I promised myself I would blog daily this month. So here I am at 36 minutes to midnight finally starting this post. It was partly because the children wanted two different things for dinner and I wanted a third, and it was partly because we moved to a new apartment a month ago and I still have not hung pictures (so I hung a few today). But it was partly because I am struggling to voice my thoughts this month as I consider intimate violence and the way it has touched my life and those I love.
...the storm burst. Okonkwo, who had been walking about aimlessly in his compound in suppressed anger, suddenly found an outlet.
"Who killed this banana tree?" he asked.
A hush fell on the compound immediately.
"Who killed this tree? Or are you all deaf and dumb?"
As a matter of fact the tree was very much alive. Okonkwo's second wife had merely cut a few leaves off it to wrap some food, and she said so. Without further argument Okonkwo gave her a sound beating and left her and her only daughter weeping. Neither of the other wives dared to interfere beyond an occasional and tentative, "It is enough, Okonkwo," pleaded from a reasonable distance.
His anger thus satisfied, Okonkwo decided to go out hunting. He had an old rusty gun made by a clever blacksmith who had come to live in Umuofia long ago. But although Okonkwo was a great man whose prowess was universally acknowledged, he was not a hunter. In fact he had not killed a rat with his gun. And so when he called Ikemefuna to fetch his gun, the wife who had just been beaten murmured something about guns that never shot. Unfortunately for her, Okonkwo heard it and ran madly into his room for the loaded gun, ran out again and aimed at her as she clambered over the dwarf wall of the barn. He pressed the trigger and there was a loud report accompanied by the wail of his wives and children. He threw down the gun and jumped into the barn, and there lay the woman, very much shaken and frightened but quite unhurt. He heaved a heavy sigh and went away with the gun...
<At a festival a time later>
"I did not know it was you," Ekwefi said to the woman who had stood shoulder to shoulder with her since the beginning of the matches.
"I do not blame you," said the woman. "I have never seen such a large crowd of people. Is it true that Okonkwo nearly killed you with his gun?"
"It is true indeed, my dear friend. I cannot yet find a mouth with which to tell the story."