love vs communication vs connection

yesterday, during the opinions’ session after rehearsals, one of the students asked, “what is the most important thing in a relationship?” the first response was, “love. i cannot be with somebody who doesn’t love me. no ways.” this response drew a lot of spirited affirmative responses. then one of the students said, “i think communication is the most important thing in a relationship. you can be in love with someone but if the two of you cannot communicate, love is useless.” everybody agreed with the opinion – me too. i must admit that was a good observation about love being useless without communication. i mean, how do you let someone know you love them if you cannot communicate your feelings. after bandying more ideas about, one of the students turned to me and said, “sir, you’ve been very quiet.” i smiled. and she added, “why are you quiet don’t you have someone special?” my response was, “every relationship is unique in its setup, so what is most important in one may not be important in another relationship. also, what some people think is love is simply just affection. so, i cannot say, love is the most important thing in a relationship. communication is very important, like diana said. but for me though, the most important thing in any relationship is connection.”  i then asked them to check the definition of relationship on their phones, tablets and laptops. this is what they found: “a connection, association, or involvement”; “connection between persons by blood or marriage”; “an emotional or other connection between people.” thanks for checking …

i got up and closed the opinions’ session and the class. i refused to take any after-class questions on what i said. i knew some disagreed. i knew some wanted me to expound on why i think love could only just be affection. i knew some didn’t quite get the difference between communication and connection. but, i wanted them to go back home, and think about it. hopefully, discuss it with their special someone. but, also, i wanted the actors to think about the connections their character has with (each of the) other characters in the play before we convene on wednesday. we shall be dealing with this when the opinions’ session opens after the next rehearsals on wednesday. i wasn’t playing mind games with the students when i said connection is more important than communication – it is.

true, love and communication are important – but they are not (separately) always the most important thing in a relationship. this is my impression, you’re free to disagree. but, when you really think about it, often in relationships, the thing lovers fight about is a lack of connection. brene brown says connection is the “… energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” all of the attributes brown speaks of coalesce in the several types and degrees of interpersonal connections: connections at an emotional, intellectual, physical/chemistry, or lifestyle-based levels. in my experience, for relationships to really work, connections must exist and develop on multiple levels. the strength or depth of any or a combination of these many different types of connections can make all the difference in the quality and duration of a relationship.

if you believe, as some people do, in love at first sight, it is very likely the strongest connection you felt at the onset of any relationship was on the physical level. relationships based on purely physical attraction may not last. dr. george simon says, “an overly-intense physical component to a relationship can often lead to distorted perceptions. for example, one partner might “over-idealize” the other, ascribing attributes to them they don’t have.” he explains further that this is not the only problem that can arise from this. he says, when physical attraction dominates, couples might also overlook potentially problematic attributes as well as the lack of connection at other levels needed for the sustenance of a relationship. mind you, blindness to important dimensions of a relationship doesn’t always come from physical infatuation. it can occur when one partner is so lacking in self-esteem and is so overwhelmed by the apparent recognition and approval he/she gets from his/her partner, he/she allows the intensity of their emotional connection to overrule their better judgment about other aspects of the relationship.

whereas you don’t purposefully search for a partner that agrees with everything you are and believe in, connection gives you a “same team” spirit. a feeling that you and your partner understand each other. connection is that warm happy feeling of being in love and together. ‘togetherness’ is key to connection. let me rephrase this: relationship is connection, therefore, without connection, there is no relationship; because one defines the other. that is why when two lovers are disconnected fear, insecurity and loneliness set in. when this happens, many lovers often commit the big mistake of over-communicating from a disconnected place by focusing obsessively on the problem. let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how much love you have in your head, it is very difficult to communicate effectively (and with respect) when you are disconnected from your lover. disconnection engenders difficulty, which itself arises when you feel frustrated or threatened. what happens when you are both in this state of disconnect? you forget what you have in (in common) in the wish to maintain your own turfs. subsequently, lack of communication becomes the scapegoat, blame is tossed around, and communication, eventually really breaks down.

let’s face it, it is the desire for connection that makes you want to have an open and honest communication with your partner in the first place. when you’re connected with someone, everything, including your communication, is easy and effortless. if you and your lover find and maintain connection at different levels, it deepens the regard you have for each other and solidifies your relationship. 

fkregie 2017.


