Of the paranormal and the supernatural

Most people, when told of a supernatural experience, react with some kind of derogatory remark or quasi-scientific explanation.

As I was busy writing this, my cage birds screeched and I ran to see what was wrong. A hawk was by their window…trying to come into the house. I have never seen a hawk in my garden before. I walk a lot and have seen many kinds of birds of prey around, including king fishers, fish eagles, owls, – but never #hawks anywhere close to the house. Reading up on it I came across the following. Birds are very important indicators of after death experience. Please watch this Life after Death talk by a Hospice worker Cheryl Deines. https://youtu.be/uLbJtoczlGs.

Just think about this for a minute : If there is no #life after death what is the use of living?

hawkPicture from Wikipedia

hawks

Text from spiritanimal.info

I took that as a sign.

I have an entity in the house I live in. In the beginning he was quite harmless and just watched me, alerted me to his presence in small ways, usually just the intense feeling of being watched, woken up by that threatening heavy presence, unexplained noises, things falling. I am not the scared type so just lived my life as usual, especially as my beloved cats who were still alive then, never seemed to be bothered by him. Later he (I am convinced that the entity is male even though I have never seen a physical apparition of him) started to wake me by pressing down on me while I was sleeping, it felt like a huge heavy weight lay down on top of and around me. This house is a converted stable so I lightly assumed that it must be the spirit of a horse who died here. After he growled and hissed at me on separate occasions I became worried. I saw a glowing, almost electrical light hovering above me one night, it was beautiful but left me feeling weird. On separate occasions after my cats passed away – whilst he was around I would feel small areas of weight on or next to me after being alerted by the heavy presence and I am convinced that at those times my cats were laying by me, protecting me in their spirit forms. They always slept with me and had their favourite positions of comfort – Mischa by my head, Pooks and Lily behind my back and by my tummy. These are the places I felt the weight. It was extremely comforting.

I have recently had a lot of grief and sadness in this house where I have lived for three and a half years, as I have lost all three of my cats here to disease, and my three tortoises to human interference. One of my birds flew away. My elderly bird is not doing very well either. Then my Father passed over two months ago. It has been a dark, dark time for me personally, and adding to that was the fact that our region the Western Cape, has experienced the worst drought in history, huge fires engulfing towns and burning down thousands and thousands of square kilometres of vegetation. The death and destruction and fear and suffering of countless souls (hundreds of animals burned to death) hang over us every day. I have stopped reading reports online (I don’t own a TV) as I could not handle it anymore. I cried from morning to night, daily. For weeks. I smelled smoke which I detest as it signifies destruction –  all day and night long. The forest died around us. Huge trees succumbed. I lived in fear of burning to death on a daily basis.

Negative spirits can feed off the grief, loneliness and fear and become stronger. I was broken. I am working on changing that, and after a year of mourning for my cats, very recently adopted a stray cat for company. I am flooding the house with love. The rain has started coming in slowly, we still need a whole lot more but there is life again, nature shows willingness to regenerate here and there. But so many are gone forever.

MesanithaMesanitha ♥

After the entity roughly pushed/hit me in my back (one night about a month or so ago) the blow coming from the side of my bed, I became fearful and started to sage smudge the house. I even slept with my .45 under my pillow for a while. (Don’t know of anyone who ever successfully shot at an apparition!) It was the first time he got blatantly physical with me and I was afraid of it escalating. It helped, together with a certain phrase I repeated when he bothered me again (once only). I have hung some brass bells over the doorway to my room and they ring every time I walk through. I burn incense and keep protective crystals close to me. In retrospect, I am now sorry that I never asked him what the problem was, why he was mad at me and whether he wanted me to help him in some way as he has not shown up since. I will do that if he comes by again. I promise not to pull the bed covers over my face and wait for him to leave which is a natural reaction I guess.

My daughter recently visited me (before I started the cleansing and other measures) and said that the bad ‘vibe’ in the house was almost overwhelming. She experienced her jewellery box flying off her table and landing on the floor. She is open minded and has experienced the paranormal before. In a small one bedroom apartment which she called home for about six months, she experienced footsteps around her bed (wooden floor), being woken up at a specific time every night by a malicious presence and loud inexplicable noises in her small living space. She sage cleansed and placed crystals but moved out as soon as she could. That is sometimes the best thing to do.

A very good friend of mine has a black shadow #entity in her (very old) home, who must be someone who lived there before and he is threatening enough that she chooses not to sleep there at present. He has shown himself to a few of her guests as well who vowed never to return. He apparently leans over you when you are sleeping and tries to throttle you. That is scary, even for those not easily scared. My friend eventually asked him kindly and lovingly to leave as love is a powerful force. Nobody is brave enough though to go and spend the night to find out whether it worked!

Spirits usually visit at night as your life energies are at their lowest and this is usually when they can manifest or do things, not because it is dark – as most people believe.

I have seen countless orbs, moving around us, had presences in different houses, my car, my room, my bed, my bathroom… they are not confined to any specific area. Or time. Most of my experiences happened after sundown though, but not all. I have met with spirits both benign and malicious. I have never seeked out any of them. The entity who was in my car quite a few years ago, I found out later must have been a cyclist killed on that specific stretch of road. He was so real in my car that I repeatedly looked around to see if someone stowed away in the back seat. I had goosebumps all over and my hair stood up on my arms and neck.

Now, I must add that I strongly believe in #reincarnation. But before a soul can reincarnate you do have a certain time after death in the spiritual realm, from a few days to many years, according to the way you lived your life and the lessons you have learnt/still have to learn – or have unfinished ‘business’. If you were the victim of an unnatural or violent death you may stick around in the spirit realm until those who caused your death  here on earth are brought to justice. If you were an exemplary good, kind and ‘perfect’ human being, a genuinely good person, you may live forever in the highest enlightened realm and never have to return to this earthly one as you have learnt all your karmic lessons. But nasty, bad, cruel people may return time and again to miserable lives until they have learnt the lessons the universe wishes them to learn. That, my friends, is Karma.

Religious persons may call that higher realm of enlightenment heaven, but I have never met any religious person who will go there straightaway. They all have so much to learn about life. Not even – or maybe only – Mother Teresa will go there even though she was led astray by the Catholic Religion.

All coincidence or imagination…some will say. ‘Just a trick of the light’, they say about unexplainable things captured on untouched video or photo. They (especially religious nuts) just blatantly refuse to open their minds enough to let in the possibility that things we can’t explain, do happen. Well, I am not one of those nuts luckily and yes, I believe that spirits (good and bad) communicate with us, alien visitors do come and check out life on this planet and that there is life after death. Are you possibly one of those arrogants who believe that in the huge solar system and beyond – us living earthly beings are the only ones alive? Really? Why then the whole galaxies still and maybe forever unexplored?

Open your mind.

Take a look at this picture, what do you see?

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Just a normal picture taken in a bathroom? Look again.

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I will enlarge the mirror portion for you. That is the face of my father. These photos of him clearly show the resemblance to his facial features. oupa facecropmanifoupa crop2

He appeared to me this way on the day after his passing. I was lying in the bath, my happy place when I feel sad or unwell. Crying most probably. Burning my candles and incense.

I always have my tablet with me in the bath as I read whilst soaking my aches away. This specific night however I was listening to guided meditation (coping with grief) by Jason Stephenson. Suddenly my towel – on a rail kitty corner to the bath – slowly started unrolling from the rail and slid to the floor as in slow motion. As if someone was carefully pulling it down. All windows were closed and I live alone. Now, as I have the resident entity in the house, I thought it an extraordinary event because in addition to that, the candles also flickered at that time.  I hung back the towel, I snapped some photos around the bathroom with my tablet. Most photos show nothing significant but the one above blew me away. In previous photos taken in the exact same place at exact same angle you can see the mirror just normal, then the face taking shape. He looks sad to me and I believe that he came to make amends. We did not speak for a while before his passing. I told him that I forgave him and was sorry for my part in it. Except for the orb (also with a face in) which appeared later that night in almost the same position on the mirror, I have not seen him since. Orbs are manifestations of spirit energy, much more frequently seen than full bodily or facial manifestations. Spirits are not all strong and have to learn to manifest. That is why only certain ones will ‘come through’ in seances.

orbbigorb 2

This next very large #orb I observed in my garden, right above the grave of the owner’s beloved pet, Jasper the Labrador a few days after he passed away. I add it here as it was most probably the biggest orb I have ever observed. I believe that it may have been the spirit of Jasper, but it may have been the resident entity. There is no way for me to know.

jasper orbjasper

If you don’t agree or think I am crazy, please read up on it. Don’t just surf the internet, read studies by people like Dr Ian Stevenson, Dr Brian Weiss etc. If a young child shows signs of recognising things, places or people he/she has not had the opportunity to be aware of, ask questions. Don’t just disregard it or worse belittle it. There exists an amazing amount of proof of reincarnation and for that matter of all of the above supernatural/paranormal phenomena, but unfortunately there are hoaxes perpetrated by idiots with too much time (and Photoshop) on their hands who can blur the lines enough to create disbelief in doubtful people.

Raised in a very religious and conservative household, (religion I feel being the biggest mass hoax of all time) these kind of things were believed to be ‘evil’ and not to be dabbled with. But yet, my Dad told us stories of a ‘ghost’ in their attic on the farm who pulled chains across the floor, about a manifestation of a person (soldier) at the end of the corridor in their old house…so real to them as it happened many times. Because until it happens to you personally, you can wish it away, ignore it, belittle it. No matter what your religious education says or how many people say that you are deluded. You WILL become a believer after experiencing the paranormal.

My personal experience with the #supernatural started as soon as I opened myself up to the possibility. Supernatural things may have happened to me before the age of 18 which I have forgotten, not recognised as such or was forced to ignore, but it was during my first year of university and friendship with an enlightened girl called Lynette, that my tightly closed eyes were opened. Being a senior she had her own room in res and invited a couple of us newbies over one evening. She lit some candles, laid out a big rectangular mirror, covered it with a thin layer of baby powder, wrote the letters of the alphabet on it (the poor student’s Ouija board), turned an empty water glass over on the side and told us to sit in a circle around it. I can’t remember what she asked, how she asked but can after thirty five years clearly remember my fear as the glass started moving and I upped and ran out of that room as fast as my legs could carry me. I have never touched Ouija boards or dabbled in any way with the conjuring of spirits since. I believe that you can unwillingly unleash or invite in stronger spirits than what you can handle.

I feel that because I am open minded I have had the chance and opportunity to experience many #paranormal occurrences. Prophetic dreams, visions of things to happen and other premonitions included. I would love to delve into my repressed memories of my previous lives but unfortunately that is only advisable with the assistance of a very reliable and trustworthy hypnotist. None of which are available to me at present.

So the bottom line is this. If you have an unwanted entity or entities in your home or elsewhere in your life, be kind but firm and strong in dealing with them. Ask them politely to leave, in speaking – yes talk to them, ask how you can help them get to the light or use one of many ‘friendly’ ways to get them to leave. Crystals, meditation, incense, vibrations, bells and smudging. Do not anger them, do not open up any possibility of inviting more/worse in by doing seances or playing with Ouija boards. That is best left to the professionals.

If you have friendly spirits you don’t mind sharing your space with, see it as a privilege as they may just help you become a better person by ‘forcing’ you to be harmonious, loving, kind and gentle in your living space. Remember, what you do, even think, can manifest in reality. So think and feel positive and loving even if it is really hard at certain times, or when you are on your own.  Treat others kindly, especially those who can’t defend themselves. All of it contributes towards your #Karmic debt.

Like Lisa Nichols says, ‘The way you love and think about yourself shows others how to love and think of you.’ Even those not of this world/existence anymore. Create a bubble of love around yourself for protection.

Love and light

Inia

 

Memories of my father

A tribute to my father

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It’s been a week now. A week since my father passed over to another dimension. A week of extreme grief and tears enough to fill a small dam. A week of memories, good and bad. A week of regrets and if only’s. The first week without the knowledge that my father was not that far away and would most probably have come to help me had I asked.

He has always been there for me one way or another throughout the past fifty-three years. For the past twenty or so we spent every Sunday and special day together – my parents, my daughter and me. We lived in other towns for a few years but for most of it lived quite close together, within visiting distance. They came to retire in the same coastal town where I worked a year after I relocated. They have always wanted to retire in the area but I think my siblings blamed me for being there first and thus ending up living closer to them, having more of their time. They even lived with me for a while until they bought their own house.

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The problem was, during the past few years I did not feel free to ask for my father’s help anymore. Time, circumstance and other bad influences (siblings again) created a divide between us which we were both too proud to cross. I was definitely not the preferred child and was told that I was of lesser importance to them. Yes, actually told that by my mother, that the happiness of her other children came first. That was the day I realised that I have been living in denial. I thought a parent’s love was unconditional. Apparently it is not.

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My parents were married for 57 years and celebrated the anniversary a week before my father passed. I admire them for staying together for that long. BUT they used their union to gang up on me though, me having nobody in my corner to have my back. They looked down on me for being a loner. For being different. For not fitting into their perfect world. Even though I helped them with their church functions and community things I was not good enough. Because I did not believe in their god anymore. I was a shame, a single mother. Had my husband died I would have been accepted with open arms but he didn’t. He divorced me instead. So according to their church rules I was persona non grata.

I loved my father but was never a ‘daddy’s girl‘ being the middle child between an older girl and younger boy – just a stepping stone in the quest for the required son – I suspect.

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I doubted my mother’s love from an early age, ever since I overheard a conversation about me, but strangely enough not my father’s, until a few years ago. Being born with defects did not help much I guess. I was flawed. But I always loved my father and mother and looked up to them. I did get quite a few traits from my father, hardheadedness being one. Tenacity, not giving up. Inventing things for your specific purpose being another. Getting all teary eyed because of beautiful things or too many happy emotions, another. He loved his dog Whitney who was a gift from me and was so sad when she died that he did not want another pet.

