“IT IS NOT CALLOUS TO RETURN TO NORMALCY” – A Review

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Photo Credit: Daniel Kojo Appiah (O’Zionn)

WE GROW UP

“But I have enough hope to

Leave her with honest words.

I am no Angel,

Yet somehow,

Our voices

Melt into each another

Hers, a promise…

Mine, a prayer…”

 

Last night my mother called to ask how I am doing. These days (or has it been always?), our telephone conversations are short and predictable, and after she hangs up…sad. She normally sounds much bubblier than I do, and I subconsciously try to figure out if she is faking it or trying too hard to sound happy to talk to me. Last night she asked about my graduation today. I decided not to attend, for various reasons. She really wants me to. She asked, again, if I wouldn’t even pass by. I said no. She sighed, and laughed awkwardly. “Well, it’s your decision,” she said. It most likely did not actually sound like it was said reluctantly, but I thought it did. Almost like she realized she was acknowledging that she no longer made decisions for me; learning, bit by bit, to adjust to the turned tables. I think she wishes she could still make me do what she wants…needs me to do. That way, I wouldn’t spring surprises on her like I have the habit of doing, with my numerous mistakes.

“ I am no Angel.”

I think I know what is new in our recent telephone conversations. I always hang up

“…hoping to God I make good

 On my promises.”

 

Adulting is…well…adulting. And yeah, they did tell us “wobεnyini abεto” but…I guess they left out the details

 

One of the beauties of art, for me, is in how the artist pours out her/himself and it becomes a mirror. I have found that confessional writing becomes so. Sometimes I think a lot of addict-readers look for this in what they read. I, for one, open each page with some kind of caution, unsure of what I will read next, and what it will mean to me…what it will remind me of…what it will do to me. I have finished books and let them lie for days, not ready to process the entire experience yet. Absolutely drained, after what it did to me. Perhaps my eyes are attracted to those things that do that to me. Like when I started reading Huchu’s The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician. Four pages into the novel, I read “Music forms memories. The Magistrate, who was often transported back to some point in the past when he heard a familiar tune…” and that was it for me. I had to put the book down. Being exactly so, the line had become a mirror, and I started to think of all the songs that have heavy memories attached. Memories that come back so vividly. I couldn’t move past minus all the emotions it roused.

What I am trying to say is, I couldn’t read through Ellipses, minus all the emotions it roused.

 

HOW DO I MANAGE TO LIVE WITH ME?

“To be satisfied

With the person

I have spent

three

                  decades

                             becoming

This is a foreign thing.”

 

Being aware (too much) of myself, and all that I am not but should be(?) is why I can never really be satisfied with who I have become. Maybe it is a good thing for me, nevertheless, to never fully settle in. Maybe that is how come I am able to live with myself. Perhaps what will push me down the edge is if I stop trying to be better…do better…or promise to…do…be….

So I live each day fighting the disappointment and guilt from yesterday’s “unrealized promise.” I still have hope left to live through another day.

This chapbook, to me, is a representation of what social media is to many people. Okay, maybe not many people; let me speak for myself here. I usually go on rants on my twitter…for me. At the back of my mind I am aware that everyone can see what I am going on about, and yet I go ahead, not caring much about that. In those moments, I need to let it out and if possible, let it go. The catharsis is layered. One layer is because it is no longer some “dark secret”. Another is because you were brave enough. Another is because you are acknowledging your humanness, and acknowledging too that “None of us is completely broken. None of us is completely healed.”

The symbolism was not lost on me, going in and seeing that I had almost literally been let into another’s life; thoughts…secrets…even those we try to hide in plain sight (vignettes).

I guess what I mean here is, Ellipses is how we really are.

 

PURSUING GOD 

“The Bible made sense for the very first time – not as a collection of talismans… Rather a mirror for introspection…”

Sometimes I am afraid to pick up the Bible (Ha!) Oh dear, and again it is because of this “mirror” thing. It causes you to see and think and feel.

Enough said.

Enough said.

 

A part of me says that the written parts of this book should have been typed out too, so readers would have both. It was hard to make out every word.

Another part of me says it should be as it is. Like picking up someone’s journal…you get what you are able to read. Of all the such entries, “Pill Bottle” got to me most…but I will spare you why.

 

AND THEN THERE’S DEATH

There is too much I have to say here, and so I wouldn’t say them. I have already talked too much. The parts of this book that directly or indirectly touched on suffering and loss, were parts I could relate to so much it was hard dealing the flood of emotions. The longer you live, the more likely it is for more of such waves (suffering and loss) to hit you.

And then you have to move on. You have to “return to normalcy…keep on living.” And if we are honest, we’d admit that “normalcy” and “living” here, is this very thing Ellipses represents.

And it goes on

 

To the author, Eli Tetteh,

Cheers…

and thanks for living out loud.

 

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