Sensual Creative Feast

Image

Nature makes you creative. This is an undisputed fact. Creativity has lost its true meaning over the centuries, when its name was dragged to high-end museums, opera houses, and city halls. Creativity is the simple act of creating. The process itself may not be that simple but it’s the simplicity that makes a creation creative. In nature, with minimal resources, one has to be in constant production. One has to create a way of living. Fires have to be made, fridges have to be improvised under the earth, and modes of entertainment must be constructed.

I very much doubt that the ‘first people’ were dropping like flies from eating the wrong kinds of plants. In fact, I believe because nature makes you shed your skin and rely on instinct and intuition, the first people knew exactly what to eat, and it was no mistake when they went under a trance of hallucinations for days. If you are accustomed to nature, you will know a fruit tree when you see one sans the fruits. The same principle applies to wild spinach, or morogo—when you find it in nature you will know exactly which is edible and which is not.

Nature trains your senses. You are fully awake and livened in nature. You use your sense of sight, before you pick up and smell, then you put in your mouth, but not without applying your sense of feel and touch: what follows is an engagement with your fifth sense of taste. All these senses would’ve been roused by the sixth one which is intuition. You don’t just pick anything in nature. You need to be as balanced as nature is to dwell in it. You must live harmoniously with the flora and fauna.

Artists have to train their senses. Artists function and create from their senses: they’re sensitive, sensible, and sensuous. They will function best in nature I tell you. Right now being in the Drakensburg for what seems timeless has immersed me in a crazy spirit of creativity. My senses are at work: the mist, the greenery, the river, the water lilies, compost, birds, butterflies, nests and age-old trees are all magic to my soul. I am a child, and I see now that we have to return to nature. [It’s gonna take some doing convincing R to move here].

Nature makes you creative. Our great-grands made musical instruments out of wood, skin, twine, seeds, pumpkin shells, and many other organic products that spoke to their sixth sense. They sought a particular sound and feeling, so they improvised and created it. They baked bread without ovens, and they had showers way before the conventional shower was conceived. They lived as creators. Creativity is not elitist or reserved for the trained palettes. Creativity is in our everyday modes of existence. We are all creators; we can make something out of nothing.

This post is inspired by a meal I made last night, pictured below. I just used what we had in the fridge, and stirred it in the one pan we have. It was a marvellous creation. I worked with what I had, used my intuition, and came at this delicious aubergine tartlets. I will definitely be making it again back in the city, even with the many other resources that we would be back to. I think it is a lovely treat for kids too, and works best when you don’t really like meat.

Food

 

You will need:

  • Aubergines
  • Mushrooms
  • Courgettes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chillies
  • Ginger
  • Feta cheese
  • Red pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Hummus to serve

I cut the aubergines in circles so they may create a nice base, then grilled them in olive oil with onions, garlic, chillies, and ginger. When soft but not mushy I laid them onto the plate, and sautéed mushrooms and courgettes. When lovely and soft I topped the aubergines with them. Then I put crumbled feta cheese on the tartlets, then for a lovely splash of colour I grilled red peppers and cherry tomatoes, and finished the toppings with them. I served with a lovely hummus and bread if you will. You may also use olive tapenade. I think it will hit the spot.

Obviously the ingredients may vary: I would toss ginger carrots on there, or even top the aubergines with round beetroot. It’s your kitchen. Create…

Advertisements

I Have No Skin

Be

Last week I found myself speaking candidly to a young beautiful writer in Durban, as she shared her fears and reservations about starting a blog. She felt a particular doubt about having something valuable to share with her readers. There is something there, I thought. I remember especially being hard on myself, for I started writing creatively at 19, only to have a long hiatus between 24 and 28. I scolded myself for having neglected the very life source of my wellbeing. Why was I not writing? And why is this blog only emerging in my final year of my 20s?

Well, like I said to the young beautiful and adventurous woman, age has got something to with it here I’m afraid. At 21 I published a book of poetry, Raisibe, and it was received well. What I can say about that book is that it will never be reprinted or revived because it emerged out of a space that conquered the world but had not yet conquered self. Youthful endeavours are special because nobody can advice your far-reaching sense of adventure. Nobody can tame it. Nobody should. But with age you manage not to tame but prune and trim your own wilderness so it may grow productively. At this age now I know better than to write a book without having read any.

Age is like concentric circles. The younger you are the further you are from the centre of that circle. The twenties are most turbulent (puberty is just a sick joke), and the various proximities we share with the unlawful, toxic, dangerous, divine, sensitive, hurtful, lies, disadvantaged, opportunities, and blunders can only function to bring us closer to ourselves. The late 20s are for exhaling. Everything that erupts must converge. You start to quieten down and remove various onion skins of your past: friends are trimmed down, Friday nights are spent with feet up, nesting with home-made guacamole, and relationships with others become meaningful and divine.

