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.

Body is a Life Force

Spiritual flow

Yoga has revealed to me a wealth of core knowledge about my spirit, my body and my mental strengths/weaknesses. I now know that sickness is a manifestation of deep-seated anxieties and imbalances, which in turn reveal themselves as symptoms of flu, headaches, bladder infection, and so forth. That is, you are not weak because you have the flu; you have the flu because you are weak.

The central exercise to yoga is breathing, the energy and life force. We breathe as a manner of allowing rivers of life to rejuvenate our cells and sustain life. Breath is to life what spirit is to body; therefore, inasmuch as we breathe “involuntarily”, we need to start exercising a certain measure of conscious breathing in our lives, which allows for a keener and deeper connection between mind, body, soul, and chi (a circulating life force in our bodies, and by extension, out of our bodies).

When you don’t breathe consciously and ‘properly’, which most of us don’t from years of fixed postures and positionalities—the way we sit at our desks, our sleeping positions, and our ‘unconscioius’ standing postures—there are areas of our bodies that don’t get rejuvenated by the river that is our breaths. There are places/muscles in our bodies that are stagnant because of a lack of circulation and movement, and threaten to become flaccid dead weight that we’d have to carry around.

ChiMost of us have sore points in our bodies. This is precisely because the blood circulations in our bodies do not flow sufficiently and efficiently to those parts. Ideally, as our blood and chi dictate, our breaths should be able to link the calf muscles to the core of our abdominal muscles, and so forth. This does not happen when you type on your desk, or sleep at night. This should be a consciously assisted physical movement. Our abdominal area is where the chakra seat for our solar plexus (the chakra seat for life force just under our abdomen; see image) lies, and we need to prioritise sufficient blood flow and connection to it.

Honour yourself by eating the right kinds of foods (cayenne pepper is for me the best food for blood circulation), by breathing consciously (breathing facilitates the right amounts of oxyhaemoglobin to the rest of your body), and by getting into positions that will help with circulating the oxygen and the blood to all the right places in your beautiful temple. There is no such thing as involuntary breathing; we have to awaken ourselves to the very source and nourishment of our lives; to the fuel of our existence; and to the energy of the life force: conscious breathing, conscious eating, and conscious movement.

This is my favourite yoga home-workout. I highly recommend that if you’ve never done yoga before, you start at a class with an instructor, as you may injure some intricate muscles and joints by getting into positions in an inopportune manner.

Honour the God in you

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Ok so, how rude of me to just reappear after a few months and post a blog on heaven and hell as if nothing happened… A lot did happen in the time I was away. I was fulfilling one of my life’s passions—teaching at the university—but also spending a lot of time devouring the other passion of cooking. I have made amazing dishes and drank lots of wine in my time away from this blog.

This past month (May) I celebrated my 30th birthday—yes, celebrated; as in I had a birthday party for the first time in my adult life—and, taking stock of my somewhat pleasant 20s, and thoroughly confusing teen years, I realise with much satisfaction that my life is built on firm principles and philosophies that have buttressed me to the woman I am, whom I share my life with, and what I am doing with that life today.

See, I have always perceived self as a composition of five key factors: the spiritual, the physical, the psychological, the sexual, and the emotional, in no particular order. I treat my encounters with other humans as such. I try meeting them at a humanist level. These compositions of the self are of course inextricably tied to one another: the psychological affects the emotional, the sexual, the physical and the spiritual. This is why Freud is hailed as one of the key thinkers of our time.

I’m gonna break it down for you as best as I can, these wonderful parts of a whole that is me. From a psychological point of view, there are doors to rooms in my mind: there are doors to childhood memories, doors to creativity, doors to spirituality, to sexuality, to emotions, and even to futures that have not yet been experienced by this physical body. That is why it is best for me, and perhaps all, to surrender to the power of the mind. It is a vehicle to magic and mystery. One should not try too hard to make sense of what goes on in there. Leave the ego out of it and surrender to the mind.

SHeepMy mind in its labyrinth of colours, textures, folds, and infinities is the seat of faith, because in there is precisely where worlds collide and merge: worlds of ancestors, East and West, North and South, worlds of my spirit unchained, roaming and dancing with that of my grandmother, with an unbreakable resolve. There is where words string themselves to form whole concepts and ideas; there the doors to everything are opened by sensuality—a touch, taste, sounds, sight, smell—and this shapes my sensibility as a human on this here earth today. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. It is the seat for faith, courage, hope, fearlessness, and an indomitable spirit of dissent. The world does require a measurable dose of dissent.

Spirituality is for me in my every breath. We have been conquered and assimilated and acculturalised by foreign societies who brought their belief systems here and forced us to forsake ours for theirs. When one enters prayer, that moment should be lucid. You should be able to see your own gods and be able to access languages/sounds/incantations to communicate with them steadfastly and eloquently. That moment of speaking to your gods should be marked by a certain measure of sanctity and clarity. This moment of prayer for me is every waking moment of the day, even in my sleep.

