Monday, November 28, 2011

High rise / tom cat

I wake with the persistent mewing of Karneels the stray tom cat whose on the prowl and wants to do a break-in and entry. He knows I'm here, but plays me.
I listen to the wind in the high-rise blue-gum trees as they whisper messages to me in the dark. And I pray for ears to truly hear with.
I pray to hear the ancient sounds, creakings and pain messages of the earth, so that I know what to convey to the world. Cop17 begins tomorrow in my country, Durban; as climate change seems, in my immediate eyes, to convulsively ratchet up.
I wake with the extreme anxiety of the news story I'm working on; the one that's taking me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to confront both my fears and my ghosts. I don't always have confidence to be the lone voice in the wild; what if I'm wrong.
But, tonight, I believe the message in the soaring twigs, leaves, limbs and branches is that I must trust my instincts and intuition.
So it's back to the chair at my desk, putting down the words, until my backside becomes bony and beads of blood form on my forehead.
Tonight I'm heavy with the too many stories I know of too many people, that I don't have enough time-life to write down.
High rise, they begin to flow from my nostrils, earholes and the back of my throat, also from the cracks in my skull. Like the gushing overflow drain in a massive, deep seated Victorian bath designed for an ancient time when water was not an issue.
It's 3h18 am and I'm typing in the dark.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dark heart

My heart is dark today, and has been for most of the week.
Sporadic, chaotic and uncentered describes me.
But I took a positive step, towards the light.
And now I'm lying on my bed having just, again, picked up my battered copy of Richard Foster's 'Celebration of Discipline'.
He writes: "Superficiality is the curse of our age...The greatest need today is...for deep people."
I'm going outside to harvest a bowl of apricots, it's the first time in five years that my dwarfed tree has borne fruit.
There is hope. Always.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Own life

In bed with a book and with my own life, responsible to no-one but me and God.
It's honest and raw and real.
Crickets, no frog-croak.
Jozi; between the three phallic symbols I grew up beneath: Brixton and Hillbrow, then Ponte. How else could I have turned out but me?
What I do know is that this city is, right now, the most happening city - in the most unhappening way - on the African continent.
Crickets, no frog-croak.
Bought two books today at Arts on Main:
One: Writing the City into Being, by Lindsay Bremner, and
Two: Portrait with Keys, Joburg and what-what, by Ivan Vladislavic.
It's blooming Jacaranda time, and the blossoms that go plop beneath the rubber tyres on black hard tar, are deep mauve-blue this year. Not the same every year.
Tonight I feel strangely light and free. It's because I have fire in my spirit, I am publicly standing up to a bully, and because I'm finding my voice. My own
And I thought just now, fondly of Rob. I wanted to phone him and ask him if I could come around for coffee. But I don't think he is free to receive me. Nor do I think he would have coffee. Nor is he free.
But I am.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Jozi: Siting up in bed, this is way past my bedtime. I'm beyond exhausted, but, unusually, my head won't switch off, at all.
I'm in the upstairs room of one of my favourite places to stay, except that through the wide open summer-night window I can distinctly hear a one-frog band rasp-croaking way too loudly.
Waiting for the small piece of sleeping tablet to kick in, because I need a rested brain. And I need to hey back to centre. It's been a harrowing week.
I'm working on a story that I need to get as near to perfect. It's about a schoolyard bully, but a fully grown one. One that has threatened to break my legs. Both of them.
The story is to be my lead for the November issue. Although we're a few days late, I made the decision to take the pressure off myself - it's my paper after all - and to delay it further, while I get more meat into the story pot.
And because of the intimidation, to tell you the truth, I've taken a bit of a my aim is carry on telling the truth, even if my voice quavers.
And, in the background, I thoroughly enjoyed the three intense days of the Power Reporting African Investigative Journalist Conference.
As a direct result of it, I've some great collaborators backing me up.
And now to turn in.
Night night world.