March 9, 2017 Obara Meji 34Comment

Whenever I write a post it comes from somewhere deep within. I always write my truth, and I try to do it as tastefully as I can and with some humour. Life is challenging enough for us to be too serious about it, humour takes the edge off. I had fun writing Fatty Sandra last week, and also had fun with you guys and your comments. I, too, read along with you after I published the story and became fascinated with the cast of characters. Though I was genuinely impressed with Killfuss (a mind like his and what he does is fascinating to me) my favourite character believe it or not was Bugsy. Yes, Bugsy. When I began to write Fatty Sandra and The Baby Duppy, as my fingers tapped the keys, I had no idea Bugsy would appear, I was surprised when he did. And then to find out after that he was an important part of why most of the family survived the Obeah sent their way, it made me look deeper into how many people we meet are underestimated, and it made me think about what is looked upon as the “dregs” of society and who some of them really are.

There was a time when my own family speculated about my mental health, and even I at one point. It was hush talk, but I knew about it, and I worried. This was during the time of my first initiation into spirituality, which took three years, and I don’t know if I will ever get over what I went through (read here). Time has lessened the pain of it, but whenever I think about those times, as I am doing now, something shifts my heart just a wee bit. Which shows improvement on my behalf, because times gone by, my key board would be drenched with tears.

My awakening was hard, very hard. It was a rough journey to becoming me, and while I do not regret it, I thank all that is great, divine and holy that my children did not have to pass through what I went through. I am the one who woke them up, gently, safely and lovingly. I guess that was the contract I made before coming into being, “wake me up fully when the time is right, so that my children will not have to pass through the fire as I” I guess I stated, and boy did they. And the experience caused my family to wonder about my sanity during those times.

I knew a mad person before, or what some people called a mad person. To me he was a friend. To be honest I thought of him only after Fatty Sandra was written, but I had long ago drafted a post on him. His name was Bagga. He was Jamaican living in America since he was a child. He was a quiet fellow, always clean and neatly dressed, respectful, never troublesome. As I grew, and become myself, I always at times reflected on things Bagga would say to me. Here is the post I had drafted on him so long ago.

Musings of Mad Man Bagga

Yesterday I spoke to my father and while we spoke he remembered Bagga, a fellow who lived on the street where I lived many years ago in America. Bagga was Jamaican like me, and he was the only child of his mother. His father had died when he was young. When my dad brought Bagga up in our conversation, his image came clear to me, and I remembered when we used to sit and talk. It made me sad that I did not know what a great treasure Bagga was, but now looking back Bagga taught me plenty…

How innocent are children? It is as we grow, the world and all that we encounter that removes our innocence and hardens some of us. The young have no judgement, they are trusting, this is why it is especially sad when an adult violates a child’s trust, teach them to hate or discriminate, or impose on them their (the adult) personality or beliefs.

Bagga was a tall man, and big in body, he was always clean and neatly dressed. He lived with his mother in the building across from ours, and he would get up early in the mornings and put out the garbage for the building which was the super’s (janitor for the building) job, but Bagga did it anyway. He would sweep the whole neighbourhood, and help old people carry their bags up and down the stairs, if they gave him money he would try to refuse it. Looking at Bagga, one would never know that he had a mental problem (I still do not believe he was mad, but his mother told my parents that he was diagnosed with something, I forgot), but something was not correct with him according to people, and it took me a long time to realize that something was indeed off, but was it madness?

Bagga was one who used to sit on our step with James my friend (he was a veteran and suffered from PTSD) and the other old men, read here, he never drank nor did he speak much when the others were around. At times I would meet him on the stoop before anyone came and he would greet me well by saying “Hey pretty Princess, how yuh doing?”  I would answer him and ask about his health and we would sit quietly watching the children play in the streets.

But when Bagga would speak to me, our conversations would go a little like this:

“What yuh name again?” he’d ask, and I would tell him.

“Ok, let me tell you this Obara, look at the moon, and the sun do you know they are related?” (His topics were always spiritual, but I paid no attention to that fact back then).

I would shake my head. I didn’t know.

“You young fool,” he would say. “Not that you foolish Obara (he was careful of hurting people’s feeling), but your youth obstruct your mind from seeing the real in most things, for instance Obara, what colour shirt am I wearing?”

“Black,” I said. He wore a black polo shirt with Khaki coloured shorts, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could see that, but Bagga told me that the shirt was red (the others hearing this laughed, but he ignored them).

He continued.

“Obara the world want to fool you, but you have got to be wise, they tell you it is black, and so black is what you see when you see red and red is black when you see it.”

At the time this confused me and sounded ridiculous, but I somehow had interest in what he was saying and wanted him to explain.

He told me that there is a war going on, but nobody knows and the war is without guns. He said “Obara, they get us through our food, and when you reject what they are telling you or selling you they say that you are crazy. Let me teach you, have you ever heard from anyone that the sun and the moon were related?”

