I’m not great with reading, it’s either I’m drawn in pretty quickly, revel and enjoy it or I struggle to get into and end up hating the book (ahem… Swing Time. My sister the serial killer was the latter. My sister the serial killer is an excellent read. I finished it in a day, in four hours to be exact. Tumbling through sentences, devouring each morsel. Words paced beautifully dotted with unexpected humour.
“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces.
They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”
I had to get on my train and tried to rush through some pages before I had to interrupt myself to get on the train. And it hit me, the book is good. Korede is the perfect anti-hero, and Ayoola… well I felt a sense of empathy with her character although my better judgement knew she was a psychopathic. Her character was refreshing (not sure if that’s the right word) about her character, her cold callousness and laissez faire attitude kind of reminiscent of Gone Girl.
I bought it in WHSmith off hand, the title and cover is striking. As I got on the train to finish the last few pages, a lady walked by “I’ve just bought that, is it good?” “It’s great I answer I started today and look I’m almost done.” I’m happy it is popular and receiving such a good reception. The only critique I would make here is to a broader conversation in the Nigerian context where beautiful women are often portrayed as evil or mami wata. So it plays nicely into the trope of the manipulative nature of feminine wiles.
There are many topics touched on deftly in this book, such as power/powerlessness, abuse, envy. It’s a great book that I’m sure to lose as I happily pass it around friends and family.
I changed the site title to “in disguise” as in Blessing in disguise. I edited the site layout to make it simpler and have my art on the homepage. I’m liking it so far. I am going to use the blog as a repository of ideas, muses and inspiration.
I want to create more, throw my sketches on here and be playful with it.
One book each month. I wanted to read more books this year, so I set a flexible aim for myself. I started with a book from one of my favourite authors. Love by Toni Morrison.
Love is difficult, you are forced to read between the lines of Morrison’s poetic prose… and then read between those lines. It starts off murky and confusing, like most Toni Morrison books, to later reveal a dark, beautiful story. A story of friendship between two young black girls, hatred, stolen innocence, violence, family, colourism, class.
The broken friendship of Christine (light skinned from an affluent background) and Heed (dark skinned from a poor background) was the central puzzle in the story. I raced through the book to tease out the roots of what, who, why. The answers left me disgusted and wearisome. I find Morrison’s writing so visceral, but somehow you are having to do all the work from the pieces of magic and realism she has strewn across the page. She stresses me out in the same way Gabriel García Márquez does. In a way that has you thinking about the book weeks and months after you put it down. I read Love in January of this year.
As I write this I realise now that old man Cosey (a character in Love) reminded me of Florentino Ariza in Love in the Time of Cholera. Both are characters I grow to loathe because of their actions and also because neither get justice served to them. In fact, they are presented as the protagonists, what the? Yes, this may more closely resembles reality than other versions of the story, but it is still very unsettling and unpleasant nonetheless.
So was Love about love? In a way, yes. Friendship is elevated above romantic love in a way that is uncommon and honestly refreshing. An unspoken knowing, trust and care for another human just because. The rest of the book is mainly about the corruption of love.
Last year was quite definitive for me: my first gallery exhibition, got my speciality job, built up my closest relationships, and continued to journal through it. So as the year wrapped up there was a lot of clarity as to what I wanted 2019 to be. I want it to be a restful year, and to finish all I start (i.e. not start anything I cannot finish
Looking back at last year, there were a few simple things I learnt to do which improved my life every day. The start of a year, birthday helps us put a line in the sand and take stock and reflect on the state of things. And usually at this time there is plenty on improving your health but honestly with the 2018 I had, I believe often the focus should be on the health of our minds and mitigating every day stressors and anxieties. These are the things I am aim to do more of in the year of out Lord 2019!
Buy (another) house plant
One that is easy to manage and luscious green. This does not seem like big deal but the few seconds I spent watering my plants served as a beak in the day to be still and mindful even just for a minute. I also noticed often as I watered the plant that I hadn’t had any water to drink that day or I hadn’t taken time to breathe, deeply. If something so small can cause a change it is worth thinking about getting.
Turn off all notifications
You do not have to delete social media apps or stay off them for months on end because for some of us that is unrealistic. But what we can do to change and control the way we interact with technology is to turn off notifications. A friend of mine did this for me and I am grateful. I realised I had this background anxiety of replying to messages coupled with the dopamine rush of affirming notifications that was honestly making me sick. Stop the red dots and control your usage. Reply to messages when you have time to, and take time. Tek time.Continue reading “How I aim to have a more restful year”