September 7, 2010

Land of dreams...

'Tu a ra ya aka...'
My mum's sonorous voice finds me in the land of dreams. It nudges me to wake. I want to wake. I want to see her face. I want to see her eyes light up. Her furrowed brow when she is serious. Her smooth skin as light bounces off it like a mirror. I want to see her laugh. I want to go home with her and fall asleep on her bosom. I am sick of hearing her only. I want to see my Mama.

'Onye ne me ma imela, imela...'
I smile in the land of my dreams. My mother can praise God in the worst of times. I know where i am. I hear strange voices so i know it isn't home. I can feel. I can hear. I can't see. I can't move and i cant speak. I have heard the doctors say that i am in a coma. I also heard them tell my uncles they do not know if i will ever wake up. Mama wasn't there that time.

'Kpo ya Chukwu o gaza...'
She is always here. My Mama. By now i can hear the sadness in her voice. I listen closely and i know the tears will begin anytime soon. Yet she sings. With the bravery of an amazon, she sings.

'Iwo nikan logo ye...'
She makes the switch from Ibo to Yoruba so effortlessly. My mother's mother was of Itsekiri-Yoruba origin. my mother's father was Ibo. Mama speaks all three languages. I knew an Itsekiri chorus wasn't far off.

'Tosan'. I turned towards the voice that called me. 'Papa!' I say as i recognize the voice and the man walking towards me.

I run towards him. There is no ground in this land but 'run' is the only word i can use to describe what i did to get closer to him. He held me. I smelled the spicy scent that went everywhere with my father when he used to be. He pulled away and said 'You are a big woman now'.

We laughed as we both remembered nights when as a child  i would sit in his lap and describe my forthcoming adventures as a 'big woman'.

As swiftly as the laughter came, so it disappeared .
'Tosan, why are you here?'  I avoided my father's eyes.
'I don't know, Papa. I want to wake up and see mama but i cannot'.
'Are you sure that's what you want, Tosan?' He took my chin and looked into my eyes.

My father could always see through me. The truth was life had dealt me too many bad turns. I couldn't deal. I didn't want to deal. The accident became my excuse not to live. To be but not to live. I could stay as i was and listen to Mama sing all day and night long. It was safe here. Nothing bad could get me here. Mama would get them first.

Outside my mother's arms, evil and pain lurked everywhere in the world. It had found me in the death of my father. It had found me in the betrayal of men. It had found me in  love. And now i didn't dare wake up. For i knew that while waking up would mean my mother's arms, it also meant pain. There was none without the other.

'Tosan, you must choose. You can't sit on the fence for much longer.' My father held me once more and turned away.

'But where are you going?' I called after him.
He turned 'You know the answer to that, Tosan. It is where you will come someday. I fear it might be sooner than you should if you don't choose.'
'I am afraid, Papa. Afraid of the end, afraid of what will happen in the between'.
'Then there will no beginning, my princess. If you need me, I will be in your dreams, in your thoughts'...

I watched as he turned and walked back into the light that he had come from.

'Tu ara ya ma ma...'
She still sings. From the land of my dreams, I hear her and the sobs rack my body. I cry for my mother. I cry for my father. I cry for myself . I cry hoping that through the tears i might find the strength to face all i have been running from. From the land of my dreams, i hear my mother cry out for the doctors. I feel hands everywhere, searching for a sign, a promise that this passivity is maybe over. Then I hear the doctor tell Mama it is normal. The tears on my face don't mean anything. I hear her sigh and continue singing. She kisses my tears and takes my hand in hers and continues her song.

'Imela, Imela'...

Soon, Mama, soon...

Song of the Day: Green Day- 21 Guns


  1. Guess a kiss from Prince Shrek will bring you back to life?
    I have a song in mind; 'Paradise City' by Guns n Roses.

  2. ...but really Nen, OFFPOINT!!! :)