“No,” I told him. He explained that the sun and the moon were of the same parent which was the Earth, they were born. Warning bells began to ring in my head, as something would say to me, “cukoo, cukoo, cukoo” like the cukoo bird chiming from the clock. But another small part of me still wanted to listen, there might be truths to his reasoning, just jumbled up.

Bagga would tell me that all that was around us speaks to us everyday and that the sun had a voice. He called it Ra. He said the ancient Egyptians served Ra the sun and that Ra was the one who created all and everything, even us. At the time I was Christian, so I would interrupt his foolishness and tell him that God, the God of Abraham, created human beings. Bagga would laugh and say, “Obara yuh ah grow, God of which Abraham? nothing like that! Who was Abraham? Where him come from? Open up yuh mind and listen to me, mi telling you de truth.” Then after saying this he would get up and walk away from the stoop. I would call out to him, “Bagga, whey yuh going?” and he would reply “Obara, dem get you already, yuh mind done! What colour is my shirt?” I made sure to tell him red, and he’d look at me, smile and say, “Ok, maybe yuh soon ready,” and then he would leave.

I think at that age, I too was not “normal” because I saw Bagga as my friend and I looked forward to sitting with him on my step or taking a walk with him to the store. My mother ask me “Why yuh love par wid dah mad bwoy deh?” and the neighbourhood would tease me and call him my best friend.

“Hate is hate, love is love, two that don’t agree but I like hate more than love, because hate is real and cannot hide itself. Yes, hate show on the face and in the speech and in the actions, while love is mimicked by everyone. So no one is ever sure when love comes around, but hate loves to announce itself,” Bagga told me this often. To others it was the musings of a mad man, (to me also at the time) but later as I grew, I realized the wisdom within his words and reasoning.

There are may ways to love and to feel love and also to show it, but hate is just hate, an emotion that rivals love but is hard to disguise. Hate announces itself, and is very hard to disguise. I have seen this over and over again in my life. The teachings about the colour of his shirt, Bagga wanted to let me know that it is what I have been taught that I believe as true and real. But not because society calls a black shirt black, it means it is that colour, he wanted me to realize that my reality was mine to create, and to move away from what is considered the norm. I have done that.

Once he cooked for me and I turned it down, at first he seemed offended and ate the food in front of me, telling me afterwards “See? I did not poison it.”  I had no fear of poisoning, but in my mind, this was something a mad man cooked, how could I eat it? I was silent with him while we sat on my step one day. He then got up to leave. He turned to me and said “Obara, yuh ready for the world now.” I looked at him quizzically and he smiled. He said “I tested you with the food, and you didn’t eat it, don’t ever eat from people, that’s how they got me,” and with that he crossed the street.

To this day, I remember what he told me, and it was told to me years after that I should be careful whom I eat from.

Lessons can come from anyone. Anywhere. In any form. It is never good to thumb your nose down at anyone or underestimate them. Bagga was a mad man according to whatever diagnosis was given and to those who were too asleep to understand his wisdom. I greatly admire and respect him as I can truly say now that he was a teacher to me.

And you might be surprised if you look back and realize some of yours.

Obara Meji

Ìgbìyànjú la fií mọ akínkanjú /
Willingness to make the needed effort is how a brave person is known……Yoruba Proverbs!

[Give it a shot! Make effort to start; starting quite often is the impetus needed.]

All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…. Obara Meji!

There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji

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34 Comments on "MUSINGS OF MAD MAN BAGGA"

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Cami
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Cami

I’ve had that love conversation in a strange form aa well. The perdon says that the word love can be use carelessly. (Misused) because anyone can say it with a straight face. Bagga correct! Because hate is very apparent.

Cami
Blogger
Cami

*person.

Cami
Blogger
Cami

Good morning, Obara, I have very close ties with mad people and respect them as humans with a strangeness to them. I don’t teally use the term illness because I think they are far from ill. My connection to them are by grandaunts and second cousins in my paternal side.

sue
Blogger

Reading this reminded me of a few occasions where I met people like Bagga even to date. I remember when I use to go for lunch, no matter the time, a man who people labelled as mad always followed me. I thought I was being stalked. One day I got the courage to stop in my track and asked “why are you always following me?” He just smiled and never answered but kept watching. Another time, another man who people considered homeless or mad, one day I passed him, he grabbed my hand and said “there is my angel, ray of hope, keep it up” I never understood the messages then but I do now.

ada
Blogger

Still working towards my cleansing bath…. Sent my phone numbers but still no calls…. Ada

Natalie
Blogger
Natalie

Many times I come across people like Bagga. Most of them are chided by others because of how deep their reasoning are and their interpretation of how we view things. I always respect their views. I see them as messengers.

Many of us are afraid to take risks (my enemy too) because it is not the norm and what society expects from us but if you read up on most successful people you will find that many of them went on a spiritual path finding out who they are and taking the bull by its horn and believe in what dream and made it a reality.

Whenever we come across another Bagga, stop and listen he too might have a message and was sent to keep us on our toes.

On International Women’s Day I was given an award in recognition of my incomparable service to the organization I serve and my country, demonstrated through my high standards of professionalism and unfailing commitment.

