doing nothing can be something

after last week’s hectic schedule of  7-7, mon-fri, the only thing i wanted to do this past weekend, was nothing!  and to a large extent, that’s exactly what i did.

friday night the bf went out clubbing with a friend, while i was quite content to stay home. he works from home mostly and gets a bit stir-crazy, wanting to get out of the house, while i’m away from home for at least 12 hrs most days at  the moment, so guess where i want to be?

was woken up early by the dogs on a rainy saturday morning and went to get some accupuncture for the sciatica which has been plaguing me for a few weeks now and has severely impacted my running program. fortunately there’s a highly recommended accupuncturist just a few kilometres from my house. the only problem is that he’s merciless. jabs each needle in with no compunction and even less mercy. i found myself crying out a few times as i got jabbed. hoping it works.

back home i made us some breakfast and then on the spur of the moment, we went and hung out with a friend for most of the middle of the day. that visit reminded me of the way we used to hang out at each other’s houses when i was living in yeoville in the late 80’s. there’d be no plans, you wouldn’t go out, there were no cell-phones or internet  and what tv there was, wasn’t great – but we had each other’s couches and kitchens and open doors. we were each other’s entertainment and support, playing card games and shooting the breeze and i spent some of the happiest times of my life around my friends’ kitchen tables. ok, admittedly copious amounts of certain green stuff might have gone up in smoke during those visits, but it was the ease and effortlessness of those relationships which will stay with me always. now we make plans and we know that at the last moment we can always send an sms to cancel. makes me nostalgic for those days.

spent most of the rest of saturday working on my scripts, reading and preparing for the coming week. sunday morning we went out for our first bike ride since the 94.7 race last november, our race numbers still stuck to our helmets. i think i stopped riding both because i injured my knee during the race, but also, i’m no longer keen on driving 40 minutes so that we can ride. this time, instead, we wheeled the bikes out the gate and rode around the neighborhood. we ketp it short and  it felt good to do something physical, but it probably wasn’t the best idea with my sciatica.

sunday night i declined the party we were invited to as i was the only person working on the public holiday. i didn’t want to cut the bf’s night short simply because i had to work next morning which meant i would’ve had to drive home alone  and i didn’t want to drink and drive. and i didn’t want to be the only sober one at the party, so it  seemed like the best idea to stay put and out of trouble and be alert for work first thing in the morning. so instead of partying it up with the rest of my friends, i very responsibly stayed home and most appropriately, watched a few episodes of “house”.

the bf finally rolled into bed around 5am, just shortly before i had to roll myself out and off to work. i’m sorry i missed the party, but i’m kinda glad i chose to do nothing instead.

 

 

hipster matic

exmi, that bb slut, temporarily came to her senses and started using an iphone. ok, so she was only reviewing it, stupid woman, but while she was, she turned me onto a really cool iphoto camera app, called hipstamatic. it instantly makes any shot you take look supercool. sort of  artsy-like.  it’s like having an analogue camera right in your phone and it’s made me start playing with images again.

my friend deon's son, gerrad. i've known him since he was 3.

deon da devil. we've been friends going on 20 yrs.

cluster fuck.

yes, it was a damned good party!!! 🙂

amazing fig heart. food made with love.

chai, the spca special - operative word being special.

zee, surveying what she believes is her domain.

huge koi fish at my accountant's. they're gorgeous, though after survivor it's difficult not to think of them as food! 😉

pretty cool, don’t you think? only problem is that i’m using it in my iphone 3g which has been upgraded to ios 4 – what a disaster, my phone has slowed to a crawl. each app takes forever to open and it takes at least 15 seconds inbetween pictures. very annoying. can’t wait for the iphone 4 to finally arrive in s.a.

my precioussss!

hallowed be…

at the  traffic light the other day stands a young man with a battered cardboard sign.

“hallow friends,” read the first 2 words of his missive and the critic in me, the wanna-be spelling bee queen, the english teacher that i’m qualified to, but never will be, immediately goes, “ha! spelling mistake!”. then i’m stopped dead in my tracks. ok, so i was already stopped at the light, but you get my point.

“hallow friends”… i try out the words in my mind. i form them and feel them in my mouth and they are suddenly words which make my aura, in fact, my whole world,  expand.

according to dictionary.com, this is what hallow means

tr.v.   

