This morning I woke up in a frenzy. I heard my alarm, and it startled me! All I saw was bright light and I didn’t know where I was. Then my vision cleared and I realized that I was in the second floor room of my grandparents house. I agreed to go into town with my grandfather after discovering he needs a new part for his stove yesterday. I was given strict instructions to be up in time to be at the bus stop by 0815.
After I laid in bed for what seemed like a minute but ended up being thirty I decided to get up and get ready.
Now South Africa is not a place where you just put anything on and go wherever you are going. You first decide where you are going, and then put your clothes on accordingly. Appearance can make you an easy target, so I dressed down and simply. No watch on my arm, and i emptied my wallet of all things unnecessary.
We were going into town.
My grandpa and I jumped on the bus out of Eldorado Park. When we got on the bus I went first, and my grandpa followed behind. He was greeted by name or by title by everyone on the bus. “hello pastor” or “hello uncle Henry”. Apparently he is very well known. A man him who I was and he explained to everyone that I am his only grandson who bears his name, I became very shy. We exited the bus after missing our stop because we both fell asleep. Usually grandpa can fall asleep midconversation, so I wasnt surprised by him. But I did too!
Downtown Johannesburg is a Metropolis run like an open air market with buildings strewn in between. There are so many people, mostly Black Africans. People are handing out pamphlets like they do in Vegas, but it’s mostly for driving schools and hair braiding. The sidewalks are slanted and dirty, almost seeming painted with the well known red sand/dust of Johannesburg. I’m not a fan of that.
We needed to walk 5 blocks but ended up walking ten due to some sidewalks being closed and inaccessible. We got our part and went right to the taxi rank. We sat in the front of the taxi which is a large van and seats about 10 people. I didn’t know that the further you sit up, the more responsible you are for counting the fare as it gets passed up. I did alright though, all the money was there. It was actually funny to me. I get tapped on my shoulder from behind, then someone hands me coins and money and says a single number, in this case “seven.” I wondered what that meant and what I was to do next, then I realized it was the number of fares paid for. I was able to complete this process and look ordinary the whole time!
We made it home, but on the way I saw that Soweto has a country club. Who knew. Now for another adventure.
20 hours from now I will take flight back to South Africa. An upgrade to first class across the board, already turning into a pleasant trip. But to be honest I’d take a horse and donkey to see my family again. We have ALL been through so much this year. I know we all have families, I know we all have family issues. Watch me practice perfect oblivion, and pursue Blinding love.
He felt dead inside.
No matter how hard he tried, he could never escape that simple fact- inside, dead.
And that was his life.
Running from a feeling.
At least until he could run no more.
Exhausted, spent, and beaten, when the end finally came he welcomed it.
With life ebbing from his wasted body, he was suddenly swept up in a transcendent state of joy that was pure and complete.
Moments later he felt dead inside.
I see lovers in the streets Walking without a care They wear it out loud Like there’s something in the air Oh well, I don’t care
They’re treading lightly No they don’t sink in There’s no tracks to follow They don’t care where they’re going And if they’re lucky yeah they’ll they’ll get to see And if they’re really really lucky They’ll get to feel
And it kicks so hard It breaks your bones Cuts so deep It hits your soul Tears you skin And makes your blood flow It’s better that you know That love is hard
Love takes hostages And gives them pain Gives someone the power To hurt you again and again Oh but they don’t care
And if they’re lucky yeah they’ll they’ll get to see And if they’re really really lucky Then they’ll get to feel And if they’re they’re truely blessed Then they’ll get to believe And if you’re damned, you’ll never let yourself be deceived
And it kicks so hard It breaks your bones Cuts so deep It hits your soul Tears your skin And makes your blood flow It’s better that you know That love is hard
And it kicks so hard Breaks your bones Cuts so deep It hits your soul Tears your skin And makes your blood flow It’s better that you know That love is hard
It kicks so hard It breaks your bones It cuts so deep It hits your soul Tears your skin And makes your blood flow It’s better that you know That love is hard Love is hard Love is hard
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Random Mumblings about one of my favorite quotes. “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Venni, Vetti, Vecci.
I arrived, it was all that was asked of me up until that point; just to show up. It wasn’t difficult, but it was a blessing nonetheless, because even waking up in the morning is a blessing worth being thankful for. So there I was, present.
I surveyed the day, i imagined it in its entirety. I could not have imagined all the complexities that it might contain, but I saw what I was allowed to see. Would I encounter a person in need and be afforded the opportunity to help them, or would I find myself in a position where I might need to depend on the help of a stranger. Either extreme is possible, and everything in between. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would be a fool to not be excited for this day. The possibilities seemed endless. So as I prepared for it, i remembered once again that I was blessed to show up, and that to some extent, this day will be what I make of it. There are many variables of course, but with a little bit of grace, this could be yet another good one.
Lastly, I went forth. I conquered. It was and is a conquest, yes. But it was not one of destruction. I didnt want to gobble this day up, I wanted to stop, feel, see, and touch every moment of this day. You see, with every second that passes, we are experiencing our present, and with little warning it immediately becomes our past. There it can remain forever, but our present happens to us one second at a time. So I conquered this day, one second at a time. With every blink, with every breath, the seconds tick away, and I am keenly aware of their passing.
The phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is one of those phrases that makes sense only in a particular context. Its greatest educational asset in teaching us its most profound lesson lies in its timing. That is to say that by the time you learn its truth, there isn’t anything you can do about it.
I miss my mother, she is one of my pillars. My inner structure feels weakened by her absence, even though I know she will be back. I know she loves me, and I know she is thinking about me, her only son. What plagues me is that the woman who has always taken such good care of me, cannot be the recipient of my care in a situation where I know its needed. “Life” keeps me away, with all its responsibilities and tasks to be honored. Its ironic to me, the one thing my mother raised me to be competent in, is the one thing that keeps me from being able to offer her my help.
When she comes back, I will tell her two things.
I know a little more than I did when you left about why it is that I love and appreciate you.
Lets blend our lives back together again, because I think I can do a better job than I have in the past.
A summary of all the things that flow through my mind at any given moment would look like a chaotic mess. There would be no obvious rhyme or reason, not to you at least. You see, it only makes sense to me.
"Is it possible for chaos to make sense?" you ask. "Isn’t chaos by nature impregnable by organization?" you insist.
In theory that is true, but we all know its about perspective. You have to know what makes me tick, what i prioritize, what is in my emotional log, who and what is on my mind, where my head is, what i’ve eaten, what i last dreamt about……….
But the compilation of all the information inherent to me eventually reveals the key. Its me. I am the key to my very own chaos.
There is something about days like this. It feels like a rumble in my soul, a quiet but noticeable jitter within. It feels like something is coming down the pipeline, and the only thing I can tell definitively is that it wont be good. Where does it come from? it comes from a place I cant identify. That place is the source of much introspection, but I cant tell exactly where it resides. I dont really need to know either, but it would be nice.
There is something about days like this. It feels like that scene in a movie where the music is loudest and its apparent that the plot will climax. Then poof, nothing. End scene.
You dont know what happens next, because just as it is about to be revealed, the credits start to run.