Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oh Green Snake, the Shadow.



Oh Green Snake, when I hung you around my neck and stroked your cold, pulsing throat, I must have been severely misguided. That’s right. Misguided, off the rockers, ill-advised or just plain masochistic. I know now that in a time I cannot remember when I was a being I cannot conceive, I made a contract with my current shadow’s soul for some transformative affliction. At the time it seemed like a great idea. I needed someone to help me down here learn a few hard lessons and find my Light through a bit of pain, and she, Green Snake, my Shadow, volunteered. I was excited! I was going to be born and already I had a friendly soul offering to help me. However, we agreed that my lessons needed to be a surprize – eternal souls have wonderful senses of humour- and thus as we descended down to this lovely planet, I wrapped my Shadow, now green and coiled, around me, and then, we forgot.

We forgot our eternal selves, our Light and we forgot entirely of our contract. Born apart, we both grew along our different paths. Mine was the life that would shape me to who I am now. My Shadow on the other hand found a fate of misadventure that would mould her into the serpent she’d promised to be. When our time of meeting arrived, I would be unaware of her existence, and she would be armoured in arrowy gold scales, gold to draw me in, arrowy to draw into me. We are drawn to our Shadows. We find them enthralling in some way or another. We put them on a pedestal. At first their true soul purpose with regards to us is hidden in the underbrush, but at some point we indefinitely (innocently) share a piece of our being that we love with them.

I was pulled in by my Shadow’s seeming “openness” and intellectualism, and so I thought that my beliefs were valued. So I poured out a part of my soul to my Shadow, beloved Green Snake –and she bit me. “et tu, Brute?” I asked, aghast. I felt attacked and utterly horrified. But she, my Shadow dear, merely hissed at me, remorseless and nonchalant. 
I was wounded, but before I could really process her bite, and her, I found 
my Shadow tied to me. The contract still stood, and so I was coaxed into discounting our first real introduction. It was if I was compelled by our celestial contract, as if I were being guided to bear the pain my Shadow would bring me, like I needed it, like I –my soul- wanted it.



I’m convinced we have no idea about the small, constant abuses and injury we would endure by the hands of our lovely Green Snakes. If we’re aware enough, we become acquainted with our Shadow, know that they are our Shadow. However, if you’re a human being, you’re probably still being driven mad by their presence. I’ll be open here about this because really, my Shadow irks me, annoys me, and downright infuriates me. 
I feel like I am a field of mouse traps and she is the sadistic, quick little mouse that triggers everything in me that I don’t want to see. She is a Shadow after all, the being placed specifically on this earth to reflect back for us all the uncomfortable truths and lessons we’d rather not acknowledge are necessary for the growth of our soul. Our Shadows 
haunt us because they hold a piece of our puzzle. I’ve considered for a long time what 
my Shadow could possibly hold, what piece of my power.

I have a sense that compassion is a given lesson of our Shadow. When I am around my Shadow I feel my heart, which is truly so filled with love, harden like a suspicious stone. 
I try to soften my rigidity but all I feel is this deep tightening. We must practise acceptance of this tension. Our tension is actually holding up an arrow in the direction of a point of new awakening.

Also, our Shadow brings out our ‘meany’ self, our inner shadow. I know that my Shadow triggers my inner meany into a space where Meany is putting all sorts of big, vicious labels all over the length of Shadow’s glinting body. My Shadow brings out a side in me that is both harsh and vulnerable, both being parts I now recognise that I squash down. But that’s also what a Shadow does. Bring out the worst in us so that we may face our darkness, and in doing so, illuminate it.

In part I lament that such a thing as a Shadow should exist to torment us. I’m certain our excited souls up in the ether had no idea what a fantastic job our Shadows would commit to. Some part of me wants to hand in my letter of resignation, a respectful uncoiling of my Green Snake for the foreseeable future, and then, indefinitely. But I’ve come to see more and more that Shadows, as painful and exacerbating as they are, are like a universal nudge in the direction of our own Light. Our Shadows are people who manifest in our lives as instruments vitally important to our journey of enlightenment as beings. They trigger our darkness, and they trigger our light. We are afraid of both. And that is why we, I, am mad. It is up to us really to come to understand that our Green Snake’s hiss, which we may find still partly unnerving and unsettling, is rather a whisper saying, ‘Remember. Remember. I am your friend.’



