Is there a blind spot ahead?
Something eerie is in the air. But I don’t know what it is. Among the Urhobos of Delta State where I come from, there is a phrase for this feeling. But it is too heavy for me to lift from the base of my mind. Even if I can lift it to the surface of my memory, it will be difficult for me to translate it correctly into the tongue of the Queen of England. There are things in our tradition that defy or forbid the contamination of translation into the tongues of lands unknown to our ancestors. In those days, elders of other tribes would simply hear such subterranean and sacred words, shake their heads, look downward and take a deep breathe. As air rushes through their lungs, the meanings of those words are unveiled and sent directly to the chambers of their souls. It is like the subliminal language of an elephant heard only by fellow elephants that have their ears and trunks to the ground.
If those up the hills can not hear the mourning of the wind that goes by, at least they can see one distressed green leaf fighting for its dear life as it is carried away to a destination for which it does not have a wish. Isn’t that how a tornado starts. One leaf here, one object there, and then all hell breaks lose and everything goes up whirling into a huge heap of wreckage. And with it comes a grave yard peace garnished with a lot of unspoken grief.
Life may be full of surprises, but it is also full of warnings. When a volcano wants to erupt, it never does so suddenly. It whispers its intentions to those who live around it usually for a long time. Long enough for even the wary to take note and get out of harm’s way. When a river with alternating current wants to change direction, it slows down gradually and eventually stops movement, giving everyone a chance to wait for their favourable tide.
Unfortunately, those at the helm of affairs see nothing and hear nothing but speak grandiose things among themselves. And when they open access to their ears, they only listen to the death dealing hymns of their praise singer.
If you think this is some oblique piece, you may be right. When the mind is cluttered with convoluted issues it rambles. But recall that a wretched looking clairvoyant told Julius Caesar to beware of the ides of March. And my grandma once told me never to dismiss the “danger-ahead- warnings" of a madman. She said that even the deranged mind knows when danger lurks in an alley.
Is there danger ahead? I don't know. Is there a blind spot ahead? May be. But there is certainly a high dosage of pharisaism, sordidness, suffering, discontent, nonchalance, phlegm, repression, and perfidy just to mention a few. It is a mixing bowl of sacrilegious things considered a delicacy by the ruling class but wormwood to the people.
Discussions on these matters have been moved from ears- on- the- wall- free confines through the slums in our cities to the high rises of our Business Districts. What is normal is that the most vehement voices emerge from the bottom of the heap in a capitalist order. What is normal is that revolutionary frictions begin from the complaints of one class, usually the deprived or have-nots against the haves or privileged. What then do you make of a distinct discontent that runs through all classes? Doesn't that give you the creepy feeling of something ominous waiting to happen at a blind spot?
As things stand, everyone seems to be waiting for that gentle push that may send things crashing down the crevasse. Instead of reading the vital signs signalling a shift towards the precipice, the foolish and greedy fly is locked to the smell of a feast and without knowing it heads into the stomach of the earth with the content of a coffin.
They are making plans for 2011 and 2020. What a pity! What if tomorrow does not come? What if it comes and does not have a place for them. What if this elephant tumbles down the hill? Has anybody thought of what will become of everything that lies on its way? Pray that the ill-omened baby is not given birth to under the cover of darkness.