Transformation

Transformation

Sharing this song again.
I wouldn’t even call it a ‘song’. A musical scroll, if you will, inscribed with multiple spiritual messages, each one like a fruit waiting to be plucked at the right time, at harvest time.

Today, as I listen again (it’s been on repeat for two days), the words tease me:

Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?
Do you know what I know?
Do you want what I want?

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The Miracle

The Miracle

Lady & the Treble

The Music: Miracle Maker by Delirious?

The Words: The Miracle

Suddenly it doesn’t matter. Nothing does.

I had wanted so much more. For me. For them. For us.

Wanted. Longed For. Coveted and desired. Better this, more of that, a brighter future.

Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!

~Ecclesiastes 1

All at once, glancing at the little white cross, I knew… I am owed nothing.

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Strong.

Strong.

“Strong”
I read the words with some measure of incredulous disbelief and dismay.
I know my friend isn’t cruel enough to be joking with me, but I cannot fathom where she draws her conclusions from.

I read the kindly-worded text again: “I’m really amazed at how strong you are, fitting all that you do into a 24 hour day, and not falling apart!”

Tears prick my eyes.

You think you’re plodding along unnoticed, your efforts unseen by the people you’re desperately making efforts for… and someone on the outside looking in says something like that.

I am strong, I ponder to myself. I whisper it aloud, wondering if I will believe it more if I hear it. “I am strong.”

The words sound empty and ridiculous and my inner critic scoffs and chokes down a laugh.
“Others are stronger!” She accuses me. “You are falling apart at the seams. Maybe you can put on an act, but you are not strong!”

She’s a real bitch, that one.

I find myself in my homeopath’s consulting rooms, using pregnancy pains and hormones as a ruse… I try to mention it ‘in passing’, disguising it as an innocent afterthought: “I’ve been feeling a little low lately. You know… Just blue. Hormones, I guess, tired….?” I shrug, the final touch on a futile disguise.

She continues to write notes on her pad and asks a string of odd questions, including ‘What colour is the feeling?’ and ‘Where is it sitting?’ I suddenly feel foolish. “This is not a counselor’s office,” Inner Critic chides. “You’re so lame!”

A few moments of furious scribbling and the good doctor lifts her head to me. She looks me square in the eye and speaks in direct response to the bitch behind my eyes: “You think that everyone else has it together. You think that all other women have their lives in perfect control, juggling work and family and self. In this office, I’ve seen it all and I can tell you with certainty: it’s not true! There is nothing wrong with you, for feeling this way. You are not alone.”

I leave with an inner silence so intense, I think part of my soul has left me.

Good riddance.

I lift my head in defiance and feel a tiny spring in my step… the battle half-won.

It’s Such… Such a Horrid Day

It’s Such… Such a Horrid Day

It’s such… such a perfect day…

I listened to this song somewhat dreamily as I drove to work under a stodgy blanket of grey clouds. The day itself seemed grey. The tarmac on which I drove, the sand bars along the side of the road, other cars racing past, concrete bridges whizzing overhead… all grey. Only the grass remained green and against all this grey, it looked like wild neon flailing in the wind.

As it goes on grey days, my thoughts turned introspective and quiet. What is a perfect day, Chris Martin? What are you singing about? When last did you have such… such a perfect day? Your song sounds so ethereal, I wonder if you really have had a perfect day… ever? Read more

RANT: All That Glitters is Not Gold

RANT: All That Glitters is Not Gold

It’s the holidays. I’m on leave and, although bumbling after a toddler fills much of my day, I foresaw that I’d perhaps have a little extra time to read.

I haven’t read a full book, cover to cover, in over three years. It’s devastating.

I didn’t want to be over-optimistic, so at the start of our holiday, I popped into a supermarket and picked up a magazine. I’ve never bought a magazine – a heinous admission from someone who works in marketing – so I browsed and browsed, and finally settled on an internationally-recognized, top shelf, glossy title. 