Anthea



Saturday, May 10, 2014

I am a writer, and I want to be a writer



























It took me about a month to train myself to say "I am a writer" when people asked what I wanted to become. I guess traditionally in the career market, perceptions about one's future career was always something that you would become some day, something you aren't now, but will be eventually, but I don't think that's right. People, especially young people going into university, are becoming more and more conscientious about what they truly want to do in life, what impact they want to have in the world, big and small. It's not about becoming a lawyer, or an accountant, or artist or pianist for that matter. It's about being the lawyer, the accountant, artist, pianist, because only upon really believing that we already are our Calling deep inside ourselves can we manifest our purpose in a more on-hands being.

 It's like standing on the edge of a canyon and calling out something people generally shout at the edge of canyons like "Hellooo!" and hearing your voice echo across the sandy-red cliffs. However, in this canyon it receives your message and sends it right back to you even louder that your eardrums can manage. If we send the message out, it will return to us even grander that we could ever have imagined.

So I am a writer. I decided a long time ago that I am not going to be hypothetical about my Calling anymore. It was a self-sabotage tool that I used to keep myself back from full actualization. I will admit to even hesitating to say that I wanted to be a writer. If I had to get a rand for every time I've told someone that I wanted to be a writer and have them give me some facial expression between "oh honey, you just keep dreaming" and "Great Scott, do you know what kind of measly paycheck a writer gets? Why don't you rather do something like engineering or medicine?" I think you know the result. 

The truth is that I don't care if people don't really like my Calling. It's my Calling and I'll believe in it and love it, and it's really not anyone else's responsibility to love it for me. That's fine. All I have to do is adore my purpose and what I do. I found that once I started saying to people that indeed, I am a writer and if as I said it I felt it down to my  core, others started feeling my excitement too. People looked back at me with fewer funny stares and more warm smiles that said "I believe that". It all started with a decision I made inside, and then the outside saw that and grinned. 

I'm going to let you in on a secret. I've been planning something big and huge and ginormous and universal and cosmic and radiant. It's something that feels absolutely right, or write (haha). I'm not going to tell you what it is, no spoiling the surprise, but know this. I plan for it to be better than discovering Tutankhamen buried in your back garden. However, this and the fact (not a bad one, but a reality) that I am in my final year of school means that I'm going to blogging a whole lot less that I would like to be in the coming months. Please understand that I'm not leaving or purposefully neglecting my treasure of a blog. I believe there has to be a practicality when it comes to keeping up blogs, and currently it just isn't one. I'll check in soon, I promise.



Anthea


Saturday, April 19, 2014

If I can-can, you can-can!

I'm sure you are all familiar with the amazingness of TED Talks. I reaffirm that the world is entering into a new era of higher consciousness. No longer do we welcome isolationism -of both mind and being. TED talks are most definitely a testament to a generosity of our world's knowledge that we are kindling in our society. They allow everyday people to simply go onto Youtube and see the pioneers of our planet, see that they are people just like us -but most importantly, see that we can achieve our own greatest heights just as they have theirs. 

I don't consider myself a fanatic TEDer, but I do adore the occasional video. I have just watched a talk that I found so inspiring, especially in the space in which I'm currently. 
I'm in my final school year and of course, university and life plans in general are hot topic. I have honestly been feeling a tad flummoxed by a few tough decisions I have to make, but after watching this video I look at all that I have and all that I am, my health, my education, my life, and I see that all I can actually handle it all, and that everything will turn out as amazing as I envision it to. I can-can (wink).



It lends a certain perspective afterwards to your own life, doesn't it? It made me zoom out like a bird's eye view and see that I am actually completely equipped and okay to handle my future endeavors. We all are actually.


Anthea


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

They Knew Love Was The Mission

There are few things more poisonous than cynicism. Cynicism prevents us from taking the leap of faith that could mean our greatest happiness, our success, our prosperity. Cynicism closes our minds to possibility, and to each other, because if we believe that true friends don't exist, or men never have good intentions or good hearts, or the human race is doomed by its corrupt nature, we are closing ourselves off from real connection with other people. We are closing ourselves off from the true, good nature of the world. 

Cynicism has greatly coloured my South African society in the last few months. The Oscar Pistorius trial, the Nkandla scandal, e-Tols, Zuma and the general election in just a month, disillusionment is rife. And it is no different anywhere else in the world. Nobody is happy with the state of their country or the judicial system or the economy, and it is very easy to turn blind to the fact that all is not lost and that everything is actually going to be alright. The human race is progressing slowly but surely into an era of greater enlightenment, prosperity and honouring of each other for who we are in our unique beings. 
We have a choice. We can take the poison of cynicism and go into a coma of unseeing and misery, or we can be active participators and see-ers of the magnificence of our planet and each other. See the good that lies within every core. 



