A few years ago, after some or other drama I’d bundled through, I called my sister and, towards the end of the conversation, said to her that I was sorry to have disappointed her.
“Nothing you do could disappoint me,” was her reply.
I’ve never forgotten the way those words warmed what had me feeling so cold.
We’ve been through some life-changing things together.
The biggest just three weeks ago.
Between the happy memories and the tears is a taught tendon of sibling steadfastness that remains because trust is reciprocated from a place of respect.
She – not by telling but by showing – has taught me a lot about trust. That telling someone that how they do X, Y or Z is wrong and that because it worries you, they should stop or change those ways is actually the opposite of trust.
That trust is showing someone you see them. You hear them. You know them. And that both of you can learn from each other because that channel is open.
Trust isn’t always about how tightly you tied the knot.
Knots come undone.
Other people fiddle with them.
Trust is knowing you’ve got my hand when there is no rope. And that if you let go, it’s because you knew you could.
Thank you for being there, and for being you, there.
That 90s rom-com aptly titled because seven billion people have their own inroad to how true that is.
True. But not timetabled.
Reality is also really, really rad! We just don’t amplify the arcs when they’re upward.
Consider this: inside your happy and your heat, your heart does its thing. But to those on the outside of that (them, non-lead, supporting roles on your billing), it all just looks like blah blah blah blah blah. And when you need to stop because you pulled the muscle that is your talent, the musts and the meetings don’t.
And the harking by those who are still there; that venerable team who haven’t had the vantage that embarrasses how we hang onto sums like they are the light of the sun, your ‘stopping’ will still just look like blah blah blah. Because it should and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong or untoward with that.
It’s called perspective.
The contrast is that there isn’t any, if those who see your big as blah go home to the catatonia of Kardashian-ville – or the likes.
Ah… Reality TV.
An oddity I’m bemused by… or was… And yes, sure, the shift is because of where my soul stands now. I’d never cared much for it – and still don’t really – but I think I finally get what the originator had in mind when she/he wrote the rationale for what they wanted to respect…
I grew up loving and looking forward to lounge-nights because: Knight Rider, MacGuyver, Air Wolf and Magnum PI. Imagination’s inspiration was injected by the heroes and the wins I witnessed when I watched. Ergo, TV’s tales added torque to my tiny-tot truth.
But, while the global gallivanting is very definitely amazing, it is on a philosophical (cynical?) level that I say no thanks, don’t put me down for that.
There is nothing Amazing about the Race we’ve been programmed to rate as something we have to be a Survivor of.
Those start and finish lines are drawn because the system needs us to keep running between them. And the only real hurrying we do is in the horror of regret when we realise we fell for it… albeit too late.
As kids, we allocate so much time to make-believe, and shelve it as soon as we participate in the never-resting current that “society” tells us we must swim with.
What happened to make-believe?
You believed them – as they expected you would – that the beauty of your belief in how and what you make should be slotted into that ‘free-time’ hobby-hole on the roster under a magnet on the fridge door.
Whether your happiest vibrations are sequinned, service or systematic, remember that your purest invitation is to play – and then share that with your world.
There’s no business like Soul business.
We run around thinking we’re Superman Lovers, because pedestals are things painted for us. But believe me when I say that your telephone booth quick-change isn’t something you know you’re doing when you’re inside of doing it.
You are a magnificent making of capacity-to-cope that someone who struck while the iron was hot wrote into a script, and called him Superman.
And it’s as super as it is supposed. That’s life.
My pocket full of kryptonite beats in my chest and runs through my veins.
I know because with it, I am alive.
Torture is alive.
Talent is alive.
Telling the truth of how you experience the difference between the two, to those you talk to – or the mirror – is a service you owe your soul.
Thanks for coming to my telephone booth quick-change. However you did, or what you do with the rest of your day, please take this with you:
You are The Light of the Sun. Don’t shine it where souls don’t salute yours back.
RIP Daddy. I miss you much.
