[Der lyrische Mittwoch, Folge 15] Aka Teraka – FERNERHIN

Vielen Dank an Sebastian Schmidt für das Interview/Gespräch. Es war mir eine Freude, am lyrischen Mittwoch teilnehmen zu dürfen.

PS – “Aka Teraka” war zu jener Zeit mein Pseudonym.

HIER oder unten in voller Länge zu lesen:

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via [Der lyrische Mittwoch, Folge 15] Aka Teraka – FERNERHIN.

METAMORPHOSIS

THERE ONCE lived a girl called Vanity. It was in that strange country where newborn babies are left unnamed – simply being referred to as so and so’s first son, so and so’s third daughter, etc – until they have grown into childhood. Only then would their parents and relatives, having up to this time carefully studied the character (for early dawns day) of the one to be named – finally confer upon the child that name which they believed best captured the essence of its core personality.

And so did this girl, from an early age, come to be called Vanity, for she was as proud and vainglorious as a peacock. Vanity believed that the whole world was there just to serve and admire her. She did not care much for others, nor could she tolerate, in her vicinity, another receiving more attention, admiration and adoration than herself. This she simply could not bear. She thus constantly went to all and any lengths to make sure that the attention of everybody would always and only be riveted upon only her. Vanity dressed in the most beautiful of clothes, wore the most attractive ornaments, learned the most alluring manners of self-expression, perfected the most sensational methods of walking and swinging, and – being the scion of wealthy royalty – made it very obvious to the gentry that she had a lot of wealth to spread around. The inevitable consequence of this was that the world divided itself into two groups before her – those who crowded themselves around her and those who avoided her. Great was her pleasure, for ‘her side’ verily outnumbered the other side.

As she grew into a teenage adolescent, a spectacular beauty happened to grow out upon Vanity’s features and fitted itself around her form. Naturally this pleased Vanity extremely  and only served to confirm for her and her court her egotistical claim to prenatal supremacy. And at this point her name changed spontaneously from Vanity to Beauty. Beauty became the rave of her time, the talk of town, the object of the envy and idolisation of the women, the desire of the men – exactly what she wanted. Beauty wore her outward beauty like a trophy and used it ruthlessly to acquire everything she wanted, most of which she indeed also got. For people practically worshipped Beauty; they made her their idol, their goddess, their queen. She controlled all.

Such was it that by the time she had become a young woman her name had changed once more – and now everybody called her Power. Power exalted in this name granted to her by her fellow human beings and proceeded to have a crown manufactured for herself on which her name was inscribed for all to see. She became so full of herself that there was no space left for her in which she could continue to expand, nor could her bloated ego grow any further. It neared its peak, its limits. Her ways became stiff and cold, lifeless. She could not find any further height to reach and claim. She became an ornament herself.

And very soon her name became Rigidity. For rigidly fixed was she to the dogged attachment to vanity, beauty and power. She bore no love for other human beings. Frightening and strange became her ways. Rigidity detested her new name intensely and tried to rigidly hold on to the previous one and to thus force the people to keep on calling her by it, but the people, like people like to do, persisted in calling Rigidity by the newest name they had given to her. And the harder she resisted it, the louder they called it.

It happened that, at this time, owing to her persistent attachment to old forms, her health broke down. By the time she recovered, her face, older, less beautiful, remained marked by the deep scars of her illness and struggles, and there was a tired ring to her voice. And, for some unknown reason, the people at this point began to call her Lesson. They pointed at her and said: “Lesson, Lesson, Lesson!” And Lesson saw that they were but pointing her out to the new, young beauty in town and pointing out her own destiny to her too. Lesson was very dejected. Sadly she sneaked out of town in the dead of night and wandered lost and lonely, trying to put a finger on what exactly had gone wrong in her life. And Lesson spent many years trying to understand life. Many lonely years.

And during these years of her travels, fellow wayfarers who saw her simply dubbed her with the name Simplicity, for she walked silent and alone and appeared to do all her things simply. When Simplicity found out that this was her new name, it seemed to her that there was a hidden message and clue in this name. She then began to consciously strive to do all things simply, to think simply and to cultivate true simplicity of the soul. Finally Simplicity settled down in a little hut in a little village where she cultivated farms and gardens and grew to love children and nature.

The people of the village loved exceedingly this obviously aristocratic yet so modest, archaic stranger who had come to live amongst them and, inspired by her ways, they named her Humility. This name struck the surprised Humility with such great humbleness that she again, using it as a guiding star, started striving consciously after true humbleness and humility in her life, in order to become worthy of the name. Humility was ever ready to carry out even the lowliest of tasks and was never too proud to speak up for the truth when she saw it being denied, or even to fight for it, no matter how much of a fool she might appear in the eyes of others for doing so; for in her newfound humility it no longer mattered to her what others thought of her. Because true humility is strength, not weakness, as we all know.

