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January, 2016:

“Something inside so strong” Libre Saffi

Its amazing to me what a powerfully useful tool anger is. Anger draws boundries. Anger is a display of self respect. In some instances. Not blind rage that hurts the most vulnerable. That is of course a lack of any sort of awareness of – the other. But as Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, in righteous anger against the corrupt money lenders, so too, is anger against the injustices in our society, a very strong way of drawing lines.
If we were angry enough at our corrupt politicians, we would already have saved our country billions of dollars, and plenty of suffering. But complacency and helplessness take the place of anger, and we label it humility, patience, letting God take control, being peacekeepers! Fools! Be angry. Have the courage to see it for what it is. And BE angry!
If we were angry enough at drug dealers, who for their own greed destroy lives of the innocents, we would have declared war – yes – out right war on the cartels. But we know they are strong and we are weak, so we shrug in our helplessness, and say our government (the same one referenced above) should do something about it, and the fact that they don’t makes them incompetent. It’s a joke! Why would they? What would their motivation be to do so, especially when they are profiting. And we call it law abiding, good citizenry, leaving it up to the government.
Oh rage! Rage! Rage against the complacency we ALLOW within ourselves, because to be angry is too negative. To be angry is sinful. To be angry is simply not fitting, even in Buddhism, he who loses his temper first – loses. He who loses temper first leaves his throat with no defence … uncontained anger is a disability. These are all things I believe.
Yet, yet, there are times when I know the complete antithesis to be true. I know that anger can be power. Not against anyone else. But for yourself. That you may know that the world will only be ok, if we disallow – through anger – the advantage other would take, the victims they would create, because those who should rage sit back in convenient peace.

“Stupid girls.” (Pink)

And again, it has come up as a theme in my life. So clearly it is not done yet, with it’s life lesson.
And so we revisit a previous thought. A previous entry.
Prompted by a picture I posted of myself on social media, one in which I knew I looked wonderful, but it had not been a contrived, created, coerced photograph, it had been a random snap shot at a party, at which – yes – I knew I looked radiant and was happy to know that I dressed for myself, to feel good. Why not?
Nonetheless, one of my admirers with whom I have a proper love hate relationship commented simply “ slutty profile pic”
This was absoultuely not what it was at all. Yes, I looked like a woman who could be relished, yes, I oozed appeal, womanhood, sensuality, but in a feminine, demure, beautiful way. In my opinion.
And that’s exactly what it all is. ‘
Opinion.
We have all read the well known adage – “ you don’t see the world as it is. You see the world as you are.” Essentially if your heart is filled with lust and pride and jealousy, anger, resentment, criticism – then inevitably, you will interpret other people’s actions and motives from that premise. You will auto revert in a manner of speaking to assuming that the intent with which they acted, was based on a motive of lust, pride, and whatever other Everyman emotion you are harbouring so strongly. True also that the way in which you judge others and the so called moral standards you use, say more about who you are than who they are.
It was attributed to H.G. Wells as having said that Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
And yet, I appreciated his honesty, although honesty and truth are not necessarily synonymous. Nonetheless I appreciated that he was clear and brave enough to call his truth. To make a statement that others perhaps thought or felt but wouldn’t dare express. Which is the better friend? Which is the more genuine and valuable person to have in your life? Those who stand in judgement but have not the conviction to tell you so, to set you straight – albeit on their paths, to call it as they see it and leave you to do with it as you see fit – to either reject or assimilate their opinion? Or those who do indeed not spare a thought for your ‘feelings’ for your sensibilities and call it as they perceive it. For yes, it may be considered rude and socially inconsiderate, however, it may, just possibly be serving you, for a moment, giving you a glimpse, an insight, however brief into the world or world view of others, loaning you their rose tinted glasses, for just a moment, that you may see life, your life thorough the eyes of another. And whatever their motive, whatever brought them to the place of calling it as they did, it is nonetheless a truth, their truth, or perception and perhaps, no doubt that of many others. Thus it was useful to me, as opposed to the many friends who wouldn’t call it and thus be entirely unuseful, unless I needed an ego stroking. But this was useful to me. I considered his opinion. I knew that we were coming from different starting blocks, I knew that within a context, I was right and he was wrong, but I also knew, that just as he had not seen the photo within the context in which it was taken, others hadn’t either. And perhaps, his perspective was valid. And perhaps he was protecting me. From myself. From society. Because society does not and never has thought as I do.
I removed the picture.
And I was grateful for his view.
Yet, I had to have my soap box moment, in my head, where I stood up, if only on the inside for what I know to be true:
And I had my internal rant, which made me feel better, which reminded me to connect with my truth, and that I hadn’t forgotten or altered my truth – just because I had chosen to err on the side of the opinion of another, that I keep to my truth steadfastly, yet, I don’t have to prove it but insisting on my right, I don’t have to force it or hold the battle field till I win. I just have to know it. And allow others their space to cope as they can with their own demons.
And for my own sake, I penned my truth again:
A subtle difference between modesty and a lack of self confidence in who you are. An unwillingness to explore who you are…. Because …. What if…. So to disguise it under the cloak of modesty. Which suits you, so that you don’t have to look, and see, so that you don’t have to throw off the mantle – of an undiscovered self, quiet yet. So that you don’t have to explore, since you are safely ensconced in the gown of modesty. And it so happens, that, comfortably for you… society approves. Society approves of your dress code, your behaviour, your energy force field that you have created to protect yourself….. from yourself. Society approves, and thus gives you tacit permission to take the moral high ground, and wear that halo so tightly around your head. And make you ever more fearful of exploration. For now, now it is not only your own demons that you have to wrestle, but the what if – of society’s too – what if I am rejected, what if I am thought of as less than, what if they think I am a slut? What if they think I am immoral, what if they don’t like me anymore, what if I give the wrong impression…. All of the what if’s that society has wrapped around you have to first be unwrapped, layer by layer, before you even begin to unwrap your own demons, removing their grips from yourself, one tight finger, but one tight finger. Thus the fight becomes too big, too much, too intense and its easier not to fight. And so you remain, perhaps inwardly grateful for the guise of modesty – because your self worth or in accuracy, lack thereof is easily wrapped away, beneath the layers of morality.
Such a damn fine line isn’t it?
But one of the most valuable lessons life has been gracious enough to teach me – is to celebrate who you are – to be happy, genuinely happy – with who you are. And never to allow a day to pass without appreciating it in some way. By physical exertion, but doing a photoshoot, but dressing you’re a – game – simply to go to the local supermarket to buy bread and milk. Why live with apologies and complexes? Why? To make others feel more comfortable? To curry favour and score friends so that everyone will come to your funeral?
And if people misinterpret that as vanity, or arrogance, well, I only hope that their life path, at some point – for them, not for me, for to me, it is neither a gain nor a loss, but for them, it would make all the difference in the world, and thus, I can only hope that their life path can eventually bring them to a point of similar self joy. And then, I, who may by then be older and wiser, will smile, wryly to myself, knowing that patience and time will bring the right people to your funeral.
So don’t ever disparage yourself, or think of yourself as less than gorgeous, not because I want to flatter you do I say these words, but because you are the created. And art is exquisite in any form at all.
And the created – you – me – we are Art.
There will always be those who can’t or don’t or aren’t ready to value art.
It’s like the tattoos I see on so many people. I am sure they are meaningful and took huge energy – both in the format of time and money and thought, and that alone is why they are beautiful, although I am not particularly an admirer of body art, I can none the less see it as a celebration of who you need to express yourself as being, and thus, in that there is a beauty and fascination for me. Not because I like tattoos at all, I distinctly do not, but they tell me your story, and it is your story that is so very beautiful.
I don’t wear my story as ink on my skin, I wear it as clothes on my body, as jewellery creatively strewn across myself, as a hair style I select. So listen to my story, rather than look at my social media picture. Then, then my friend, you will see the exquisite beauty – so far removed from your notion of slut.

