As I march on this contentious trail before exaltation, tears keep me company. An uninvited companion in a time of self-doubt while searching for exhilaration. A feeling of loneliness engulfs me in the presence of many. Without hesitation, please rejoice with me as the anointed day approaches. At this juncture, finding my spot on a slippery path is my desire. With a sense of reverence, I will never forget that at times, there is ‘Tears Before Exaltation.’
Fidelis O Mkparu, author of ‘Tears before Exaltation.’
‘Tears Before Exaltation’ is a literary drama about courage and resilience to be released on March 16, 2018 by Harvard Square Editions. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores. Order your copy, or copies. Thank you for your support.
After many years of knowing her, she died. Instead of leaving me with a heartbreak, she left behind wonderful memories. Memories of teasing me and pretending to fall asleep when I walk into her room. There are no tears to be shed. Instead, I celebrated our friendship. Twenty-two years of smiles and laughter. Unhurried narration of her life stories and hugs. Rewarding me with birthday cards and Christmas greetings. Scolding me with a smile before each departure, and winks by the door before she left my office. Each time, I stood and watched her struggle to get into her car. Even with all her physical struggles, she never missed the chance to visit me every three months until she was taken away from me permanently. Her death. Her departure from earth. As much as I struggle with the event, I would not call it untimely. I said my farewell, but I still cherish what we had. A sempiternal friendship
Fidelis O Mkparu, February 6, 2018.
“I woke up this morning, January 1, 2018 to reflect on my dreams. I could not remember what I dreamed about the night before. My past was gone, and my future has yet to come. I must embrace my present, and make the best of it. If my future ever comes, I would be ready for anything that confronts me.
Turning all the lights on in my bathroom, I looked in the mirror with blurred vision and clogged brain. I wondered who I was searching for in the mirror; the man I used to be, the man looking back at me, or the man I would like to become. Many years have passed since I had a critical assessment of my life. I know I had spent more than half of my assigned life on earth already, therefore, my dreams must be more realistic and attainable. Since my life journey is winding down, it’s a good time to take stock of what is left to be done. My ambitions and things I neglected over the past 59 years.”—Fidelis O Mkparu, author of soon to be released novel ‘Tears before Exaltation’ Harvard Square Editions.
A group of young students surrounded me. The author of ‘Love’s Affliction.’ The man with all the answers about love, as they probably believed. Amazed at their exuberance, I reflected and smiled. Maybe from a change in my demeanor, some of them came closer to me as if I was about to share a revelation. A wisdom of age and experience. When I smiled more, they said, “tell us about love. Your inspiration for your book.” I sighed. They waited, anxiously.
How I explained love to the students was as succinct as possible for me. A mini treatise. Avoiding verbosity, my inclination, I proceeded to tell them my opinion about love. It is not how many times we say, “I love you,” or how many cards we send to each other that matter. Several events came to my mind as I looked at them. The eager students surrounding me. I remembered love in so many ways; sharing one winter coat at a bus-stop on a cold December evening. Holding each other tight to create oneness that made a coat adequate for two people. As they smiled and laughed, I remembered another story that I could not share with them; sharing a kiss and saliva when one of us is sick with a flu, and staying awake to ‘guard’ the recovery. I could not share that story with them for health reasons, but I told them that I know love when I see it. It is not what I hear about love that matters, but what one does for love.
Summarizing for them, I stated that true love is what we feel, and not what we hear about the immensity of it. As I was walking away, I told them not to shed ‘Tears before Exaltation’, but rather, to discover the secret of perpetual happiness. Everyone laughed.
Fidelis O Mkparu, author of ‘Love’s Affliction’ and soon to be published ‘Tears before Exaltation’
My dearest friend Wolfgang,
I read the obituary page of our local newspaper today. Your name was the first on the list. The beautiful name you loved. I could not remember a goodbye from you, and no one called to let me know that you permanently ended your regular visits to my office. Shedding tears for your death would have been an insult to the jovial man I remembered. A kindhearted fellow who loved old cameras and beautiful ladies. You even adored my Yashica camera I bought 43 years ago, and rewarded my dedication to the art of photography with old fashioned rolls of films. Kodak and Agfa films you gave me remain in my drawer. I still remember what you said, “rolls of films for a perfect outdoor photo shoot.” A photo session set aside for a beautiful fräulein.
