BY WOLE OGUNTOKUN
TAKE a moment with me to hum that old, familiar tune, Que Sera Sera, which has delighted families for countless generations. The Whisperer learnt it from his mother and older sisters around candle-lit tables in the early days.
Call to mind the second stanza, “When I grew up and fell in love, I asked my sweetheart ‘what lies ahead? Will there be rainbows day after day?’ Here’s what my sweetheart said- ‘Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que Sera Sera’.”
From childhood friendships and puppy love, The Whisperer has wondered about the difficulty in predicting the outcome of relationships. As a 17-year-old, I could have sworn that I had found the perfect girl.
She would work through my school with confidence as all eyes would follow her; she had eyes with an oriental slant, said she loved me and made me feel like a king, right up until the time she left me for an undergraduate. I found out the hard way that except you’re like the writer, Alexander Pope, who peaked very early, teenagers do not often end up in long-term situations with their ‘true-loves’. We met as adults and I couldn’t believe how little I felt. That wasn’t the real thing.
THE song, Que Sera Sera is not for those who have doubts about their relationships from the onset. Often, many start relationships knowing they will crash into the abyss before half a year runs out.
If you suddenly decide after a month from the kick-off of your relationship that the musk of your partner would be better if masked by a very powerful deodorant, this song is not for you. If you can’t walk at the same pace as your partner, you walk a little in front or a little behind so they don’t realise you’re the beauty walking with the beast, it’s not a Que Sera Sera moment. If you find yourself staring after your partner’s friends, unable to tear your eyes off a particularly scrumptious one, you know you’re in for the short haul.
Que Sera Sera is for those who have found true beauty, who have stumbled like Ali Baba, upon that cave which holds magical properties that can change lives forever.
Yet they know deep down, that life being what it is, sometimes curve balls will come at the very moments when you are least expecting surprises. So one lover in the song asks the other, ‘will there be rainbows day after day?’
THERE are relationships people enter knowing they would never exchange it for all the oil in Siberia. You find someone who calls out to your heart even without words.
Your eyes speak volumes across rooms even when many others are present. He (or she) knows exactly when you are silent because you hurt, and this person will swallow pride repeatedly, to make up with you so you both do not lose what you have found.
The Whisperer has seen and experienced this, as many others have too. There really is true beauty in the world.
But one day, life intervenes, the ‘reality’ of the situation hits you in the face, the next work transfer comes in, the next job offer across the Atlantic, the parent who says you are of different religions, the guardian who says you are of varying economic backgrounds, and suddenly, the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow is not as attainable as it once was.
There are countless ‘perfect’ relationships broken and scattered across the continents because they couldn’t stand the complications of life, ‘perfect’ couples who ended up in the arms of others for the long run.
Now this will open up a new debate. Is there only one perfect mate for you in the two and half billion potential partners that exist on this planet? Won’t there be people as nice if not better than the one you have lost or might lose? That is not the subject of my discourse.
My point is that when you find this person, who makes you see the world through new eyes, there is no one else anywhere on the planet at that particular point in your life.
The most generous, best-looking, suave people will not do it for you at that point because you have found that one who helps make time stand still as you two move alone through the earth, at peace with the world, loving each other, looking, savouring, basking in the sun and being in harmony with the universe.
There are moments when we wish the world would remain still, that we are forced to move, to continue with life, as we know it.
Still, there are ways one can beat life at its own game. If you follow your heart (and be sure it is your heart you follow, not some hazy concept you have of love) you can build a new reality.
But there is no one who has fought a duel with life that has not paid a price. Not one person. The dancer or actor, on any continent who decides there is only one profession for him must be prepared to starve for a while, that ‘while’ being relative. It may last for a few weeks or many years.
However, if he decides he will go for it at any cost, he must ready himself for the worst life can throw at him and have faith it will all turn out right. There are many bankers who have not found fulfilment at work and many actors who have.
IT is the same with affairs of the heart. If you find the relationship, you must be prepared to look life full in the face and stare life down (and that is a very, very hard thing to do). You must be prepared to create your own future so you have space for this one thing.
If the circumstances all just fall in place for you, you are indeed a blessed person; if they don’t, help the situation. “Not only strike while the iron is hot, you must make it hot by striking”.
If one is not prepared to do this, and then you must be ready to sing, “Whatever will be, will be”. The wind does not blow for those who have no destination to sail to. Amor Vincit Omar, the Latin maxim says. Love conquers all.