We shared a love of books, especially those by Clive Cussler and Wilbur Smith. Music – except for opera! With his feelings so close to the surface, strangely enough he was never one to say I love you to my face or show affection. He rather did stuff for me, fixed stuff, gave stuff, helped with stuff to show his love. That changed when he met my daughter though, but more about that later.

My father and me in 1981.                                 My father and my daughter a few years ago.                                          See the difference in body language

meo3      izo4

We disagreed vehemently on many things, politics, animal rights, vegetarianism, religion, language of education. How I lived my life. That did not change the fact that I loved my father but I think it changed the way he perceived me. I think he loved me less as I became my own person. Less than he would have if I were more typical, conservative, religious, married and Afrikaner-like as his other children turned out. He saw that as lovable. Not the person inside me. He said once ‘where did we go wrong with you?’

I always slyly disarmed his mouse traps until he found me out and hid them better. I made him a bird feeder once for the wild birds at his home and he took it apart. He believed that only certain birds should be fed. His favourite robins and wagtails who greeted him and called for him to feed them. Not the rabble, the finches and doves and other seed eaters. He was quite adamant about it.

Once when he was sick in bed I made him a very involved invention for a book to rest on so he would be able to read his beloved Clive Cusslers in bed. He dismantled that as soon as he got better. That’s how I knew he was better.

I went to huge trouble and embarrassment to get a T-shirt signed by the national rugby team in 1999 (I absolutely hate rugby but he was a fan and they visited our town) and framed it. This is me with one of the Springbok National players I begged for a signature, I didn’t even know who he was.

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Next thing I knew, he gave it away to my brother’s kids. I was furious because I did it for my father. Not for these kids who had no respect for animals like their own father. Cruel little monsters who caused the loss of my beloved guinea fowl twins.  Who were racist, who hunted and killed innocent animals for fun and heckled animals on the way to slaughter. Who I am ashamed to be related to. It was such a slap in the face.

 

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My Dad was there for me though when I got married, chaperoned me on the road trip when I moved a few thousand kilometers away, even wrote a story about everything that happened to us on the disastrous trip, was supportive when I had my precious child and was an amazing grandfather to her for twenty years. He obviously had more time now that he was retired. My parents had a B&B in the town where I lived and incorporated my young daughter in their lives while I was at work. I really appreciated that. The only time he complained was when he had to assist with potty training, he did not feel comfortable with that. But he was great with her. Together with my mother, he shared all her special milestones which bonded them.

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When we needed assistance of all kinds in all the weird and wonderful places we got to live, he was there. Put doors up where there were none etc. I always thought that he saw me as a child again after I got divorced, he thought that he needed to direct me, and sometimes that rankled. As a mature single mother with a good job I managed many people and projects at work but in my personal life, well I was seen as insufficient. ‘Look at what a mess you have made’ was the message I got. ‘You don’t have a husband so you need no privacy’ was my worst.

‘You need instructions in everything plus in raising your daughter’… but that is where I put my foot down. I raised my child the way I always wanted to be raised, with lots of freedom and a shitload of love. Away from the confines of extreme discipline, religion and conservatism. I gave her all the attention and assistance she wanted with school projects, activities and interests. I love my animals, and she grew up with cats in her bed, dogs in the house and birds in the lounge from birth, not locked in an outside room for the night while she sleeps alone like I had to as a child. She is so compassionate as a result.

Message to all parents : she has no allergies thanks to that! – whereas I am allergic to everything. Just shows.

I tell her that I love her every single day, show my love every which way I can. I never want her to doubt that like I have.

Growing up I could never understand why people actually had children, well more than one anyway. It seemed such unnecessary work and caused so many small (- to big admittedly) daily problems. From the expenditure for clothing and food and multiple child visits and holidays which overwhelmed the poor hosts, to sibling rivalry (very bad) to varied transport issues for various educational and other activities to medical issues. Yes, and also to deciding who gets love and who gets to feel left out.

hjkuy From left : favourite, eldest, me. Ps. I hate wearing primary colours.

Life would have been so much better for my parents and for me had they stopped at one child. Not me, I’m not that arrogant, my older sibling of course. I should never have been born really. Or given away at birth to somebody who wanted a child, a daughter. Only one. But I guess then I would never have known or loved my father.

oa3.jpgHe did activities with my daughter, gave her attention and she always helped him with his technological issues.

Growing up, one of our family friends had a daughter my age. She was an only child. Oh how I longed to be her. You could see that her parents adored her, gave her everything she wanted. Same income as our family, but fewer people living off that income so they seemed rich by comparison. She received all their affection, all their attention, the same from her grandparents on both sides. What an honour. I was so jealous. She was a child who grew up secure in the knowledge that her parents wanted her. They did not have another and another child just to see if they could do better. She was made to feel special. She did not have to fight for anything or fear that she was loved less than another. The most important was that they both had TIME for her. Time to spend with her alone, talk about her hopes fears and dreams. Undivided attention. She was not spoilt in a bad way, she just never felt unloved or unwanted, ever.

I think that is the best thing you could ever do for your child. To give it security, love, a place to belong whatever happens. Parental love should be unconditional.

Home is where the heart is, and it does not matter if the place changes regularly. My daughter believes that wherever I am, that is home. Not a place where we once lived. We moved around so much during her lifetime, about sixteen times in twenty years. While I was pregnant with her I had to move twice due to the nature of the seasonality of accommodation in the holiday town where I worked. I will never forget carrying boxes, falling over things, being pregnant and in pain and so alone. I had my animals with me but no human support. My father could not do it for me but helped me when he could though. I will always be grateful for that. It meant so much to me.

I never wanted children, I had other plans for my life. After I got divorced I wanted to make something of myself, by myself with no hindrances. Then at age thirty-three, recently divorced and well on my way to a great future, I got pregnant by mistake. Yes, it’s actually possible. It can and does happen. Birth control fails. When you least expect it. Hot blooded and in the prime of your life, these things happen. I had a hard choice to make. I had many health issues and did not think the pregnancy would go the whole term anyway.  Because I had a good job and medical benefits I decided to go for it, give it a try but I instructed the doctor that if it turned out to be a boy, to take it away for adoption. Immediately. I did not feel up to raising a boy child on my own. Due to the huge fibroids sharing space with my unborn child we could not determine the gender before.

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So as the stars would have it, after a pregnancy from hell, my beautiful daughter was cut out of me at the earliest opportunity. I begged to be released from my suffering. I am thankful to this day for her being in the wrong position and being in distress because they performed a ceasarean and I did not have to suffer the humiliation of childbirth on my own.

That was the day though, an autumn day in 1997, that my whole life changed course. Of necessity as she was now my first responsibility. Gone was my social life, gone was my career – being single breadwinner and single mother changes your employability. No husband or partner by my side, no father for her. It changes everything, even your social standing. My boss at the time shouted at me for being so irresponsible and for having the audacity to become pregnant while unmarried and in his employ as a senior manager. People in the small town whispered behind my back, taunted and degraded me. It did not help that my boyfriend discarded me. Invitations to social events ceased. Everything changed.

