Tuesday, 7 October 2008

l'heure bleue

I remember those summers when I used to drive on twisting country lanes, at speed, listening to Nina Simone. I also remember that on a particular stretch of road; which was about 10 minutes from work, I would lean over and select one of my favourite tracks on her album: ‘Young, Gifted and Black’. No surprise why!!! Doing so somehow helped me to start my day at work in the right frame of mind. The song lyrics start like this:

‘To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean

In the whole world you know
There are billion boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black,
And that's a fact!’

I miss those summers.

As they faded into autumn and then became warming winter memories, I had to learn to drive at dusk. Dusk was when the trailing edge (or the leading edge depending how you look at it!) of the sun sat below the horizon. At dusk I drove home, surrounded in an ambient quality of light that held me in safe hands despite the fact that it was not accompanied by the sun.

Saying that, I struggled to drive well in the twilight… maybe it was because that was the time immediately before or after night time. I found that my vision became severely hampered on the road and I ended up straining my eyes to see... my discomfort caused the beauty of the sunlight, scattered in the upper atmosphere, illuminating the lower atmosphere to elude me.

To be honest I actually hated driving in the twilight. Maybe it was also because I felt I had to be especially vigilant during those hours as I attempted to navigate home on those narrow country lanes. To me, the twilight hid numerous dangers; cloaking them in shadows. I guess it didn't help that I felt that I should still have been cuddled up in bed but instead I was on the road... and when that particular thought came to mind, it just used to make me feel blue… maybe that is why it is also called ‘l’heure bleue’. Funnily enough, as I drove home during the summer months it was at twilight that the smell of the flowers often seemed to be at their strongest… the many scents of erica ciliaris wafted into my car and started dancing to Nina Simone in my nostrils... it was a sensation that always caused my lips to curl up into the briefest of smiles.

It might surprise you to know that I could drive at night without fear or apprehension. I had to do so many times when work forced me to do really long hours; it was because we were commissioning a plant during those summer months. Back then, normally, I'd get home for about 9pm. Again it was Nina Simone’s album I chose to listen to when I got into the car but at night time I chose ‘Sinner Man’ to keep me company on the tasking journey home. As I listened to that track, I felt fine with only the lights from the full beam to guide me on my way and shield me from the night as I attacked each bend.

Right now I just plain miss the summer.

I woke up at 6:30am today. I raised the blinds to find that it was still dark outside... I couldn't believe that I was looking out into the dusk. In a couple of weeks I will wake up and stare into the twilight. It's unbelievable because just two weeks ago it was as bright as day at this same time in the morning.

The clocks here, in England, will go back one hour on the last Sunday of October. I'm happy at the extra hour in bed but I am not happy that I have no choice but to embrace GMT as autumn morphs into winter. Darkness is here to stay… for a while…

Another type of darkness is looking for me. I opened my e-mail on the last Sunday of September, just over a week ago, and I had one e-mail in my inbox.

It was from Sinnerman. He had sent it at 9:00pm. It read:

Sinnerman: Shubby Doo, where are u? I have made attempts to reach u severally. Are u in england or in nig? I need to have ur no where ever u are?

I smiled when I read it as I remembered his smile... his lips... I remembered the way he chuckled deep in his throat.

Then I re-read it but this time I shook my head as I remembered how some of his words and many of actions were really laden in deceit despite the fact that he’d iced them with pure sweetness. I remembered the games he used to want to play; the majority of which I was fortunate to simply side step, unscathed.

I read it for the third and final time. Then I switched off my computer. I didn't have energy for him.

I am a human being... yes o! The amazing Flying Snow is just a mere mortal... I simply emit radiant energy; hoping it will only be used for the benefit of those I love… for family... for friends... or perhaps even for those I don't know that genuinely need my help... I can only exist in the 7th level of the twilight... the one we all live in.

He is like a powerful zero level dark magician or vampire who is able to absorb energy from those around him and then wield it as his own power… he gives nothing... and in a similar fashion to a parasite he steals off others to feed… he can move through all the twilight levels so he hides there.

For my protection, I've learnt to follow the advice that Sergey Lukyanenko’s Night Watch agents give to all their gifted but uninitiated novices… ‘stay out of the twilight’.

Darkness is coming… it will soon be here… it may come looking for me… but the shadows of the gloom will have to work hard to engulf me.

Simply because I won’t make it easy to find me.


Zayzee 7 October 2008 at 22:11  

for the first time in my blogging history, i am first thrice in one day. twice in the morning b4 going to work, and this night after returning home. me thinks its signs and evidence of some kind of breakthrough coming my way abi? amen o

Shubby Doo 7 October 2008 at 22:12  

@uzezi - lol - well done o!

Zayzee 7 October 2008 at 22:13  

okay let me read the post. I am sixth.

@ doll- i aint spamming o! just incase u come here and u see this.

@ lg- e dey do me like that too for here.

Zayzee 7 October 2008 at 22:14  

o now? shubby doo why now? im supposed to follow myself back to back now? u took my sixth position.

