Sunday 21 June 2015

Thought Picnic: Pouring libations to our naked past

Secrets of loyalty
Two weekends ago, I had one of my incognito escapades where the planning and execution were literally revealed to no one. When I did tell my friend what I had planned, he was surprised because my planned trip to Amsterdam and Antwerp was both sudden and expressed in a way that seemed I was going round the corner from my home.
My recent trip to South Africa had boosted my air miles reward scheme status to enjoy a number of priority access services through the airport. I had garnered no less than 21,000 miles from that journey accumulated over 6 flights.
It meant I had fast track access through security regardless of the ticket I had purchased. As I did the typical security strip-tease without the music, the customs official engaged me in conversation about where I was from, where I was going and so on.
Maybe a coincidence
As it transpired, I answered, “I am English and my parents are Nigerian.” He asked what part of Nigeria and that got drilled down to the South West and Ijebu. He then responded that he was from Ijebu Imodi-Imosan.
That was quite uncanny because the traditional chief of Imodi-Imosan is also an Agemo masquerade and an uncle of mine.
He, however, was planning to return to Nigeria, to Imodi-Imosan where he said he was under obligation to offer appeasements to the animist traditions of his grandmother who apparently belonged to an Agemo masquerade affiliated lineage in Imodi-Imosan.
It occurred to me that this quite unlikely event of lives clashing on the improbability that we are linked by whatever degree by the familiar and yet strange coincidence calls for some reflection.
Not forgetting our ordinariness
For, no matter what the enlightenment of travel, exposure and schooling does to us, we are primarily human with the persuasions of the ordinary that goes far back before we existed, in genes that we bear or in the traditions passed down to us to return to the grottos of our ancestry where we take root having branched out literally beyond sight and mind of the roots that give us standing and sway.
The memorials are now in tombstones and fleeting memories, sacrifices and words now to be written on Facebook pages of those dearly departed too. We find imprints in the sands of time, weathered beyond recognition of frequency, but blown back like a leaf to obey the laws of gravity once the breeze settles.
For all the sense of culture we can muster, devoid of superstition and ceremony, we are essentially one step ahead of primitive, bound to things and secrets that rule our minds and decisions to walk into the future whilst keeping a keen eye on the past.

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