When I went back to work after a meagre six weeks of learning how to be a mother, my parents said that they would look after her when I was at work until she could attend a day school, but they absolutely refused to look after her for any social events. I was trapped. I could not afford a nanny and had no other choice. I also breastfed which made long hours away from her extremely difficult. I became single forever.

My daughter, now 20, knows very well that she is loved and adored and treasured beyond anything in my life, her happiness comes first. But she also knows the price of having a child. She does not want it for herself. If you are not a princess in a castle with nannies and tutors and maids and chauffeurs and a husband to provide for you, your life ceases to be your own. That is of course if you care for the child, if you want the best for it. If not, well you are not fit to be a parent anyway. You can’t expect to have children just because you can and carry on like nothing happened…or you actually could- if you are a man. That is the way society works unfortunately. The man walks away and lives his life and the woman is left with being a mother.

On the plus side though, from being a blue baby with skew feet and a cord wrapped around her neck, my daughter turned into the most loving, gentle, kind, amazing, clever, beautiful girl and now woman.

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She became like a tonic for my father. If he was down or feeling bad, she lifted him right up with a smile and a hug. He smiled when she was around, he was happy. He found it really hard to show affection to me the way he was able to do for her. With me he was harsher, a bit colder. A bit less happy to see me. Much, much more critical. It was like ‘oh hello sweetie, how are you?’ hug-hug-kiss-kiss for my daughter when we visited and like an aside to me ‘oh hi’. Almost as he was saying ‘are you also here?’ His father was the same apparently and he came from a large family, five children. I guess it must be tiring to be affectionate with so many people. My daughter is one of five grandchildren and got his full attention when the others were not around which I was extremely grateful for. He filled a void in her life left by her absent father.

The only problem was that my parents wanted her for themselves. They actually tried really hard to get me to go to some strange far away country to work…and leave my child with them. Made me feel terrible for not being able to provide for her when my career bombed. That made me think…made me wonder about their feelings towards me. I felt like the unwanted child again. Good enough to create this beautiful being but not good enough to raise her. Well, I proved them wrong. With very little left of our material possessions we made it work, and now my daughter appreciates everything others take for granted. There is some good which came from our hardship.

Yet another reason for my no children or if you must, only one child vision. So many happy and secure children can become happy and secure adults if they have all the love from their parent/s. Maybe the world will start settling down then. Nobody will have to fight for love, fight to be noticed, suffer from inferiority complexes or even fight for food as there will be far fewer people to share resources with in the world. Then we may just make it as humanity. I disagree with Stephen Hawking, we don’t need to colonize any more planets. We need to decolonize this one. Starting close to home. By stopping this astonishing need to breed. Make fewer people but better ones. Concentrate on quality not quantity. Do your future kid a favour. Be an attentive and loving parent. Leave a legacy of love not heartache. Or maybe just don’t have any children.

I loved you Dad, unconditionally. I will always miss you. So long and thanks for the good memories.

Inia

Of Karma

A few weeks back I wrote an open letter to humanity. Something not accepted by the religious nuts out there. They cannot seem to actually fathom that they may be on the wrong path believing in all their various little cruel gods. Believing that they are all the chosen ones. Exclusively. Rather than striving to be kind, compassionate people. They are under the misconception that if they just keep on doing what they are doing, disregarding common sense, they will live forever in the clouds – in houses of gold. Or at least not burn in the 9 circles of Dante’s hell.

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I believe that all 9 circles are reserved for hypocritical ‘believers’.

CIMG0296 letter2 What my criticisers don’t understand, is that I don’t just mouth off about things I have no experience of. I write from the heart, always. I write about the hurt I have suffered, the personal pain as well as more importantly the pain I see and feel in the world around me on a daily basis. The painfully thin, starving animals I see next to the roads, kept exposed without shelter from the burning sun, the cold nights. Unfed, abused and left to die by people who call themselves farmers, who hold prayer meetings for rain but neglect and kill animals in their care daily. Plus of course those people who greedily consume those same animals without a second thought.

Yet they believe that they are special. That they have the right to do so. They call their ‘religions’ real, but yet they continue to destroy the creation of those they ‘believe’ are their ‘gods’. They feel no shame in causing death and destruction.

A person previously seen as a friend, told me about how he was profoundly saddened by the horrible death of his young child and could almost not bear to go on and look after his other children. (Another thing about ‘religious’ people, they seem to breed and breed with no regard for over populating the earth, over utilising the natural resources.) When I asked him why he did not hate his god who let such things happen, he told me that it was all he had to hold onto. His religion. As if that was going to do him any good? Making excuses for a cruel god? He could have rather put his energies into loving his remaining children all that much more, being a good person and helping others. But rather he became a self centred ‘holier than thou’ bible basher. Turned all his attention to that which caused him pain. Masochistic.

Sad. Maybe you should all individually rethink your places in this world. Move away from the mob mentality, from hiding behind your religion. Face the world from a point of view that whatever you do to those around you will come back to haunt you. Now or in your next life. Karma will get you.

Inia

Of weeping…and maybe a little hope

On this day, the 23 rd anniversary of the first democratic elections held in South Africa during which Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Madiba) was elected president, I would like to share with you some of my journey during that time and the lesser known South African people/events who had an effect on me and the way I see things.

I have to start off with my idol though, Madiba. Not one of the lesser known, he is famous. His autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, had an indelible effect on me and the book is one of my most treasured possessions.

In 1998 I fell in love with a man who closely resembled Madiba in looks and in outlook on life, but sadly things did not work out for us. His name will remain private although he changed my life forever.

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Four of the lesser known people I want to mention today are a black man and three white men, who were all artists, only one is still alive. The black man, Enoch Sontonga, wrote the original National Anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika in 1897 – a deeply moving song which to me signifies the New South Africa which followed Apartheid.

The first white man, Dan Heymann, wrote the song Weeping almost a century later, including a few lines of instrumental from Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika while it was banned in South Africa – during the mid eighties as a particularly moving Anti Apartheid song written from the point of view of a white guy forced into the government’s war. This song to me is very relevant today with the ever present international wars and threats of nuclear war.

enoch sontongadan heyman

Information on Enoch Sontonga from site http://zar.co.za/sontonga.htm

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFW7845XO3g – listen to it here.

The humble and obscure life of Enoch Sontonga is an antithesis of the dreams he inspired in generations of Africans through his famous composition “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”. Details of his short life are hard to come by. He was born in Uitenhage (Eastern Cape), in about 1873. Trained as a teacher at the Lovedale Institution, he was sent to a Methodist Mission school in Nancefield, near Johannesburg. He married Diana Mgqibisa, the daughter of a prominent minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and had one son.

A choirmaster and photographer, he wrote the first verse and chorus of “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” when he was 24 (1897), one of many songs he wrote for his pupils. Later the same year, he composed the music. The song is a prayer for God’s blessing on the land and all its people. Sontonga’s choir sang the song around Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal, and other choirs followed them. It was first sung in public in 1899 at the ordination of Rev Boweni, a Shangaan Methodist Minister.

