Learning to breathe

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Learning to Breathe Better

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It hasn’t exactly been a year since I started learning to breathe. I started learning to breathe on the 12th of January, 2011 and I’ve been sharing m breathing techniques on my WordPress since then. I believe that you can never stop learning to breathe, you can only get better at it. So yes, I’m still learning. 2012 has been a pretty eventful year for me…somethings I’d like to forget quickly, somethings I’ll cherish all the days of my life. I met new friends and I lost some. I’ve been the insecure girl at work and I’ve been the picture of security. I’ve had emotional roller-coaster rides that have been anything but enjoyable. Been tossed here and there by emotional tides. Now that I look back on all of it, I can smile. I can smile because I tasted a wealth of emotions this year.

Spiritually, I’ve become wiser, maybe even stronger. And I find it amazing how God calls my kind to be “the light of the world” and “a city on a hill” when all I want to do is crawl back into the pit that He picked me from. The pit is comfortable. The pit is all I’ve known. The pit is was home. Time and time again, He comes for me, picks me up again and sets me on a hill for all to see. I’m not sure I love the attention all the time, I would rather go back down to the pit sometimes and feel sorry for myself. Often He tells me that my flaws, imperfections, insecurities, brokenness is exactly what He needs. If I was flawless, perfect, secure, sturdy…I’m afraid He would have no need of me. And I would have no need for Him. If there’s nothing I know about myself, I know that I am needy and I love to feel needed. I think of that and I get out of my pit willingly.

At home, I won’t say that everything has been dandy. That would be a lie. If there is a perfect home in this world, it definitely isn’t mine. I love my father with every fibre of my being. I know that he has made mistakes, I acknowledge the fact that he has many flaws and has made decisions he will regret all his life. I just want to make regretting easier for him. It’s the least that I could do. My siblings and I share a name and a home but I can’t say that we live for each other. We are so used to giving each other left over loving, I’m not sure what it would feel like to give them the main dish. What if they don’t even want the main dish? My stepmother on the other hand is an enigma to me. Sometimes, I think it’s possible for me to love her and other times, I wake up to the cold reality that it will be difficult and it will take flesh out of me. I’m pretty selfish. I don’t want anything taken out of me. I want it dropped in my lap. I lie to myself that I don’t have much of me to give to anybody and I know deep inside that there’s so much to give, so much to pour out and I’m afraid that is what keeps me up at night. I don’t know how to give and through 2012, I wasn’t ready to learn. I just wanted to breathe.

As for school, I’ve had moments when I just sit down and cry. I ask myself more often than I really want to: “What are you doing here?”

What are you doing here?!

I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing handling violins, pianos and a lazy soprano voice. I don’t know what I’m doing writing MUSON theory exams. I don’t know what I’m doing reading sheet music. I don’t know if I want to go to Royal College of Music when I finish university. So I’ll just focus on breathing for now. I’ll breathe deeply when the music notes become blurry and the tears threaten to spill, I’ll breathe confidently when my mouth opens and timid soprano pours. I’ll breathe, surely, when I bow my violin in front of an unfriendly looking panel. I’ll breathe.

As for relationships, I’ll take a break. I can’t make wise decisions when I keep hopping from one relationship to the other. I’ll  lose my breath and some of my sanity, some of myself. I’ll lose. I lose because I don’t know what to give and I don’t know what to keep. That way, I end up giving what I should keep and keeping what I should give. So I’ll just stop and breathe.

Breathe.

This is my last post on this blog. Still unsure if I should delete it or just leave it dormant. Don’t ask why, I don’t have the answer. I can tell you confidently though, that breathing is the best thing that could happen to us humans. Just breathe. Breathe deeply, thoughtfully, reverently. Breathe as you are.

And let your heart find rest in Him…

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Tchink and Eden (Chapter 5)

“What are you?”

She smiles as she hauls me out of the liquid “I was expecting a ‘who”?

“What?” I am puzzled.

“Who are you?’  Not ‘what are you?”

What difference does it make? I say to myself.

I see the stag on the other side of the foreign lake, resting. My heart is no longer beating hard and I take this to mean that I am no longer afraid. I must have left my wits at the bottom of this lake because if I had them about me I would spread my wings and fly far far away from these…things. Yet, there is something about the way this being is fashioned that compels me to stay and study her. I know it’s a ‘her’ because she sounds feminine. Aside from that there isn’t anything feminine about her in the lome sense of the word; she looks nothing like Yovec or Mama Tchaek. Something like a lot of gold colored yarn is sprouting from her head the way grass sprouts from the ground.

Does she water her head, then?

Her skin is not pale or even translucent but it glows and is the color of a baby lome’s nose when he is crying. Her eyes are endless depth of blue and they are half the size of my endless depths of black. Amazingly, it does not diminish their beauty; I could stare into her eyes for the rest of my life now that I have lost my wits. She is robed in white like a fresh born lome too.

Why does she have robes on? Does she have something to hide? Or is she just a large, deformed baby lome?

Suddenly, I feel naked and a shade of pink creeps into my cheeks when she turns and catches me staring at her.