And Mom, thank you for making me the best
Superman cape I flew with when I did!
You are Superman, aren’t you?
I hadn’t thought of this or planned to mention it at all, but here at the “end” of this love-labouring, where – because of the way I wander to weave – I rewind backward through the collated / collected content, which turned up this:
It’s probablythe first of us – and apt beyond!
That’s Kim and I.
She is three months older than I am (though I’m obviously way more mature).
That proximity has proven to be:
a) the ultimate life-lotto silver-lining, and so
b) really impressive coordination by our parents
Just look at how besotted I was!
And nothing has changed.
We are fierce in the way we care. So we will rally and rant with unmitigated volumes.
In her (now) 38 years and my 37 – but staggeringly more mature I am, I am – we cycle through rhythms where we speak several times a day, and others where we don’t – or aren’t! – speaking for months.
Like I said: nothing has changed.
That’s how besotted works. Because if you aren’t – at either end of affection’s appreciation or dumbfounded derision – you don’t care to notice or be affected by anything contrary. Ever. Either way.
Not that I have ever engaged in any passive-aggressive behaviour, ever (and especially not in cases where I have / was / am / may have been in love with someone unavailable… *cough* I only know about how this works because I read someone else’s story on it in the agony aunt column in the YOU magazine), but if I did… my theory stands: even the pubescent-level of pouring over everything but each other, is the promise that our commitment to caring about how the other one is really doing… is really DNA-deep.
For as long as I can remember, this supernova-soul has been ever next to me; my pre-made VIP. Us two the ever Second-in-Commands to our older sisters… who… no doubt saw themselves as Second-in-Commands to the respective parental units – only.
The parental units have no doubt seen times where they were unsure that their brilliant coordination was such a good idea. Like when – despite loud objections that they couldn’t have wanted it less – the four of us would perform “elaborate” productions (preceded only by hours of prep, dess-up, some sort of coordinating whatever music we had with a story about Jesus) for them every. single. time. our families got together. And because nobody should work for free, we charged them for it too.
We haven’t changed too much. The singing-every-word just happens a lot later at night these days. And I’m not saying we definitely did trade the Oros for something stronger… and I’m not saying we didn’t. We’ve laughed, cried, rewound and repeated to all of it. It’s a blessing to have memories like I do with you Kim! I love you more than you will ever know!
PS: Being Kim’s birthday, I have made every genuine effort to not highlight the vast spans of difference in our maturities, which – even though denied by Kim – is in fact something that everyone talks about.
Like, all the time basically.
But I didn’t want to use her birthday to draw attention to myself in anyway whatsoever.
The symbolism of New Year’s Eve is more nurture than nature, right? The hoolie (at whatever height you do) is mostly habitual, because the calendar says we should shunt our shit for a hopeful serving of something more silver than sludge. Why we can’t invoke this enthusiasm on any of the other 364 days in the twelve month cycle isn’t the point.
But that’s called a long bath or a walk in the park – by any other name.
Habitual is homed by the hands we hold while we do; in shared spaces or through those midnight DMC* phone calls.
Think about the millions of conversations that are happening right then just as yours is. It’s really quite magical!
One I remember like it was yesterday was when I came out to my sister.
Why didn’t I invoke that courage on any of the other 364 days in the twelve month twenty three years that we cycled before that night?
The time that was on-it to testify what everyone already knew wasn’t only big for me because of the gravity of the (Dutch) courage that accompanied it, but because that conversation on that night about that part of me that went the way it did is something that Niki and I have together.
Both loud and listening, those moments made of minutes were ours while we lived them, which ‘habitual’ gave forth in that hand-holding we did.
Some hand-holding will stay with you forever. And because acquaintance means knowledge or the experience of something because of contact before it means someone you know slightly but who is not a good friend, well… ergo! Lest auld acquaintance all begot.
All over the world, people dance through DMCs like my sister and I did. Maybe not like in terms of the same content, but like in terms of the big they mean, by the toll of their then-and-there when they do… on a New Year’s Eve or any other.
