would point at a dust devil to ensure it minded its own business.
There was no epithet or incantation, merely a brief moment of silence,
followed by an understanding that we were then safe to watch as these
creatures marked a brief and exciting presence in our imagination.
Neither he nor I had any doubt they were living things of uncertain origin
and possessed of uncertain motives.
So it was odd to
be laughed at when I once adopted Okanya's stance and manner to protect
fellow school mates from a dust devil on the playing field at boarding
school. The fight that followed ended in the masters room, and
probably my bloody nose drew a sympathy sufficient to preclude further
In earlier days I was possessed of
horrible stubbornness, and sometimes I wonder if that element still
dominates the thing that is me. Now and then I search for exemplars of
this offensive nature. Often I find a lack of finesse and
subtlety combined with dogmatic insistence on matters even I accept as
trivial. Which makes me wonder how I might appear on matters that
contain value to me.
It is an uncomfortable
contemplation of self. I see the "I that is me" raging
toward an unfinished and incomprehensible victory. To engage myself, I
have sometimes listened to debate amongst the political class, there I have
found some comfort amongst that mist of conviction in others. More
recently however, I find myself silently pointing at it.