Hi mina Beaton
weka Xinyori Xahomba
Wakanga nzela ribwe
I am from a lineage of royalty the sum product of those who came before me, you could call me an African Prince, but simply Beaton will suffice and it is my very good pleasure to welcome you to my tangle of words.
I am a storyteller, but the words that come from me aren’t just mine, they are a summation of the experiences of my people, how they shaped who I am to become and in turn how I shape those who follow after me like links in a chain.
When I was a kid my grandfather bless his soul, would have us sit close to him, by the fire and make us recite the names of our ancestors before he proceeded to tell us stories. I hated the part when I had to recite the names which at the time meant held no connection to me, a litany of syllables summarising my lineage.
When you got one name wrong, you would thank your lucky stars if you were not sitting close enough to be within striking reach. Yet we always drew close, as one does to the warmth of a fire, when he told us stories, that was the best part of the night.
Now the old man’s bones lie cold and so do my father’s and I wonder if the dead feel any cold… Is it because each passing day we remember a little less, all the things we thought we would never forget. How does the world forget who we are? It starts by forgetting those stories of old.
Long after the last man has taken his last breath and the mountains crumbled to dust, blown to sea. The wind will sigh but not miss us
We have forgotten so much wisdom that was buried in our stories, our histories, and knowledge passed from generation to generation. We stopped having fireside conversations and called it progress, we instead gathered around the TV Box which became the altar upon which we sacrificed our attention and at times even each other, absorbing and adopting new ways…. And then along came the internet.
A new age of storytelling has risen where we gather not around fires but our phones and computers as new stories unfold and forgotten memories are rekindled through the connections we forge…. Kindredness…
I am Beaton, my totem is fire and these tangle of words are pieces of me. Who are you?
Stories Of Home #WinterABC2022