General consensus is that 2015 was a right fucktard. Whether yours was mammoth fucktard or more fine-side (lucky you!), I wish you much magic for the incoming year.
I hope you dance it in with a romance all your own rhythm – however you do.
Here’s some momentum for the way I’ll be – DO RE MI FA D K B! There’s nothing von Trapp about it.
Underdogs and my loud-hailing are a harem. And because the only people who read the things I put here are blood related or less than one hand’s fingers of friends, the reasons don’t require any research.
But then, on Day 336 of the most dustbin year I can remember, a little distraction-seeking from the demons online meander turned up this nugget:
Here’s what I love about this underdog story:
Is that, first-off, his “handicap” is only handed to us through the high-on-life Light that is Jennifer Lawrence, who – rather than tiptoeing around his only last-minute-shown situation – rides in on the back of it! And that this – together with his authentic adulation of some show I’d never heard of (I know… they must be proper worried. As above: the only people who read the things I put here are blood related or less than one hand’s fingers of friends), is such genuine benevolence… it kinda makes “underdog” seem like a bit of a whine, really.
While I headless chicken-chanted my hard-done-by hurting via (mostly habitual) histrionics, I set out at full speed on the open road of shrill Dyl-amplifying-Dyl, and asked Dave for permission to use one of his punch-powerful photographs as the cover of the #WritingStoriesDiffrently piece I was busy with then.
He said yes. I started its dress.
And then, suddenly I couldn’t…
One little square made me very aware of my being so.
Sometimes, the details are only revealed in the shadows.
— Dave Luis
It’s not easy to walk yourself down the plank you’d pressed upon the people you’d allocated all your pains to…
Anyway, being near enough to the end of the year, I guess introspection isn’t completely unexpected.
It doesn’t have to be all-bowing though, but it does have to be deliberating, which in turn gives you the landing gear you’ll need… for that new gear you’ll be in.
One random day when I worked at Gloo, my friend Natasha and I went to get my lunchtime Simply Asia fix. We hadn’t been in the car two minutes, when she pointed at the music controls and said: “What the actual hell?!” My initial premature blush was based on assumption that she was calling out my 9.5 nerd-level. She wasn’t. And the back pat became brevity to make something longer. Something louder. Something I’d love because of how it proclaimed and, yes, even if passive-aggressively, told of my own. That’s what started this whole #WritingStoriesDifferently journey, which has been better therapy for me than any amount of money could ever buy. As with every journey, there is a place where it starts – and another where it ends. I have loved every minute of the thousands of hours poured into each baby borne here. I salute myself for the sentiments I have invested and the way I have danced my diary out for anyone who wants to ‘read’ it with me. Thank you if you did. And now, that diary, with all its earmarked pages, softened by the touch of a hundred turns forwards and backwards – is full. This is what I leave on its last page, the only space left for anything to go.
I guess that means I have to go out now and get a new diary, doesn’t it?
So my niece turned 14 the other day. For many people, 365-day cycles aren’t much more than a passing of pained and/or pride-filled time. For the sentimental saps (yes, like me) it’s a little more: it’s that handing over of homeliness for time, always hoping for more — and then some! From squawk-siren to surreptitious sovereignty, my Hannah sure is one girl, uninterrupted *
(Your) contradictions are what courage is before it is collected. To connect the one so that it becomes the next, you have to see them. Without makeup. Lighting. Or as versions volumed as you deem to do. No reverb. Adverb. Or truth bent for pretense. And here’s why: no one actually cares. Everyone is focused on their own unfocused hocus pocus.
But on open road, with toothy grin or tear stained skin, wind in your hair or bloodshot glare, only you know what’s true-truth, rare, and genuine dare, because you’ve stripped the seasoning to really go there.
