Public discourse: The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action.
This weekend I needed a distraction from my reality. I needed to go out and visit the world, any place but be at home without distractions. So I broke my own rules of visiting events I consider intimate and personal without a personal invitation from neither the organizer nor the individual having the party. Tonight I stood outside in extreme cold for what felt like a year waiting for my boy to answer his goddamn phone. There he was parading the hall floors and being all giddy, serving himself a plateful and still not paying attention to his phone. Come on guy, just look my way for a second, I can't be on this much of an important a call to endure this cold -- I'm hoping the other guests who had noticed me were thinking I must be on an important call, not the obvious gatecrasher I was this evening. He waves me in after forever, right before I was resigned to walking back to my car and finding other distractions in hell.
So I'm in a room full of mostly wonderful people enjoying sacred family moments and catching up on I'm sure the regular conversations that happen at these things. My eyes are wandering, my thoughts pacing the different faces and wondering who the honored mommy-to-be was. I hate making assumptions, usually there is more than one pregnant woman at such events so I didn't want to assume that the first pregnant lady was the honored mommy of the baby-shower. She was. The first and only visibly pregnant woman there. Pleasant lady and very welcoming. It was a fun but odd night. I find myself making loose conversations with mostly people I already knew and gave a "sewing" tip to a nice lady rocking the crap out of a Christie Brown signature rope necklace(I made the name up but it is quite descriptive so you won't miss it if you google search it). I was never really a fan of that piece but seeing it in person gave me a different vibe about it. Maybe it was who was wearing it or how she wore it. It was fresh. This room was filled with mostly young Ghanaian professionals and it was beautiful. One of the reasons I usually avoid these gatherings is to avoid reminding myself of my own challenges and wondering how great everyone else seems to be doing. I get on with it.
I'm shooting the crap with my boy who invited me then I suddenly noticed her. I wasn't entirely surprised to see her, she was more likely to be at such a gathering than I was. We aren't the closest of friends but I always want to talk to her when I see her. We usually do the song and dance about who should have gotten in touch for a lunch date, spar with the usual jokes then say our goodbyes. Life goes on. This time she was oddly striking. She has always been quite gorgeous in my opinion but tonight, it wasn't so much about physicality. It was her glow. Her look may have played a role in it but she was literally haloing in my eyes. Her hair, she was doing the natural thingy and I'm a sucker for those. Her attractiveness now was not just physical. I wasn't hitting on her, calm down. I was just in awe of her glow. Her passion was suffocating, in a way that was exciting. She is investing her time, her life into a passion. She has many others, her words, yet she's at this phase now and she is as dedicated to this in the moment as one can gather from a conversation. She is actually out there doing real work with real Ghanaian kids, in real Ghanaian communities that you never heard of. Real valuable necessary work in the educating of our younger people. She wasn't pitching nothing to me, she just was alive with this wonderful passion of hers and it really struck me almost to an apologetic disposition. Here was this Ghanaian woman who was engaged in real shit. Not talking or writing but doing! For the first time in a while, I found myself wanting to listen more than yap. I always, always have an opinion. I feel strongly about the things I believe in. Here was a doer. How could I mouth off to her?, I hadn't earned the right to.I wish our larger circle of friends, the mid 30's and lower downs, will know about her work. Then I realized there must be a few Ghanaians out there engaged in this type of work.
I have a friend who has been working in the North for a while now on issues of education, especially with young girls and has never once touted what she does as her right to be noticed. One of the things I find easy to do is writing. It may not be as good as what professionally trained writers do but it is honest. It is the one medium in which I have absolute integrity. Not to say I'm dishonest in other ways or times but sometimes I withhold my complete intentions from people based on my own idiosyncrasies. I'm currently paying for two such mistakes. I still need a distraction. My evening was not ending yet. I had another party to get to because I'm avoiding sleep at all costs. The accident I met on the highway to my destination was horrific. Dude had his head tilted to the side with what seemed like a ruby decorated left face in a mangled Nissan 350Z. The blood had crystallized? I wondered but I don't like staring so kept driving past as fast as was respectful to the tragedy. In my mind, I resolved--> no drinking at this party. Just make small talk till it is over and by the time you get home it will all be easier. The night was a very weird one. I walked up to a couple I've admired a while and told them how beautiful their love was to me. I had always wanted to say that to them, they just make you want to love. Beautiful, really.
Throughout the night, people I don't necessarily know on a deeper level kept telling me that they like my blog and I'm blessed etc. I was more stunned than flattered. I mean, I recognized that there is more traffic to the blog in the past few weeks but not to the point where real people in real life will bring it up. Nah. It gave me some perspective. I'm really just writing. It does nothing but raise an eyebrow or two, get an I agree or disagree here or there but it really does nothing. Hillary is doing wonderful things in the Eastern Region. Wendy is engaged and locked in helping kids in the Northern Region. I am here just writing. I am grateful for the viewership because writing is therapeutic for me and it always is nice to know that others took time to indulge my ramblings. I would like people to support Hillary's cause, as soon as she gives me permission to put her full name on blast, I will. That and her contact details. I would like to put my money where my thoughts are. I'm sure there are a few others who feel the same. We are slowly gonna have to become a unit, and more importantly doers not complainers. Not just bloggers and vents for our frustration on social media. There is real action going on out there and if we can't physically impact the situations we are complainingly rife about, our money can give our feelings some traction. "Nnoboa" - literally means; mutual assistance in weeding. We have some weeding to do. Until we can all be on the field, let us hand the cutlasses to the Hillarys of our generation and support the weeding effort. Talk is cheap but inaction is far more costly and actions require money, time, energy and the-know-how. Put your money where your frustrations are. I got my distraction. Monday.