Silently Loud…

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The silence in her life

rang like a loud bell

she wanted no one to hear.

The raging loneliness

sank into her bones

solace became one with her

she no longer knew 

how not to be alone

 

The need to end her pain

beckoned in a beguiling manner

to succumb; an option she pondered.

 

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha 2022

Birthdays and Friday musings…

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And Friday arrived even before I could turn the page of a book. The days are galloping by so fast nowadays, that sometimes I feel that if one doesn’t buckle down for the ride of speedy days they will practically find themselves flying and landing in 2023 all bushy-tailed and surprised. Each morning, I set a to-do list and by the end of the day I find myself falling short in completing certain things. However, I am also cutting myself some slack and unlearning the ingrained habit of beating myself up when I fall short of my own expectations. What I am trying to do now is to set realistic and practical goals or tasks and prioritize them so that they are achievable. Although sometimes I find myself running around chasing every other thing rather than settling down to doing those things that needs to be done.

Tomorrow is my first son’s birthday and when I look at the young man I am always taken aback at how much he has grown and has now become a full adult of one score, whilst a whole part of me – except for the creaky parts – feel as exuberant and as hopeful as I felt when I was his age. Truth be told, I think I have become quite jaded a bit from life’s experiences and a lot more reserved, though each day, I fight mentally, physically and spiritually not to let the bitter experiences and setbacks get the better of me. I have grown to realize that focusing my energy on things that are out of my control and things that have expired such as the past, is sheer and massive waste of time.

Now to my young man, I pray that life treats you kindly and well. I give God praise for the gift of a son like you and thank Him for His faithfulness and mercy over your life all these years. May you continue to flourish in God’s blessings. May His countenance continue to shine on you. You will find favour in the eyes of men. The earth shall yield its increase for you and so you shall not lack. It shall be in agreement with you to fulfil God’s purpose for your life. As you grow in age, may you also grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally and financially. The Lord will cause you to dwell in good health and everything you lay your hands on shall prosper. His protection shall be over you and He will give you the grace to grow in wisdom. Amen.

I thank God for all the good moments we have spent together, as mother and son. 

across the bridge…

as we laid
your body down
and you crossed the bridge

to the other side

the airy wind
blew it’s gentle breeze
around us, it flowed

to the other side

a lone tear
escaped my eyes
racing to my mouth

I had promised
that I would
stop crying

but the calmness
of the air
reminds of your gentle ways

when will we
see you again, if ever,
my heart is pained.

For you my dear friend – departed – I wish not to say. May your soul find rest after all the pain. May you know peace and may your wings continue to flap gently in the wind. I see your smile. Though we know that none of us will get out of here alive, that death is part of life, yet, its sting is never lessened.

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All in a brisk walk…

This morning I woke up with a foggy feeling in my head and it was as if I hadn’t slept at all. I felt lazy, and just wanted to continue lying on my bed, but I knew that doing so would simply set the wrong tone for my day and literally muttering ‘mind over matter, mind over matter’ I basically cajoled myself to crawl out of bed and take my antidote – which is to go out for a brisk walk, to get some fresh air and hopefully feel more alive in the process.

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My brisk walk can involve various things depending on my mood, either listening and humming to music that I enjoy with an occasional shake and a jig to accentuate the notes that hit home, listening to a podcast or any talk that piques my interest, venting in my head and going over an argument that I had with hubby and realizing that maybe I should have used a better punchline than I had; mentally deciding to save a punchline and use it to drive home my point, going over my to-do list in my head, making a shopping list, thinking of random stuff and just watching people go about their business…

I had almost come to end of my walk when an idea popped into my head out of the blues and I was so excited at the thought that I made a mental note not to forget to include it in my soon to be executed plans. Right as I turned into the bend leading to our apartment block, I ran into a young dad and a toddler – who by my assessment is barely more that 24 months – attempting to play football, and I slowed my pace to absorb the scene.

The man kept a few paces apart and kicked the ball towards his son. It’s either because the baby was wholly new to the game or wasn’t sure what to do; he missed it not once but four times. After each miss, his dad patiently walked towards him, picked the ball and kicked it again. I was silently rooting in my head for the little one and just as soon as I thought that he would miss it yet again, his little foot finally connected with the ball and he kicked it back with gusto. The ring of his delight and joy from his accomplishment had me applauding both of them and a huge smile made its way to my face.

