I think all of us can relate to our lives being full of changes. I know that as I grow older, I feel those changes in my bones, my moods, feelings and observe them in my loved ones around me. None of us are immune to change. This carousel of life keeps going ‘round, but “People from different parts of the world can respond to the same story if it says something to them about their own history andtheir own experience.”–Chinua Achebe, There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra We see the suffering in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan and our hearts surely go out to those displaced and in need of shelter, food, fresh water. We also remember the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy a year ago. It’s a marvel how people seemingly recover from these changes and distressing that some can’t.
This morning I saw that it is the birthday of Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe, born in 1930 and sadly passed away in March, 2013. Achebe observed many changes in Nigeria and the continent of Africa. I had read his Things Fall Apart probably 2X, it’s usually a required text on high school or middle school reading lists, so read it when my daughter had to and then again when my son had to. I know I enjoyed it. “Things Fall Apart” gave expression to Mr. Achebe’s first stirrings of anti-colonialism and a desire to use literature as a weapon against Western biases.” -Jonathan Kandell, NY Times Obituary 3/22/13
One of Chinua Achebe’s missions was to write truthfully about his country and the wrongs that were done to Nigeria by British colonialism and “brutality of military dictators from other Nigerianethnic groups.”–Jonathan Kandell Though he ended up living here in the U.S.A. for several years, his heart belonged to his homeland, especially Nigeria and he explained, “People have sometimes asked me if I have thought of writing a novel about America, since I have now been living here some years,” Mr. Achebe wrote in “Home and Exile.” His answer was “that America has enough novelists writing about her, and Nigeria too few.”–Jonathan Kandell
Changes have always evoked creativity. As Achebe has stated, “Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.”
Speaking of Changes and Creativity, enjoy Phil Ochs’ beautiful song, Changes: