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Soft Earth

A Classic Case of Stockholm

Everyone in Lagos has Stockholm syndrome. This has to be the only explanation. I have been in Abuja for just a few days, and I'm wondering why I never seriously considered moving all these years. First, good road networks. Easy access, less traffic. Second, the rent is not atrocious. It is defendable. The environment doesn't flood. It doesn't fucking stink. The houses: good space, ventilation, sizable bathrooms, and kitchens. Third, fresh affordable food. I like cooking and I was spoilt for choices. Spices too. See as everything fresh.

Fourth? Amazing vendors like Baba Ahmed at the Jabi African Art and Craft market.

It is not a coincidence that he gave me a tiny wooden elephant to remember him by. Hi M.

I do not like TVs. I do see the need. But if I were to have a large sitting area, I'd fill it up with masks. Lots of canvases. Comfortable occasional chairs. Bar carts with vinyl records and books. Sculptures and plants in every corner. Carved stools. Insha Allah. This, for me, is softness.

To Trust. To Grace. To Kindness.

I was sorely disappointed by the 3rd season of The Kominsky Method.

See what I did there?

My first instinct was to write that it was trash. But this week was timely in reminding me of kindness. And not in a performative way. Not the usual trope. I can be very critical and what I learned to do was to fold into myself. Swallow it. But one day I started to choke on all that swallowing. So? Language. Half of the time it's not about what you say, but how you say it. Another thing I have realized is that criticism places the burden of your own expectations, unspoken or not, on the party being criticized. I think Chuck Lorre is brilliant. The show is absolutely brilliant. I looked forward to the last installment for almost a year. Whether or not he gave this 3rd season his best, he is brilliant. Maybe he didn't. But Chuck Lorre doesn't owe Ayotola from Osi-Ekiti anything. I doubt I put money in his pocket by watching his show. Even if I do, I trusted him enough to do his thing the first two seasons. With that trust should come some grace.

The point is all the mental gymnastics shifts my emotions. I am less ruffled, less aggressive. I offer grace. Most importantly, my language is kind. My words fall on soft earth. I am tired of the digital pitchforks. You wake up every morning and the internet gives a well-curated cup of things to be angry about on a walkway of eggshells.

So, I was sorely disappointed by the 3rd season of The Kominsky Method. Saying it was trash is easier and lazier. This is a single story. It is dangerous. So final. No context, no nuance. I mean, saving the show was almost impossible after the indefatigable Alan Arkin left. But if I used that word, all the things we know and do not, things that are true and not fly out of the window.

More essays. More threads. More context. Complexities. Discourse. Maybe not the whole story, but just enough. This is kindness.


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