Zayzee 7 October 2008 at 22:21  

u got it right here .............. Darkness is coming… it will soon be here… it may come looking for me… but the shadows of the gloom will have to work hard to engulf me.

Simply becasue I won’t make it easy to find me.

the way the whether changes, the way day fades away into darkness are proof of a wonderful powerful God.

Sinnerman? does he want to continue the deceit?

Rita 7 October 2008 at 22:24  

Men..Shubby Doo.. I just like this post and all you did with the dusk/twilight/l'heure bleue words... I felt like having a romance with nature...

But you've really been trying oh..driving at those late hours? Hmmm...

Nothing can engulf you for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world...

Take care...

(vixenchick) 7 October 2008 at 23:21  

lol at uzezi!

i love the lyrics of that song!

William H. 8 October 2008 at 01:02  

shubby doo i see you....

nice blog..

bumight 8 October 2008 at 02:29  

somebody needs to put uzezi on a leash! jeez!

Nigerian Drama Queen 8 October 2008 at 03:38  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigerian Drama Queen 8 October 2008 at 03:38  

I miss summer too. A different kind of summer as well...
Enjoy Night-there are some things that only darkness can bring to light.

rethots 8 October 2008 at 12:15  

"I remember those summers..." Hmmm, this makes you sound (so so) old.

Sinnerman??? refresh my memory.

Shubby Doo 8 October 2008 at 12:47  

@naapali - i just want to say i was 1st at yours today o! but couldn't comment. hope your well

Naapali 8 October 2008 at 12:48  

This is the most poetic of your posts. It also is vintage Shubby (if that can be used to describe someone as young as you) in its tangential lighting, almost akin to a master photographer's low light picture of an object behind a screen. One gets an intimation of the subject but is left wondering.

I hope mae had the time of her life.

Naapali 8 October 2008 at 12:51  

Shubby now you have me in awe of your electronic surveillance skills. How come you left me a comment while I was leaving one.

I fear you!

Shubby Doo 8 October 2008 at 18:54  

@uzezi - no vex abeg… I was just acknowledging o!… my comments on my posts don't really count towards positions (I hope the likes of baroque, naapali, carlang and badderchic that like to claim 1st at theirs are listening!)… so na you collect 6th place too! ;-)

I don't know what he wants now… all I know is the past… I'd just rather stay clear… experience is a good teacher…

@rita – thanks… glad you enjoyed it…nature is romantic… one should always be in love with it

@vixenchick – how are you hun? Love the lyrics 2

@william h – are you of the shadows?… i see you too :-)

thanks & welcome

@bumight – lol

@NDQ – u 2 abi?… I simply miss my midsummer nights’ dreams… but I love the night… at night we can regenerate… in the moonlight we can romanticise… in the night sky we can see the stars… darkness must happen to bring glory to the light!

@rethots – really?… age is but a number ;-P

@flying snow – hahahaha… well done stealth assassin… shifu would be proud…but stop scaring poor old doc naaps!

@naapali – l'heure bleue… apparently brings with it one of the most flattering forms of light for photography… it was the most flattering way I could tell the story… I hope you could see the neutral tones of greys ranging from near white to near black with my use of monochrome to try & capture the light… even when there wasn't much of it.

my deliberate departure from reality was bcos I didn't want people to actually see the devil in the detail of an exact rendition.

mãe was over the moon…totally blown away at what we'd planned… she cried so much… she smiled so much… and she laughed so much… she didn't expect any of it at all…

she sent me a lovely text last night saying thanks for the umpteen time… I was like mum please… after everything you've done for us…we are the ones that are forever grateful!

@naapali – hahahaha… I learnt from the master… you'd done the same to me at yours 2ice b4… I just wanted you to know that I had paid attention & was watching… I too can do it now… Flying Snow is surely learning to become master of the game ;-)

Thirty + 9 October 2008 at 02:48  

It is safe to stay out of the twilight but it is not fun...is it?

Anyway, I gave you an award, check my blog.

olusimeon 9 October 2008 at 16:32  

deep , intersting and a lil creepy...

Rayo 9 October 2008 at 19:47  

its lyk poetic prose, rili lyk it.

Straight from the heart 9 October 2008 at 20:14  

Loved this loved it. Never being here before, but I'm captivated now.

Nicely put: and I love the lyrics.
Young, gifted and black.

SOLOMONSYDELLE 9 October 2008 at 22:50  

haba uzezi, na how you just dey claim first everywhere????

badderchic 9 October 2008 at 23:34  

Uzezi, na marathon?


Shubby, lovin this babe

Smaragd 10 October 2008 at 09:18  

the blue hour!

i love love this post, it's profound.

i dont even know what else to say now since Naaps has said most of it. could u pls tell us what u finally decided on for Mae?

u really are Flying Snow darlin, u are good at what you do and way better than sinnerman, he cannot get u because you will make it impossible to find u!

Shubby Doo 10 October 2008 at 11:16  

@30+ - yes twilight is danger and sometimes danger can be fun… but not always

thanks for the award

@simeone – creepy?… really?… hmmm

@rayo – thanks… I’m actually surprised & happy to learn from both you and naapali that you thought this to be poetic… I guess the fusion of poetic and prosaic elements is just me… besides fusion is fun!

