Women’s Day

There’s nothing much to say about this day, except that it’s Women’s Day and that I hope every woman has a blessed commemoration to this day.

I spent the day working on a lesson plan for my visual art class. I helped my son with his Afrikaans and Social Science homeworks. So, there was not much rest on this public holiday…not for me. But then again, Women’s Day is not about rest, right? I think Women’s Day is not celebrated daily, though we’re women daily…so today is a reminder to being the best woman one can be on a daily basis.

Peace

In the past few days I’ve been wondering about this word…peace… Just what does it truly mean? Yes, I’ve seen the two-fingers gestures and am not entirely convinced that all those who flash it really know what it means or even mean it.

Peace Defined

According to Collins Concise Dictionary it is “a state of stillness, silence or serenity.” (2004:1102). I love that word; serenity. Is that truly what peace means?

I asked my son for his definition and he says “to be calm” and “not to have violence”.

When you go thru the New Testament, it is so amazing how the Apostle Paul emphasizes on “peace” in his letters. I chose him because he hold a dear place in my life. It shows that peace is quite vital in one’s life. I mean when we’re alone, far away from the day-to-day noise; thoughts, busy schedules and all; we find a way to this quiet place…to this peace that just isn’t swayed by frivolous things that tend to steal this peace from us.

So, all in all peace is reaching a certain confidence in quietness within, where there is great stillness and no noise (violence)…

Stolen Peace

It is so ironic that just when I was searching for the true meaning of this word, I have had to face circumstances that “rattled my cage” – in the words of my dearest friends, Wild. I think it took almost 7 days to acknowledge that this was happening. I won’t bore you with the long details of what took place, but when I started pondering on the same thing over and over, I knew something what down… Anyways, one may wonder why it took such a long time. Well, I’m in my 30’s and have been looking forward to my 40’s since the day I turned 30. In the process of being excited of my 40th birthday, I have learned to dismiss every opinion that come from those who don’t hold a title in my heart or life. Some have labelled this as cruel, but hey, it’s how I have come to be at “peace”. If you are irrelevant in my life and you share your perception of me, it don’t matter to me. It’s almost like that one ant that you cross paths with in your kitchen and doesn’t influence you in any way. That one “oh well” type of moments.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am one of the most passionate persons I know. I love people. In fact, I love too much, and in order for my love not to be misdirected; I choose whose influence to accept in my life and whose influence not to accept.

So, what have I learned this past week regarding this word? I have learned that we all seek it at the end of the day. Some of us do dubious things to get to that “peaceful” place, and some of us meditate…well, at the moment I am listening to Loyiso Bala’s Kingdom Come album…well, frankly I have listened to it everyday since I bought it a few months ago. (currently playing is Jesus Speaks… I’m not advertising but hey, get it on iTunes… https://t.co/la4BRmRuYm)

Jesus Speaks

“we will be synchronized, keep you wrapped in my embrace.

I’ll take you to paradise, yes I’ll take your restless place;

where I’ll be yours and you will be mine;

and forever you’ll shine and when you call I won’t let you fall..” Now, to me, these words imply a definite peace.

I am

This proves that not every woman has the crab disease…real women are about love, impact and growth.

Thoughts and Perceptions

I am
A sister, mother, daughter, wife
Thanks to my roots
And the branches that gave me fruits
I have been sucking a sweet nutritious nectar from the one who birthed me
The rand has not been a factor
The air I breathed has had a toxic mix
But through her my blood has served as ventilators
And cleared the darkness

I am
A woman
Thanks to my sisters
And the unending love that gave me truths In a time of pretence, back stabbing and lies
I have learned to have faith through ties
That help heal the soul when deception flies To cries that eventually die

I am
A river
Flowing through streams
Like red running through our veins
Thanks to these women
Who have raised me up when I needed a lift
Not because I asked! Because they felt
Prayed with me and for me Giving without seeking…

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Don’t Tear Down. Build Up.

