Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fire in my spirit

The Slave Lodge. On an extremely hot day. The building always grasps my attention; despite its history I'm drawn to the elegant architecture, which to me makes it much more attractive than the many other nearby buildings and some eyesores conjured up by architects over the centuries.

Slavery apalls me: I struggle to get my head around it. Also the fact that the Cape Colony was - according to my understanding - the one African 'country' to import slaves. I'm also aware that millions are entrapped in modern slavery.

The temperature in the city bowl, at almost 5pm, is hovering on 38 degrees: it's a dry, searing heat that (most unpleasantly) cooks my face skin as I beat the tar in a pair of jeans that I resent wearing, but shorts at work are out of the question. It's so hot that I'm squinting.

Today I've slogged through two double sets of lectures and spent the time inbetween and around them at my desk: mostly cheerfully I've worked my butt off while enjoying through my office window the view of The Mountain and its cable car etched against a holiday-blue summer sky.

However,  today, I also had one hour-long meltdown moment when I questioned my relevance on this planet and felt rage seethe through my veins and arteries at the thought that I'd perhaps battened down my hatches and had lost my sense of adventure.

Because my life must must have meaning, or else it's not worth living, my prayer for today was for fire in my spirit, and to lead an extraordinary (in the humblest sense I emphasise) life.

It is done.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Green market square of my heart

A beautiful deep summer's day beneath a cobalt sky, also temperatures just below 30 centigrade and bearable depending where in the city bowl you might find yourself.

No-one can ever accuse me of not being a tourist in my own city: it's how I - not always successfully - try to live, that is with the eyes and heart attitude-combination of both a child and a tourist, especially in my own life. So that I can constantly see things with fresh eyes and with joy of life. 

Today, despite it being a Saturday and that I could easily have slept in (I'll do that in the winter), I rushed into town on a minibus taxi (sullen MyCitiBus drivers are on strike for the third day) to get to the Spur on time for their great value before-11am-budget-breakfasts and bottomless coffee. But only to find it dark and empty: electricity load shedding, now at its worst in years because of a government that refuses to take responsibility for the mess the state energy provider finds itself in. 

It's also that very inability of the government and our infamous legacy-less president to have the backbone to say 'hey, we really are sorry, but we fucked up, but now let's do something about it' that sees me utterly contemptuous of what I'm increasingly perceiving to be the actions and attitude of a banana republic whose once great reputation is now in shreds.

But it's a beautiful day. And I'm surrounded by the even more beautiful people of Africa - and our visitors - in this green and cobbled heart of my city that I so adore spending time in and wondering around: I find Greenmarket Square and the warren of tree-lined trees around it peaceful, soothing, cool, inspiring: it's a vibe I thrive on.

After chasm-like Spur failure I found a great coffee shop just off the square that was offering breakfast and coffee despite the electricity blackout, as well tables and chairs in the shade on the pavement. 

Did I say it's a beautiful day? It's also awesome to be in shorts and a wife-beater vest, with my daypack on my back, after a work week in leg hair destroying longs.

Now I'm at one of my favourite joints on St. George's Mall. I'm tapping into free wifi and electricity (the building  must be powered by a generator?) for my devices, as well as flavourful organic coffee in a chilled and equally peaceful and inspiring environment: Motherland Coffee. 

Right at the back of the friendly space it's the awesome tunes and the light tapping of my keyboard that appears to be right in-tune with my heartbeat as I type out these words and dream of mental and geographic destinations acrosss the universe. Life is beautiful.