Monday, June 18

A Stitch in Time...

It’s been 2 weeks since that crash that clothed the atmosphere of Nigeria and beyond in dark and unrelenting mourning clothes. The days following refused to bring comfort or succour…people remained dazed and blank. 
But, a day or two before this crash, petrol tankers had exploded along the Lagos-Ibadan road, only God knows how many people were roasted in that…but it never generated the kind of horror or pain or publicity that the air crash generated…could it be because we never have an exact number of casualty in one case, but do in the other…? Or could it be because air crashes are far and in between? But are the deaths less tragic?  This muse is not about the outcry on air crashes as opposed to road accidents, no. However, if anyone has answers to my questions above, please, educate me. I strongly believe I need closure in that area.
This muse was brought on by an ‘eerie’ (this is the only way I can describe this article because it succeeded in making me break out in goose-bumps) post I read here. It got me thinking, but not in the direction that the majority of the author's thought is tilted. Having aired his feelings about flying a week after the crash I wondered:…what about those who had to fly immediately after, or sometime during that very day? I had another good friend in Abuja coming in to Lagos that fateful day, when I had ascertained he was not in the plane that crashed, but was in fact going to take his own within the hour, my heart, nonetheless,  jumped in my throat. A few minutes after they boarded, I sent a BBM and for an entire hour or more, my eyes were glued to my phone, anxiously waiting for that little letter ‘d’ that would make all the difference in the world…at this time I hadn’t even heard that another friend was in fact in the plane that crashed! When eventually I saw that little letter ‘d’ that meant he had at least landed and had put on his phone, my relief was palpable, I felt like someone had pushed all the air out of my body! But as if that were not enough, I suddenly remembered again that my boss was to leave Lagos for Abuja, also within the hour! Isn’t there an end to this torture?? I recalled calling to ask if he wouldn’t cancel the trip, but he said he had to go, and indeed, he must, and he did. And returned, he is next door as I write, thank God!
My point is this, life goes on. Airlines will not cancel flights because there is a crash, people cannot but travel despite air crashes. As for crew members, I cannot even begin to imagine what goes on in their minds each time a plane is taking off or each time they read about a crash...especially those who have to fly almost immediately after the news breaks. I have a sister who is Cabin Crew, but because she loves this job, I have learnt to behave like she is just going to work at that Office in Victoria Island! And indeed, no matter how difficult or risky a job, any job is, there must be people willing to do them. My sister upped and went to work the very next day, life goes on!
A few days after the crash, I was also on a plane. No matter how bad it is, I can’t imagine travelling by road, and like the author above said, we can hardly disappear here to reappear at our destination. Necessary evils, evils nonetheless. So, on  takeoff, I prayed and committed my soul to God, and did the same while we are in the clouds, each minute I am wondering who in their right minds would create this monstrously heavy metal to fly in the air, (I have a friend who says when he is in the air, he keeps saying to himself ‘we are not supposed to be here, why are we here??’) and also do the same for landing…thankfully, I am here to tell the story. But just as with anything in this life, people move on, nations move on, families move on. Memories fade.
The crash has taken over 153 (has anyone said anything about the ground casualty?) people away but life goes on, it is business as usual. Give it a few more weeks and we would be preoccupied with something else, if not immediately, after all, Boko Haram is already on rampage and so our attention is shifting.
What marvels and renders me, and many others I assume, speechless,  is our inability to learn anything from our experiences. I shall not even bother to talk about the many ways in which many things could have been avoided, if only…. I don’t think we even need to go as far blame the Government, they are too far. How about beginning with self? How about  speaking up when we should. How about not being laid back and lackadaisical about things, ‘it’s none of my business’, if only we could learn to make some things our business, if only we would learn not to sit back and be mediocre, if only we knew our rights and take people and government up on them...if only we learnt to put our foot down. I wonder why a goat will only react when it is pushed to the wall, what about the  level of damage that would have been done before it hit the wall?! A stitch in time saves nine….a stitch in time! But so many stiches are missing I fear a great big tear is in the offing...
Life. Goes. On. Sadly.
Be free oh.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Monday, June 4

Tragedy

The relative peace (if we ever do have peace because its been a roller coaster of events over the last few months) of Lagos, and of Nigeria as a whole was once again shattered on the afternoon of June 3, 2012. Another Black Day  in the history of the aviation sector of the country. Not less than 153 people, discounting ground casualty, went to sleep, and that, suddenly.
Once again, I was confronted by how fickle life is. I was, once again reminded about how ungrateful I am about my life, because just the day before, another cargo plane had crashed in Ghana, practically before my very eyes, yet, I got on another plane, a few short hours after, grouchy, sulky and  angry for having been delayed but arrived home, in one piece,even if in the dead of the night.
Suddenly I am confronted with the carelessness with which I live my life, totally ungrateful for the things that money can't buy. Storing up the pain of betrayal, anger, unforgiving of things I believe have been done to me. Making no room for the joy of living, for those things that make life....life! In the light of this tragedy, I see that my feelings are indeed meaningless. Life is fickle, here today, gone tomorrow, no notice, no announcement, nothing.
Perhaps, I am feeling this way because this came (once again) very close home, when I think I would never see this young lady again, I ask myself how important those things that I hold dear really are.
Do I appreciate people enough? Am I forgiving? Certainly not. What if I died in the next minute? What then? A wasted life? OMG.
Again the question is, what happens to me when this pain of death dies? Because it most certainly will. Pain go away, to a certain degree, it does. What then? Do I revert to type? Feeling immortal, like I am very sure I would live to be 100, thus have enough time to love, to appreciate, to forgive, to be kind, to be selfless, to let go? Self deception.  They say tomorrow is a promissory note. Jesus does promise we would live because He does, but the question is, how do we live?
A word is enough for the wise...or rather, I say, the 'foolish' because obviously there is no wisdom in man.

RIP to Ayoola Oluwakemi Somolu, and the over 150 people who went to sleep on that black Sunday.

Be free oh.