Dear Cape Town – I have a dilemma

Soundtrack Suggestion – Nakhane Toure “Just like heaven”

I’ve been pretty silent of late regarding issues of current affairs. Well, it’s been more that I have been fairly silent on social media.

Towards the end of last year I embarked on what I called #TheGrey Series which was a way of me vomiting out some of the prominent darkness in my system. I had been encountering numerous awful experiences, thoughts and feelings which I was battling to find a space for. So I decided to be pro-active. I found a therapist. Together we began to open up this box. A box that I hadn’t even realised I had tucked away in a dark corner. I was completely surprised by the pain that sat in that box. I was taken aback by what flung out of the box. Bats flew out, gigantic spiders and unidentified creepy crawlies that remain nameless came out as soon as the box was slightly crammed open.

I was overwhelmed. I was in pain, exhausted and felt like I couldn’t breathe.

If I had to give some of these ugly things names, it would go something like this – racism, sexism, injustice, inequality, dishonesty, violence, abuse.

I was suffocating from the inside out. These creatures that had come out were quietly strangling me. It became clear that they needed somewhere to go. It was as though there was no other choice but to let them out. So #TheGrey Series was born.

(#TheGrey Series was meant to be comprised of 10 posts originally shared on facebook. Through the help of a friend based in Denmark we will be transforming this into an accessible format in the form of a zine)

Before I reached the end of #TheGrey Series I encountered an unexpected bright light that felt like a rescue mission. The mental picture is of a geared up concerned someone entering into my insides with a torch, coming to investigate what was there. In so doing bringing the sort of light my dark creatures needed to dissolve and scatter.

This unintentional rescue mission came from my dear friend Terry-Jo Thorne who is the master mind behind a blog titled IDontSpeakMyLanguage. The light came in the form of this beautiful piece she wrote about me (read here).

Funny enough I haven’t posted any more “grey” posts since then. I suppose it speaks to the power of light? This is not to say that the darkness is not still there – however it’s not there in the same way as before. It’s not begging to come out as it was previously.

Following this experience, I am sitting with several big questions that perhaps you could assist with:

  1. How do I engage with the ugly creepy crawlies of the world (some of which are named above) and still remain happy?
  2. Where do I go to release the pain of the ugly realities of the world (also referred to as the creepy crawlies of the world)?
  3. How do I continue to engage with the topics that make so many people’s lives a misery (my own included) without coming across as a bitter “Debbie Downer”?
  4. I owe a large portion of the comfort of my existence to those that came before me who lived uncomfortably so that I may not have to. How do I honour those people (some of whom lost their lives in terrible ways) for my better, improved life?
  5. I have a talent of using my voice. How do I do it in such a way that does not consume my every ounce of energy? I feel so energy drained when I do. I honestly can’t enjoy a drink out with friends in peace, someone just has to walk up to me with some or other comment, question, gripe or high-5!

I’m seriously battling with these questions. I want to be happy. I want to live the best life that I know is possible, and I’m struggling to separate myself from the fight.

There is an inner elder that is whispering to me “Didintle my dear, your best fight and contribution is achieved by simply being yourself in the most authentic way you know how. Trust me, through the painless act of being yourself you are re-creating realities (your own included) and inspiring others with ideas of changes they could make to their own life and therefore the world”.

As much as I value and adore my inner Ouma, any answers to my questions posted above will be greatly appreciated.

At the moment I have almost completely stopped reading news of any kind – because I’ve realised that it helps turn me into a paranoid, self-loathing, people-hating, moaning, distressed, tense, bitter, wide-eyed non-believer in the beauty of the world. These are not good for anybody let alone someone suffering from anxiety!

Help.

The Speaker – Didintle Ntsie

This is a wonderful post my dear friend wrote about me. I find it completely wonderful that people see so much beauty in me, a beauty that I don’t always see in myself. This piece has given me an opportunity to stop and appreciate myself and my various contributions and efforts. Thanks TJ! You have breathed love into my soul!

idontspeakmylanguage

This rad human is someone I’ve had the very good fortune of being acquainted with for at least 7 years. We met, initially, through the fluid madness that was Observatory in the mid 2000s – to be honest, we may have been living in the same house, but one can’t be sure of living arrangements in Obz.

didi5

Why is she featured here?

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Harfield, I’m out.

Meanwhile in Cape Town…

idontspeakmylanguage

Hypothetical scenario. You have a dilemma. You live in a neighbourhood which you sort of enjoy (mostly because of the high ratio of bars to residents). It’s built on lies and bad history (aren’t they all?) and you want to make a change. Change the legacy, make a bit of a dent in the future you see ahead of it. But you’re damn well exhausted. For many reasons. What do you do? For example, you’re tired of posts like these:

Watch

I’m very concerned about safety, as I’m sure that most people are. But the shit starts with these sorts of posts and this sort of commentary. You see, I’ve been digging into the history of this neighbourhood. And, as I touched on before, and probably will write about again, my dad used to live here. Until he was kicked out under the Group Areas Act. The person’s post above might…

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Every trickle is important…

My neglect of this blog is with good reason. I have been super busy working with a team of amazing people getting 100in1day Cape Town ready for this Saturday!

I have also realised in this time that there is some release I miss from not blogging. Because blogging is actually some sort of therapy. Your thoughts and comments are my therapy. My little string that I throw into the murky, scary, unknown water of the virtual world, it returns with little notes and gifts tied to it. That is what I have been missing.

So much has transpired since we last were in touch. Such high highs and such low lows…

Today I opened my blog to find some highly unexpected news. My blog is attracting 84 views per hour?!!

Unbelievable. And to think that I haven’t updated it in so long. Probably the longest I have gone.

So I guess this is me realising that every single drop counts. Who ever thought I would have this many people interested in what I have to share?

So this is a small way of saying, I am here, thank you for your visits and I have missed you all.

More soon.

In the meantime hold on to this: an invitation to a workshop and meetup tomorrow in Cape Town

final workshop (compressed)

x

Meeting Mrs. Biehl

This is extremely moving. I remember hearing the story of Amy Biehl and feeling a series of emotions from sheer rage, to sadness, to helplessness and then much much later on – a little bit of acceptance, resting in the knowledge that her death was not in vein. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this!

A Carolina Girl in Cape Town

This past Friday was a moving day at the Amy Biehl Foundation. Linda Biehl, Amy’s mother, arrived in Cape Town for a two week long visit. It was also the last day of work for Kayla and Laura, two ABF volunteers/roommates/best friends of mine here in Cape Town.  

When Mrs. Biehl first walked into the office, I couldn’t help but think of my own mother. She is easily one of the smartest, strongest women I know, but I wondered if she would be able to do what Linda Biehl has done. Would she be able to return to a place that caused so much personal pain for her? With a smile on her face?

 After getting accustomed to the usual routine, Mrs. Biehl’s presence was an instant reminder of the powerful story that compelled me to come to South Africa. It was amazing for all of the volunteers to…

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Introducing Trevor

*Trevor is a mystical creature. He literally landed in my lap, from lord alone knows where. He has come into my life and it seems he is here to stay.

Sometimes I go about my day and then have a sudden realisation of how wonderful it is that we are able to meet new people that understand us and who are so much like us.

How wonderful it is that there is a neverending supply of people we have never ever met

How wonderful it is that there is such a strange variety of people on this planet

And that we find something in them and they find something in us and that somehow through the noise of the world and the chaos and complexity of days and recurring nightfall we are able to see them and hear them and they are able to see us and hear us.

I’m in awe of how this thing we all find ourselves trapped in works. How is it possible to meet such people as Trevor on a simple weekday night spent hunting for inspiration, laughter, like-minded souls and the deep stare of wonder and play.

How wonderful is it?

I look forward to weaving strings of gold into wondeful glowing tapestries.

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* Not his real name

The inexplicable emotions we dive in and out of

The last week has been a rather strange week, although fulfilling in that I have been doing what I love and emparting my knowledge and skills of blogging and photo-taking.

However I have been feeling inexplicably sad and drained.

This evening, after a wonderful day and evening.

I sat down, called my mom and another friend and then sat in silence.

The silence was followed by a feeling of intense sadness and of missing a dear friend. A very particular friend. I haven’t seen him in years and found myself in tears from missing him. Oh dear, what has happened here?

I was moved to a point that I HAD to write and share my appreciation for this friend. I did so over here.

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