Saturday, April 25, 2009
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?’ - Marianne Williamson
On my last night in Cape Town I find myself at Bravo in Mouille Point. It is an Italian café with murals and an outside setting at the bottom of a boutique hotel next to the lighthouse. I watch the fashion shoot at the adjoining table out of the corner of my eye.
There’s no doubt, here you will find the crowd that makes the trends, as opposed to the trendy crowd in Camps Bay. I look at my friends and I look up to them because they are involved in amazing things, from making movies to creating works of art out of wool. They chase their dreams without fear, whether it’s to have a family or become a popular columnist.
And not only are they all that but they also love me just the way I am. Even though I am a little odd. I fit in with them and I make sense through their eyes.
Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships and sometimes we lose ourselves. I lost myself in my enchantment with Mohammed and in the process I have become afraid that I am not good enough being just me. It is not an unusual thing to happen when trying to fit in.
What I have learned from this is that I can only be the best of me. Trying to be anything else can only lead to pain.
The warm night air wraps around me and the pink pinotage flows through and through me until I know that my purpose on earth is to be everything I am and not just parts of it. Here's to the best of me and those who can see it!
Thank you (you will know if you do) for loving me.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
A woman waits to cross the street with a baby tied to her back. She is wearing a colourful skirt in an African print that shows off against her dark skin. Deep worry lines sit across her forehead. She does not know how beautiful she is.
I wish I can stop to take a photograph but it’s a highway and it would probably be intrusive. Every time I visit South Africa I am overwhelmed by the beautiful people. And the terrible part of this beauty is that some of the people here try so hard and give so much but get so little in return.
When I stop at Newscafé in Blouberg to have a coffee with a friend I realise that I am a little early. Those who know me will be surprised at this exception. I decide to make good use of my time and walk down to the beach to take a few photographs of the classic Table Mountain view.
The quiet morning sunshine is something that many here like to treasure every day. Capetonians know that the wind will pick up within a few hours and the sun will burn if you're not careful. There’s even a famous Afrikaans song by Laurika Rauch about the early morning sun in Blouberg and how the perfection of that moment is echoed everywhere in life. A lot of the time life's difficult, but cosy morning sunrays sparkling accross the sea can make up for a lot of suffering.
Indeed, after catching up with the good, the bad and the ugly there are kites flying and the sun is already reflecting off the white sand beach. Those who were enjoying a wake-up walk are already safely tucked away somewhere at a brunch table, a supermarket or a shower.
As I drive back towards the mountain I say a prayer for that woman on the side of the road, for my friend who works so hard but still struggles to get ahead and for all the other beautiful people of South Africa – who deserve so much more.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I laugh out loud as a penguin poses for a few pictures in his black and white outfit before disappearing into the bushes with his mate. The Cape penguin mates for life. I envy them that, since I am also from the Cape area but my first love cheated on me and it all went downhill from there.
It’s a strange feeling that is creeping up on me. That undeniable feeling that something is really, really wrong and that the love is going, going, gone. If love is meant to last forever then why is it so fleeting and what happens to it when it dies?
Oh God please help me not to die with it this time. Let me live to experience a love that lasts forever as the penguins do.
You might say I should have known that the cultural differences between a South African and a Saudi would ask for too many sacrifices. But I would choose this all over again, even in the face of this big black depression that I am travelling through. Experiencing this love has been the greatest adventure of my life. The love is not missing after all; it is simply suffocating in the cultural restrictions that we set for ourselves and the partners we are supposed to be able to accept just the way they are.
My mom says I shouldn’t worry too much about finding love again: “Look at Angelina Jolie,” she says, “she’s also older but she got through a few break-ups and then found love.”
“Yes mom, but she had to steal someone else’s husband.”
If I were Angelina Jolie I would adopt the penguins instead of all of those children. Animals such as these are in more danger of extinction than the human race after all.
Cape Town’s Boulders Beach is part of the Table Mountain National Park and one of the most rejuvenating places to visit in the area. Friendly animals have a way of making one feel ok, even loved no matter who or what you are.