Climates of Change

The week has been a wreck on the psyche of many in SA. From political polony that has shaved already thin nerves. The disease of hate. Life is set to be a fast paced thriller. Climates of change tend to do that especially when confusion sits cushy in the inventors of disturbance. With peeps asking me to investigate the route to applying for political asylum if the the offcuts of russians hit the proverbial to the evidential divided landscape. Our seasonal change looks to heading towards a freezing one where faux fur none the warmer.

BUT…..

An overwhelming lighthouse shines.

STEP 8:

Once we have admitted that our lives are consumed by the negative feelings about ourselves, others and have faced those demons, the next hardest thing to do is to take responsibility for our wrongs. None of us is perfect and each of us have done things that make us ashamed of our behavior. But we cannot carry that shame forever. There comes a time where we need to let go so that healing can turn us into whom we were meant to be in the first place.

In this article below a very clear step by step formula is laid out to help each of move past the things that hold us captive to awful histories. And we all have them. We don’t change overnight so we need to take stock daily of our own actions. Step 8 helps us to keep accountable, Step 9 keeps us humble by asking forgiveness. Gosh I have had to do this many times. Daily sometimes. Even with my clients in the salon I have had to apologize when I have let them down and that takes such guts. Knowing that we may not be forgiven is rough. But the point of personal accountability is that it frees us from the chains that bind us to guilt. We can not control how others respond but we MUST always do our bit to keep the ‘vrot’ out of our thinking, hearts and actions. This is journey we take for the rest of our lives.

Click ⬇️

OVERCOMING HATE

THE OPPOSITE IS HORRIFIC….

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A HISTORY OF HATE

Recently I got asked to participate in a live makeover show. By the end of day 4 people were almost harassing me to please make them over. What is stunning about this is that as a hairstylist I know that I bridged the gap between Afro and Caucasian hairdressing in SA that little one step closer. All I know is this is that if I still allowed myself to hate the people who sexually abused me as a child or had not forgiven myself for the years I messed up being stuck in my unresolved issues acted on through addiction, I may never have had the chance to wipe a tear from a face that knew that I saw them and not another potential threat. Or another potential future heart that I may let down. Do I still? Oh gosh…. can you see my angel wings yet?

BUT BEING BETTER….. I AM WORKING IT HUUUUUUUUUNEY!

DAILY I REMIND MYSELF…. GOD THINKS THAT I AM WORTH IT…. THAT IS WHY I AM ALIVE AS WE ALL ARE. HOW I HONOUR THAT IS THROUGH BEING THE BEST I CAN BE WHILE LEARNING AS I GO ALONG. WILL YOU JOIN ME?

Our lives are not the sum of our experiences but the ability to love beyond borders through it all.

Click ⬇️

ALL THAT WE ARE

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

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DREAMS

RAGE COURSES THROUGH MY VEINS.

Aghast outrage saddled by overwhelming love pressed down threatens to undo the seams of the humanity in me. I cry for us. We need to stop our bullshit. And fast.

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END HATE

24 years ago a baby was born. I watched as it started to gallop, quickly gaining STAR status. Suddenly. Too sudden. Fact. As the clipse drew its curtain closed the horror part 2 drew blood. It became increasingly obvious that we didn’t know how to trust eachother. Our angered voices cried out as church bells grew silent. In the midst of that blinding fog reason echoed through the hollowed corridor of democracy. It is in this silence we found our identity. Her peace whispered, beckoning, to see beyond the words. We began to smile at first. Spurts of childlike giggles filled our belly’s to roars of laughter as the African drum beat its song. The light shone bright on our face again. Recognition. Concurrence. Hope. Future called as we saw that our fight was indeed the same.

DREAMS. YOURS. OURS. MINE.

They live on when we stand on the hill and see Opportunities raise its flag. Our revolution is of the heart. That African heart where the Lion purrs in contentment watching the clipse; a distant memory, away. Hands held, backs bent, our sweat worked that parched ground.

DREAMS. YOURS. OURS. MINE.

DREAMS ARE WORTHLESS IF ONE IS CRUSHED TO SAVE ANOTHER.

RIGHT?

The alternative? Another generation born into the lives we were? An interesting question?

Sitting in my living room, listening to the trip to inclusive creativity, this brings the hope back into the world.

With HATE being flung across the globe, I decided to ask a public question regarding my prospects as a pale skinned citizen in a country where politicians are stirring up much.

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POLITICAL HATE SPEECH

SO WHY THE RAGE?

You know that peeved feeling when your gut is showing you red flags? Those flags you ignore? The very ones that oft bite deep into the sinew of, ‘I told you so.’ And hindsight can be a cruel teacher. Those flags! It is these flags I hope to shine some brow sweat on.

What is interesting about this accidental picture is both of us are wearing red sneakers. But one cannot tell which race group is wearing which pair. Sneakers are sneakers regardless of who is wearing them. They serve the same purpose regardless of our emotional identification with them. Whether we wear sneakers as a fashion statement, brand affiliation, the colour, the style and or the status it affords when we get real a sneaker is a comfortable shoe that makes our walking a bit more pleasant. It is with this ideology that I want to tell a story.

