Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Ode to MaLange (My Mother)

My mother is the first person I met. She held me against her chest after hours of painful labour. I was confused by all the noise and the latex covered hands that poked and prodded at me, but her touch must have felt familiar in the midst of the chaos. She taught me that the burning in my belly was hunger and she knew exactly how to ease and nourish the yearning.

My mother taught me intimacy as she held me to her breast and gazed lovingly into my eyes. I must have reached up my hand because I knew even then that she adored me and I wanted to touch the love that seemed to emmerse me.

My mother taught me how to be brave. How could I not be when she stood at the other end of the room arms stretched out and joy in her eyes as she waited for me to take my first steps?

Mom taught me to be responsible. She sent me back to school to find my lost school jersey once. It was a while before I lost my belongings after that!

My mother gently cleaned my skinned knees even though she told me a thousand times not to run around without my shoes on.

My mother taught me about Jesus. She nudged me in His direction every single Sunday, evening devotions were a non-negotiable and conversations with Him were a must.

My mom told me that no matter what I decided to be when I grew up, she would support and encourage me. She cried rivers of tears for me as she brought my life before Jesus... Come to think of it, every day to this day, she brings me to the feet of Jesus in prayer.

My mom is my biggest fan. She cries when I cry, laughs when I laugh and forever invades my space so that I never forget how deeply I am loved by her.

I thank you, Lord Jesus for the beautiful women that You helped to bring us into the world. I thank you that you compel them to stay on their knees for us and for the unexplainable, unconditional and immovable love they have for us. Happy Mother's Day.

Morning Has Broken

Every morning without fail I wake up in the early hours. My mind takes a look at its surroundings; it dawns on me. I'm yearning and my thirst has not been satisfied.

I fumble around for the tv remote. I know sleep will not return until I have to get up and face the day. If I'm honest with myself, I chose to be here. I chose a life where I measure myself with the back of a teaspoon. I didn't mean to. I wish we could see further down the road before we make a decision. I'd like to think we would choose differently if we foresaw what lay ahead. I think I would not have chosen you. I would've run away. I can't say being here was worth it, I mean, what have I achieved and how have I grown? I'm Benjamin Buttoning. I don't feel. I keep 2 arms lengths away;  from everyone.

But you're here too. Was the road you chose worth it? Do you look at where you are and desperately laqaza for an exit? Why did you stay here as long as you have? Did you imagine you would walk with me as long as you have? Did you plan to reduce me to this? Would you have chosen differently if you knew I would become this? Why did you even come? Nevermind, I know why you came.

I miss feeling, though. I want to feel again. I want to be free of you but I fear that even if I break away, I will look longingly over my shoulder and I will come back. Do you look over yours at me? Do you wish you were here and not there?

I long for the day when I can sleep all night and spend my whole day with no thought of you, but you linger everywhere; not just the corners of my mind but the nooks of my heart too. I didn't choose you. I didn't decide to put you there, but you drifted in subtly. You have made your home here. You are the furniture in the room. You are solid. I should redecorate my heart but I love the furniture... Stay because I want you to. Stay because you want to. Stay for both of us. Stay...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Up the scale

The moment he walked into my matchbox house, it hit me. "Please will you open this container of home stewed peaches. It's really tight!" single girl problems- we see men for one thing only; opening tightly closed things and lifting heavy objects if there's nothing broken to fix in the house. But that is a blog for another day.

While I made myself lunch before we headed out, he mused over my 3 guitars, "Do you play these?" he asked. "No, they're just decorations", I roll my eyes in response. Why do they always ask such silly questions, I wonder. He picked up my red steel string, sat down and began to pick. "Oh yeah, you used to play base!" I said. "Yup", he responded as he picked the A major scale.  SCALES!! I NEED TO LEARN SCALES!!! I told him that he had to teach me how to play that because I needed to grow musically.

"Each finger stays in a specific fret", he said. The penny finally dropped. I have been yearningly watching people play scales for years and not being able to do it myself and he finally taught me!

I have a new fire in me now. I've been practising for 10 minutes every day -30 minutes is too long ok! - Of course my fingers look like awkward claws on the fret, but practise makes permanance and already I can see some improvement. I'm trying my hand on Nina Simone's My Baby Just Cares For Me and it's actually quite doable! Yay, me!

I'm so glad I'm out of my rut! I was starting to worry that I'd lost my love for the 6 string...

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Circus

As I feel the last of my period ooze out of me, here are some thoughts on some things  I hate most about the red robot....

I can handle most of the period hassles. I can handle the stains, the suprise visits, the heavy flow, the blood clots and the beloved cramps. What I can't handle, what I really can't handle, is the emotional rollercoaster that happens about a week before the circus comes to town. I hate that with a thousand hates!

I cry and scream all day every day of that week! I cry because he doesn't answer my text back fast enough. I scream because that learner  had the nerve to ask me a question I was about to answer at that very moment. I question my purpose in life when that guy behind me honked at me at the green light when I was about to pull off and I seriously consider packing my bags and starting a new life in another country because people refuse to leave me alone! Don't get me started on the coitus. All I want is coitus from anyone or anything that will give me the time of day! I also feast on chocolate like it's the only food source on the planet.

