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Still I Write (Lost Without You)

Dear Blank Page

Hi Stranger. It’s me.

It’s been a lifetime.

Well, it feels that way, anyway. And yes, I know, my disappearing acts are getting old now.

I am sorry.

Forgive me?

Sitting here drowning myself in the melancholic broodiness of John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ I can feel it trying to bring me down. I won’t let it though. Not this time. I have to make a way for my hope. But first I need that blues guitar to lift me into the zone … to help me get back right with you.

I don’t know where to start. I am stranded between the silence of my boisterous thoughts and the mobility of my steady hands. It is to parallel purpose.

I can’t recall why or how we drifted apart. Just that we did. I vaguely remember a time we hung out just about every other day. Do you?
So what happened? I am still trying to figure that out. All I know is that I want to fix things between us. I have to. I need to. And even though it’s taken me longer than I would have liked to get to a place where I can even begin to work on that process I find quite comfort in taking that first step.
A lot has happened since our last dalliance. In your absence desperation and frustration have become my (unwanted) companions. Without you I have slowly but surely drifted to the edge of sanity. I lost my way without you.

So many mornings I have woken up and told myself today is the day. Today is the day I will moonwalk with my muse again. Procrastination however, was having none of it. It kept whispering sweet nothings to me. Every. Single. Day.

If it wasn’t her it was doubt that kept me away from you.

Along the way I have found myself questioning whether what we had was real. And then in the next moment I would turn around and ask myself why the hell I wasn’t making you a priority when you have done more than anyone or anything to pull me even closer to myself.

I had to remind myself that the more time I spent within your margins the more acutely aware I became of my true self. You always encouraged Tafadzwa to show up. Keep it real, you would whisper, ever so softly. But still, I didn’t write.

You allowed me to honour myself, as well as my experiences. At the same time you also allowed me to honour the world and my place in it. I am who I am right now because I wrote. I am here feeling lost in the world because somewhere along the line I stopped writing. And hard as I try I can’t seem to remember where we left off, or why? So I will just type and just trust the process. That with each word I will find myself within your margins once again. That with each word I will write myself back to clarity.

Only you can pull me back from the edge of sanity.

Your Long Lost Friend .

Tafadzwa.

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Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Abraham Lincoln: A Letter To His Son’s Teacher

Ever since I watched the Abraham Lincoln Biopic ‘Lincoln’ a few months ago I have been enamoured with the man that was the sixteenth president of the United States. Whilst I am still to read his autobiography I have made it my business since to read up as much as I can on the man from what is available online. His greatest legacy is that under his presidency the United States abolished slavery. Abraham Lincoln was a man of great conviction, a humanitarian, forward thinker, revolutionary, a political genius and a great leader.

The biopic itself covers the American civil war in which Lincoln a Republican was fighting the Southern states over his proposition to emancipate African slaves in the United States. Lincoln despite fierce resistance from within his own party as well as the South managed to convince the House of Representatives to vote to abolish slavery. One of the ways he was able to achieve this was through the many letters he wrote to Generals and Senators. Lincoln was a letter writer of note and some of his letters where the highlight of the biopic for me. As such in my reading up on Lincoln’s legacy I have been partial to the letters he wrote in his life time.

One of my favourite letters is one he once wrote a letter to his son’s teacher. Although this letter was written over a hundred years ago, it is not imprisoned by the past. It reads as if it was written just yesterday. The letter reads as follow:

“He will have to learn,I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero: that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.

Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know – a long time, but teach, if you can, that a dollar earned is of more value than five of found.

Teach him, to learn to lose. And also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can; teach in the secret of quiet laughter.

Teach him, if you can the wonder of books. But also, given quiet time, wonder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hillside.

In a school, teach him, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.

Teach him to have faith in his own idea, even if anyone else tells him they are wrong.

Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough.

Teach him to listen to all men. But teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good one that comes through.

Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tear.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidder but never to put a prize tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes the fine steel.

Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have some sublime faith in mankind.

These are big orders, but see what you can do. He is such a fine fellow, my son…”

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Break-Up Letter To Fear

To: Fear

cc: Doubt

Dear Fear

If you are reading this it means I finally worked up the courage to send you this letter. Good for me.