love is organic – instalment xvi

everyone loves to receive a gift. but the truth is, it is often the giver, rather than the recipient, who reaps the biggest psychological gains from a gift. you see, gift-giving reinforces our feelings for those we love, affords us the opportunity to think about them and think about things they like – doing this makes you feel effective and caring. there are many reasons we give gifts: gift-giving symbolizes affection, appreciation, joy, love and thoughtfulness. for some, when they see something nice, they immediately think “he/she will like this,” or “this will look good on him/her.” at this moment, such a person is not thinking of what they might get in return, just the fact that the gift will be perfect for their loved one. some give gifts to win back a scorned lover – “if i buy him/her this, he/she might forget/forgive what i did.” often i see men buy cars for their loved ones when they have been improprietous. the woman, naturally, is happy and forgets the impropriety. three months later, the man stops using his own car, preferring to use the gift, six months later, the gift becomes his. a lot of batswana women reading this are nodding their heads. some give gifts to indicate the end of romance – by superstition, one sure way to tell a lover it’s over is to gift her/him one of the following: clock, dagger, handkerchief, letter opener, penknife, scissors, swiss army knife, anything sharp, umbrella, watch. in tswana culture, when you give a gift of shoes, you are literally telling your loved one he/she can take a walk. except of course, you’re english where customs dictate “if you do not give a new pair of shoes to a poor person at least once in your lifetime, you will go barefoot in the next world”. yet, others give gifts in anticipation of what they want. “if i give him/her this, he/she might just get me that (insert gift) that i want.” then they give it to him/her and wait. forgetting the reason gifts are given in the first place.

imagine this: there’s a wedding coming up. woman, a new-age, no paper around, writer, buys her man a set of cufflinks with diamond studs. there have been intermittent load-shedding of late, so man comes home and hands the woman as gift, a ream of paper. “a ream of paper for these cufflinks. does this (insert insult) know i wanted a (insert gift)?” after twelve days of eating burnt food, man goes out to return the ream of paper and returns with a diamond-studded necklace – tit for tat you see. just what the woman thinks she wants for that upcoming wedding. “awww darling, you shouldn’t have … thank you so much … it’s lovely. you always know to give me what i want.” now they can travel to the rural area for the wedding – now that she has something to show off, something to turn people’s necks. three days later they are back home. there has been load-shedding for two days so all phones, tabs and laptops have run of battery and an idea suddenly hits the woman and she needs desperately to write it down. she searches frantically – no paper to write on. man is poking around in the garden out of boredom than the welfare of the flowers. woman walks up to him “i need paper.” the man stares blearily at the necklace on her neck. “we have none. remember you made me return the ream of paper i got you.” 

the moral: i recall mary oliver saying, “someone i loved once gave me a box full of darkness. it took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” whatever you do this christmas, listen to alexander o’neal’s my gift to you. and remember this, the usefulness of the best gifts isn’t known at the moment they are given – it takes a lifetime.

fkregie 2016.

love is the opium of the people

i have heard all my life that “religion is the opium of the people,” this maybe so, but i think we all need to rethink this because the opium isn’t religion – love is the opium of the people. we need to rethink this because we need to see how this phrase relates to something we are all wired to do naturally – love. we need to rethink this phrase because, in love, i believe there’s no clear-headed lover. love confuses us all in varying degrees. the best we can do is to be respectful of love and those we love to minimize the confusion – the same is true of our love for god. when we are in love, we do some heart-pleasing things that seem confusing to others who know us to be rational thinkers. how does this relate to what i am saying about religion? religion is not the opium of the people because it is religion, religion is the opium of the people because of our love for god. the love of god, just as the love lovers believe in, can leave us vulnerable to those who understand that love confuses. so, when we believe the deceptions of those who exploit our love for god we are being taken advantage of by those who understand that love will make us do silly things – the same is true of person-to-person relationships. consider this, can you be taken advantage of if you believe in no religion but love god? god is not religion, religion is just one of the ways we reach god. you can be in love with god without any of the religions. remember god created man, and man invented religion. consider these biblical passages on what god thinks of religion: when david prays to god in psalm 40:6 he says, “sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire … burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.” and amos 5:21-22 says, “i hate, i despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, i will not accept them. though you bring choice fellowship offerings, i will have no regard for them.” i sat in a church recently (on the invitation of a friend) and heard the pastor preach about tithing using the examples of ananias and his wife. this pastor claimed god struck ananias and his wife dead because they lied about how much they got from selling their land in order not to pay full tithe. it’s ok for pastors to preach about tithing, but to threaten people (with death) into parting with their hard-earned money (i think) is beyond what god would want. as someone who respects my love for god, i stopped going to this church after that day. but i am aware there are others who think differently from me. but i am sure even they know isaiah 1:13-14 states, “bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies … it is iniquity … your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; i am weary to bear them.” a respected friend of mine rightly stated recently, “without respect love is a weakness to be exploited.” i agree totally. our love for god is our opium when we confuse those who exploit this love for god – like the lover may confuse a love for love for those lovers who exploit this love for love. just like our relationship with god cannot be found through religion, our relationship with love shouldn’t be found through anyone – because no matter how hard we try, love makes us vulnerable, and there are those with innate instincts for spotting this vulnerability. love god, but by all means don’t let this love become your opium because you believe in those who exploit your lack of respect for that love.

fkregieblog 2016.

selfless mind

inspired by my response to Sarah Doughty’s “between the lines.”

here are some facts about the selfless mind: first, the selfless things they do for people are never appreciated while they are still around. second, and this derives from the first, the things people learn from selfless people seem harsh when they are said or done, and they are disliked or thought insensitive until much later when the veracity of what they said or did starts to unravel (to help the one who received it). third, and this derives from the second, people considered insensitive when you are together, usually leave you with a life-long lesson for how to approach life. fourth, selfless people are missed long after they are gone, but know this, the fact that the good lessons they teach are appreciated long after they are gone – is what keeps them doing what at first seems inconsiderate, insensitive and harsh. know this, the selfless mind bleeds, but their bleeding hearts will always flow to give life to those around them – but they bleed. know this, be wary of the disadvantages of not seeing the positive in people when you are with them. know this, be wary of being blinded by rainbows, learn to read between the lines, learn that the details are usually in the fabric not how the wearer appears to the beholder, learn to separate a lesson to be learned from the (sometimes obnoxious) personality of the person that ‘teaches’ it.

letter from father time

dear muse,

you fail to see you are all visitors or gifts given to me, father time – and that you all have been placed in my care. you have also failed to see, dear muse, that i go on with or without you. if you want to remain in the inertia that my son, today, wallows in – take all the time (pardon me for speaking in the third person) you need. but know, people make things rough and difficult. i mean, eve bit the fruit first and the rest of you followed in behind her sin. with too much time (again, i apologize) on your hands – that simple bite by eve became adultery, incest and all other acts that chew on my conscience because i didn’t snuff you out when my cousin, the grim one, wanted me to. you dont see how your frolicking with my son, today, makes you responsible for your own pain and the consequences that you have to suffer. i am throwing punches? you are the one throwing punches – every time something doesnt go your way, you hit out, even at abstract me. your punches? your slothfulness. your acts of irresponsibility, immaturity, meanness, hatred and carelessness. and i have to do my job, and catch up with you. you think i like being the one to hand you over to my cousin, the grim one, when the time comes to pay for your errant ways? you think i dont have more important things to do with myself? you do not see how i try to push you away from the chaos you see as thrill. you dont see how i try to defend myself against your tempestuous tantrums when you cant have what you want. you are a lover, i am assuming this from the letter you wrote me, and you cannot see when he stays away he is telling you he needs time (again, pardon me) alone – to reflect on how you have stolen his precious moments with me when i allow him to savor the narcissism of his mind’s yearnings. you cant see he needs me for other things so he can give you a better life. you cant see he is listening to my call to do something else with me so you both can have a comfortable future on my island for those who use me wisely. when have you ever bought anything with love and loving moments? can you go to a bank and deposit love and loving moments? you blame me for your inability to take responsibility for your future. i gave you me, and you used me up wallowing in self-pity. you said i whisper in your ears, i dont whisper, i extract that which you aim to taint with your slothful ways. you think rebellion is bliss – you kick me in the teeth but you want to savor the sweet taste of success. why are you scared of moving forward in the direction i am guarding you? you want to remain still in a cuddled moment. have you seen how hurt makes you a worshipper of my older son, yesterday. he is forever scrambling onto the bandwagons of wastrels and disgruntled lovers – offering them his memory that is cramped full of wasted what ifs and the missing children of my brother, opportunity. my middle son, today, wants nothing of you but fun. maybe my youngest son, tomorrow, will have you – he is full of optimism, him. for his sake, i will spare you your punishment and give you a bit more of me. use me well if you want to secure my son, tomorrow.