Most of Sontonga’s songs were sad, witnessing the suffering of African people in Johannesburg, but they were so popular that after his death choirs used to borrow them from his wife. According to sources, she eventually sold the rights to the song for a mere sixpence. She died in 1929.

Sontonga wrote his songs down in an exercise book, which was lent out to other choirmasters and eventually became the property of a family member, Boxing Granny. She never missed a boxing match in Soweto, hence the nickname. She died at about the time Sontonga’s grave was declared a heritage site in 1996, but the book was never found.

Solomon Plaatje, one of South Africa’s greatest writers and a founding member of the ANC, was the first to have the song recorded, accompanied by Sylvia Colenso on the piano. This was on 16 October 1923, in London. In 1925 the ANC adopted the song as the closing anthem for their meetings. In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were added by Samuel Mqhayi, a poet. The song was published in a local newspaper in the same year, and was included in the Presbyterian Xhosa hymn book “Ingwade Yama-culo Ase-rabe” in 1929. A Sesotho version was published in 1942 by Moses Mphahlele.

Enoch Sontonga MemorialThe Rev J L Dube’s Ohlange Zulu Choir popularised “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” at concerts in Johannesburg, and it became a popular church hymn that was also adopted as the anthem at political meetings. For decades Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was regarded as the national anthem of South Africa by the oppressed and it was always sung as an act of defiance against the apartheid regime. There are no standard versions or translations of “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” so the words vary from place to place and from occasion to occasion. Generally the first stanza is sung in Xhosa or Zulu, followed by the Sesotho version. The song spread beyond the borders of South Africa and has been translated and adapted into a number of other languages. It is still the national anthem of Tanzania and Zambia and has also been sung in Zimbabwe and Namibia for many years.

A proclamation issued by the State President on 20 April 1994 stipulated that both “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” and “Die Stem” (the Call of South Africa), written by Afrikaans poet CJ Langenhoven in 1918, would be the national anthems of South Africa. In 1996 a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was released as the new National Anthem.

Information on Dan Heymann from site http://www.weeping.info/index.html.

Weeping had its debut in South Africa in 1987, as a protest song about the oppressive white government. The writer of of Weeping, Dan Heymann, was an unwilling white soldier, drafted into the Army. Weeping began as an instrumental piece, expressing his unhappines at being drafted by the regime, and later he wrote words to Weeping when the government declared a State of Emergency and imposed a ban on media-coverage of the situation in South Africa.

The first recording of Weeping was by Bright Blue, the South African band in which Dan Heymann played keyboards. That version of Weeping included a brief instrumental reference to “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”, the anthem of the African National Congress, which was banned by the government at the time; However, the official censors didn’t act, and the radio DJ’s had a field-day with the song, so Weeping spent two weeks at number one on the government radio-station.

Many covers were done of this song but the original is still the most profound.

WEEPING
Written by Dan Heymann
(Copyright Bright Blue)
______________________________

I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
Behind his house, a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon he could never face
He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns, to keep it tame
Then standing back, he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain

It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping

And then one day the neighbors came
They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
They stood around outside the wall
But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
“My friends,” he said, “We’ve reached our goal
The threat is under firm control
As long as peace and order reign
I’ll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain”

Dan Heymann was a founder-member of the South African band, Bright Blue, during 1983, playing keyboards and writing songs in the band until 1990.

Hailing from Cape Town, Dan Heymann was born in 1960, and took classical piano lessons at school, until the age of about 14.
During that time, Dan Heymann never mastered the art of reading music fluently, preferring to figure pieces out by ear, which naturally was an obstacle in Dan Heymann’s classical-music progress!
However, after ending his classical lessons, Dan Heymann did a lot of listening to rock-‘n-roll music, and occasionally jammed with schoolmates, two of whom would later work with Dan Heymann as members of Bright Blue.
At that time, Dan Heymann played an old electric organ, handed down from a cousin.

Following high school, Dan Heymann studied engineering at the University of Cape Town, where his continued interest in music led him to keep playing the piano.
For his 21st birthday, he used the money he’d saved to buy himself a Wurlitzer electric piano, which enabled him to make some vacation-money playing background-music in restaurants,
and that led to a few gigs with a hastily-assembled jazz band, after being heard by guitarist Tom Fox, who was also to become a founder-member of Bright Blue!

The influence of traditional South African music was hard to resist, and the solo improvisations of Dan Heymann soon took on some local flavor.
In mid-1983, his final year on campus, Dan Heymann was invited by those former high-school-mates (the brothers Ian and Peter Cohen) to lend his musical style to founding a band,
where Dan Heymann first met singer-songwriter Robin Levetan, who fronted the band, and was re-united with Tom Fox, his former crony from the short-lived jazz band.

After a busy first year with the band, Dan Heymann found his musical career on hold, when he was drafted into the Army of the oppressive Apartheid regime.
However, Dan Heymann was able to continue developing his musical ideas, using any pianos that were available on army bases, and that’s where Dan Heymann wrote the music of “Weeping”.
At that time, Dan Heymann intended only to capture his anti-army feelings in a melancholy instrumental piece;
But many months later, the declaration of a State of Emergency by the white regime gave Dan Heymann the idea for the lyrics of “Weeping”.

In 1992 Dan Heymann moved to New York City, where he now lives, and continues to write.

The second white man was Johannes Kerkorrel or his real name, Ralph Rabie, who wrote some of the most exquisite music about South Africa. Disenchanted with the political situation in South Africa, he was also seen as ‘subversive’. It is unfortunate that most of his music was recorded in Afrikaans but it can still be appreciated by music lovers everywhere. His music to me signifies the time of becoming aware that not all whites are bad racist chauvinists, that those who are different to the majority are oppressed too. His most well known song is Halala Africa – listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRucmVSFDaI. Here is the english translation of the lyrics as per http://www.kuleuven.be/iccp/2004/iccp14/halalafrika.htm.

Halala Africa

When the world still was young
and the horizons widely open
Was this there green in this hemisphere
Towards the south of the equator
and in the shadow of the fallen sun
and the beasts running towards home
we hear women’s voices shouting
over the hills of the land
Halala, halala
Everlasting Africa

Tula tula mtanami
Tula tula sanaboni
Tula tula mtanami
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye
Ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, hmmm – hmmm

Ships are coming from the west
White sails over the sea
asking for food and water
and to stay over for so much more
And the country which once was open
Is polluted
because of the ghetto’s of the cities
who gave us copper wire in return

Halala, Africa
Sasiphilia kamnandi
Mayibuye Africa (Return Africa in Zulu)

There was wealth in the stomach
of our mother Africa
Diamonds, coal, gold, metal

And people are becoming slaves now
because they get paid
to drill in the ground
to get out every bit of grain

And the big open meadows
are closed with barbed wire
and from the elephant till the he-goat
All the animals had to surrender
for the power of the hunter
for the power of his large gun
until silence remains
until silence restrains

Halala, mayibuye Africa

johannes

Read more about him here. http://www.kuleuven.be/iccp/2004/iccp14/biography.htm. Appreciate one of his english songs…River of Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RAFPqjJM74.

