Sensual Creative Feast

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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…

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I Grow – Eye Grow

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The sheer serendipity of this week has brought me here, in these wonderful midlands with cascading lush greens flowing into eternity. The spikes and dosages of the Kwa-Zulu landscape has serenaded and charmed me into submission. The greenery in all its opulence and various shades ignite fires of magic, and I am just open to it. There is no barrier between nature and myself. I have no skin. I have let go of control. I am disarmed, and I welcome whatever is coming next.

Yesterday I left the mysterious energy of Durban filled with jazz in the air and in the heart; to arrive in the mystic Drakensberg where indeed the hand of god is constantly at work. I am in ezwilini, in a haven atop mountain ranges, betwixt valleys of history and honour. I feel the currents of serendipity running through me as I lay in a gorgeous cottage nestled in dense green vegetation, feeling the warm skin and unending tender love from the eyes of the one who owns my heart.

It all started with being summoned to partake in a ceremony of the ancestors. One must always heed that call, so I packed my bags and left. In Durban I had the most amazing of connections with a soul so beautiful, generous, and wise. We fanned the embers of friendship to combust flames that hold promises of forever. Lusanda you are the one. I love you. (I have a handful of lovers as you might know). I live for these human connections that ebb and flow from contours of our hearts, effortlessly.

Mthatha. The intended destination where I shall witness a rites of passage like no other. 30 November was the date. I left Cape Town to be there today. The ceremony today was postponed to next weekend. That gave way to my coming to Drakensburg to bless our hearts with my lifelover—one responsible for the safekeeping of the roaring fires in my wild heart. Postponed. Thrown off. My head tells me you cannot make it to Mthatha next weekend. My heart is there, synchronised with the pulsating drum.

My sister Noemi from Mthatha/Berlin sent a message about shooting the ceremony—no budget, no means. She drew a list of things that would be needed: camera, SD cards, tripod, batteries, etc. Far call, but we are getting somewhere. As I was admiring the splendour of nature in Durban on Thursday, I found, believe it or not, a tripod waiting for me under a tree. It had seen many rainy nights, but it was a tripod o’right. I gave it a quick clean, and it’s as good as new, with no visible fault. Serendipity! The tripod lies in my bag here in the Drakensberg, waiting for command.

My head is not in the wrong place. Part of the reason it tells me I cannot possibly stay away from home another week is the impending deadline for my PhD chapter. I simply must work on that chapter on jazz this December, and time is of the essence. However, as we were flirting with the winds and oceanic vibes of Durban, a perfect stranger took us to the best bookstore I had ever seen in my life. The Africana and black diaspora section was so satisfying I left two hours later with ten books, most out of print. That road led me to a jazz session that affirmed everything. I’m sitting here now with reading material for my chapter, as I managed to find insightful books on jazz. Serendipity?

I’m going to stop there. The greenery of Kwa-Zulu has borne a new kind of life in me. Nature teaches me to let my guard down. The guard is down anyway precisely because of city living. One ought to be vigilant. I have shed my skin and am bare, open to the possibilities of magic and miracles. I see them in my everyday life and rejoice each time I experience them. I do not hold truth for the coming days, but I also do not harbour any reservations. I am trodding forth, with only light in my heart.

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