Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation


Moments after I learnt of the passing of Ruby Dee and her association with Spike Lee’s movie Do The Right Thing, I searched for her photographs in a bid to stimulate my memories.

Do The Right Thing was one of the spectacular movies of my mid-teenage years.

Although I do not recall Ruby Dee, I was impressed by her images – a gorgeous and graceful woman.

Sleep tight, Ruby.

Accidentally, I came across one of her works partly titled Many Rivers To Cross, and an instant travel in auto occurred.

The lyrics of the song came to mind. I wept.

Many Rivers To Cross by Jimmy Cliff was one of the music imprinted in my soul as a teenager.

I am always reluctant to remember the trauma of my youth. That song did the reverse.

Over the last couple of months, I have relived the music of my psyche and have downloaded a few of the songs I found delectable as a teenager and which used to make me emotional.

1. The Temptations’ Lean On Me.

2. Stevie Wonder’s I Just Call.

3. George Michael’s Careless Whispers.

4. Michael Jackson And Friends’ We Are The World.

I am cautious not to re-enact the entire music history of my childhood.

The song that however, prompted the original travel in auto was Chris De Burgh’s Lady In Red.

Four years ago, I went to a DVD retail store to purchase some cartoons and as I approached the store blaring on loudspeakers was one of the my favourites, Lady In Red.

It was the first time I had heard the song in almost 20 years. As if by some form of mind transport, I was instantly taken back two decades to when I was sixteen.

I wept profusely. Seeing myself as a child has that effect on me. What I went through, I do not wish on any child.

What caused me so much grief at the demise of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston was not so much their death but for their connection to my childhood memories.

AlHamduliLlah (Praise is to Allah) my Niqab provided the required protection for me to be free with my emotions without worrying about the people effect.

It was four years before I decided to search for and download the song.

Intertwined with my psyche are not just Soul Music, but diverse forms: Jazz and Rhythm & Blues – R&B, and so on.

On the other end of the music spectrum is Hip Hop, hardcore rap to be precise.

These artistes are among many others: Ice Cube, Ice T, and Snoop Dogg.

The rap artistes that stand out are PUBLIC ENEMY! Public Enemy Number One is an unforgettable hit single and a statement.

At the time of the initial travel through memory, I did a psychiatric assessment of my identity in terms of the genre of music I used to enjoy as a teenager.

Usually, I extend my warmth and motivation to persons I encounter regardless of socio-economic status or authority ranking.

Should the individual respond well, we have a mutually respectful interaction even at times of escalated disputes that might find us at opposing sides of the case.

This is the outcome of the love and inspirational songs.

Should the person demonstrate abuse of power or exceed bounds relying on gang or cultural support to violate my personal rights and freedoms, I give the person the gangster treatment.

– A veritable public enemy.

Yes, I am enemy to a repressive public.

One comment on “MUSIC OF MY PSYCHE: A Travel In Auto

  1. Umm Sulaim
    2017, Mon+01:002014-06-16T19:14:41+01:00+01:0006b+01:00Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:14:41 +0100 31

    Listening to Stand By Me, by Ben E King, which popped into my consciousness a few moments ago.

    That 16 year-old fought back insanity successfully.

    Moving forward, I celebrate my childhood and all children, especially those who employ available resources to assuage the damaging effects of adults.

    The one and only,
    Umm Sulaim

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Love from an Amawụ of Ọtampa and Ụmụasụa in Ìsúíkwúàtọ̀, Nigeria.

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