  1. To make or set apart as holy.
  2. To respect or honor greatly; revere.

Related Words for : hallow

blessconsecratesanctify

so according to that, “hallow friends” would mean, “friends who are blessed and holy and who i respect and honor greatly. friends who i revere.” what a truly fantastic way to view one’s friends – because aren’t they the family we’ve chosen? the ones we’ve picked to be part of our lives?

amazing what happens when we allow our perspective to shift. one moment i saw a “spelling mistake”, next moment i recognized the profound and i had a much better day for it. so i’d like to thank that fellow for turning on a lightbulb for me at the traffic light.

and “hallow friends”…

post goa comeback

hey there, happy new year! yup, i’m back folks!

actually, i don’t know if that’s necessarily true.

physically, i’ve arrived back in johannesburg after 3 mostly blissful weeks in goa, but i think there’s almost a lifetime of thoughts and experience and change swirling round my brain – most of it inchoate, little of which has had time to congeal into words – and i’m not even sure how much of it is fit for public consumption. 

3 weeks sharing a tiny, cramped, little room with my friend crystal, sleeping on a single bed with a mattress so thin it took weeks for my hips to stop complaining. cold bucket showers with no towel, having to dry off with my face cloth and air-dry the rest, smelly indian-style squatting toilets –  an exercise in deprivation – yet, suffice to say, it was beautiful.  sweaty, melanoma-temptingly hot, gut-wrenching, with cows, soul-splitting, inspiring, with more cows, question-inducing, extreme polarities of light and dark,  a few more cows and some flies,  playful, fun,  a lot more cows, flies and mosquitoes plus  facing my demons and being met by the light. about on par with a first trip to burning man – except for the cows. and the flies and mosquitoes.  life-altering.

life altar-ing…

i’m grateful and i’m blessed… and i’m going to try very hard to remember to stay that way.

 

new year's eve sunset on arambol beach

new year's eve sunset on arambol beach

another beautiful arambol beach sunset

 

the view from our little room at the oceanic

offering digestive biscuits to the durga's tiger at magic park

view of arambol beach from the gate of the oceanic guest house

 

with crystal and new old friends, tapesh and chandra

 

feeling the flow…

this is the xmas letter i sent out this evening…

Father Christmas in Nainital, Indiahello my friends and family

i’m writing you this from an internet cafe on beach road, arambol, goa, in india where what with no newspapers and no radio or television blaring xmas jingles, no xmas decorations, no tinsel, none of the commercial western trappings that shout give me your money!, one can almost forget that it’s xmas.

i’m halfway through a 3 week stay in india where i have been caught up in the most incredible flow, where whatever i’ve needed has presented itself almost effortlessly and most timeously.

scenario: late night in anjuna on a deserted stretch of beach, 45 minutes away from arambol where we’re staying, the scooter won’t start. 5 seconds later a stranger appears, starts the bike and proceeds to push it through the sand and out onto the road for us. we realize we’re about to run out of gas. along the road another stranger upon inquiry, points us round the corner. round the corner, we get gas at, of all things, an internet cafe. don’t ask. 1/4 of the way home on our said rickety scooter whose lights light up the side of the road and very little infront of us, we stop at an intersection, not sure which way to go. suddenly 2 guys (one sudanese, one french) appear, and upon our asking the way to arambol, they proceed to escort us (and because we’re helmetless, i’m driving REALLY slowly) all the way home. one leading the way, the other behind. when we offer to buy them a drink as thanks, with typical goan hospitality, they instead feed us and offer us our first taste of the local honeybee brandy. one of them a few days later takes me to a place where i get incredible hammocks, and then when i cannot seem to locate a ticket back to mumbai for my connecting flight, takes me to a travel agent he knows and i get an impossible to get train ticket for a fraction of the price i would have had to pay for a flight.

talk about manifesting!

