LETTERS: TO A SOUL SISTER, ESTHER KALU
Someday, we will sit together to talk about Nkporo. To talk about her maidens, the dusty road that colours the zinc along Etitiama and Elughu road whenever it is Christmas season, we will talk about the mountains and the hills; the rivers and the streams that surround her borders. We will look each other in the eyes and expand our imagination to her clay huts which symbolized unity despite her cultural and traditional diversity. If it is going to be the safest approach of our safety, we’ll dive into her bodies and channel our visions into building a new world of our own like the castle of meridian. You know you are her charming princess.
Meanwhile, we will look into our eyes and tell each other how we loved our former days. We’ll talk about the urge of growing up there; we’ll talk about the pains, the tears, the laughter and the fun of growing up into our bodies, into our spirit and recall that we are still our self in the same bodies that have been our abode. We’ll talk and talk until we have nothing to talk about; until we miss the absence of our longings. Until we embrace the honour of understanding the fact that we are the Selfie of that land where dreams grow taller than it owner. We will have to revive our spirit and tell many of how that land shielded us through the hardship of many unforeseen circumstances. I know you may not really know what to talk about but that day, I shall become the talker while you remain the listener. I will look into your eyes to search for home, Nkporo, and clutch my integrity between my emotions and feelings. I will search on your temple to rediscover the dreams left to be seen.
In your smile shall I hold together the eight villages to tell them that a princess like you actually was born in that same land that guided her children before the Iboms. You know what it means to separate dreams and reality from each other; you know what it takes to lay down all what you have to choose a soul that beat from your clan. You know what the future tells of you. We may not be too perfect to tell ourselves to ourselves of how love could be in the hands of novice. Thousands realities are home, the laughter is tabled before the sun of Amadioha until we relocate where the beginning begins will never meet the end…
Do you remember the way to that ancient city? Do you remember that your beads are planted on that soil? Maybe you’ve become foreigner to her, maybe you’ve never tasted her joy, maybe you’ve not really know her as a mother. Maybe you are yet to drive yourself into a saviour before the very eyes of our mothers. But how could you tell of someone you never knew? How could you describe someone you’ve never met? How could you write of a home lost in your wisdom? Searching- Recovery- Breaking in bound and chains eager to tell a home like ours that sustaining emotions and feelings is basic rule of holding one’s life. This is a broken spirit holding the veil and the falcon of legendary. Remember someday, you will be telling your children that you were born somewhere in the East where warriors are breed. You shall be telling them how you visited that land with a heart full of hope and drive. Of marriage; you shall be telling your children, children of the sun; how you made it through many snowy wishes to be here in this journey of loneliness.
Do you remember your smile; it’s lured with admonishment and courage. A smile reminding the universe that the world is for women, courageous women like you. Someday you’ll be telling them of this letter from me. A letter written without knowing you in person except for your voice that echoes with laughter each time I get to hear it from the other side of the phone, a voice that breaks walls and erect dreams. I think you shall be telling them our meeting someday, how glorious it was to see your face and hold your hands and walk down to a vacuum of transparent alley. Of a dream and understand shall we testify truly of a home like ours where dreams never fail. Nkporo is the home.
However, whenever I drove through the cities in my body, I try to find home through your voice but deep, deep inside me is a formless and disordered estate of gloom and utter darkness holding the fortress of the passion to which we know each other. I will make you a light, a source of inspiration and moment of encouragement. I know rightly that faithfulness is the fate through which life rove in the reveries of who we are. I stand, I move towards the string of heart locating a safe empty place where its light is like glittering snow and where home has been found amid a myriad of houses left in shambles of its old self. Remember, to dream is like holding a basket full of water to a forest of one tree. Remember, to call a woman’s spirit a drive is like driving a mad man with a dream into the market to tell of his dreams. My body is no longer what it was before the war, It has become a little house of broken gates, of broken brass, of broken steel, of broken testimony where rubbish sneaks in. Stack by stack life placed its troubles upon our head, we became the nail while those soldiers became hammers driving us deep into brooding and gloomy worlds. A thawing and breaching soul You’ve got through days and days of searching for ways to cleanse the mind of you that seek for a better days. I now believe in miracle, a miracle to come and those that are yet to come. Here I paused my heart, I paused my motions to let you command; to let you into the mind of me when necessary.
Mother told me to find love where there is love. Mother said love could be found in any angle having the smiles of angels. I am yet to see where the needle eyes are. A demi-goddess you are. A brave heart, maybe our eyes are too shy to interlock. Maybe our minds are naked to see the inner most of our being. When tomorrow comes, we will go to the east to let the sun register our names among her people.
Your belief; Men don’t cry, so you shuttered and bottled up to the brim wells of taunting trouble you feel within. Men do cry too, when those tears hurting them surface; they find a way to let it go and make amendment to it. Maybe you won’t know of this. Maybe you won’t know that love also make them cry with hope that they might find where love exists. Only if you understood this wisdom; Men cry too, Wells of waters streak down their cheeks and they pour out their souls without stanching them, maybe they do this in the dark or maybe some does this in public. Yes, they do and require comforting shoulders. Friends once told me that whenever I’m stuck in a dirty muddy mayhem I should call out for help. They said I should let another ears hear of my voice. Maybe they will give me a voice also or maybe they will give me a comforting shoulder to lean on.
“Call out! Hands shall reach out to help you”. They admonished
I am so grateful that I know you. I am so grateful that I’m yet to meet you in life. You know life could be a journey of two; One for the love and the other for the happy memories we shared together smiling to each. Even when we have not smiled to each other physically but we did that heart to heart. We were boys and girls bearing our fathers’ names, looking for how to create names for ourselves. After our fathers and mothers are no more. You know how it is bearing a name that you never knew when it was christened. You know what it means leaning on the shoulder of someone you never met before, thinking and hallucinating on their behalf. We knew not the way through this ancient terrain; we wandered off and drifted away into the wilderness because our spirits were afraid of what might happen. We knew how to get lost at night under bridges where our emotions refused to accept defeat. We created maps on our empty bodies; we created the route to where we could get enough time to think of life. We were cruel enough not to delineate maps for ourselves that we may use through this rollercoaster ride to get to our destination. You know what it means to get enough air in your lungs to fuel your bladder? You know what it is taking your time smiling to yourself when you remember a face you’ve not met but seen on a portrait created by your imagination?
Yesterday I asked a supposed ‘sage’ how to look a girl in the eyes. How he did it the last time we met. He babbled and shrugged me off. You know we are still driving through this tumultuous route; many boys are still driving through this route without a leader. Who will lead us? Who will tell us the stories of how our forefather spoke to women and looked into their eyes? I wish our elderly male Will become a voice and sunlit to carry us on their wings and tell us tales of how they survived looking into the eyes of women without getting numb and coy on this shore.
On a lighter note, how is studies and family? I hope you are doing very well? Never mind my naughtiness; it comes in many shapes on darker night like this one. We allow our fingers to run freely on the PC keyboard without thinking much of feelings and emotions. Smile. Laugh. Be sober if you want. Dance if your legs could carry your body at this moment but never think of any string attached to this letter. Keep the smile alive till it luminous light covers the earth, till it finds a home, till it find a lover and a friend; till you find words to pronounce strange words from your lips without feeling ashamed or shy of saying them.
© John Chizoba Vincent