I have to confess that this is my first write up in a long time, the last time I penned down something close to an article was five years ago. While I don’t particularly think of myself as a distinguished or astute writer (trust me, I have read the works of many such writers), I wish strongly that you enjoy this piece and most importantly the message conveyed.
I look forward to your honest comments and criticisms. Have an enjoyable read.
He was the best in the community, so good that people said he had the ability to hear the heavens, as his melodies can only be divine. His melodies were beyond what can be found in books, naturally gifted and dedicated to practice and self-discipline; he began to transcend the ordinary and could be compared to the likes of Mozart if he was living in their time.
He was in a very small community, where everyone knew themselves, a stranger cannot creep in and go unnoticed, not because his colour or race will give him up, neither was it because they had a sign in identifying themselves, but it was more because everyone knew each other, sharing a very warm camaraderie, thus if you stray in to the land even for a second, you’ll be known immediately as a stranger. It is however not so long before strangers become family, as family is a loose term to identify the bond that binds the members of the community. It was as easy as, everyone knows the child of who you are, and can relate who your siblings are also, and God help you to have been born in the town, the elders can also tell you the day you were born and how differently the sun was set at the moment, or how shy or bold the moon and stars were on the night.
His fingers were so light on the keys as gracefully as the butterfly perches from one flower to another yet striking hard on the weighted keys like a sledge, for every time he blessed the keys with the touch of his hands, there is a new tune created, a new chord is struck, it was even said of him that the several tunes he has created are way more than the hair on his head – a full blown afro kept for more than a decade. He doesn’t just play the piano, he transfers emotions through notes struck; from the moments where he accompanies the preacher to drive home his messages powerfully on Sundays, to when there is a celebration in the community, and to the one which many people found more fascinating; when he plays at the laying to rest of those who have passed on. His solemn melodies at funerals made death desirable, for the living listens to it and it makes the dead look like they are ascending in glory unto heaven with a thousand angelic orchestra welcoming them in a blended fusion of their sonorous voices.
Not being one who enjoys the busy tussle and grinding of the city, he found perfect tranquillity in the town. Professionals journey far and wide to bless their ears and their being by listening to him playing the piano; and soon the town found out that they always had more visitors on the day of funerals, because many people were always there to listen to something new and sweet he has to play. He was seldom convinced on leaving the town for performance, and on the rare occasions where he did, running back to his forte was all he cared about. He was popular among music professionals and enthusiasts alike, and importantly greatly unrivalled, and then it happened suddenly; he died.
Yes, He died…Death came and took him also, it was shocking, he had been fine, but the truth remains that he is dead.
His burial did not make anyone wish for death as in the past, people were present yes, but there wasn’t that hair on the back of the neck standing in the effect of being in a trance and watching the dead being welcomed by the angelic orchestra, it was a dry event that was ended quickly than planned, people soon shook off the sadness by resorting back to their normal businesses, not allowing the dullness and darkness that was hovering around the community get to them.
There was nobody to play greatly for the great player on the day of his funeral, because there was none he allowed to be great as him, there was none he tutored nor mentored, he was all by himself and enjoying the glory all alone. People soon realised that aside from his talent and gift of playing the piano so well and elating their spirits, he wasn’t really a good person, or to be fair to his memory, he just didn’t get along or interacted with people. He was a hermit among bustling people, he only made appearances in public when he is needed to play the piano, and would soon go back into reclusiveness. Many young ones aspired to be him, they tried their hands on the piano, but whenever he plays, they felt they needed him to help them get better, but he didn’t want that type of competition, he wanted to be just all him, so when he finds an aspiring lad or lass, he discourages them by telling them they can’t amount to anything. They are discouraged and cannot fight back the feeling, when the best that you idolise tell you how bad you suck at his craft, can you question it?
So, on his funeral, the piano laid bare, with no fingers running through it except that of the tiny waggling fingers of little babies making melodious sounds in their heads, but a total unbearable noise to the adults around. All who could have given him the orchestra feeling had resorted that they were no good, because he told them so. The town soon became quiet and very normal, even on Sundays it was as if the echoes of sweet sound that kept it bubbling was mute.
The essence of life is not just in one dimension, but one destination seems to be the ultimate and most accepted value, and this is to live life to the fullest. To not just exist in life, but to live in laughter, love and joy. It is in the realisation of this ultimate goal that one must understand that whatsoever we possess is not just for us alone, be it wealth or talent. The beauty of a talent, gift or wealth is when it is transferred and shared with others; this world will be a better place if and when love rules our heart to help others grow, and knowing full well that their growth cannot impede ours.
So, whatever it is that you have today, or all that you possess be sure to share it with the world, start from the little things to those around you, imagine if no one had passed and shared knowledge in the past, the world would still be in a decline, if the researches and discoveries of scientists in the past had not been shared, we cannot be having the technological breakthroughs we are achieving today, if someone had not taught you some of the things that make you great right now, you wouldn’t have been better than the early cave men too.
It is better you share that knowledge, talent, wealth, or skill and have people build on them and imprint your name in the sands of time scratch that, rock of time, than to die and be nothing with all that you have. Whatever you have today (no matter how little) share with someone and make them better, in that way we make the world a better place for us all. Remember, no one will make it out alive.
Shina is a lawyer and writes from Lagos