ON A DANCE DATE WITH MYSELF…

moving into dance

moving into dance

It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date with anyone including myself.  So Last night was special.  I took myself out on a night out to see a dance performance by Moving into Dance Mophatong Company in Newtown, Johannesburg. It was an auspicious event for the dance company which is celebrating its 35 year anniversary and the retirement of its founder and director Sylvia Glasser who started the company from her garage back in 1978, during Apartheids glory days. The company has since developed into one of South Africa’s premier professional full-time, contemporary dance companies, receiving numerous awards including six Standard Bank Artists of the year awards, more than any other dance company in Johannesburg.

It was  a special night for me too  since, apart from being on a date with me, I got to “meet” the  woman behind the dance company which back in 2007 tossed me lifeline through its after hours open dance classes. It was a dream come true, to learn how to dance, because though I have always loved dance and wished to dance professionally all my life, I had never had the opportunity to, except of course at parties and music venues across Johannesburg. The afternoon classes were vigorous and succeeded in convincing me that I could not dance at all since I seemed to have two left feet.  Instead of one- two- three- four, I would go five- eight- one- two.  I became so frustrated that one day I sat out of class and cried while others danced in harmony to the teacher’s metronomic voice.  I cried because, I sucked at the one thing I loved and thought I could do well.  I wanted so much to dance like the other students and follow the logical one-two-three steps but my feet would not let me.  The experience was rewarding physically even though I quit after a while due to work commitments and a broken heart – after realizing that my heart somehow misled me – in reality I cannot dance.

The Winds of…

The four-day performance titled “ The winds of..” is about change and introspection with the sole purpose of moving forward, looking beyond and  conquering all that lies across the horizon. It speaks of the natural progression that time initiates. It speaks of change and movement, of sunsets and sunrises of plateaus and climbs.   So with such a promising description you can imagine that I was more than ready to be inspired to move forward and a part of me was hoping to still be moved into dance again somehow.

Man-Longing

The opening performance was “Man-longing”, choreographed by Sunnyboy   Mandla Motau. The piece is an exploration into the dark and sinister world of human trafficking.  The five person dance performance piece uses dance and poetry to bring awareness of the dangers and  consequences of being a victim of human trafficking. “Several years ago one of my uncles disappeared. We have never been able to find him. It has been a huge loss for the family. I don’t want the audience to be comfortable; I want to create awareness around this very real and dreadful industry. People disappear without a trace in big cities, families meet dead ends all the time” says Motau. The piece is accompanied by a city soundtrack which has captured sounds of Johannesburg into a grizzly metallic sound scape.  It’s a spirited performance piece, with breathtaking choreography fusing tight balance between violence and sex. One moment it feels like someone is going to get seriously hurt the next it seems the dancers are about to engage in an act public masturbation.  I was definitely not comfortable but I was pleasantly surprised by the piece which was first showcased in September this year. I loved the story line, the theatrical performances, the strong presence of solid female dancers who beguiled me with the way they moved. And yet something was missing….

NATURALLY…

For the first time in my life I didn’t want to jump on to the stage and join the dancers. I have always felt, , believed that dance is meant to be a freeing experience.  Part of my frustration with my dance classes at MID was due in part to the fact that I had to remember movements, repeat them over and over again until my body had programmed them to each and every muscle and they happen automatically. So I become pre-occupied with the algorithms of dance that I actually ended up not dancing at all. Just following the steps. Smile. Breathe. Chin up. Stomach in.  Shoulders straight. Tighten the behind. Act natural.Posture. Don’t miss a step. Smile. Look at your audience. Focus. Don’t forget your step.  And One-two –three-ten! ahhhh Yes to be a professional dancer one needs to be fit, solid and centered.  To create those soft-flowing-seemless – movements one has to be as tough as nails. It seems so utterly contradictory but it’s true.  Dance is ultimately about being in control of yourself, in control of your body and how it moves.  It is highly disciplined art and being fit.

