What Does It Mean to Survive by Tolu Daniel
“We are all Jesus. How many times have you died and risen? How many deaths have you conquered?”
“This is what I believed then, and even now, that sometimes avoiding trouble is also a form of running.”
Aching scars have stories to tell the narrator and us. I love how this essay makes one reflect on death, buried experiences with deadly danger and survival, which isn’t always instinctive. Living in Nigeria can be dangerous and often times we bury these experiences after survival with ignored questions and unprocessed trauma. Until we have to face death again.
I love the imagery used;
‘A memory of about twelve years punches me hard on the face and in my shock, I stagger back to regain my composure.’
If it’s one thing I love about Tolu Daniel’s writing its how he addresses unique social issues. In this essay of questions we are blast into the rampant cultism in some Western Nigerian state areas. Which made me remember how worried I’d get whenever their are violent cult clashes at Ojo, Lagos State or even the stories of their causalities.
I also reminisced on the death of my grandfather and a close friend’s Dad. My own memories of a close shave with death as a girl hit by a motorcycle years ago were simmered up.
“It makes me think that perhaps death is a way of surviving also. To escape the stress and the pain inflicted by life on your mortal body to a dimension of ease”.
Often times, questions are our answers, this essays let’s us know.
Recommended with four fireworks, read it on Barren Magazine.