Those Who Bend and Those Who Break

Some roses blossom Scarlett

They say once upon a time in Arabia, roses were all white and nightingales could not sing. A moonless night, a nightingale passed by a white rose, a beautiful white rose and the moment it saw it, the bird felt head over heels in love with the flower. At that time, no one had ever heard nightingales sing. They would spend their entire lives silently; yet the love of the bird was so strong that a wonderful song came out of its throat and it surrounded the rose with its wings trying to hug the flower with passion….The nightingale hold the rose so wildly tight onto its chest that the thorns pierces/broke its heart. And it died, its wings draped around the flower. The blood of the nightingale stained the petals of the white rose. Since then, some roses blossom scarlet.




I am Scarlett and this is my confession

My asking for forgiveness, for redemption

The expression of my remorse

My only way to apologize without losing face

How i knock at heaven’s gate for my own sake

I am Scarlett O’hara and this is my story

The story of the mighty O’hara

Who stood stubborn in the desert

Waiting for the rain to fall;

Kept trying to catch the sun

When the craziest knows

How much it burns;

Who couldn’t find in this world happiness

Did not know precisely the meaning of kindness;

Clung onto that childhood dream

Where dear prince charming was blond.

I would have crushed Ashley

And broken him into pieces

He was full of ideas, I was full of life

I was down to earth, he was sitting on clouds

We were no fit; he was no match for me

And this was true from the very beginning

Him being him and me being me

Him only capable of being him, I, of being me;

But i had that childhood dream

And in my dream

Prince charming was blond.

Had i given it a try

It would have been different with Rhett

He was the shade and I was the light

We were bound by a link no one could break

Except me,

Which I did…;

But i had that childhood dream

And in my dream

Prince charming was blond.

Now listen up, open your ears

For this should be the very last time

Scarlett O’hara speaks her heart out

I note it here so I won’t say it loud

Scarlett O‘Hara does not apologize

– Neither regret, Nor write –

Still this is me, writing these words down

Words that so not sound like Scarlett O‘Hara:

I thought I loved the dashing Ashley

But married Captain Rhett the intrepid

Rhett loved me like crazy indeed

Still, till the end I did not manage to see

That my heart belonged to Him and to no one else

One does not love to breathe unless he misses air.

At my defense, I had that childhood dream

And in my dream

Prince charming was blond.

Blond as the winter wheat dancing in the air

Blond as the dazzling warming sun ray

Blond as a golden silky thread softly swaying

Blond as the stardust gone with the wind.

Yes, he was blond

Prince charming was definitely blond.

A rose without a thorn is not a rose

I was born to be a rose, an Irish rose

And I got stained hurting my loves

I was born to be a rose, the Irish rose

That got stained hurting her loves

A rose needs thorns to have charisma

The dog and the wolf: Words from an angry slave

Do you guys know the story of the dog and the wolf?

The dog lives a peaceful life in a cage as a slave by man side. In rewards, humans take care of it, almost as it, being part of the family. It definitely does not have to worry about tomorrow. Then, there is the wolf, which struggles every day for food and against danger. But the thing is, he is somehow freer: As free to live as to die.

Who do you believe is happier? Can you really tell it is better to be a dog than being a wolf? Well, I cannot. The only thing I can say is that a dog is not a wolf and vice versa. Any attempt to change their status should be thoroughly prepared. You cannot just take the chains off the dog and say: « From now on, go, you will be a wolf ».

That war was definitely not for us.

They would come all the way south to « set us free » while we do not remember asking them anything. That war had nothing to do with us. Don’t you ever try and convince me that in those white eyes we had ever been worth fighting for.

Would you better be a brainless and obedient child or some kind of independent monster?

That was the choice we had.

We could be the perfect Negroes for Dixie: Incapable narrow-minded good slaves, always agreeing, gently nodding our heads and proudly defending our masters, eternally grateful for the care we received and honored whenever being transferred from the farm to the house, eating well as tough we enjoyed our condition.

Or we could have been monsters for the North: Crazy beasts to unleash so they could, through us, take revenge on Dixie; men, free enough to be, free enough to work but with no chance of ever finding anything to do, nor any place to be.

Freedom was nowhere to be seen. Freedom was not an option. We just found ourselves stuck in the fight for a few acres of cotton.

Someone once said that there were two tragedies in life: One was not to be able to realize one’s dream; the other was to fulfill it. I strongly believe the tragedy lies in not being able to choose between both.