Letting GO…

But nowadays I find that when I watch dance performances in Johannesburg… there’s everything in the performance but dance. There’s drama, costumes, lights, music but no-one is dancing.   I remember one dance performance piece where the dancer, just sat looking at himself in the mirror throughout the entire show, talking to the audience, threatening to move into dance but never did. It was a powerful political statement to make about the art of dancing, especially as it relates to the African experience “all things being equal”.  But I still wanted to see “actual” dancing. I miss dancing. I miss watching people letting go and allowing the music to dictate where their limbs go and how they move. That is  how I have always understood dance to be in my mind.  Music is not just a backdrop to a dance piece, it is what gives dance its power, what propels the dancer forward. At least when I’m dancing it’s the music, the sound, that tells me where to go.

Dancing for me is about letting go of control.  And though I may seem often completely out of control to your my dear reader, I have a hard time letting go of control.  What my “night-club-dancing“ and dance classes have taught me over the years about dancing is you have to release all desire for control, and just allow your body to move naturally – like walking.  When you walk, you don’t analyze it, plan it , you just walk how you walk , dancing for me is just like walking. Allow the music to do the talking through your body.  I could never let go while sober. In the past it became essential to have a drink or two to ge to the point where I can relinquish control – to dance – I would drink and go out dancing, and if I suddenly had an audience I would close my eyes.  Because dancing for me has always been a form of prayer, of communicating with my maker and getting close to a place where I am whole complete, lacking nothing. In the past three years I stopped drinking to dance – so I stopped praying.  Only doing it in the privacy of my home after a shower or bath in front of the mirror or when if music pulls me up.

That said  dance is a sacred act for me yes, but there is also ample room for all kinds of dance expressions in the world. I just miss the kind that is full of love and joy. Dancing that inspires both the dancer and the audience to love… again.

Catch Winds of…. at the dance factory from  the 22 to 24 November at the Dance Factory.

*http://www.midance.co.za/

Some Pepper With That? Afrika Rea Bolela

Wesley Pepper. Pic:Jhblive.com

Wesley Pepper. Pic:Jhblive.com

Johannesburg, South Africa. The last time I met a guy at a McDonald’s establishment was in circa 2001, then I was a virgin and a journalism student in the dark really about my purpose in life.  He was my first real boyfriend and everyone in the class knew how besotted I was with him.  Perhaps it was his cold ocean blue eyes, his gait, his smile or the way his blonde hair seemed permanently peppered with dandruff, or maybe it was the fact that I seemed to think everyone wanted to be his girlfriend, whatever the reason I felt lucky to be the chosen one.   He asked me out for coffee after class, an invitation I welcomed since I couldn’t afford any of MacDonald’s offerings and additionally it would mean spending some time with him. He was really serious s and I wondered what was on his mind. “It’s not working” he said to me. “What is not working?” I asked naively.  “us” he said trying really hard not to break my heart. I was considered to be a “sweet” girl.  “What do you mean?” I asked confused. “Well will you come to my grandparent’s house? They are going away for two weeks while we’re on holiday will you come and visit me? hang out?” he asked  an  impossible question. “You know I can’t” I said trying to think of what excuse I could give my parents for sleeping over at a stranger’s place.  I couldn’t  think of one and actually I was not  yet ready to do the deed so I had to accept  that our four weeks of  stolen kisses by the bridge on my way to catch a taxi home or the stolen kisses, looks and smiles  before, during and after lectures was basically over.  “Yeah so, it’s not going to work out … please don’t cry” he said looking around as if someone could hear the sound of my tears dripping into my now cold coffee. “It’s not you it’s me” He said growing more concerned, but  it proved hard to form words  between the warm vapour  foaming behind my ears and throat. “Do you want a napkin?” he asked.  A napkin? I repeated … wondering why he would offer me a napkin in public – images of a baby in a napkin crying from some mysterious irritation flooded my mind. I looked up.  “Oh a serviette” I said taking it and smiling at the tragic comedy of it all.

