Heart and Home

I am not politically inclined at all and avoid CNN, BBC, newspapers, etc. at every turn. If it’s not on Facebook I know sweet-nothing that goes on in the world and we all know that if it is on social media it must be true….cough, cough.

The recent spate of gun violence in the states though and the ongoing day to day murder in South Africa has had me thinking. Here I am in the states, my nether regions hanging somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic cause my heart is here but my home is in South Africa, fighting the need to compare the two very different worlds. It is a pointless exercise for me and I can’t see a positive outcome of the analogy.

I just finished watching Years and Years and in the last episode, the grandmother says something that really hit home for me. I can’t remember the exact words but what I took away was that we are ALL responsible for what happens in the world. If we stand by and do nothing or say nothing, we are complicit to whatever the outcome is. One of the examples that she used was self-checkout counters. We no longer have to ‘deal’ with the human factor when paying for our groceries. We no longer have to make eye contact. We no longer have to show compassion for a person doing an unpretentious job. We no longer have to care. A simple thing these self-checkout counters, right? Mmmmm…or was it another little nudge down the slippery slope of disconnect?

The other thing that jumps to mind is Pitbull Terriers. A whole breed of dog has been vilified and are not welcome in most areas of the world. It was never the breed and has always been the people training them or hurting them that caused them to lash-out. Yet, I did absolutely nothing, except feeling sorry for these dogs, in the comfort of my own home. If the label of killer-dog was hung on say, Labradors, would more people start caring? It’s a question of “Oh well, it’s not my poodle that’s got the bad rap, so I’m not going to get involved.” What if, in 2 year’s time, that label gets slapped on Puffy-the-Poodle? Would we only care then? Would I only get up from my judgmental arse and actually do something to break the stigma?

I was in Washington DC this past weekend and visited the Holocaust Museum. I dripped and leaked with compassion and empathy while walking through the space and was nauseated by the cruelty these people had to suffer. It’s beyond my little brain to comprehend all that they had to face and endure. The slogan that I saw over and over again on the posters at the museum, said ‘Never Again’. And when I left, I though how ironic that slogan was. Because is something similar not happening right now? I know about the camps on the Mexican border but I’m sure it is happening all over the world in all countries where displaced people, immigrants, etc. are not wanted? Like I said, I avoid the news so am assuming here, but atrocities are not secular.

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What my bottom line is after musing this over, is that there are no US and THEM. We have all played a part in fucked-up things happening. We are also all responsible for the good things that happen and even though it feels some days that they are few and far between, there is still good, happy and positive things that occur on a daily basis. If we can stop pointing fingers and stop blaming and start taking responsibility for our actions, our thoughts, our judgement and our attitude towards other people, maybe, just maybe the killing will stop. Call me naïve. Call me idealistic. I’ll gladly wear those labels if it will bring about progressive change.

Nothing what I’ve said is new or terribly enlightened. The penny just hit my head so hard that it left a bruise.

I’ll keep on pondering my role in all of this world’s mayhem and I’ll keep on taking pictures, sometimes thought provoking, occasionally pretty but always demonstrative.

Killin’ Time

It was not ever on my bucket list to be awaken at 12 in the morning by The Husband with a wild look in his eyes. Mmmmm.
Actually, that sounds like it could be fun and a girl can live in hope….but this was not quite the scenario last night. What I should add is that while he was shaking me awake, he was serenaded by tornado sirens. That sort of dampens any lascivious thoughts.

A piece of advice I don’t mind parting with, is that if there is a prediction of tornados in your immediate vicinity, maybe consider sleeping without earplugs and with clothes that night. You’ll be able to save precious minutes before climbing into the bathtub (safest place if you don’t have a basement) not looking for something situation-appropriate to wear when the sirens start bleating. Or you could be like me and say fuck-it, roll over, secure the earplugs and fall asleep again. At least I had The Husband on duty and I’m sure he would have woken me up again if the roof blew off.

Coming from deep dark Africa (cough, cough) I have somehow survived all these years without being nibbled on by lions, licked by a snake, hit by lighting or contracting a deadly disease from vicious insects. In the almost 3 months that I’m calling the US home, apart from the extreme weather, I’ve had to dodge mosquitos that apparently carries the Nile virus and had to be on the lookout for crazed honey bees. Both of which come from my continent of origin. You see the pattern here, right?

