She had carried Achieni in her palms when she was born, the size of a small dehusked coconut, premature. She knew then looking at her tiny eyelids, nose and mouth that she would love her. That something good had come out from her, from the evil that went into her.
The phrase, the pursuit of happiness, would suggest it is a continuous effort and not a feeling or state of mind set in stone, found once and then locked away for safety.
A chance encounter. You speak and someone is listening, paying close attention. Someone thinks what you are saying is worth listening to. Quite possibly your audience is less experienced in life, just as likely that they are not. They've formed an audience around you all the same, the reason being that you have something to say which resonates.
This is a man who grew up to hip-hop; he is hip-hop, he is letting us in to what makes him vulnerable, he is letting us see his weaknesses, he is saying it's ok to talk.
Imagine yet, if you will, all the things you hold dear in the world – in arts, in science, the greats: Einstein, Chopin, Picasso, Jay-Z (and no this isn't tokenism to hip-hop.) Imagine if they never got started. Imagine if they stuck to their doubts. Imagine if their doubts (which they most certainly had) had crippled them.
Their leader was a tall girl with bushy hair finished in uneven pigtails wearing a dirt soiled yellow pinafore with one strap undone. Her face turned grotesque in anger as she scolded a boy for mindlessly rolling his battered tyre into the play area. A second group gathered under the guava tree. The tiniest children caught white flowers dropping as the tree shook. A big kid stood guard, watching the round berries land, awaiting the tree shaker’s descent down the mottled trunk.
Are you babysitting today, a lady with her 8 month old down at the park asked me. My son had taken to jaunting off at this point. I smiled. Babysitting is what you do with other people's children, I said. I'm just out here chilling with my son, I thought.
Plan towards your success by all means, but then take time to take stock of that which you already have. It might just bring you happiness.
For obvious reasons, Adichie has become a cult figure to me. I write. She writes phenomenally well. There could be no clearer version of hero worship. I delight in reading her works – yet she is all the more enthralling when she speaks. She speaks as though you were reading her work.
It's a journey of a lifetime, parenting, with lots to learn along the way, but what's becoming clear to me is that there is as much for me to learn from my son as there is to teach him.
“Where did you go on exile?” Darlington asked, deciding to strip the journalist out of his tone, to keep it respectful, though more to his own ears than Max’s, who did not seem to care. What more, Max – Darlington finally could place it - spoke the Queen's English, so Darlington couldn't possibly tell what measured as respectful in the ears of a nonagenarian who spoke the Queen's English.