BY WOLE OGUNTOKUN
THE Whisperer has been writing these articles for more than two years now, close to twenty-six months of telling and learning how it is.
Some of the things written have been from experience, the Whisperer’s and others; some from intuition and a number from “worst case scenarios” or what he likes to call, the ‘what ifs?’
The columns have brought new friends into his life (and probably new enemies). Some men have taken umbrage at The Whisperer’s advice to females accusing him of ‘teaching them to be wayward’.
Some women have just been miffed at the very idea of a man thinking he knows so much. For those in the latter category, believe The Whisperer, he does know.
The Whisperer, on this journey, has met females who liked him for a myriad of reasons, the feeling not always being reciprocated, and others in whom the feeling was mutual, friends he wishes to keep for always.
But life being what it is, you have to make do with the cards you’re dealt and play with them as if you held four aces. (In that last statement, might lie the secret to true happiness).
Many good songs have philosophies. It is rare for a song that has no sound reasoning in its lyrics to stay on as a perennial, evergreen tune, playable from generation to generation.
Why do Nat King Cole songs still have meaning after all these decades? Because they are beautiful, well thought out, well arranged songs for posterity.
Your children on a day they are feeling bored, come across your collection, play a song and sit mesmerized, unbelieving that the song was done decades before they were a glint in their parents’ eyes. Nat King Cole did that to me as a child, as did Harry Belafonte. Great songs, great people, that showed another world I had no idea existed.
AS I ponder on life and love in the early hours of this morning, I remember the song by the group known as ‘Native’. The title of their song was simple — Love ain’t no holiday.
They sang, as did half the world with them, “you’re my shadow’s own reflection, you’re what gets me through the day, you’re my source of inspiration, everything I have to say... and if that’s not enough, then there’s nothing left to say, but it’s sure gonna be rough, cos love ain’t no holiday”.
I agree in totality with the words of this song. We fall in love, expecting it will work itself out. It rarely does. You meet someone who plays the tune of your heart, with whom you can be silent and be at peace with the world; who, well, makes you happy. And isn’t that what life is really about, to be as happy as often as you can be?
We will not at this point have a conversation with the crew always ready to pick out and lecture on the differences between happiness and joy. The Whisperer is declaring that the reason we do the things we do, is to be in a state of happiness as often as we can be. The reason you eat chocolates; go out for dinner with friends; go the movies, sit in darkened halls and enter the world of make-believe; always call up certain people you know are always there for you; take long walks across quiet fields with someone special; put certain songs on replay in your car...
All these things are done to continue and to improve our states of happiness. So you meet this wonderful person and you fall in love and for a period in time, everything is perfect. Everything. The sun warms you on the face in the mornings, the cool breezes of the night are perfect for your outings or the times you choose to stay in. And then from nowhere, the resistance comes. Your friends are in opposition; your parents don’t approve, your religion won’t approve, your economic backgrounds are totally different... human beings have a million things that war against them and their happiness.
HOW do you get out of a bind like this? Only children should be surprised when they meet with resistance on life’s journey. Isn’t it a law that ‘for every action, there is an opposite reaction’?
The very fact that you’ve found happiness means that in some way you can expect some situation will try to take it from you. So the group called “Native” sang, ‘love ain’t no holiday’.
Sometimes, we ourselves are the obstructions to our own sunshine. Like many people who have death wishes, we chip away at the beauty we have found, because maybe deep down in our hearts, we think we’re not really meant to be that happy.
There is no situation on the face of the earth that is a new one. People come and they go, they meet someone, fall in love, find happiness. Sometimes they allow it to be taken from them, sometimes, they themselves smash up their happiness for obscure reasons they might never be able to figure.
The Whisperer, like many, many others, has felt what happiness can be like. For those who are worried about the situations they are in, he advises that they hold onto love and to what feels true to them.
It is important though, that when the ship you and your true love sail on is torpedoed, and the lifeboat you are on, has capsized and all you have left as you both swim for survival, are each other’s hands to hold on to... it is important that the person you are with, is someone you trust and someone who believes in you completely.
The person you may enter the water with is one who will not let go off your hand when the waves come to test your resolve.
On a holiday a short while ago, I saw a small marker, which was a monument to that great ship, ‘The Titanic’.
I stood quietly for a short while and remembered that great, great love story and the young man who froze to death in the sea so his true love could remain on the lifeboat. May we all be guided to those, who would give up all they have for us. May they never have cause to do so.