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.

For Thine is the Queendom…

Faith

You are an intricate being that is unique and diverse in your own special way. Spirit asks that you be gentle with yourself and accept the delicate nature of who you are. The spiralling energy is here to remind you that there is a great power and strength in your softness and it is here to assist you in healing on all levels. It is also here to remind you that you are a divine being of light who is deserving as any other human being on earth. Smile and recognise your own authenticity and beauty in all your glory.

When I prick my ear to listen closer to my spirit—through plunging in its depth via movement, wellness, meditation, and belly laughs—it reminds me always to be gentle with myself in the process of exploring the unique and diverse tapestries of who I am: a fulfilling journey even in its partial darkness. Through that darkness, my own delicacy ripples through my essence and reminds me of my vulnerability; it is only then that I’m confronted with weakness and find the courage and faith not to shy away from my pain, but to stand up to it.

Faith47Growing up through and under apartheid—a system that sought to clip our wings before we could take flight; a system whose mandate was to distance ourselves from who we are, and from our greatness—has constructed a fallacy that being hard equals being strong. We grew up finding no value in our softness and gentleness, and in fact concealing the soft and the gentle in us; putting a lid on it in fear of being vulnerable. The consequences of internalised violence and hatred under apartheid, on both public and personal levels, still lies concealed and plastered by the hardness in us. It is never too late to recuperate.

There is no value to be found in masquerading gross masculinities or aggressive femininities. There is an urgent call for gentleness all around. We only perpetuate the apartheid narrative when we continue in its legacy of alienating ourselves from who we are, when we live in and through violence, and normalise it; when we are not honourable to ourselves and neglect our responsibilities to our neighbours, parents, and children. We have not found the courage and the faith to open the hardness born of pain in order to come face to face with that which threatens our inert humanity.

There is great power and strength in our softness that can assist us to heal on many levels. We have often been exposed to situations that called for strength born out of hardness, but when we recognise ourselves as divine beings we repudiate aggression and hapharzadous emotions that only serve as energy vampires. We have the power to harness strength born out of our gentleness and softness; out of a place of resolution, beauty, light, and determination. We can only move towards our inner light if we are light (not heavy, and not dark) ourselves. And there lies our divinity and glory.

BIllie Holiday2

Today I thought I’d honour Faith 47, the artist who painted the opening image – she’s a gentle street artist whose work of activism bring beauty to the otherwise ugly scars on the face of Cape Town and South Africa.

Also dedicated to my sister Madikana who sent me the first paragraph of this blog yesterday morning; forwarding it from her spiritual teacher…

Silence is Tantamount to Death

SilenceThere is no one universal truth. Find your own truth. Shape and hone the voice that speaks to your divine existence. Define your truth to signify the corners and crevices of your being. Speak your truth. Shape happiness in a cast that fits your mould. Define your own standards of beauty. Find the niche where your voice may be amplified. Be outspoken. Tear down the walls of silence. Tell your story. Repudiate his-tory. His-story is not your story. Your story is an individual story. It speaks of rivers that replenished whole tribes. Your story is a central story. It is not a story of darkness. It is a place of light and freedom. Let your story nourish your state of desolation; let it unshackle your mind and liberate you; let your story be heard and echo through the pages of time. Let your body be testament to greatness, and your voice poetic license to mould your truth, hone your truth, and release your truth from the prison of time. Let your story be the pillar of your castle. Let it buttress your soul. Let it enshroud you with celestial light. Speak now, and find fortitude in your voice. Partake in the story of creation. In the beginning was the word, but the word became manifest through sound… Use your story to dismantle universal truths and sound your own truth. Be the creative your creator created. Create with the bare necessities. Create with your story!

Without Faith Everything is Illusionary

Grief1

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

Image

Without faith everything is illusionary