“keep the fire burning” REO Speedwagon

I wish to dance in the flames that ignite.
I wish to burn with passion – that which can not be contained or controlled, pure, raw passion. I wish to live for the fire in my soul that drives, burns, motivates, consumes. Not just a dying ember, kept alive by the wind from your billows. Grateful to you for the tiny breeze you allow in through a tiny gap in the window, sufficient to keep my flame alive, but so far from sufficient – for a flame that burns only as a single candle, when it was intended to set a forest ablaze can hardly satisfy. And that is all you can allow, for that – you can contain and control. Yet its cruel – less cruel perhaps to extinguish it entirely?
But when you are able, when you are truly able to sit and watch someone else’s flames, to sit just as a spectator, staring into the flames, mesmerized by their beauty, by their colours, their shapes and forms, yet knowing full well, that to even attempt to grasp them, to take hold of them, would be stupid, foolish. Who would even consider the attempt, for it’s simply not possible to contain flames in your bare hands. To try to hold them, own them, control them. Their beauty would burn. Their beauty would hurt. Their beauty would turn to destruction. Their beauty would scar you. But to watch. Oh to simply sit – you being you – and me being me – and watch. And appreciate. And bask in what the flames DO OFFER you – warmth, a glow, a radiance, a dance, a display, a space in which to lose yourself to the flames, in the most gentle way – keeping yourself to yourself, yet becoming part of the flames – without touching, without controlling, without owning or keeping or holding or possessing.
I want to dance in my fire. In my passion. I want you to watch. To love. To appreciate. To enjoy. I want you to bask in it. It is for you. Its not FOR me – its WHO I AM. So I bring who I am, because who I am goes with me wherever I do, but if I am there, and so are you – then I bring who I am – for you to enjoy. But not to own. I will hurt you. Not because I deliberately plan or contrive to do so, but simply because I am the fire – the fire is in me. And I want to ignite my own flames. We all come into this world with a spark. I don’t want you to fan my flames, however tenderly, gently, lovingly. For then I am dependant, for life, on the oxygen you supply. And should your oxygen, for a myriad of reasons blow dry, then my spark flickers, falters, fails. Dies. But if I find, within myself, my own breath, then – then my fire burns. Forever.
Then I am master of my own destiny, for I can play small, and reduce my spark to a tiny harmless flame, flickering feebly, when I need to, as life may at times require, for the greater good, for a period of hiatus. But then too, when I am done with the interlude, the respite of burning as a single flame, when I am tired of having interrupted and suspended my own fire, then it is I and I alone, who is capable of fanning the flames again, into full splendour. Without depending on or awaiting a wind, that may or may not come.
For this I have learnt – through being oxygen dependant for too long:
That no one can dance in anyone else’s flames. Your flames must dance for you, with you, in you. Your own desires must burn so brightly, that you almost spontaneously combust with the love of YOUR life. And then, only then, will others be drawn to you, to watch the spectacular. To feel the warmth radiate and to see the sparks fly.
But watching someone else’s sparks, basking in the heat of another’s fire – never keeps you warm for very long.