What am I?

Every now and then a stranger is interested in my nationality or what race I am. The conversation usually goes something similar to this:
“So where are you from?”
“Cape Town, born and bred.”
“And your parents?”
“I think they were both born in Port Elizabeth.”
“Oh, so what nationality are you?”
“South African”
Eventually the conversation withers down to “Chinese”.
This got me thinking, what am I? Anyone who knows me well, knows I am the furthest thing from chinese, apart from eating the food. But, hell, I got a friend who is British and he enjoys it too. I don’t speak it or practice any cultural celebrations. If I had to be honest, I don’t feel a strong connection to my heritage. Does this make me bad? Is it really that sad? Because I don’t have pride for a country I haven’t even been to? So, am I Chinese?
Am I South African? Yes. But mainly because of location, it’s the name of the country I was born and live in. But do I believe in and support what the leadership that represents South Africa? No, but I love where I live. So, am I South African?
Am I Capetonian? Yes, but only because where it is situated on the map, but if it were named differently I’d also be whatever it were called.
So, What am I? Am I my profession, my musical taste or hobby? I guess I’m all those things, but I’m also an effect of time. Our qualities develop & evolve through countless challenges over time. So, what am I? What are you?
Maybe our qualities should be what defines us and not labels, boundaries and borders.
Little do we know that it is the variations that keep us alive.
So what am I? I guess I’m human.

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Puzzles

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You and I are puzzles residing in a greater puzzle.
Let’s align our pieces. Make a shape to make a picture, because without us solving for our individual puzzle, we can’t expect to see the bigger picture whether that bigger picture is two puzzles or the sum total of every existing thing.

The abstract, chaotic pieces are there, we just need to make sense of them and shift them in to place, maybe then we will see not puzzles, but art – as life should be seen.

365 days and going

I haven’t really written anything of late, so I dedicate this post to my mother, who passed away one year ago today.

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Dear Mamma

it has been an entire year since you left us. I’ve been thinking of you a lot recently. When I woke up this morning and thought of you, I wondered how to celebrate you. This seemed like the best as you were one who always read and supported my scribblings on here.I started thinking about the whole ritual of celebration, how we go through these personal ceremonies to celebrate those who have passed on. I then started thinking about who this serves more – the person conducting the ritualistic reminder, or the memory of those gone? I wonder why I feel inclined to write this, as I’m sure the laws of being in your case are very much different to what I can possibly fathom, and you may not see these words but this is how I choose to celebrate you – my ritual. I guess it allows me to feel closer to you as I focus on words that are inspired by your spirit, which I am now sure is eternal.

The last 365 days have been illuminating. The beginning of the end triggered a series of life lessons for me which has left me with clearer vision. Words have more deeper meaning for me now and the way things express themselves, I find weird but somehow logical. I have had run ins with too many seemingly coincidental circumstances to just write them off as coincidences. To others, no doubt, they are, but to me I feel a little bit more. These abstract feelings and intuitions are bit too strong to write off. Some may say I put and look for too much meaning in things. My response would be, if we are not looking and making meanings of seemingly abstract things, then what the heck are we doing with life? If we don’t put meaning in our lives, then surely our lives are meaningless. Having a career and filling you life with things, for me, is not meaningful. I guess the way we each perceive and express those meanings are somewhat different, but the abstruse that motions and drives the subjective to expression is surely what connects all of us?

I found pain to be something that is mostly self inflicting. I found much pain to be caused by mindset and the human egotistical characteristic of personalizing everything to the point of strangulation; expecting things to be a certain way and when it reveals itself as something very different to what we thought or envisioned, we become childish. I realized how unfair, unrealistic and varied our views on life are. Expectation has killed so much and unchecked expectation which we are so easily susceptible to, will be the downfall of unity. Before you passed on I found the thought of not having you around to be painful. I felt that pain at its apex one week before you left and one day before I said goodbye. I even told you about it and your response was so undeniably you. You told me not to be angry and not to hold whatever trace of hate there was in my perception of your departure. Even in the face of death you showed no fear and within these past 365 days I have learned death is not to be feared. Fear is based on a man made, short sighted illusion and I am glad to say, even though I may sometimes live in fear, I try not to live according to it. That was something you taught me, not necessarily with those words, but with actions and intentions much of which I have identified, albeit in hindsight.

Through this last year I have encountered some great life lessons in the wake (pun not intended…Although you always did enjoy a good laugh, so pun intended!) of your absence. I am lucky to have the sturdiest of blueprints you passed on to me. Some tribes passed on wisdom and insight through ritualistic and ceremonious dances which were symbolic and held meaning. Your dance was your life, and you danced it beautifully. How do I know this? Because I interpreted and understood your dance and it has very much influenced mine, giving rise to new melodies and movements.
I’m happy to tell you, mamma, my melodies and dances hold no anger or hatred. You taught me that and these past 365 days have solidified those feelings and intuitions. How so? Because I questioned them and honestly answered them. How do I know I was honest? Because sometimes the answers did not benefit me, but fitted perfectly into a bigger picture which I am apart of. I don’t hate that you are not here, I do not feel your time was cut short, I do not hate the cancer or the complications that took your life. I miss you, that is for sure, but with your life and your death you passed on something abstract which I am unable to articulate clearly. What I do know, is that it was something truthful, honest and beautifully illuminating and I hope others can see the reflection that your bright light casts from me. This is how your spirit lives on.

All my eternal love

Matt
XXX