The River 

The summers were sweltering. Walking towards a braai fire to greet you, I remember the extra warmth of the fire clearly. I remember your smile and the true happiness as we said hello.

You had clearly already started the Merry part of Christmas. I expected nothing less. You always were more of a bottle than a glass kind of guy. The Vaal river was running strong behind the trees and it soothed our souls. 

I hear the laughter coming from the kitchen. Hands clapping. My face exploding in a smile as I enter the house and I know I had been spotted. Hugs so pure and with such delight that it had the power to raise the dead. 

All was well in the world.

Even if contact was broken over long periods of time, I always knew you loved me, as I loved you. It was a rare connection. 

I think of you and the river, with a hole in my heart, a tear in my eye and a smile playing on my lips as I close my eyes. I’m a “monkey’s wedding”. Raining with sunshine.

Since you left this earth earlier this year, I’ve been more aware of you. Somehow you are closer. I’ve told nobody for the fear of sounding more absurd than usual. Maybe I needed the shoulder to lean on. Thank you for lingering.

Even though we both know you were not an angel, I felt safe knowing you are in my world. The landscape is forever changed.

I know now that the river had nothing to do with soothing our souls. It was the people that surrounded us with their love, acceptance and our sense of belonging. The laughter, catching fish and swimming with frogs is gone. Those hugs that could raise the dead, has died. 

Just as we were, in that moment, we were enough.
Stel x

PS. “Jy weet mos”. 

Turns out we both liked men.

Dear friends, family and interesting creatures,

I happened upon my dearest friend, Louw’s video about being different yesterday. I’d never thought different could mask the word gay.

When I finished watching Louw’s video about coming out to his Dad, I had an ugly face cry.  I hated that Louw had felt any hurt ever.

I felt compelled to acknowledge the truth in my own life. My children’s father is gay.

I usually am very quick and witty about this subject. I say things like: (insert drum roll here)

I love gay men so much, I even married one once.

The truth is nothing like that. Truth is jest.

I would like you to watch Louw’s video, before you read the 30 things Brian is most grateful for. Perhaps it will explain to you, why I have felt an assortment of emotion, but never anger, nor blame. It’s a strange, strange world we live in Master Jack. 

I urge to you attempt to accept, embrace and have empathy for what you do not understand. I know this is not easy. Not for you, and certainly not for the person standing before you.

Thirty things I am thankful for:

There are so many ways I could look at this, so I will probably split my thirty things I am thankful for between the serious and the slightly more flippant.

  1. I am thankful for the path I have walked, for better or worse I feel I am a more authentic me.

Roughly a decade years ago my life was in turmoil. I realized whatever life I was living it was not me. Being a sometimes compulsive writer I wrote my thoughts down at the time and made a decision to try something new.

What I wrote at the time follows:

“I have never been afraid of death until now, not death itself but rather the life I will live until I die. A life lived in fear, a life that becomes banal, uninteresting even to myself” For a few months I know I lost the plot completely and drew into myself. No More.”

I will not live an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to love
so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

– Dawna Markova.

To not live an unlived life I realized was to require an absolute freedom, not bound by the shackles of my past, or the shackles of a grafted on morality.

I would rather live a life guided by that which sits deep within me. An honest life that is true to me and true to those around me.

“Accepting a freedom like that is both exciting and terrifying. How much do the points of reference on a moral compass shift, when reliant on purely one’s sense of self and who one is?”

The words above were written by a man who had been living in absolute fear and conflict with himself, deeply closeted to a point of denial.

Making a decision to seek something different, I never imagined where the journey would take me.

Today, I am a happy, out of the closet man who can fully accept me without conflict. So yes, for this I am thankful.

