Category: challenges


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On Wednesday it is my birthday.

i am turning 42 which, according to ‘The Hitchkhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Douglas Adams is the answer to the question, ‘What is the Meaning of Life?’ That’s right, i am literally going to be The Meaning of Life… years old.  Continue reading

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Since i have started speaking and writing more about issues of Race in South Africa i have had a fair amount of [mostly black] people telling me from time to time how brave i am. i don’t believe that is true. Continue reading

leaf

i had this idea for a stream of consciousness kind of Spoken Word vibe but written down with no edits and so what i am going to do in a moment is ask Facebook for a word to get me started – i will pick the third word suggested, whatever it is, and then come back here, write down that word as the heading and then flow a written piece with whatever comes into my mind and try and catch the rhythm of a spoken word piece and publish whatever comes out. No pauses. No edits. You’ll have to take me at my word on that, but here goes with Writken Word, first attempt:

CHEESE

Consider this if you will, as you open up the refrigerator of your soul and realise that there right at the back somewhere far in the distance, in places that you cannot even see any more there is the smell of something slowly and softly making its way towards you. As you peer more deeply in you are suddenly hit in the face by a giant wave of pungent odour that knocks you down, leaving you bruised and breathless as you lie there pondering what just happened on the floor. Could that strong smell be emanating from me you ask yourself but before you can reply there is the sound of a reverberation that begins within and threatens to force out the very expansions of every tendency within you to want to make sense of what just happened. You decide to wait, knowing that waiting brings with it the anticipation of the opportunity to try and make some kind of sense, find some meaning stop the dreaming that this must be. This can’t be real but yet you start to see the congeal that is setting in around the edges of your mind and you start to know, this is real. This is happening, this is now. And you are powerless to stop it or even to contain and so you let out a refrain with every process in your brain scrambling to undo that which has already been done so long ago and cannot be stopped now. You stop. And wait. And think. And listen. And suddenly the smallest smile appears at the edge of your mouth as you realise that this is not a powerless state of being, this is simply the past and it is vast and it stretches seemingly infinitely out, but as you turn around you see that the space in front of you is empty and ready and waiting for you to act, to live, to breathe, to create, to do. And so so leaving what is past and what may have been a disaster and what is trying to drag you back with its stenchy smell you set out anew on a new journey which is undiscovered country waiting to be a road less walked upon but by you. This is not a story that has already been written and is waiting to be rewritten. This is a new opportunity to paint to climb to fly to breathe. To be. And so you will be. And you will NOT be held back by what has already been not matter how badly it smells to you. No, you are going to seek out new smells, create new fragrances, be new perfumes to those you encounter from here on out. You will not forget the past, but you will NOT be contained by it.

[Word supplied by Jamie Rogers Gibson randomly on Facebook]

To fully appreciate it, i think it might help to speak out the words or at least mouth them silently to yourself as everyone in your office is starting to stare…

[For the next one i did titled COWBELL,  click here]

 

stepup

In the previous post i spoke about the process of crafting this presentation, titled ‘Lost in Translation’ that i did last night for the Outliers ‘Step Up’ evening, and here is the talk itself:

INTRO

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my default talk setting is long [51 minute wedding speech anyone?] and so short is a challenge. But i practised my talk and timed it twice on the day and both times came in at around 9 minutes, which gave me a whole minute to play with. Schweet.

[Side Note: While my wife, tbV, knew the overall vibe of what my talk was about and how it was going to go, i decided to keep this intro part secret from her so that she would have a surprise, and possibly some extra stress for a moment] Continue reading

stepup

My friend Heidi asked me a few weeks ago if i would be one of the presenters at an event that her organisation ‘Outliers’ was putting on called Step Up. The idea was 9 presenters each given the space for a 10 minute talk using 10 powerpoint slides with a broad theme of Education.

Not having too much – in the official sense – to do with Education since i got my Primary School Teacher’s diploma at a no-longer-existing Teacher’s Training College [about 100 years ago] i felt a little out of my depth. Seeing a name like Craig Stewart [someone i really respect and admire in the field of social justice, who helps lead the Warehouse] on the speaker’s bill made it a little more so. Continue reading

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It is the start of a brand new week.

With it come opportunities to reflect on what has been, to consider what might be, to wipe slates clean and start again, to get freshly excited for old relationships and new causes, to lift up your head once more and believe in everything that is possible, to seek forgiveness where relationships might be frayed, to entertain the ‘What If?’ of the seemingly impossible and to consider how each one of us might be a part of changing our world for the better. Both on the smallest scale as well as in a family, provincial, national and perhaps even global way.

So i wanted to share a prayer with you that i was reminded of again this last week.

When tbV and i were in Philly, we got to spend a few days at a Benedictine monastery connected to a university and our short time hearing some of how they operate with such a much bigger life picture [600 year plans as opposed to 60 year plans, 60 years of seeing transition happen as opposed to viewing it in one year increments] affected and hopefully infected some of how we see and do life. This is a Benedictine prayer and may each line move you to your very core…

My prayer for you this week:

Prayer of Discomfort

“May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.”

How about you print this out or make it a screensaver or something so that you can start each day this week by reading and praying and meaning those words, and let’s see just how incredible a week we can all have together.?

Can you go without meat for one week?

Yesterday i posed the question on Facebook just to see what people’s response would be and it was interesting to see what people had to say [a number of people claiming they could but their spouse? No way. And one person who suggested he might be able to give up vegetables for a week].

But that’s really all this is. Check it out:

Continue reading

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