THE STORY:

It is December 2016. The work load was hampered by setbacks. Unavoidable. Inevitable. Hours turned into days now had to feature. In the absolute nick of time it was finished. The prep. Not to full satisfaction but all things considered it was good. The heat backstage melted Makeup. The seconds felt torturous. Section by section each contestant showed. Inspiration flowed. Doubt set in; deeply. Had it gone to far? Did the ideas get interpreted correctly? How did the scoring of the first rounds fair? And suddenly I heard it, “We present the work of Arion Bezuidenhout.” The gasps of astonishment rattles the auditorium as my fabric curtains fell into place. Lowered strategically. Just right. His dancing smouldered to the music. The girls rocked. Even in exaggerated hair art. “Fuck, fuck fuck, they forget an entire 30 seconds of choreography. What to do? Do I run on? I can’t. Let it go Arion, let it go.” My hands began to shake. As she entered and prowled her African Goddess sexuality the crowds were screaming. She suffered under the weight of her hair art but by her prowess you would never know. Miraculously I pinned her final look together, live on stage, not knowing if it would work. It did. They shone. 3 black girls and two white girls. The track ended and the tears stung my exhausted eyes. It was over. I think I breathed again after what was the longest yet fastest 4 minutes. I have done this before. But today I had not given a Hair show, I gave my heart. The same heart that had wept through the 3 weeks preparing for this day. The seconds, Hours. Days.

Scoring took place. I waited. And as sweet as the name I have been blessed with sounds, sweeter still when the trembling, pressure, hurts, hours, hopes, dreams finally paid of. I had won. Forever in history it will be known that the TWINCARE SA HAIRSTYLIST OF THE YEAR 2017 is ARION BEZUIDENHOUT. Nobody can take that from me. I did it.

THREADING IT ALL TOGETHER…

There is no greater moment in life when one overcomes an adversity. When that adversity costs you everything. When it demands your full cooperation. When it is tied to honesty. When it wins without argument. When the red flag blows hostility and the checkered flag wins and says not today.

In our lives we will all face hate. This is not a negative thought, but rather the thought that makes or breaks each of us. I do not want to be part of a life that waves the red flag of doubt. The red flag of cruel bias. The red flag of violent hatred. The red flag that has cost our world too much.

I want that checkered flag that gives us ambition, goals, drive, a purpose, a commitment, things to give up and things to work on. A flag that by its sheer nature is inclusive of all our hopes.

DREAMS. YOURS, OURS, MINE.

And like a sneaker picture cannot tell you the wearer, a checkered flag cannot discriminate. A 🏁 can only serve the finish line. The finish line that kisses a winner. The winner that raced towards the checkered flag, beyond obstacles. Beyond tears. Beyond trembling.

In our world do we want to afford ourselves that moment….when our hindsight is glowing through the sweat of a brow bent towards the sun, hand in hand, knowing that we turned a history gone awry into stepping stones? Stepping stones that lift our futures up. A future where the black block or white block no longer have a need to prove their importance, because one without the other; no checkered flag. Not a flag where the flag of red doubt violently cuts the potential of a victory gained through overcoming the hours that make or break us.

My father tried to murder me 2x before I was 6. They sexualized me from 4, raped me at 12. Beat me for being creative. Picked on me because I was an easy target. Stole from me. Hated me. Demeaned me. Broke my spirit till the sharp broken edge of a glass plate skimmed my wrists. I eventually passed out from the overdose. With stomach pumped and finding myself barefoot walking through Durban City, blood stained from the needles that carried the drip to stabilize me. But I knew I had to carry on because the quiet voice that told me I am loved had enough hope to get me through to my victory lap. 21 years later.

MY BELOVED WORLD/ SOUTH AFRICA

I SEE YOUR HEARTS WHEN YOU FIGHT TO BE HEARD. I SEE YOUR DESPERATION TO BLAME. I DID IT TOO. BUT I CAN PROMISE YOU THAT WHEN WE GET STUCK INTO THE LIFE WE LIVE AND KEEP PUSHING TO BE OUR BETTER SELVES MOMENTS COME THAT CHANGE EVERYTHING. NOT ALWAYS IN WHAT WE THINK WE WANT BUT IN A WAY THAT MATTERS….. WHEN WE LOOK INTO THE MIRROR AND WHO WE SEE IS NOT THE RED FLAG CALLED HINDSIGHT THAT DOUBTS, BUT A CHECKERED FLAG CALLED LOVING EQUALITY.

#AllLivesMatter

We cannot gain the sweat victory of overcoming doubt, if we simply create more.

I am a proud creationist believer! My creator says : ‘We are made in HIS image. Kings and Queens. To love your neighbor as yourself.’ We have gotten lost along the way and our hate is like the sharp edge of a broken plate. Is this what we want? If not, we need to surrender ourselves to the possibility that a, ‘POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES CAN RESTORE US TO SANITY.’ (quoted from the 12 steps of recovery)

WE MAY NEED TO GO BAREFOOT ON ROUGH TERRAIN, BUT GO WE MUST. A VICTORY AWAITS.

We are called to be Kings and Queens of hearts. #alllivesmatter

Click ⬇️

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

failure 2 launch

or is it?

Getting into kid mode, setting up a fort in my living room and imagination developed lands far and wide. It has been fun. My Monday has failed to launch. By world standards. Or is it?

This weeks blog has struggled to launch into itself. Perhaps the stress of outcomes to be avoided have plagued me. Perhaps the disturbing notion of colonizers not being welcome in Africa is on my mind more than it should. I cottoned onto the under belly of my blog which I was going to title: ‘Man in the Middle’. The idea was to talk about being a human in the middle of a society hell bent on being ‘most’. Strangely it seems that the liberals seem to be the humans in the middle, unlike yesteryear. It is a tough place to hold ground. Standing up for equality. Facing dismissive judgements that flow hard and fast, usually guised to hide the mask of self-gratification. After a guest Pastor from Australia spoke on Sunday the crux of this blog hit home.

Feet Planted, Eyes Up!

