Reconfiguring the Distorted…

Wangechi

When we last spoke I had wings where there were once shoulders; wings borne out of taking flight, soaring, and surfing the winds of itinerancy. My life has been fluid, like water, ebbing and flowing according to the calling of my heart. I obeyed and approached the fires that refined my passions. I have pricked my ears to listen, and I have prised my eyes open; I have been alert in order not to miss the divine appointments, and I have been abundantly rewarded, spirit and soul, with treasures that can never find expression here.

My ears have translated the sounds of all which call me from a place of passion, courage, hope and faith, without which all of this seems illusionary. The very palpable nature of the voices I hear root these otherwise ephemeral experiences. I have heard them. I have seen that which defies logic, that which goes beyond ones and zeros of this world; beyond rational. I have seen magic woven in my everyday existence. I have embraced what my eyes have seen without any doubt, and I have been abundantly nurtured.

My voice now strives to be heard, and I am called to the divine appointment of being an educator, a teacher, and an interlocutor. I heard and saw the calling with my third eye and ear – pricked, prised, sensitive, sensible and most sensuous. I am called to clear my throat chakra and speak in response to my passion. NOW. Poetry—the fluids that quench deserted thoughts; the echo that resounds generations past; the source of unbreakable resolve in my life—is calling me. It spoke through the heroic voice of former South African poet laureate Mazisi Kunene:

I possess a thousand thundering voices

With which I call you from the place of the sinking sun.

I call you form the shaking of branches

Where they dance with the tail of the wind.

You are the endless abundance

Singing with the lips of all generations.

You are like a trunk lush with branches in the lake

Whom the feller of woods felled in vain,

But sprouts with new buds in summer.

When it is loaded with fruit he comes again

And eats to saturation desiring to end its seasons;

But again and again the branches shoot forth with new seasons.

I am in a place of lack, of demoralisation, of defeat, and of hunger and thirst. I am in a place where those who speak to us from the place of the sinking sun are rapidly forgotten. The sun is sinking and setting upon us. We need its light. We need its warmth, its guidance, and its reassurance. I eat to saturation from the abundance left as our legacy.  With that abundance nurturing me as a teacher, educator, and interlocutor, I have accepted the calling and divine appointment to be possessed by those thousand thundering voices that I have heard, seen, and will now speak of.

My work in its entirety in is conversation with the endless abundance which sing with the lips of all generations: Keorapetse Kgositsile, Ilva McKay, Mongane Serote, Mazisi Kunene, Dennis Brutus, Barbara Masekela, Mandla Langa, James Matthew, and many others whose voices echo the politics of Solomon Mahlangu, Bantu Biko, Moses Kotane, Duma Nokwe. This is our history which has not found its rightful place in the post-94 curriculum, and which I have accepted the calling to take to the youth in ways whose nature can only be anointed. The forces of a truth whose time has come cannot be stopped.

I travelled the breadth of the United State of America unearthing and collecting—exhuming—to bring home, the work of our exiled fathers and mothers; the stench of their sweat and the haunting darkness of their blood which they spilled for us to take and respond to in our lifetimes. These voices call us and they must possess us. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to access these resources which I have now brought home, and urged to bring to you. This is a bountiful and anointed abundance, not a reckless one.

Without the clarity of our history we cannot have clarity of vision. However, we can never be defeated as a people, for like a trunk lush with branches in the lake, we will sprout with new buds in summer. No matter how big the sledgehammer it cannot orbit the sky. Our promise of abundance is surely coming. I am now putting forth this message. I want to teach poetry from exile to all youth who are willing to receive it. I call those in care of youth to share this with them; to invite me to share with them their beautiful history which will surely have them thinking differently about themselves. I call all educators and NGO directors to employ my services. For free; by divine appointment.

I am a PhD candidate in Literary Studies at the University of Cape Town, and have, in my ownership and potentially larger ownership of my people, endless books out-of-print and rare, footage of interviews I have conducted with prominent South African and American writers, multi-media resources, and 5 solid years of teaching experience from the University of Witswatersrand and UCT. I am the change I want to see in our teaching curriculums, and the time for it is NOW. Invite me for a chat on uhurumahlodi@gmail.com I await all of your response.

To heal, reconstruct, redefine, and reassert our greatness…

When I was in Oakland, California last year in October, I accepted the invitation to teach young students of the Oakland Art School. I was initially concerned by the age group as my teaching experience is with youth adults of 19 years old or older. However they were very receptive and responsive, fascinated by the histories of black South Africa and black America. This inspired me to engage with the youth from my own country, and open up channels for them to learn the extent of the struggle which our mothers and fathers found themselves broiled in.

