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bread

It was just another praying through of the Lord’s prayer…

You know the deal, ‘Our Father, who are in heaven, blah blah blah blah

blah blah blah blah, you know, find the rhythm

blah blah blah lips moving to recreate words long worn into you in some ancient school assembly probably

blah blah blah’ WAIT, WHAT?

There is was, middle of the prayer, Matthew 6, verse 11:

11 Give us today our daily bread.

That’s surely a typo, right? Everyone knows it goes, ‘Give me today MY daily bread.’

But it wasn’t…

IT. WAS. ME!

i would so much like to claim the credit for this one, but after 41 years of reciting the Lord’s Prayer, as it has come to be known, the very one that Jesus taught His disciples to share with them some incredible ingredients that make up a good prayer, it took someone else to point it out to me.

The phrase is a call for “OUR daily bread.”

How had i never seen that before?

The words of Martin Luther King Jnr. resonate in my ears, “No one is free until we are all free.”

YOUR NEED BEFORE MY WANT

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the second book of The Torah, in Exodus 16 there is a beautiful story of God supplying the Israelites with a sort of bread from heaven as they wandered through the desert. They were given strict instructions to collect just what they needed, and no more. Paul echoes a reminder to this in his second letter to the Corinthians in chapter 8:

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

While, in this passage, the writer is speaking specifically about believers sharing with believers, the reference to the community of Israel throws open a bigger picture. That when God provides, there should be enough for everyone. As long as people continue to adhere to the principle of gathering what you need. Not too much or too little.

Or to put it a different way, the call for us to be crying out for the provision of ‘Our Daily Bread’.

In Africa, we have the idea of Ubuntu – i am a person through people, or i am what i am because of who we are.

Ubuntu is the potential for being human, to value the good of the community above self interest.

We love to help other people. i believe that has been wired into our humanity. We see someone in need and something in us instantly wants to reach out and make a difference. However, as we grow up on a planet with a very loud and clear ‘Me first’ personology that is taught and modelled to us almost everywhere we look, i wonder where that particular strand of D.N.A. was reprogrammed?

Could it be that our desire to help others and see justice and equality for all has been curtailed, and even overwhelmed sometimes, by our longing for person comfort and luxury?

i will help you, as long as it does not affect my own personal comfort and well-being.

finding-nemo-seagull-mine (1)

Mine is more important than yours.

Give me this day MY daily bread. And then if there is leftovers, may you have yours as well.

Although that’s not how the prayer goes, is it?

What needs to change in me, for me, from me, the moment the light comes on and i realise that the words are, and have always been,

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

[For some practical conversations about how change can happen in South Africa, click here]

good intentions

i see you

on the

street corner

cold and confused

and want to

reach out

a hand

to lift you up

until

that moment

i realise

that to properly do so

i might need

to take

a step down

[For more of my shorter poems, click here]

If ever a post was going to get me into trouble, this is probably it.

i’m not talking directly about things that i hate or completely judge [although, perhaps some of them] but by and large and firstly things i simply do not understand. Things my brain can’t get around. Things that don’t make sense to me. And maybe they make sense to you and that’s okay – maybe some of them shouldn’t and possibly some of them should make more sense to me – that’s what the comments section is for – healthy friendly engagement and why i am completely ridiculously wrong and how could i say that? But before we rush to that, let’s take a look at 10 Things I Don’t Understand, realising there may be more.

huh

So amongst the many things i do not understand, exist these 10:

# i don’t understand pineapple on pizza. i thought i’d ease you into this list and this is not a moral dilemma in any way, shape or form but simply a preference. Raw, juicy pineapple? Amazing. Cooked pineapple? Not too far behind raiSINs on the ‘Food i really hate’ list [although to be fair i could probably stomach a cooked piece of pineapple if i was trying to be polite, whereas with raiSINs… bleargh!]. i think this may have come from or been enhanced by my gran forcing us to eat stewed fruit as a punishment dessert when we were growing up. It wasn’t. That was truly awful [stewed peaches and plums and whatever else] and we often hid it in the skins of the gem squash [excellent combo meal!] Moving on…

# i don’t understand litter. All litter, really, but especially smoker’s throwing cigarette butts out of the car wiindow. i don’t know what goes through the mind of a smoker when they do this, but over the years i have developed a hypothesis that i fully believe in my mind to be true, and it’s that they don’t categorise cigarette butts as litter. i honestly believe there are smokers out there who feel pretty strongly about litter and would never drop a paper anywhere and would shout at someone else who dropped something in public. But then, into the car, smoke a cigarette and suddenly i’m done and cigarette out of the window. Totally different thing. That’s what i think is in the minds of some smokers anyways.

