“When I say my life is not mine, I mean to say that my life is lived through many others, because of many others, by many others, and in lieu of many others. I breathe only because the air moves and because some tree somewhere did not withhold its breath; I stand because the ground does not withhold its endorsement; I eat and digest and defecate because of the hard invisible work done by micro-critters in my belly; I speak even though I didn’t invent alphabets.
I am part of a commonwealth of movement, and the boundaries I am used to – where I stop and where you begin, what I believe and what you disavow – beguile me from noticing the haunting length, breadth, warp and woof of the nameless thing living partially as me. Something else, flung out across the bumpy terrains of spacetime, needs my failure in order to gestate; someone else, in another time and place, may be stunted and crushed by the accolades I accrue to myself today; and my tears may ripple out into rivers in ways I cannot anticipate.
My life is sacred because it is delicate, because it spills through, because it is necessarily incomplete, and because it is not mine. It is manifold. And I can’t figure it out.”
The above writing comes from a blog post from Adebayo Akomolafe, who describes himself as a poet, philosopher, psychologist, professor and also as someone who is “Passionate about the Preposterous.” I have loved his blog for quite a while and look forward to reading his book about fatherhood, theology, and philosophy which is due out in November 2017.
Painting above by Laolu Senbanjo