I enjoy creating space, a space for ideas, thoughts bubbling to the surface of my consciousness. Things that come to mind that would be difficult to start a conversation about because it’s just a sparkle of an idea, not yet formed with a meaning that I could communicate through my brand of me. Because it’s a go back and think about it later moment.
When visiting relatives in Nigeria a few years ago I was surprised to learn that my dad had written a novel/book. At home, he would write in a notebook in his special shorthand. Growing up I would ask what he was writing about he would reply that it was “just thoughts” about his day. To hear that he had attempted to write a novel/book was a surprise.
On my return I quizzed him about it, the novel was a draft that no longer existed. But the everyday activity that was just something dad did took on new meaning from then on. I understood that he was capturing his thoughts, distilling ideas in a disciplined way.
These days I often talk over my writing ideas/ projects with my dad to get a new insight or to ask questions about Yoruba proverbs/ words. In his late 80’s he is still writing and at the moment has one or two writing projects on the go. So I write because I know it’s in my blood taking me to places unknown. In writing this blog (glasgowmango.wordpress.com) I’ve learnt about ideas memories and activities I was previously unaware of. It’s enabled me to take in more of the world around me, experience new places, generated ideas for photographs and writing projects. Creating blog posts has taken me on creative avenues I didn’t know existed. I’ve enjoyed the places I’ve been able to visit physically and virtually through the wonders of the World Wide Web!
It’s been refreshing to look back and review my blog posts from a few years ago this was written as part of a task for a writing challenge called Writing 101. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part it really helped to generate a lot of interesting blog posts and the opportunity to read other people’s inspired blog posts.
Rereading this post brought back happy memories of my dad, I remember sharing it with him and talking about the novel which he wasn’t upset about losing he didn’t think it was very good but I mentioned it was an achievement I was impressed with. This year we have begun the task of going through my dad’s large trunk box of books and notes. The notes are mostly written in Gregg’s short had and my research so far leads to me to believe there that there is no software available to help me decipher is writing. So unless I hire someone to translate or learn it myself I won’t be able to work out if its worth keeping or not. I know some of it mundane stuff like what he ate for dinner he liked to keep an eye on his diet.
What will I leave behind? What will you leave behind? Blogging allows you to present a version of yourself? But there are so many versions of ourselves how we see ourselves can often sharply contrast with how others see you. What I have written today represents the journey so far. Looking back at my blogs, notebooks, poems, stories diaries I am often brought back to the events and locations in my life that prompted particular lines. Sometimes I feel a total rewrite is required! other times I am comfortable with the written marker of that time in my life.
I am travelling in Cambodia right now and at the start of the trip I was at Heathrow airport about to start my travels to South East Asia when I really felt my Dad’s presence with me. When he was younger he started his travels around western Africa when talking about his journey to the UK he talked about the journey as being on of adventure. I actually have a recording of him talking about he travels from Nigeria that once I have completed editing the sound file I will share in the future.
So I am at the airport and even though I wasn’t there (I met up with my Dad in Nigeria on his last trip there which was a long time coming) I think about the excitement he must have felt and the changes to travelling since his early days of travelling. Also it felt a little sad that this was the first long haul flight that I had taken since we said goodbye. He loved to hear about adventures we had been on and loved looking at out pictures.
My first feelings since arriving here have been that it really reminds of Nigeria, (Ibadan and Lagos) in particular Phnom Penh obviously with a south-east asia flavour.
Columns, it’s so peaceful to experience such order in temples
Evening walk in Sihanoukville
Really love these pillars which are all over Angor Wat
Uncle wasn’t really my uncle but what do you call someone who is a cousin to your dad and a few years older? You call them Uncle. He had a very destinct gravelly voice as far as I know he never spoked but I could be wrong. There will always be questions you wished you asked when a loved one passes on. In old family photos there is usually a picture of Uncle in the background, smiling. He once stayed a week to help redecorate our living room. It was fun to have him around for that week and great to look at the walls and remember him.
When visiting my dad its very difficult for me to drive away with out going to visit Uncle. He is buried in a muslim cememetry five minutes away. About five months before my dad passed on Uncle passed. I had seen him about a month or two but had spoken to him about 4 weeks before. On my last visit he had complained of not feeling well and that he thought that he did not have long. Seeing my naturally concerned expression he told me not to be sad, he was ready he had been happy with his life to date there were a few things that he was unhappy about but on the whole he was at peace and ready too go.
Its the begining of week 5 of the AW and at the last meeting we talked about things we need to grieve for I wrote my dad. It was a year to the day that he had passed, moved on it’s still a very recent journey that me and my family have begun. But I realise that from now one I can no longer think this time last year he was still with us. Because I have been blogging intermittently for the last four or five years I choose this medium to continue the next part of the journery after year 1. I want to continue to celebrate him like we did at the start of this journey. He lives on in my heart but for now I want him to also live on in the online world a world he was aware of but never joined.