The third white person is the Author Andre P Brink. Born in 1935, he was a white man with a deep understanding of the terrible effects of apartheid. His books were banned by the Apartheid Government but I still got hold of them. It helped that I worked at an international airport and had access to confiscated/banned books. They helped me understand a world hidden from me as a white South African. Read more about him and his books at http://andrebrink.bookslive.co.za/about/ and https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/andre-brink.

picapb

Poet, novelist, essayist and teacher, he began work as a University lecturer in Afrikaans and Dutch Literature in the 1960s. He began writing in Afrikaans, but when censored by the South African government, began to also write in English and became published overseas. He remains a key figure in the modernisation of the Afrikaans language novel.

His book, A Dry White Season (1979), was made into a film starring Marlon Brando while An Instant in the Wind (1976), the story of a relationship between a white woman and a black man, and Rumours of Rain (1978) were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.  Devil’s Valley (1998) explores the life of a community locked away from the rest of the world, and The Other Side of Silence (2002), set in colonial Africa in the early twentieth century, won a Commonwealth Writers regional award for Best Book in 2003. He has also written a collection of essays on literature and politics, Reinventing a Continent (1996), prefaced by Nelson Mandela.

André Brink was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government.  In 1992 he was awarded the Monismanien Human Rights Award from the University of Uppsala, for making known the injustice of apartheid to the wider world.

He was Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Cape Town. His novels includeThe Blue Door (2007) and Philida (2012). In 2008, his trilogy of novellas, Other Lives, was published, comprising the previously published The Blue Door along with Appassionata and Mirror. 2009 saw the publication of a memoir, A Fork in the Road.

André Brink died on 6th February 2015.

A Dry White Season, Rumours of Rain, A Chain of Voices, Imaginings of Sand, Praying Mantis, States of Emergency, The Other Side of Silence, Before I forget and others are totally worth a read – you will understand South Africa better.

Although there were many honourable women involved in the Ant-Apartheid movement, none of them really had an individual, personal influence on me. I admire any and all women who make positive contributions to the world though.

I do want to mention Adv. Thuli Madonsela as well as Helen Suzman (an opposition politician during the earlier apartheid years) for their courage, determination and strength. It was more the overall general struggle as women in a chauvinistic white society which affected me, their struggle to survive in a male dominated world.

Until 1994 I only knew what the government fed the masses, but fortunately had my own mind and a need to know the truth. You need not accept everything you hear or read as the truth. Find out from other sources if you have doubts. For more insight into the South African freedom struggle, watch the Steve Biko story with Denzel Washington, Cry Freedom.

Remember….

madiba quote

Inia

 

 

 

 

 

Of tenacity…

via Daily Prompt: Tenacious

My daughter always tells me that I am the most tenacious person she knows. That may be good, and it may be bad. It just means to me that I am perceived as someone who won’t give up easily. Not only if I want to prove something to myself, and I often do, but very rarely it also means that I want to prove myself to others. Not in a show-off kind of way, but just that I can do most things for myself although I am not married or wealthy or smart.

A saying that Izzy and I believe in, is ‘Short term pain, long term gain. Short term gain, long term pain’. By being tenacious you usually go the short term pain route, but it is always better in the end. You just have to bite the bullet and stick with it, it is no use to procrastinate, if you don’t start something you can’t finish it. It is also good to teach yourself some patience in the process, especially if it is a difficult or confusing process.

tenacious

Maybe my tenacity comes from having to struggle for things my whole life long, nothing ever has come easy to me. I might have gained my first inspiration from this 1976 song by Bruce Millar…

Now after struggling through all sorts of issues for more that half a century I have grown a little tired. I struggle for longer to get something small done. If it’s not the eyes that battle to see, it’s the fingers that can’t grasp so well anymore, I drop things, I forget things – but it is the lack of finances which is the biggest stumbling block. You can’t make something out of nothing. It takes money to make money… But when a project is complete I feel such a sense of achievement that it is well worth my while. It is when I fail that I become utterly despondent.

A couple of years ago, to endeavour to create some income, I started making crafts out of polystyrene, those little environmentally unfriendly trays

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used in the packaging of foods, mushrooms and other veg, which are used a lot in this home. I could never throw these trays away due to the enormous environmental impact this product has on our oceans.

trash

They were also taking over my house. Due to the fact that they are not biodegradable nor economically recyclable (apparently), I felt that they had to be re-used in some way.

I came up with this.  http://www.wildernessuncatchers.co.za/ Hanging mobiles which I called ‘sun catchers‘ due to the sun reflecting off the jeweled beads and crystals I used and ‘breeze catchers‘, due to the floating ribbons. I cut the polystyrene in butterfly and dolphin shapes and added a sea sand finish to them. Later I also made them into individual Xmas tree ornaments. We sold them at the local Friday night market and a few good friends bought some online.

But eventually the amount of work and cost involved could not justify the meager income, as I barely broke even. So that noble endeavour sadly had to be stopped.

/suncatchers suncatchers site

 

When I don’t know how to do something, I remember what my daughter taught her mother. Google is your friend. With the help of Google and YouTube I have over the years operated on and fixed my computers, wired plugs, self published my books, grown veggies from kitchen waste, blogged my blogs and even created my own websites. I have links on my author site to Amazon where you can purchase my books, and even a showcase for some of my favourite photographs. All for ‘free’ but involving a lot of hard work. And tenacity!!!

Take a look at it here and give me your feedback please.   iniajardine.wixsite.com/visions

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Something else I am tenacious in, is my quest for everyone to become vegetarian and/or vegan, to stop the relentless cruelty to innocent animals and for us all to live together in racial harmony – free of historical and religious prejudices. You will say, NEVER. But you don’t know me very well if you think that I will just give up. No matter how much some bigots shout at me, I will be tenacious. I may make a small difference at first, but you know about ripples in a pond? About the flutter of a butterfly wing creating a tidal wave? About the starfish?

starfish story

I have recently been told that I struggle so much in this life because I have a huge Karmic debt to pay. Well, I’m paying! Let me go soon Karma…please.

Until then I will keep on trying, I will be tenacious. I will try until I die.

Inia

 

The colour of your skin

Two recently released movies make me incredibly embarrassed and ashamed to be a white South African, to have that stigma and that past. It is not enough that I am haunted every day by the effects of this hate between white and black all over the world, especially locally, for me as a white person from a perceived racist country writing interracial love stories, well. I am shunned. By all. Not many people accept what I do. No publisher wants to publish interracial romances as there is ‘not a big enough market for it’. So, if that is true, this world is inhabited by racists. Billions of them.

visions 1 covervisions 2 covercoming soong

Movies like these, stories like these which need to be told can cause a lot of additional hurt and anger by remembering the past – but they can mend fences if people look into themselves and BE the change. Remember history but change the future, make it better. Don’t dwell on the bad too much.

