Delay Phenomenon

If you are capable of reading this post, then I am certain you are very capable of relating with it. You must have at least for once, said these words, ‘You never get things moving quickly at the times when you are in a hurry and need them to.’ You might have sighed and even probably bitten your lips to hold back from screaming in anger at no one in particular.

It may seem as though it is a universal principle, but it is at the moments that you just cannot afford any kind of setback that things decide to break, tear or spill. It is almost always at those times when you thought if you did not fly out the door in the next two minutes, those poles at the ends of the world would give and the world would cave in, that things decide to go awry.

An episode of this ‘phenomenon’ happened recently, but thanks to Naa Afarley Sackeyfio and her English readers, I was as calm as palm oil that has gelled.

In her book Culture Clothed in Tails, Prof. Sackeyfio presents an oddinary perspective to this ‘delay phenomenon’. I choose to call this particular story ‘ The Nail behind the Door’ primarily because I do not remember what name she gave it in her book.

Culture clothed in tails

This is the story, in the shortest summary you may ever come across due to a hazy memory of it-

Two sisters (or maybe friends) had to go somewhere (or something like that). One of them had her shawl (or so) hang over an open door.  She needed to take her shawl along with her to where she was going so she tugged at it hopping it would come down easily, but it didn’t. She pulled and pulled and pulled until she succeeded in bringing down her shawl along with the sound of a ripping fabric. She had not noticed there was a nail behind the door and it had caught the shawl when it was thrown over the door. Her heart ripped along with her shawl.

Then the other sister (or friend) proffers advice she had been given by someone else ( I think she said her mother- and at this point I’m wondering if it wasn’t from the book Tales my Mother Used to Tell that I read this story from… this thing called memory). She says to her that sometimes, there is a ‘divine’ hand that holds back some things. She says  to her that sometimes, it is good to let thing be if we try all we can but do not get what we are looking for.

It is not always for the mere sake of a delay, that we have ‘nails behind ours doors’. They are sometimes there to call our attention to some essential things we may be overlooking in our haste. They are sometimes a call to revise our strategies- to take our time and walk behind the door and re-assess the situation. They are there at other times too to keep you for just a moment only to release you at the divinely appointed time- the time after you have missed some kind of tragedy. Truly, nothing happens for the mere sake of filling up space in time.

But bear in mind that doors are oftentimes not made with nails sticking out of them. We drive the nails in, usually by ourselves.


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