The people of the village learnt much from Humility, who was by now rather an old woman, and gradually they recognised the absolute magnificence of the beautiful female spirit that occupied her old body – which revealed to them the essence of true inner beauty – and, unanimously, they agreed to change her name to Beauty! And so, for the second time in her life, Beauty was called Beauty again, but now for a genuine reason, for the truest of beauty is the beauty of the heart.

Many more years has Beauty now lived amongst the people of this dear and beautiful village, and it is Beauty herself who is now writing down her own long and eventful story. Except that now – now that this village has become a place of that true heavenlike peace and beauty which she has always borne hidden, deep, within her maturing soul – Beauty’s name is no longer Beauty, but she now bears an other and final name which will be the one that will be etched unto her grave tablet when this old, warm body of hers is finally returned to earth. And what do you think this her ninth name is? – It might be Service; or Leadership; or Strength; it could be Love; or perhaps Peace; or even Heaven. It may also be Purity; or Guide; or Guardian; or maybe it could be Mirror. Choose for yourself, every woman out there, do.

I am simply what I should be.

Emptiness always makes the greatest noise. Would that emptiness could learn to become silent, that it may be true and become filled.

Goodbye, Earth. – – –

The beautiful old woman died two days after writing down her own story; and when she was buried, the grateful village people inscribed upon her grave stone the single word…:

HOME.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije (from my collection of short and inspiring stories and essays titled „There Is Always Something More“)
Available on all Amazon stores.
amazon cover copy there is always something more 2015

GREEN VEGETABLES

I remember watching
When I was a little boy
Hamlet
In my father’s bedroom
By my father’s side

He was munching on Green Vegetables
And I was observing
Sometimes him
And sometimes the television…

And he said:
This is the mystery.
You know… You see…
Why didn’t he do it at that moment?
Or
If he knew that he could not do it
Why did he try to begin at all
To obey his father’s call to action??

He shook his head
And munched away coolly
Upon his Green Vegetables…

And I was trying to figure out
If he was asking me a question
Or giving me an answer…

(for Daddy)

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

REMEMBER THE SUN, LOOK UP –


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ONCE UPON a time, there was a bird.

It flew and flew for a long time, over great distances, over lakes, mountains and forests, over deserts, countries and valleys, over vast oceans and across mighty fields of thought.

One day, as it was flying over such a field of thought, it looked down and saw a little girl playing in the red-brown soil of Owerri, a small town in south-eastern Nigeria. Dressed in a short, tie-dyed west African boubou and skipping merrily on bare feet behind her father’s house, the little girl threw thoughts up into the air, bright blue and yellow thoughts, the way other children throw up ribbons and balls. And when the thoughts went into the air, they would take wing and fly high into the sky, so high up that not even the bird could see the height into which they soared.

One by one they would then, after a long while, reappear in the visible firmament as they began their downward flight to the girl. Upon their descent the thoughts were bigger, brighter, more beautiful, and they all bore a crown on their heads. This the bird could see.

By the time the thoughts returned to the girl, her father’s house had washed away and she had grown into a woman, a young and beautiful woman with a silent sorrow on her face, a deep question in her eyes, a lovely, innocent yet knowing smile upon her lips. For in the period in which her thoughts had flown to heaven, many men and women had loved and left her. Some had loved her too little and some had loved her too much. But none had loved her enough. Now she stood there with the universal question in her heart; the search for her destiny.

A song. Beautiful was the song that came out of the bird, descended along with the woman’s returning thoughts. One by one, her thoughts alighted on her breast, folded their wings around her like in an embrace and dissolved into her. As each thought disappeaed back into her, her eyes became brighter, the sadness upon her ebony features faded away, little by little, the question gradually disappeared, and she gradually grew up… until the last thought had reunited itself with her, and she stood there, tall, pretty, mature, clear.

Then did she hear the song… the song of the bird… it pierced her heart like a bird’s beak penetrating into the heart of a wild honey flower and told her wild and gentle stories of things forgotten and remembered. Like the sunflower her heart exploded open and she looked up…

And she saw the sun!

And while she revelled in the sight of the sun, for since attaining adulthood she had not noticed the sun anymore, the bird flapped it’s wings again and flew on, flew away. By the time the woman, filled with the sun, looked around in the sky for the source of the lovely song that made her look up in the first place and awakened her to the sun…, the bird was long gone.

Once upon a time, there was a bird… on and on it flew, over fields of thought and gentle growth. Simple is her song:

Remember the sun, look up –

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

From my book of inspirational short stories and anecdotes:
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING MORE
amazon cover copy there is always something more 2015