I have been guilty of being swooped up in my tiny attempts at standing firm on the basis of equality for all that I momentarily forgot that a HIGHER POWER is in control. Our delusions lead us to believe we are. In our quest for validation, rights, self-governance and ambition we have overlooked that in our limited capacities we are specks in a universe yet still undiscovered. This 4 minute clip, below, is just a little reminder that our inflated egos are a blimp in comparison.

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THE UNIVERSE

It is so easy to become embroiled in the opinions of ourselves and others that we forget to surrender ourselves daily to HIGHER POWER. As do I?

As I write this blog in my fort I smile at the wonder of a day to just be without obligations to perform, fight or argue the negatives of our society. Surrendered to the fact everything works out as it should. To launch or not to launch?

What I am getting at is this…..

Click ⬇️ and listen out for the Q&A in the track.

BED PEACE

So as I examine myself and surrender to the fact that not launching is as vital as launching. Perhaps more so. Being sober-minded to love without borders, Love without agenda, Love beyond conditions and loving because nothing matters more. Regardless of wether our lives launch as anticipated or not, our legacy is the key we hand to those that follow. I hope and pray that my legacy will one day be that I did everything i could to be the man in the middle loving beyond injury and the hate.

Feet Planted, Eyes Up!

HIGHER POWER IS BIGGER THAN US!

If like me, lately, I have tried to trump God by boxing him in the small ‘fort’ of my mind, we need to surrender our will over to a will HIGHER.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

THE DAYS THE PRESIDENT RESIGNED

14 February 2018

11:00pm (roughly)

I had woken up with a renewed vigor on Valentine’s Day. A struggling but threatening-to-bloom-situationship can do that. I guess. More so, a kindling spiritual moment, requiring mutual reciprocal exploration, can set dead things alit. The ‘thing’ was something entirely different. If I am to be brazenly honest. The romantic in me hoped to share a Valentine’s made potentially historic if JZ resigned. Wow, things would really be looking up. Again. For a change. Spiritual+bromance+resignation= “Yeah, things gonna be jus’ fine!”

By 18:00pm all seemed lost. After nail-bitingly awful days life seemed set to play out it’s ‘Tom&Jerry’ saga to the max. JZ seemed set to stay.

Eventually I chose to go to ‘Shakers, Maboneng’. Avoiding the horror of an emotionally flaccid Valentine, 10 days away from a ‘BOOM’ closing down my hopes of being entirely responsible for myself & shutting down business, and the dread of having to attend another online/march/politically motivated moment on the same flipping subject, a ‘supposedly human JZ’, Shakers seemed a better option. It turned out gloriously. Comedy night. Sexually charged….it was V-day afterall. Filthy. Rude. And outright entertaining!

If you want a live stream post to catch a glimpse, just click on the link.

COMEDY:SHAKERS, MABONENG

Maboneng is this Art culture/entrepreneur district in Johannesburg. Super cool. If I had the money and the client base I would open a seriously kick-ass ‘Boho-chic multi-racial Hair/Lounge/Bar/Arty thing. Oh and how! As is ‘Arion’ form I kinda lit the dance floor with some others. I thoroughly enjoy watching the ‘Amajive’ or ‘Pantsula’ dance moves. The night the president resigned I was letting it all hang out. Safely. I had had enough. I blew out much stale steam. I don’t afford myself much risky fun because I have a pitch fork staring at me. Finance/Relapse/Failure pricks at my jugular. But in my ‘letting off/down/out steam’ I was brought blissfully unaware through the moment it happened. The resignation speech. In the Taxify I realized the ‘resignation’ news and my Valentine had been, in the end, one of my favorite. My dream of an Africa free from megalomaniac greed was a step closer. I struggled to sleep from sheer excitement and the dead fish next to me could care less. Slapping on some anti-itch cream, taking antihistamines and a proud SA air-punch I eventually nodded off.

15 February

MY ACTUAL VALENTINE

I flew off to do my favorite politically minded client at 7am. The rain came down in buckets and the morning flared with JZ ripoffs. I knew that the rain would be a deterrent to business. ‘Stand-by’, sounded great and I am grateful I did. That moment when the floor of vulnerability opens and the ‘situationship’ begins to take shape. That is the cherry that landed. The day was spent chatting for hours. Cooking together was effortless. ‘Being’ totally cool. It takes a lot of courage to engage a mixed-race intimate relationship. I seriously am a bit of a social ‘awkward’. If I am not behind my chair I don’t really know how to be around people well. I either blurb something chronic or sit mum looking a real invalid. Unless there is a dance floor. Great music too. Naturally.

The mix below, ‘DJ Stevie B’, on Mixcloud is a great ‘leisurely Sunday drive’ vibe.

DJ STEVIE B: DREAMING OF NEXT SUMMER

By the end of the 15th it truly seemed that a spring in my step and the SA step seemed lilting it’s way gleefully.

HOW FLEETING MOMENTS PASS.

The premier of ‘Black Panther’ set the electricity in the air with the same propensity as ‘that’ rugby World Cup. Needless to say my last minute dash for hopeful tickets were trashed. I even tried pulling a ‘fast one’ at a ‘Strictly Reserved’ viewing. I had to try. My love interest’s disappointment was hard to accept. Besides, I needed something interesting to write about for my Sunday: Sweet & Sexy piece. ‘Black Panther’ is it. Looking at the predominantly black VIP list, 14 million Rand Rolls Royce, high-end fashion & style to match, the penny dropped. I am a white person living in Africa. It should be the most normal thing to see more black skin than white. {If any of you stunning ladies at the ‘VIP CHECK IN’ read this, you guys were amazing.} I pulled the race card. Lol. The ‘Black Panther’ movie is such politically charged activism. My half-arsed stunt didn’t work. Thankfully! I was totally under-dressed. I liked seeing the narrative. The fashion interpretations of a ‘Black Panther’ premier. I got to see the movie on Saturday afternoon. I loved the undercurrent ‘Pro-Black’ messaging throughout the movie. It was sexy. I cannot say that it was the best delivered Superhero film though. I loved the message of emancipation. Loved the anti-colonialism. Loved the propaganda that the white man is the disease and the black man the savior. Historical supremacy would certainly point to us whiteys being a callous bunch.

