Scroll down below the video to read the inspiration, one can say the Serendipity that Traced me, which inspired this video and all of my works. By the way, fiker, if you are wondering, means love, and fikre means “my love” in Amarhic. Our names are poetic, our names become our destinies #FikerWithin
I like to think of humanity as one big circle and that each one of us are dots on that circle. In this way, we are all interconnected, the soul of one person depending in some way or in some fashion to the soul of the next person. We exist as individuals but, in reality, humanity has always been built on the foundation of community. We are tethered to one another soul to soul.
However, this circle is not just one dimensional. The past is connected to the present and the future influences the future. Thus, our lives are byproducts of those who came before us and in the same sense, our lives will have profound impacts on future generations yet to come. So the circle of humanity resides on multiple paradigms, where our lives are intertwined not only with those who walk the earth like us but also with ancestors whose blood flows in our veins and seeds who have yet come to fruition.
So then there is an equation that is missing from the notion of soul to soul. There is a factor that is constant and has been the cradle of humanity and life as we know it. What I’m alluding to is the earth we live on, the womb that gave birth to us, the home that nourishes us and eventually acts as a gateway to our next journey. Humanity is thus a circle of souls connected through time and bound by the soil that is the foundation of our nourishment and shelter.
That is the reason I decided to title this book “Soul to Soil”, it is a reflection and an acknowledgement that our fate is intricately woven together. We are dependent on each other and reliant on this precious planet that has been betrothed to us in order to pursue our lives and attain our potential as a people. We are connected soul to soil, from birth to death, from past to future, humanity is a continuum of life that is passed down from one generation and one person to the next.
Consequently, the collection of prose and observations contained herein is in essence a reflection of my journey over the past year and how each person I’ve met, whether in person or had the privilege to know through modern means, has made an impact in my life. I realized one truism over the years, though we all have different stories, at our core we all share the central elements of joy and grief, love and loss, hope and hopelessness, pain and resilience. Though at times we feel alone, I have found this to be true, the minute we open up and share our stories with others, there is a comfort that is found in the knowledge that we are not alone in our journey.
Soul to Soil is my journey shared through the stories of others. On a daily basis, I would talk to a stranger or a familiar face and as they shared their struggle or memory with me, it would spark a reminiscence or an observation in my mind. Later on that day, as I pondered the various stories of people, I would start to reflect on how my story mirrors that of the people I had the pleasure to talk to. I wrote the following observations spontaneously, as in they were entries I made on Facebook that gave people real time observations into my thoughts and reflections.
In this way, as I connected with strangers and friends through the stories they were telling me, I likewise did the same with countless people by sharing my own stories and observations by sharing my own personal struggles, hopes, pains and hopes. This book then is a natural extension of my journey and my aims of somehow connecting to other souls without the constraints of geography, identity, and time. This is the beauty of books, they are timeless and enables our words to live on and our stories to impact the lives of others.
My aim throughout this book is not to prove that I am right or that I have somehow reached a point of enlightenment whereby I need to “teach” others. Rather, this is a journey that I am going through with readers, a journey where I share my perspective and give insight into my outlook. What I hope is that readers learn to question the very things that divide us and in the process understands that we are all in this together. We live in a time of divisiveness and utterly trollish behavior. I am not judging, I took fall victim to this conniption of wanting to use a blowtorch to prove points. But we only advance as a people when we become a light instead of a source of heat and friction.
By sharing my stories, which are at times raw and explosive, I hope to encourage others to do the same. The more we are able to see each other as fellow struggles on road to redemption, the more feasible it is for us to one day coexist with love in our hearts. I’ve traveled a long road from being a participant in exclusionary vengeance to wanting desperately in my heart inclusive justice. The struggle is not about the endless obstacles and isms that are erected before us in order to perpetuate static and friction, the struggle is between the few who have ungodly wealth and the rest of us who vacillate between hardship and happiness.
May we unite soul to soil and as the past sacrifices of our ancestors paved a path for our lives, may we sacrifice and unite so that our children and the generations to come can inherit an earth, a blessed soil, that will provide them peace and prosperity without regard to the endless constructs that divide us.
None is greater than the other, we are all the greater when we love and help one another.
The above submission was an excerpt, the prologue, to a book I wrote in the midst of my greatest burden. But as God would have it, life’s turbulence in time give way to life’s blessings. To all who watched the video and read the words that I write, just know that my story, even if I don’t know you personally, is tied in to your story. All of our stories are interconnected this way. If we just pause, we would realize that our lives are made the better when we connect Soul to Soil with both neighbors and strangers. To those who struggle, in time may your suffering give way to your own blessings. I pray for peace, happiness and, above all, for love towards all of humanity. We are all the children of God. None is more or less chosen than the other. #Soul2Soil
To find out about both “Serendipity’s Trace” and “Soul to Soil”, click on the picture below or click on this LINK HERE.
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.