These were the emotions that suddenly welled up inside me as I sat opposite artist and writer Wesley Pepper at a 24hr  McDonald’s on Gandhi square, in downtown Johannesburg.  He along with  about 40 artists formed a fine artist collective, late last year  to take full control of their own work, and he wanted to tell me all about it.  The collective must be working – the group will be exhibiting their work at Constitutional Hill on the 11 of April. “I think that’s my purpose” said Pepper who has had an 8 year career in  the  publishing industry, himself a published author with three books under his name.  In 2004 he established his own publishing company called ” Reunited Siblings” in response to a r growing demand for alternative creative outlets for  writers artists, you name it. “I never wondered what I would do with my life, I always knew that I would be in the arts and that the work I would do would be good’ he said. “Getting artists together  in a room and working on a collective creative project that’s my purpose.”

The exhibition titled: Afrika Rea Bolela  ( literal  English translation  Africa We are Talking) is the brain child of Pepper and his co-curator collaborator artist Molefi Thwala, whose work he has the utmost respect for.   “I’ve always wanted to collaborate with Molefi, I like how he works conceptually”. The theme for the exhibition is not so light-hearted  though.  It’s about that hefty document which forms the bedrock of South Africa’s constitution: The bill of rights. “My work is always political, I have to be political” he said smiling at his own genius. “We really got a good deal at the constitutional court to showcase our work” his smile now widening.

Pepper is inspired by life, people and music but street art  is what gets him going and the exhibition draws a lot of  inspiration from street  art.   “We live in a world of short attention spans, twitter, face book  etc  and I think street art is  most  effective in getting people’s attention or  whatever message you want across” He says his face suddenly lightening up.  “In a given day you are guaranteed at least that 600 people will see your work and a few might think about it, but it will touch at least one person’s life”. His statement brought to mind  quote by one of my great loves  American writer James Baldwin  when he said “You write in order to change the world…if you alter, even by a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it” I live by his words.

Pepper is surprisingly very honest about the works. “I expected  the work to be more daring, more experimental “ He said adding that he understands “Because  we get used to how we do things and get settled into our comfort zones and often artists don’t understand the dynamics of evolving “He said removing an invisible stain on the table with his thumb and index finger.  “If all the black artists would decide to things for themselves the industry would get a serious awakening, a serious wake-up call”.  “It’s very cool “ he  continued as if realizing for the first time that I was sitting in front of him “ It’s very cool to see something which was just an idea come to life, becoming real, it’s very cool and I think we’re on the right track. We just need someone with a big wallet”.

As we parted outside Macdonald’s  into our separate city boxes, yellow morning sun-rays beamed through concrete pillars, catching light and glimmering on green leaves, glass, Perspex walls, the city was alive and I was alive in it.  So you can imagine my surprise when I caught a glimpse of that sweet girl smiling back at me and found that though a little wiser, she  had not lost her innocence after all.

Afrika Rea Bolela:  A mixed media exhibition is  on at the Constitutional Court (ConHill)t, Johannesburg on the 11 of April.

Catch it if you can.

Black is Not what White is Not

Bheki Dube. Photographer.

This is  photographer Bheki Dube’s paraphrasing one of South Africa’s’ most respected writer, poet and   playwrights;  Lesego Rampolokeng in a way of explaining his work in progress  called  White Trash.  

He shows me some of his pictures  of some  poor white people  he  knows and photographs around his home town  in Troyville.  “ I want to show that white people are not superior or better, I want to document another side of  whiteness” I ask him if (he thinks) some of his friends still have this idea that white-people are intrinsically superior, he laughs again ” I hope there are not still black people who think that white people are superior and we are inferior, but if there are, I hope to show them that that’s not the case”

Bheki and I met when he (and I) was very young – he was literally a boy running up and down B-courts’ red stairs.  We often saw each, passed each other, exchanging shy greetings (children have a way of making me so shy I feel like they see through me, which is scary)  during my many visits to see my  friend at the time who was reading  film at Wits. Until I myself one day  started living there,  found a flat an moved in without a moment’s pause.  That is where he learnt his craft, where he  got hooked by  images, shooting videos with Mr M.