SUNDAY: SWEET & SEXY: ‘BLACK PANTHER’

How gorgeous is this Afro-centric style!

The thing that brings my blog together is the events after the movie and the parallels it potentially echoes in the current South African landscape.

THE PARALLEL

In a turnaround turn of events it is Saturday night and I am alone. A family emergency has suddenly popped up for my ‘other’. There is no way to prove the case either way. Time will reveal the truth. It always does. The politically charged movie, SA and our new President, myself have this concept in common. ‘The Reverse Back-Handed Play’. You think the play is what is being fed to you. In fact the game is actually some where else. The play is to distract, to bewilder and set in motion the actual play.

WHAT AM I GETTING AT?

As my ‘situationship’ put a family affair that really should have been the actual people’s involvement own mess to fix, especially considering they are both adult men; I learnt a valuable lesson. No matter how kind I am in helping another their personal priorities will always over rule the need for reciprocal kindness. In President Ramaphosa’s speech where he quoted Bra Hugh’s words of not turning our backs on any human, my immediate thoughts were plagued by ‘what if’s’. If Ramaphosa wasn’t pushing a Pro-Black agenda he might have quoted the words of other heroes like Ghandi & Mother Theresa as well. My next thought was: “Does that mean that the biased BBBEE practice will be brought to an end along with land reappropriation being an inevitable way to go. God; if I had land to give I would have given it in a show of leadership and respect for a ‘as-of-yet-undone-historical-injustice’. In the ‘Black Panther’ movie the ‘shots taken’ at a perceived ‘white colonizer disease’ openly suggests the continuation of a society that judges by generalizations.

THE POTENTIAL PLAY:

Integrated society with the revenge agenda of making the Imperialist pay for its vast crimes.

As essential as it is for Imperial and Supremacist society to acknowledge its many failed promises, my fear is that ‘Pro-Black’ is simply an exchange of power. As Oprah stated: “A new day is on the horizon,” surely the litmus test is whether that dawning horizon is emancipated in forgiveness or a repetition of historical hate crimes. Hate crimes are usually filled with enraged and unresolved bitterness brought on by equally enraged and bitter people with power to inflict control on others. The foundation remains the same: HATE DESTROYS.

In this Cliff Central podcast/blog, a pearl of wisdom to putting hatred behind us is called upon.

GARETH CLIFF: NEW BEGINNINGS

Time will tell whether my mixed-race situationship, Ramaphosa’s Presidency and ANC, and the tradition steeped culture of Africa will prove disingenuous or otherwise. My hope lies in the closing scenes of ‘Black Panther’. The cousin of T’Challa tries to overthrow Wakanda. Goodness prevails in the heart of the young king and defeats the unresolved historical hatred in his cousin. The glorious sunset of Wakanda is revealed to Erik Killmonger (cousin) and the offer of life declined. The kindness of offering life is quickly slanted as the movie closes with an empowerment program slanted at a disadvantaged black community. Rightly so. But not all other race groups subscribe to privilege, so I found the absence of another person of colour in the end scenes a little slanted.

‘Stimela’, Hugh Masakela is the perfect heart-wrenching reality check for the history of greed driven egomaniacal supremacy. Please watch the You-Tube video below before reading on.

STIMELA: HUGH MASAKELA

HOWEVER…

As I walked out of ‘Black Panther’ I realised that as free as I am in my love of people equally outside of race, gender, religion, (except Satanism), class and education is as imprisoned as I by a societal nature that leaves me in the unique position of being a rebel. Most people will gravitate back to their own tribes before placing individual kindness in its rightful place. Afterall ‘Blood is thicker than water’. Then I hope that the fact that all our blood is red will be the deciding factor. It is for me!

KINDNESS BEFORE SOCIETY.

As I count the days that will decide whether I too need to resign myself to the fact that I will not be able to explore my freedoms as a self-employed entity and face potential homelessness, I hope that this new season in my situationship withstands the difficulty of getting to know eachother. So too do I hope that SA can and will prosper beyond the borders of historical wounds that perpetuate hate. Even more so if Ramaphosa really means equal and fair opportunity for all South Africans or if it is just another agenda hiding speech where colour is again a deciding factor. Have we not had enough of the skin colour thing. Aaaaaargh I have.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

#❤️🇿🇦🌈

✌🏽

•AJB•

LOG-EYED

Sunday, 14:22

Since taking a frustrated leave of absence from attending or serving in church late last year, things have been so-so. I have said it before, one more time for good measure. Spirituality and I are an inseparable paradigm. I run from it sometimes but invariably the pull to realign myself with something profound draws me back in untold mystical ways.

Recently the nag to flip through my faith book, the need to pray, and attend church found me 5 rows from the front. Center. Stage left. It was kind of surreal. Words that plagued my thoughts all week kept popping up in the songs, sermon and news broadcasts. The most overwhelming of the lot, the statement, “No-one should be discarded or written off as helpless.” This valid but seemingly ordinary statement comes on the back of a random quiz I took on Facebook the day before. The results, correctly, showed that my success blocking negative talk centered around my sense of unworthiness. I was stunned that the quiz nailed my default setting exactly. Even more alarming is the same above statement following a discussion in the salon about my faulty faith practice. I have, once again, gotten stuck on trying to be better for my Higher Power instead of allowing myself to simply receive grace, love and blessings because I am loved. None of us can be perfect. It is in our imperfections that we can find the ability to love other imperfect people like ourselves. Those that have read my blog, ‘Mighty You’, will understand the difficulty for me to receive help, compliments or goodness. Like many of us, I am living wounded. Wounds that often cloud my abilities to create a life that my talents certainly warrant. Never mind the mere fact that I am alive. Simply alive.