Spirituality for me is not religion. Religion lies housed on the outside of who I am. My place of worship is inside. I am devoted, in a religious manner, to keeping this body that is my temple pure, clean and open for unjudgemental encounters with all that is living and dead. I am constantly seeking to clear the path to my heart in order to experience the miracles as they surely come intermittently. My temple is my point of departure, my conscience the beginning and the end. My conscience is heaven and hell, it is a moral campus that guides me to a place of worship.

Speaking of temples, my physical body is a shrine unto the creator. I am of a strong lineage of kings and queens, in our own right. I am of lineages of deities that levitate and transcend the physical body in order to access the treasure of their souls. I come from mystery, from the mystical and the transcendental—I come from a place where understanding is secondary to feeling. Ego aside, just feel! In the 30 years here in this realm I have harvested the treasures of that lineage, and put b(l)ack into that treasure chest. I radiate the energy of those who have come before me. You will see me walk tall, and exude distinction, then you will know I am coming.

My physical body is tied to my sexuality, invariably. I am a sexual being. Through this process of feeling and mingling with higher beings—thought and ego have no place here—I am able to engage with the energy fields of my being, firstly, and those of my husband’s. There is something inevitably transcendental in sexual interaction that makes the act tantamount to meditation, which then makes it closer to prayer. In that moment of lucidity, one may be able to open doors one did not know existed. It is a moment of baring self and emanating waves from the antennae of sexual energy, coupled with those of my husband, into concentrated energies that bring what we desire closer.

This inevitably brings us to emotions. Mine doth overfloweth like spring waters on the mountain ranges of Galagadi. I am an extremely feeling sentient, sometimes to my detriment in this world where people are not competing with self, but with others. I am very hard on myself because I am only ever comparing myself with where I want to be, while others are in a race with you without you knowing. Unfortunately we share spaces with these people, and because these emotions are worn on my sleeve, I almost always get bitten by the rats in others’ ambition.

I also have strong ties to the moon and the gravitational force of the earth. I am Taurean by nature; I was born with those who are seekers, feelers, darers, persistent (not stubborn), and caregivers. I am born with a heart and hands precisely for being in service of others. I am a servant to many, and I am constantly seeking to emanate a light that may only attract those of light, for at the place of surrender that I function from, there is no energy or eye for spotting, judging, and avoiding those of darkness. May they be blinded by the light and see the error of their ways…

Only in solitude shall we be revealed to ourselves. Only in silence shall we hear the calling of our lives. Only in mediation shall we see with clarity the humble creator of our beings. Only in servitude shall we experience miracles and blessings. Only in lightness shall we forever be rid of darkness.

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Sexual energy is a life force. It is spiritual energy that is sacred and intense. Higher beings are brought to the fore to engage with one another; other life forces that have come before us are evoked;  moments of creation are at peaks of possibilities.

Primal Self vs Civilised Self

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Society as we know it has been shaped to elude us from our inner strength and power. We are urged constantly to look outside ourselves for solutions and answers. The wool is pulled over our eyes, and our third eye, which visualises and makes manifest our true power and superlative positions. We truly do not end where our skins begin. We have a true connection that goes beyond the physical body, and deploys and realises rhizome-like tubular assemblages, always actively vibrating and seeking connection. The greatest misfortune is that the only time we look within is for selfish reasons. Wo/man is not designed to be self-serving. We are here for the well-being and fortitude of others.

We are all healers. We are all capable of experiencing miracles, and we all hold in the palm of our hands the magic to create from nothing. Realising your own power comes in the form of surrendering your physical body to being a vessel that receives those vibrations from rhizome-like tubular assemblages that connect us. Listening. We no longer have time to listen. We want to write without reading, and similarly we want to contribute without listening. We live in too much noise that we perpetually want to be a part of. We neglect our inner selves so much that they become dormant, casting us in unexplained and unresolved misfortunes.

However, when we listen, when we open ourselves to vibrations, we claim our power to be healers and creators—we live and experience miracles first hand. If you have been reading this blog you will know that I despise Western medicine and pharmaceuticals. All practices of it. I am into alternative healing, healing that advances the course of genuine human interaction and not healing that is capitalistic in essence. My doctor, Dr Motsisi, is an acupuncturist par excellence. She not only inserts needles into your ailing body, but she engages with you on the level of the rhizome-like tubular assemblages. She connects with you. When I walked into her consultation room after my best friend passed on earlier this year, a friend that I’ve introduced to her, she just started crying without my having said anything. Energies. Vibrations.

There’s another woman who works miracles from the palm of her hands. A reiki practitioner who functions on various levels of existence: the physical, metaphysical, psychological, spiritual, and so forth, without ever touching you. My younger sister has been having bouts of illnesses all year this year. Some even ending in operations. Those capitalists of doctors never stopped to question these recurring periods of sicknesses with similar symptoms, instead they have been prescribing one cycle of antibiotics after another. Those devils called antibiotics—they only function to ravage your body by depleting your stomach flora (the good bacteria), diluting your white blood cells (your natural defense system), and packing your liver over time.

