Tag Archive: brettfish


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All good things come to an end. Well, that’s not really true, but some of them sometimes have to change their address [like me and tbV for example- anyone know of a two to three bedroom place to rent in Cape Town in a somewhat diverse neighbourhood for not bank-killing amounts?]

But something i have been wanting to do for a LONG time and have eventually got round to doing is moving from a blog to a website to hopefully be able to do a whole bunch more stuff. And so from today, Irresistibly Fish will no longer hang out here but has moved to Brettfish.co.za and we very much hope that you will join it.

i am hoping the move and change of location will also give space and opportunity for the blog and site to be even better than it’s ever been so tell your friends and come along and sign up for blog updates and check it out and let me know what you think.

For all of you who have spent days, weeks and even years hanging out on here, commenting, challenging, sharing, celebrating and confounding, the hugest of THANK YOUS but i hope you will continue this adventure with us…

[For a look at the new Brettfish website and blog, click here]

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On Point

“I didn’t do it,” she said, as she pointed at someone else’s  parent’s parents.

“I didn’t do it, “he said, “and I have NEVER used that word.”

“We didn’t do it,” they loudly declared, as they counted out the coins to pay the lady who was busy raising their children.

 

“I didn’t do it,” she said as she gestured towards her black boyfriend who she had decided

to name ‘Justice’ because it was such a strong, regal sounding name, and rolled so easily

off the tongue.

 

“I didn’t do it,” he said as he spoke sadly of his inability to find work,

and how a system of structured “reverse racism” was now working viciously against him,

stopping him from B.E.E.ing able to find any employment at all.

 

“We didn’t do it”, they chorused as they hung another banner together,

calling for an “Off with his head” sentence for the president who couldn’t pronounce all

of  the numbers in the language of their choosing.

 

“I didn’t do it,” she said as she quickly looked away from the scene happening in front of her in the restaurant and crossed over to the other side of the street.

“I didn’t do it,” he said as he quickly logged off of his social media account because it was getting a little uncomfortable now that she had been caught saying that thing.

“We didn’t do it,” they whispered as they grabbed their last bag off the conveyor belt at the airport and set out to begin their new sparkly lives.

 

Then one day, without warning, they all suddenly ran out of fingers to point and as they stood in front of the mirror, they watched as a thin trickle of blood slowly dripped out of their left nostril and ran quickly down their face, settling in a tiny little growing puddle on the floor.

Turning the Tide

one white hand

calling to another

to tear itself away

from the clenched fist

it has become

accustomed to

to step away

and towards

the sea of black faces

looking on

exhibiting so much

welcoming

grace

forgiveness

patience

but at the edges

one can start to see

the restlessness

is beginning to show

[For other poetry i have written this year, click here]

yesterday

Well here we are, at the start of another week.

In one sense, it’s just another day in another week in another month in another year and if we think like that, chances are we are going to meander on in the same old way we have been and nothing too significant is likely to happen.

But if we stop for a second and approach this week as a whole new thing and today as a brand new day, then it creates opportunities. And highlights potential.

For me [as a somewhat disorganised, easily distracted, Improv-embracing kind of guy] i find that spending a few minutes planning the week before it happens really helps to focus me on things i want to see done, deadlines i must remember to meet and opportunities for greatness or significance to plot. If i don’t plan even just for a little bit i find that Friday happens upon me too quickly and i have missed out on a week that could have been so much more.

clingtoamistake

So what is one thing [you have been putting off?] that you want to achieve by the end of this week? Write it down. i have a whiteboard in my Man Cave office which makes it easier for me to have things-to-do staring in my face all week. Before it used to be a piece of paper on the floor or a hand-written note at the side of my bed.

Who is one person who you can encourage? Take a minute to think of someone in [or at the edges of] your life who might be in need of a bit of a boost. Not the person that everyone would choose, but someone who really needs it. The power of a phone call, or a coffee date, or a hand-written note or even a text message is SO HUGE. Decide now at least one person that you are going to give a lift to this week and then go through with it.

Enlarge your circles

One thing i want to encourage you to do is to seek diversity. Have a conversation with someone outside of the regular people you hang with. Ask them to share a part of their story. Choose to read a book written by a person from a different background, country or language than those you normally read. Rent a movie with subtitles. Choose at least one moment this week to stretch yourself and invite something new into your life. You might not like it and that’s okay – choose something different next week. Try cooking a dish you’ve never cooked before.

This week is yours to embrace. Or you can simply zombie-walk through it like every other week. The choices you make in this moment are going to help define what could be a super incredible life-transforming above-average week. The kind i love to live.

And if you decide to give any of these things a chance, please come and tell me about them in the comments. I’d love to hear how your week was shifted. Have a super amazing one.

Oh and lastly, don’t be sad…

coversad

Nature scene

“I wish I had the balls to do that, I thought, as I enviously watched the juggler.” [Brett Andy]

SAYINGS

My favourite saying guy in the world is a guy called Jack Handey… if you don’t know who he is, then you probably have not hung out with me long enough. Continue reading

They say you can’t really be friends with someone you’ve only met on the internetweb. i say pot-ah-to. Trevor Ruddock Black [or Trev, to keep things, you know, moving along] is one of a number of those people. He has guest posted on my blog and allowed me to do the same on his. The thing i like most about Trevor’s blog aka Swart Donkey, is that he seeks out stories and posts of good and positive and learning and growth. It is a very positive place to hang out.

trev

So this week,combining the brevity of 100 words with the Improv nature of TheatreSports we decided to try a new form of mutual guest post: 5 posts each – someone starts. You get roughly 100 words on each round. You go with the rules of Improv and go with the flow, attempting to build on what the person before has said, rather than shooting it down. Here goes:

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Trev: 

I have never met someone who has changed their view mid conversation. Slowly, I am recognising the power of listening and gaps. Of making points and dots rather than threads. Dots can attach where they resonate. Threads tend to be too personal and have too many bits that scratch or irritate. I have also had my view altered so drastically that I now approach things with a lot more humility knowing that in order to change minds, your mind needs to be open to change. In order to grow community, we need to connect dots together.

Brett: 

Different people process in different ways. My chief means tends to be a delayed reaction. Kind of ‘No… No… No… Oh!’ Probably hindered by the fact that I typically don’t take very long to respond to something I read or hear. Often requiring me to return later, tail somewhat between my legs with a statement of ‘You know, actually, come to think of it…’ Which is good in that I do to to do that, but bad in that a stronger focus on listening deeper, earlier, might save a whole lot of in between trouble and unnecessary push back?

Trev:

Perhaps there is not enough space for conversation. Everyone is very busy, and so when we chat, our intention is to extract information or give information quickly, i.e. not to ‘take very long’.We don’t kuier. When you kuier, you are very relaxed and so people can tell you their story without you feeling the need to respond automatically. You can listen, breathe, perhaps take another sip or two. Dunk your rusk. Ponder.  A challenge I face is my ‘unnecessary pushback’ often comes through body language. Even if I hold my tongue and listen, my disagreement is written in my posture, eyebrows and comfort level.

Brett:

This is the very reason for the Deep Diver Conversation Dinners tbV [my wife] and I have been doing. Inviting a group of people, who may not all feel the same, and preferably don’t, on a particular topic, to sit and break bread with one another. And have a four to five hour conversation [without phones – they go in the phone basket – so distraction-free] and the invite to really kuier and, I would add, wrestle.  Face to face with food tends to slow things down, and help you focus on the whole person’s response, and attitude, and hopefully words too. Where have you found this kuiering to be most successful?

Trev:

I haven’t tried the group discussion thing yet, but am keen. I have a bias toward books. It lets me have a visceral emotional reaction to barbs in people’s speech without them knowing. I recognise that much of our softer communication is carried in body language and physical interaction (which is why emails are often hand grenades) but books tend to be very considered. I’m trying to read more by a wider variety of thinkers. For personal interactions, I am trying to shift from debate to listening. To understand people’s stories for what they are, not for how they affect my story.