 I watched the following video almost two years ago and about 10 minutes ago I found the link on my computer and rewatched it. I feel so blessed to be living in a time when a song like that can be sung to hundreds of Nobel laureates and nominees and broadcasted for us all to see. I honestly became quite teary eyed watching this. I hope you all enjoy it too.



Ah. I'm beyond words for my love for this song and these people.



Anthea



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Scorched in Dystopia


I’ve been inexorably, (horrifyingly) prejudiced, my dear readers. As you know, I am a proud South African, but one faction of SA nationalism that I have avoided (sadly, like the plague) is South African literature, particularly South African fiction. I’ve never been one to write off things because of one nasty experience, but I can without a doubt say that I can blame one South African novel for this: The Restless Supermarket. Warning: NEVER read this book unless you plan on sitting for 6 months with a ruler and a dictionary, or have a particular affiliation to entire paragraphs on grammar. Nevertheless, as part of my matric English requirements, I nestled down with a South African novel, and I can joyously say that it has changed my perceptions indefinitely.

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing is a story about Mary and Dick Turner, an impoverish white husband and wife living on a farm in southern Rhodesia in the height of racist white colonial times. Mary’s marriage to Dick is simply a convenience, and soon after moving to the Dick’s farm, she transforms from an aloof, coquettish 30 year old, still stuck in her girlhood, to a bitter, fury-filled woman, as scorched as the land upon which she lives. She holds great resentment toward Dick for his failure as a farmer, but her true wrath expresses itself in her racist attitudes toward the native servant in her home and workers on their land. Dick is ill one year and she is forced to monitor the crop work, however this culminates in her striking a worker with a whip because of his audacity to request for water using English. The native does not retaliate, but something snaps in Mary that day and she has a nervous breakdown. Moses, that same native then later becomes their home servant. Mary begins to become obsessed with Moses’ presence to the point of showing an almost attraction toward him. Forced off their farm by a conniving neighbouring farmer, Dick, as worn out as his wife, and Mary plan to leave for a holiday, but Mary has fallen into a deep isolation and madness, partly from her foreseeing of her fate after she betrays Moses while in her state of insanity. Moses, who has been playing a game all along with his oppressor, takes back his power and dignity and murders Mary and hands himself in to the white colonialists, who write off the incident as a native killing for the jewellery of his mistress.

While reading this book, and the actions and attitudes of the horrid Mary, I can't say I've ever hated a character more in my life. I am fundamentally repugnant to any form of racism, partly because of my upbringing as a youth of Post-Apartheid South Africa and then also, that’s just who I am. To read first hand from the racist herself of the attitude of white colonials was absolutely horrifying for me, but is testament to the brilliance and masterfulness of Doris Lessing. The Grass is Singing has in a way brought me closer to my country in that I am more knowledgeable of southern Africa’s complexity in its history and its truth, for as Doris Lessing said, “There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.” 

I have been the richer for it to see how far human attitudes and existence has evolved through this book. I have found myself to now believe that South African authors have stories to tell, great, epic stories, and I look forward to biting my teeth into my next South African novel.




Anthea


P.S  That South African novel will undoubtedly be Fiela's Child by Dalene Matthee, an English Translation of an Afrikaans book under the title Fiela se Kind. Await a review.


P.P.S The above blog was written for my matric English task. 20/20! Oh yeah.


Friday, March 14, 2014

A Series of Amazingness: The 86th Academy Awards 2014

I think most of us are constantly sharing cool/funny/mind blowing/surprising/heart warming videos with our friends (Facebook or not). I know I'm always ecstatic to find an inspiring video that picks me up and makes me jump at life, but then also I do adore a funny video that makes me smile. I'm in lockdown at the moment as I'm about to start my first term matric exams and I'm in a space of total focused action. However, I've been lagging on my blogging responsibilities and so I have decided to share a series of videos that I have found on the web that I believe should be spread far and wide for you all to enjoy also.




So, did any of you watch the Oscars last month? I certainly did, and though it doesn't trump last year's for me, I still adored Ellen -especially her opening monologue where she "mentions" Jennifer Lawrence falling last year on her way up the stairs to claim her Oscar for Best Actress. That was quite hilarious. My favourite moment however was when Lupita Nyongo won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave. Her incandescent dress (and self) floated across the stage and every person in the auditorium was genuinely ecstatic for her. Her speech was a touch fast and she named and thanked every single member in the production of 12 Years a Slave right down to the guys who handed her a glass of water, once; but nevertheless, her message of gratitude and most importantly her final shout out to the world was refreshing and warming.