And it’s not all smokers [although, to be honest, i don’t understand smokers either – have you not seen those videos?] but it is something i see a lot while i am driving and after being-on-cellphone-while-driving is the thing most likely to inspire me towards road rage. Yes that is me behind you holding down my hooter [horn for the Americanese] and flashing my lights. i was SO PROUD of my friend Megan the time i heard she got out of her car and picked up the cigarette butt and handed it back to the person although i do understand they are not the best of Facebook friends or anything…

So cigarette butts is the chief offender, but really all litter. i really don’t understand it. Especially when i see you drop a paper within a meter of a rubbish bin. [Veins in my head want to pop!] i so much appreciate the people who [often at ridiculously early or late times] work at cleaning our roads and making our cities and suburbs look beautiful. It changes the psyche of the people living there, when the place is relatively clean and tidy. i experienced this in our time in Philly. People who got up every day in a neighbourhood a lot of people didn’t care for, and spent time in the street with their broom and dustpan, cleaning the sidewalk, building dignity and pride in the place they were in.

STOP THROWING YOUR LITTER ON THE FLOOR. Seriously, put it in your pocket if you must until the next time you are near a bin which will be soon. This is one of the ones i am probably a little more judgy about.

# i don’t understand people who don’t know how to use four way stops [and tbV would add Traffic Circles with a cry of “Come on, people!” or something]. Maybe more weirdly, i don’t understand why i do know how to use a four way stop/traffic circle cos some of that ‘secret driving knowledge’ stuff that doesn’t go into the tests [i feel like four way stops are in the tests though, right? And circles?] gets passed on by the parents/teachers who do know it and doesn’t get passed on by those who don’t. Although i think today everyone has to get a certain amount of official driving lessons which we didn’t have to, so maybe over time that will help solve it. But i doubt it because people do not seem to know how to do four way stops and traffic circles. And it makes us have to shout at you in our car where you can’t hear us at all, so please stoppit!

join

#  i don’t understand how Adam Sandler continues to make movies that people watch. This probably falls into the personal preference section as well so half of you may agree and half may not and i can’t imagine anyone getting angry at this one, except maybe Adam Sandler. But i used to really love his stuff like ‘The Wedding Singer’ and ‘Happy Gilmour’ but then somewhere along the line he just got bad, and seemed to get badder and his last few movies [Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, Blended] i could barely watch the trailers they were so painful. i feel like the same happened with Will Ferrell where i got to the point where i have to actively remind myself when a new movie comes out with him, ‘Don’t watch it!’ because with him at least the trailers tend to be good but the movies are awful. i think it has happened with a lot of Hollywood Funny Guys [which is why maybe it’s been such a great time for the women to have better opportunities like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig who i think is incredible and others – can’t wait for Female Ghostbusters]. Maybe the writing has just gotten a lot worse or maybe there is a serious case of having lost the funny. Anyone you used to think was funny but has not made a good movie for a while?

# i don’t understand the culture of the joke insult. i really don’t dig it [judgy one, beware] at weddings when people make ‘jokes’ slash digs at marriage as an attempt to be funny. And because it happens so often at weddings it has seemingly become a cultural thing and so everyone does it because everyone else has done it and we laugh because everyone else laughs. On a day when we are celebrating two people we love and the public commitment they are making to each other, into a union like marriage which has so much attacking it [in the media and beyond] that it really needs all the help it can get. But beyond that, i was at a function the other night where at least three people doing speeches took a dig at the person they were celebrating or thanking. And yes, i get it, you think it’s a joke and it’s funny and it’s the culturally done thing so again everyone is laughing [not me, i’m not laughing, you just made me sad, stoppit!]. But if we are truly celebrating this person or thankful for them, how about we keep to positive words and vibes. That whole idea that every joke contains a truth is very real and often there is a bit of a barb or a dig hidden [sometimes quite deeply and sometimes you have to be in on the bigger picture] in the joke and for me it just takes something away from the moment.

# Which segways quite nicely into this one: i do not understand the make-your-best-friend-look-and-feel-like-a-tit bachelor party vibe. i know this will feel to some like a style or preference one and to some extent you may be right, but this is one i feel quite strongly about, especially in some areas and as i have only experienced this as a guy, i’m not sure whether it applies to women in their versions of this party [so maybe someone could comment and let me know]. i have heard absolute horror stories [usually involving paintball] of bachelor parties the night before the wedding where the groom was so bruised and in pain that it can only have detracted from the wedding and honeymoon. i heard a story of a guy who was drunk and put on a train and missed his wedding and while that sounds like an urban myth or an upcoming Adam Sandler/Will Ferrell collaboration [note to self: Don’t watch that movie!] i have heard other true stories that are as vile. A guy who was convinced his arm was broken and had it in a cast for the wedding and his whole honeymoon before realising it was ‘just a joke’. Although not to future grooms – maybe not getting drunk and hanging around with people you can’t trust is a helpful tip.