There is no easy way to say this but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway. It’s not you it’s me. Wait. No. In fact it’s not me it’s you. This. Us. Whatever it is we have. We can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore.  I am not happy. I am sick of you and it’s time we broke up. I know we have broken up and gotten back together before. Every time I’ve tried to leave doubt keeps pulling me back, but seriously, Fear this is it! (No M.J). I’m tired of the dysfunctionality. I am breaking up with you. For good. It is the right thing for me. The more I think about it the more I realise we that were never meant to be. We just happened.I am over you silencing me all the time. You like hearing the sound of your own voice and never really bother to hear me out. You constantly disapprove and discourage my goals and efforts. You are openly disrespectful towards my dream team. Not anymore. I have had enough.

I met someone. Her name is Courage. She inspires me, encourages me and dares me to take a leap and reach out for everything that I ever wanted. You on the other hand never believed in me. I don’t get you, but then you don’t get me either. You are always giving me reasons why I can’t. Thanks to courage I know I can. Even though I m still running my race she makes me feel like I have already won. She is the cheerleader of my dreams. She even has me thinking about buying a piece of land. A place I can give my inner nomad a home. I’m tired of running. The coward in me died the night I met her.

So suck on that, Fear. You and I are done. And no I am not interested in ‘talking it over’. My happiness and my dreams can’t be friends with you. I don’t need you in my life. I choose awesomeness. I choose courage. I choose to fly.

I am not going to miss you. I don’t want anything to do with you. This is goodbye once and for all. Or at least that’s what I really, really want. From this day forward you are just somebody that I used to know.

Deuces!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Peter’s Pen

Dear Blank Page

It’s just you, me and the rain now. Lets play. Better late than never right? Yeah I know ‘Never late is better’. You always like to smugly remind me.

I remember when we first met. You warned me. You said I would become a slave to the ink. The blank page the plantation. The pen the master’s whip. I was hesitant. You challenged me. ‘What are you waiting for?’ you asked me. ‘Dont you realise that you are both the slave and the master. The question and the answer’. With that I picked up Peter’s pen. You were pleased. Tafadzwa was unchained.

Winter is here. Days are shorter. Nights so much longer. It’s colder. It’s wetter. The lure of the cold amber coloured nectar of the gods has been replaced for me by the roar of the hot and fierce amber coloured flames of burning firewood. You on the other hand have always been drawn more to the soothing crackling sound of fire when its only light and flickering and the light illumination of its embers is reflected magnificently in your eyes. That relaxing ambience only a fireplace can provide. Your weakness.

I remember the beginning. I was a nervous wreck and came across as a rambling idiot you were patient with me. You held my hand. It was comforting. With time my resolve strengthened and my confidence grew. You gently nurtured and gave my transient thoughts a home. You allowed me to catalogue them unencumbered by the complexities of plot, narratives or dialogue. I thrived in the idiosyncratic self indulgence of it all. I let my innocent aggressive intuitiveness guide me. There were little epiphanies here, there and everywhere. I walked the fine line between profundity and bathos. Discovering along the way that the line between self-indulgence and universality can be perilously thin at times.You let me be.

When invited my friends over – its no secrect it didnt always go smoothly. You worried they would discourage me. Your fears were almost realised when they quizzed me ‘Why do you want to write?’ I stuttered and mumbled incoherently. What I wanted to answer with was that ‘I felt like my childlike creativity, purity and honesty was being crowded by all these grown thoughts’. Writing was ‘a custody battle for my inner child.’ I didnt say all that. Defiantly I just picked up Peter’s Pen and wrote. It was my safe space. A place I could go when I needed a peaceful detachment from the rest of the world. In the process flexing my poetic licence to give the mundane its beautiful due.

What have I learned since picking up Peter’s Pen? Well I am still on that roller-coaster of discovery. What I have come to realise though is that my inner child never left. He had just been a lost boy for a while. When you invited me to play, something beautiful happened. I found my way back to Neverland. Oh Tinker Bell, look what you done.

I will be waiting by the fireplace.

Love always

The Boy Who Wouldnt Grow Up

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Letters

 

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The Love Letter

Dear Cape Town

I’m writing you a letter. That’s right a good old fashioned letter. It’s a lost art, really. Shame.

My original draft of this letter was four pages long. After careful consideration, I decided to abridge this, and cut to the chase because
what I have to say is really very simple. I love you.

When I first arrived on you shores I was lost , insecure , jobless . My flask that had once been filled with that bitter-sweet cocktail of optimism was running perilously low. Still I drank from it , conservatively. After all you were the promised land “A Mecca” for any Biotechnologist worth his salt in the Motherland. The Mad Scientist was in search of a new laboratory. It wasn’t all business though. You also had that added allure of being close to where the heart always is, home.(Well closer than I had been in the seven years prior).Luckily for me you took me in.