When I was in Oakland, California last year in October, I accepted the invitation to teach young students of the Oakland Art School. I was initially concerned by the age group as my teaching experience is with young adults of 19 years old or older. However they were very receptive and responsive, fascinated by the histories and relationships of and between black South Africa and black America. This inspired me to engage with the youth from my own country, and open up channels for them to learn the extent of the struggle which our mothers and fathers found themselves embroiled in.

GIVE…

Le Inspiration

My definition of living a full life is living in service of others. Let’s not mistake servitude with subservience—those are the exploitations of today’s capitalist world bent on constructing a pecking-ordered society instead of a communal and symbiotic one—servitude is a humble disposition that finds its source in those of light, discipline, humility, faith, and courage. Living a full life is using self as inspiration to others; it is sharing your inner light with fellow sentient; it is the perpetual resort to the third eye that connects our higher beings: respect for every fellow human, not only listening to them but hearing them, not only seeing them but acknowledging them; it is the virtue of honouring everyone’s right to freedom and integrity; a strength to expand and accept in your heart others’ differences; and an open heart that can offer a sanctuary to the downtrodden. A full life is that of servitude: in service of your body-temple, in service of your Qi and chakras—this brings about lightness, as opposed to both darkness and heaviness; in service of the god in others—this bring about discipline to honour your words and actions; in service of your dreams/vision with ultimate recognition of their service to others—this is the seat of humility and courage, for without fear we are propelled by faith, in whose company we are but humble and guided by our higher selves; and in service of the triumphant DNA of our ancestry, in whose wisdom we shall be guided and protected, in our dreams, our consciousness, and our divine paths…

And finally, don’t let the destructive behaviour of others destroy your inner peace!

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Sojourner’s Mantra

Don’t steer too hardFrida K

Let the currents propel you forward

Surrender to the motion of the ocean

Be at peace with the journey

Have faith in the direction of the course

 

Hold the steering device lightly

Don’t grasp it with anxiety

Make your journey divine

Don’t obsess with the destination

Find peace when true north

Does not appear to you yet

 

Say with me: this here sojourn is of my making

From nothing I have designed this creation

My desired objective and purpose are my peace

I also have humility to surrender to the seas

I am content with learning from the journey

And being nurtured by the strength of my strides

Apathy is the Hole in our Whole

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There’s a beautiful truth that will save us from the trap of apathy and procrastination that perpetually guzzles our plans into an abyss of a never-coming tomorrow: there is no tomorrow! There is only today. In fact, there is only NOW. Every moment we live and experience is always NOW. The concept of time as a linear continuum that moves from compartments of past, to present, to future; of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, is a Western concept of time that is based on a socially constructed Roman calendar with its attendant trappings.

Time is not linear but cyclic. Apathy is brought on by the belief that tomorrow will be different from today, or next year will be a better year to do something. The truth that glares at us is that, just like seasons of the year, there is no major difference between last year and this year; they are both years that constitute the seasons of our lives that are cyclic. The only way they are different is in relation to our growth (both physical and otherwise), because as we know nature abhors stasis so there will always be evolution of humans, plants, animals, and all living matter; and as long as they exist in nature, their lives will be cyclic.

My biggest lesson of last year and in continuum NOW is that if you are a writer, write! If you are involved in creativity, it is your prerogative to release yourself from the trap of linear time and exist in a space that allows you to create at your most optimum. There’s a particular charged energy that propels us to create, and procrastination can only be birthed from that energy: a wasted energy that has to recede and perish unceremoniously. That energy is the difference between possibility and hopelessness: being and nothingness.

apathy2That energy may never be regained. It is the key to a world where you can be a creator by making something out of nothing. It is a sacred space charged with positively flowing magnetism that ropes all existences together into NOW. The mental image of all possibility framed into a reality within reach is an image tantamount to a miracle, jostling you into action to discover the nexus of your creative being. There, in that hub of possibility, choose creation. Choose NOW, not tomorrow, not later, not next year.

The nectar of the seasons does dry out and crust over what could have been. Where there was once possibility there is now just a bump in the interflow of energies. Apathy and procrastination are the enemies of harmonious creative energy. They create speed bumps in the vitality of thought; they function to block the unending passages of the rituals of creativity. They mute the cantations of a charged vibrant heart—the heart, the seat of passion, should be given free reign, especially in the moment that seeks to meet you halfway and guide your soul to ecstasy. Purposeful action NOW is the path to pure uninhibited happiness.

Let us see your works. Let us share in the creations of your heart. Let’s live in the house of our legacies. NOW!

Obey Your Calling

VOice

When you do what you love a world of possibilities reveals itself to you. When you make decisions about your life from looking inside—from learning what kind of spirit steers the body you are in—and obeying that tiny whirl of desire you have, expanding it and making it a resource and source of passion, all will be revealed in measured pace.

