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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Stay your amazing self!