Returning, Blogorophobia, and the Gourd of Friendship

timi tattoo ink

July. The month rolls in gently. I trace my footprints from last July until now. Small, hesitant, and then larger and bolder. Yours criss-cross with mine. I smile and laugh. I cry, but not for long. I cannot tell my story without telling yours too. This is what blogging has meant to me. So, what next? I narrow my choices, but refuse to sign the dotted line. Fear? Maybe. Hope? Maybe. Fluid like water, I look at the sky. In the meaning of the shape of the clouds, my answers are there. Tell me, how have you been?

My first weekend away from blogging, I was attacked by intense “blogorophobia”— the fear that you’ll lose your readers because you’re not blogging. While others slept, I stared at my monitor. Insecurity and desperation have only produced compromise in my life.

***

Rewind plot to earlier in the week, to that conversation with a friend.

“When will you start blogging again, so I can read your blog?”

“Oh, in about three weeks, but I’m reblogging stuff I like, you should read those.”

“The reason I drop by your blog is to read your stuff.”

“Really?”

“Whatever, don’t stay away too long. You know how fickle internet relationships are.”

 

Did I know?

Two more people shared similar sentiments that same week and I felt like the mother who on dropping her child at day care for the first time, experiences severe separation anxiety.

***

I went to bed without writing. Anything of value, that is. I remembered that when I left my son at day care for the first time, his cries followed me all the way to work. That as I immersed myself in reports and meetings, his voice could not compete. And when I returned to get him, his tiny arms clung to me and mine to him, as if our being apart had taught us to spell together differently. Thereafter, our parting became easier as we learnt to trust.

My stats did not nosedive. You visited and left comments. I visited you and sometimes I left comments. Internet relationships can be fickle, but you, yes you, you’ve hung around longer than most. It seems fitting then that I leave you with a poem by Richard Ntiru1.

 

The Gourd of Friendship

Where is the curiosity we’ve lost in discovery?

Where is the discovery we’ve lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we’ve lost in communication?

Where is the communication we’ve lost in mass media?

Where is the message we’ve lost in the medium?

And where is the community we’ve lost in all these?

It is easy to go to the moon:

There, there are no people.

It is easier to count the stars:

They will not complain.

 

But the road to your neighbour’s heart –

Who has surveyed it?

The formula to your brother’s head –

Who has devised it?

The gourd that doesn’t spill friendship-

In whose garden has it ever grown?

You never know despair

Until you’ve lost hope;

You never know your aspiration

Until you’ve seen others’ disillusionment.

Peace resides in the hearts of men

Not in conference tables and delegates’ signatures

True friendship never dies-

It grows stronger the more it is tested.

 

See you Sunday?

timi

 

 

 

 

Take lemons, make life, and then jump for joy!

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

 

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  1. Ntiru, Richard, The Gourd of Friendship, Poems of Black Africa, ed. Soyinka Wole (London: Heinemann/AWS, 1975), 169.

Image credit: tattoo ink painting by Mina van Berkum

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