Yesterday I looked at one of my dearest friends, let’s call him H’mm, and how he is as an individual. There are so many things I could say about him that just aren’t right; from the little big lies he tells while looking me straight in the eye to cursing like a sailor. So, as I was walking for about an hour or so, it dawned to me that we’re most of the times total opposites and this draws us even closer as friends. What started as little whispers ended up being prayers…yes, while I was still walking. Alone. In the middle of the street. As I was praying out loud that he doesn’t need me to point out his wrongs. I think the words were “Lord he’s Your child. I can’t do this anymore. I’m so exhausted. I stand on Your Word when you promised that You will bring the blind by a way they don’t know. You will lead them in paths they have not known. You will make darkness light before them and crooked places straight. You said it Lord. You did, and I know that You are not man that You should lie. You say these things You will do for them and not forsake them – H’mm included.”. I tell you I was so close to tearing up right there in the middle of the road because I have come to realise that some friendships are more precious than others and I tend to forget to remember that each person decides to live the way that they choose, regardless if I like it or not. (by the way, that verse is Isaiah 42:16)

I was so frustrated and so exhausted; saying the same things to H’mm over and over. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t show up to work some days, not because he’s hungover but because he is frustrated of where he is in life. It wasn’t and isn’t my place to scold him. He’s a grown man. To continually tell him to stop this nonsense is no longer my business, not even as a friend. Yes, it bugs me so much to keep repeating myself to him. And to hear him all defensive and pull away over and  over again, of course there’s that tagline I despise “I know what I did was wrong. I don’t know what’s wrong with me”. (I always picture a sucker punch right there & watch him lay unconscious until he figures out what’s wrong with him). I can fill a legal pad or more on what he does that just do injustice to his talent, that continually taint his character and all.But now, I won’t do any of that anymore. No more calling him out. I’m putting away my lime highlighter, and no longer will I move it over each and every error I think he has. That’s not the kind of love I want to receive either…not when I am not ready to fill whatever void I may or may not find missing…

So here goes, this is who he is
He is one of the most intelligent people I know.
He is funny, with the craziest sense of humour. Comes to think of it, he has a very crazy laugh too… I can hear it echo in this space right now, and it just brings goosebumps to my entire body and make me smile 🙂
He is very talented, creative and innovative… whoever said “think outside the box”…well, that box, H’mm has no idea what it is. His talent is limitless.
He is an academic…humble one, you’d never ever hear him mention his academic achievements…Cum Laude or Masters Degree 🙂
He is a son. A brother. An uncle. A father. A dad. A husband…:) he has no idea yet 🙂 – this revelation is yet to come 🙂
He is a protector…well, I’m not just literally meaning that. Though I see traces of a fighter in his character and past. Let alone that he says I tame him… yeah (✿◠‿◠)
He’s a true friend. He grounds me, and is probably the only person who acknowledges my nonsense and doesn’t entertain it. I’ve never met a man who isn’t afraid to take me on like that. I love that about him. Maybe we do that for/to each other  we discovered this song & individually decided it’s our song, when we were miles apart. Coldplay’s Fix You   (◡‿◡✿)    He is very much handy and I appreciate that about him. He fights against injustice. That moves me.
I just remembered…he has one of the most oddest handwritings I have ever seen…there’s something artistic about it. It’s almost as if he’s dancing and drawing at the same time.
He’s an amazing Artist… Graphic Designer… Printmaker… Art Administrator…Cartoonist… mostly, he’s an Artist!
He is a visionary, has great zeal and passion for things people tend to take for granted. He’s a child of God… He may still have trouble embracing that, but I know that all miracles I’ve asked for have come to pass. (so there!)
He’s an adviser… encourager too , even when I don’t wanna hear it. He just lays it there for me, even at times when I don’t want to hear it, and yet need it the most…

Beachville

Waves were so rough that afternoon, and yet he eased me and managed to take a pic that didn’t show my pounding heart. He kept on reminding me to flash a smile (✿◠‿◠)

He’s a leader. He’s not afraid to remain true to the truth, regardless of how many “friends” he may lose. That moves me because it shows true character and genuine. He’s my friend, one of my best friends ever and I just love him so much and hope that he understands that those defensive walls and heart of stone he tends to throw up to my face, well 🙂 I know how to tear them down 🙂 And yes! I’ma love him to life – the next life too!

The Zodwa Effect

This is my story through an endless journey through Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama at the National Arts Festival 2016:

So, I saw Zanele’s work once more. I’ve seen this particular work last week, twice already. I was so amazed…again!  I couldn’t get enough of it and what the work did to me was beyond expression. I remember the very first time I walked through the gallery, it was as though I had been there before. The only slight problem I had was not viewing it with someone I know, well more like someone who knows me very well. So, what then???