“I’m surprised you do not ask questions.” She says as she bends once again, reaching into the strange lake with her left hand.

“My mother gives me firm knocks on me head when I ask visitors and strangers questions. She says I don’t mind me business”

She laughs. Her laughter is deep and throaty…bubbling up from her insides.

“Maybe you do ask a lot of questions then but I can handle your questions. Go on, ask.”

She still has her left hand beneath the surface and she is still bent uncomfortably, facing the other direction, facing the stag.

“Who are you? What is your name? Where are you from?”

“My name is Lysa. You needn’t know where I am from; you wouldn’t understand.”

“I dinna want to think that you think me to be simple.”

“No, you’re not simple, Tchink. If you were simple, you wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

My heart slammed against my chest.

“How do you know my name?”

“There are a lot of things that I know, Tchink. For example, I know that you should be meeting your friends at the meadow right now and I also know that you would love some fish.”

She finally brings her hand out of the liquid and along with her hand, a big wriggly thing. It looks like an over fed slug with big eyes and mouth. She calls it fish and she says that I would like to have some of it but all I want to do is run to the meadow.

“I would love to get back to my friends now.”

She smiles again then nods her approval.

“We have so much to talk about Tchink but you can go meet your friends now.”

My heart swells with relief and sadness at the same time but I manage to spread my wings and fly.

I will come back for my wits at a more opportune time.

Tchink and Eden (Chapter 2)

It’s a little before dawn and I’m out with Yovec and Tcheb sitting on a large rock close to the edge of the village. This is where we spend our early hours before we unwillingly return to the village to do chores. The sun is one of the most beautiful things Tchink Village owns.

Yovec is number one of course.

“Tchink, do you think there is another village like ours somewhere?” Yovec turns to ask me.

I stare into her dark, wide eyes for a second before I say “Of course not, Yovec, we are the only lomes in the world.”

“But have you ever stopped to wonder maybe…”

“Papa Tchlan says that the lomes that have tried to explore the rest of the world never came back. He says that they were killed by wild animals. We are the only lomes there are, Yovec.”

Tcheb throws a rock into the lake of decon and three of us turn to watch the ripples in silence.

Dawn is almost here…

Tcheb stands up and starts walking towards the narrow path to the village. Yovec follows but I linger for a moment to stare at the ripples of decon before I jog towards my friends.

“RACE YOU TO THE VILLAGE!” Tcheb shrieks as he whizzes past Yovec. Yovec and I break into a run, laughing as our wings spread and we soar over the trees and towards Tchink Village. When I’m flying I wish I can keep my wings forever but they’ll disappear completely by the time I become a full grown lome. I twirl twice in the air as I close in on Tcheb.

“Eh! I dinna ever see a cheat like you, Tchink!” He yells.

“Yovec knows I dinna cheat haha!”

We both await Yovec’s witty response but all we hear is the sound of our wings flapping.

My heart stops inside me as I turn around to find that Yovec is nowhere in sight.

“Yovec!” I call

Tcheb hovers towards me. I can feel the fear he brings with him and the unspeakable thought in his head echoes in mine:

Did Yovec fly into a tree?

We descend into the forest and thankfully find Yovec not too far from the spot we landed.

“What happened, Yovec?”

She’s out of breath and her dark eyes seem wider than ever.

She saw something.

“What did you see, Yovec?” Tcheb asks her, checking her left wing. She has a few scratches.

“Tell us, Yovec” I kneel in front of her and gaze into the depths of her eyes.

“I saw…” there’s a thin sheath of sweat on her face and her cheeks are a bright, excited shade of pink.

“What did you see, Yovec?” Tcheb shakes her shoulders gently, turning her towards him. His lower lip trembles a little. He is thinking what I’m thinking.

Yovec finally voices our thought “I saw a…a…thing.”

“What thing?!” I am getting impatient. The sun is shining in all of its glory now and Mama and Papa will be awake and about soon.

“A lome but not really a lome. It dinna look anything like us, Tcheb! And it’s not an animal either!”

“Are you sure of what you saw, Yovec?” I turn her face towards me now and I see the truth in her eyes.

“Let’s go home,” Tcheb helps Yovec to her feet “and don’t tell anybody what you saw, Yovec. We aren’t supposed to be here in the first place…”

“You dinna see anything, Yovec.” I say this to convince myself more than I say it to convince my friends.

There are creatures out there that we are not aware of.

Sunset

The few days after the fight were a flurry of events. Events too painful to narrate. I ended my affair with Tiwa in Sunmade’s presence. Then my son and I flew to London with my husband.

He has not said two words to me since we got here. It has been four days now.

Thursday.

I run my fingers over the healing wound over my left eye and turn to gaze upon my son as he toddles towards me.

“Mama” he coos.

“Hey baby. Come to mommy” I wrap him in my arms and twirl round the living room.

He shrieks and laughs.

The sound of his laughter reminds me of my wedding day and how Sunmade and I danced in endless circles, endless joy, endless happiness. And I could smell the cologne he wore that day all over again.

We were so young. We had no fear. We were wide-eyed.

The door creaks open and the object of my thoughts appears.