But even scaling it way back [to maybe where it gets down to preference?] to dressing up the guy embarrassingly [usually in women’s clothing, if much clothing at all] and making him embarrass himself in front of complete strangers [this is where it crosses the line for me when it moves to asking for girls’s phone numbers or kissing strangers or more] and fortunately because of my crowd of friends i have never been at a party where they thought a stripper was great preparation for marriage.

For my bachelor’s a bunch of my mates and i went away for the weekend and played board games and drove quad bikes and watched some big rugby match and shared stories and spoke life into me. It was phenomenal. For a recent wedding i was a groomsman for [in the traditional kilt-wearing way], we played mashie golf and lawn bowls and had a meal together and sang bad kareoke and took some moments to share positive stories and speak life into him and it was phenomenal.

The idea of your best mates spending time with you in a way that lifts you up and makes you feel good and celebrates you and your future wife? That i get. Anything less than that feels, well, less than that. But i imagine you have some thoughts..?

join2

# i don’t understand the difference between ‘Adopted Children’ and ‘Real Children’. Wow, this one has to get me intro trouble. But this is not one i feel judgy about [scroll down to sports stars salaries for that], i just generally don’t get it. With such a need [in South Africa at least, but i think many other places] for children without parents to be adopted, it would seem to me that everyone wanting a child could choose for five to ten years to stop having babies and move towards giving one a home. While i’m not overtly saying that having your own biological child is selfish, i do strongly think that the word ‘selfless’ jumps to mind when it comes to adopting. i love how adopting children seems to be a lot more prevalent these days or maybe it’s just that i know a lot more people who are doing it.

There just seems to be such a strong difference between ‘I want to parent a child’ and ‘I want to parent my child’ although any of my adoptive parent friends i imagine will tell you that they are parenting their child [even the ones that don’t resemble their parents even in skin colour]. i loved how Jesus at one point redefines family. He is told His family are waiting for Him outside and He looks around and motions to His friends and He says, “These are my family – the people around me who do the will of God.” And i believe that every time someone adopts a child they are redefining family, because there new family is nothing less than any other family. And it’s a powerful exciting thing.

Maybe i can’t fully understand because i don’t particularly want children [that should be the next point] but i think i understand enough. it seems to be a traumatic thing when a couple who are wanting a baby are not physically able to have one, but at the same time, how exciting it must be for a child without a family to discover that their is a family wanting them to be a part of it?

# i don’t understand why it is so important to you that i must want to have children. This is a really interesting one, because i really just don’t get it. tbV and i are both not particularly interested in having children. And when we tell people this, the general response is to try and convince us why we should be wanting to have children. Or arrogantly [yes, you!] suggesting to us, with a wink or knowing look in the eye, that it will change. Some people [many it seems] want to have children and some people don’t. There are probably a hundred reasons i could state, some of which would help you understand, some which might just make you angry and some which are probably pure selfishness or survival. Us not wanting to have children is a perfectly normal thing. You being a dick about it, is not. So stop it. Do i try to convince you to melt Top Deck in the microwave or on your car dashboard and eat it with a teaspoon? You really should, by the way. It’s amazing.

# i don’t understand how South Africa has a homeless problem at the same time as it has 1047 Golf courses [according to Golflink.com] – is it just possible that this rich white people sport [i am assuming the stats will back me up on this one] which i myself have enjoyed playing [in Mashie form] is a luxury that needs to go [in the face of water shortages and no room for people to live]

George Carlin does a pretty great [although expletive-filled] piece on the solution to homelessness which you can watch over here.

join3

# Here we go: i do not understand the exhorbitant fees some sports players get paid. Again, read the heading people, these are not the Top Ten Things I Judge In Life. But any time i mention this one people seem to go a little crazy face. Especially my Christian friends, for some reason [almost as if they didn’t read Jesus’ words on the matter… you know, ‘Sell everything and give it to the poor’ and before you point out to me [like an arrogant me would have done a year or two ago] that this is Jesus talking to one person [the rich young ruler] and not providing general teaching for everyone, i was suitably bummed when someone pointed out to me that actually He says it another time, in Luke 12:

