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.

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Debrief After A Literary Pilgrimage

How do I start a gratitude piece for all the bountiful harvest that I have partaken in? That is the question that has been pushing me closer and closer to debriefing from a truly magnificent and perfect-in-every-form-ten-week-whirlwind of an American rendezvous. Well, as the trip fully and without any compromise demonstrated to me, perhaps I should start by thanking myself for the sheer tenacity, determination, courage, faith, and pure passion that has driven me to be still and hear, and be fully awake to see the signs as they presented themselves to me; to have trusted my perception instead of doubt it; to have shunned any inkling of doubt or fear; and to have honoured my own voice that has consequentially led me to my own truth.

I feel validated in my beliefs, gratified by my journey, closer to my relentless vision, and inspired to be extraordinary. I have seen in clear daylight the intensity of my own power; the unparalleled spark of possibility lying, dormant, seeking engagement with those driven by pure intentions to be creators in their own worlds; the spontaneous combustion between possibility and determination, initiative and faith, knowledge of self and passion; and the sheer magic that can be woven and witnessed in one whose higher self is in direct alignment with self. I am now possessed by a thousand thundering voices that speak with me, and through me. Where I once had shoulders I now have wings…

I am now more certain that ever that we are one with all living entities; the earth and its magnificent solar systems (this is no joke; the full moons and mercury in retrograde had me in full grips, begging for ‘normality’), the animals, plants, and human beings all form a cosmic and holistic part of who we are. I only exist because of all those living things. And there is no living without the dead—the persistent balance and harmony of life—so I have tasted the sweetest connections of them all; being awake in more worlds than this physical one; hearing, seeing, and feeling the intensity of the moment; but most importantly, trusting the moment and taking notes that I consequently use as a blueprint of my vision and dreams. Let no one succeed in convincing you your physical body is all you are!

I have grown spiritually, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and cosmically on the literary pilgrimage I took from Amsterdam to New York, to Washington DC, to Chicago, to San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley, to Los Angeles; following and being followed by the footstep of a sage whose guiding hand, embrace, and mentorship—felt, heard and seen without his physicality—has led me to treasures of my own soul, of the larger cosmic world of our people, of the South African literary landscape, and of the broader black diaspora. The magnitude of the alchemy on this trip is to be fully experienced in the forthcoming months of writing this dissertation, this book, and producing this documentary. I have grown creatively too. I am decidedly embroiled in the cosmic world of the arts, where being a writer has so seamlessly and without any fear or favour led me to being a filmmaker: an art form that I have enormous respect for.

I trust myself more than ever. I am not the chosen one, but I chose myself to be the one for this task. Perhaps I should rephrase and say InI (I and eye—third eye perception and reception. I’ve explained this in detail here https://uhurumahlodi.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/ini-self-n-divine-self/ ) chose myself; perceived of self as capable, and received the ordained calling as my own. As the wisdom of the elders does state clearly, we exist in duality, like any product of nature and life—the yin and the yan, the body and the life force, the physical and the metaphysical—must be in unison. My life force and metaphysical self, the other ‘I’ in InI, are now lounging languidly with my physical self, at one, in perfect harmony, pregnant with larger-than-my-physical-body possibilities. My voice is stronger than ten weeks ago, and my resolve is only perfectly demonstrated by the image of being possessed by a thousand thundering voices. I move because I am moved…

What follows is a continuation of a photo essay that started here

https://uhurumahlodi.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/the-golden-years/

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I travelled to Washington DC to interview poet, legendary jazz critic and literary historian A.B. Spellman, who was warm and happy to walk down memory lane with me

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Karen Spellman was an active member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which Keorapetse Kgositsile joined seamlessly when he arrived in the States

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I went to meet my mentor, Professor James Miller, at the George Washington University. He was the first person who ever introduced the term ‘Black Atlantic’ to me at Wits in my Honours year, and I have been dreaming about conducting research in this field since he ran a fascinating course mapping the similarities in black South African and black American cultures in the 20th century

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Fall/Autumn is pumpkin season and America has quite a family of them I tell you. All shapes, colours, textures, sizes, and flavours…

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…but what do you do with so much pumpkins? Well, they have all kinds of pumpkin yumminess like pumpkin chai tea/coffee, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie, pumpkin waffles, etc. Pumpkin chai tea with hot milk really moved me to tears

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Of course while I was in town I thought I’d pop in and have tea with my girl Mitchelle, but the security guards had something else on their minds. They’ve since been fired 🙂

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Maybe something major was happening at Mitchelle’s house! I mean snipers on top of her house?? Really??

