Looking for a Mouth to Tell the Story by Esther Nelson

In Chinua Achebe’s novel, THINGS FALL APART, Okonkwo, a proud, hard-working, albeit quick-tempered tribesman living in the village of Umuofia, fires a gun at Ekwefi, one of his three wives, almost killing her.  Chielo, a widow with two children, who also serves as the priestess of Agbala, Oracle of the Hills and Caves, asks Ekwefi, “Is it true that Okonkwo nearly killed you with his gun?”

Ekwefi replies, “It is true indeed, my dear friend.  I cannot yet find a mouth with which to tell the story.”

I love Ekwefi’s turn of phrase as she responds to Chielo.  Shaken, distraught, and outraged over being shot at by her fiery husband, she “cannot yet find a mouth with which to tell the story.”  That’s exactly how I feel these days.

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