HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

WINDMILLS OF THE GODS: METAMORPHOSIS





“A man is never the same for long. He’s constantly changing.”

_ Ivanovich Gurdjieff.


I’d never seen a windmill before. I don’t know if that counts for much in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps I could have turned up in heaven and God would go batshit upon seeing me, shouting to the angels.


“That sinner, Osoch! How did he get here? Angel Gabriel? Who was guarding the gates? Who the hell was on duty?? What happened to the flaming sword on the entrance? Don’t you know that sinners aren’t not allowed in my kingdom? You’re fucking imbeciles!! I need new angels.”

 

The angels would go mute as God scolds them; their heads bowed like high school noisemakers in the deputy’s office.


Jesus would swagger in. God would eye him suspiciously and shake his head. As Jesus adjusts his cloak, God would tear into him.


“Where the hell were you when this sinner sneaked into heaven?”


“Which sinner?” Jesus would ask nonchalantly, his eyes blank and red, like he’d been smoking a blunt.


God would point at me. “There he is! Osoch Ogun! The fucker!” God would shake his head, disbelief all over his movements. Jesus would attempt to come to my aid.


“But God, I think he repented his sins. You forgave him.”


“Don’t you think I remember? Are you mocking my memory? There’s one sin I can’t forgive.”


“Which is that?”


“This chap never saw a windmill all his life.”


Jesus would turn to me, shock in his baked face. “Jesus Christ! How come you never saw a windmill, what were you doing on earth. That’s is a sin we can’t forgive.”


I will turn to Jesus.


“Who are you to condemn me when we know of your activities with Mary Magdalene?”


“What did you just say?”


“Hu hu! Nothing.”


Jesus would nod at the angles and I’ll be tossed to hell. Descending to the eternal fire, I’ll be screaming like a scared cat.

 

***

Windmills never piqued my fancy. I’d heard friends talk about visiting. They’d go, take pictures, capture grand sunsets and later peacock on social media. I never got jealous. I did not understand their fascination with the windmills and the hills. It wasn’t my thing.


Covid-19 happened.


I’d been planning to leave the city. Then crazy son of Jomo announced a lockdown and a damned curfew. Hitherto, I’ve been holed up somewhere near the windmills. Mornings I have woken up and watched them spin furiously like massive clock arms. This did not ignite some adventurous spirit in yours truly. I continued to ignore the hills and the fucking windmills.


One morning, I ran uphill. It was the grandest run of all my runs. In the whistling cold, the sweatshirt clung unto my skin, afraid of letting go. All my hairs stood upright; bits of snow trickled off my beard. Inside, I was burning up, yet I felt enveloped by a cold I can’t fathom. The world was freezing, and my soul was the last remaining fire.


I kept ascending; a great chopping noise loomed near. A few steps later, I was beneath the impossibly mighty windmills. They’d been completely hidden by the solid white mist. Standing below them, I felt small, inconsequential, my ego utterly obliterated. I was an intruder in their perched kingdom of altitude. I leant on one of them. Its terrible roar traversed my whole body. It awakened a hidden atavistic drive. I felt alive and lost. I could stay up there forever.


I walked on, higher and higher. Ahead of me, a chap trekked, with great purpose and conviction. A huge jacket draped his small frame. He clutched at a paper bag like it bore secret texts. I sauntered beside him. We got talking.


He was a Christian convert. Previously he’d been paying homage to Allah and praying facing Mecca. Then he felt the tug of Christianity, pulling at him. Thus, he dropped the Quran, forgot the Shahada and embraced the holy bible.


After hugging Christ, a strange sickness overwhelmed him. Months went by as he lay in bed. Eating become a problem, he lost weight, his eyes sank into deep dark hollows. Each time he saw a doctor, the results were inconclusive. He was sick, something was wrong with him, but nobody could figure out what it was that ailed him.


“People thought I was dying. I never left the house. I couldn’t walk. I too thought I was dying.”


There are seven hills to the apex of Ngong hills. He narrated all this as we climbed hill after hill. He was headed to the summit to pray. I was on a morning run. Two men on the same path but two different journeys.


“One day, reading the bible, I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour.  I felt an energy gush through me. A warmth rose in my legs like there was a fire in me. I started walking, I was healed. Life returned to normal. People couldn’t believe it.”


I was sceptical when he told me this. I don’t subscribe to stories of miraculous healings and grand visions of Christ. It’s not my thing. I don’t even believe in the said Christ. Christ might have been a mad man, calling himself the son of God, born of the virgin Mary, oh please! But I kept on listening, it’s my job. It’s what brings the bacon.


“After that, I began to pursue the word of God. The bible is my new companion. Even one day when I was up here praying, Christ appeared to me.”


I got more sceptical. But then the man saw what he saw, thus I egged him on.


We hit the peak of another hill. I was tired of stories of Christ. I was worn out, flailing. I wanted to run back home and grab hot food. This wasn’t the time to talk about damned Jesus and visions. Before parting ways, he opened his bible. It had been hidden in the polythene he was carrying, a jacket he wrapped around it to protect it from rain.


On that hilltop, he read a verse, knelt down and proceeded to pray for me. It was the most humbling experience. I felt my ego dissolve. He did not ask for tithe or anything, he just prayed to the gods, to his saviour, to his Christ, the conman. I stood there, the sinner I am, dumbfounded.


We parted ways. He climbed higher. I descended back to the house.


***

Over a month has fluttered by, I still think of his words.


“You have the marker of a great man. Few people can take their time to listen to a stranger. God bless you in your endeavours.”


I am lost for words when I’m put on a pedestal. I don’t like compliments; I never know what to say. But there are unsheltered moments when I stare out of the window and ponder his words.

 

**

Weeks gone; I pursued the summit of Ngong hills. A part of me wanted to go. I sat up there, doing yoga, and meditating and nibbling at bananas. It was a few hours of peace, silence. In the Gita, there’s a line where Krisna says to Arjuna, ‘of secret things, I am silence. 


I felt most alive, like there’s electricity cursing through my depths of being. As if I am everything and everything is me. My body trembled with ecstasy. In the eastern practices, they call it Samadhi. It’s a kind of high which transcends everything, even sex. It’s “piercing the veneer of things outside,” to quote a certain polar explorer, “and reaching the naked soul of man.”

 

Up there, I ran into mzungus walking their dogs. I encountered Akorino families praying. There were mostly women, kneeling in various positions of distress, mumbling and screaming.


Meeting those different lives made me realise that the ultimate journey of life is that of seeking. We are searching for a higher power, something massive than us, which will swallow us, take responsibility for us, guide us.

 

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2 comments:

  1. Osach i love every single piece of your writting ,i read your book laughed my ass off and shared with a friend ,i wish i had a brain like yours 😃😃

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