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The area between Capitol Hill and Lincoln Memorial gave way to an area of feeling deep in my heart. I was filled with all kinds of conflicting emotions from disgust to triumph

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I really really love how artists engage with the city, especially at the Washington Square in New York. It is a beautiful square with all kinds of artists, and they are well-respected if the tipping is anything to go by

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The student becomes the teacher. The interviewee becomes the interviewer

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On my last night in NYC I managed to score tickets to a Talib Kweli performance. What an amazing experience to hear him, feel him, and be entertained by him in his native New York…

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Kweli is a lyricist extraordinaire, and I was pleased that the sound at the legendary Blue Notes did justice to his flow

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I have been to quite a lot of jazz performances and festivals, but never have I seen a trumpeter display such barbaric devotion to his instrument – breaking all the rules

Common Sense Concert

I arrived in Chicago on the 20th September, and the next day I prepped to dance away at this dream line up. The special guest was Kanye West, and I have to admit that I absolutely enjoyed his performance despite my better judgement of the man

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In Chicago I managed to link up with my brother Ignatius from Polokwane. It was great to speak Sepedi in Chicago and crack ourselves over the mundane and magical

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Sterling Plumpp – the man who made almost everything worthwhile. He led me in the right direction and guided me gently into the very dense jungle that is the political and cultural life of Keorapetse Kgositsile. I am forever indebted to him

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During this interview with Keorapetse Kgositsile’s daughter, Ipeleng Aneb Kgositsile, we were visited by fireflies, hummingbirds, and butterflies. It was beyond magical. In that hot Oakland weather I was suffering (with pleasure) from chills

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The way I loved the bay area – San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley – was truly special. It will forever remain my dream destination and crush address

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Don’t even ask! Okay, I’ll tell you. I went into a shop, looked around, and next thing I know there was an impromptu photoshoot and wine #hides

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The beauty of the bay area. It reminded me of Cape Town with all its beautiful hills and mountains, winelands, botanical gardens, and laid back culture

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I missed this documentary to celebrate 20 years of Illmatic the album, and as I was minding my own business buying books I came across this poster and immediately heeded the calling

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Ipeleng Aneb Kgositsile

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We caught Fourplay at the legendary Yoshi’s Jazz Bar in Oakland; one of the most reputable jazz bars in the world. The owner, Yoshi, is a Japanese beauty of soul and spirit whom I’ve been fortunate enough to spend an intense afternoon with.

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The saxophonist and trombonist are from Oakland School of Arts, a public school where I have had the pleasure of teaching a literature lesson on Kgositsile. 51 Oakland, an NGO ran by Jason Hoffman and Yoshi, helps with putting arts and music back in public schools. These are the results of their work. These public school learners are playing with a legendary Latino band

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I felt the power of this NGO’s work. This youngster from a public school displayed so much skill on the trombone, and all the applause certainly gave him positive self esteem and motivation

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My lens caught this wonderful child

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Universe please conspire!! I need to live here, even if it is for a two year fellowship, or even better, getting a post at the Berkeley campus of the University of California…

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This is the NGO in discussion, 51 Oakland, and one of the co-founders Jason Hoffman. I met Jason through Ipeleng, and he was jsut so generous and kind enough to host me at his house during my stay in the bay area. There was something magical in our interaction, which has led me to my own treasures

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I helped out at the event where the students were playing; selling T-shirts and garnering support for the organisation. This has moved me to decidedly be more involved in the caring for others and making a difference in the less fortunate’s lives. A challenge I take on keenly

Nugget #2

Uhuru sliceWe all have power we must not be tentative to use. We must not defer the responsibility for the power we possess. When we make an entrance into this world we break a silence and announce our arrival with our individual voice, here to stay. We tell the world that where there was space there is now energy. There is energy that I will be responsible for, and energy that will propel me from this child-state to great destinations. We are given names that point to that power; we are groomed to live up to that power; we are released to the world to invest in that power, sow it, reap it, and enjoy its fruits.

Power has not much to do with the ego. Where the ego strives to take over the pillar of power in your life, the true self diminishes. You are made of self (consciousness) and the true self (subconscious, metaphysical, transcendental, higher self); what can be understood as the physical body and the soul. The soul is energy that reverberates with our truth. It may reverberate through intuition, a power that nourishes our incompleteness; a power that charges our physical conscious thoughts and elevates them to a level of indisputable truth. Your truth, stemming from your authentic voice.