ok, so admittedly my friend crystal and i have been felled for the last two days by what i call “goan gut”, resulting in us having a white xmas dinner – rice and curd, lassee and ginger-lemon tea; the only things our bodies can stomach – and we’re both achy and sore from head to toe with kidneys feeling like we’ve done a few rounds with a prize-fighter, but still, it’s all worth it. we’re staying next door to a place called magic park and it really is magical. despite the flies and the mosquitoes. they have futons and pillows where one can hang out to one’s heart’s content, reading and order incredible vegetarian food like spirulina sunrise smoothies, or you can do a yoga class or mandala dance or play with the jugglers in town for the juggling convention which unfortunately only starts a few days after i leave. or you can go 400 meters down to the beach and drift for ages in the unbelievably warm water, feeling like you’re being cradled and nurtured. or hoola hoop on the beach and play with whoever stops by and buy coconut water from the woman who walks by with a basket on her head and chops it open right infront of you.

today i bumped into koren, who is someone i know from my moontribe days back in l.a. and though she has an incredibly sad story, we could laugh and cry together and find the positive and later i managed to get a massage therapist to change his plans and give my incredibly sore body some bodywork. at his house, i bumped into a woman from san francisco, who also used to go to burning man. the world grows increasingly smaller… shrinking with each amazing connection.

and so even though i was halfway through this email earlier in the evening before i lost everything to a dodgy internet connection, i decided to come back and try again. i wasn’t planning quite such a missive. all i wanted to say, was that you each, in your own way, have a very special piece of my heart and i’m glad to have you in my life, whether it’s 10 000 miles away or in my everyday and i wish you a magical holiday in whatever way you choose to celebrate it – or not.

love and blessings
sass/sandi

love your self

love yourself. 

LOVE yourself.

LOVE YOURSELF.

LOVE YOUR SELF.

yes, it’s international AIDS day, but no, i’m not necessarily advocating abstinence as an answer (though remember, if it’s not on, it’s NOT ON!).

love yourself.

those words are what i woke up with a few days ago, like an urgent message someone was whispering in my ear, a mantra burning itself indelibly into my brain. love. your. self. no external validation (even though i’ve gotten my fair share of that), no expectations, except the determination to show up for myself. unreservedly. to honor what i’m feeling with absolute acceptance and stillness and not try to run away from it.

for someone like me who so resolutely and determinedly has fought for space and freedom and independence, it’s interesting to have been given exactly what i’ve asked for. time and space to ramble around in.

 

and i find myself doing things i otherwise might not have. 

called up my friend deon on saturday and went and spent a most fabulous time hanging out at the swimming pool with friends. then my friend jacki and i organized ourselves a safe-cab (responsible gals, us!) and went to check out steve newman at house of nsako. sunday afternoon i found myself unexpectedly part of an active tantra kundalini meditation which could have been exceedingly strange if i hadn’t chosen to keep myself open to new experience. though both saturday night and the kundalini movement were reminders for me about how i can lose myself when i dance. i’m off into other realms of ecstasy if i allow it. 

one of the questions asked at the tantra talk was, “how much bliss can you stand?” 

as much as i will allow.

so i’m allowing blissful illumination. 

illume by michael brown

illume by michael brown

 

(the artwork is by a friend, michael brown – http://www.tenthousandvisions.com. i had the honor of naming this particular painting!)

taking a trip down…

sometimes i wonder about myself, you know. sometimes i really worry.

tv plus magazine flies me down to cape town for all of 48 hours, to once again be one of the judges for their high school drama competition. i fly in somewhere around midnight on friday night. i have every intention of reading scripts on the plane, but instead i sink down in my seat, pull my cap over my eyes and hopefully don’t snore for the duration of the 2 hour flight. upon landing i, surprise!, don’t wait an eternity for my bag and when i get to the counter at budget, my paperwork is all done. i give them my cell phone number and the nissan tiida is mine for 2 days.
just like that.
paul is waiting up for me and wolf gets up out of bed when i make it to claremont. we make chai tea and eat mint chocolate balls while we catch up till about 2 a.m. i marvel at what hugo, their spca pavement special, looks like now. just goes to show, one never knows what one will get when one gets one of these lucky dip dogs. originally a dark brown ball, he now has curly ginger hair and is a marvel of hard to place features. one of those adorable mutts that wins your heart in movies.
saturday late morning i head into town to check out the afro coffee cafe to see if they have any more of the fabulous colorful bags like the one i’ve worn to death. i check the website for their address, only to discover when i get there that afro coffee no longer exists. their website says they do, but they don’t. guys. time to update your website. please.
i wander back down to miriam’s kitchen, one of the best places to buy salomies. (some kind of curry filling wrapped in a roti – a south african version of a burrito). i get a chicken salomie even though i don’t eat chicken 98% of the time. when i eventually get home, wolfgang and i polish it off with some tomato jam. all gone. yummy!
before that though, i walk through the greenmarket square flea market to get to my car. it used to be my all time favorite place for all kinds of unique items, but now it’s pretty much all curios and not much more. some leather jackets catch my eye and i spend some times going through the tchatchkes on the guys’ table. i buy an antique looking pencil even though it’s not working. imagine my surprise when i get home and google the marking on the pencil.
 
