out there. I may be boorish in my writing and not as effusive but I will never churn out rubbish pieces.
My emotions are often heightened when I write and negative emotions spur me. It seems to be the norm anyway. My muses? The women I have loved and lost. It is hard for me to write on those who stayed. I have had writer’s impasse when the pain was too great. To quote a friend “ What he has written is not imagination, this is the markings of a realist who has chosen not to write in tears because they would dry up; but in ink which is the ultimate key to memory, because he wants to remember the sweat taste of bitter memories..” It was something along those lines. In the last five or six years of my life writing has ingrained itself into my being. I say I am an artist but I express myself with words in a way I cannot with pigment. It is my sword, my armour, my cloak.
Art is a curiosity to me. That said I started art out of curiosity rather than necessity. I was a science freak. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. The natural world is a place full of wonder. My issue? I made good drawings. Not extraordinary but good. I read about art whenever I opened a history book. There was simply no way a history book would not have art in it. When selection of courses came, I added visual art. By some twist of fate, it was what I got. I started from ground zero. In a class full of burgeoning talent, I was at best mediocre. However, I stood out not for my quality drawing or painting but the concepts I had in my mind. Presently I mooted and shared ideas to my friends. My creative juices flowing I would go three years in art largely unscathed.
In the University of Education, Winneba I came up against what art really meant. I struggled and often my state of mind was not conducive. I feel visual art is not my field. I still have the spark of churning out amazing ideas but they often whittle away to nothingness. The way I paint and draw is different. What I do almost always turns out different from what I imagine in my head. A lecturer likened me to Henri Matisse. If I ever take painting seriously perhaps then I will own it.
I love art because I love science. The two areas are more alike than different. Both require a very similar skill set to comprehend. Sitting on the fence, I would say it was a big risk I took then to know what I know now. One thing is certain; I must strive to make the most of my art talent however small it may be.
The din suddenly shatters
As the sound of drumming feet hits the air.
A mass of well-oiled figures pouring out like rats from the gutters
Ochre to olive; boyish and Adonis,
Kilts of the triumvirate their waists adorn.
The roar of their voices echoes;
The thunderclap of hands is not frail.
This is the Boys Chorus
© Sena Kodjokuma, 2013
FAREWELLS AND GOOD TIDINGS
are not the nicest tidings to give,
are liable to choke you up with emotion,
your resolve dive.
the beginnings of ends
The ends of
are title pages
chapters of the books of our lives,
severed and bonds strengthened.
memories we made
tomorrows of our yesterdays.
curse of living in their limbo.
waves tug at the land
the sea is the mother of life.
and good tidings are the stuff of legends.