It is with this single authority that I want to write this blog. Or rather feel instructed to write this blog. That authority is this, ‘At 43 lots of stuff has happened. Some my fault. Some not. But from the perspective of living hurt and fighting to overcome I can say I am as authoritative as the next. Even in my failings.’ Afterall I am, like you, still here.

The heated race factions, avoidance political landscape, corruption, seemingly endless lists of poor leaders and deplorable self-greed has South Africa and our globe in a kind of deadlock situation. Doomed if we do and doomed if we don’t!

What I mean is this:

With every side arguing it’s rights as more important than others, we all seem to have forgotten for a moment, as I have lately, that the log in our eyes must be addressed before the splinters in others can be removed.

SO HOW?

Rather than pretending that things are not out of kilter and growing that yucky guilty feeling inside, perhaps the answer is to accept that each of us is to blame, directly or indirectly. Let’s all be honest our nations are tense. We need to know eachother better. Don’t you think? In the Gentleman’s Gazette article, ’53 Questions to Get to Know Someone’, by Sven Raphael Schneider interesting and useful insights are shared if we follow through with our claims of being an inclusive society, legitimately.

Click the link below.

HOW TO GET TO KNOW SOMEONE

SO WHAT IS INCLUSIVE?

By sheer definition the implication of inclusivity suggests that compromise may be a necessary and a valuable tool to reach a more inclusive, equal opportunities and more civilized and just society. This is not to say that we put up with second-best but that we first learn to love and let HIGHER POWER be HIGHER POWER.

SO THE BIG QUESTION IS, ‘WHY DON’T WE WANT TO INTEGRATE, COMPROMISE AND RE-EVALUATE OUR THINKING, COMFORT ZONE AND PREJUDICES?

I found this above quote and I think it speaks volumes to myself and the world we all are living in. This present moment. Crazy. Hectic. Frustrated. Right?

Laying in bed this arvie, I wondered to myself, how could I a simple citizen on this planet try make a difference in the my life and the lives of many others. The 12 Steps of Recovery seems like a great place to start. I have seen incredible changes in my own life through the 12 Step Program. Although I am far away from being, 💯%, my authentic self, as most of us are, I certainly am not who I was 6 years ago. I love the fact that I have had the freedom to experience the consequences of my choices. No human, government or religion has been able to stop me from facing the results of my choices. I am learning on the job, like all of us.

A QUICK STORY:

I was asked to write an essay in rehab describing whom I thought God was. Instead of writing the answers I knew were expected of me, God is Just, God is I Am, etc, I wrote it from the point of view that many would write. God is dictatorial, contradictory and cruel, etc. Yes, you guessed it. I got rapped on the knuckles, and instructed to look through my faith book to all the places my HIGHER POWER described themself. I didn’t get so far. Actually my whole perception about myself changed from the 5th word in the Bible. Created. Weird right? Let me explain. Up until that moment, 37, I had been living under the guilt of being gay and creative. Years of bullying, violence and abuse had me feeling ashamed about being creative. The crazy part is that everything I am is creative. So I was living a kind of psychological hell because the very thing I am is the very thing I hated. It somehow meant that I was sub-human because I am a creative guy. This translated into my sexual-preference. For years I was a flapper, sister, queen whatever you want to call it. I tried to hide the hatred of my creative being by overdoing my identity as a gay guy. Anyhow. 37, rewriting an essay, stumbling onto the first 5 words in the Bible, things began to change. I am still gay but my identity has less do with my orientation but rather myself as myself. Creative.

“(IN THE BEGINNING) [GOD] {CREATED}….

What I realized, at 37, is that only 2 things exist outside of creativity…..Time (in the beginning) & …… God. I realized that everything else after that is creative. The way we make money, make money. The explanations of scientific reason. The way we breathe, think, move…and love. In that moment I started to learn to love and accept that not only did I deserve to be alive, because I am alive, but that it is ok to be creative and love it.

6 YEARS ON:

My relapses are getting further and further apart and less damaging, I am calling my own shots, learning to be responsible for myself, even though I am on the verge of losing everything. I wouldn’t give this last year back for all the money in the world. I have learnt to endure for longer and fight harder for myself. This is pretty miraculous for a guy who until only 6 years ago thought that his best offering to the world was in a coffin. 6 feet under. I have a blog, as an untrained writer, that is read somewhere across the globe daily and I am still here fighting to grow as a human, to love better and do my bit to leave our world better than much of the love I received. Do I fail? Uhm, are you reading this?

All I do know are these 2 things:

Spiritual matters are real!

The 12 Step Recovery Program is worth our world taking a shot with because it is both universally applicable and personal in it’s philosophy. It may very well be the only tool that transcends our thinking, brings us back to human and creates a methodology to heal ours ourselves and others around us!

STEP 1 STARTS WITH ADMIT.

So I will go first and trust that many more will follow suit. I have already started by stating my character defect on Facebook.

See for yourself.

MY POST

I AM A RECOVERING HUMAN & SELF HATER.