He grew up amongst some of Johannesburg’s “craziest”artists; some  struggling, trapped, abusive, wild, lost and successful.  A great place to experience art at its best and art at its worst.  Art was always in the making, be it in  movies, music, painting, mosaics, performance art, whatever ideas were thought up in nocturnal post exhibition, maddening  just for fun all night parties. Whether it was a dramatic fight or sweet moment spent with stray cats. He grew up amongst free thinking, creatives, writers, journalists, actors, dancers, painters architects, gallerists, curators, art enthusiasts, fans, lovers and strays and he took the best from all of us.

I look at my work as a calling, you know,  it’s something that just happened,  cuz I never thought I could be a photographer, it’s not something I ever told my mom that I want to be”  He says shrugging his well-built shoulders. We look at each as if understanding the obvious about each other for the first time. “but I guess it was bound to happen, growing up at B-Court and all” We laugh, memories. ” Are you still writing?” he asks me,  this time I’m proud to tell him, yes, yes I am.

“I don’t want to confine my work into a category because that will limit the scope of my creative interests” he tells me. My jaw is on the counter at this point, but he is not fazed by my surprised expressions  and draws me in with his charm as if to say, I’m still the Bheki you knew. “If I were to classify it, I would say my work leans strongly towards social-documentation”.  I still cannot get over how grown he is, mind-body and soul.

“Another subject that I am interested in and that keeps coming up in my work is nuns and religion”.  He tells me that he started being interested in nuns when he found out that there were at least ten living within a block from his house. “But we hardly know anything about them. They are hidden” he says, showing me a picture of  a  sister he befriended sitting austerely in her living room and then another of hers reading a magazine, she is at ease with him. “But I am not religious “he says with that disarming smile again.

“At one point I became so fascinated with nuns when I could not see any around, I found a costume  and played around with this dancing trio and took pictures. He shows me a black and white picture of a female black nun reaching as if to the sky while the  two gangster-pop  looking characters look on closely behind her.

Dube, 20,  studied photography at that famous place in Newtown  Johannesburg, The Market Photo Workshop. And Tonight he will be participating in  his first  major exhibition ( 08 Thursday ) at the Backlight:  Contemporary Photographic Exhibition at the Michael Meyersfields’  Studios in Sandton.  His work will be show-cased alongside some of the country’s  leading photographers such as  Francki Burger, Bob Cnoops, Antoine De Ras, Pieter De Ras, Harry De Zitter, Buntu Fihla, Stephen Hobbs, Greg Marinovich,  Michael Meyersfeld, Santu Mofokeng & Marcus Neustetter.

Backlight was conceived by Michael Meyer, Bob Cnoops, Marcus Neustetter and Stephen Hobbs.

Backlights’ main objectives are to offer South Africa’s emergent and establish collector base access to photographer’s not seen in the main commercial gallery circuits.

“I am pretty excited about this exhibition, because I will be exhibiting with a of photographers I have always looked up to, admired” He says walking me out of the coffee shop…

“It’ll be cool if you can come” he says and I give him a warm congratulatory hug and say goodbye.  Tears burning inside my eyes.

Meet Bheki Dube.

Vintage Cru: Bhekifa Dube

The Sweetness of Brenda Fassie’s Zola Budd

” Nothing has a stronger influence  psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life  of the parent” C  G. Jung.

