“O that Abstract Garden” by Ben Okri

Rereading this poem…

O that Abstract Garden

O that abstract garden of being
Tells me to be brave, and clear,
In the fire of living,
And in the journey through the year.
So I will grow me like an oak tree
And make life’s honey like a bee.
Each day I will walk an interesting mile
And with the sun I’ll share a smile.
I will play again like a child,
And celebrate what’s wild.
I will swim in every sea or river,
And reflect the light of the sublime giver.
I will be at ease with opposition,
And will cultivate intuition.
I will walk the surprising streets,
And dance to life’s unexpected beats.
I will notice all the phases of the moon
And try not to act too late or too soon.
I will write something new every day
And look at paintings in an alternative way.
I’ll not dream the same way twice;
But I’ll not be shy to repeat what’s nice.
I’ll have the courage, when needed, to change;
And I won’t forget that life is strange.
And so I’ll learn to love the simple things
As well as the complexity that life brings.
Good or bad I’ll learn to treat the same
And I’ll not forget that it’s all a mysterious game.
I’ll not let that general fear of death run my life
And I’ll make magic even out of strife.
Into the higher realms I will enter
And make my corner the centre.
O that abstract garden, make me clear,
Make me brave, without fear.
I intend to love this rich new year

(Copyright, Ben Okri, December 2010.)

 

Buchi Emecheta’s Legacy: Women are not Second-class citizens – David Adeleke

I read alot of her books as a teenager, and was very sad to hear that she had passed away at the end of January 2017. This year I plan to read her books again. This post gives a great insight into the author and her work.

TopLeat

buchi-emechetaI was in SS2 when I first read Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood. Like most of my classmates, I was only concerned about doing well in the Literature tests and exams. All that talk about Nnu Ego and motherhood meant very little to me and so I didn’t understand most of what I was reading. Or maybe I understood but the weight of the subject matter hadn’t dawned on me yet. Many years later, it has become impossible for me to ignore the burden and pain that women go through every day – now when I read The Joys of Motherhood, it is enough to weigh me down. Emecheta did not pluck Nnu Ego’s story of suffering, sorrow and eventual loneliness out of thin air; it is a complex and authentic illustration of what many mothers in Nigeria and Africa go through every day.

On Wednesday, January 25…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

train-tracks

Having gone to the wrong car park I had missed the start of the walk by about 10-15 minutes. My options were to state walking, with the possibility of catching up with the group at some point or return home after a 30 minute drive with the possibilty of stopping somewhere  on the way for a coffee and cake. Given that I hadn’t actually done any walking yet I didn’t feel that I had undertaken a level of activity that warranted cofee and cake. I would recieve no congratulatory message from my google fit app or the satisfaction that I had added another activity to this months tally on runkeeper if I didn’t do some of the walk I had intended to do. This and the warm autumn sun decided my actions for the next couple of hours. What I like about a walk in the country is the feeling that your thoughts have space to expand compared to  when sitting at a desk. Being outside in nature seems to give them a different type of energy; being alone can add that extra level of contemplation.

This weeks challenge is Solitude, and we have been invited to show what being alone means to us. The quote given “Solitude is a place of purification” by Martin Buber inspired me to look for more quotes. Here are four quotes I like;

” A warrior balances solitude and dependence” Paulo Coelho

“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible” Picasso

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity” Albert Einstein

“Solitude, whether endured or embraced, is a necessary gatewaty to orginal thought” Jane Hirshfield

 

 

The Pigeon -Hole, a poem by Mabel Segun

This poem by Mabel Segun is a very popular post I am guessing it’s on a number of reading lists. Time to enjoy it again.
“But self-knowledge comes too late….” is one of my favourite lines of this poem.

glasgowmango

How I wish I could pigeon-hole myself

and neatly fix a label on!

But self-knowledge comes too late

And by the time I’ve known myself

I am no longer what I was.

I knew a woman once

who had a delinquent child.

She never had a moment’s peace of mind

waiting in constant fear,

listening for the dreaded knock

and the cold tones of policeman:

“Madam, you’re wanted at the station”

I don’t know if the knock ever came

but she feared on right till

we moved away from the street.

She used to say

“It’s the uncertainty that worries me –

if only I knew for certain…”

If I only knew for certain

What my delinquent self would do…

But I never know until the deed is done

And I live on fearing,

wondering which part of me will be supreme –

the old and tested one, the present

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Reblog: Wise words from a distant past…

Great post to reflect upon…

The girl in the bubble

It is lunchtime and I am trying to stay well, but my encroaching viral illness is threatening to overwhelm me. My head is a fog and I cannot concentrate. I was munching on my homemade cheese and ham sandwich when I found this draft post. I have obsiovuously cut and pasted this from somewhere but I am not sure where from or why I thought it necessary to have on my blog at the time.

Thought I would post it anyway as they were helpful words.

Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting…

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