For years I have hidden behind inferiority, believing that others were better than me. As of this moment I am asking my HIGHER POWER to help me to change that in me and to do it miraculously. I need a miracle because I am tired of living in the world that reaffirms my negative belief of humans and myself. We are not only capable of hate. In fact most of what we have these days started with an idea to make things better. Yes, like me, things get a bit twisted but we can change it.

ALL I ASK THAT YOU HELP ME MAKE THIS BLOG GO VIRAL INTERNATIONALLY BY SHARING IT. HOPEFULLY WE CAN PRAGMATICALLY BEGIN TO HEAL THE HATRED WE FACE EVERYDAY. IT STARTS WITH EACH OF US ADMITTING!

I guess if it is true that ‘I need to be the change in the world I want to see, it begins with me.’ So I guess that from now on like the particular sentence in a random sermon, 5 rows back, center, stage left: “No one should be discarded or written off as helpless,” rings true for me and I know rings true for most us.

We all know what rejection feels like. IT DAMN WELL HURTS LIKE A ……..! I am believing that a miracle will turn my little rent-a-chair business, broken reputation, self-loathing and human despising will change.

Click the link below to be reminded of another call to fight for life.

WE ARE THE WORLD

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

Rivonia Revelation

A low slung but consuming headache over 3 weeks has intensified concluding with me sitting in the Edenvale Hospital. Crazed thoughts drift. “Allergies.” “Tumor.” “Cancer.” Every dull light and slight noise screeches in the echo of my skull. The pink dots all over my lily-white ass skin don’t exactly cut a seductive picture either. Oh god the itch. The banging in my head. The ‘everything’ is just too much. Even for myself the dramatic is beyond ‘melo’ But here I sit hoping. Drawn dark curtains, comforter and warm sugary oats a far cry more welcoming that the sterile smells of over polished linoleum floors. Floors that bounce the fluorescents straight into the sharp crevices of the pounding and itching. Aaaaaaargh!

This week has seen the incessant arguing still unresolved. Arguments that I still cannot fathom whether they are over highlighted by my inability to see things clearly through the consuming physical distractions. The question still hanging as to whether all my social-media should be deleted. My empath is distraught by the levels of pure horror called humanity. Like seriously what the heck is wrong with us. Hatred, decadence, cruelty, egoism, unwavering self-righteousness, unwilling deafness, and petty self-glory culminating in a broth of absolute Stephen King mastery. Yet kindness prevails through it all as Johannesburg citizens and private enterprise cart gallons of water to desperate Cape Town.

Like a deliberate mic drop this blog swiftly hits the the floor exploding full throttle into the title, ‘Rivonia Revelation’.

Sitting on my patio the other day I pondered the statement that the way to hell is a highway yet the path to heaven a narrow foot path. Taking religiosity out of the equation and loosely referring to hell as destruction and heaven as enlightenment; why such stark varying comparisons. Narrowly escaping the illusion of muchness, I guess, contentment lies within a tiny sphere of just enough to pass through life equipped to live with minimal pulls towards false grandeur. Afterall they say, ‘All that glitters isn’t gold.’ I guess from a distance a flickering furnace might warm the cockles of one but close enough be fried.

I remember the biggest frustration about rehab was the privilege of choice and freedom taken from me. Rightly so as I had become a hazard to myself. Excruciatingly frustrating nonetheless. My ego wanted recovery on my terms. Oh gosh I threw every plausible, justifiable and humanitarian excuse I could think of at my helpers. The truth was that my pampered and addicted ego wanted comfort. My ego, as it still does, does not suffer well. I wanted the ‘world’ to know that I was fabulous but huuuuuney I was a toxic. I needed to be popped into the yellow box inscribed with red, ‘Hazardous’. I didn’t want anyone to know that I hated myself. I didn’t want anyone to know that I felt betrayed by life and myself. I didn’t want anyone to know that death seemed a better option than the ‘Picasso Face’ staring back at me. The very mirror I was polishing in morning duties I didn’t want to do. I wanted my pile of ego blinded anger rather than the labour of discovering the truth about myself that kept me a prisoner to my lies. I thought my nice car, nice home, nice job rubbing shoulders with the whose who was better than facing my truth. A truth which everyday I pay the price to rectify. A truth so beautiful that I see past every propped up designer frilled sequined what-what. I can’t help myself. Every bling I wonder who are we trying to impress and why?If the story behind it one stained by integrity or lack thereof. I don’t know why I feel this way but I am addicted to real. I crave authentic over plush. Even in relationships I value truth as hard as it is over lies. Somehow a lie eats at me and makes me quite insane. A truth I am fighting tooth and nail for. Honesty. Not the kind of debated honesty that is rife with egoistic battle. A truth that when you experience it, as hectic as it is, it somehow releases all the shadows that cling to us like cotton balls in velcro.

Over the years as I have and continuously learn to let go of ego I find a greater joy exists within me. The freedom to choose rather than to follow blindly. Blinded by the fury of glittered masses with hidden secrets and insatiable appetites for indulgence. It is as if I get a taste of something higher than me when I share my little with an other in need. Seeing the need of the hundreds around me, at the hospital, patiently waiting their turn to have medical treatment I am brought into an uncomfortable reality. A reality where human stripped away from behind social media facades and ‘fake it till you make it’ pretense is where the mic hits the tar exploding into full colour realism. Where who we are is the same as they are. Each a story. Each a life striving to survive beyond an ailment. Each a hope of a brighter tomorrow. The arrogant whitey hiding that they are on equal footing as the maid. The concerned maid wondering how her kids got to school as she got here before 6 to get done in time to wash the clothes. By hand. The fearful foreigner wondering if they will be rejected. The elderly, hipsters, nicely dressed, the made up, the couldn’t care less and myself huddled together following a process of wait, pay, wait, get called, wait and hope nothing more serious will follow. Hoping that today will bring resolution so that a life free from this warming but cold reality can be avoided and forgotten for a while. Where ego can stroke our self-glorification and blind us from the fact that we are the same. Frail humans.