Therefore, the deferral of responsibility of our power, which may reverberate in various mediums atop intuition, is to defer the power of our true selves. It is the repudiation of our agency. This results in true death resonant in the following truth: everybody dies but not everybody lives. When you accept unaccountability for your own power you denounce the path of your life; you become a passive participant in your own life as opposed to a present divine force that has transcendental power to shape magic in your own life. If you have a name you have power; if you have a name you should have a voice, and consequently you should speak your truth and determine the cast that will mould your passions and dreams.

Awakenings

Personal development

Here’s why I think everybody who aspires to personal development should have a passion that drives them and provides them with a safe space to explore their higher being—what society has called a ‘hobby’. A passion, or hobby, is a good space to explore your strengths and exercise full control of your agency. It is an elementary and fundamental space that engenders knowledge of self, self-determination, and creativity. It is a space of your own making whose depth, layers, and textures you get to decide. It is a sacred space that promises a mining of personal treasures.

Here’s where we get it wrong: we try to control spaces that are not of our own making. We are propelled by a false sense of self-importance and worth that has us believing we know. This is the predisposition of humans living in the 21st century urban space—information overload and saturated sensuality has us thinking we are in control and that we are equipped with the tools to drive our own life-locomotives. The truth is ‘knowing’ is an illusion and is quite medieval. Once we surrender to the motion of life we are opening ourselves to be perpetually replenished by the rivers of eternal knowledge.

Once we give away our personal agency and power to create through our individual passions and hobbies, and falsely try to control an outward sphere, we will always fail. The world is not our space of control, our individual worlds are. Individually we inhibit worlds that are entirely of our construct and design. But we are quick to neglect our abilities and personal agencies to construct and configure those worlds to our individual needs; taking those intricate needs and imposing them on an outside world whose magnitude elude us.

We cannot control anything or anyone beside our own worlds and ourselves. This becomes evident when we experience grief—heartbreak, loss, trauma, etc—and we are so fixated with knowing, whilst grief demands that you surrender. When we surrender to grief—it is counterintuitive for animals to surrender, but the ego has no place in raw inundated primal feelings—we must always find refuge in a world we can exercise a certain control over: that’s where your passion/hobby comes in! It is at this time that the world of your own making nourishes you and waters your roots; strengthening you. That passion, during this time, is the difference between sanity and insanity, harmony and destruction.

What could your passion be? In my experience, my passion drives me, as opposed to me driving it. It is a world where my third eye, higher being, and full sensuality are in synergy with one another. It is a charged space of inspiration promising creation—something always gets created in my world of passions: cooking and writing. Passion is seated in the heart; it is submerged in my life force, in my arteries, and in my seat of love. It is a place of possibility, of joy, and of growth. It is a site of self-determination and personal development.

Been jamming to this track in gym today. Conceive, believe, and achieve…

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.

No Creativity Without Inspiration

When you do what you love, a world of possibilities opens, and the universe strings together messages and signs to imbue you with a sense of validation. If you have been reading this blog you will know that I live by the philosophy of creating: I believe that we are all creators; we all have the ability to create something from nothing; to pick up a tool and breathe life into it, creating works that will function to synchronise with evolution and progress. It is the nature of humans; it is human nature, and we are nature—therefore, just like nature we need to sprout, blossom, grow, give birth to growth, and surrender to the cyclic nature of time. We need to blend in the solar systems, animals, plants, and water until we reach a consistent emulsification.

How do we submit to the cyclic nature of time? By knowing that we are but a sand particle in the larger beach front of life; by investing our time in collapsing the various arrogances that perpetuate difference in society; by breaking down our own barriers and prejudices and realising that in the larger scheme of things, we are all human and all humans must be afforded dignity and self-worth. Surrendering is the first step of threading a significant and pertinent chain that connects us all and makes us realise that inasmuch as we are all capable of creating, there is no creation without inspiration. The cyclic nature of time allows us to have a clearer vision of self without the pomp and grandiose of superiority: we may be blossoming now, but the winds of change shed the petals, “rough winds do shake the darling buds of summer”, and we shall be forced to rely on the basic tenets of humanism in winter.

