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!

Le inspiration1

Le inspiration2

Apathy is the Hole in our Whole

Image

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!

It’s in your Hands…

Image

Define your own path in life. The jewels and treasures of your own destiny lie in your hands. There is no pre-determined path, there is no fate, and there is no “meant to be” or coincidences. One of the core pillars of enlightenment and civilisation is the realisation that there is no one mapping out your life for you. You are the sole bearer of your life pole.

In defining you own path, you open up possibilities of miracles. Miracles are not magnanimous occasions where the clouds part and you read a message from heaven. No, miracles are defined in the precise moment when you recognise your power to create something out of nothing; when you are an ingredient in the alchemy of evolution and progress, when you start with an idea to create prospects of growth tomorrow.

It all starts with using what you have to change the direction of your life. Make a decision to make that call. NOW. Often times we create strong walls that stand between us and our dreams: we imagine that if we want to do that photojournalism course we would have to save R100 000 because it means we must quit our jobs to sustain ourselves while focusing on the task at hand.

How about reconfiguring your mind and using that same keen sense of foresight to project different possibilities and outcomes to your perceived shortcomings? How about rerouting the same energy to build a wall between you and your dreams, and using it to building an unbreakable resolve and aptitude to face the task at hand NOW, with passion, faith, and courage; and getting to R100 000 one day at a time?

Sense and sensibility tells us there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (is there a rainbow?), there is no millionaire waiting to fund our dreams. The difference between finding your true voice and trusting to follow it, and deciding to lie dormant in the shroud of fear, lies solely in our hands. As an adult there should be no one commanding you; you are the captain of your own ship.

ImageDefine your own path:

  • Make that call. You will be surprised by the number of people who listen intently when you speak with a clear voice. They are readily willing to hear you, and help you.
  • Look around you. Don’t find yourself under-utilising your resources. When you have friends or people who are where you wish to see yourself, approach them and ask for mentorship. Nobody is going to awaken you to your own capabilities except yourself.
  • Take leaps of faith. It is better to have tried and failed than to live in the regret of knowing you never gave yourself a chance.
  • Don’t act big: always assume that what you know is but a sand particle in the larger beach front of life. Open yourself to learning, NOW, and all the time. Research about where you want to be, and set yourself reasonable goals.
  • If you have a dream, write a proposal. Write about what is it you want to do, how, when, where, and why. This exercise should be primarily for self—to lay out a clear and terse project in your mind before you make it manifest in the world.
  • Always research funding for what you want to do. I speak from personal experience when I say there is funding for almost everything. If you need help, ask for it. We are beyond ego at this stage. I hope.
  • Make that call. You never know. I am where I am today because I just decided to make that call. I got over projecting how the call would end, and just got on the real task of putting myself out there.
  • And finally, dream big but start small. If you want a restaurant, start with a sandwich bar.

I really love the above short documentary about reclaiming your life (even though it’s a Guinness ad). By any means necessary… It’s in your hands

Love is Faith |Faith is Love

Image

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…

Image

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

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

Healing Love

ImageIn life there’s nothing better than being validated in what you do, who you are, and how you see the world. It is therefore vital that we calculate who we share our vision with, who we spend our energies on, and how we phrase our world views. A simple decision about where you spend your evening, and with whom, may change the course of your life, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst; but please may it not be for the stagnant… Any motion is better than no motion.

I spent the last four weeks travelling and traversing the breadth and length of Europe with reckless abandon and laughter. For two weeks I travelled with my best friend, my lover, my brother, my confidant, and my everything. There is no joy in being with someone who doesn’t inspire you and excite you. There is injustice in sharing your energies with someone who seeks to (in/voluntarily) thwart them. There is absolute bliss, admiration and respect in being with someone who sees your light, who nurtures it, who moves you to goodness, and who validates you. There is god in love; in the kind of love that is based on faith, courage, hope and belief: all these are necessary to make our dreams with each other manifest. I have religious love for my husband. We share a genuine love for all things light and peaceful, arty and inspiring. We share a connection that defies time and space. He sent me a text that read “Your love is sacred to me …”, and I understood exactly where he is coming from.

I am honouring this man right now, at this sacred time when I have rejoined him at our home, after I had been travelling for two weeks in Berlin, because without his love and sincere faith and belief in us, a lot of my experiences could not have materialised. Reinier, my worthy and respectable man, believes in me. He strives to help me shine my light, he derives joy from seeing me at my best, and he is therefore worthy of my light, my joy, my bosoms, my heart, my mind, and my spirit. He catapults me into flight, and takes pleasure in seeing me soar. I have received no bigger love than yours, my dearest and most worthiest.

Thank you for sharing my dreams, my vision, and my love for humanity and artistic expression. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for receiving my calls with glee and innocuous excitement every time I made that call from Berlin (there’s nothing like being on holiday and calling home only to be met by a sulky and surly response). Thank you for receiving me at the airport and indulging me in home-cooked delights. Thank you for allowing and even reinforcing me to be me; there is no greater gift. I hope my efforts to continuously be an orange moon reflecting the light of your sun are visibly pure and never find a zenith…

20130826-012056.jpg

In Marrakesh, the magical city…

20130731-111902.jpg

We had a fantastic road trip from Seville to Algeciras. Memories we’ll cherish forever

Thank you for bearing with my typos and short posts about travel over the past month. I am back home and back to the familiar and familial, so we shall resume normal programming. XX