Words are living. I am leaning on this every day. Their hold can be strong. Forcing you to dig deeper than the surface of what they seem. I am making sense of words these days. Making sense of all the ways they burn like fire, then blow like wind, touching everything until you become one with the wind or fire and anything else that words choose to become when you let them flow on their own. These days they are flowing and I am living more like fire. Their hold on me is as strong as fire. Their breathe too, as gentle as the wind at times and as wild as fire at other times. I keep coming back to fire, keep referring back to winds, as if all the words I know are as fierce or as tender as they seem. Still I know this to be the power of words. Nothing is as it seems. And anyone who dwells in these words like flies, may end up in their grave.
I want to be that no ordinary kind of woman that meets herself every time through words. To remind her, that because of words, we can survive, live, love, pray, as we escape the unthinkable. These are cold days, but words can lead out to our breakout as we learn what life is. So if I am to live up to my middle name, if I am to bask in the glory of what it means to be named Isioma, then I am prepared to discover all that I am through words. I am prepared to meet myself over and over again, ringing like a bell, of how I survived and survived, because words came and I let them move me, seduce me, transform me, and illuminate all that I am becoming.
It’s our world anyways and we can write till we reach beyond ourselves. I want to write too, every time we meet ourselves. For this gift of writing, this gift of putting our thoughts into words, is a treasure. I am grateful that our cup continues to overflow. I am learning day by day that I live to write. A note, a phrase, a poem, or even a collection of things to keep if only for my sanity in a time of a pandemic. Today, I met myself. Today I went on a long conversation with the woman I am becoming. A storyteller that writes to live. We spoke of our love for words. Our love with putting down all our ideas into words that are pleasing to our soul. We encouraged ourselves too. Like two birds nestling by a stream, we told ourselves that we are doing fine with every single moment we note all the words that come to mind.
I am pledging allegiance to this freedom to write our lives through words we put together. How rare to live a life in words for ourselves first, for our dreams, our love, our heart desires, our morning sunshine, our children as dark as night or for the one called to save us. And words, have been our savior, our Chizoba in a world full of despair for a pandemic that refuses to dissipate.
More than escape, writing is life and a way of being still with ourselves. For we know, he knows the plans for us. The earth may shake. Cities may crumble. But happy are those who tend to life through words. This dancing of the mind, this communion with oneself, is like bread. It continues to give me new strength. And through his words, we are living in the pleasure of discovering and uncovering the plans for ourselves everyday. Writing is like the sun and it continues to set my life everyday. Writing also continues to move me to a place of divine connection to the power working within me. That’s what myself and I concluded and we will continue to choose the path we take, choose to put them in words, all because we know of his love. All we ask is that you continue to breathe on us daily so we make new words in us again and again as we escape from this world again and again.
Even when words won’t make any sense, believe that they do. With words we can bring healing. With words we can fight for justice. With words we can also spread love and with words we can find peace. This is my attempt to keep reminding myself of the power inherent in the words I choose to speak. Today I choose to keep the power of words. I choose to keep their salience in my life. I am a lover of words especially, the type spoken with grace and full of wisdom like the idea of going far with people rather than alone. It’s the thing I want to tell myself to never forget, how words helped to change my life. It’s probably why I easily gravitate to grant writing. For when the right words are place together in the right way, there is truly power. Keep the power of words for yourself too. You just might become powerful.
I have been reading ‘What moves at the margin’ by Toni Morrison. One of my favorite quotes by Toni Morrison, one she shared during her Nobel Lecture in Literature is: ‘We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That maybe the measure of our lives.’ Obviously very few people did language as fine and as exemplary like Ms. Morrison.
Of late, I have been trying my best with putting words together as it pertains to this quote, in ways that make sense to me and my love for endless questions. I put the following together: ‘We ask and are asked questions. That may be how we acquire knowledge. But when the questions are never ending, when we understand and value the significance of endless questions, that may be how we live meaningful lives.’ I am on a journey towards a meaningful life, one full of never ending questions and word-work as sublime as Toni Morrison is my guide. Keep words, keep language. It truly is the measure of our lives.