Free Like A Bird.

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I fell, hard

My inner demons screaming at me,

Keep falling.

I drifted, into oblivion,

I let my past and present eat at my future,

I fell, hard.

 

My mind battled if’s, maybe and what now…?

It held on to blurred image of the little girl dancing in the rain,

The rainbow refusing to light up her skies,

But danced she did.

 

It’s not real, the meds will make you crazy, and talking doesn’t help,

Pray.

But I cannot, it’s cold, I am lost.

My body, soul, mind…let go.

Tired, but…

Dance!

Rise, my feet won’t let me.

Sing, my voice is stolen.

Dream, I cannot sleep.

Pray, I forgot how to.

Fly, but…

Fly.

 

This time, learn to soar.

This time, fall, but rise.

This time, hurt, but heal.

This time,

Be free.

Written by Amogelang Lekwadu

Photography by Brigid Schutz

 

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Queens of Poetry #TheSoireePicnic.

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Queens of Poety is a Poetry & Picnic event hosted by Artizens of Joburg.

This event aims to celebrate female poets in a picnic setting, while giving them a platform to express their writing skills and engage with the audience followed by a QnA. This event is also a platform for all attendants, not only to socialize but to network and collaborate. Selected various artists will also be gracing the stage with their performances throughout the event to honour the Queens of Poetry.

Date: 23 September 2017
Venue: 13 Rhodes Avenue, Parktown West.
Time: 12h00 – 20h00
Entrance: R 20 (with donations)
R 30 (without donations)
R 50 (Coolerbox)

Please bring clothing donations for children between the ages of 4 – 14 for the Pro Youth Foundation.

We all choose what we want.

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I am the type of person who likes to take simple conversation into consideration. I recently met up with an old friend over luncheon and we started catching up. The conversation started with “how have you been?” to “where is your man?” all she could say is I don’t do commitments, I am in love with a guy who is not here to stay. She went on with the conversation on how they met and so forth. Along our conversation, I got to realize that, while the guy cannot give her promises of “happily ever after,” every minute they spend together is filled with depth and shared vulnerability, perhaps with a good dose of laughter, tears and silliness.

In observing everything she has been saying, a question has been spinning in my mind. How long will she stay in a relationship that has no future? It is more like wasting your time… and in my search for the answer, this is what I’ve discovered to be true for myself. To love is one thing, to be in a relationship is another, they are two separate things. When we feel the warm sensation of love in our hearts, that cosy feelings of a deep connection to all things, of being wide open and touched by life, we sometimes forget that we are the one who created those feelings. That feelings of love is generated from within us.

We human beings have been blessed with the divine capacity to love everyone and everything, so that we can requisitely discern whom to partner with in a relationship. That we love someone, does not necessarily mean that it is healthy or beneficial for us both to be in a relationship. That it works for us to be together now, does not necessarily mean it’ll work for us to be together forever. The bilateral talks with my old friend got me into new life perspective, the epiphany comes when I realize that there is no need for any more shame, self-blame or berating in staying in a relationship that has no particular future. We stay in a relationship, until we choose not to. We are together, until we are not. Perhaps there are lessons this particular relationship offers. Perhaps this is exactly what we need to experience right now. We all choose what we want, not attaching meaning to the relationship status let her off the hook and grants her the spaciousness to just be. A relationship’s success is not defined by its length. I also feel that we should enjoy moments with our partners, whilst they are there and choose to walk away when it occurs to us.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane

Voids.

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Hi.

I think you know me, I think you have heard of me, in fact I believe you have felt my presence when you longingly stare outside the window in the middle of the night hoping for a miracle. I am the thief that sneaks into your inner peace when the moon is full and the tide is high; drawing the blood from your comfort with such hunger and thirst unmoved by the screams of your laughter echoing in the distance. For I, for reasons even I cannot explain, am an enemy of happiness.

I have watched you fill your already empty vessel with new dreams and I laugh in the distance as I paint and picture all the colourful ways. I will murder each one of them, leaving nothing but a rotting reflection of shattered rainbows and golden pots of gold, watch you hold on to the last fragment of your dream before you wake and realise it was nothing more than sugar coated disaster.

I see you clinging on to the false replica of love, filling your blood thirsty vessel with doodles and I heart you on a faded and ashen scrape of paper stolen from your lovers nest. I had wished I could save you from yourself countless times, but I have no room within me that can show empathy to a mind helplessly screaming for an unknown saviour. I wish I could hug you but my very being is moulded from snow crystals, I know no warmth, therefore I cannot radiate light unto you.

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I have watched you cry deep into the night, hugging the stuffing of your once treasured teddy bear, as you sink deeper and deeper into the abyss I moulded specially for you. I have watched you fill your very being with clatters of remedies that will never let you truly escape, drowning in sexual pleasures and hoping the physical release will quite down the mental orgy playing out in your head. seen you seek out the warm embrace in toxic relations that will never blossom into anything other than the thorns they are, each leaving you further damaged and hanging more images of regrets in your haunted house. You have befriended the plastic cup filled with rotting grapes, thinking, the façade can be hidden behind the distant memory your nights have now become, singing lullaby’s in the shower hoping to wash off the pain that not only fills your heart but burn your very flesh.

