Month: May 2014

Meet South Africa

South Africa is not defined by its politics and its crime and its inequality.
It is defined by its natural beauty and its awe and the inspiration that ensues.

I have climbed Cape Town’s beautiful mountain.
Soaked my feet in the warm, eastern waters.
And wandered along Mpumalanga’s waterfalls.

It is the connection with nature.
The feeling it instills.
The loyalty to the universe beneath your feet.

This is where I live.

This is South Africa.

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Who wrote the rules?

I don’t know what his name is, but some guy, one day, wrote something about leading a balanced life…working 8 hours a day, sleeping for 8 hours, and then spending the other 8 in leisure. Very balanced indeed. Thank you, man from extremely long ago. Whose rules apparently still apply.

mountain view

The condition of the instrument determines its success in observation and measurement. If the instrument is broken or damaged, its measurements are bound to be off. Its ability to capture what it has been designed to observe will be altered. It will not succeed in its purpose. We can try and fix it. Glue it back together and re-calibrate, though it may never be as effective. The changes we try and make to it alters it to such an extent that its original purpose somehow becomes void of meaning.

Perhaps we, as instruments, are always too involved in the prospect of the future, too busy trying to be effective, too distracted, too patched up and too obsessed with what we’re trying to measure, to be open to each new experience. Maybe the only way to be fully present is to not be present. To take a step back and change perspective.

If we could see things outside of the long telescope we’re always looking through that always either points from our eye and our memory of the past towards something tangible in the distance… If we could see beyond the small, magnified part signifying the direct past and future – maybe we’d become enlightened by the paths we’ve not yet contemplated for ourselves.

But an image like that, within our direct frame of reference, remains unimaginable. Intangible. We are in many ways unable to wrap our minds around something we’ve not seen or explored or been taught before. Because we’ve been conditioned to believe that life is what it is.

That we’re all meant to follow a pre-ordained path that leads to the same little pot of treasure at the end of the apparent rainbow. That it is normal to succumb to the universal law of mediocrity. To the voices of intellectuals of past centuries. To live by rules set by people who lived in a different lifetime. When opportunities were not as vast. When the world was not as small. When all the answers to life were not yet a click away.

The rules of life have changed. It’s just that we don’t really write them down anymore. And we don’t really educate people accordingly anymore. But that does not mean these rules don’t show significant difference from the ones written by philosophers of the medieval age.

Break free. Make your own rules. It is no longer 1640 and it is also no longer 1980. Look past the future that dead people seemed to have planned for you. Do what makes you happy. Run if you must.

Our journey as human beings is not about following a pre-ordained path, but about creating that path. Life rarely makes any more sense when things are done “in order”. Life makes sense when we are centered in our hearts and we let go of resisting how our unique journey needs to unfold in its own beautifully unruly way.

Home is where you least expect it

Watch on YouTube if you can…

We all leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place. We stay there. Even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there. We travel to ourselves when we go to a place where we have covered a stretch of our lives. No matter how brief it may have been.

– Pascal Mercier, Night Train To Lisbon