Brett:

One of my biggest shifts in recent years is diversifying the people I choose to be informed by, much like you. So refusing to only read white, male, Christian authors [which was probably my natural disposition before]. I seek out black writers, and women, and people of different faiths and experience journeys, as they are more likely to have something to teach me than those who say what I already believe, and think, and think I know. I love you last point on hearing stories for what they are, and not for how they affect your story.

Trev:

I grew up in the Church and the circle of people I exchanged ideas with changed quite significantly over time. Because of disagreements, people ended up parting ways. I have actively been trying to re-engage. I like the idea of a ‘Bull Quota’ similar to the suspension of disbelief we use in movies. If the movie is great, a few inconsistencies add flavour rather than causing us to leave the cinema. We all have some crazy ideas. As long as they don’t get in the way, a poker face can be handy. With sufficient in common, perhaps it is easier to fix disagreements that do matter?

Brett:

I LOVE that idea Trevor. Saw two people challenged on Facebook today, and both immediately walked away. I would love to see us embrace the ‘uncomfortable’ as well as the ‘not what I think/feel’, and not fell pressure to change our mind. But be open to trying to see the different perspective that presents. I also saw a long and quite in-your-face argument/conversation between two women of different races result in one apologising, and changing their position. It is not frequent enough, but it does happen. That give me hope to continue engaging in hard conversations.

Trev:

Spot on,  but they can’t always be hard conversations. You have to ‘play enough Ping Pong’. Meaning, you can’t always be on the attack. You have to make space for open time, fun time and silly time. You seldom change your mind to agree with someone you don’t have some sort of relationship with. There is no incentive for uncomfortable conversations with someone you feel you have no connection with. Walls are cheaper than bridges. We don’t change our mind mid conversation. But if we want the conversation to continue, we seem to prioritise each other over our divisive beliefs. That’s what gives me hope.

Brett: 

I think for the most part, I agree with you in terms of the majority of people. But sometimes you get the odd exception who really just are wanting to learn and will engage in the uncomfortable conversation despite the lack of relationship. But for the most part building genuine relationships is key. Because space for grace, and honest listening, makes such a difference when things get uncomfortable, and awkward, as they likely will. You need people who will commit to push through, and be around for the long haul.

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What about you? If given 100 words to respond and add to this conversation, what would you say? Let us know in the comments. 

No, that’s not a mistake. This is a follow up post to the ‘All’s Well That Starts Well’ post from Friday, where i spoke about a secret comedy show preview that was happening sometime [Friday night] and gave a bit of a taste of what it was about.

So basically this beard:

mj

And this completely lack of a sense of hairstyle [at the moment – i’m in limbo]:

me

Gathered together with three other guys names Graeme, Andrew and JP and put on a Quiz Show called ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ for a group of our friends and loved ones in the hope that we could gauge the kind of response it would get, see what areas needed to be strengthened or tossed out or added to and whether or not the general consensus was whether people would actually pay money to watch this as a real live proper theatre show sometime [At least until DSTV commissions us].

And it was great.

It could have been better and will be better. Things like exploding [read ‘kicked over’] lamps before the show and exploding [read ‘slightly backed into not by me’] street electricals after the show won’t happen in a real theatrical space. Also not being in a real theatrical space also is extremely unlikely not to happen in a real theatrical space.

And it was our first time and so we were just getting a feel and giving a taste of what it would look like.

While any comedian [except maybe the ones who don’t have to beg their friends to come watch their shows] will probably always say, “There could have been more laughs”, there were still a crazy whole lot of laughs and consensus at the after party at my place was that people enjoyed it a lot, there is something there, it was a lot funnier than i thought it would be and “Nice hummus” although at least one of those points was possibly not about the show.

So we will meet and discuss and hopefully get some feedback and hopefully tighten some things and be more careful around lamps and driving home afterwards, but ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ started well in my opinion and i am pretty sure we will be back for more…

Don’t not keep watching this space.

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