Category Archives: Alala’s Journal

The journal entries of Alala, the “dreamer”.

#2 Forgotten Series- Two Leaves

My name is Alala. I am a dreamer. Let me dream.

When two leaves merge, as though they had fallen from the same autumn branches, is it natural that they be blown apart, forced away forever by cruel winds?

I see people every day. Their faces are sprinkled in my side views as I zoom through my existence. It’s as though they had been paid to be extras in my life, filling up space to make it look more wholesome. The same way that I am in theirs. A millisecond, and they’ve vanished, under the market umbrellas perhaps. What else could 110 million people be doing here? We’re all acting out films in parallel, you know.

I was groomed within four walls. Brought up to be a specific person, with specific tools, of my language, and my culture. And then I was sent to other walls, where I would meet others like me, pre-determined cast members that would be forced to watch my life play out. And it would make sense that we’d be friends, because we were young and knew the same things. Then I would be fully made.

But how does one explain being made, and still meeting a near remake in far-flung quarters? How do you explain being 17 years separate in sights and sounds, but crashing neatly together in humour and words? How is that so? To have your lips move for more than half a day in one stretch to this life-determined stranger, without feeling that he’s strange at all, or wanting to stop, or walk away?

How does life replicate the same circumstances for my inordinate stranger two continents away? How is he still so receptive to my words despite the space from which they rose? I mean, yes, we watched the same cartoons, bending our heads and laughing at the same eventualities that children’s cartoons would always give. He’d never get the girl; he’d never catch the mouse. She’d always disrupt his work. But it would be newly funny each time. And we’d both laughed. But he hadn’t been teased by pap, and taught by canes. He hadn’t stood between his parents, interrupting the flow of strong forceful Yoruba, as opposed to Sweet. Soft. English.

Yet we meet. As though it had been a mistake. A second longer, and he’d have moved. A moment later, I would have been drinking from the fountain with no one watching me. But a second went slowly past. And that possible mistake of time never felt more unmistaken. Then seconds became weeks, and weeks became the strong conviction of years. In that time, I have let you into my movie. You’re the freaking star of the show.

What was all the trouble for? We crossed paths and merged lives, so cleanly like nothing had gone before we came. Yet we walk away, as though satisfied by the fountain water, done with our acting out. Never crossing paths or merging lives again. Now, that has to be the biggest mistake. And all the art and songs we talked about would mourn their new obscurity.

So we’d be forced to live out our eternities in parallel lines and separate spaces, perhaps in different languages too. And it wouldn’t make sense. Because unlike those in other scenes, life picked you out for me. Not certainty. Or pedigree. Or church. But life. Yet our lives are wiped of all traces of each other, like a movie I will store in a box. In my closet. And never play again.

My name is Alala, and I am a dreamer. Perhaps I dreamt you up one day. So maybe it’s only natural that we fade away…

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Alala- Making Light of Life

 
My name is Alala. I am a dreamer. Let me dream.

 

From my youth, I used to make lights. I don’t mean chandeliers, or torch lights, or something silly. I mean brightness, and sunshine, and beauty. I created lightness with my bare hands, feeding it to all who were around me. And I made them full. It was easy. It was easy because the light was all I knew.

 

I was born with the lightness. And then I was soaked in it. For years and years, and time upon time, I only remember smiles filling my days. Because that was what life gave me, and I showed it. Positivity, they call it. I was full of it. You could see it coming when I walked in a room. It was like a halo glowing over my skin.

 

Life was faithful in the rhythm it gave me, and my lightness helped me dance in tune- quick steps that filled the world with envy. And I was smiling the whole time. I was so consumed by the ease of my happiness… So I wasn’t paying attention when it came. I was looking down at my feet in pride as the darkness drew closer.

 

This was my darkness: Succeeding was no longer as easy as I had known it to be; words like “ambition” and “career” saturated my space; stress did not immediately crumble after a hard day’s work. Life changed tempo, and it hit me hard, and I let it. Life seemed to betray me, giving me something that I was not used to. It was only fair that I should have those days. But I hadn’t seen how to handle them. I had no clear example of failure, or pain, or fear. So I tried to share the burden of the dark, and only widened its destruction. My lightness died, and I darkened others too.

 

For years, I gave in, even when I didn’t have to. I lost my light, and I knew it. I felt it- the change; the alien nature of myself. I heard it when people would say “you used to be so…” Guilt took me too because there were people that had made a deal with my lightness-people who had seen me at my best those years back and wanted her. They thought she was powered by the sun and would wait to see her in the season when the sun was out. It was dreadful. They had been tricked by my change. I had tricked myself too. I hated this new girl as much as everyone else. But I didn’t know where she’d come from, or how to banish her away. I tried sometimes, but she stayed because it was too hard.

 

Something had to shake my core for my real fight to begin- to show me how much my life had changed.  Something did. Something moved. And I began to fight. Because my reflection became clear, and I knew I didn’t want to be a stranger. So I fought to have myself again. I fought for the girl who made light so easily. And I won. She was waiting for me, as if she’d never left. As if she was telling me, “I have always been the real you”. And she is.

 

Now I dance in the light again, not because my life is perfect, but in spite of life’s perfection in changing the tempo.  And that’s the most exciting part. My light is stronger now, because it has come after a fight with the darkness. I fought it alone. And I won. I thought I’d forget the dance- of quick footed happiness- but I never did. I cleared my vision, and now I dance and smile, through the light, and the dark. And people say again, “you ARE so…” as they stand in my glow.

 

My name is Alala, and I’m a dreamer. But I haven’t dreamt up a great year ahead. Because I’m prepared to dance and smile. I have been doing it already.

light maker 2

Dream Maker

My name is Alala. I am a dreamer. Let me dream.

There are many beings that need the sympathy of paused moments. But I’m here too. I don’t want to be forgotten.

I’ve always bought pretty things, and turned them into gods. I breathe power and energy into them, hoping that they’d receive it, and breathe them back out at me.

I’m afraid of being small- that my voice would only rise in harmony with millions of other voices, voices that fight harder to be heard. So I’ve willed my prayers into being, clasping on desperately to things that laid quietly in shops.

I had a four leaf clover, and I took on superstition. I’d wear it and close my eyes, praying for the luck that rested in its leaves. But it never came. Or maybe it did, disguised as the counting in maths that would eventually fall at my feet. Probability. But it was improbable that I’d put it down and lay it to rest. So I buried it, and found a new god.

I cried when I lost it, clutching at my neck for the comfort that I’d created. It was a portal for God to pass through- an easy way to my heart. A place for us to meet silently, away from the other voices. So I wept, afraid that I’d become inaudible, or just scared to risk it. It’s still gone from me.

I worship probability now. The chance of luck falling at my feet. And the chance of my voice getting bigger.

My name is Alala, and I’m a dreamer. Perhaps I could dream myself bigger.