I was surprise because serving for 16 years I have never been recognized in such s big way.

Ms. Obara de cleansing bath WUK!!! I am now going places I only wrote about in my journal to one day visit and am accomplishing my goals one at a time.

Stay focused, keep on believing and as the keynote speaker Dr. N. Jaja said. “Think it, Ink it and Dream it”.

We need to feed our minds with positives thoughts and seek our spirituality so that we can move forward. Never drop your standards and believe in You. Find your truth!

I am not there yet but am still searching for it!

Stay blessed

Cami
Blogger
Cami

Great post. Congratulations on being recognized.

Kae
Blogger

Amazing ❤️ Very inspirational!

paul
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paul

hi obara. i emailed you re: classes.

Kevin
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Kevin

Bagga was a genius. Often times I’ve thought to myself that many of the people considered mad that I’ve come across just knew something most people didn’t and perhaps their human intellect could not bare the truth, making them behave in and was that is seen as abnormal to general society.

Lincoln
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Lincoln

Morning Obara- When I was young I had a similar occurrence with my coach and a mad man. There was a mad man who would always come around training and talk alot of stuff about how he is a great athlete and say stuff we didn’t understand. I was 16 and this man was I would say in his 30 maybe 40s, never know because he was scruffy looking at times but he would always try to train along side us. Obviously being in Jamaica the kids training would tease him and talk about he is mad but they didn’t mind he was around but one day I asked my coach why does he make this guy come around because coach didn’t like people around when we were practicing. Coach said I listen to everyone even the so called mad man because we can learn from everyone! He said maybe he not telling us what to do but maybe we can ascertain what not to do. I will never forget that conversation because the only other person I never heard with this kind of reasoning was my father.

My father would always say if there were no crazy people the earth would stand still. Later I realized that all great person in history just like your story didn’t conform to what society was telling them (i.e shirt color) but proved that there was something else-

We have to open up our minds sometimes we hear but don’t hear and see but dont see. Many times I just go outside and look up to the sky to the moon and stars and I can feel a peace and energy, or just walk in the park and listen to the leaves blowing, sometimes nature can tell you things, just like before great natural catastrophes the earth is often extremely quiet.
Lesson – we must open our deaf ear and open our blind eyes.

Blessed Love

CharMD
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CharMD

Very nice story about Bagga. He still had his innocence but wisdom at the same time, although he was perceived as challenged. I know of a few people that once they were give something like flowers or food they weren’t the same. I think that’s what happened to my nephew. Its interesting that he knew how it happened to him. I wonder why mom did bring him for spiritual help. Do you think that would’ve helped him?

KTB
Blogger

O as you say ptsd earlier mi a think to myself seh chumps(trump) ago cause people to have ptsd loool

Anyway many peoole are like bagga. I remember my neighbor from I was young. She was mad. I hope her transition was nice as she was harmless and nice at times. She was the first person to ever discuss AIDS. said “They” gave to her only son. She knew somethings smh But it was times she would walk road naked as a newborn while smoking her long cigarettes lol talkng to her self or maybe beings..now I know little more. I am sure she was not alone. As a 9 year old girlchild I was amused and curious to what made her strip naked with her long slippers a walk road. She would discuss government wrong doings and conspiracy theories way back then. People were not ready for her..

Nunu
Blogger
Nunu

Good morning fam! remember the phrase,If many believe something to be true, then it must be true. Bagga seh nope not so but as you said in t he post going against the norm will get you labeled as crazy or worse ostracized

Kae
Blogger

Such a great read. Very comforting in a way, both the picture used and the story 🙂

KTB
Blogger

Obaraaaaaaaaaaaa Good morning dear! Hello ES bloggers

Zoe
Blogger

This was amazing and true to the lesson, you never know where you might learn something, i remember when i was younger, my grandma used to tell me all these things that i didnt really pay attention to as a child, even my father who even as a child and even now as an adult i dismiss at times, he always told me never to sleep in completely darkness as a kid *never listened lol* he would aways turn on the lights whenever i took them off, now i never sleep in complete darkness, he is the only adult who didnt dismiss my gifts when i spoke to him about them, though some of his sayings still dont make sense to me maybe i just do not understand why yet

Carpediem
Blogger
Carpediem

Good day Obara, excellent post. Things are never what they appear to be only few know what they really are. Bagga is a great lesson on how evil destroy the good in people. Bagga story remind me about lickle Johnny, and sometimes not saying much can save our life and sanity. Blessings!

MTH
Blogger

Blessings Teach. Another awesome post. Just after 5 am here and I am up reading this. A powerful start to my day. Reading the Fatty story, I liked Bugsy as well. The saying the stone the builder refuse, always turn the head corner stone. I absolutely love Bagga. I love his reasoning, what a ‘Mad’ Man knowledgeable. I will imprint the lesson about hate as he told you in my mind forever.

Teach, I appreciate all the time and effort you dedicate to writing and teaching us. I salute you.

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