TIME we can Gain

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I told my daughter, but she chose to learn with Time.

I bought two pairs of Loake brogue in 2005 and another two pairs of Samuel Windsor Chelsea in 2009. They all fitted like gloves and set me up to a premium definition of taste.

Recently they just wouldn’t fit anymore. I manage to wear them but because they are good and won’t let off much, they squeeze my feet and toes, and live me with so much aches and pains.

Our present common sense, sees the economics and prudence of repairing our things as meaningless; getting new ones, including our marriages, and leaving our non usable, not necessarily as Refuse, but Oxfam, Landfill and land mine as wise things to do.

I saw in Facebook that if I filled a waterproof bag with water and inserted it into my shoes and froze them together for twenty four hours, that water will increase by ten percent of its original volume and force the shoe to expand.

In reversed global warming, the water froze and increased in volume on turning to ice, but the direction of the increase was not all towards the tough leather walls. My relief was short and the pains came back, only a little later than before.

In Lakeside, I was happy to run into a do-it-yourself shoe stretcher. The stretcher worked well, but after a few turns, the screws gave way and the thread flattened. After this time I realised that the cobbler will do this better and that his cost will be less than the cost of new pairs of these shoes. 

I googled one in Woolwich and his charge was surprisingly reasonable.

In his receipt, it says ‘Shoes worth Wearing are worth Repairing’… selah
How did I come this far?
Why didn’t I do this all this Time?
I have only gone through bends and turns, only to learn that what my mother said that I shouldn’t do, was right not to do. However in counting the time, I must not also diminish the experience that is now mine.
My daughter and I are in the same space, where we have completely understood each other but are miles apart on the same issues.
When I was my daughter’s age, Time was when things were repaired, when our refuse bins only contained organic wastes and our marriages stretched our intolerance to virtues of patience, acceptance and love, and everyone learned to stooped to conquer…
Am I crushed for time? or Am I getting old?
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Leonard Chintua-Chigbu
Listening and Communications Artist

THE fire Place

The fire crackled as grandpa stroked the big log of fire wood which never seemed to be out of fire. Large chunks of fire laden embers landed on the ashes of previous coals which had warmed the room before.

Grandpa sat up to hedge his loin cloth properly around his groin, between his legs, as I looked away into the the fire place, to the first enterprising tongue, strenuously raising its flame above its seated embers.

The rest of the hut was dark. Only grandpa’s ankles showed, his feet which now has the colour of ash, his arm, only when he stroked and the thickening colours of yellow, orange, sienna, burnt umber and the pitch darkness around us.

In that fire our souls rested and found warmth, away from the muted noise and scotching sun shaded by grandpa’s presence and lonesomeness.

“Nkechi..,” humming the N a little longer, as if to trail its mystic certainty. “It will be well” he finally muttered.

My tear filled eyes were wet, they flustered and also sparkled, catching a glimpse of those firry flames, confident, extinguishing the dark coals beneath them and gaining their energies there by.


Leonard Chintua-Chigbu

Listening and Creative Communications

IN The Dark

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In the dark I saw light. After the explosion, shrapnel tore the air and the ball of fire traveled heaven ward. Darkness settled, cries, shrieked calls and torch lights invaded the air. Like fire flies, high visibility jackets of all colours blossomed in the heavy winds of fast moving blades of luminescence. Everywhere was charged by the fluorescence of the first ‘responders’; ordinary people, fire fighters, the ambulance, the police, also the red crosses and crystals of White Crescent…

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Art and Creative Communications
Leonard Chintua-Chigbu

He called me Barack

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Even in winter, he would not fit into that common image for migrant workers, as we see them, walking down the road; that image their children have now grown to see. Those Africans who are only allowed to do odd jobs; Nigerians or Ghanaian. He did not wear thick black head warmers nor layers of jumpers and sweaters. His trousers were not necessarily thick, his shoes not heavy nor had they any additional safety caps, only leather and a good semblance of brogue design.
Their pay was more sizable than his. Some of them even did additional jobs after school runs, after nights spent at the warehouses, picking goods or stacking shelves at supermarkets, or even doing safe security jobs.
It was these men who sometimes dropped off their children in the morning. Little children, some who greeted him with sparking white teeth and umber brown gums; squeaky clean in their lovely ebony tones running happily into a more vast beauty of other happy children playing.
Dike had brought his three little children to the UK when the recent global recession was well on its way. Many Nigerians who had been made redundant from big London city banks and law firms were moving back home.
On the playground each day, he came with a different colour of suit, complete with matching ties. They were affordable and machine washable. He would drop-by the value or sales sections of Marks and Spenser for them. He was handsome in them, calm and carefully nonchalant. When he talked, it was in his scholarly Nigerian english language, now spoken in British accent and not this vernacular.
His now accepted ordinariness did not do a good job of hiding his classy sense of the way things should be. Of many rewards, this afternoon at the playground, a ten year old black boy came running towards him. Behind him was a group of other children; friends in a boisterous group. He stopped at him, and in his hilarious-smile lit face, he searched my eyes, seemingly saying ‘I now know you. It now makes sense. I have cracked the code’ Then he said to me “You are Barack Obama” I was transfixed, but then I smiled.
They all ran off, they felt victorious; all of them in the group; White, Black, Asian. They were jubilant as they ran off.
Still transfixed but not now teary eyed, I felt both rewarded and blessed. It was one of many angelic visits.
For whatever Barack Obama means to our children.., Yes I am Barack.
Listening and Creative Communication
Leonard Chintua-Chigbu
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Everybody can Go to Heaven

Perversely every human being, culture or race LOVE. In all cultures; modern or primitive we find love in His various levels. From efforts and attitudes which define human feelings of kindness, or gratitude to expressions or receptions of acts of kindness and devotion to the common Good.

Everybody can Love. However the irritation and persistence of daily anxieties leave our cultures and humanity to the services and altars of lesser god’s of thunder, anger, greed, human sacrifice, fear, hatred, racism and intolerance. The separation of state and faith has over time tamed crusades, jihads, and religion as a fuel for wars, which had effectively narrowed our outlook and wrongly defined our collective spirituality. We needn’t kill for God.

In olden times, hallowed places and altars have been dedicated to “The Unknown God”, and before our knowledge of the Christian Bible or Koran, names have been formed in descriptive sentences and reserved to “Chineke” or “Obangiji”. Cultural ethos have always been expressed in terms of what is humanly or spiritually impossible, but hoped; a prayer the gospel was to be good-news and not a judge.

Before religious arrogance and later intolerance, people have always found a heart to Love unconditionally. Often, traditional titles have revealed expressions of this lofty ambition and some have lived with this grace and gifting. It was and is no weakness to act and to see all things through the eyes of LOVE. It is a response to the call of God.

We can Love everybody. What people do or who they are, should not make them unlovable, but should make our loving larger. LOVE is accessible, affordable and inclusive. HE believes all things and Forgiveness is something to do with His nature.

Love is the Door to Heaven. Jesus said “No man can come to the Father except through ME”; not Christianity, not religion but LOVE. John 14:6. This way people from all religions and backgrounds will find a persuasion and claim to the way to heaven. LOVE.

Leonard Chintua-Chigbu