I will continue to cherish 21 years of friendship I had with you until the end of time. Death took you away and has overshadowed the 32 years that separated our births.
Goodbye my dear old friend.
Fidelis O. Mkparu, August 2017.
I identified my components this morning; one wants to stay in bed to enjoy the rainy day, the adventurist wants to run away to explore the world, and the best part of me accepts my calling to stay my course to take care of lives entrusted in my hands. Never run away from who you are. You can’t reach your destination in life without you. (Fidelis O Mkparu, author of ‘Love’s Affliction’ May 1, 2017)
Eleven hours of flight across the Atlantic Ocean. By road, I crossed two rivers; river Niger, and John’s River. My destination was across from a market, and adjacent to a town hall. Lush Iroko trees in every direction. Scattered, and casting shadows over acres of brush land. A grazing field, decades before my life began. My father told me.
Two anthills guarding the footpath. Tall mounds from red soil dug up by ants claiming territories they did not own. I approached the mounds. Termites meandering around. New owners of the land, or mere tenants? No one had challenged their presence for years. My grandfather abandoned the space one hundred years ago. His son, my father, became the overseer until he departed twenty-one years ago. Timing of birth anointed my only brother as the manager of the estate. A veritable lord of the land. He lorded from a distance, until he joined our ancestors the day I was summoned home. That was how my journey began.
Pieces of broken earthen pots littered the ground. Along the path to my grandfather’s house, birds congregated on several trees with ripe fruits. On one special tree, red feathered birds, and buzzing bees shared their bounty. Beaks and talons probing abundant feasts. Buzzing and gyrations on dripping fruits.
I heard rumbling noise from a distance. Drops of rain on my face. Effervescent sounds on baked tropical soil. Unique aroma emanated from the fizz. Special earthy scent of the first rain. Anticipating a tropical deluge, I quickened my pace to my ancestral house. Corrugated iron roof. Rust and red dust. Delicate floor more than one hundred years old. Preserved for eternity, if taken care of. I removed my shoes and socks. I walked barefoot where my grandfather walked. An owl asked, “who-o-o who-o-o?” Words came out of my mouth, “I’m home grandpa.” A spiritual transformation.
I knelt, and kissed the soil. Sadness overtook me. Tears rolled down my eyes. I mourned for my dead brother, alone. I remembered the last time we stood together. Mourning the death of our father.
I returned from my sojourn, a Patriarch. It is my turn to lord over the land. My birthright.
Written by Fidelis O. Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
“There was no moon to influence the night. Just you, your beauty, and your wondrous smile. We sat for two hours. Kisses and nibbles. Laughing and fondling. Falling for each other endlessly. We woke to embrace, and arouse. Fanning the fire we started. Losing every sense of time, and embracing candor. Whispers and moaning.” ~Fidelis O Mkparu, (2016) author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
“We sailed at dawn. Moonless night. Dark clouds hovered in the horizon. Howling wind, and choppy water. Our boat rocked from side to side. Dancing for the water god. A jitterbug. We approached the deck with trepidation until warm sloppy kisses lit our fire. Our bodies twisted together as if malleable. Parts finding its natural receptacles. I’ll dance for no god tonight. Only your love can make my heart sway.” ~Fidelis O Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s Affliction’
“Sitting in the outdoor cafe, the sun finally set. The clouds grew darker. We ignored the rumbling of the night sky, and the parallel bar gymnastics of the lightning. Flashes of light in all directions. My heart began its own flip flops. An emotional gymnast. Even the rain could not put out my fire, as I watched your eyes undress me.” ~ Fidelis O Mkparu (2016), author of ‘Love’s Affliction’