Embracing melancholy as part of my nature, not something to be denied or relegated to the dark stifling depths of who I don’t want to be is probably the most difficult thing to share.
This is the area from which my style of writing comes from, the most authentic tone as I ponder life’s vagaries. It is this part of me that writes passable prose and the rare poem or two. It is this part of me that keeps those poems private feeling shame of the voice within me. It is this part of me that paralyses me, faced with a blank page, the unformed thoughts, unable to put them into words raging within me, never seeing the light of day to be forever locked away by my inner critic.
Embracing melancholy is what enabled me to write this piece, without stopping, allowing the words to spill from my consciousness to my fingers to this page.
I haven’t yet found a language for my melancholy.
It’s not a sadness it’s not depression. It’s a stirring dissatisfaction with the present, the status quo, of things that could be different, of my role in changing them and the eventual acceptance that I’m not able to change everything…
As soon as the Bolo Rei is in the oven I will start on the lasagne. It’s simple wholesome food tonight.
For tomorrow, the first day of 2018, we braai.
“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
? T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Have an amazing evening.
Wishing you 2018 that will bring you all that you desire.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
? Neil Gaiman
Yesterday Che and I were talking about restoring old things of value. Restorations are something Che loves doing. The love that he puts into bringing life back into an old and misused item is something that is beautiful about him. He recently restored an old oil welder. It was cracked and rusted. After a few months of tlc, it now looks very different. It’s usable now. That led us to talk about restorations and I asked about the cost/benefit ratio of restoring something. Of course, my frame is different to that of a restorer. There are some things that it is necessary to restore to look brand spanking new. And there are other items that need to be restored just enough to still retain the patina of age. That is what gives them value.
“Monuments are anchors in time. Epochs pass, weather erodes, people lose interest. This cannot be helped. But patina itself is worth appreciating. Patina is the value that age puts on an object.”
The same applies to other items such as cars, Fender amps and old oil welders. The patina is what gives items character helping them to retain their value.
The same thing can apply to people too. As one gain in years, people are imbued with a patina of wisdom, the passing of time creating layers of experience, layer upon layer upon layer upon layer.
Generally, in Western cultures, people who have these wonderful rich patinas are put away from mainstream society depriving the youth of learning from their wisdom. Many elderly people lose their purpose in life when removed from the family system, from their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A life without purpose is no life at all and often, at that stage of life, the only purpose an elderly person has is to be with their family.
I love the story of the students who live rent-free in an old age home in the Netherlands in return for spending 30 hours with the residents, giving them computer lessons and cooking for them, helping to combat “the social isolation and loneliness in older men and women which increases mortality” – imagine the wisdom that they can tap into. This story was written in 2015 and I hope that it’s still ongoing.
An incredible structure, mind-boggling, and awe-inspiring! That’s the Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Located in the Grain Silo Complex of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, it left me breathless. I can’t gush enough 😉
If you’re ever in Cape Town, just after going to the top of Table Mountain, you just have to visit it. Whatever you do, whether you’re an architecture buff or an art lover, please put aside at least half the day to begin to do it justice.
The entire space has been carved out of 42x 33m high concrete grain tubes. The moment you walk in there’s a cathedral-like quality to it, the carved silos akin to huge organ tubes. The atrium stretches right up to the roof, the round tops of the silos covered by hardened glass which you walk on when you reach level 6.
Level 7 upwards on the right is a hotel. The Museum spans the whole breadth of the structure until level 6.
The atrium is 27m high and is the central point from which all the 80 gallery spaces on 8 floors connect from. It is shaped like a single grain.
The spiral staircase, in one of the old grain tubes, goes all the way from basement 2 to level 6 – it is an engineering feat all on its own.
A repurposed remnant of the old silo.
The elevator shaft, neatly fitted into grain tubes.
Looking up at the roof from the atrium, at the top of the tube which is covered by laminated glass in a fritted pattern designed by the late African artist El Loko.
The roof is the tops of the tubes, covered by laminated glass with a frittered pattern by the late African artist, El Loko. You can see all the way down to the atrium if you look in between the patterns, very exhilarating.
The roof has a sculpture garden and bulging windows providing gorgeous 360-degree views of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
An old door on the outside, the industrial origins of the building still very much evident and preserved.