It sure does feel good to be back here. 2009 was a tough and pretty turbulent year for me (hope it was better for you?). It was the year I found new joy in my best work of art and also the year I lost the pillar in my life: My father. 2009 also brought some profound changes and with them came great challenges.
Challenges are meant to bring out the best in us and I am glad they are doing just that in my life. After receiving the news of my father's death, all I wanted to do was paint...paint and paint some more. Grief comes with it an array of feelings and there is no one best way of dealing with it. For me, talking about my feelings helped but what brought tremendous amount of healing was painting. I spent the weeks following his death painting. Something was unlocked somewhere and there was a great outflow of inspiration. I wonder; is that why many of the great masters had very sad and unhappy lives? Why is sadness and grief always closely associated with great inspiration?
My dad was buried on the 20th of November, 2009. I flew back home with my daughter to pay our last respects and to be with my mother. Oft times during our stay in Nigeria, I found myself staring at my daughter (who was 6 months then) and wishing I could be like her. She had no idea what was going on around her; all she was ever bothered about was food, sleep and my presence. She enjoyed the company of her little cousins and the little children around. While she and every other child was having a good time discovering new things and enjoying the change of environment; we the adults were having headaches and worrying over how the burial would go. And added to that we were faced with the added task of re-adjusting to life without our dad. Oh how I wish I could be a child sometimes!!!
So many things seemed to be happening at the same time. Shortly after I came back from home, I had to start packing. This was a major process as everything had to be packed up. My last days in Botswana were memorable ones. My family and I were surrounded by people who were both happy and sad at the same time. Happy that we were moving up the ladder. And sad that they were not the ones leaving. I guess nothing is new under the face of the sun. I wonder, why on earth would someone punish himself by being sad over someone else's success?
So far 2010 has brought some very pleasant surprises and openings. On the 1st of Jan, I relocated to Poole, Dorset with my family. For me it is a dream come true. For many who do not know or appreciate the difficulties that abound in Africa, you may never understand where I am coming from.
I have always believed in being optimistic and positive. Expecting the best in every situation and trying to make the best out of every situation: be it good or bad. And like most people would tell you: it always pays to be optimistic. Once again, I am happy to proclaim that it pays to BE POSITIVE because you are what you think about and like the saying goes "Be careful what you think about; you might get it" it is true. Nevertheless, I am grateful to God.
Moving from one house to anotheris one thing but moving from one continent to another is a totally different ball game. I came to UK in the middle of the winter, which has been described as the harshest winter in over 60 years. Places like Scotland had temperatures of -21 at some point. Imagine moving from a furnace into a deep freezer? That is what I did. The temperatures in Maun, Botswana were averaging 35 - 40 degrees before I left. And I found myself hit with temperatures of -2 degrees. Oh it was a big relief. While the whole of Europe and America was complaining about the cold, I was relieved and happy.
So far, so good. Still settling in. I guess it is going to take sometime to fully settle in but it is coming on gradually, Ella is adjusting beautifully too. All I see around me every time I step out of my house are OPPORTUNITIES. Endless strings of opportunities for an artist and anyone aspiring for greater heights in life.
The question I ask myself everyday now is now what??????