Today, July 8th, I went back to the gallery and funny enough, it felt like the first time ever to see this exhibition… never mind that the two young ladies (Rhodes University BFA & Chemistry students) were once again there, smiling at the entrance 🙂 AAAAND laughing that I was back again. I talked with those girls like we’ve known each other for years. We talked about mostly about the exhibition, well, that’s all we talked about and how we related to it. I was grateful to hear that a group of art students I’d met after my first encounter with Zanele’s work made it through after I (surely) bored them with this piece and that piece and “aargh, I can’t explain it man. You just have to go check out the exhibition yourself”.

I once more went through the gallery, I loved what I saw. I couldn’t comprehend entirely of the different emotions that swam deep within as I feasted on her work. Piece by piece, I was drawn in more and more. I smiled. I laughed. I was saddened. I almost cried. I smiled some more. I wanted to scream. I wanted to shout. I wanted to jump up high. I wanted to bounce all around the space like a child who just discovered the toy store. The vast use of texture. That just got to me…as I was walking through, someone who knows me more than most walked right in… 🙂 I smiled. I was excited. Finally! Someone who will relate!!

Upon leaving, we conversed about the “Brave Beauties” and who my favourites were, and why. This is part of her work, with gay men.

pointing

Pointing at my fav “Brave Beauties” collection

How these “Brave Beauties” were not bothered or boxed by society’s so-called perfect body – which doesn’t exist, really. These were beauties striking their best poses, my favs in undies. They had beautiful natural expressions on their bodies that have over the years been dubbed as imperfections…crazy world we live in…they had beautiful stretch marks, wound scars, chipped nail enamel. I  totally related to that. I am yet to get the bug of fake nails or putting on layers of make-up to perfect what’s already naturally perfect… I wonder how many “women” or “ladies” would actually strike such a pose with all their natural marks.

somizi

After numerous times of “angie, please turn around so I can take a pic of you” 🙂

I fell in love with “Somizi
Sincwala, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2014” this was before I knew of the title. I just fell in love with the pose, the “yeah whatever you say or think about me doesn’t matter to me. It only reflects how uncomfortable you are about me” I just love the pose and the hair, so powerful – I don’t think it had anything to do with the so-called “yeah we’re all natural now” trend. It’s an expression. A statement. Then there’s a chain accessory. I remember throwing it out there 🙂 “I wonder what’s the significant of that chain”… Could it possibly be the “box” or “discomfort” I’d mentioned earlier???

Before we left the gallery, I just had to take the last drool over my favourite piece of this work…so, eventually I asked “what do you think of this piece”? and to my surprise, standing here with someone who knows me more than most responds “it actually reminds me of you. This is so you in all measures.”

I was amazed that someone else other than me would tell me that they see glimpse of me in this particular artwork. I remember talking with the BFA student when I first visited the exhibition and when I entered the gallery today… so on our way out, I called her and asked my friend repeat what we’d said about that piece and she was amazed that I didn’t see myself in it alone 🙂 AND then there was the “what’s the name of the piece?”…. guess what?

emotions

Zodwa Effect

“Zodwa II, Amsterdam 2015”. Now, isn’t that mind-blowing???

he did, she did…

So today I remembered something that I heard in one of the conversations I either had or a conference/seminar/sermon I had attended when I was still at varsity. Are you proud of the person you are when there is no one around? What you do. What you text. Does what you do when you’re just with yourself define who you truly are?  I remember when this was brought to my attention I freaked out a bit. Now I remember, it was one of the sermons we had at church. I remember sitting there and my mind wondering back to what I had done that week on campus. Ps. Nigel’s words cut so deep I knew what I had to do. I had to return that remaining toilet paper roll that I had taken from campus toilets that week. Sure I felt like a skunk with its tail between its legs, but I knew I had to do it. I wasn’t proud of what I had done, regardless of the endless reasoning thoughts I privately had. It wasn’t easy no, because I knew deep in my spirit that I had to apologise to the lady who supplied those toilets. O my word, I wanted to just die! But at the end of the day, after all the scolds our relationship was mended and I never ever again took a roll of toilet paper tissue that did not belong to me. Funny thing is, a friend did the exact same thing to me when visiting my place…lol

Here’s a scenario to feast on; a couple – let’s say engaged couple found themselves with a similar predicament as above. She takes his cellphone, goes through his private chat; to see how he behaves when she’s not around… could she find something to be proud about or is his behaviour something to boast about. Well, let’s say she finds a few disturbing traces like, intimate emoticons sent to females and conversations and lines where her fiance talks about how he makes great couple with somebody else, how he imagines kissing one or two lips down to the neck, and about being naked with somebody else…or maybe sends kisses and sweet talks. So, what happens next? She is obviously perplexed, because nobody wants to be in a relationship; long-term or otherwise with a perverted flirt who laughs this off as “sh¡tty cellphone talk” and nothing more.

