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A Coloratura of Words

 It is an indescribable bewitchment, a sweetness that possesses your soul.

It is an exhilarating healing potion, a magic that refines your senses.

It casts its spell on you and suddenly you see; you see the light that hides in the gloom,

You see the colors; they are bold and unrelenting,

You feel the wind; the breeze is invigorating with unquenchable hope.

Ah! Such bliss!

Divine beatitude! Exultant rapture! Glorious gladness! Ebullient intoxication!

Joy. Happiness. Blessedness. Ecstasy.



Red; everything is red when they awaken.

They spew fire; it burns everything within and without,

They wield barbed scourges; they lash through your assaults.

You feel the hotness in your veins; your heart is rabid and runs a frenzied race.

The fumes in your head cloud your faculties; a fierce madness detonates,

The Furies within awaken!

Roaring rage! Savage insanity! Tempestuous furor! Ferocious paroxysm!  

Anger. Ire. Fury. Eruption.



You loathe the darkness; the lonely shadows make you shudder.

The obscure shadows are ever-elusive; they change shapes and whisper,

They hiss into the coldness; your soul is pierced and your trembling body cowers.

They tell you of slithering monsters; you see the bared fangs strike,

They tell you of your future; you see the inescapable impending doom.

The horrific nightmare it is!

Deathly fright! Petrifying trepidation! Horripilating eeriness! Bloodcurdling dauntingness!

Fear. Tremor. Panic. Dread.



Life plays before your insensate eyes; you feel detached from it all.

Time is a surreal paradox, a synchrony of haste and stagnation.

You live without life—a fragment displaced from the continuum of reality.

You feel everything yet you feel nothing; life is an absolute senselessness.

Your stale heart weeps; it longs for oblivion.

The hushed angst!

Paralyzing woe! Insufferable misery! Septic grief! Overbearing wretchedness!

Sorrow. Despair. Desolation. Vacuity.



What defines the human condition but our core sensibilities? They are what dictate our visceral responses and determine what we make of this world. They carve for us that deeper identity. But every now and then, in the most random of situations, all of these emotions seem to merge into an entity. All the joy… all the anger… all the fear… all the sorrow… coalesce into a particular curiosity that afflicts us all.

You may be beneath that shower, scheduling in your head what is going to be another mundane day of work as the baked water fondles your skin and crawls down the hollow of your back to wet the cleavage below. Suddenly you are held entranced by that seemingly plain thought…

You may be looking down from the window of your high-rise building, sneering at the people society has ranked you over. In your idleness, your thoughts start wandering…

You may be huddled underneath that old bridge you call home, your only shield against the biting night chill being some dirty sheets that crumble at your touch. Hunger gnaws at your stomach as you curse your stars. And ask yourself that primal question…

You may be amidst the congregation at a requiem for a loved one. They sing a solemn hymn of heavenly places, your lips mumble the words they sing but your mind mournfully reminisces. Then within that recall of time past you are halted by that nagging thought…

In that moment, in that random rareness, we look into the nothingness above and ask that question. With that shared curiosity we ask the most innocent of questions:

“What is life?”

It is our greatest gift—our ultimate curse.



- Samuel Owusu Achiaw

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