"When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid"

Wow, girl. 



Anthea



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Unravelment


Just a little taste, just once. This kind of unruliness wouldn’t turn into an on-going occurrence, a habit, goodness no, it’s far too hazardess for that, but just once, just a taste. Lean in, feel the warmth of his aura, lean in further, feel the proximity of that just one taste coming closer and closer until finally I melt into oblivion, and the world doesn’t exist anymore.

My moist lips touch his and there we are, together, just one taste. I never meant for this to culminate in this way, but it has, and I can’t say I regret it. Just one taste happens to be so sweet I realize how a diabetic feels. I am a diabetic, I understand, for I have held back from the delightfulness of touch and tenderness, giving myself shots of insulin in the form of shows, movies and books. They supply me with small dosages of hope that amour will find me eventually and then also an intangible mollusc of a love tale to quench my thirst. 
I longed for it to my deepest core, ignored it, quelled it, but no more. Here I am, just one taste, and I realise that no flimsy concoction made up by pop-culture-pandering authors can ever replace the real fix. Hold his face, his neck, his shoulders, his back, weave my fingers through his black hair, dare to open my eyes for one second to see that I am just one taste too, hoping to see his flecked green-yellow eyes. We are one, moving with an energy that has existed for as long as the universe. Goosebumps run down my arms, and 
I pull back. I am graced by the gaze of those wild eyes, and I realise that just one taste will never be enough. Never.

I am suddenly terrified. Spasms of anxiety stab through my abdomen as if a blind Fear is aiming for my heart, missing, and then having another go. Something deep, deep down within me is twitching in angst, something that believes that to reveal the gold hidden beneath the dust would surely destroy me, destroy who I have built my Self to be in the depths of the earth;  We live in the era of silver, and gold is a fool’s filling. It is too magnificent you see. I sometimes even scorn it for the sore, slow chafing of loneliness it brings, though I know the abrasions to be a powerful moulding in the essence of my being.  I see the wonder behind the blue eyes of the Greek god as he smiles mischievously at his earthy goddess, two intertwined existences ascended by their courage to be. To my true nature I feel gladness for them, but in pockets of what is not me, I despise them for their brave prosperity. Coward, the Voice mutters under its breath. How can I be so distraught by the thought of sharing my heart if I am daring to exist? Of what am I so fearful?


I am afraid of my own sultriness, I realize. I am afraid that if anyone came too close, they would find out that in fact, I am a wild soul. My untamed essentia is bold and unabashed, and though I know she is there, I don’t know how to let her out; Is the veil between us an illusion? Have I been her, and me, all of me, this entire time?  I am not in compartments. This ‘barbarian vivacity’ is part of my whole. I am whole; Do I dare venture a step further? Is the veil between myself and everyone else merely a fallacy? In that moment 
I shed the near-transparent, yet shrouding cloak that I thought was purely for decoration, and like a Lady of Baghdad, I peak from underneath my coverlet and smile warmly, mischievously, at the gold path shimmering before me. How wondrous it is, to see it finally.






Anthea


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rudeness on the low down


























I absolutely adore when restaurants and cafes become clever with their menus or way of going about in their shop. The above is such an example from a cafe in Nice, France which charges customers for their cup of coffee according to how rude or polite they are when asking for it!

A curt, 'One coffee' will get you a 7price tag, whereas the addition of please will move it down to a 4,25€. Of course, the most advantageous would be 'Hello, one coffee, please' earning you a cut of 7 down to a 1,40€. 

The pricing-according-to-manner-of-request system has never been enforced according to the cafe's manager, but it has brought on a rise in customer courtesy -not to mention a tad bit of amusement to some of the regular coffee seekers.

"Most of my customers are regulars and they just see the funny side and exaggerate their politeness," said the manager, extending that "They started calling me 'your greatness' when they saw the sign."
That gave me good chuckle.
If by any small, tiny, microscopic chance any of you my readers may have actually visited this cafe, or are in fact one of the "doting" regulars, do drop a comment and possibly elaborate a little into this ingenious little anomaly

Anthea
P.S. As some of you may have noticed, I have been a MIA blogger for two weeks, and for that I apologise profusely. I expressed in my post My Last First Day that I have entered into the very last year of my school career (hah, that rhymes), but what I didn't know then was the arduous battle to keep up with work, the long hours of compulsory extra lessons and the wash of fatigue that would come with it. It's been a hard couple of weeks for me, with regards to school work, but also emotionally. However, I am quite done ignoring my responsibility to all of you to provide meaty, meaningful writing, therefore I will be "around" once more.