In other words, you are beginning to make the world secondary to your own being. You start looking inside yourself more than outside. You are seeking a truth that is your own, a narrative to speak with your own tongue, and a voice that is uniquely yours. There is a special sense of achievement in knowing just what and who you are. That cannot happen without experience, and it is an ongoing process. The journey is long, but the best thing would be to document it. If you are a writer, write. Start writing without thinking about an audience. Find your voice. Find an unapologetic stance and ideologies that perfectly capture the nuances of who you are.

I am 30. I feel a sense of achievement and gluttonous anticipation to see what other truths open themselves to me. Today I am without skin. I used to have a thick one. I have shed it for the benefit of my own soul.

ImageI am without skin,

I have no beginning or end.

I am of the trees and animals,

of the moon and the stars.

I am of the wind, fire, water, earth

 

I have many hearts,

they beat in places disparate.

I have planted love and light

in those who water my garden.

I have sons and daughters

not of my own devices.

 

I am their mother,

I am those wondrous arms

that pulsate with warmth

from my many hearts.

For I am without skin

 

I see with my third eye the magic of my own presence.

I perceive with my solar plexus the truth of universes.

I smell the dung that has sprouted and given shape to these thought patterns.

I live in the ancestral time zones so I taste the future.

I hear trom-boning staccatos prying the bone of essence open!

I am that animal whose colours and reverberations are known by few hearts.

Still my hearts beat with many hearts, for I have no skin.

 

This may as well be a letter to my sons and daughters: the 20s are not a safe place; they are a dangerous place to live. You cannot shed your skin, you may not put the fences away without putting in their place ideologies that shape who you are and in turn shape your place in the world. Find your own truth. Find your voice and set it free unapologetically. The more you hone in your concentric circle, the more you realise what is worthy of your senses: your sensuality, sensibilities, and sensitivities. There will come a time when you naturally gravitate to your own centre. You want to know then who deserves you at your barest, when you have no skin.

Furthermore, there is no sanctuary to be found without purposeful action. Whatever you do must be in the service of the community and in the upliftment of your fellow sentient. These words may be paraphrased from Ingoapele Madingoane and Keorapetse Kgositsile, but they ring an eternal truth. I say to you now: the world as we know it has gravitated furthest from itself; we have no spirit of humbling ourselves to nature, and we insist on being possessors of worldly goods. There is no joy to be found there. True joy is without bounds or territory.

When you fence a fruit tree expect to receive less than it can offer. We are fruit trees. Our juices seek to flow, our fruits yearn to be picked, our roots thirst to be nourished, and our leaves will surely fall with the seasons. You do not chop down a tree that shows no life. You give it a chance and look above, below, and forward to the next season. We are fruit trees, we are here for the consummation of others: we live with birds, with insects, reptiles, moons, stars, humans, floods, and lightning; we are the beginning and the end. Without ego we are true embodiments of love.

Toni Morrison

Still Grazing…

Image

Good morning my respected sources of joy and inspiration. Every morning when I think of what to share with you I feel so blessed to immediately receive three-pronged inspiration—from you, from my inner self, and from my immediate life, which I’m eternally grateful for. Let me elaborate. From you I receive discipline. I can no longer ramble on and on without a coherent thread of logic, and I can no longer type and quickly publish without rereading and correcting typos and grammatical errors. Because of you I push myself to offer you my best. You deserve that from me. I have invited you into my life not to offer you mediocrity and average babble…

From my inner self I revel in the gratitude of having found my voice again, after refraining from creative writing for over five years. I am reassured and validated by my passion to write; I am moved beyond words by the well in me that doesn’t run dry—and I mean moved beyond words literally: my posts on this blog are a response to a tingling sensation deep within a reservoir in my mind and soul; I respond to images and texts I encounter in everyday lives, some I have encountered not in this physical body itself, but appear to me as ‘future memories’. Please read here about entangled time https://uhurumahlodi.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/creation-memory-and-desire/  When I am immersed completely in my positive creative nest I receive the topics on which to write, and I listen to that inner voice when it propels me. I am moved by the beat of my heart. I dance and sing to it. I obey it.

My immediate life is simply the physicality of it: time, growth and change happening simultaneously, seamlessly, and effortlessly, influencing me in ways I could’ve never imagined. My life (individual consciousness and subconsciousness), my life work (PhD), my passion (writing, jazz, travelling, gardening, and cooking), my family (husband and normative familial bonds), and my friends (family I got to choose), all contribute to the big love I inject in everything I do. All these things and people show me a pure love, a harmonious input-output response that almost always yields growth. Conscientiously. I am revealed to myself like colour to new eyes, I hear jazz with fresh ears, I feel the textures of my blessings through the stringing of words on this keyboard, I taste the fruits of my labour, and I smell the future in sunflowers and the scent of changing seasons…

I am alive. I am waiting to check-in and prepare for my flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg tomorrow, where I will spend a week with family before heading to our home so dearly missed in Cape Town. I am shedding my skin for true nudity in order to bathe in the love I will receive in the coming days. I am humbled.

Have a fantastic week…

Image