“Oh, The Most Important Thing About Myself is That My Life Has Been Full of Changes.”-Chinua Achebe

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:





7 thoughts on ““Oh, The Most Important Thing About Myself is That My Life Has Been Full of Changes.”-Chinua Achebe

  1. Changes is a beautiful song. I’ve got a few covers of it that will be posted at some point but none capture the emotion in Phil’s voice. I’ve read Marc Eliot’s excellent biography of Phil a few times (i.e. Death of a Rebel) although it has been awhile since the last. But as I recall Phil wrote Changes at a time when he was desperately trying to woo back a woman – either a past girlfriend or wife, I can’t remember. He was so enthused with the song that upon completion, which happened to be in the middle of the night, he excitedly called the woman somehow thinking it would be the key to rekindling the relationship. He sang Changes to her over the phone. Not surprisingly it was not the key, nor any entre for that matter, to reconciliation. Most of us have been there before, desperately trying anything to win back a past lover. Every time I hear Changes I picture Phil on that lonely night and can hear the desperation in his quivering voice. No, no one is ever going to cover Changes and elicit those types of visions and emotions from me …


  2. It’s been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. But I think it’s more like Chinua Achebe’s observation: “my life has been full of changes.” For me, some were for the better. Hopefully, I’ve learned from the rest. 🙂 Thank you for sharing Phil Ochs’ beautiful song.

  3. Dear Ilene,
    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. I know it is not your usual type of post, but I hope that you can take part, as I would love to see your answers! If you do want to, you would need to do a post that covered the following:
    1. Name the person who nominated you (ie Me!)
    2. Answer my questions which can be found on my post An Award Part 2
    3. Nominate some bloggers to pass the Award onto, and let them know.
    4. Have 10 questions for them.
    I hope you enjoy it!

    • Anne, I’m going to make an earnest effort to answer the questions and nomintate other bloggers. Thank you for your nomination. I have received other nominations in the past, but, probably due to laziness, I haven’t responded even though I was quite flattered and I hope no one is upset or insulted. Will work on this today!!!!!

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