Tuesday, April 7, 2009

shutting out the noise

when thoughts suffocate in exhaust fumes
and time can't keep up with itself
as though the hour hand is chasing the minute
hand's tail

when emotions spell
in neon lights

and Originality is a name brand perfume
when spontaneity needs to be scheduled in

then it's time to take myself to the mountains

while this body may be pummeled
into shape
by the city and all it contains,

my heart lies buried on the river bed,
dancing in the directed current
it rides the tide of the ocean's breath
as it heaves and sighs to the shore

my heart edges on the mountain's cliff
to greet every sunrise with a prayer

and it knows that there will always be
a disconnect unless
this stubborn trunk
decides to uproot

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How does art traverse the canvas and settle the soul ?

How is it that magnificent strokes evoke a yearning

to access the eternal?

i drown in serenity

i awaken to reality

Friday, March 13, 2009

Romance off the coast of Africa

Whoever wrote that previous blog post about Africa lacking authenticity obviously hadn't been to Zanzibar yet.

Zanzibar was the romance and character that I was hoping to extract from Africa.

The place is authentic, unique - stuck somewhre in the 17th century, yet the faces of the people tell the story of present day Africa.

While the streets are saturated with an 'old-world' type charm , the delapidated infrastructure is very evident. Zanzibar is dependant on income from tourism and spice trade and the recent econimic slump has seen the Island take strain.

There is a palpable fusion of cultures and a background that is difficult to pin down. The Arab influence is noted and this is whispered in the architecture. I always associate those arabic arches with a great time in Islamic History without wondering about the cultural imperialism that comes along with conquests of great nations. But that's just the way of the world perhaps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The search for authenticity

Identity and culture are now fluid . Certainties erode as the world decreases. Innovation breeds convenience, but also mistrust. Globalisation is real and here - deal with it.
With greater stimulus to encapsulate identity formation, the complexities are astounding. Nothing fits into neat boxes anymore, not even filing cabinets - maybe try a flash-drive.

Communication has made distances evaporate and trade expansion has seen uniformity proliferate.

In this steamrolling of 'progress' and development, I strain to find authenticity. Humanity is loosing that 'signature identity' . Is this just the next phase in development - a diverse hegemony?

Africa's diversity should be guarded more than she has allowed her chastity to be guarded.

The Process or the destination ?

I'm all workshopped out. My right brain has been jogged after slouching around for a couple of years. Space for expression is important, it's essential to 'hear' and 'be heard' , but to what end is all this jabbering?
Maybe it's a clinical approach that I've developed : symptoms, possibilities, solutions and prescriptions. I want to see tangible outcomes - in as short a time as possible . I find it almost painful engaging in a drawn out process whose goal is not clearly defined. I do see value in the 'process' , as no engagement is wasted , it has either positive or negative implications.

Workshopping is a culture with it's own jargon, methodology of operation and mode of thinking. Can strategic thinking be presented or formulated in a non-conventional format?

And when the destination is not clearly defined the route there becomes an arduous path to tread.
Is there a deficiency in the conditioning of my thinking ? do I need to be more 'abstract' or is there a space for us all in this hodge-podge of ideas?

I never thought of myself as a left-brainer . Maybe my right brain has atrophied through disuse.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It's sometimes only possible to value something when it is measured against its variant.
Along the lines of 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone' - albeit gone for only a weekend.

I would like to view myself as a fiercely (not in the aggressive sense but in the 'quite/very' sense) independent woman (shoutout to beyonce and the girls - throw your hands up at me). With the husband away riding the Argus this weekend, I felt a void. It wasn't a Hollywood type pining or a dysfunctional type of missing. I was missing that space ... our space. That space that allows you to speak your mind without having to give a preamble or disclaimer. That space that allows for compliments and insults to be contained within an insular capsule of acceptance - most of the time.

Now let me add that this phenomenon is not exclusive to me. A friend of mine (who would also like to view herself a a non-dependant personality) dealt with similar issues when her husband visited the middle east recently - it scared her.

