Eternity and the innumerable number of days

It’s starting to look like death spurs the writing in me. It’s only a look, I promise.

It’s 20112018 today, I wake and go for my morning run on Twitter and find out that Tosyn Bucknor passed. While I didn’t know her personally or ever listen to her, something about her vibe was right. Cheery. I particularly loved teasing Chu’s huge crush on her. As is usual with most of such news, people have flooded timelines with eulogies. It’s a unanimous verdict that she was a good person.

Only a couple of hours till we go back to regular programming, and heaves now and then when the thought of her crosses our mind.

I particularly felt sorry for Harry, in about a calendar year, Sickle cell had robbed him of 3 friends (that I know of). I remembered to pray for the ones we still had on earth, and for the seemingly whole ones too.

Reading all the eulogies and getting sad anew that all these kind words and sweet thoughts of her mean nothing to her.

Actually, this here is my piece of befuddlement.

The life after death side of things.

I am a Christian, and accordingly my faith attests to an eternity in heaven or hell, and the purpose on earth is to make heaven, return home.

Beginning or end?

Mans mind is conditioned to see a finite picture. The paintings have a beginning and an end. It puts perspective to things. Or does it?

Am I going to spend eternity in my 1 year old body, or 16 year old or this current Fat Albert stage that I am on?

I have read jokes, even my sister made one about wearing fancy designer clothes while on earth, because in heaven every one gets to wear the same white robe. Or is it the one where people don’t think a daily routine of singing hallelujahs is a prime way to spend the days.

We didn’t ask to be born, and the consequence of having to exist ad infinitum is a choice we didn’t even get to make.

I take consolation in the thought that if humans, mere mortals, can find ways to make these finite days we have created count, God is certainly able to do better.

Do you have any concerns about eternity?

xx

Jem

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#WAD2018

I grew up in a house that was a curious architectural piece.

It was modelled like a boat and round in shape.

It was the first home I knew and the only home I had for most of my life.

The eccentricity of the style made me very proud of my father’s tastes.

The verandah at the left.

The boat pockets around the house.

The see-through glass windows.

The flower gardens in front.

The driveway such that you can drive around the house.

The see-through fences, such that you can stalk a neighbour without moving a bone.

In 2007, when my father decided he wanted to remodel the house, I was sceptical because I thought the house was about to lose it’s eccentricity.

Thankfully I was wrong.

My father’s tastes were still intact and architects are still brilliant individuals. I got sturdy pillars, storey buildings, and a compound you couldn’t drive around after they were done.

Home it was still.

In uni, I spent a lot of my 1st year hanging out in Archi. studio in school. Mostly cause my cousin was one of them, their studio was sane (always had stools I could sit on) and the people were so cool we had fast become friends (Hi Eddie!)

I loved hanging out there and enjoyed it because I admired what they did.

I have a queer disability, I can’t use a ruler (I said it was queer, remember?) I have never ruled a straight line in my life, and I have friends who teased me that a freehand line I drew was straighter than one I employed a ruler.

This “disability” meant that technical drawing and other related ones requisite for a career in the field was moot.

So I lived vicariously through them.

Today is World Architecture Day.

I have been fortunate to be around people who revere architecture. My coins will soon join finish and I can afford to go to renowned architectural locations; a European tour should fix that. I once read a piece by Jumoke Adenowo, whom I started to respect because I learned she was first an architect then a pastor, where she said she chose that career path because it was important to build in consideration of our weather conditions- more Windows, less wood, roofs with gutters and beauty in execution.

I see houses who defy a lot of what that article said, and how uncomfortable they seemed. I could never live in them I said.

Special shout out to all the beloved Architects I know: Uncles Amaugo & Ephraim, The G!,Eddie, Chiago + Chiwi,Abii, Eric..

Shout out to the beautiful people of Nigerian Institute of Architects, Abuja chapter.

They are hosting a Barbecue at 5pm today (see flier) (if you read this post after today, my sincere apologies)..

365 days of Lagos

It’s surreal.