So, I’ve tried it. Maybe magazines just aren’t for me. I thought it’d be like reading a blog… on paper. But it wasn’t. It was revolting. 

Not only were there several typo’s throughout the magazine, there was simply no substance to what was written. I tried to read an article about a sports figure, and after a page and a half of waffling about herself, the journalist finally launched into a weak and shallow analysis of her actual topic, telling me nothing that I really wanted to know. 

I tried to browse the fashion section, but almost everything was unaffordable, and the models all looked bitchy or smug. It’s like they wait until these gorgeous girls all have full-blown PMS before they line them up in ridiculous garb for a photo shoot. Or maybe the models are just as equally peeved that they can’t afford the R 30 000 Louis Vutton back-pack that they’re stringing along behind them. Regardless, it seems that according to this magazine, smiling – or any sort of sincere happiness – is totally taboo. 

And yes, you heard right. A back-pack going for a breezy R30k. And a small one, at that, maybe big enough for a wallet and a set of keys. That’s another thing that got my knickers in a knot – the advocation of pure and utter waste. I’m not saying we should all live like paupers but there is seriously something wrong with this world when some women pay R30k for an accessory, and some women can’t even afford sanitation every month. Maybe there’s something to be said about communism, after all. 

Not that this magazine would have anything to say about important matters, like politics or belief systems or world issues. No mention of Syria or charities or raising good kids into good people. Nope, it’s all primp and shine and glitter and gold. It’s how to look good (bitchy, remember?), how to appear smarter to your colleagues, how to dress for that, and what cosmetics are best (most expensive) to paint that successful, air-brushed facade.  What so-and-so did to get rich and which brand whats-her-name wore to a red-carpet event last month. 

I sound bitter, I know. But I am. I’m bitterly disappointed that women and girls are filling their minds with this shallow trash on “beauty” and “success”, when I could name fifty blogs that I’d rather read, with meaningful, bone-deep content that touches the heart and inspires change. Not just a change in hair colour.

I guess I need to be fair to the editorial world: I only read one magazine. And there must be hundreds out there, with at least a handful of decent ones, with well-written, meaningful articles hidden inside. But how do you seed them out from the rest of the filth, without completely losing your soul to all the lies within those glossy pages? 

Perhaps, once this bad taste has left my mouth, I’ll venture to pick up another title and give it another try.

For now, I will happily go back to bumbling after my toddler, wiping up spilled juice and combing knotted hair into braids. I will go back to where smiling really means I’m happy and wearing a 100-buck satchel over my shoulder is totally OK, because it fits both a sippy-cup and bag of chips, and my budget.

I’m fine with that, thank you very much. 

RANT: #MustFallsMustFall

RANT: #MustFallsMustFall

South Africa has seen a dramatic increase in young people rising up for what they want.

I’d like to say I’m proud… But I’m not.

If I recall, it started with #rhodesmustfall, and the call to remove an iconic, historic statue from a Cape Town University. Harmless enough, right?

The campaign has since evolved to #feesmustfall – an outcry for free university.

It’s featured #zumamustfall, which I admittedly liked, and more recently the likes of #datamustfall, a demand for free wifi.

There have been many more, ultimately calls for some or other priviledge, for free.

Along with many other flabbergasted South Africans, I find myself at a loss on how to respond to these campaign, but pride is the least of my emotions.

I cannot fathom how a nation of young people can validate setting their libraries on fire, and then demand free access to those facilities. I’d say, “Sure! Here you go! Here’s your pile of ashes!”

I cannot fathom a nation of young people who march to demonstrate for the right to wear an afro to school. Please understand, it’s not that I have no sympathy at all… I do. You see, I possess thin, lifeless hair the exact colour of nothing – not blonde, not brown. And yet I was never permitted to dye my hair in school. I accepted that. I didn’t start a public debate about being the victim of discrimination.

The thing about these campaigns that I find so shameful is not so much the youths’ act of standing up for change, but it’s more that the subjects of their desires show such incredible immature, me-first, victim mentality, as well as the manner in which they choose to be heard. It speaks volumes about the rising generation.