S. MORDAN & CO. MAKERS
and i discover that this pencil, according to it’s markings, was made before 1850, i.e., 160 or so years ago! wow! score! probably worth way more than the hundred bucks i reluctantly parted with for it, though my intention is not resale, but personal use.
and then… and this is the part that really worries me, i proceed to clean the keys on my laptop. granted, the guys have left by now and i’m at the house all alone, and i’ve been meaning to do it for months, but please. i’m in cape town for the first time in 4 months. i should be out making the most of it, but instead i. am. cleaning. the. keys. on. my. keyboard. . . . . .
and i’m aware as i’m doing it, that this is weird. i. am. weird.
i leave an hour early for the theatre. i’ve decided to see if i can find ronald’s old flat where i stayed with him in 1981 and where wolfgang and i parted with our cherries. i drive to rosebank and find liesbeeck road. i walk through the now graffiti’d subway to get to the other side of the railway line and i’m surprised that i don’t really remember it. the elision of chunks of memory is scary…(i, unlike clinton, inhaled).  i don’t see the flat. it’s not where i think it was, so i stop to ask a family walking into their big old rambling house, whether they know a bridgebank road or bridgebank court. they point next door. i wander over there, but the blocks of flats across the road look more familiar than the building i’m looking for. it’s been renovated, but it’s not an improvement. i stand infront of it and stare, just as the occupants of a car parked infront of the building stare at me. i decide that i must look odd just standing there staring, so i move off.
i don’t know what i’m feeling.
from there i head into town, but on the way i have to pass the university of cape town,

where i spent 5 long years. on the spur of the moment i find myself on the ivy-walled campus. driving around and marvelling at how much and how little i remember after all the time i spent there. i finally head my car towards town, but when i get to the artscape complex. i am still almost half an hour early. i decide to head to beach road, mouille point, across the road from my friend ineke’s old apartment. i park my car and head out towards the ocean. i stand in the twilight and watch the waves crashing against the mostly submerged rocks where we scattered the ashes of one of my best friends in the world last november. i flew down to cape town almost every month last year saying a protracted goodbye to someone i found it impossible to part from, but finally i didn’t have a choice. i stand there. the last time i was in that same place, i had the gritty charcoal of ini’s cremains still clinging to my fingers, dusty smudges on my white pants.
i don’t know what i’m feeling.
introspective. sad? yes. i miss her crazy, wise, funny, penetrating, quirky self. i always will. i’m wondering about friendship. about the amazing people i’ve been privileged to have in my life. i think about about how though my friendships are consistent, my contact with those friends is not always so. something to change. i am getting old enough to have my best friends die. i don’t like this.
i get in the car and drive through the twilit city, the mountain a cardboard cut-out against the sky. i head to artscape where i am going to be one of the judges deciding, in essence, what direction a number of young actors’ lives will take. they are young and earnest and inexperienced and all pale in comparison to last year’s winner. i write my notes, i write down percentages. at the end of the night, we sit on the stage waiting for the results to be read out and winners announced. it is strange to see one of my high school teachers whom i used to dote on, in the audience. time contracts and expands and somehow is all the same moment. a winner is chosen. the girl who was 3rd last year, does not make top 3 this year. she walks off the stage, trying to disguise her emotions. i feel for her. around me the extremes of joy and disappointment. cameras flash. kisses, handshakes. the mask of comedy. the mask of tragedy. side by side.
i gather my masks and head back across the mountain.