The one behind the words

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My biggest problem was spelling the word plantain

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My name is Blessing Tarimoboere Philip. Tari for short.

I’m a student of the department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Nigeria and I’m a writer.  A fiction writer. While a lot of my family, friends and readers think I have the potential to be a great novelist they don’t really know my background or how I started writing.

At seven years of age, I wasn’t one of the brightest kids in my class. Sure, the smartest boy in the set was my best friend but that didn’t make up for my learning deficiencies. I’d already moved from one school because my mother thought I wasn’t learning enough and she was right because at eight I still had one big problem.

Other kids worried about the monsters in the dark or when next a visitor would dash them some money. Some of my friends worried about the next assignment or the next day we would all go to the playground together but as for me… Well… I had one demon to battle.

It kept resurfacing everywhere looking different each time. Sometimes it was longer. Sometimes it was shorter. Most times I could pronounce it. Other times I couldn’t but it didn’t matter what form it took. It all came down to one thing. I couldn’t spell. I couldn’t spell the word plantain.

It wasn’t just plantain. I couldn’t spell a lot of other words. In fact, I hated words. I tried to avoid them as much as possible but there was only so much a primary four pupil (4th grader) could do because my whole world centered around my school. So you see, I had a hard time keeping up with anything except being a noise maker and trouble maker. I was a queen in that area.

Anyways, the television was my beloved companion and I disliked having to stay away from it because of words but I had no choice. My dad decided that enough was enough and that it was time I faced this demon.

So he equipped me with with an inked pen and a plain paper and set me off on a journey to find the spelling of plantain. I could only wonder why something so delicious was incredibly hard to spell. It just didn’t seem fair but what could I do? My master had spoken and I had to oblige.

If you think my love for plantain and television would have spured me on to find the spelling faster then I’m sorry to disappoint you but no. I couldn’t spell the word. So my dad aka master sat me down and took the pen in his hand. In his beautiful handwriting he wrote the spelling down on the paper in three rows and asked me to copy that down until the page was filled.

It wasn’t what I wanted but as I began to fill the page with the word ‘plantain’ I could feel the power of the demon weaken and I relaxed and went on to fill the page. My spelling problem wasn’t immediately cured but it was a beginning.

It was the beginning of who I am now and what this blog is all about. Just like how I found the experience of spelling ‘plantain’ to be quite different from eating plantain that was how I found the experience of reality to be different from my imagination. Reality was good most times but sometimes I wished my imagination were reality.

It all began with a shakespear’s ‘Tempest’ (a story for another day). I  began to question ‘What if?’ And so I began to write.

Just like how I filled the paper with the word plantain, I started out unsure but this time I was willing to give the words a chance. I didn’t want to hold back anymore so I started to write out what I thought then what I observed then I started to let my imagination run free.

Just like the way my spelling of plantain didn’t stop my spelling deficiencies, writing didn’t solve reality problems but it was a step. A step to discovering myself and reaching out to people.

I used to hate words but now I use them to connect and build. I conquered a fear and gained a blessing. My spelling might not be perfect now and my writings may not be the best but just like I had to take my time to fill up the page before I learnt how to spell plantain that is how I write and I know that that each day my writing gets better. I may never be another Shakespeare or Wordsmiths but I will definitely get better.

All I’m trying to say is that Tareal’s ink is my reality expressed and sometimes intertwined with my imagination and ever budding love of words through the digital ink. In simple words, Tareal’s ink is all about the words of my heart bleeding on the page.

How does this affect you?

I don’t know why you might have clicked on this page. You might have wanted to know about me or perhaps you might just want to read some of my writings. It doesn’t matter which. I know that in reality we all have some problems that we face but that doesn’t mean we should let them bog us down.

We all need escape sometimes and who knows you may find something you connect or relate to and even if you don’t you will definitely find something worth keeping, treasuring or sharing on this blog.

These are my words and they are my gift to you.

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