It’s just that I can think of so many more atrocities that should fall… and yet the topics are so tragically common, almost taboo, that they’re completely overlooked by this new must-fall generation. While our young South African girls are protesting for better hair-do’s, little girls further north in our continent are being forced into childhood marriages with sick-minded men.

What should really fall?

#Rapemustfall
#childpornmustfall
#sexslaverymustfall
#WarInSyriamustfall
#Xenophobiamustfall
#Corruptionmustfall
#StarvationInAfricamustfall
#racismmustfall

We’re seeing the rise of a society that carelessly allows for hatred and greed and malevolence, while pursuing its own self-seeking endeavours with a blind and all-consuming selfishness.

You know, it’s not that I have a problem with young people standing up for what they perceive to be a right. It’s just the shortsighted manner in which they do so, and with little regard for anyone else.

My heartfelt request to these students would be to consider their campaigns with more care. As you hover that flame over the pile of trashed library books… consider those without anything to read.
As you douse your lecture hall with petrol in preparation to torch it, consider the children who learn their simple math in the dust beneath a tree.
As you reach down to grasp a rock to throw at your fellow student who still wants to attend class and learn, consider the next time that your own rights may be violently taken from you, or someone you love.

You see, in your closed-minded pusuit for what you think are your rights, consider that you may be destroying everything that true “human rights” represents.

That is all.

God & Perfection: Is it really what we think it is?

God & Perfection: Is it really what we think it is?

I was recently posed with the question by a bit of a deep thinker that I’ve had opportunity to have long discussions with. The question was: Is God actually perfect, or did he make a mistake by giving us all that free will?

On the surface, claiming that God is not perfect is a big statement. And it bothered me a lot. It kept me awake that night, and many nights that followed. Read more

In Memory: How She Loved the Lord!

In Memory: How She Loved the Lord!

I received the news by a text message, a kind of chain-mail message being forwarded from friend to friend to friend. It was Sunday evening. We’d finished dinner and my toddler was nattering away into my ear, the TV blaring into my other ear.

I half-read the message, confused and refusing to believe that I was reading correctly. I glanced up and laughed at something ludicrous that my toddler had said.

“No!” my inner voice insisted. “It cannot be!”

I looked at my phone and read the message slowly. No. No. No. Read more

Diamond Ring

Diamond Ring

My new creative space to share Music and Words. Hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think.

First post is up!

Lady & the Treble

The music – Diamond Ring by Bon Jovi

The Words:

The fight had been brief, as usual. She always froze and then ran.

This time she found herself in a humid rose-tinted bar, staring at the sultry singer crooning promises over his guitar. His hair hung damp over his eyes, his worn jeans hung on his hips… Just so. His olive skin showed a few years, but his eyes, like burnt honey, were warm and young and inviting. With a raspy, low voice and the delicate plucking of his six-string, his performance unraveled her.

A tear danced it’s way down her cheek, splashing beside her empty glass.

She blushed, realizing that her stares were being returned with equal interest. The ice cold ring on her finger was as much a chain around her neck, a chain that she was straining against.

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Are Christians the new Pharisees?

Are Christians the new Pharisees?

Throughout the gospels, Jesus challenged the Pharisees and religious leaders of the time. He challenged them particularly on one major point: they had lost sight of what God’s heart was all about: people. They had gotten lost in religion and rightness and what Jesus openly termed “human rules” and forgotten about God’s love and passion for humanity.

As I read yet another scathing article this week, where one church leader and his entire congregation was targeted and essentially given that burning label, “false prophet”, my heart broke a little as I realized that so many in the christian church have taken up positions as modern-day Pharisees. I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of shame, wishing I could stash the contemptuous blog away, and hide it from the eyes of those still searching for their Creator. I wouldn’t want them to find this version of God, the un-loving and condemning one. The one that ranks judgment above love.

My plea to writers and bloggers is this….

Stop public bickering about doctrinal issues.

~Mark 9
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.”
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