There are three sides to most stories, the side The Observer jigsaws together from the bits and pieces that fall off the dining table, the side The Observed eats from the bowl that Life has served them and the side that Life itself cooks while stirring its brass pot.
Life will cook a spicy, eye-watering, tongue-burning soup, and with each torturous spoonful, The Observed hops uncontrollably whilst inhaling air into their mouth to cool their burning cheeks.
The Observer, who has no way of seeing the steaming bowl, simply sees the seemingly rhythmic hopping. Some might exclaim in admiration “Ah! He is break-dancing so well”, some might ask suspiciously, “Ah! Why is he dancing?” and others might conclude disdainfully “Ah! I can dance better than him”.
For in the absence of x-ray vision, they cannot see the peppery soup wreaking havoc as it viciously embraces the throat with its heat and travels down a fiery path to the belly of The Observed.
Perspectives. You see this way, I see that way. We are both seeing.
To a typical toddler, who likes to run around, jump up and down, taking pure delight in simply just being, to be denied this freedom is quite horrifying. I found a way of punishing my 2.5 year old niece almost wordlessly and without even spanking her. The famous Naughty Corner.
“Go and stand in the naughty corner”, she did as she was told and wept so bitterly, I thought her little heart would break.
Her reaction amused me; it was only a small section of the room not a lion’s den. I suppose sacrifice is relative. Well, I was pleased about this effect and used this method of discipline from time to time.
Recently, while speaking with her over the phone, she said to me “Aunty, I want to see you, I want to stand in the naughty corner” I laughed so hard and asked “You want to stand there?” and she replied “Yes!” delightedly, like I’d promised her a cone of ice-cream.
Alas, the naughty corner had become a sissy; it had clearly lost its effectiveness as a corrective measure. If she was going to enjoy standing there, then why reward her naughty behaviour with pleasure? I suppose, this was her own way of declaring “When Life shows you pepper, make pepper-soup”.
Eventually, after eating Life’s spicy concoction time and time again, The Observed learns to stomach the heat. With each bowl, he becomes more resilient.
Soon, he chooses to hear only the group that admires the “break-dancing”. Then, he decides to actually dance and he flourishes in this dance. The Pepper Dance.
Life sees him and smiles its mysterious Mona Lisa smile.
Perspective. Stones were laid to block my path, but I used them to build a fortress.
©’Nedu Ahanonu 2016
There are some people that you stumble upon and immediately fall head over heels with. ‘Nedu’s writings over at www.nedoux.com has that effect on me. Her powerful pieces effortlessly draw gasps, laughs, indignation and even tears from me and never fail to leave me thoroughly inspired. ‘Nedu is clearly a master at what she does, and her blog will leave you wanting more, with only one question on your lips, “When is her book coming out??”
So excited to have her on the blog today; thank you so much for contributing to the #XOcollective, ‘Nedu!
Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone!