The price of Freedom

I came across this image a little while ago while searching images for “Church Square”. This image of the well-known Church Square in Pretoria (the capital of South Africa) popped up. I found myself staring at it for much longer than I had hoped to. I began to feel sad.

I remembered some stories that my dad had told me on my recent trip home to Ga-Rankuwa.

Church Square

He told me of how beautiful Pretoria was when he first arrived there, he spoke of the Jacaranda trees that brought on a burst of purple streets accompanied by fresh fragrances which now remind me of home, he spoke of the trams that ran through the city centre, he stopped a second and mentioned that he never ever enjoyed a ride on one, I absent-mindedly asked “Why?”, and he turned to me and said “I wasn’t allowed to”, it dawned on me, black people were not allowed to. Instantly that sentence transported me to a time that I have never known, a time when my parents’ movement was restricted simply because they were “non-white”. This conversation with my dad weighed very heavily on my heart.

Apart from the sadness that surfaces every now and then when I look back on this conversation and the life my dad was forced to live I learnt a few things:

– Beauty belongs to us (nobody can take that from you). My dad still saw the beauty of Pretoria despite the terrible reality he and others faced.

– We are incredibly fortunate to be living in a time when I (a dark-skinned female) can sit at a computer, sharing this with you, in the centre of Cape Town, before catching a bus to my home on Kloof Street. I need to remember to enjoy these things I take so for granted.

– What is our offering for coming generations? People died for the life we now enjoy. We walked into a life previously dreamt and fought for. What kind of future do you dream of? What are you doing to contribute towards that?

– Speak to your parents (and other elders): It is such a deep wealth to have the opportunity to live through them. Live through a time you have never and will never experience. This also is a free wisdom exchange. Make the time, find the space and drink their wisdom.

Advertisements

Say Hello… to amazing!

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you a band that is already beyond it’s time, a band that makes me feel like I am looking back on my life. John Wizards (click here and go and fall in love)

These videos are brilliantly brought to you by my amazing friends at Glow LDB (click here and be amazed!)

and here is one more to shake you up while you have  your morning tea….

2013 in review

Last year I received the same kind of report and decided to keep it private, this year I am doing things a little differently. Here is a summary of my Blog’s annual report!!

Thank you all for visiting this Blog and commenting and pulling me aside to discuss the contents in person and for all the private emails, messages and phonecalls. You are my fuel!

A super-special tack to “The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys” who prepared this 2013 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,700 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My work ignites me!

Since I have started working at my new job (which doesn’t feel so new at times) I have been completely stimulated by the conversations, insights and knowledge that I have been encountering.

I can not begin to describe how overflowing my cup is at this very moment. I feel like a school-child learning new things every single day. I didn’t think it would be possible to feel this way about my work. And to think hat I get paid to be here makes me even happier.

Let’s just say that since I have started working here I am realising more and more the importance of cities and their huge potential to become hubs of inclusivity, productivity and creative engagement. (Please note that I am fully aware that these words do very little to describe the kind of vibrant city I am speaking on, but they are all I have for now)

Here is a little video I cam across which gives a little glimpse into the kind of work that has been done in the city of Medellin in Colombia. I am a HUGE fan of what has happened in that city and how it has come about. Some of you know that I have put a lot of love and energy into 100in1day Cape Town as I see this a potential new form that could solve a lot of current global and local issues. Glocal solution finder 🙂

This is what I love about what has happened in Medellin

Please click this link to access the video on the Monocle website

 

medelin02

 

Source of image – here

Important things for Didi to remember…

This weekend marks the first gasp of breathe upon reaching the shore after a long, deep swim in the waters of hard work.

What better way to unwind and reflect than to spend a weekend in a wonderful wooden home on a mountain overlooking the sea?

A busy train ride to the seaside transported me to a totally different space. One of the things I appreciate most about this place I call home. That it is possible to hop on a train and be by the seaside.

This weekend highlighted to me some really important things. Things that I very often forget and take for granted. Here’s my top 5 list of important things for Didi to remember:

  • Surround yourself with strong women: Powerful women replenish my energy levels, they hold a deep understanding like no other. Remember to connect with them in order to remember that which you forgot that you have forgotten.
  • Drink Tea: There is some ancient wisdom that comes in each tea-leaf. This wisdom enters through your taste buds and stays and restores some kind of calm. (I discovered PMS tea this past weekend. What a wonderful invention, made up of a concoction of wholesome herbs)
  • Read a book: In my rush of getting things done, I have been reading loads, staying up late cramming into my brain; information about some serious topics to be used in my daily work. This weekend I packed a book I bought in Belgium that has been lying patiently by my bedside, wishing me goodnight and goodmorning each day for months. We re-connected again. I had lost touch with how good it feels to travel to some other place, using words and the imagination as a decorated vehicle.
  • Sunsets are a free reset button and sunrises are a reminder of the blank canvas that is each new day: A kind, gentle reminder to breathe and let it go. Let it go. Whatever has happened has happened and the only way is forward. Let it go.
  • Long baths offer some healing for the body and soul: I’ve mentioned in this Blog a few times before; the power of healing that water holds. I was very quickly and beautifully reminded of that by taking a wonderful hot bath with oils this weekend. I want a bathtub! I’m not sure how. But I do!

The last 3 days have been a gift from heaven, thank you to my beautiful friends for this. Next week is more of the same with a different pocket of friends and the next week sees me playing bridesmaid for a good friend of mine who is marrying another really good friend of mine. How lucky! I am nervous and excited. Mainly nervous because I don’t know if I’ll fit in the dress…eeek! Time to get jogging!

November looks like it will be the soft bed I’ve been fantasizing running home to jump up and down on!

businessman-jump-sky-clouds

Okay, Okay, more like….

main246114792_4d2e23eea2_b

Source of image 1 – here

Source of image 2 – here

More about the work I have been immersed in in the next post…

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

Rising from the ashes…

I’m not much of a poet. So far,all my  poems have been unleashed onto bits of paper, receipts, worthless lottery tickets, discarded notepads and my wall.

This trend is not about to end.

However, after a little spark that happened a few moments ago I will share this melody of words.

Life is designed to burn us, like children learning what is right and what is not so for us. We touch and taste and smell and embrace. Sometimes we burn. Some burns are little slaps on the wrist and some are 3rd degree burns that feel like they will never heal. But they always do. They may heal and remain scars that are a constant reminder of a harsh distasteful experience or time in our lives. But no matter how bad the burn. We always hold the ability to heal. Somewhere in the chaos that is our souls we find the right ointment to soothe. Because we hold the potential to be our own doctors, therapists, elders and friends. We are a complex network of yet to be discovered sources of solutions and healing. ALWAYS know that. As you clutch your coat tightly against the blizzards of daily life. Clutch on with the belief of an end to that particular storm. Don’t be fooled, the blizzards will keep coming but they will also always come to an end.

This past few weeks have been something so dark and teeth grindingly painful and yet this storm is slowly calming and that long awaited end of the blizzard is beginning to show itself…

Thank you that I know this.

Know this. burns