  1. I am thankful for my three children. Each a unique and special blessing who have walked the long path with me. Who love and accept me for who I am, flaws and all. Without them I am nothing.
  1. I am thankful for the mother of my children. Without her I would have nothing to offer this world when I am dead and gone. I hope that they each carry a piece of me, so that others will know my character even if they never met me.
  1. I am Thankful for a Grandmother who carried me in my youth. She was a mentor, a confidant and a friend. Certainly she formed part of the mould for who I am today.
  1. I am thankful for those others dear to me no longer of this earth. The lessons learned the memories cherished. For them in those dark hours I will still steal away and cry.
  1. I am thankful for past lovers. Some left me hurt, some left me poorer. Some I will carry in my heart forever. The all left me older and wiser.  I am thankful for that wisdom.
  1. I am thankful for the children along the way who I did not raise but still call me dad. It has been my privilege.
  1. I am thankful to live in a country and community that makes room for all and gives all a place in the sun.
  1. I am thankful for a small but precious circle of friends. These are the family I got to choose.
  1. I am thankful for my brother. He will always be a shining star in my life. Never on this earth could anyone be more proud of a sibling.
  1. I am thankful for late night conversations, the sharing of tears. I hold these moments sacred.
  1. I am thankful for my first love. Music. The soundtrack to my life would be an eclectic mix. Everything I have ever felt can be expressed in music, be it the lyrics or the emotion of the instruments.
  1. I am thankful for the fact I have lived over two decades in the one industry, it was foretold I could never make it in.
  1. I am thankful for those who will put themselves on a stage to perform. These courageous people who put themselves out there for our entertainment.
  1. I am thankful for the artists in the world. The ones on gallery walls and the ones on the subway walls. Creativity in all its forms inspires me.
  1. I am thankful for the moments when my mind grows still.
  1. I am thankful that in most cases we get to try again tomorrow.
  1. I am thankful for a world rich in fragrance, be it a flower, a dish to feast upon or the unique scent of a man or woman.
  1. I am thankful for the tree lined avenues I travel on my daily commute.
  1. I am thankful for the random smile of strangers.
  1. I am thankful for the animals I have loved throughout their lives. I love them still.
  1. I am thankful to the genius who first took leaves from a plant and let them steep in boiling water. Five Roses African Select is its perfect form.
  1. I am thankful for the genius who figured out fermentation. Beer or wine for me.
  1. I am thankful for the genius who figured out distillation. Vodka anyone?
  1. I am thankful for the genius who first processed a Cocoa Bean. 75% Dark chocolate for me.
  1. I am thankful for the Afrikaans language. Truly a beautiful language.
  1. I am thankful for the months that run out before the money does. Wish it happened more often.
  1. I am thankful for the nights where I beat insomnia. I wish they were more.
  1. I am thankful for “out swimming” a lot of other sperm. (Sorry I could not resist)
  1. I am thankful for any of you who took the time to read this.

 

May love and laughter light your days,

and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,

wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world

with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons

bring the best to you and yours!

 

With Love,

Brian

Abundance & Gratitude with Clairvoyant Lifestyle Blogger Neeta

1. I am Grateful for a loving husband! And our marriage of just over a year.

2: I am Grateful for the awareness and creativity I am able to share with everyone.

3: I am Grateful for my beautiful home.

4: I am Grateful for my gorgeous plants, I love my plants and that they grow.

5: I am Grateful for the ability to cook healthy meals with awareness.

6: I am Grateful to be healthy and vibrant.

7: I am Grateful for all the amazing friends I have, through blogging and media.

8: I am Grateful for the amazing diverse country and cultures I live in.

9: I am Grateful for the ability to work from Home as an entrepreneur, share my creativity with others, through art.

10: I am Grateful for amazing Neighbours and friends that are supportive and caring.

11: I am Grateful for running water and electricity, my cellphone.

12: I am Grateful for the ability to experience new adventures, through travelling and blogging.

13: I am Grateful for the best weather and sunsets in the world

14: I am Grateful for my helper, all the waiters and service providers we have in this magical country.

15: I am Grateful for my health and the ability to function in every way.

16: I am Grateful for the ability to stand out.

17: I am Grateful for the courage to drive on Jo’burgs roads, especially not coming from a big city.

18:I am Grateful for being an avid reader and learning more.

19: I am Grateful to communicate and share inspiration with everyone.

20: I am Grateful for my amazing family!

21: I am Grateful to inspire others.

22: I am Grateful for my qualification in the beauty industry.

23: I am Grateful for the ability to use my Discernment, and choose the right company for me.

24: I am Grateful for the travels and adventures I continue to go on.

25: I am Grateful I can paint and draw, create jewelry.

26: I am Grateful for the sensitivity and compassion I feel towards others.

27: I am Grateful for this magical day.

28: I am Grateful for a birthday coming up next month.

29: I am Grateful for spring, the birds chirping the love of nature.

30: I am Grateful for this journey, grateful you are reading this!

Neeta is a Lifestyle blogger, Writer, Creative Influencer & Clairvoyant

  • Blog:  Love Art By Neeta
  • Twitter: @neetaraga
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