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The films I refer to, are firstly A United Kingdom, the story of Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth, former Regents of Botswana,

sir

wherein almost unbelievably, it is shown that the governments of South Africa and Britain interfered in their relationship (1947) and tried very hard to split them up. South Africa threatened to withhold gold and uranium from Britain if King Khama was allowed to return to Bechuanaland (Botswana) with his white British wife. As if the happiness of this special couple would have affected anyone badly? What a crazy notion.

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Skin is the story of Sandra Laing, (played as adult by the lovely Sophie Okonedo) a dark skinned girl born to white South African parents during the height of Apartheid in 1955. It shows her struggle with mainly white male South Africa (some females too though). I can identify with her, white males have also made my life miserable, but so did females. Of all colours. But light skinned people are not all bad.

Racism in all its forms HOWEVER is not specific to this country, South Africa, this skin colour white – I see it and chauvinism happening especially in America, through the years of slavery, and after – just for one example take Denzel Washington’s first movie, the deeply and offensively, stereotypical racist comedy Carbon Copy (1981) – not so long ago. Are Americans so proud of who they are, of what movies they make? Or maybe they feel better about themselves by making South Africa the ‘most evil ones’. Racism is everywhere, in North Africa, India, Arabia, China, Europe… etc. Remember the Holocaust? Genocide in Zaire, Rwanda? A certain group of people deciding to annihilate the other. The different.

skin

For non-South Africans, both of these films may give a glimpse into my world, the world in which I grew up. The world ruled by the South African government. I was born only nine years after Sandra, but neither of us asked to be born during this time, in this intolerable situation. I was luckier than her though, my skin matched that of my parents. I did not suffer like her, not then. I was white in a white dominated country, (not number-wise as the black races were always in the majority in Southern Africa, but the white people were ‘in charge‘ then. Now, the black people are ‘in charge‘ and the white people are by far the minority. We are still hated though, internationally. Twenty three years after democracy.

kill

I wonder if that will ever change. It does not seem to matter to anyone whether you as an individual are a racist or not, it is all about the colour of your skin. Try as you may to change the opinions of you as a person…some people just want to perpetuate hate. I know that Apartheid was unacceptable, horrible and caused enormous pain and suffering. And death. Terrible things happened. I know. So many lives were lost. I can’t fix the past, nobody can. But we can try and fix the present and the future.

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We all inherited this racist world. A world where even today, after so many years of integration, so many years of racial freedom, freedom to be with whomever you want to be, to marry whomever you want to marry without fear of the police kicking down your door to arrest you for contravening the laws, people still tend to keep away from and be scared of or offended by interracial couples. The Immorality Act, the Group Areas Act or the Separate Amenities Act, they were all designed to enlarge the divide between people of different races, those with different skin colour and features. You could not choose with whom to associate, it was decided for you, but really, these laws don’t exist anymore. There is no need to kill every white person now, or any section of the community. If you doubt me, google white genocide in South Africa. It is a horrific situation. It must stop. We are not all bad.

A world where white hates black and black hates white is not acceptable. racism

Not that it has changed at all – racism is alive and well. Sexism too. It is just not illegal anymore to associate with other races or sexes. The deep division will always be there, prejudices of the past. If we let it. And not only in South Africa, everywhere.   http://www.apartheidmuseum.org/node/48

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Democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom. Can we not all live with these truths?

Why is it so bad for the majority of white and black people, to accept that love across the colour lines do exist, can be very strong, more so than with people of the same skin colour? One of the most beautiful interracial couples for me was Seal and Heidi, and I was devastated when they broke up. I would be so happy if they got back together.

seal hseal h2

If people can just understand and accept, we are not all a certain kind of bad or good depending on our skin colour. Not all white people are a certain way, not all black people either. Looks, personality, character, income, quirks, intelligence, education – it is not dependent on skin colour – it is dependent on circumstance, on birth not choice. For instance, not all white people are poor/rich/racist, not all black people are rich/poor/racist. You get racists everywhere.

Stop the hate please. Don’t perpetuate it.

selmawhit Don’t let this happen again. Anywhere. Please.

Colour should not be the deciding factor. Individual merit should be. We may be different in some ways but we can work together to overcome this stupid colour feud. We all want to love somebody and be loved back. People who are attracted to each other in whatever way, love, friendship, shared interests, anyone should be allowed to be together with anyone, no matter what.

I will say again, as in my books, I wish we were all one colour. Blue, green, purple, it does not matter. I would prefer purple though 😉

ava

Inia

 

Of music and memories

We all have that song, those special few notes grouped together which takes us back to a certain time and place, creates in us a feeling totally unique to us. Now – one song, Barcelona – by Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Cabbalé  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASJI6pNGqGo) most probably does the same to all of us, goosebumps in the presence of musical genius, although other songs have more specific references to every individual person. I wonder how many of us have blown speakers listening to this particular song…

barcelona2

I grew up listening to the lovely classical music of Mantovani as well as the Greek songs of kaftan wearing Demis Roussos (who knew that he was part of a group that also included the amazing Vangelis who he teamed up with (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZbbL4LcIlk ) He also sang with Nana Moskouri (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCORdHnStC8)

demis2

and Vicky Leandros. He had an amazing voice.

Although I liked this music a lot, it never affected me the way my favourite music did, and I think it is because of my memories associated with the music.

My first real ‘music memories’ to specific songs came from dancing lessons we went to as a family during my high school years (seventies yeah I know that is long ago). I can still smell the aftershave of one of the instructors and see my big white plastic earrings – don’t know why but that sticks in my memory – when hearing Belfast by Boney MSon of my father by Chicory Tip, https://youtu.be/QXbrS3Msgww, Blame it on the Bossa novaBorn to be Alive by Patrick Hernandez, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UaJAnnipkY, Sugar Baby Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax1piWZbRm4, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tTTPCH_MaM Rock you baby, Mademoiselle Ninette https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjR3dJTO1tk by The Soulful Dynamics…

madem

  The Sweet with Wig Wam Bamhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRv7EjjwYBI Fox on the run, Mighty Quinn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qoyWU_EDDU..For your love, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQQj2rQBFvA Let your love flow…I just want to dance. The seventies – what an era.

I guess that is where my dance bug started. The seventies and eighties really hit a note with my soul with its fantastic music. I was hooked. Permanently. If I could live in a certain time it would be the eighties. I don’t care – big hair, shoulder pads, leg warmers, gaudy earrings whatever – bring it on. It was a great time. It was not all good obviously, but we will keep only the good stuff.

Film - Flashdance 1983

I read once that there is an actual town/village somewhere built exclusively for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and their elderly companions. This place has cars, products, buildings, radio programmes and music from the forties and fifties, in order to make them feel at home in that happier time which they remember. Maybe such a town could be built for people like me, an eighties town and we could roller-skate everywhere! Have dances every evening…have big hair and wear stone washed denim and leg warmers…;)

My first kiss ever was during a close dance in 1980, setting : a dark garage of one of my best school friends. I never spoke to the boy and he never acknowledged my existence after. Guess it was not that great. The song was Cry to me by The Staccatos. It is ingrained in my memory though.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lxWQtmmJdE)

cry to me

When I left home at 17 (see a previous Horizons blog) I was very unhappy in myself and the only escape I got was through dance. The specific dancing I mean is the ballroom type, but in an informal setting. When I mention a dance, envision a big semi-dark space crammed with young people two-stepping round and round the room. You usually all went in one direction, clockwise, otherwise too many accidents would happen. Sweat flew all over everyone during fast dances but that was okay.