It scares me too .

There is something both scary and beautiful in realising that you have grown into a space with another person. The thing about this is that it is a closed entity but it is not stifling. There is breathing space , space to grow and then to come back and enhance the core. Maybe this is what forming the 'new family' is all about.

It was reassuring to hear my husband echo these sentiments when he returned.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the wonder of younger

Today the monotony of routine was punctuated with a fluttering of my heart. A 'little one' enthusiastically greeted me with the sincerest "hello dokotela'.
Children ... alhamdulillah . If ever one was looking for signs of Allah's Rahma, it is manifest in the spirit of a child. They resonate self-confidence and exude ... pure joy.

My answer to the 'nature/nurture' debate (today) would be 'nurture'. I wonder how long it takes before innocence dissipates and children start to resemble the adults around them who look as though they have been slapped around by life too many times. How long before society frames them into objects of docile servitude or warriors of belligerent aggression?

What does it take to hold on to those qualities which makes friendships seem eternal and enemies long forgotten?

I sometimes see men in privileged societies who are as carefree as children and I often see children from impoverished places who have the anger of men - they have experienced loss too profound to pen.

When a child compliments you , hold it very dear. What leaves their mouths echoes the sweetest sincerity and what reflects in their eyes is an innocence that is mortal.

We are bound together by Him

In seeking the perfect marriage,
we must be our perfect selves
polishing the mirror of self-reflection
before pointing the finger of accusation

In seeking the perfect marriage
we realise : perfection is an aspiration
that 'absolutes' belong in teenage movies
and trite advice in trashy magazines

In seeking the perfect partner
we must be the perfect partner
In an aura of total tolerance
with a sweet glow of compassion

In seeking the ultimate companion
we must seek the Only One
and then join hands in reaching upward
so that we are bound by Him Alone

and in a moment of introspection
we realise that relationships are fleeting
and that some are built for this world
and that others will reign eternal

and in moments of petty discord
we realise : the Goal is greater still
and that romance is not the purpose
but a blessing from above

and in seeking the perfect moment
when coolness binds your gazes together
let these word touch your lips:
We are bound together by Him

We are bound together by Him

Friday, February 6, 2009

To Israel - with love

a smell of white phosphorous touches her lips
an embrace of shrapnel reminds
of the man next door
who's done this before
and then faces the world again

himself an illegitimate product
of an adulterous union
between the guilty conscience of nations

and in the womb is brooding
a foetus of men
who will bomb for the pride of their fathers

and their names will spell
the repercussion
of crimes that went untold

and the silent and guilty
will be called to order
for it was Gaza's body they sold

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

and I'd also like to thank... internship

Nostalgia is a flavour that can be savoured only in retrospect.

I have often (and I do mean often) bemoaned the state of my medical internship. I've often glanced enviously at my corporate counterparts, imagining the glorious salaries that they were commanding while having clean toilets to use.

Perhaps the sweetness of an experience can only be felt once the madness has passed and given way to a moment (and I do mean moment) of reflection.

Over the past few years I have met patients who didn't have the R8 that it takes to catch a taxi back from the hospital. Eight rand - that's almost a cappuccino. I have seen old ladies cry about one son being on drugs, while two sons were on ARV's. I have been moved by young, strong and able men who would do anything to have a stable job... anywhere.

I've seen how apartheid has raped the social structure that was meant to support individuals, while being exposed to a 'lost generation' , forgotten by politicians and ignored by society.

I have fortunately been allowed into that personal space surrounding a human being , and with guilt I admit that I did not always use this opportunity constructively.

I have seen certain government policies work : I am in awe of poly-clinics (a one-stop-health care-shop). I have also seen the disastrous effects of mixed health-care messages.

I have met AIDS, spat at it and have vowed to never reconcile.

I pray that the Almighty always keeps us close enough to the ground, that we may have the ability to almost-empathise with the 'poorest of the poor', and that He will open up channels for us to help alleviate their plight.

My comfort-bubble has been utterly shaken
for this I'd like to thank ... internship.