When you make life decisions by looking outwardly first you tend to obey current trends and somebody else’s idea of who you are, and what you can be. It is possible to find a world of possibilities on this path, but it is ultimately your exclusive voice, passion, desires, and resolve that will fuel you to give it your all, and make a sound contribution to what you do.

I come from a generation where most of us did not have the fortune of options and choice. Given our recent history, most of us had to study and work in industries that were not necessarily our passion, but a way to celebrate a new-found freedom by seizing new opportunities. Most had to, and still have to, support their families and alleviate their impoverished backgrounds.

I was most fortunate to spend valuable time looking inside of myself, and learning the nitty-gritties of who I am, and where I want to be (mostly because my parents could not afford to take me to university). The former was more important. Once I figured out who I am, despite all the failures and shortcoming in my school years, I realised that I had dreams, and I had talent. I started working from inside out. I exerted who I am to the world…

Studying literature was my calling, but I didn’t know what on earth I was going to do with such a mostly-leisurely subject. I followed my heart and listened to my own voice with a keen ear. I allowed my spirit to steer my thought and my movements. The world started revealing itself to me. It continues to do so. This week a world of possibilities opened, and I am rejuvenated and drunk with enthusiasm.

The work that I do is ordained. It is a true calling that birthed who I am. There was no walking away from this passion. The more I walk closer to it, the more it gives to me. I have no kind of ego in place that blinds me from seeing what is being revealed to me. I am obeying this journey—it is my master, and I am an obedient learner.

There is no greater joy and fulfilment in my life than feeling, sensually—hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, and seeing—the textures, contours, colours and depths of my capabilities; and constantly being pleasantly surprised at who I can be and what I can do. It is a matter of passion, hard work, faith, and courage.

I testify to you now: if you heed the calling of your voice, if you obey your talents, if you sow the seeds of your desires, if you look inside and not outside to find out who you can be, then you will harvest a world of possibilities. Prepare to be in a constant process of ‘being and becoming’, and make peace with not knowing where you are going, but instead trusting the coordinates of your exclusive life journey. It is not about the destination but the journey itself.

Contrary to popular belief, life is long and hard at times. You want to be living a life that fulfils you and creates a well from you to drink replenishing waters from…

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Love is Faith |Faith is Love

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A wonderful good morning to you all. I trust you had a great weekend. Mine was really good. Not in that way, but in my own way. One of my mottos in life remains: “Too much planning leaves room for disappointment” and this has revealed itself to me even more in my relationship with my husband. I’m a spontaneous person and thrive on the unknown but I’m telling you, us women can be such planners. It all starts with fantasising, and it all stems from watching soapies when we are young (I hope you’re not still watching soapies).

Soapies taint your mind with images of what love is or should be. This is all a big propaganda of ‘happy endings’ fuelled by Hollywood and its constant pursuit of the proverbial American Dream. And then there is real life where boy meets girl and they fumble and leave the toilet seat up and girl farts and burp like they’re at a rugby game… and it’s all fine. That’s life. There is no erotic soft light around the house, and cheesy Kenny G-like flute playing in the background. There is the brisk pace of reality, and I’m fine with it.

So I’ve long given up on fantasising of my man walking through the front door with a bunch of just perfect luminous red roses blocking his face because there’s about 10 dozens; and sweeping me off my feet like Ridge, gently planting not-too-wet kisses all over me, and taking me slowly up the stairs (who relieved him off the flowers? And how long had I been wearing that Victoria’s Secret number?) to the bedroom where there’s rose petals strewn all over, and perfectly ripe strawberries…

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We went to the new Koi restaurant on Bantry Bay

No! I live in the real world, so on Thursday I hiked for 4 hours, leaving me completely exhausted on Valentine’s day that when my husband came back from work I emerged out of a stony sleep, feeling dazed and not up to much. I bought us jazz tickets, and that was all the romance I had in me. But because he can be such a romantic he insisted we go out for our favourite cuisine, Japanese; and he booked a restaurant on the ocean. We spent the evening drinking from a fountain of youth (read champagne) and eating raw fish.

On Saturday I woke up quite early for I had been preparing, with miniature hikes 3 weeks before, for the mother of all hikes, up Table Mountain via Skeleton gorge. It was a trying hike with my good friend Zarina, and we tested the machines that are our bodies. The temperature was a whopping 32 degrees and we were in the sun for 5 hours of the 6 hour hike. Needless to say, we were completely out of it when we were finally on terra firma: famished, emaciated, silent, and sore. I envisioned a day spent in horizontal position.