Anywho, so my younger sister Jessica had a year from hell visiting one doctor after another, with no proper diagnosis at hand. Enter my older sister, Madikana. She has been consulting that reiki practitioner that I have mentioned for a while now (this practitioner even cured my mother of impending deafness! I’m serious!), and this past weekend she was there again after a long period of absence. The reiki woman spoke to her about different things, and when they were parting this was how their conversation went:

Reiki Dr.: “your sister?”

Madikana: “which one?”

Reiki Dr.: “the one who’s having a party or function in two weeks?”

It is Jessica’s 21st birthday party in two weeks. This the reiki practitioner “did not know”—it was never mentioned to her

Madikana: “oh yes, Jessica!”

Reiki Dr.: “she’s got glandular fever”…

And just like that the concrete diagnosis that we have been seeking from one doctor to another was established. Without Jessica even being present. This is not to be feared as some kind of sublime miracle. Miracles are in our everyday lives and they manifest when we deplete that self-serving disposition and open passageways to be used as vessels. We can truly become that for each other, not only for self. We can listen to the vibrations of our rhizome-like tubular assemblages that connect us to all human culture, and we can rouse our dormant inner selves, claim our power, and thrive. Let us levitate to this calling…

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My Heart doth Overfloweth

My dear reader,

ImageI would like to thank you so wholeheartedly for journeying with me on this healing process. On the 19th of January I decided to start writing a blog for various reasons: I consider myself a writer, which is a label I don’t take lightly and it has taken me over six years of writing to finally, although hesitantly, adopt the label. When I thought about the kind of writing I was doing, it dawned upon me that I only wrote academic essays. It was then that I decided to write creatively, from my heart. I did not suspect that it would have the kind of effect it has had on my general wellbeing and livelihood.

As you may know by now, my best friend passed away tragically in February. Without the support of my husband, family, and close friends, I am not sure I would have survived that primordial pain. They helped shaped a well from which I could draw strength. They were my rock! My blog helped me make sense of my pain, live it, relinquish it from my heart, and survive it. The power of words has helped to redeem me from a jungle of disappointment, hurt, and anger.

Writing this blog has helped me reclaim a lost innocence, rediscover my passions, overcome terrible pain from the past, and smile with my heart again. My innocence was lost yes. I no longer stopped to smell the jasmine, to borrow from a friend Farris’ phrase. I hesitated to celebrate the small victories of my life, I overlooked blessings, I took for granted the very roof on my head, I gobbled up my ice cream too quick, I kissed in a hurry, I bought a lovely pair of shoes and forgot about them the next hour, I ate mindlessly, doing so as duty as opposed to enjoyment. The latter became my mode of existence: duty and not dedication. Writing again has helped me live in moments, eradicate anxiety, celebrate myself, and well-up at the sight of bees dancing with sunflowers.

Writing this blog has led me closer to my true self. I have experienced firsthand the drastic shifts in my outlook, my inlook; I have considered with close attention the smallest of things that make all the difference, like the health benefits of foods, teas, gardening, herbs, whole spices, and meditation. I have learnt a lot in trying to share with you my limited knowledge of Eastern healing through eating medicinal foods geared at balancing one’s chakras; this blog has helped me want to do more research and provide you with accurate information. Writing this blog has developed in me a keen interest in human behaviour, biology, science, and philosophy. I have been happier, healthier, wealthier, and increasingly blessed for having taken a decision to write again on that January afternoon.

However, my dear reader, I would love to extend knowledge that has dawned upon me that without you reading this blog it would have probably generated a different kind of fulfilment in me. I am so grateful for your time—many people don’t have the attention span to read through a newspaper, never mind the ramblings of a free spirit—and your comments, and your feedback. It touches me most when someone writes to me to say anything at all about how my words have resonated with them. I am healed first by writing these words, so I get fulfilment, courage, and strength when I hear that the same healing has occurred elsewhere.

Therefore I would like to thank you so very much. May we continue to journey together; and may you feel encouraged to leave whatever emotions, responses, feedback, or even a ‘hi, how are you’, in the comment box. I promise to engage with your actively. I would love to know who reads my blog (I have a statistics tab that shows me where in the world it is being read, and I am constantly amazed by the disparate regions worldwide)—please just drop me a line, especially if we know each other, and say howdy! Travelling is mostly exciting but can also get lonely. I’d love to hear from you more.

ImageI truly wish you more peace in your head, in your life, and in your heart. I wish you light, as opposed to darkness, and also as opposed to heaviness. I wish forgiveness to envelope your heart. I wish you release from whatever may be imprisoning your heart and soul. Over and above, I wish you love,

Uhuru

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P.S I encourage you to write, write, write! Time is ephemeral…