This time last year I was zipping my two large suitcases and pruning my oversize “Ghana must go bag”, making the tough decision of the personal effects that won’t be transiting with me.

My books took the biggest blow. I don’t think I packed up to 10 pieces. I remember my sketchbook and recently acquired novels taking priority passage. Then my fancy notepads, because scribbling is life and sanity rolled in one.

I remember staring in horror at the luggage that had summarised my property. And the other ones I had to leave behind promising to come for them soon (one year later, I haven’t brought any of them). I figure those are what minimalists would consider clutter, but i share no such opinions.

The priority has been education, and boy have I been educated!

It’s essentially a race between effective time management and prioritising.

I have pretty much had a fairy tale Lagos living. I’m mostly in sane spaces with civil people, I have made awesome friends who for a really long stretch made me forget what public transport felt like, and I have learned sacrifice (more like a refresher course). Did I mention that if I put all the times I have been stuck in the infamous Lagos traffic, I probably wouldn’t need my second hand to count? BLISS!!!

It’s been a beautiful time so far, I have gotten out of the box I grew up in and I have survived an entire year of Lagos living. I can’t believe how terrified I was before now.

I’m still pretty much afraid of all the things that bothered me…the traffic, the crime/getting mugged (I did get robbed in church, grateful they saved me the trauma and jeje picked my pocket(or bag as was the case )), the not so subtle aggressiveness,( heights 🤣) and people.

I haven’t done a lot of Lagos living things like go on the canopy walk or boat cruise one place or the other…it’s still on the list, perhaps check again in another 365? But I have gone to a couple of fairs inspite of my distaste for crowds. I haven’t seen an Ayo masquerade up close too, but i think my fascination is not literal (I take a picture with a figure of it any chance I get).

Jay and Ayo

I also haven’t eaten amala. That’s on the not-gonna-happen list ( “not” because never say never, as it jinxes things).

In all, it’s been pleasant living in this city. Really.

Eko o ni baje!

♡Jem

Nothing Prepares You.

August 8, 2018.

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Nothing prepares you for the ache. You feel like you have had time to prepare for the inevitable, but when it comes, you find that nothing could have prepared you for this moment.

Tuesday August 8, 2018 started out as a beautiful day. There was light through out the night, I woke up, ironed the ootd, boiled water for a bath, put in a little workout and packed breakfast. There was also a beautiful sun outside, and I thought it was going to be such a beautiful day.

In retrospect, there were the hours between 3 and 5 that I struggled to sleep. Could it be because my morning was turning at that moment.

I know you are definitely in a better place. I know here wasn’t any good for you anymore but we all selfishly wanted you here, keeping faith for the days you are strong enough to hold our hands and say our names.

I will miss you. And this is putting it mildly.

I’ll miss our conversations. Nobody can come close to you in that department. You were the most brilliant man.

I’ll miss your presence in Emmanuel Church. How your beautiful singing voice transcends all the other voices hymn-singing. Or when you clear your throat through the quiet of the congregation. Someone started sitting in your corner and I havent stopped deathstaring at that person.

I’ll miss our meals together. Your pristine table manners. They don’t make men like you anymore 😦

I’ll miss sharing your biscuits and chocolate.

I’ll miss your style. You had great taste and it reflected all around you.

I will miss your smile. Oh Daddy! That very sweet grin that you have. Your hugs and your busses.

I don’t know for certain what’s on the other side. I know our faith tells of a time in eternity, but I’m grateful that on this side, you were here with me and for me.

The greatest uncle ever!

Love always,

Ijeuru.

The Chicken or the Egg….

I was walking to “work” this morning, and there is this makeshift refuse dump by a pole an ordinary pedestrian like me has to walk past. I remember feeling relieved these past days because every time I have walked past that pole, there wasn’t any dumping there.

Relief because this is not a designated dumpsite, it was along a very major and beautiful expressway, and it embarrassed me because human beings, who claim to share the same number of faculty as I, repeatedly make this mess and think it okay.