A brisk walk of 40 minutes not only brought me such unexpected fullness, it drew home several pointers and set a positive tone for my day. During my grudgingly taken walk, I got inspired, I saw love and patience, I saw resilience and joy, I became energized, I gained more clarity and buzz that I wouldn’t have found in my cup of coffee. These little things we often overlook, they are the things that matter.

How is your week going so far?

To love or not to love?

Those who are the hardest to love, need it the most – Socrates

Sometimes, it seems far easier for our peace of mind to walk away from those in our lives who are so hard to love. Such situation is certainly a paradox in life. It can be tough and even most times exasperating loving someone who is indifferent to your attempts. I believe that the problem of such people stems from unresolved issues and they may have developed this mental defensive mechanism as a way of coping and in response to their secret concerns. Do we then stop loving them and walk away?

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Love is a choice; sometimes a deliberate decision. You can’t force it down someone’s throat or make them reciprocate what they don’t feel. I should think that it is far more pragmatic to love such a person and to pray for them from a distance because loving them up close can be mentally exhausting and emotionally draining.

Walking away from them should not be about abandoning them ‘cos love is what feeds and fills our soul. Love does not rush. It is patient! I guess we love them because we hope for and see potential for change.

Awakening My Creative Consciousness…

love-pen-bed-drinking-writing-reading

Finally. I believe that I have succeeded in crawling out of the doldrums. There are days that run into weeks and then months when creativity flows freely through your fingers and mind and feels like the easiest thing ever, then there are those days… that seep into weeks… and then months… when you are lost and in a total stump.

When this happens, we deeply feel that something is amiss. Things generally seem harder and somehow the rudder of our direction stagnates or at worse will be over the place. How do we re-center ourselves? How do we reignite our passion to continue doing those things that we most enjoy? How do we declutter, distill the disturbance, and climb out of the miry bog?

Most certainly, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to such a dilemma. However, we can prime the pump and flow of inspiration in our lives by taking some simple steps and these steps are what I am trying to retrace. Not so much to find out where I fell off the track but to attempt to get back on track and fall in love again with those things that bring me joy.

I can’t even explain to you how the past few days of getting back to blogging, making my short videos on Tiktok, YouTube and Instagram makes me feel. I feel better. I feel less pained and guilty. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction and I intend to keep it that way; so help me God.

Here are a few practical steps to apply should you ever find yourself in such a rut.

  • Be grateful for where you are at the moment and thankful for the potentials that the future holds.
  • Seek and find joy in the little things happening around you. Find laughter. It matters a lot.
  • Declutter your mind. Ask yourself what you are really feeling and try to understand why.
  • Define and refine what creativity and inspiration means to you.
  • Remind yourself of those things that you really love.
  • Revamp your thought process and approach where possible.
  • Don’t make big plans, take baby steps one day at a time.
  • Take time to reflect and let your imagination flow. It may be jumbled and rusty but just go with the flow.
  • Be humble and keep learning.
  • Make your creative moments fun.

What self-help tips and suggestions do you use and recommend to others to try?

Health and You.

My recent struggle with plantar fasciitis and aching body parts has made me stop and reflect seriously on the fact that the more advanced we supposedly become, the farther things change. From back in the days when my mother had the voluminous ‘where there is no doctor’ as a go to reference for most home remedies that she concocted and used to keep us germ free and as healthy as ever, and the time when your family doctor knew every nitty gritty detail about you and your family – from your scraped knees to your menstrual cycle, what your family liked for Sunday lunch, your dad’s finances and what have you – between then and now, there’s a vast difference in doctor and patients relationships.

It does appear that those days when your community doc would look at your hands, listen to your heartbeat galloping along, asks you to stick your tongue out and say ‘ah‘, checks your eyes and inquires about your bowels whilst palpating your tummy and so on have become history.