The biggest threat I can recall ever facing from animals/insects/nature was having to avoid malaria on one or two occasions. Now all of a sudden, I have to evade a swarm of bees while dodging tornados and falling debris caused by strong winds because the houses are build out of twigs, all the while trying to not be sucked dry by a virus carrying mozzie that survived golf-ball-hail.

The long weekend extreme weather excitement started on Saturday for me. We took a trip through Pennsylvania to West Virginia and on the way back, my phone vibrated like a forgotten sex-toy with a tornado alert in the area which we were driving through. TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY is not really something you want to consider while driving hell for leather on the interstate. I was hoping that I could see something in the distance but apart from dark ominous sky to the right and impressive cumulonimbus clouds in front, no funnel. Just rain. And lots of it. Oh and a rainbow! And Tilly The Tank kept us safe from killer bees and other deadly insects.

I would love to see a tornado and be able to capture the staggering cloud formations and the incredible almost other-worldly light.  But from a safe distance pretty please. And preferably during day-light hours. Although at night, I’ll be safe from the bees.

Exciting times.

 

Into a fold

Three lifetimes ago, I was on a road trip from Cape Town to Augrabies Falls and one of my most vivid memories from that trip, was the people waving at us as we drove through their little towns. It always struck me, a city chick, as an incredible endearing gesture and without fail, would cause a little tightness in the throat.

Fast forward a few decades and I find myself in the northern hemisphere and in a very strange land. Low and behold, same waving-thing happened to me the other day with just a few minor (!!!!!) variances:

  1. I was not driving anyplace that can even be remotely called rural unless you squint really hard and blur out the strip malls, billboards and cars milling about.
  2. I was most certainly not confident on where I was going.
  3. I was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and on the opposite side of the car of what I’m used to.
  4. And lastly, I was driving as if I was gently rolling over Faberge eggs.

Tilly the Tank and I (the Jeep had to have a name, you see) were on our way to the shops and after the 3rd fellow Jeep road user gave me the two-finger-resting-on-steering-wheel-wave, I realized that I’ve been accepted in an exclusive little sub-society that I was blissfully unaware even existed. Regardless whether I might be a complete psychotic asshole, I was acknowledged and sorta-kinda accepted into the Jeep Wrangler fold, purely based on what car I was driving.

What would the reaction be if I wave back with less restrain than I have seen from my fellow Jeep-drivers? Instead of the very civil Jeep-wave, really go overboard and wave my arms in the air with a huge grin on my face, possibly even sneak one of my hands outside the car and give them a thumbs-up. Would they contact each other and send out a warning to steer clear of the overtly friendly silver Jeep driver?

The tightness in my throat still happens when I see that two finger wave. Now though, for a completely different reason.

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Tilly the Tank and me on a windy day

An elixir to beat the dimples: Coffee

My most golden moment is first thing in the morning, when I have my lukewarm glass of water and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It is a fleeting self-congratulating moment and even though I have the best intentions and promise myself that I will be consuming only alkaline food & drink every single morning, I promptly follow that glass of water with a cup of coffee. Every. Single. Day. So much for good intentions.

My name is Lani and I am a coffee addict. And no, I don’t drink countless cups of coffee everyday (two cups are my maximum) but there is no way that I can say no to that morning brew. And that is addictive behaviour, right?

So be it.

A few weeks ago, I bought a new brand of coffee online (my favourite way of shopping) and after the current beans in the machine ran out, it was a good time to test drive Black Insomnia. Now the name should have given me plenty of warning but I thought that my caffeine tolerance was more than enough, seeing that I have my regular dose at least once a day.

Boy. Was I wrong.

The heart palpitations and shaking finally stopped just before lunch after having ONE cup at 7 o’clock that morning. I think they should change the name to ‘ritteltits.

Needless to say, that was my first and last cup…just too shit-scared. I was thinking though, that if the caffeine made my heart go pitter-patter at the speed of, well, Speed, then it can only do marvellous things for my non-existent circulation. The plan is to grind the buggery-beans and scrub my dimply thighs and just maybe, the cellulite will be scared off into oblivion.

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If you feel brave, head over to Black Insomnia‘s site and spoil yourself with their extremely potent brew. They also have other pretty cool stuff – and I love that logo! Me personally, am sticking to my current favourite Lavazza and will get my rocks off in some other way.

Respect!

Love & Light
xx