Brenda Fassie: My childhood Icon

Today is the 1st day  of the 12 Week The Artist’s way   Challenge  to myself  I wrote about it earlier this week.  I started writing my morning pages two days before to avoid the dread associated with starting  something new, to limit you know, the anxiety and high expectations associated with starting something new.  This morning however I was tired and even though I woke up to my beep at five   this morning, I went back to sleep instead of writing. When I did eventually wake up at  7am, I am normally at work by this time, I debated whether I should spend time writing my morning pages, three pages of hand writing can be daunting when you don’t have time. So I decided to write them instead.  They went pretty fast and in no time I had crossed the road to hail a minibus-taxi, pointing my index finger up to the heavens signalling that I am going to Jozi. And what a surprise when I climbed into the Taxi, which was at that very moment playing late South African Pop Icon, Brenda Fassie’s – Zola Budd song!

A song which was so popular and spoke to almost every facet of South African Society at the time, then in the 1980’s Apartheid South Africa. That’s the  genius of being an Artist,  I am slowly finding out (bear with please those of you who have been down this road before) it is the ability to provide commentary, reflect on the sociopolitical concerns of the nation while making people smile, have fun and forget about their misery even for just a moment.   Brenda Fassie was gifted in this way.

Zola Budd ( now Zola Pieterse) is a former (white) South African  Olympic track and field competitor, who in less than three years broke the world record in women’s 5 thousand meters twice.  She was the fastest women in the world and  a little peculiar because she ran barefoot. In 1984, aged 17 she broke the women’s 5000 meters record with a time of 15:01.18.83.   But she  ran in Apartheid South Africa ( which was then excluded from international athletics) So  her time was excluded in the official world record. Ag shame, broken dreams.

While (White) South Africans were going on about the unfairness of the

Zola Budd The “Bare Foot Runner”

exclusion (I assume it was talk  of the Nation at the time, I was three), Black South Africans  found a way into the conversation by naming  a new fleet or range of  minibus taxi’s (public transport used mainly  by black Africans in South Africa carry 14-16 passengers)  especially in Johannesburg as Zola Budd, because they were just as fast!  Then comes little Brenda Fassie, the newest boldest, black girl making music in town, with a Hit Song, Zola Budd (taxi, runner, you decide), the Lyrics are pretty simple…

I want to be in Your Zola Budd

“Bhuti (brother) Ngiceli’ lift ( can I get a lift)

In your Zola Budd, Zola Budd, Zola budd!

I wanna be in your Zola Budd, Zola Budd, I want to be in your Zola Budd,  Zola Budd, Zola Budd!!

Two very simple lines  and a melody that still makes me want to stand up and run, dance on the spot like she did in the video , with her index finger flaying in the air. The Apartheid Government could not ban her (music/song) like they did so many more of black revolutionary  artists at the time.  Brenda’s Music was classified as “Bubble Gum” music. You know what you do with bubble gum, you first chew it , play with it, make bubbles, then spit it out when its sugary flavour is no more.  But I can still taste the  sugar in Brenda Fassie’s music today.  The song Zola Budd, which apart having a pop theme in the beginning ends with a soulful  choir like hymn with her almost crying..slowly repeating Zola Budd.. Zoooola Budd, Zola Budd!!. It echoed the  pain and aspirations of both black and white South Africans at the height  of the country’s state of  emergency, her song  spread and became popular like wildfire.  No only putting a shine on Brenda the artist our beloved star, but on the mini-bus taxis and even Zola Budd herself ( She has a song and taxi named after her).

You can imagine then how Popular Brenda Fassie must have been to little black girls like me  who growing up the literally dusty streets of  Soweto (because that’s where I’m from) and I’m sure in all the townships of this country.  We all wanted to be Brenda when we grew up, even boys; we immitated her from head to toe voice to actions. She  popularized braids (we called them singles)  with colourful  beads  ( like those worn by traditional healers sometimes) because that’s how she wore her hair.  She had bad teeth, but  nobody cared, she was more than her tiny frame, bigger greater and larger.   I used to love doing impersonations of Brenda Fassie as a child, any chance I’d get,  especially the “No No No senor – Please, Pleas  don’t do this to me”, track about  a woman being held hostage by her spanish lover.  I was  dark and awkwardly beautiful like  Brenda,  so even as a child in the process of becoming aware of myself and what made me different from other humans I could see myself in her, I identify with her. She embodied mine and South Africa’s aspirations.  She inspired me, made me believe in myself. That I am black , and that is beautiful. I think my mother took me to TV auditions once, because I believed I could be a Star, like Brenda Fassie. Maybe she did too.