That war was a tragedy: as Dixie forced us once into slavery, embarrassment, poverty and hard work, the North forced us into freedom. It thus did come without the package: Recognition, orientation and a vision.

Freedom should be a road, a conscious choice of the slave to walk on a path he has chosen, aiming to reach somewhere. Our « freedom » had nothing such, no other goal than bothering our old masters.

Still, I always wondered how come our old masters believed so strong that we were proud of being slaves just because we smiled when saying « thanks ». I thought they would somehow be the best ones to understand the weight of chains as they too were some kind of slaves, slaves to conventions, though much freer than us.

Freedom is such an empty word: Mama Slave mourning

I feel the wind blowing through my door

It is telling me that the sun has gone

And the children sitting inside

Are waiting for me to leave the window side

Soon we will have to harvest in the farm

Though I doubt we’ll reap much this year

There are no men, no animals, and no rain

No money, no seed, no tools, no strength.

I am old and my bones are weak

And my son he was all I have

He has gone to fight for freedom

Leaving by the way with my heart

All my life I have loved this land

Worked it somehow freely with my hand

Now, can your freedom send the rain, now that seed is in the ground?

Can your freedom take good care of us, fill our stomachs and educate?

Can your freedom unchain our hearts and erase all memories of us slaves?

Can your freedom bring us to equality with our white fellows?

Can your freedom promise to our dying children a brighter future?

Can your freedom heal the pain and bring my son back to me again?

All days long, I would sit staring at the window

Waiting for my son to appear at the corner of the street

And walk the way down the hill to Tara

Walk the way down the hill to his mama

Every day the sun set on an empty road

And every night I stared at his bed still unfolded

Telling myself how much I truly loved this land

And somehow freely worked it with my hand

Wondering whether your freedom could cultivate cotton

Heal the wounds and bring my son back to me by dawn.

I dreamt one night that my son, he was calling me

He was alone in the dark

Lying in the snow in some remote place

His raged clothes stained and already gone red

Blood gently flowing, flowing on the snow

He was almost dead and knew not where he was

Almost dead though I guess still so not free.

That war was not a war for freedom.

That war was not a war for us.

Curtains closed: Words from a slave gone old

Dixie would never be same old Dixie again. I had that premonitory dream where my great great grandchildren were as freer as it can be, as freer as white people. They would not say « Madam this » and « Mister that », distorting their backbones forever, trying to humbly bend their head to the maximum. I had that dream of my descendants standing on both feet, entering universities, talking clever like white folks. They would dress smart, talk smart, and look smart with gentle manners. They would become full American citizens with full rights, teachers, pilots, movie actors, singers and why not presidents someday? They would rise, I am sure; as like us, slaves, they would have it in their DNA, the power to stand still, bear the unbearable and move forward.

I must admit that we had that in common with her too. A bold attitude towards society and life and the ability to always, always always keep on going on, stiffen up the upper lip and stand still in the storm.

This is because we know how to bend.

I am old already now and I do not hate her anymore for being the mistress she was. In the end, she was too pathetic to be hateful. Plus she paid the high price already. Whosoever sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind.

You remember that last lines when Rhett refused Scarlett’s love and packed his stuff to sail away while she, devastated, ran back to Tara? You might certainly be curious about what happened then. I agree with you, that was so not a way to end a story. Let me tell you what happened then:

I went back to Tara with Scarlett and yes, she did feel better spending some time back home. The fresh air blushed back her cheeks, and furbished her dark hair. She even managed to laugh with that gorgeous laughter of her teens. She would go around trying to tame her wild nature and play with the children that formerly were nothing but mere decorations in her showy life. She tried desperately to learn and be a good mother but it was kind of too late for her to make acquaintance with her children, plus Ella was such an ugly girl and Wade a shy boy, two features Scarlett always hated the most. Still, she tried hard and did her best but I guess not everyone is fit to be a mother. God does have the sense of humor: He gave children to the worst mother ever and took with him too soon the best one. They say the good die young. I wonder what it means of me still being this old and alive…

No, Scarlett never won the heart of her children. They were longing for Uncle Rhett and somehow couldn’t forgive their mother for him being absent. No one ever told them anything, but I can assure you that there are things that you cannot hide from a child. Plus, the eyes never lie. Particularly Scarlett’s eyes who never manage to hide her feelings: The uncompromising eyes which have seen so much and are still ready to fight, the eyes that cannot stand any form of weakness.