As I get along in age, the realization that visiting hospitals these days is no longer like my mother whisking me over to Dr. Ndukwe’s familiar consultation room, armed with her magical purse that contained all our medical cards and other mysterious objects, makes me not only sad about the golden times past but has also left me wondering how one can truly afford medical care in these times. It’s not as if any reasonable insurance is the most affordable thing in these parts.

It becomes steadily clear that with fewer overworked doctors and far more patients to see, your visit to see the doc might very well be a rushed affair that leaves you more perplexed than when you arrived. You are most likely not going to get a lollipop and a pat on the back and you will also be out of pocket if the visits become too frequent as you will have to pay for consultation fee and for other costs that pop out of the woodwork.

Truly, we need to take control of our bodies and have our own ‘where there is no doctor,’ sitting on our shelves. What’s your go to home remedy for aches and pains? Please feel free to share. You might be saving someone a lot of pain.

The String…

The tune of the music spoke to her soul.

a sojourner…

a wayfarer…

a traveller…

Following the rolls, cadence and sway of the beat…

searching through the fog in her mind…

ruminating for hope, for joy, for comfort, for deliverance…

The music conjured up emotions lost, but never forgotten…

a balm…

a yearning…

a homecoming…

The chords emitted from the strings of the violin,

its melody soothingly tender yet desperate…

dragging over the strings of her battered and bruised soul

making notes that holds in its promise,

a fulfillment…

a redemption…

peace.

Have you ever felt such attachment to any music that it draws out emotions that finds you struggling for the right words to describe how exactly it makes you feel? I know that sometimes such emotions are raw that we feel as if sharing them with someone else exposes our nakedness, vulnerability and inner privacy.

I grew up in a home with a dad who woke us up most mornings with the melodious flow of sounds of music from the Grundig turntable that had its pride of place in our living room and I grew up learning to appreciate all forms of musical sounds. Many a times, especially nowadays, a track transports me decades back to specific moments in time and I allow the memories trapped in my minds’ eye to dance to the tune.

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Soft. hard.

No.

They look tired.

They seem hardened.

Some look utterly exhausted.

Beaten, bumped and scarred.

by life.

Physically and emotionally…

drained.

I pray peace for them.

a warm, soft and safe place

to lay their weary hands and heads.

We can make still make it Happy…

A real belated Hello and Happy 2022. It’s the 6th of April, a quarter is gone and I am just getting round to wishing my dear friends the best of this year. Nothing stopped me from hopping onto my blog on the eve of the new year and simply throwing some words together whilst clicking a glass of bubbly (in this case it was water; my favourite drink of choice at present) and joining the bandwagon to exchange perfunctory greetings that lacked the necessary spice.

It isn’t that I wasn’t happy to see the new year or the months that have sped by; because I was most certainly tired of 2021. It had drained me to limits and left me feeling tattered. I thought 2020 was rough but had such a bumpy ride the last 365 days of 2021 that by the time we got to the 31st I was limping across the finish line. I didn’t feel like racing to say happy new year and to share platitudes and lukewarm resolutions that barely makes it to the 10th of January.

The idea was to be in a more reflective mode and to process my thoughts in more depth; if that makes any sense. The exigencies of life had taken over and cluttered my mind with so much debris over these past 2 yrs that they needed and still need to be decluttered, analyzed and classified. I feel a bit more centered as I keep on rediscovering myself and getting in touch with who I really am. Honestly speaking, one would have thought that by this beautiful age of mine that I would know all there is to know and understand about myself, yet, I keep making new discoveries that makes me realize that truly we never become finished products and are constantly under renovation, embellishment, maintenance et al 😉

Is it possible to say that I am at peace, not sad yet not happy? Does that sound confusing. I am at peace because in trying to know myself better, I am getting more in tune with my spirituality, physical state and mental state of being. I have an optimistic view and hopeful expectations for the year unlike the previous where I was too stressed to see beyond my nose much less engage others.

Now I am dipping my toes back into these waters and I hope to get into full swing without much ado and with sufficient gusto. For real, I miss this place and will be visiting all my cool folks in this blogosphere. I know that I joined the new year party a little late in the day, but we can still make it happy nonetheless. What have I missed? I know that there’s a lot to catch up with and I am here for it. See you in your neck of bloggywood.