I remember in the beginning It seemed an all too confusing experience. With the burden if vulnerability and insecurity weighing me down I yearned for your maternal love. I was hesitant at first though because on the surface you seemed like a picky foster parent who seemed to choose her kids from a catalogue. You appeared partial to pale people who had an interest in fashion design, mojitos, garage bands and who had all went to art school. I had figured you all wrong though and before long I found myself flirting with you unashamedly ( I should probably see someone about that ).

Your Cape town are easy on the eye, your natural beauty is simply unparalleled. Your mountains whilst rugged and awe-inspiring, have a warmth and homeliness about them. Your waters( albeit very cold )are tumultuous and alive.Your flora is more varied. Your fauna more intriguing (where else can you see penguins and baboons in the
same day?). Cape Town you are visually dramatic beyond belief. I must confess throughout our early dalliances I felt so alive and energized here. A year later those feelings are still as raw and tangible.

As I grew more confident I began to lean in more closely and you held out your hand and guided me on a journey to explore your bosom. You let me indulge in that booty that Mother Nature herself blessed you. Oh those long expanses of blindingly white, icing sugar-like sand beaches , so heavenly, but I digress.

All of a sudden I was doing things like hiking up Lion’s Head, running along the beach front, surfing( epic fail) ,and cycling in Tokai Forest. I was reveling in your great outdoors .I was falling. I did not stand a chance .You , my dear Cape town are blessed with such an orgy of nature’s goodness. How could I not love you?

Now hang on , before you start to feel objectified ,and protest by unleashing the “Cape Doctor” wind on me and send me packing the same way do to the pollution and pestilence. Allow me to continue and add that to my pleasant surprise you turned out to be more than just a face . Beneath that mask of beauty lies a soul so pure , warm and inviting. A soul that manifested itself in your children. A bunch of culture vultures if I have ever seen any .The People: Capetonians are a breed like no other. They are chilled, friendly and fun. Then again when you’re sandwiched between two oceans,I guess ,you learn to go with the flow.

It is these very qualities that embody a very welcoming spirit that has made you a heaven for expatriates like myself .The expatriates I have met through you are progressive, forward-thinking, conscious,and committed to living with courage and positivity . Truth be told, it is the symbiotic relationship between your native sons and daughters and your adopted ones that make you so awesome. It is no secret that you that you still carry the scars of Apartheid hidden as they might seem behind your rainbows and sunsets.

This I believe is were the expatiate community has a significant role to play. We your adopted sons and daughters are not burdened with the weight of history, which provides us with an optimistic, current perspective. The absence of a historical lens allows us expatriates to see the reality of the present moment, not a distortion blurred with projections of the past.I simply love the expatriates I have met here in Cape Town. You seem to attract certain types of people: fearless, bold, adventure-seeking, and independent.

Its not just the expatriates that make it such great place to live.Like i said it is a symbiotic relationship and as such the locals play a huge role too. People in Cape Town readily talk to each other: in elevators, on buses, in line ups, on street corners. They offer help, opinions,jokes and smiles without waiting to be smiled at first. Whether its your waiter in a restaurant, a parking attendant, the produce guy or your next door neighbour, you will find yourself having more conversations and more laughs with strangers that you could ever imagine. Most of all, the smiles are broad and genuine

Then there is the food . Ah the food. The fast track route to my heart.Your delectable vast array of cuisines ( the mere thought of which has me salivating already). From the greasy Bunnie chow and gutsby’s to some of the best seafood around. You have it all .Testament of the cosmopolitan mix of peoples and cultures in the Cape .My favourite thing though, the Braai experience. How I have loved standing in front of an open fire, tongs in one hand, a cold fermented one in the other, and with both eyes fixated firmly on a juicy coil of sizzling borewors sausage.

There there is your sunsets .That brief period when your eyelids get heavy and you afford us a small peak into your soul. Wether its from Table mountain, Signall Hill , Table View , Camps bay ,it hits me everytime. Especially during the your warm African summers when It’s still light, sunny and hot till 8pm. Seaside Sundowners: you have perfected the art, its basically ,living the holiday, even if you have to work. How can I not love you?

As I finish writing this , its a bit late on a thursday night . I find myself sitting in my favourite cafe , my only companion a cold fermented one. Whilst begrudgingly keepin an eye on Man Utd play in the Europa league, but even that is not enough to temper the bliss I find myself in. I feel in my element. I am living good. Feeling better . But it’s time to go home and sleep now.

P.S If you are reading this , it means I finally worked up the courage to post it. So good on me.

Love

Aspiring Capetonian

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Letters

 

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