Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy birthday, calm, sex and solace

A cup of good filter coffee accompanied by a rich and moist chocolate brownie made with Belgian chocolate.

That's how I'm celebrating Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden's centenary - it's 100 years old this year - at the busy and old style Kirstenbosch Tea Garden; in the very corner table for two, on a moody but still dry Saturday afternoon. The waitress's face says it all: I'm dead tired on my feet, it's late in the day, please don't tax me, please don't say long. [What does mine say? This is about me, not you; stay out of my way I have words to put down on the page. Or else I'll die. And dont forget to bring coffee.]

I slowly meandered up to the restaurant taking in the garden smells, and moods, and snuffled at the fynbos-rich air, picking apart the intriguing scents all intertwined with each other. I also pulled my jacket and hoody up tight and warm against my body, to ward off the cold.

Gardens have always played a crucial-interesting role in my life: They remain places that I escape too from the clautrophobia of the city environment, literally when I've lost the ability to see the wood from the trees, no pun intended.

Gardens are places of personal calm and centredness; they are also places of tears and heart searching; places where I have read and written, where I have walked dogs, my own and others', seduced and celebrated lovers, and where I've sought out and then keenly watched the lines and erratic graph of my own horizon. I have also often run into gardens seeking clarity and direction relating to my life's calamities. Finding solace.

My sexaulity, and my sexualness, have also been wrapped up in gardens. But that's another post - probably long winding and intense,  also maybe intriguing - for another time. But only to be written after I've grown the balls, my balls, to be an honest writer, a real writer, as opposed to a PR writer of my own life.

Most, most importantly I have gone to gardens to seek my creator; I've never been disappointed, God exists for me in Nature.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Orphan plant / Words are all I have

The storm has passed. For now.

It raged against and buffeted the house, while I meekly listened from beneath the covers.

I'm also at peace now, having fought heart and mind battles on the slopes of Mordor (Newlands, Capetown).

Now it's plunger coffee and jungle oats on the balcony outside my attic bedroom.

It's me and the orphan tomato plant that I was gifted on the West Coast by a hard working farmer and entrepreneur in Hopefield, when I visited last month.

It was a crisp blue-sky day set against snow-white on the not so distant mountains. Veld flowers were blooming (white, mauve and yellow, but mostly white), the red sand road was long and wide and inviting; it was a wonderful reminder of the joy of being alive. And well. And blessed.

I've regrouped and centered myself. I listen to the birds in the less bare trees, their song is sharp and clear; I hear the fast-flowing iron-brown water river that's at least two houses away.

I swim in words, I breathe in words, I think and dream in words, I am words. 

All I have are words.

I humble myself - seeking neither fame nor fortune from words - and ask the world, also humanity, how I may serve them with words (since they are all I have)?

So as to encourage via words, or to hold up the mirror, so that all may lift their heads and again see the beauty of this world, and the beauty entwined like DNA in this life journey 'thing' we all share.

Or how else may I serve with words?

Friday, September 13, 2013


Tonight, as I listen to the storm rage against the mountain and the forest and the trees in the street and this house, my heart is sore.

I wrote down my usual prayer for peace this afternoon, in my morning pages book, at Seattle Coffee, Cavendish. But it's the first time I prayed it this week.

Perhaps I've lost my way these last few days, allowing myself to be distracted from my path, the one I've chosen to tread, albeit a lonely one at times, on the road less travelled.

A peaceful path though, one of simple and minimalist contentment, joy.

Wind howls, thrashes itself against the roof, which are the walls of my attic home. So loud that at times I cannot hear myself think, causing me to clench my jaw and teeth, and to furrow-frown my brow.

Opening myself, and my heart, to strangers; tying up my soul in knots with theirs, and theirs.

Life of years has taught me to keep the door only slightly ajar, allowing a mere few through.

To pick and choose carefully.

To rather sit alone at the fire, with my cat on my lap, than with a crowd at the feast.

To bed early, to rise early, to give thanks on my knees before the sunrise.

To listen to the wisdom in the wind. To count my pulse, and to know that I am alive.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The rage at this particular mortal coil

Sometimes, in fact pretty often lately, not unlike the storm clouds from Antartica that roll and storm over Table Mountain, my rage erupts like over-boiled milk in a cheap, battered aluminium pot that's way too small to contain its anger-rage-boil.

My rage at me, and at my complacency; at my inability to get off my fucking middle class arse.

Rage at the inability to be honest in my words, at my inability to write out my life; at my inability to live intensely,  deeply, passionately, to suck out and swallow the marrow from the bone of my life.

I am close to erupting and to fuckingwell explode into words, to sear and cook my own meat-flesh with the moltem lava of my words and truth.

The rage. The rage.

Where are my balls

Monday, September 02, 2013

Snow's melting on my mountain

I'm sitting in the warm corner of the staff dining room, where the temperature seems thankfully higher, the signal stronger than elsewhere on campus, the neon green under the plastic easy-wipe table-cloth brighter, greener.

A cold front of endless storms continues to blast the Cape of Good Hope; snow on Table Mountain this morning (quite rare, apparently), not that I could see any on the shrouded peaks above the house: Newlands is moody Mordor after all.

I was wearing cotton pants, and black slip slops on slender winter-white feet, when the storm arrived five days ago; it arrived very late on Monday afternoon while I was sinking a cafe mocha at Seattle Coffee in Cavendish. I relished the storm's arrival, also its relentless rage-waves.

I love the Cape; I love the weather here; I'm happy here.

It's officially Spring on Sunday. Which still seems very far away from here; I'm well aware that summer arrives early in the north, where I grew up. Right now it'll be dusty and dry up there, with everyone thirsting for the first rains. 

While the grass, and veld, and koppies, will still be winter-brown-bleached-ugly-and-dry, the trees will be optimistically emblazoned in young-bright green. Billowing thunderclouds will also often tease, from a safe distance, on the cobalt blue horizon. Until one static-filled and turbulent-moody afternoon, then they'll roll in close to the earth, for the kill. Elephant grey, pregnant, and streaked haphazardly with searing lightning they'll drench the African earth and nothing will be the same again. Until next year. There will be an all-round sigh of release quickly followed by a deep gulping in of the sweetest ion-laden oxygen.

I fly to Port Elizabeth tomorrow, then drive to Grahamstown for the 17th Highway Africa digital journalism conference taking place there in my beloved Grahamstown.

Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape; they are intrinsically entwined into my DNA strands.

My heart beat increases as my thoughts travel in advance towards there.

[The above I scribbled on a napkin on Friday afternoon, last week.]

I'm now far above the Karoo, the Eastern Cape.

Rolling storms continued to berate and punish Cape Town over night and I don't believe it's going to end until about Tuesday next week.

The woman next to me has just farted; anger and disgust flood me, I hotel she can read these words.

I had less sleep than necessary last night; my words feel meaningless and like dry, dead wood. I continue, writing, writing the paper dry tinder to sparks and flames. I've been taught to write through the obstacles, the heavy deadness.

This morning I'll drive through Port Elizabeth, catching up on changes, refreshing my memories and mind, drawing in deep the fynbos oxygen, and gale force winds, of this city I adore and have spent so much physical, mental and emotional time within.

I see sparks; I'm cranking up the heat. My shoulders are hunched over my iPad; I'm already there.

Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape province have all played integral roles in the making of me.

PE, as it's more commonly known. I grew up there in the December summer holidays of my childhood and youth.

[Those are my in-flight notes from Saturday morning; I procrastinate my very own flow of notes.]

Photo: Cape Town International's domestic terminal early on Saturday morning. Storm drenched.