Journal Entry #2: Closure

I do not think closure exists. In terms of a relationship, I mean. Even if a person tells you why they didn’t choose you, it doesn’t make it any more bearable. It doesn’t give the feeling of finality that it should. At first, it might give you an illusion of finality but ultimately, all it does is give you one more thing to analyze over and over.

I think that there are some things that will hurt forever for longer than they should. And maybe the hurt will reduce in intensity over time but there will be things that you will think about and still have that unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t happy or that you haven’t moved on, there are just some things that will have that effect on you; people that will always have that effect on you and that’s okay.

E.

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we make do

We are sitting in a living room
smaller than what we are used to
The kitchen is a short L
with red pans and wooden spatulas
Horizontal shadow lines stretch across
reflecting the shutters in the night light
The zing of electricity leaves no room
for actual silence but we make do

We are islands away from our original home
Closer to the water than we are used to
but our jokes are the same. The same people
based, accent commanding stories of the
comings and goings of children and men
Of women who have nothing but their husband’s
names and post-baby bodies

The sky is getting darker, the room
a little cooler than when we began but
we are still taken by the stunning reflection
of people being people. Still hurdled over laughing
at what is left of our memories. There are only
little streaks of light sipping through the window now
but we make do. We always make do.

Journal Entry #1: On feeling like you are missing out

(I am starting a series of posts called Journal Entry. These will be excerpts of the things I write in my journal on a variety of topics 🙂 )

I really want to live the best life possible. In fact, I am consumed with the idea of it. I want to do things that matter, things that I love, things that make me happy. I want to learn, grow and have experiences but lately I always feel like I am missing out.

Here’s a thing: Strive to live as much as you can. Try things. Do things. I cannot promise that you will not be missing out on things but let me tell you, things and people will be missing out on you too. Don’t get jealous or envious. You have your own collection of experiences. Remember this is your journey. Focus on it. Don’t compare it to anyone else’s. As long as you are doing the best you can to make everyday count, you are fine. You will not be missing out on anything that is meant for you. You are brilliant and beautiful and you are doing so well already.

E.

Twenty Twelve

The togetherness of crisp
summer days, afternoons spent laughing and
picnics at the beach. The unexpected
drop ins we welcomed. Late night jamming to
afrobeat and the sound of familiar voices.

We talked politics, the insatiable
Lagos life, the rush, the quickening
pulse, trading stories of police men
swinging loaded guns (in our faces).

There were spicy chicken wings. Liquor store
spendings- Jack Daniels. Merlot. Moet. Some
pulped orange juice and wedding party get-togethers.

Dress fittings. Secret dance practice
in the basement. Left over blue and white
candy from the wedding. Thanksgiving dinner
that actually involved Turkey and mashed potatoes.
The boys didn’t like it.

We made plans and cellphone videos.
Road trips to Edmonton. Sing-alongs to Davido’s Ekuro.
A steady trail of job applications. The long-distance
marriages. Snowstorms and Long-awaited victories.
The awe. The serenity. The magic of it all.

15 lessons from my creative writing class

1. The moment you have readers, your writing will improve.
2. Read your work out loud.
3. Do not over modify.
4. In poetry, lines are a unit of action i.e. individual lines matter.
5. Don’t preach. Don’t explain.
6. Don’t settle for knocking on the door, go in.
7. Trust your readers to figure it out. Give them action and detail.
8. You go further- don’t settle for the easy or the obvious.
9. You must be willing to take risks.
10. Something has to be at stake when you write.
11. Know what your impulse (purpose) is and let everything you write come back to that impulse.
12. Don’t take criticism personally. If people do not respond to your work the way you want them to, it’s okay.
13. You have the biggest say as to what you work is or should be.
14. Do not underestimate the power of good editing.
15. Enjoy your writing- the process, the failures, the successes.