To unwind from the ways your rewrote
When you wronged
When you hurt
When you masked your own mistakes with that too-quickly thrown dirt
Connects a confidence undaunted
That can vaporise bogus from yours – and any of the hocus pocus you propel or path cross…
Dispelled by a genuine that you can same-way expect to get back in…
the smell of the breeze after it has rained or the grass has just been cut
that mood so good that feels new and endless and soulful
sunny spots in the winter
thunderstorms in the summer
days with that different light that dances like love
crisp new shirt
hot new skirt
It’s that you want to –
take a hand
make a stand
own your shit
live true grit
fresh hot pie
A few of the humans you walk with will hold your hand – even if they don’t ever touch you. Luckily, I’ve met and know a few like that. And just recently, I’ve been blessed to re-meet and know one beauty who reminds me that wanting to be kind just minutes before or after wanting to kill is actually totally okay.
It’s all good.
Because, why mask what makes you magical?
That magic should go from dark to Light and back again in all sorts of time-stamp variables, whenever… and as and when ‘whenever’ feels so.
Being broken and beautiful in the space of a Universe blink isn’t that rare…
Sure, the variables and their extremity will vary, but their presence in your everyday doesn’t make you a delinquent (unless denial runs yours).
On Wednesday after work, I stopped on my way home to watch the sun set over Emmarentia Dam. The sky’s different colour – after a long time of the same – made sense when rain finally arrived to an overheated Joburg later that night. While I sat there, a song I love – and so obviously played to death (or almost) when I first discovered it – came on in the shuffle.
It’s been ages since I’ve heard it, so its poke and provoking makes sense.
This is what became of that moment in time (with the song at the bottom).
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them.
Much of the time, these meetings are functional more than fervour, and the arrangement of how and where you fit in is no different to that ‘system’ teachers used when they told you where to sit in each new class of each New Year.
Contrived by control, rather than creating by connection.
The catch however, is that the expectation of your output is the same: you must create now because you’ve met (are among some group ~ in a classroom, office or factory of sorts). And creating (producing) is how we all transact for survival, no matter who you are or what you do.
It’s not the way of the world I’m frustrated by. It’s the funnelled somnolence that simply agrees because confrontation is seen as counter-cultural.
Why is confrontation seen as complication rather than collaboration – or at least its precursor? The challenging of: why do we reach our left hands over our heads to scratch our right ears, when there’s a easier smarter way to complete that?
So Are You Still Mad is a good question. Because, and I promise you this, that nine and five quarters of the people you ask will choke on whatever they put in their mouth to avoid having to answer. Because to say ‘yes, actually I am…’ makes you difficult, prickly or too sensitive, which complicates things for the collective to gold star with those world-first breakthroughs they’re so used to arriving at. And because there are those people you must meet and create with, everyone’s suddenly all about [buzz term warming] showing up. Because that reads as responsible you know?!
But showing up starts with the soul.
And although it’s healthy to heal, let go and move on, you have to actually allocate the time and energy to the self-respecting process of actually doing that. Whether your alleviation is best achieved through techniques arcane – or arcade – it’s yours to apply. Anything less is like making lists of chores to do and never checking any of them off.
So after all this malleable meekness has turned Utopia to Dystopia, it is lottery-rare to connect with another conscious conscience like your own.
A magical child whose compass connects with yours to wide berth catatonic characters.
So it seems unfitting when she “asked” for something that my own soul salutes. Because when each one’s list of I’m-thinking-I-want reads the same, then giving is more sharing, which is binary and brought to bless both by way of the brief itself.
This was it. One week ago.
And now perhaps the context for all the thoughts and theories herein, for the lady doth propel so much.
Uh, both of them that is. Catherine ~ and Alanis.
And what a wonder it is to have such a streaming-treehouse our harem meets in, to heart-sleeve our havocs and our homages with howls that bring us back to happy. Back to brave. Back to beautiful. Buttoned more than billboard.
The answer to Are You Still Mad is always lighter after one of our meets.
Thank U Ottawa. Opinion. Ownership. Oblation. Thank U sincerity, sentimentality and serendipity.
What a magical moment it was, just before 10pm on December 23rd – 2013.