I have digressed majorly, however, these words are my philosophies and religion, and they are precisely the key that opens the many worlds I find myself inhabiting. My creative world has gravitated significantly, and is orbited by serendipitous acts of formidable humans—they anchor me and sustain my dream and drive with voracious nourishment. There is a charged sacred space where everything seems synchronised and choreographed: out of your hands and in the rhythms of life; you a subject and object of your own desires, surrendering to the pulse of your own creation. That space is sacred, and it takes work on the self to be able to access this space. It is an equally challenging and validating space that promises rewards if you invest. I am in that space. So let it be.

Personal Growth: Transitioning from 20s to 30s

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The biggest lesson that came out of my twenties is that there is no better time than in the 20s to make an effort towards living your true passion and realising your capabilities. The catch 22 about the 20s is that you have the ability, time, and agility to live out what you are and what you can be, but unfortunately not all 25 year olds know what their true calling is. And if they do, most don’t have the confidence, the wild conviction, or the vision to throw their lives on the line for the sake of personal growth through purposeful action.

In your 20s you have a certain kind of freedom that cannot be exercised in any other decade of your life. You have the pejorative to be different, and even crazy—taking your art as far as begging for money at the intersection WILL be frowned upon after you turn 33—while society just looks the other way. In fact, the 20s are like a bus stop: a liminal place between teenagehood and full-blown adulthood. Yes, your parents might try to mediate your madness, but you can always pack your bags and say adios.

You don’t necessarily have a lover or children so your life is yours to make meaning out of. As a matter of fact, I would advise under 28s not to take themselves so serious as to shack up with a lover. Those were our mistakes to make. Do not hurry the process of growing up, believe me the time comes and it mangles you in its grip. So before then, travel without a solid plan, write poetry, read and immerse yourself in cultural activities, make change to someone’s life, find an outlet for the fire in your heart, and find love at least once.

ImageFor girl children there are a number of hurdles along the way—finding your sexual self may be a battle, a small trauma, a big trauma, a shameful discovery, an enjoyable journey, a loving experience; but it will be a process nonetheless, and you want to be vigilant about who you share your treasures with. At that bus stop of life, the 20s, there are many not ready to face their battle scars, so be weary of the energy vampires, the snake charmers, and the werewolves who are shapeshifting in and out of your life.

Most important out of these lessons is purposeful action. The 20s is your time, it’s your point in the journey of life where you should fill your basket with the tools you will need to face the many questions that will pose themselves to you: spiritual, emotional, psychological, religious, and metaphysical; matters of love, vocations, values, moralities, friendships, marriage, family, expanding families, and the overall campus of life. This campus will never point to True North, but you will spend the rest of your life striving and pursuing to tow your own line.

The 20s have simplicity about them that make life rich with possibilities: it is best to be impulsive and throw caution to the wind, but the complexity arises when you do that at an untimely moment. Mistakes are part of the 20s, the difference between a lesson and damnation is whether or not you forgive yourself. Learn to be kind to yourself and know that there is no manual for life; there are individuals all driven by the persistent yearning for happiness and freedom.

Here are some habits to exercise during the duration of the bus stop which will prepare you for life in adulthood:

  • 95% of the things you worry about never happen! It’s an unfounded statistic, but trust me, worrying deters you from the actual work at hand.
  • Be kind to yourself. This teaches others how to treat you.
  • Wake up early. Before you know it, your 20s are over and you still haven’t got around doing those little things than mean the world to you.
  • Exercise and drink lots of water. You might be able to do headstands and drink like a sailor, but at some stage two beers will give you a headache. Not even the next day.
  • There are some friends that should make the cut and others that you should let go. There’s work to be done, and no time for idling…
  • Family is everything. Nourish relationships and give your best to those who have helped shape the person you are today.
  • Ask for help. There’s a thin line between asking for too much, and reasonable requests. Be conscientious and you will soon know the difference.
  • Your ego will get in the way. Be humble and exercise a level of authority over your sense of indomitability.
  • Live in the service of others.
  • Keep a diary/journal/blog! You think your life is amazing now? Well the memories of it will slip in the crevices of thought… Record, record, record, and save.
  • Most of all: go for the longest walks, the longest kisses, the highest mountains, the best exhibitions, the heartiest laughter, the greenest parks, the most arduous yoga moves, the craziest sex positions (with that partner who makes you feel most alive), the best of friends, the intense star-gazing (the ones in the sky), the relevant novels, and the best love.
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And remember, we are one with the solar system (moon, stars, sun, skies, … ), the animals, plants, earth, wind, water, and fire: you are but a sand particle in the larger beach front of life. Everything is everything…