SO WHY IS THIS HIGHWAY CALLED EGO SO CONGESTED?

Is it possible that our need for purpose is being used against us by the very same species as ourselves that manipulatively sprinkle sparkles of illusion over our authentic selves? Are our lusts for validation bridled to magnified truths twisted just enough to lead us from the hard underfoot ground to the self-heated, lush, luxury and almost self-driven vehicles filled with fat propped up, injected faces and plastic loaded bodies blissfully unaware that greatness lies in the freedom of choice and not in the low hum of speedometers heading to a chaos covered in bejeweled horror?

As a stylist I often have to swallow the bitter pill of: ” It is the clients choice at the end of the day,” and as a guy desperately trying to do my job honestly to have to sometimes settle for doing something that, although, not life-threatening, still a lesser truth, is tough to do if putting food in my belly is the bottom line. Sometimes I wish I had the courage to starve to death than be forced to survive on a lesser satisfaction. I guess it is like taking a pill to stay alive but one which burns all the way down.

SO WHY DO WE RECKLESSLY FORCE EACHOTHER TO SWALLOW THAT BITTER PILL ONLY TO FALL PRIVY TO EYES THAT SEE OUR GLITTER BUT NOT OUR HEARTS?

The evidence is so overwhelming. Each of us craves this illusive love. Today as I sit in my queue I see it in every set of eyes begging for their personal ordeal to be over. My head pounds as the lights seem to cut like a knife. But yet the prisoner in orange and chain seems more valuable than my hurt. Somehow the beating heart whispering words in a language I don’t understand, so alive. I am content in my pain and itch. I cry as I read the story of the Pastor that got shot and didn’t make it. A whispered rumor is that a colleague hired a hit man so that his own coffers could be loaded. Money honey! Is this where we are at? Money more than life? Are our hearts so dead to the glorious lives we are given? Are we so stained by every luxury that we fail to see the heart that fought bravely to live but didn’t. God I weep, unashamedly.

I LOOK AROUND AND WONDER WHY WE HATE EACHOTHER SO.

For what?

When the mic hits the floor and the rubber burns on the tar we are left with the same result…. you, them, us, I and everyone else are here together. Not one made as better. Not one made as plush. It is our fear of being discovered that we are not really who we display ourselves to be that keeps our ego fed. Our ego hates being aware of the fact that at the end of the day when all is said and done…… we all are the same. Frail humans craving love, hiding behind our plush ‘fake it till you make it’ bravado’s. Trying to be brave in the fact that we are living disappointed. All of us. But we need to find the foot path of wonder and lose the highway of bewildered.

As I sit angered by the one I love, for leaving me to go through this alone, I smile and remember love hurts. I am not the only one. In fact none of us are. My fear dissipates. Joy sits with me in my pain that smiles at those who valiantly serve us today. Who knows what they are going through? Love hurts so beautifully kind.

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NAZARETH: LOVE HURTS

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

URBANE HUMANE

Sandown,Johannesburg

Basking in the sun, pool and company the title of today’s blog struck, “Urbane Humane”. Well sort of anyway. After researching synonyms for sophisticated I stumbled onto the dapper word, ‘urbane’. To give you an inside glimpse of just how shallow I can be, my original title: ‘Sophisticated Dreams’ didn’t fit neatly into a single line, which I wanted, so out with that, in traipsed urbane. Eventually, ‘Urbane Humane’ emerged.

But before I go on, this following Mixcloud Mix has me going all giddy from pure delight. I strongly suggest that you, the reader, click on it and let it create the exact right feeling for this blog.

Click ⬇️

DEEP EMOTIONAL VOCAL #6

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An angle that caught my eye. I love the continuity of colour and the echo in the patterns)

What, amusingly, stuck me about the definition of sophisticated was 'involving a great deal of worldly experience'. Immediately the analyst in my head was, "Wow, how is that for paradoxical?" Such a broad term that certainly conjures up memories of 'worldly' which in my failed moral compass I would hardly call sophisticated behavior. You know what I mean right? The other revelation of this definition begs a question, "If one leads an impoverished life and 'worldly' experience is low, does it mean one cannot be refined/sophisticated?" See what I am saying? This neatly brings me to my title, 'URBANE HUMANE'. Although urbane is steeped in the masculine, sophisticated society has evolved to the point of extending the right to identify oneself by ones own choosing. If you want to be silver-platinum, be one. The truth is, anyone can be platinum but the tone, style, styling and expression of that style must be, individually, designed. I don't want to go into that 'worldly' topic suffice as to say; if it is our right to choose does it mean that it is the right choice to choose?

As an example:

Is it cool to chop a tree down to manufacture matches? The very thing that can destroy many trees, a lit match, and potentially destroy the oxygen/carbon dioxide converters that give us air to breathe?

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(Pic I took that, almost pervertedly, makes the eye beg to see beyond the trail of light….such a tease)

On that note; the EFF/H&M debacle gave my friend/ neighbor and I some great juice to use regarding the racist/not racist debates that filled social media in ZA for days on end. Let me not get into the unsophistication of much of those days….lol. For a truly ZA take on a world crises regarding the question of what is or is not racist click on the link below.

SWEET SUNDAY PERVE

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💋💋💋💋💋

Haibo, and now?

Although a side-angle the quote above nails it eloquently, excuse the pun. In short, the urbane description of a guy who got laid, put into a delightful play on words and metaphor, paints the exact picture of this blog.