I really came alive when I could just give myself over to the music and fly free. I was a very unpopular ugly girl but was sought after as a dance partner on the dark dance floor. Guys always said that they loved to dance with me as I was so light in their arms, maybe it was because I was flying, floating on cloud 9. I loved it so much. In later life, although I was a ballroom teacher for a short time, I could never dance at competition level as I never dated or knew someone who was that interested in dancing, everyone was coupled up. My ex-husband could not dance at all. It frustrated me terribly but there were no dance ‘droids’ yet, I would have definitely gotten one if I had the opportunity! Imagine…

droid

Only crying by Keith Marshall and Vienna by Ultravox, two extremely different 1981 songs, define that time. They were played many times at student dances (which I  was allowed to attend very rarely with my older sister as chaperone). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIb1wKavrQE & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DuCIGvsbMA.

vienna

only crying

The Village People – can you do YMCA? Oh yes, they featured on many many wonderful dance occasions, if not all. No dance was complete without Village People music. The dance floors were mobbed when the intros started, much like with I will survive by Gloria Gaynor – this link is for the song as featured in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, a great movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DJC-ECU8IE

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Songs like those from Xanadu – the amazing 1980 musical by Olivia Newton John and ELO (who also impressed me with their album Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svqjijZHQrI&index=6&list=PL766723D6426E2BD2 ), to me are evergreen – but what was it with the eighties and roller-skates though? I even had a little braid with ribbons in my hair for a few years just like she did in the movie…I wanted so much to be her. Or be like her a bit. She was so lovely, could do what she want and go where she wanted. The world opens up for you when you have beauty, the ugly ducklings stay hidden. That sadly was my fate. And I could not roller-skate very well either. Ha.

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xanroller

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Even Sir Cliff Richard…he was on rollers too for Wired for Sound.

F R David‘s song Words, 1982 – oh my word. The quintessential last song for all of our informal dances. When I hear it today, I am instantly transported back to 1982 and an all-through-the-night-dance marathon. I remember that I was so elated after, dead tired but on a natural high by morning. Oh, to be young again.

words

Avalon by Brian Ferry & Roxy Music was another of those compulsory songs at any dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpA_5a0miWk. We did not have to dance so fast and could be more graceful.

avalon

I have never been a real Elvis fan even though I like some of his music, but my first love was an Elvis freak. He always sang this specific song to me and I never ‘got it’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89MihWd6zKk, Teddybear…it brings back so many feelings now…feelings of loss, of confusion, but also of raindrops on an apartment window…and heartbreak when our paths split.

rainsrops

elvis

Laura Branagan and Gloria (the disco ball era!)…bring back memories of frenzied, energetic dancing followed by a close dance every now and then to let us rest…Dan Hill and Sometimes when we touch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IATz8ZVTALo or I wanna kiss you all over by Exilehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N1PupGHQnc were songs used for rest, but really, we never thought of anything more. We just danced. It was really all quite innocent and fun. Nobody needed gyms then, we got plenty of exercise on the dance floors.

gloriaexile

dan

Hazell Dean‘s amazing song They say it’s gonna rain – from 1984, it just transports me by time capsule to a crowded, sweaty dance floor in an underground parking lot in the early eighties. I am still crazy about it today and can’t listen to it without dancing around by myself. Sad but true. Still without a droid.

hazelldeanrain

Modern Talking, all their songs are incredible, it takes me back to their concert I attended at Sun City – year 1988. I had just finished studying, qualified and worked at an international airport as Horticulturist. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nl30Q86svg). I went with an old friend and a blind date who resembled Freddie Mercury. We got up to no good, it was my first encounter with ‘Durban Gold’.

mod

 

Silver Dream Machine and Winters Tale by David Essex, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2TCJ1o6z30. Gerry Rafferty and his amazing Baker Street, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-Yi762sQTo&list=RDx-Yi762sQTo, great songs.

silver

baker

The musical  Dirty Dancing…who can forget…if you can’t dance you could never love this movie as much. You actually feel the dance moves if you do. Patrick Swayze was an excellent dancer, you just wanted to move with him.

dirty2dirty

Grease, Irene Cara and Fame, Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, who can forget…

flashflashd

We all wore legwarmers trying to be like her. Staying Alive, Saturday Night Fever John Travolta and the fabulous Bee Gees…disco disco disco fever! Oh what fun.

travolts

Then the magic of Meatloaf – reminds me of an old boyfriend who also loved his music…Long drives out in the country and beautiful scenery always accompanied it. He insisted that Meatloaf was best enjoyed lying between two speakers at top volume, and closing your eyes to immerse yourself in the music. A miracle that we are not both deaf.

meatloafr

A very significant other sang this Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo song to me, he was also the one for interest sake who called me Ugly Duckling, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I_T3XvzPaM, Diamonds on the soles of her shoes. It was not like that with us at all, he was the rich one and me the poor girl – with no diamonds on any shoes or anywhere for that matter. I always thought that I was not good enough for him and it eventually was proven to be true.

pauls

Here comes the sun reminds me of a beach holiday a long time ago…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muFOeZSIC2U.

Chris de Burgh, whose concert I attended in 1996 on the date exactly one year before my daughter was born – his song Spanish Train which was banned in South Africa when I was young (1975). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXkhiIFCgAo. His Spaceman came travelling was one of the songs I sang in a very short tenure in a church youth band, although the words were changed a bit and I still find myself singing them. Habit.

chrisd

I have to inlude You are my Sunshine, my daughter’s song after I bought her a teddy in 2000 at Monkeyland, who sang that when you squeezed his hand. She still has him seventeen years later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1moWxHdTkT0

sunshine

All music by Bread reminds me of a certain man…(an illicit romance) with whom I shared this tape (yes!)…much later during the late nineties (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrsKJ0KUyJw ). I think that I will share my full tape collection with you one day. The ones I could not bear to let go…I don’t have a tape player anymore but am unable to throw them away. I still have the memories though.

bread

Lastly, there are three songs which remind me of a twenty two year friendship which abruptly came to an end last year. Once again an incidence of me not being good enough for someone. Maybe I should befriend nicer people.

  1. Who the fuck is Alice, by Smokie,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw08Py5nz1w,

smokie

2. Coco Jambo by Mr President which we listened to and sang along with on our way to a short holiday back in late 1996 when I was pregnant – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izy8iafKJ8s

cocojambo

and

3. Summer Nights by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta…which we used to sing Karaoke to in the good years. Hilarious).

summern

Shit happens, right? But music will always remind us of good times. At the end of my two fiction books I mention more special music.

I hope you listen to them and can enjoy it as much as I do.

Inia