Dili’s Log 傾聽你的心 ― dedicated to the people that got me here.

Acknowledgment

不聞不若聞之,聞之不若見之,見之不若知之,知之不若行之;學至於行之而止矣

{ For your faith, that gave me wings.
For your patience, that suffered me.
For your encouragement, that was relentless.
For your presence, that was unconditional.
For your empathy, when I deserved judgment.
For your comfort, through loneliness and desolation.
For your love, when I was unlovable.
Thank you…
For you taught me the life I now live.
Dulce bellum inexpertis.
Invictus maneo. } ― Dili

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Special Thanks

Royalties and New Life Choir: together, we spoke of the future and aspired much. I hope you are living your best life no matter its form. Well done is better than well said. Nevertheless, you helped shape who I am today – thank you; Abiola and Femi Otenigbagbe: for nurturing a youth’s reckless leadership believing he could rise to more; John & Marilyn Kelly: my second home in Edinboro Pennsylvania, which will always be one of my favorite places in the world; Adaeze Akeru: for your faith in me as well as your heart and friendship; Tola Akunji – in some alternate universe, our bond and friendship wouldn’t have been so underestimated. Tunde Microbrosky – for your infectious enthusiasm for internet technology that drew me firmly into computers; Chuka Ojimba, Brother Ben, Monday Igwe, James at Technical, Afolabi, others: names to always remember and hold precious; Nelly Ekaidem: I will always adore you – the young are often stupid; Chidi Achims: my boyhood role model leader – death cheats and memories redress; Kingsley Igwe: a dear and constant friend of past, present, and future; Iyke Onka: Down in my bones I can feel this holy dope. More than a musician, the science ideas you shared with me about light and time were brilliant and I wish you’d put them to paper and publish some time. Thanks for the inspiring figure you were during my more musically inclined years; Chidi Nnadozie: my first work boss – thanks for taking a chance on me and encouraging my adventurism even when it seemed to threaten your job. You are the most secure boss I never had again; Tracey Newton: for your solidarity when everyone else avoided me; Allen and Susan Scott: for your warmth, kindness, and the memorable winter hat and scarf you knitted for me. I will always value the moments shared with your outstanding extended family. Contentment is seldom possible under great pain; Linda Hawkins, Laura Mae Wood, and Laurie Chandler: Atlanta was no doubt the biggest time-waste of my life under the circumstances, and I still curse under my breath the counterproductive influences that dragged me there, as well as the difficult 7-year period it took to reel out. Yet our loving friendship which continues to pulse in my heart reminds me of something to look back on with immense gratification; Anna Ruth Flagg and Nancy Turtle: for your relentless gestures of encouragement – it really was all I had to go by sometimes; Jerry and Susan Pickens: all-time favorite neighbors to always remember and treasure. :::-::: There are people who prefer the airbrush versions of our lives, the better days, and the fair weather. Others take a condescending presumption to dictate how you ought to think and evaluate yourself based on their notions of your unworthiness and their own delusional superiority. A good number of the names above identified with the most self-inflicting periods of my journey and character with an unnatural understanding and resilient overtures for a more active role in what was an inconvenient friendship to you. Thank you for believing in me when it was not so obvious to do so. Your names mean something deeply personal and cherished to me, whether or not I have opted to remain in contact. In some ways, the person you knew and loved no longer exists – perhaps undone by the realities of life, which we all share in our own forms – but I hold his remnant and know how highly he esteemed you.

Special Thanks also to the notion of Failure and Imperfections: Whatever I am today, it is because of a healthy willingness to fail in friendships, love, family, business, and life. Without these strings of permanent failures, I wouldn’t be better at life, love, and work.

Academia

Adun Akinyemiju, S. O. Adigun, F. T. Himmikaye, S. O. Otoide, A. O. Edun, Lola James, N. J. Osai. A heartfelt appreciation for seeing something in me at a time I could not have possibly believed alone. Thank you. Dr. Ron Koger – for your influence that kept me in college longer than I could afford, Dr. Kim Haimes-Korn and Erin Sledd – for teaching me writing as an exploratory means for inquiry, discourse, and fine art. Dr. James Ponnley: the only math teacher that mattered… of blessed memory. Thank you, Dr. Ponnley.

