Why do we write? Is it to let readers into our lives? Do we leave them to judge our commissions or ommissions? Are there major takeaways we have from a story? Is sharing stories therapeutic? What is the major point in telling a story? All these and more questions are answered by Patricia Opio,in her book, The Metamorphosis of Ayo. I want to call these personal reflections not a book review, mainly because the I’m not certain about a book review so reflections it shall be. This book speaks to me and was one of the best things of 2021. I was reminded of a book,”Don’t Waste Your Sorrows Away”by Paul E Billheimer. It talks about Finding God’s Purpose Amidst Pain. Thats how I can summarize the book. For starters, I am a Neurological Patient ( Stroke Survivor) but that’s not for today. Books are read while others are studied, that’s what you do when you complete reading the book up to its last flawless Paragraph. I called the author at the beginning of the year just to tell her that she had done an amazing job.
At 25,done with Undergrad, pursuing a Post grad course with a Masters in plan(already had a topic for that) one sentence from her doctor on her birthday(8th June) changed her life,”Patricia, you are HIV positive” these were words being told to lady who had kept her body pure and was waiting for her man. With such a discovery, she questions God and even says the not so writable words here. The Lord is however faithful when it comes to the exams as she bwats them and is recognized as the most outstanding student that year. Does that matter to a person with double morbidities? Death is facing her. Does that make sense to her, a known sickler , that is the literal meaning of, when it rains it pours.What is the meaning of life in such pain? Grief is next as she goes through Denial,Anger, Bargaining to finally Acceptance. In 2020, she finally decides to embrace her story and share it with the world.
The author introduces us to a concept of creative therapy. Creative therapy is a type of therapy that uses non-verbal expression like art or music as a means to communicate our inner world. Finding clarity in your thoughts can often be difficult using words alone, so creative therapy can help you to communicate your inner experience and what you’re feeling in other ways. The Author succinctly does an amazing job because she almost wanted to leave the world but decided to live for the glory of the Lord. She takes us through her struggles, shares the ugly ( masturbation, suicide) but equally tells us about the comeback of Ayo. In all this, one important aspect stands out, Family and she highlights how they have been her pillar of support. This is a perfect example of embracing the good,bad and ugly.
Patricia Opio does amazing introspection and zeroes on Metamorphosis. When one looks at the beautiful butterfly,many forget how it came to be and little by little, she breaks the different stages of becoming and the chaptering is on point, Embracing your story and finally sharing it with the world is not something easy to write home about. Butterflies have four life stages, the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. Each of the four stages are very unique to individual species of butterflies and the Thematic Chaptering is on point. Uncle Beaton Mabaso becomes the poet we didn’t know and pens beautiful poems for context.
Here’s the greatest takeaway, looking at an egg, hatching takes place when there’s force from inside, any force from outside means that the life ends and the egg breaks. A farmer was breeding butterflies and would open up the pupa such that the butterfly comes out but whenever the butterfly came out, lifeless it lay, you see the adult butterfly is supposed to break with no external effort and in so doing, the wing muscles are strengthened. The farmer thought he was helping the butterflies but was instead cutting life off. In life, sometimes it takes personal initiative to break out and many at times, we shouldn’t be assisted. The author teaches us that we have to break on our own and that life has no guarantees
Finding God’s Purpose Amidst Pain, Does God change simply because you are in pain? The author instead found Peace and thus the reason to share her story with us. Writing transports us to a world,I see the determined independent lady who wants to start/stay on her own, but later comes back to the loving arms of family. This book is unputdownable, the bravery of the Author is amazing,it made me question my life even at the valley point but Patricia reminds us that Tomorrow is another day.
The Metamorphosis of Ayo is not for the light-hearted, it is not a book you take on your vacation for a fun plot and somewhat interesting camp. The book reminds us to live in situations where life seems like it has nothing left to give. This book gets real, deep, and forces you to think in ways you didn’t know were possible. It defines daring to live in Pain and morbidity but going ahead to inspire even those in perfect health trying to figure out the meaning of life in Pain. That is why I love this book, and why you will too. Like Chaucer in,A knights Tale, she reminds us to Trudge on, embrace our stories and finally say, This is me.