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Whoops, it’s plural there and He is talking to the disciples. Hm. What would Ronaldo Do? Actually that doesn’t matter. It’s What Will Brett Do that i need to be concerned about]

Others like to point out it is actors and politicians and business execs and why do i always pick on the sport people as if finding someone else doing it wrong means that the first person is not doing it wrong. i probably also believe that all those people [and more] and being paid way more than is morally defendable in a world where the majority of people are trying to survive on under two dollars a day i think it is.

i don’t think i need to defend my thinking on this – as others have often given me the impression i have to do – what i am declaring here is i don’t understand this, i don’t get it, i don’t think i ever will. Here, you have a million dollars for kicking a ball and buy yourself a luxury mansion and a sports car while a million people die in Africa that the wells that money could have provided water for remain unbuilt. i. do. not. understand. how. that. feels. okay. to. you. Oh well, capitalism.

That’s probably enough for now. What about you? If you had to compile a list like this, what would be the top, or maybe the top three things you would have there? Any of these resonate with you? Any totally make you angry or judgy [of me] or sad? Have your say in the comments…

[Or, if you would like to see other lists of a more humorous nature, click here]

So one of my new favourite virtual [for now] friends, Dante, whose incredible Micropoetry can be found over at Original Dante, challenged me to a duel [well kinda, cos he already pulled his trigger in his own fight] which i had already kinda done in someone’s comment section, but there is no verifiable proof, so i decided to take him up on it…

OD is the reason i got interested in, and brave enough to try, Micropoetry and even though i still suspect my Micropoems are not short enough, they are WAAAY shorter than my regular poems [and getting there] so hopefully there is hope [ha ha, yes that!]. so how could i resist? And he already has a way too ridiculously nice nickname for me which also helps me to believe…

Step Away From The ‘E’

And the Rules to this No-Letter-That-Precedes-F-Or-Follow-D challenge are these:

The rules:

  1. Write a whole paragraph.
  2. Without any word containing the letter “e”.
  3. By reading this you are already signed up.
  4. Challenge at least five bloggers to do the challenge.

You should totally jump across the virtualness of space and go and check out OD’s submission, which was flawless.

But in the m antim , h r  is min :

Staring at cracks on a part of my wall I had not paid much mind to until this occasion, I thought about how much intoxication it might bring to a tiny ant, struggling to carry a biscuit crumb across its cliff-like contours. What quantity of obstruction would it vanquish or would this straightforward [from my outlook] provocation snap its will in two? In an instant though, I was shown that my lack of faith in my microscopic companion was without foundation, as it [I could not confirm if this was a boy or girl at this point] took aim and simply slid down a portion of flaking paint that I had hardly known was an option. As I was busy watching all this, my mug of Chai had grown significantly cold.

i would love to see the following people give it a try, just because i know they will totally own the challenge:

Megan Furniss

Dave Luis

Catherine Jenkin

Nick Frost

Valerie Anderson aka tbV

And she is probably way too busy for this nonsense but i would love to read the piece Jamie The Very Worst Missionary comes up with, and since she missed my book launch recently, i’m sure that this would be about fair, right?

Apologies If you’ve already been nominated before, otherwise If you haven’t, I hope you accept. Looking forward to reading your posts!

idiots

some would

call them

fellow drivers

sharing the same road

but you

would offer them

no such generous

reprieve

[For more of my Micro little poems, click here]

racist

it’s not

so much

that you

think

you’re better than

‘those people’

that causes my

blood to boil

as much as

it is that

you use

the words

‘those people’

[For more attempts at Micropoetry, click here]

i would like to introduce you to Erik [with a K]

Sometimes when i am bored or feeling extremely creative, i like to disappear so that my alter ego, Brad Fish, can take centre stage – among the most popular things that Brad Fish was ever good for was a series of Dangerous Things You Can Least Expect videos lovingly known as DTYCLE where he warned us about all kinds of things we might have never known we needed warning about such as paper, camping and of course the more obvious dangers inherent in too much violins in the world.

In more recent times though, Brad Fish has not been around as much, but in his place has stepped another man, of more European persuasion, and who has a taste for some of the finer things in life, such as poetry, and particularly reading it [or parts of it] really loudly in his delightfully foreign accent.

That man was Erik [with a K] and here are some of the poems he has done so far:

Lonely Cloud by William Wordsworth

Do Not Go Gentle by Dylan Thomas

Sea Fever by John Masefield

Timothy Winters by Charles Causley

Given the opportunity, what poem would you ask Erik [with a K] to recite for you?

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