We stare at each other.

I put Ire in his chair and fumble with my hands.

“I’m…I’m sorry I beat you.” He says.

“I’m not sorry you did.”

Something in his eyes softens as he comes towards me and holds me.
I cheated on the one man I ever truly loved and guess what he did…

He chose to stay.

Abrasion

After getting my hair done with Amaka, I drop Ire at my mother’s house for the weekend. She mentions that I look healthy and asks if Sunmade and I are planning to make another baby soon.

My face goes hot.

I tell her that we plan to wait till Ire is 2.

She reminds me that I am getting older. I remind her that I am not even 30 yet.

Before she can attempt to lecture me, I hug her quickly and kiss Ire goodbye.

I get home in time to make Sunmade’s dinner before he arrives. I am going to prepare his favorite; Pounded yam and Egusi soup. Then take a long, hot, scented bath in anticipation for tonight…
I will make it up to him tonight.

After preparing the soup, I proceed to pound the yam till all the lumps disappear and it looks like white powder…with some water in it. Then I pound it a little harder till the powder sticks then becomes friendly and obese.
I pack the meal from the mortar into a nylon and into a warmer.

As soon as my kitchen is tidy again, I trot to the bathroom.

7.30pm

I am sitting on the edge of the bed, waiting for him to arrive. The lights are dim. I have on lingerie and a floral scent. As soon as I am sure I cannot sit still anymore, I hear Sunmade’s car horn.

I smile and peek through the curtain.

Then I sit more comfortably on the bed with a coy smile still on my face.

Soon, he enters. He looks at me and cocks his brow.

“Welcome, love.”

He grunts. “Ire’s asleep?”

“No. I took him to my mother for the weekend.”

He raises his brow further then continues undressing.

“I made you some pounded yam and Egusi.”

“Did you now?” He says, sarcastically.

My heart drops a little but I continue. Standing in front of him now.

“Yes, I did.”

“Too bad. I’m not hungry.”

My heart plunges further. The crick in my neck and the dull ache in my arms remind me of how hard and well I pounded his yam.

“Why not?” I block the bathroom door as he tries to escape.

“Because I’m not hungry.”

I manage a weak smile. “Okay.”

I plop down on the bed and on a vibrating phone.

Sunmade’s phone. A new text message.

I do not try to resist the temptation to read it…

    See you tomorrow evening then

From a certain Ann.

It seems my husband is playing games of his own.

“Who is Ann?!” I spit in disgust as soon as he opens the bathroom door.

He looks at me like I am crazy.

“What are you doing with my phone?” He yanks it from my hand and drops it on the table. Farthest from me.

Who is Ann?

“My colleague” He replies. Then continues dressing.

“Why does your colleague want to see you tomorrow evening?”

He ignores me.

Are you seeing that whore?!”

He turns on me slowly. “You get to cheat and I don’t?”

I can feel the anger rising in me. My eyes flash red and without another thought I reach for his phone and smash it against the wall.

He slaps me with the back of his hand instantly and the other side of my face hits the wardrobe.

I fall into a heap like a ragdoll.

“You destroyed my iPhone? Are you crazy?!” He glares down at me.

Why are you seeing that whore?!

Because my wife is a whoring liar herself!

I grab the lamp on the table and throw it at him.

It misses his head by an inch. I throw my wedge at him and it meets his shoulder.

“I am not a whore!”

Before I can throw something else, he pins me under him then pins my hands above my head.

“Say that one more time!”

Before ‘not’ gets out of my mouth, he lands me another slap across the same cheek.

“Who are you cheating on me with? Jamal?!”

I spit at him.

He picks me by my jaw and throws me to the chair with so much force it tips back and I fall.

Before I can gather my wits, he is on top of me again.

Who is it?

Get your bulky self off me!

He lands another slap across my face. I taste blood.

Who?!

It’s Tiwa! I’m cheating on you with Tiwa

I cannot begin to describe the expression on his face.

He slowly lifts himself off me.

Breathing heavily.

“You’re cheating on me with your past…” He whispers in between deep breaths…

What is it you want, woman?!” He kicks the door so hard I jump. “What do you want from me?”

I gather myself into a corner. Mute.

Answer me!

I was going to make it up to you tonight! I’m through with him” my sides hurt from screaming so much

“You’re sick! You know that? You’re crazy!” He kicks the door again.

Get out of here!Get out

I itch to throw something at him again but I fear he will hit me. Again.

He tells me that I disgust him before he leaves. Slamming the door behind him.

I crawl to the bathroom…and break into hot tears when I see my face in the mirror.

The side that hit the wardrobe is bruised above my eye, four harsh lines are on my other cheek and my bottom lip is bleeding. The back of my head aches and my back laments.

When I am sure there are no more tears left in me, I approach the living room.

Sunmade is sitting on the couch staring blankly ahead of him.

Slowly, I move towards him.

Then I sit beside him with my head on his shoulder.

He does not move away and he does not stiffen.

“I am taking the first flight to London on Monday. You and Ire are coming with me. One week. Business.”

Silence.

He continues, “End it.”

Past the lump in my throat I say, “It’s over.”

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