Mama died a sweet November afternoon. But Scarlett still stood up defying her body to shed a single tear. I told you already and you do know that she is not of those who break. She bends.

Ashley sold the saw mills and went north, to New York, craving for a new start. Beau and Wade managed to get to Harvard. Ella married a distant relative and went to live in Charleston. Rhett travelled round the world as a treatment against its devastating love for Scarlett, still alive and yet so dead already.

Scarlett kept on taking an extremely good care of her appearance, more than she ever did even in her greatest moment of vanity: she would comb her silky dark hair twice a day, buy the latest robes and finest jewelries, protect her skin from sunlight and make up her entire face etc. I asked her once why she put up with all those efforts with the children, with her dress, with the noise of her laughter and other coquettish ways and she replied:

– For I should be ready for the day he will be coming back for good.

He never came back for good. A fresh afternoon in Dixie, she received a letter. She was widow for the third time. She did not cry, nor regret, she did not tear her clothes, break her necklace or anything, and her intransigent look did not fade away. She kept doing her things, genuinely dressed and made up, smiling around like a young lady, for she should be ready for the day she would meet him again and stand on his side forever. Until that day, she stood up. She was of those who bend but never break.

I must admit I somehow secretly admired her, how she ruled her world stubbornly, as if she was the only one worth taking care of. When she died, I carried my old body all the way north to witness with my own eyes what was that thing they called freedom, that thing that took my son away. I will not say anything on my journey; it is none of your business and somehow not even important.

Just someday, I would sit in my daughter’s tiny kitchen and stare at the window watching the cherry blossoms and dreaming of magnolia flowers. Those days I would turn my old tired face to my bored grandchildren silently packed in the small room and ask them:

Do you want to hear the story of the O’hara?

They would most often quickly say « yes », glad to get some entertainment in this miniscule apartment, in this free city designed for adults and hard work and where children could not just be children.

I would then sit back on my daughter’s creaking wooden chair and smile at the old time: « You know, folks; Grandma has been through a lot of stuff. I have lived a damn hectic life but one that lived a crazier life than mine is for sure the Irish Rose of Georgia. Her name was Scarlett O’Hara and she was in love with Captain Rhett…But before I start, let me tell you a little story I like so you can understand…I heard it once from Mister Ashley Wilkes, my former owner’s only son…before I was sold to the O’hara who believed I was the worst slave ever, me acting as though I was free already…Yes, back then we had owners and had to always humbly say « Yes, sir » for this, « yes, sir » for that…Yes, back then before the war that crushed Dixie, when they did not know how lucky they were…He told me this: « There is a say that there was a time when roses were all white and nightingales could not sing…« 




Gone with the wind

I am Scarlett the coldhearted blind lady

Who was in love with Rhett deeply

But chose to clung onto her childish dream

Of a nonsensical love with happily wed Ashley

I shut my eyes and walked passed happiness

Running pitifully after impossible, nothing less

Nurturing nothing but hatred and sadness

Sowing and reaping hard time and madness

I am Scarlett, who stood up to adversity

Who stood up to war and death

Who stood up to a meaningless love

Who stood up to all the thorns

Who stood up to conventions

Who stood up to a devastating passion.

Soon, I will be dead

I foresee a showy death

As I will still be me,

Who only exist to live a golden life

And deserve to dash off with a lot of style

Thus, if children ever need to recall something,

Let it be that, I am Scarlet, the one and only

That I lived the war and made a difference

That I deserve to have my name remembered

When years will be gone

We’ll be forgotten

But if ever you come to Georgia

Don’t you get distracted by the blooming magnolias

Feel the wind blowing in your hair

And the petals of roses flying in the air

And hear me say: I have been there

I am Scarlett, the everlasting Scarlett

The beautiful rose, that so belongs to Rhett

I am Scarlett


Cet article, publié dans African litterature and so on, English Version, est tagué , , , , , , , , , , , . Ajoutez ce permalien à vos favoris.

3 commentaires pour Those Who Bend and Those Who Break

  1. kedsanna dit :

    Sweetie did u write thisyourself or is it from some author. In anycases, thisis just magic. I love the way Scarlett Ohara, a symbol of the WASP has been used to portray the dilemna of slavery. Just beautiful.


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