ZamoWhen I arrived home Reinier had a surprise: he had booked lunch in the wine lands at one of our favourite wine farm, Kleine Zalze—a beautiful estate on luscious green hills in Franschoek, with an exquisite French kitchen. What a grand gesture! The thing about love is how heart-warming it is to know that someone has chosen you as the bane of their existence. He gives, he retorts to new ways of wooing and making me smile, and rejuvenates our love. I was famished so I wolfed down three courses (unlike in soapies), then we slept like gentle giants on the grass near a pond, and sang along to Aretha Franklin on our way home.

Sunday we woke up and went to yoga, led by our friend Zamo Mji, who was in India for some months, training to be a yoga instructor. This is great because I’ve been tripping on yoga for the last 4 weeks—it’s been the best thing for my general well being and making peace with a lot of things. So I was happy to take R there. And Zamo was great. Yoga opened us up. It was 39 degrees so we went for breakfast afterwards, then swimming, then to a sex shop, then home. We flowed to our own rhythm, and created a world of joy for ourselves. Purposefully.

That’s the lesson of this weekend. Relationships (of any kind) are two-way streets, and are entities outside of you and I. They are the third space. You must be happy, I must be happy, and the relationship must be happy. How do we take care of that third space? By purposeful action. We must both make decisions to feed and nurture the relationship, and always have it as our first priority. Yes, a lot of planning can ruin things; it is those small but magnanimous acts that propel us forward with grace and new resolve to face the future with courage and faith.

My firm philosophies on food and eating (our favourite and most romantic past time):

Most foods are aphrodisiacs solely based on how they help us secrete juices as we masticate

Food is sex, and cooking for each other is an act of love; eating together is making love

The sensuality of food makes other sensualities accessible

Eating out together is a public display of affection

Food is love, and cooking is a labour of love

Tongues are erotic and suggestive

Oysters are genitalia

Wine is lubricant

Etc. etc. etc.

Without Faith Everything is Illusionary

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With only less than two weeks till the new year I’m reluctant, but am gonna go ahead and call it a wrap. 2013 the grave year of the brave. I bid you farewell. But can you say farewell to the welfare? Could you shun your own life force? Could you fare well the source of progress and growth? The year took life, granted, but also gave life, so all in all, we remain humble, courageous, and resilient, and continue to make strides guided by faith, dreams and desires for a better tomorrow.

I learnt this year that where matters of the heart are concerned, one has to summon the higher self and fully engage the intuition, letting all ego and guard down and trusting the organic progression of things. In fact, that is how nature sustains itself; the only difference between plants and humans is that we have that double-edged sword named intellect/logic and the very thing that brought the charismatic angel Lucifer down from grace: ego. When those two are out of the way, we may access the message of butterflies, and carry a stringent and visceral sense of self that automatically ropes in the coordinates of this labyrinth called life.

I have seen this year that we all function from a place of duality, like the yin and yan: we must be phoenixes that rise, but not before we fly too close to the sun and burn; we must have unconquerable spirits, but not without experiencing that spirit at its lowest; we must experience beauty, all our days, but it must stem from a place of ugliness. In the beautiful musings of Kierkegaard:

The decisive thing is: for God everything is possible. This is eternally true and therefore true every moment. People no doubt say this in the ordinary way of things, and this is how one ordinarily puts it, but the decisive moment only comes when man is brought to the utmost extremity, where in human terms there is no possibility. Then the question is whether he will have faith. But this is simply the formula for losing one’s mind; to have faith is precisely to lose one’s mind so as to win God. … Sometimes the inventiveness of human imagination is all one needs to come by possibility, but in the end, that is, when the question is one of having faith, the only thing that helps is that for God everything is possible.

I love this chapter from the book The Sickness Unto Death (1849), as it of course affirms some of my life philosophies. For humans, for decisive humans, everything is possible. We all possess the free ability to dream, to be inventive through our imaginations. How strongly one believes in their dream is also free of any worldly limitations. To dream is to hope, to dream is to meditate. To dream is to de-clutter our vision and focus our energies on that which we desire for our livelihoods. By de-cluttering we advance our dream to utmost extremity; we lure it within the bounds of reality; we invite it to manifest in our lives. And through faith we can touch it, smell it, hear it, feel it, see it, and live it. Through faith we rope it into our lives and make it possible.

One has to find a striking magnetism between the inventiveness of the human imagination and faith. Through this great relationship of the mind, and through the purification of our bodies and good intention of our souls, we can soar. That is where our greatness lies. The greatness of wo/man does not lie in having an understanding of humanity, but lies in relishing our true path of self-realisation and actualisation. Change starts in our small corners. It starts with us. May we never lose the ability to dream, hope and be fearless on this here path.

Happy Holidays

X From both of us X

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Without faith everything is illusionary