inspired by the urgings of morgan byers,

father time.


letter to time

dear time

i am writing this so i can give you back your hands. run fast past the meadows and get carried away by wind or run like the shaved-back and fluffy-humped wildebeests of the serengeti. whichever you choose – just run. i am writing to you to return your boxing gloves punching away at the years in my lungs having me lose my breath over nothing. keep them. i want to remember such moments and this is only possible if i look away from you. just this past week his silence taught me i had no business being worried about time – that it will pass and he could ‘take all the time he needs.’ i felt a stretch as if my mind was shape-shifting into place – giving me a new belief to abide by. you are neither devil, hot-skinned and crooked-nose nor are you any angel, haloed and feathered. i wouldnt know what to consider you … you can keep your digital turn. we dont need it. we dont need an anniversary – nothing to mark that we have been together six years, three months, three weeks or three days and some change. keep those calisthenics. those quick reminders of aging and death, and anything that measures the present as a continuing past. and if anybody asks, i will refer them to you. when he lays by my side – you dont exist. he quietens for a length and i can hear you breath heavy into my ear – ticking away in my ear. bending my mind. winding up my patience. pounding at my heart every second with your minute hand. youll need to stop that. you will also need to stop asking people to ask me what i am going to do if he left. monuments are erected for his kind. stars align for his kind. you bow down to his kind. he has no regard for you. he treats you like a street scavenger not the god you are acclaimed to be. foreshadowing? keep that shit with your dials. ive finally dealt with time-travelling fantasies of bearing his kids, travelling together, taking a walk under the stars because i am too heated to talk and too stubborn to dare the universe, and dare-may-i-say a break up… as of today, as of now, no, as of this breath, i have stopped. because you make me mourn for long over mundane things, burying my mind in the cathedral bones of death, but love makes us live and no one lives by fixating about death, of skin losing elasticity, of wrinkles, and gaining weight – of make-up, of time… i always wished to be here, with him, and now that i am with him, i wont be fast forwarding anything – afraid to lose him. we will build memories out of these moments. of course a moment is time but we wont be needing much of you, let me not speak for him, i wont be needing much of you. let this be the last time i will have to write to you.


cleans and dirties

blow is a clean. job is a clean: blowjob? is a dirty.  

hammer is a clean. hanging is a clean: “how is your hammer hanging?” is a dirty.

nail is a clean: screw is a dirty.

racecourse is a clean: intercourse is a dirty.

sanitary is a clean. towel is a clean: sanitary towel is a dirty.

sixty is a clean. nine is a clean: sixty-nine? now, that is a dirty 

Copyright © Fani-Kayode Omoregie 2016

what’s in a name

Which classical musician committed the Original Sin? Adam.

Which classical musician did not have any pigmentation? – Albinoni.

Which classical musician never called a woman back? Alcala.

Which classical musician sounded like a dog? – Bach.  

Which classical musician was always on his backside? Bartok.

Which classical musician maltreated his cooker? – Beethoven.

Which classical musician never made it to the toilet on time? Bernstein.

Which classical musician relished cutting up rats? – Bizet.

Which classical musician had a prickly nature? Brahms.

Which classical musician was also a lumberjack? – Chopin.

Which classical musician was named after Baltimore? Copland.

Which classical musician died a virgin after the first show? Debussy.

Which classical musician had bad breath? – Gershwin.

Which classical musician had a frightening face? – Horowitz.

Which classical musician was also a backstreet boxer? Mahler.

Which classical musician was also a Mozambican artist? Mozart.

Which classical musician was an atheist? – Paganini.

Which classical musician had a small member? Pixis.

Which classical musician always had a runny stomach? – Puccini.

Which classical musician was always confused? – Ravel.

Which classical musician played pro table tennis with his shoe? Schubert.

Which classical musician was also a shoemaker? – Schumann.

Which classical musician was a drunkard? – Strauss.

Which classical musician drank too much tea? Tchaikovsky.

Which classical musician was an electronic apprentice? – Telemann.

Which classical musician had to alter the spelling of his vulgar name? Vivaldi.

Which classical musician had muscular spasm? – Wagner.                            

Copyright © Fani-Kayode Omoregie 2016

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