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January 10, 2005. I sat down to read a letter from home. And then came sentence: “The juju priest who said you will die in December died that very month and has been buried.” That was when I knew reason for distress call in December. I had been required to come and to make sacrifices to impotent gods to survive December. Pity “authoritative,” “all knowing” juju priest. Didn’t know that death is everywhere. Didn’t know that he was prophesying his own death. Didn’t know that I was enjoying my tea way back in December. Equivocation.
Mohandas Gandhi said: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you would live forever.” That has been my guiding principle. Who is afraid of death? Someone said “the tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” What matters in end is not how long we live. But “it’s life in your years, said Abraham Lincoln. So question that we should ask ourselves is, How would I be remembered? Not a few people care if they were remembered for vileness. But even if you were known in your lifetime for some spectacular achievement, it adds to nothing.
If Bible were a book of epitaphs, second verse of Ecclesiastes is dear to my heart. It simply states: “The greatest vanity! Everything is vanity!” And that’s dinkum oil.
As we take our tea, with DD Phil and Val K happy that their controversial writer is still alive, fact remains that we must die of something someday. And if my people supposing I was dead had wept over me and buried my effigy, I will have singular honor or infamy of being mourned and buried twice.
Yet it is good to be alive.
So even if I were to pass on tomorrow, let it be known that priest LIED. I drank tea in December.
Arthur Zulu is an editor, book reviewer, and author of Chasing Shadows!, How to Write a Best-seller, A Letter to Noah, and many other works. For his works and FREE help for writers, goto: http://controversialwriter.tripod.com Mailto: email@example.com Web search: Arthur Zulu
Arthur Zulu is an editor, author, and book reviewer.