Saturday, 21 November 2009

Tales by Moonlight

THE Whisperer is on holiday again. You may ask me many times how many times I holiday in a year and my answer would be the same — As many times as I have to.
After a month-long run of the Tarzan Monologues, the male equivalent of the V-Monologues where females tell of things that would make your head spin, I knew I had to rest awhile.
For close to six weeks, I had had four hour-nights trying to make the show work. I did get it right even though it left me exhausted but I knew I had to live to reap the rewards of my success so away I went on holiday.
And now, I am here in this quiet land as winter approaches, in this place where twilight descends at four o’ clock in the late afternoon.
When total darkness falls an hour after twilight, it brings to mind many thoughts, and past experiences flood the mind.
I remember my childhood friend who left our country for Europe after his secondary school.
He spent three years in Italy and then another nine years in England and there he married the “girl of his dreams”.
Two daughters and a broken marriage after, he woke from this dream. The moral of that story?
Marriage, as well as success, is a journey and not a destination. And this unrelenting journey continues for the duration of one’s life.
When it rains in this country, it pours, and they predict gales of immense force in the next few days.
These combined with the darkness that falls quickly makes me remember the tales we were told by moonlight. The grandmother of a close friend in my secondary school days told us a story once.
She spoke of a certain woman who once stood in the village centre, talking and laughing with her friends in a quiet African setting.
As she stood talking, her husband walked up to her and rebuked her so sharply, those around fled in fright.
The chastised woman returned home quietly and went about her business but people wondered what she might have done to make her husband act this way.
Later, when his friends asked the man why he had talked to his wife in this manner, he answered, “I asked her to place water in the bathroom but she did not.”
A few hours later, the women’s friends too found the courage to go to meet her and asked her why her husband had chosen to ‘disgrace’ her openly.
She replied them simply, “He asked me to place water in the bathroom but I did not”. When the woman’s father heard of the incident, he summoned his daughter and asked her why her husband had rebuked her in public.
She again told her father, “He asked me to place water in the bathroom but I did not”. Her father looked at her for many long moments and then said, “Well done, my child. May the world never know the things that are hidden between you and your husband”.

NOW, The Whisperer is not for open rebukes, put-downs and condemnations of either party in public places.
Violent situations are also a no-no for this whisperer and if there has been a raising of the fist by either party, it is advisable to get as far away as possible from this ‘physical’ being (There are women who beat up their partners too).
However, and in any situation that might result in a disagreement between parties, your friends and family should not be your jury and your law court.
Often, these matters between partners may be settled with a talk, with both parties making up their minds to make things work.
Those who listen to other parties often lay their relationships open to risk and it does not matter whom the arbitrating person or body might be.
Each relationship has its own peculiarities and you may be unable to use the tried and tested templates of others no matter how hard you try.

THE Whisperer wishes to share a nugget of wisdom here. It is a cliché worn thin through frequent use that patience has its many rewards. We all say this many times a day and all through the year but very few truly believe it.
The Whisperer assures you today that patience really does have its rewards. There is nothing as successful as a patient man or woman.
Cast your mind back to how many times people have doubted your ability to succeed, to make headway and how through fortitude (and patience) you have proven them wrong. Patience itself will teach you discipline.
Only those who seek instant rewards think little of patience but instant rewards do not always translate as lasting ones.
For those who have not seen their aspirations translate into dreams, this is the time to learn to grit your teeth and be patient.
There is something that time and patience do to situations and it is usually a favourable doing to the hard-working person.
But enough of The Whisperer’s preaching on the many pluses of patience. Today, I am taken down the path to the place where tales are told by moonlight and I remember that the adages and proverbs discussed by African firelight are the same as those told by the hearths of English homes. Accents might be different but the messages never differ.
From the fjords of the Icelandic countries to the remotest mountains of South America, the tales by moonlight are constant.
The messages are time-tested and as old as the world itself. Love is what makes the world go round, it is the stuff of dreams, it is magical in a way all must experience yet it is one thing that will die if it is not nurtured.
Relationships cannot grow on their own, they must be coaxed, encouraged, forced back from wrong turns, prodded towards the light and away from the darkness and all this must be done with patience.
Human beings come with different colours of eyes and diverse slants in dialects but the message of love knows no barriers. If you will get it right, you must work at it or die trying.

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