Saturday, July 31, 2010

Priesthood, do I have a calling?

For nearly two decades, I have felt that somehow I might end up a priest, like my grandfather. I even imagined myself, occasionally, as a Pentecostal pastor. However after attending a few of those, while I concede that I have had pastors that truly have the anointing, I am now 100% certain that I couldn't possibly be a Pentecostal pastor.

As a Pentecostal Methodist, I worship majority of Sundays at the Trinity Methodist Church, Plumstead, and when I want that Pentecostal buzz; the uplifting praise worship, the dancing (Although I tend to sway like a big tree rocked by the winds of Harmattan, rather than dance), when I want (or need, I am not sure) that kind of worship energy, I go to Hope of Glory International Christian Centre. ( The pastors there are educated. Pastor Victor is a Lawyer and Pastor Wunmi is a Secondary School ICT Teacher. They are good people and they don't insult my intelligence.

The thing is that lately, I have been having these strong feelings that I must begin training as a Methodist Minister. These feelings have now been complicated by my wife's 100% support of the idea. I however have this voice saying to me, "you only want to do it to please your mother because she was a Methodist Lay Minister". I need a sign. Do signs still show up in the 21st Century? Speak Lord, your servant heareth!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Forever dew

(For Igirigi Ututu)

By Nnorom Azuonye

Mama, at the very moment you passed away,
I was at The Minstrel’s wake, reading ‘A Ceramic Life’
- a poem he had written for his own friend, Chukwudi
who like Chidi, your son, my brother, had walked
the world to dark, young, in an automobile accident.

I did not know it then that the cord of life
that bound us together as two living beings
was being seared out of me by unseen hands;
I burnt up inside for close to an hour.
I thought I was dying as I drank, one cold drink
after another, to cool my insides.

Mother, I didn’t know I was combusting inside
because you were dying in Port Harcourt.

At five minutes to two in the morning
of the 12th of June, I stepped into my home.
My wife’s face, normally beautiful, looked
like the middle of night defaced
by a mischievous graffiti rascal.

‘Has my mother died?’



Like a zombie, I waltzed into the kitchen
and I put on the kettle. Two minutes later,
I was lost in the warm arms of coffee.
In my heart, I hummed a song:

Nnem ejejie la uwa chi o.
Igirigi ututu ejejie la uwa chi o.
Na Port Harcourt.

‘Feel something, Nnorom. Say something.
Mourn your mother.’

The truth, Igirigi Ututu, was I did not know
what would have been right:

To mourn you, I had to accept that you had died.
Done. Gone. Expired.
Passed away like an un-eternal song.

Or to celebrate you, to open my mind
to the endlessness and wonders of our existences,
and sing you – the eternal song, morning dew
now forever dew that neither sunshine nor end
of earthly life could dry, corrupt, or dissipate.

This is how I shall forever remember you,
the way you were in life; cool, comforting,
soothing, loving, forgiving, inspiring.

That very day, I chose to celebrate you.
I even bragged on Facebook
that I had succeeded not to cry,
that I was off to buy dancing shoes
to thank the Almighty for your long life
and for the great privilege of being your son.

Five days after you passed away
I suddenly understood the content of the news:
I would never see you alive or hear your voice again
in this lifetime. The weight of passing’s finality
landed on my heart like a heavyweight punch
and I wept. I wept and wept and wept
until I felt a presence that might have been you;
calming, reassuring, peaceful like morning dew.
Then I bought those dancing shoes.

London. July 15th, 2010