PMS is really the pits and no amount of painkillers, hanky panky or strange snacks makes that week before better. All you can do is curl up into a fetal position and wait it out.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Five Things I Hate About Valentine's Day

I've spent the past week dreading this day so I woke up this morning with every intension to stay in the safety of my house all day. My sister, who came to visit over the weekend, insisted on going out to watch 50 shades which I had no intension of paying my hard earned money to see, but the appeaser in me relented. And so I was faced today with the 5 things I hate about Valentine's Day.

1. The Couples. I hate those pairs that look like they were made for each other. They have the same dress sense and seem to move in the same circles. I have no idea what my dress sense is so I wouldn't know what my valentine would look like. Thanks for that reminder,couples!

2. The love statuses. Not that it's different on any other day, but on Vday it's every. Single. Status update. Now, all of a sudden, people are poets and smoother than R Kelly! I don't care, dude!

3. Love Statuses unrelated to an actual lover. Love messages to friends, kids, pets. Newsflash! Valentine's day is meant for people who are romantically involved. You're not fooling anyone with those, my friend.

4. People who refuse to celebrate Valentines Day. "Let's go out wearing all black just to prove to them that we don't care about Vday." I see you! You care! Stop fronting!

5. It's-ok-to-be-single blogs. Nothing makes me feel like more of a leper than those blogs that go on and on telling you all the reasons why you should be glad to be single. They tell you that you are better off on your own because you have more time on your hands, you answer to no one and have no responsibilties what so ever. My heart bleeds as I read through all that nonsense because I know  that all I want in my life to be smothered by the presence of another, not free time!

Here's the truth, though. I hate being alone. I hate not sharing my life with anyone, coming home to an empty house and Valentine's day is a bitter reminder that this is my situation; I am alone. So, dear world, I beg you with tears in my eyes. If you have the privellege of loving someone and being loved in return enjoy it ( but not too much because it makes me sad) and if you don't, shut up! We all know you secretely want it! And for those few that are genuinely indifferent to love days, don't rebel against them. You just sound ungreatful.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I need a slap accross the face. I need a punch in the stomach, a kick in the ovaries! I need some kind of awakening to the beauty of my life. And not in that settling type of attitude because what else can you do but be grateful, but a sincere content feeling; a peace. All I want is peace.

I seriously considered getting a tatoo. I'm turning thirty this year and I want to do big things. But to be honest, I don't have a good enough reason to get one besides the fact that it is slightly taboo. But seriously, how many taboo things have I been doing all these years? And is it a good enough reason? Wanting to do something out of this world? Well, out of my world anyway because my world has become incredibly dull and morbid. I wish I was in another world. I wish someone would come in and make it brighter and better otherwise I fear that I will disappear into oblivion; actual oblivion and that is the saddest most terrifying thought....

Friday, January 30, 2015

"Ugly" Black Woman

"Ugly" black woman who resembled a boy, had grazed knees because she always ran instead of walked and hated the sight of shoes. She just wanted to play.

"Ugly" Black woman who never wore skirts unless for netball, who kept her hairstyle simple to keep eyes averted and cracked jokes to keep them at a distance. She hid behind her six string, eyes closed hoping they couldn't see her. She really just wanted them to see her though.She just wanted to find herself.

"Ugly" black woman who tried so hard to be pure in His eyes but still felt like  she was failing. She just wanted His affirmation.

"Ugly" black woman who waited and waited and is still waiting. "Why don't you see me?" is her persistant question. She just wants to be enough.

"Ugly" black woman. You are fire. You feel everything  painful and it's ok. Your heart is shredded and now it's  numb dispite it all. But someday. Someday you'll feel the beauty and the love too. One day your smile will match your heart flutters.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Let's Celebrate

I walked into my mother's house during the December holidays exhausted from a long and irritating trip to the homeland and all I wanted to do was relieve my swollen feet and get out of my  clothes that reeked of brandy and  overnight body odour. It took me a second to take note, but the lounge I grew up in didn't look like the lounge I grew up in. We had been robbed! The couches I've always known were replaced by leather ones!

Earlier last year, my mother  decided to resign from her job of 18 years and the department she had dedicated 29 years to so that she could enjoy her home. One of the things she was advised to do with all her retirement money was to buy one big thing that would be a physical symbol of her emancipation - she decided to change our lounge suite for the first time in 29 years.

I stood in a tired amazed stupour staring at this room that was changed for the first time since I was born. I was suddenly in awe at how far we had come. For the first time in a long time, money was not a problem in my immediate family. My brother has a job he is happy in and I have the privellege of seeing him whenever I like. My mom is finally in a place in her life where she has most of the things I always wanted for her - And peace of mind. These are things I've always looked at with other families, things I have always longed for for my own family and for the first time, we were that family.

With the new year just beginning, people around me are setting goals; new things they want to accomplish, old habits they want to give up on, better people they want to be and all I want to do is celebrate.

I want to celebrate that this year, I turn 30 years old, my sister turns 21 and my mother turns 60! Those are important milestones! I want to celebrate our success as a family, where we come from and where we are. For us, this is not the year to self-improve, but rather to sit back and marvel at all that has happened over the years. We are trully blessed beyond what we could ever dream in abundance and in need.