Attending OPEN by Titilope was the best decision I made for Christmas Eve. I don’t know what exactly spurred me to tears as she began. The poems, perhaps? The music? Or the lightening? Or the fact that she was crying when she began her “Thank You’s”? I like to think it was the combination of everything.

OPEN was about confronting some of the things that are painful and some of the things that heal us. It was the most intimate and most spiritual thing I’ve experienced in a while. A meditation. A communion. I came Open. Felt open. Left open.

There were poems about Love. Becoming. Motherhood. Nigeria. But it was the way her eyes sparked when she talked about her son that made my heart melt. He is the most beautiful boy in the world and she doesn’t care what anybody says!!!

She said;

Writing poems about him feels like I’m transcribing joy.

I remember thinking, what a lucky boy!

I had the opportunity of attending as a Volunteer, I helped with the guests and did some “light work”. Titi’s husband was everywhere, frantically making sure everything was perfect. So it wasn’t a surprise when Titi did a poem for him. A perfectly beautiful and intimate poem that led to a proposal on stage. After the love poem, she looked around and said in a very Nigerian way, “The person I even did this poem for isn’t present. He is probably busy negotiating with the small chop vendors”. Oh! How we laughed! It was such a beautiful thing to experience.

Photo credit : Victor Adewale – Instagram.

This line from the love poem captured my heart:

This love. My love. Says; come as you are. Your scars won’t scare me. This love is patient. Gathers my short comings and plants a seed of self courage to remind me of the woman that I was…

PhotoCredit : Victor Adewale – Instagram

After I left OPEN and got into the Taxify I ordered, I suddenly felt a rush of emotions. They came in heavy waves, they came with words and I found myself typing this on my phone;

This is how you will save yourself my darling:
1) Stare at your own reflection and whisper to your soul :
“You are gold baby. Solid gold”
2) Take the rot life throws at you and turn them into stars.
You, my darling, should not be reduced to a mere glitter.
For you are gold baby. Solid gold.

Chimdinma Adriel Onwukwe – theafroreader and Victor Adewale – who documented the OPEN show with his Golden Eye.

It was such a beautiful thing to see people gather for poetry. Titilope once wrote :

Poetry as prayer, as protest, as hope and healing, as meditation and mantra, as safehouse and sanctuary, as wailing wall, as confessional, as atonement, as balm. Poetry as alchemy, as magic making. We chant to chase the darkness back, to call what was buried by name and tell the bones to dance again.

Merry Christmas 🎄 !

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