I did this shoot with Alok in September and shortly after that my life sort of just dissolved around me. Through the tear soaked memories I have of the time - I swear I spent every moment it felt with frozen daggers of fear and shame and anger clawing at my insides - I remember Alok dragging his delicious self out of bed after a night of hard dancing and posing, bravely, for me in the already dazzling heat of the day. He was amazing. That was a very good day.
The intimacy of these shoots sometimes overwhelms me. It is the most ...intense experience to be allowed into the sacred spaces people have crafted for themselves and I am so grateful to be let in - even for a little bit.
Disclaimer: This blog doesn’t make any sense. I wrote the words as they came to my head – literally just put them down as the words popped into my brain with very little thought to how it flows or make sense or is contradictory or problematic or anything. This is what was in my brain and now this is what I’ve put down here.
There are days I look up into the golden spill of sunshine across the sky and I want to disappear into that glow. I imagine sinking into the warm loam of the earth and being drowned in the utter calm stillness of life as love and joy and the bitter ache of pleasure-pain split my skin with that quiet, breathless sigh of completion – of satiation.
My God what a year it has been!
I have cried more and laughed more and felt more than I have in a very long time. I met a new me. I really did. I came face to face with a Nomonde I thought had died but then, when I thought I knew everything buried in the murkiest reaches of my soul another part of me just gleamed into being and I was entranced once more. I have resigned two jobs, lost my hair due to stress, shaved my head, found the courage to truly face my sexuality and finally, finally woken up to the power I have in this life. I know – and I am so grateful for this knowledge – that I cannot control it all and I thank God everyday that he’s got this you know? I love having found the wisdom to know and take comfort in the fact that he’s running the show and that the world is not on my shoulders. And yet I have also finally seen and experienced my own power.
For the past decade I have been making decisions based on fear. It has been so hard facing up to that – I can’t tell you how hard it has been. All this time I have been driven by the urge to succeed: to live up to the myriad expectations people had of me; to make money; to buy a car; to fall in love. The last fearless choice I ever made was choosing to go to Rhodes University to study journalism. I remember the sheer calm and certainty of the moment I made that choice – and the utter belief I had in the fact that the money to go there would come from somewhere and that I would be awesome! LOL! Yes that was the arrogance and ignorance of youth but it was a fearlessness and a self-confidence I lost the year I left home and it’s been a hard 10 years winning it back.
I took my first job because I was terrified of being stuck a journalist. I remained in PR as long as I did because we were broke at home and it was the only way I knew how to make enough money to keep my family going. I left Johannesburg to come to Cape Town because I was afraid I was going to end up trapped doing work I hated, that I was going to die irrelevant and on the fringes of life and then when I left my job and took the new job – also in PR – I only did that because the threat of unemployment filled me with icy dread.
I’ve also been running away from myself. I want love more than anything else on this planet - and those are some fucking hard words to write down. I have so much love but it does not sate me – I’m hungry for more. And I haven’t believed – truly believed – that I had a right to it. I do not trust men. I trust my father, I adore him – I love my little brother so much it makes me ache – and I thought this would translate into a love of other men. It hasn’t and I’ve had to face the fact that I really don’t like most heterosexual male people and that that dislike is based on years of learnt mistrust, of humiliations I’ve been too slow to forget. I don't know what I'm going to do with this knowledge - I do know it has helped me to begin to heal the bitterness a little bit.
I've also - terrifyingly - acknowledged my love of women. This is not a coming out blog lol!! I think I'm still far more straight than I will ever be gay but embracing my love of women, of women's body's - not just their hearts and minds and amazing spirits - has been like taking a deep breath after years of only sipping at the air.
It has been a revelation learning too that I can be the multitude of people and feelings and thoughts and desires that stir my body everyday and that it really is the essence of a person’s spirit that matters and not the vessel - although my God the vessels are pretty and I am thankful for them everyday!!!
Ja. So here I sit – unemployed, looking so forward to going home to see my family, and without a clue about what is coming in the new year. Right now I have no real plan – just the beginnings of one – but I am peaceful and for now I am fearless and I’m just savouring this feeling of fitting utterly into my own body, my own confidence and passion, and my own love for myself. I’ve also pried the pruny edges of my fraidy cat little heart a little wider – a little bit more open. And I am so thankful for my blessings and the networks of support that carry me, carry my pain and joy when I can’t take another step.