Distant Heroes

Robert Greene – particularly your work on Mastery. It was immense encouragement and reinforcement to both my drive and focus, through the darkest moments of inner conflicts and sheer excess work over punishing hours, where no other voices of reassurance nor light would travel with me, often reinstating clarity and the security to stay on mission. Monica Lewinsky – for standing back up and outmatching the entire world; demonstrating our ownership over our own story. Your resilience continues to inspire my approach to life. MacKenzie Scott – the moment you had the influence to improve millions of minority lives, you did.

To my riders – you bore me through happy times, grief, and many reflections bringing all the excitements of meaningful human-to-human connections both with laughter, sadness, solidarity, and occasional irritation. Sharing thousands of moments with people I never could have met otherwise from all works, stations, and places of life and the world has affected me considerably – leaving me with no doubt that humanity is far better across peoples, cultures, and civil societies, than our individual upbringing and environment might have us think. Only through a genuine human connection with the person next to you can the world truly become more colorful and vivid. Every 20,000+ of you, 80% of which we shared more than a 5 minutes conversation, left a part of yourselves, your world, and your experiences – highs and lows, with me. Thank you.

Other

No matter how in control or strong we think we are, our behaviors and outcomes aren’t silos. The close relations we keep and environments we put ourselves have an outsized influence over our mindset and wellbeing. Some orient and bring out the best in us – furthring our maturity, while others disorient and bring out the worst of our humanity – regressing us backward against our hard-won values. Yet, there are and continue to be people that add positively to the story of our lives. Many have names we tragically may never remember again. Others, like my literature teacher in Word of Faith Primary School (Elementary School), a tall slender man who often wore black trousers on a black short-sleeve shirt with tiny white polka dots, whom I only remember as Mr. David, are remembered as though from another lifetime. Mr. David’s immense disappointment, hearing my involvement in a foolhardy class raid and fist brawl in Primary 2, would go on to frame my conduct in times of aggression – I never want to see that look on his face again. I have been loved, aided, and abetted by Latinos, Arabs, Indians, Black, White, and Asian people. Most of my teachers through life and school expected so much of me and fostered their hopes. All those past ‘lifetimes’ were the building blocks of the present. Wherever you are, thank you. You made a difference.

Honorary Mention

To surviving siblings. Our better decisions in life aren’t usually the most popular. Permanently extricating and cutting ties may have been the most disorienting pain and difficult decision I ever made, but was also the healthiest. There is no looking back. I regret the irreparable life damages and years of self-sabotage it took to finally come to terms on a firm decision, but take solace in knowing the recourse was that much an absolute last resort. In a world where estrangement from even a kryptonite family carries a negative social stigma, I have no doubt of my “monster” status from this resolution. So be it. May we all find the courage to do what we have to do, and let time show the wisdom and harvest of our judgment – bringing greater contentment in our separate paths that eluded us together.
To Francis Ezeadina Ikwuadinso, I mourn you deeply. Your industry provided agency to my aspirations despite your shortcomings as a father. You certainly were no angel. Yet, I had silently expected better and prouder days ahead of us reignited by success and physical proximity. I always did feel gratitude for your hard work and what must have been painful sacrifices for you, especially faced with the same in my work-life experience as well as in my observation and shared stories with other hard workers. I am saddened by how much you enriched my life and how little of this impact you ever got to know before your death. We had no closure. In the absence of a conclusion, my mind recursively searches for you restlessly in dreams during sleep. Whenever found, an ephemeral brass light is cast upon you and none of it makes any sense. A meaningless and utterly avoidable death, yet inevitable in the absence of the will to live. While I hold no regrets but resolve from your fate, the reveal of the crueler realities of this world has dealt even a double loss. I grieve only one. RIP – Invictus Manetis (You remain unvanquished).
Remembering my grandmother, Mary Rose Mbaezue, whose soft reassurance I could never forget. Fond thoughts also of Sylvia Omini, and Onumasi Okafor: deep within my heart you will always live – death cheats and memories redress. Ifeanyi Ikwuadinso: once a boy’s only ideal of a big brother.

Featured Song

Thank you.
Memores acti prudentes futuri

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