This reminds me of Caleb and his wife from the movie Fireproof, how he demeans and degrades her with his porn addiction, and overall behaviour. In fact, this is a similar type of thing. Neither “sides” is willing to apologise because both feel wronged…huh!  Crazy as this may sound, but hey, as Caleb’s dad give insight about his relationship with his wife, it is relevantly true; he can never truly love his wife the way she wants to be loved because he has no love and does not know how to love…Watch the movie 🙂 or when he is scolding his colleague and utters “you never leave your partner behind; especially in a fire”. Powerful words??? Watch the movie!

Back to the scenario now, regardless of what she did or what he did, or who is right and who is wrong…the bottom line is that she went through his phone, and his phone etiquette left little to be desired. He is secretly living a different lifestyle when there is no one around. Could this be the grown-boy syndrome that Tony Gaskins, jnr mentions in his books. So, what’s your view on this? Is there possible future here, like with Caleb and his wife in the movie? My thoughts, well I can say a lot, but may share some of these upon comments on this post.

The Blame Game

You hurt, I cry – we’re spinning
This seems to be part of us.

You shout, I’m deaf – we’re not communicating
This seems to have entangled us.

You point, I shriek – this is hurting
This a norm for the both of us?

You glare, I’m blind – this is killing
No norm like this should be part of us.

You cheat, I creep – it’s my fault
Why are all our wrongs dished on my plate?

You hurt, I cry
You shout, I’m deaf
You point, I shriek
You glare, I’m blind
You cheat, I creep
The blame game is all we could create.

Case of the School Uniform

June has been deemed as Youth Month in South Africa, and for quite some time I have been wondering what it really means. I have looked at how the youth wears their school uniform; how they handle themselves and others around them. What common factors do they share with their peers, seniors and juniors… So, I have decided to be dressed in my high school’s full uniform and journey on in this “youth life” once more.

Today marks my 7th day in this attire. Already I have noticed a few things that I am happy and some not so happy about. I have visited the same shopping centres/malls that I visit in IMG_20160602_130257 copymy “normal attire” and the attitudes of some people that I had once labelled as amazing was surprising. Like on my 5th day; I went to the same Pick ‘n Pay that I enjoy visiting and I was shocked at the effect a school uniform had carried. I was assisted by someone I would give a 5/5 every time I visited the store. She always carries a smile and assists me like I was her very first customer for the day; even at 18:00. Now, this Tuesday it was just after 17:00 and I was in my school uniform. There was no response to my usual “Good afternoon ma’am”, her smile had disappeared and she did not scan all my items…and she made me pack my own things. As I was leaving her Express Till, I called her by name and she finally looked at my face, and when she recognised me her response was “I thought you were these annoying school kids”. Woah! Major disappointment.

I visited the same Spar that I visit to buy my chocolates from and it was so funny how they embraced the cause and there was no change in attitude when they assisted me in school uniform. Maybe this is because they are already surrounded by two high schools in the vicinity? Maybe this is because they just treat each customer with the same level of respect? Well done Spar Tellers & Packers & Merchandisers. I must admit that it was kind of funny when I had to give some of them a nudge so that they would recognise me again…

In any case, I have learned that I am a “greeter”, in general. I greet a lot of people (including strangers) on any given day and they greet back. Since I have been in school uniform, some have been reluctant to greet back, some have given me weird looks and yesterday one said “I haven’t seen a schoolchild who greets elders they aren’t related to in ages. What’s your surname? Where are you from?”. Woah! I was amazed. So, the youth of today have missed the mark on manners? Could this be because we as parents have failed to pour down the same values that our parents had taught us? Or maybe “democracy” has given them the “right” not to uphold those standards? Mmmmh, maybe it’s because of the culture they have adopted? Or maybe it’s because there is so much distrust in the world? Or maybe it’s just the “way of this generation”…either way, I remember how I was told and shown to treat elders in a certain way and this is what I have taught my son from early on, even in this “scary” world we live in. I’m not claiming to be perfect here, surely I’ve missed the mark more than a couple of times too; especially as a teen; but I’ve got this now and that’s what matters…