So what is an 'URBANE HUMANE?'

In South Africa the war of free-education is a heated topic. The wealthy feel that they shouldn't subsidize the poor, the poor feel they have the right to education, the government is yet to come up with a great strategy to sort the question, and the sophisticated arguments continue. But what if we zoom out and think about a urbane humane system of 'how to?'.

So banks profit largely out of student loans. Right? So what if we cut the bank out? What if we approach corporate society to cough up some funds, or get Swiss banks to hand over hidden Apartheid Arms money towards the cause of building basic but free universities that live -stream lectures from varsities that are funded by more private entities. This way educational standards can be raised as all get access to the same standard of information. Obviously translated into all official languages. By potentially offering jobs to pensioners, or youth needing jobs, who I am sure will love the engagement, we can uplift the living standards of impoverished peeps…. why not? We then insist on a system where successful graduates have the responsibility of having 1% of their incomes separated from state taxes, that are exclusively used to sustain free tertiary institutions. A system like this takes us neatly into an urbane tribal system. The elders lend wisdom and experience to a younger working generation who pave the way for those they give birth too. This way accountability, purpose, validation of humans is effectively implemented in a responsible manner in which no one person feels negated as not worthy. Certainly as time goes on and then live-stream can be replaced by actual people creating more jobs as populations swell, hopefully the funds are used wisely and grow in careful investments so that the divide between private educator salaries and government educator salaries be brought closer to validate the life changing roles of the teacher. This system can ultimately give an urbane society the 'feel good' jolt it needs to bring people together for the cause of living for something beyond ourselves…. the next generation. Also by having vested interest and human ego being what it is, a balancing of all points of view will be attained because we all like dat: 'You want my money honey, you treat me nice, real nice….lol'

On the subject of the way we treat others, Melusi Tshabalala, a guy you should follow on FB, shared a story of how a childhood memory spoke him out of running. Melusi is hysterical and educational as he is teaching his followers African languages through his witty humour. With permission, I am sharing a part of his story that I relate to so much.

"And then there was Zulu church, ezayoni. It ruined my youth. Half the neighbourhood were Godless heathens and the kids would stand on the side of the road, waiting for us to go to church. As soon as we came out of the yard, they'd start singing: "Isonto lama zayoni, yisonto lamagwala. Wake wayibonaphi indoda esonta iphethe induku. Ishaye is-come around, uguqe ngamadolo…" Then I'd start crying and my mom would klaap me for paying attention to heathens and I'd cry some more. Now it's a mess. My green uniforn is wet, with tears, I'm dragging my staff, my face is covered in tears, snort and vaseline. Isphandla (Zulu Rolex) is making me itch ngapha."

As a kid, I had similar experiences regarding itchy stuff and preened for the world to behold in my Sunday best. The point of sharing this story is simply that when we look beyond the borders of our self-made understandings, suburbs, countries and hang-ups we discover that humane is found in every urbane setting.

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(Pic of the iconic Ponte building, JHB, ZA, from the backseat of the Taxify cab on our way to Shakers in Maboneng.)

For a while I have been on a mission to experience how others in ZA live, play and get on in life. The idea was sparked by a guy who, rightly, said that unless I had lived in a shack, limited sanitation, no electricity and walked or caught a minibus taxi as a means of transport, I could not truly understand the disparity between elitism and survival. Profoundly put into context it is both raw and startling. So back to the story of urbane humane integration.

Weeks ago JJ had told me about Shakers. I have been dying to get away from a slippery ‘mostly white stomping ground’ for a while. As an addict in recovery I came across a concept. It went along the lines of this…. for every 1 bad memory, one needs to replace it with 10 different good memories. The idea is to stop our brains from holding onto the largely ‘bad’ memories (our brains latch onto negatives better than positives, apparently), which are strong. We need to reinforce +’s by creating more numbers of fun things to remember. Because most areas in the northern suburbs of JHB are strong memories of many poor choices, to avoid the barrage of thoughts/triggers that follow I am searching for new places to experience myself as a sober human. It is timed well. As I explore my cleaner self, integrate myself into a multiracial social structure and share my journey, publicly for various reasons, I find myself being in a unique global movement of inclusivity.

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(Shakers, Maboneng)

Shakers is a gender mixed, race mixed, and sexual preference mixed venue. With fresh meat one can choose your ‘inyama’ and have it cooked on the spot, VIP area, chill out lounges and African-centered music the cultural experience is delightful. I spent hours taking in the hairstyles, trends, and various dress styles of people. The thing that stood out most for me in this predominantly black patron establishment was the sheer camaraderie between various people. Something I often missed in my predominantly white patron venues. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. The textiles, attitudes, tastes, and expressions of these urbane humans is a pure delight to the eye in a world saturated by conformity.

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(Racing past an extraordinary colored building and colorful cement pillars, has created this excited and intriguing pic)

SO WHAT DO THESE VARIOUS STREAMS OF THOUGHT TEACH US ABOUT BEING AN URBANE HUMANE?

The answer is really simple, clear and cliched. The world does not revolve around us, individually. We are all totally necessary in this world, thus our mindsets need to change from being: MY WORLD to OUR WORLD. It is in this moment where we think plural, we open ourselves to the possibilities of a life beyond understanding. Beyond understanding because each of us do not live in each others heads. So by dropping the protection mechanism of MY to the inclusive OUR, we open the door to a world our brain cannot imagine.

The brain can only have a memory of what has been put into it. So if we dunno, we simply dunno until we do.

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(ending this blog with this pic is such a great shot of an urbane humane experience, transcribed into art, made functional in a situation that creates many uncomfortable urbane humane moments for all of us)

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•