Today’s pile interested me because it was packed in a clear bag, and filled with eggshells. The culprit of that heap became clear. There is a Mai Shai right at the turning into the crescent. So his customers were wont to stop by for a little “Indomie and blanket” or Bread and omelette. From the heap, yesterday was a very prosperous business day.

I wondered if that was a normal days sales or….*wait for it*… a slow days sale!!

For one location, that was a lot of egg, and it got me thinking about all the chicken and egg consumed on earth daily. It reflected another wonder of the Almighty God, because how can this quantity of the bird be consumed on the daily, and it is still not extinct!?!? Nothing is spared, not the young unhatched or the grown, and adult bird. I will jump guns and assume that 3x the human population on earth is consumed in form of that bird daily. Explains why they are genetically engineering it, for fear that there are not going to be enough chickens to eat soon (I’m not worried about it because the chicken featured in Yoruba mythology of the creation story. It is a shareholder to earths existence) (I am just glad the chicken wasn’t in the christian version. It may have featured as a villain 😥 )

I am grateful for chickens.

I did this as an entry to something GTBanks’ Gtcreate account on Instagram used to host on Thursdays years ago. The theme was to draw a chicken Lol! Guess who is the chicken??

I still don’t know the answer to the riddle; the chicken and the egg, what came first?

Fried rice and Chicken!

Jemjem

Starstruck: Tom Cruise

You know, when one of your favourite faculty suggests a movie, you have to find it and you have to see it.

My relationship with Tom Cruise associated movies was mostly pop culture inspired. Until “Vanilla Sky” happened, and I have been looking for who will give me back the time I spent watching it and hoping for It’s redemption (in their defence, it was the era of doing movies with your significant other, & he needed to mark attendance with Penelope Cruz).

Then I found out how untall he actually is. I rolled on the floor laughing. My senses can be unkind sometimes.

But redemption comes in the morning.

Last year, after our first exam as a class, to unwind we turned our classroom to a mini theatre and we projected “American made”. There were lots of lessons to be learned there. I really loved it. Seeing Tom again made me realise I had missed watching him ( I had skipped all the MI installations of the years past).

Now, to the movie that tossed the salad.

The Firm.

*soft sigh. I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying themes of the movie.

There was brilliance.

There was providence.

Friendship, forgiveness and faith.

And a strong ache for vengeance.

This is not a movie review so I don’t want to get carried away giving away all the fine details, but I remember thinking as I watched through scenes reasons why Tom Cruise was the best guy for the Mission: Impossible franchise.

When it was time to run, I was like “yea…for real my guy can run“. When it was time to squeeze or climb into odd spaces, I was like “my guy small before na why e go size am

In all, he has had a very interesting acting career, and that ability to fit into roles (save for Vanilla Sky..rme) is the reason why Tom has remained relevant all these years.

It’s not a bad thing at all that he has good looks too, and is a squinty when he smiles.

We 🖤 you Tom.

Starstruck: Kate Henshaw

Maybe we will make this thing a weekly thing, till we run out of steam, aye?

Kate Henshaw. I came homegrown this time.

I have “known” Kate since my siblings and I never finished watching “Thorns of Rose” ( abeg who knows how that feem ended?) and reading my mothers National encomium. They never stopped carrying gist about her and Sammy Okposo. (I think its really a thing that these people have remained relevant over the years).

Speaking of her relevance, Kate always impressed me with her vocals. She didn’t have any bastard accent taunting her English language. She spoke fluently and cried in an “awww come here!” way.

She did well with the jobs she was cast as too. Hardly out of place or uncomfortable to watch.

Imagine my amusement when she embraced her comic side, starring as Basorge’s love interest in the local comedy series “Do good”.

She also knows the way to the fountain of youth, because she has looked the same (& even better) over the years. I know she tries to accord that to her fitness lifestyle but meh… we forgive her if she doesn’t want to lead us there.

Here’s hoping she has enjoyed gracing our screens with her beautiful smile as much as we have enjoyed seeing it across our screens.