So later on in her career Brenda Fassie released another hit song “Indaba ya’m i straight – ayifun’irula” [ My story is straight it doesn’t need a ruler]. It was a response to media accusations, if I am correct, about her sexuality or sexual orientation and activities, she was often rumored  to keep  multiple partners  – male and female. I think she was mostly seeing women at the time of her untimely death.

I think about that song and wonder what Mabrrr would have to say to the state of the nation today, when women are being raped and assaulted  on a daily basis, others only because they are gay – to “correct” them. Or what she would have to say, that our very own Runner and 800 meter’s record breaker, Caster Semenya, was almost stripped of her title and dreams of being an athlete  because she was accused of being a man, running as a woman.

So this  got me thinking about writing and how we document and celebrate our history,  our heritage and those people who had an impact in our lives like Brenda  Fassie.  This week marking the UNESCO World Heritage and Archive week .  I  have always wanted to be a performer, an artist , an entertainer. But since art didn’t pay,   my mother who was and still is my greatest supporter (and I)thought journalism would be best.  So now I would like to be myself, today, and use what I have now, today,my journalism education and vast experience ( Thank you mom)  to live out those childhood dreams wherever possible, so that when I do have children one day, I can allow them to explore  and accept who why are sooner, so they are more balanced and happier adults.  One of my colleagues who is celebrating 15  years as a  journalist at the public broadcaster today came to my desk this morning and said to me ” I wish I had the insight, 15 years ago, of using what I have been given to the best of my ability. I wish I had known then what I know now, that life is what you make of it now, here where you are, not somewhere in the future,  I’m glad I’m doing it now but I swear, I could have kicked myself”  – She is in her 50’s.

What are you still waiting for….

The Artist’s Way to A Room with A View

This way. To A 12 Week Artist Challenge.

This week-end I picked up, The Artist’s Way By Julia Cameron in my box of treasured-to-read- books.  It’s a  book I bought and half read in 2009.  It was recommended to me by a really good friend of mine. She loved architecture and loved Art and couldn’t quite find a balance that allowed her to do both. So for a while she painted paintings that looked like basic plans or models for re-designing spaces, and phases. Minimalist outlines, for where real life would happen.  Then she enrolled  back to University to complete a degree in Architecture. “At least finish something you know” She said in that sexy polish accent only she could manage.like.   Back at University among young pubescent students, we met for coffee – she was back pushing deadlines. I asked her  how she was doing. “It’s always a process you know” She said with a  smile  and I nodded my head, because I was  still tied to a job I wasn’t sure fulfilled me.  She went underground again and then  re-surfaced, now living at a gallery we often used to frequent for nice veggie dishes  not far from where we all used to live.  I was with her brother, one of my  good friends too. She was down with the flu, but much happier than she’d been in a long time she told me. I sat next to her by her bed side and watched as her sweat made cute tiny balls near her hairline, she really was beautiful, like a porcelain doll. Then she reached the for the Artist’s Way which lay  next to her small side table as if it was her lifeline – like a bible.  Here you should read this she said. It’s helping me, I see things very differently now, it has tasks, like going out on dates  by yourself and it’s empowering, she said in  that way I knew she was convinced, her lips curled sending light to the blue murky waters in her eyes. I looked at it skeptically. I may have squinted upside-down for good measure while trying to figure out  why she thought I needed the Artists way.  She was the Artist. I just hung out with them. This is my copy but I can lend it to you if want. No, thanks it’s fine I said after glancing at its contents. The first page speaks about God/The creator, Julia Cameron began her journey to calling herself an Artist after she stopped drinking alcohol. I didn’t want to continue. Do you want some tea? Asked my the fairest beauty. Yes, sure I replied. Wishing I could have a nice glass of red, red wine, right at that moment.

