I’ve finished watching the last of the documentaries on celebrating ‘Nelson Mandela, One Hundred‘; I thought I knew all I needed to know about the man, about the country, about Apartheid, the tortures and the atrocities, but I was wrong.
This time around I realise just how close he was to all the saints we know and that probably (although not in my life time), he’ll be made a saint. I also learnt that my other idol, Maya Angelou died not too long after Mandela. I wondered if when she wrote the poem His Day is Done that some six months later, it would also apply somewhat, to herself.
His benevolence, tolerance and altruism reminded me that I still need to be more forgiving, to be a much better listener and more importantly, that it’s ok to have high standards, just as long as I realise to temper those standards when applying to people and situations.
What Mandela’s freedom did for me could almost be equated with being cleansed by the blood of Christ. If not for Mandela’s victory election, as a black person I would not have been able to live in South Africa and had all those incredible experiences. I am so grateful Nelson. Happy 100th and you should know, that we will never forget you.
I just learnt that Nadine Gordimer passed away yesterday. I admired her writing. Her book My Son’s Story was my introduction to South African literature. I was of the opinion that white writers could not write about black people and their experiences. But Gordimer proved me wrong. Whenever I read her novels, I’m not only overwhelmed by the accuracy in the depiction of her characters, but the truth as she sees it, no matter how cold it is! For those who supported Apartheid, her books could not have made comfortable reading. But I am happy for her presence and her immense contribution towards ending the struggle and that her soul should rest among all those other great souls who have recently passed.
In 2007 I wrote a review of Gordimer’s biography titled No Cold Kitchen. I know the author (Robert Suresh Roberts) received a lot of criticism as people were offended by it. But I do not believe that it was bad; I thought it fair and that it rightly praised Gordimer for her contribution to the removal of Apartheid in South Africa.
Well, in the next 5 hours it will be finally over. I cannot believe how this year has travelled so quickly. I’ve not done all that I wanted but as my teachers used to say, I could have done better. There have been key moments as I’m reminded by my diary and journal – being more and more spiritually connected; reading books by Debbie Ford, Dr. Eben Alexander, Jerry and Esther Hicks (Ask and it is Given) have had a profound effect me that I know there is no turning back. There is seems to be an urgency to write more, especially about how I feel and what I want.
Resolutions I’ve not always stuck to but –
I look forward to reading a lot more spiritual books
to learn about Physics;
to most definitely lose weight;
determined to make progress with my family, with friends, with everything!
And that all in all, that the New Year will simply be great. Likewise to every one of you out there, I wish you a peaceful, prosperous New Year!
Mr Mandela, sadly, you have now left us. I want to thank you for all you have done for your people; for avoiding a civil war and allowing peace to reign. But I also know that if it were not for you, I would not have been allowed, as a black woman, to emigrate to South Africa in 1994. I had the pleasure of living in your beautiful country for two years, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
You will be missed and you will never be forgotten. Go and enjoy your well deserved rest and may the Almighty Father bless your wonderful soul.
I realize this is the wrong time to mention The Artist’s Way as I’m currently on Week 5. Never mind so what am I experiencing? Anything profound? Difficult to say only except that no matter what I feel that I have to keep going. I bought this book over a year ago and just watched it collect dust while it was on my book shelf. Then one day, I said to myself that ‘tomorrow’ will be the day that I will start this thing! And so I did. I did my Morning Pages, sometimes the Artist’s Date, occasionally the tasks and had to keep reminding myself to do the Check-ins, and then I stopped, without giving myself any reason. This year, I promised that I would restart it and complete it. When I completed Week 2 I understood why I stopped last year. I was afraid. Afraid that this book could impose some changes that I was not ready to handle. The strange thing was that after Week 3, I went for a walk to the nearby park and three Rottweiler’s charged towards me! As I stood facing the gate of house, hanging on and screaming my head off for dear life (as I really thought I was going to meet my maker!), two of the dogs ran past but the other one bit my calf.
Shaken, I went to a house and took refuge in the property until the dogs were harnessed put away. An exchange took place between me and the owner of the dogs. She apologized for what happened but was very defensive about her dogs. She insisted on taking me to the hospital and paying for any medication. I was given a cocktail of tetanus, anti-rabies and antibiotic injections plus a number of tablets. I found out several days later the owner lied about her dogs being up to date with their shots. But anyway, I am fine. But it got me thinking. Synchronicity? Even before coming across this word in the Artist’s Way I was never a believer in ‘coincidence’. So the question I put to myself was did I bring this negative experience into my life, and if so, why? I still don’t know the answer (unless any of you guys can tell me). But I pray that as I continue with this journey which I want so much to work that the ‘excavation’ does not unearth anything else profound.
Week 4, I found myself writing more than just three pages. Writing a letter to myself when I’m 85 and writing a letter from myself at eight years old I found totally cathartic. The experience stayed with me for the entire day, and just kept me thinking about my past. My past was not all that great but I guess I have learnt to bury all the debris deep within, believing that I would not have face it but in Week 4 I did. I’ll keep you posted.
I am running late. Just got back from a trip in Ghana, and whoa, it really was a busy and enjoyable experience. From going to Cape Castle, to Aburi botanical gardens and how could I forget Kakum National Park. The firework display on New Year’s Eve, at the hotel, was spectacular. I think just as good the one witnessed in Dubai.
Now back to everyday. One or two resolutions that I hope that I don’t break and that is to do The Artist’s Way without stopping or ‘breaking’. I started this book before and just got up to week 5 and then I stopped! Can’t remember why but I never got back to it again. Now I’ve restarted (just completed Week One), I try to make myself be more conscious of what I have to do. There are some principles that the author (Julia Cameron) wants you to follow, so I have to do that. Let see how it goes.
The second resolution is to lose weight. Gosh, how many times have I promised myself this?? I’ve lost count. But I just hate how my body shape seems to have settled down and refusing to accept change, aided and abetted by myself of course! But I will try my hardest to lose this weight.
2011 was a tense ridden year for me; from problems that involve loved ones to problems with the State. But as my Pastor constantly tells me: The Almighty Father never gives us challenges that we cannot overcome. I guess there must some truth in that as I’m still here!
I hope and pray for a more positive time, to be more forgiving and understanding to others and for peace to be given more of a chance.
The Vuvuzela: ‘A primitive noise making device created by primitive people’. That’s what a blogger said from the Yahoo sports site!!
I’m not there in South Africa but I am watching the matches daily from my TV and really enjoying it! Yes, there is a bit of a din that emanates from the TV but it doesn’t drown the over excited commentator and of course, it cannot diminish the enthusiastic cheers from the crowds. Before a game begins there are all sorts of documentaries shown on the progress of the country and all the tribulations encountered. But you can’t feel but pleased that South Africa has come this far to point of surpassing countries like Nigeria and Egypt in hosting one of the greatest events ever!
Perhaps a bit of a compromise is needed here. Maybe the crowd could be asked to play their vuvuzela’s at certain times or perhaps only a certain amount could be allowed into the stadium. We know a compromise can be reached as I’m sure south Africa wants to be remembered in a positive light and not have their guests leave with dissatisfaction and an experience where there are not likely to want to visit that part of the world again. But I do not think South Africa deserves the negative racist comments that has hurled at them as a result. It’s a long time to wait another four years for this event to come around again. So let’s savour and enjoy and park the negatives in the waste bin.