@debbie – Hi & welcome. We should celebrate those lyrics… always.

@SSD – lol… uzezi shocked me 2 o!

@badderchic – see me see how uzezi just run laps all over this comments page… confusion catch me no be small… lol… me sha I’m honoured that she chose to do it at mine!

Thanks for the love… muah!

what are your bday plans for 2morrow?

@smaragd – thanks sweetie…nothing 2 say… hmmm… ok… I’ll give you some useless trivia info…

did you know that Guerlain (one of the oldest perfume houses in the world) have a perfume called l’heure bleue?… created by Jaques Guerlain in 1912 it captures Paris of that era with a combination of bergamot, aniseed, carnation, orange blossom, heliotrope, bulgarian rose, tuberose, iris, vanilla and musk… a tribute to the alluring scents of the twilight!!!

Since the allure of Sinnerman is very very VERY strong… as Flying Snow I can't do this on my own so I looked up to the heavens and ‘I cried power Lord’

it's a little personal bcos it is about her and not me so I’m choosing not to post about it… might e-mail you about mãe’s bday instead…

bArOquE 11 October 2008 at 08:29  

...very annoying how i can drop a comment & blogger makes it disappear...i said something about the post being somewhat gloomy, and cool, not sure if it was about the darkness or the colour of your blog...also about loving chics that CAN drive...about liking sad old Nina too...& ShubbyDoo too...LOL

Shubby Doo 11 October 2008 at 14:50  

@baroque - how u dey my dear? Hope u r managing 2 keep it 2gether ok... the colours on my blog are 2 do with a childhood memory that filled me with delight... it still has the same result when i experience it again up until 2day. Damn right 4 u 2 say u love women that can drive ;-)... wanna join me 4 a ride?... *opens door & winks*... wait o!... My baby B finally admits he likes me and then he laughs...what?!...

Mak 11 October 2008 at 16:50  

‘To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream"... Aaah that you dream my favorite dream... And you are a goddess with words .

Lost at The End 11 October 2008 at 17:58  

"I'm happy at the extra hour in bed but I am not happy that I have no choice but to embrace GMT as autumn morphs into winter."

Love the quote. Resonates with me.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I's an honor.

Flourishing Florida 12 October 2008 at 12:51  

Tomorrow free-flowing florida becomes FFF & Shotmusinz becomes Ruffin' It. Don't miss this ...

FineBoy Agbero 13 October 2008 at 14:13  

Wow! This was really deep and symbolic. Quite poetic too. I like d fragrance of the flowers joinin u in the car and dancin to Nina Simone in ur nostrils. Beautiful!!!

I love Sinner Man! It is my fav Nina Simone song. So, was it coincidence dat u mentioned a certain "Sinnerman" (sans the space) in the same breath?

Flourishing Florida 13 October 2008 at 16:34  

wot can i say? pele, love. shit happens.

"Ruffin' It" is launched. If u haven't been there, follow my link ...

Shubby Doo 13 October 2008 at 16:56  

@mak – Thank you… I’ve been to yours and I like it there… you are quite a talent!

hold the dream ;-)

@LaTE – I’m sure it resonates with all… with a bit of trepidation (pls don’t laugh o!)… I can say the honour is mine!

@FFF – welcome back…

@fineboy abgero – it was no coincidence… or maybe it was…all I know is that this simply art I have transcribed imitated my life…

@FFF – will pop over to finish trinity’s story… sorry work no allow me since

this shit ain’t gonna happen… no way am I disappearing into his twilight

Mak 13 October 2008 at 22:09  

I have songs released at myspace.com/makrythm. Check them out when you have time. Pray do tell me what bethinks your mind.

Smaragd 14 October 2008 at 16:41  

aww, that'll be nice, u know where to find my email addy.

thsnx for that bit of info/history (i like knowing ish like that), i kinda expected there'd be a perfume by that name, i'm so looking for it wherever!

Power Lord! on behalf of Flying Snow.

Shubby Doo 14 October 2008 at 22:13  

@smaragd - Noooooooo...don't buy it...you no read wetin i write about twilight?! stay away 4rm l'heure bleue...Seriously i heard it is quite an appalling scent

@Mak - & he sings 2...wow...thanks so much for the link ;-)...will do!

Buttercup 15 October 2008 at 12:26  

U REALLY do have a way with words..such profoundness..im in awe!

Note to sinnerman: beware of the flying snow..BEWARE! LOL..

How u doin shubby dooooooo?

N.I.M.M.O 16 October 2008 at 11:21  

I had read this post twice on two different days. First when it was put up and today.

Somehow I believed there's a deeper meaning to the surface meaning and reading the comments I think I may be getting it. But then, I aint getting it fully.

OK. Maybe its just one of my blonde days.

Or maybe I am just enthralled.

naijaleta 16 October 2008 at 20:00  

Winter is approaching and I love it.

Especially the longer nights!

laolu7 21 October 2008 at 09:09  

u simply write brilliantly.simple but on point

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