She got up to make a pot in her colourfully- eclectic kitchen.  I thought then that If I were an artists and had a place of my own I would quite like a  kitchen that  looked and felt  a little more like that , eclectic and warm and homely – an organized and colourful poetic mess ( not too much mess).  All the pictures I used to paint as a child while listening to my mother’s stories recounting how lovely it was to grow up in that house in Orlando West – Phefeni. We used to have jars of candy, biscuits, fruits, vegetables, and my mother would bake and the kitchen will be warm and fragrant with sweet vanilla fumes seeping out from the oven, while red coals glittered in the silver and porcelain coal stove… someone would be telling a lyrical story, and we would sit transfixed, while waiting impatiently for the cakes to come out of the oven. As I grew up I added my own little things to my the picture as I went along.  Flowers lots of them, plants…. some dried out some fresh… books for recipes  books to read while waiting on something, note books, yes , pens,  yes biscuits, coffee yes from different corners of the world, ground and brewed in my very own kitchen… with dollops of cinnamon.  Lemons, yes,  I would have a huge bowl of lemons, candy,  a radio in a corner with some sultry voice reading the news, or singing a nice tune like Michelle Ndengecello’s Beautiful – a vegetable stew on the stove… bread in the oven, a  nice corner couch in the large window alcove in the kitchen strewn with colourful  rusty, olive, orange and green and yellow cushions, where I would snuggle up to read, write or smooch with a lover over a chocolate flavoured glass of red wine, with sweet and tangy berries  or hot chocolate on cold wintry days….

So, What have you been up to ? Her question brings  me back to her eclectic kitchen and as I star between the wooden cracks on the floor for an answer I see my own brown kitchen cupboards which were –  Oh so uninspiring. Ah nothing, I replied feeling lost, same old same old , still at the S**C, but I’m busy applying for fellowships. I was always applying for fellowships, to somewhere, anywhere but here.

Now this week-end as I re-opened the book I closed almost three years ago. I found inside a contract I signed with myself on the 26 of August, 2009. Committing my self to a twelve week intensive course, which included twelve weeks of intensive reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artists date, and the fulfillment of each weeks tasks,  with an understanding that the course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with. I committed myself to excellent self-care, with adequate sleep, diet, exercise and pampering for the duration of the course.  Now almost three years later,  I had forgotten about this contract I signed while struggling to pull myself through quick sand and yet the one I had made the contract with had not forgotten. The giver of creativity, the source , my creator had not forgotten.

Today I am producing a play  based on my recent travels to Senegal, have sent off a first draft of a manuscript I wrote intensely for six months,without fail, while keeping a daily (nonpunishable journal, i.e Morning pages),  and writing free-lance for news publications, I am keeping a blog, while keeping a 9-5 daily job.  I stopped drinking in 2010 and this year I reduced my smoking to next to nothing, I have a fragrant vanilla chai (tea) next to me as I write this, a stainless steel coffee plunger I got as a gift from a good friend just a glance away.  Even though it’s all happening in the office, instead of my dream room with a view – It’s still a room with a view for me.   It occurs to me that I did the course without even knowing it. I’ve almost come to the point where  if someone where to ask me, do you believe? I would reply to paraphrase Jung, I don’t believe, I know. I think I’m ready for the for the 12 week challenge.

PS: The last time I saw my friend she had decided to leave  the country -South Africa – without really telling anyone including her parents. She Left a note and jetted off to where her soul would find that room with a view.  This is my of way saying Thank You – Kasia.

Love.