Why do you keep going to therapy? What do you hope to achieve in sitting on a well-orchestrated room filled with mediocre paintings with a stranger asking you scripted question that have been tormenting you for months on end? Waking up each morning reciting pre-school phrases of “I am perfect, I am beautiful, I am strong”? I hold in my vomit as I watch you lie to yourself in the mirror with a faint smile forming across your lips, only for me to creep in and throw you just a little over the edge for my own amusement. Do you not tire of trying to be strong everyday only for me to fill your brain tiny termites of depression?? It is mindboggling how you are so oblivious to my continued efforts to break you further, to watch you cry and search for the cause of your sleepless nights. How you delve into self-harm in hopes to silence the voices screaming silently in your head.

I want to apologise, for the fact that I cannot let you go. I cannot let you rediscover yourself and find happiness, I take pleasure in you being lost in the noise of your own wishes and thoughts of redemption. I look forward to witnessing the hopeless attempts of those around you as they try to bring you back from the deep end, I am fuelled by the desire to keep you trapped in the hell that is your own thoughts, it’s a shame that I have to kill your spirit so I may survive.

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I am that emptiness inside of you, that lonely hour horror movie that is on repeat in your head. I am that voice prompting you to drag yourself through the fields of depression and worry, that little space inside of you that tub filled chocolate ice-creams and burgers cannot fill. That liquor and ecstasy cannot keep you high enough to forget, that little drug that spikes your emotions without warning, and you spend hours begging for mercy from a distant god. Every day I fuel your depression, I fill your eyes with sweet tears and leave your heart longing for something real. I cannot apologise for my nature.

When you wake up in the morning, and the birds annoy your eardrums and the sunlight beckons you to pull the covers closer and weep. When your mind fills itself with an alternate reality where you are happy and you aren’t trapped in if’s and maybe, remember, I am there. When you find a glimmer of hope in the blossoming flowers of spring and the warmth of your mate and family; I will be there, lingering in the shadows of your heart, ready to chip away at every ounce of hope you try to fill yourself with. For suffering is all I can embrace you with, I am the void that you cannot escape.

Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Bellah Mohitlhi.

 

Negativity Diet II: Positive Thinking.

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Following a piece that I wrote about going on a negativity diet, I thought let me share the power of positive thinking.

One of the most important keys to living a great life is to always stay positive no matter what happens in life. This is especially important if you are seeking higher success, you cannot move forward and go on to achieve your goals if you stay in a negative state. Negativity will drag you down and stop you from moving to a higher ground.

Positive thinking sounds useful on the surface. (Most of us would prefer to be positive rather than negative) but then again, positive thinking is also a soft and fluffy term that is easy to dismiss. In the real world, it rarely carries the same weight as words like “work ethic” or “persistence” but those views may be changing.

Positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile. The benefits of positive emotions don’t stop after a few minutes of good feelings subside. In fact the biggest benefit that positive emotions provide is an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life. In other words, when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that proved that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open up your mind to more various options.

In conclusion, seek joy, play often and pursue adventure. Your brain will do the rest.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane.

Hidden In The Womb.

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I have sung to the stars, the moon and the earth. Shed a tear for a wretched love lost in the fire of pride. Hidden in the shadows of if’s and maybe. Let the umbilical cord be ripped off my heart. In hopes that forever and a day will for the first time be real.

Nine months of broken glass promises wrapped in a smile. Fragile hearts lost in the search for “I love you”. Listening to the broken tune of backseat drivers  “We told you he ain’t shit’” Yapping in the background ‘as if your words will erase. The nine months of the lullaby my own cries have now become.

Nappies and pre-school, dresses and prom, books and graduation. An unwanted nightmare, a princess dress and a slayed dragon. I have become a slave from a missed bloodshed to the first breath of labour. Because I have been biologically programmed to fertilize corpses and birth life. In all, praying my womb carries more than a bastard. Because nine months of “I wish he had stayed”.

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But maybe, just maybe, like others who have breastfed a hungry homeless child. Hiding from the thunder in a makeshift shelter of torn boxes and cans. Loving the supposed successful child from the slums who never questioned naught. Raising more than destroyed temples their daughters might be. Just maybe, Nine months of phoenix rising from the ashes that is my womb.

I have waited for the applaud from the universe. For a life it will spit out as if it is not its own. That my creased dress vomiting flowers. Will be the resting place for my princess on a winter night. That maybe the unsung hero. Is the tainted reflection of my broken heart in the mirror? Maybe my womb was not meant to be an alternate grave after all. Because heaven clings to my side…never letting go.

Alone, I did it.

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Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Kea Mooka.

Reflections of Me.

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Appreciate yourself.

Women’s perceptions of themselves and how they manage their self-identity is often conflicted for a multitude of reasons, and the media often takes the blame, and perhaps for a good reason. I think media has played a crucial role into why women often have distorted perceptions of themselves and that’s not only just through magazines and all movies we are exposed in our adolescence years, but it is well ingrained through our childhoods too.

This got me to a place of critical thought regarding “being you” versus “being happy”. It is hard when I point out the things I dislike about myself. These thoughts often run unconsciously and turns to self-hatred often leads to feeling embarrassed of oneself when pitted against societal standards.

Why should I feel like this? Who told me that having this chin was wrong, and having broad shoulders looks horrible? Of course, there is never one singular person to blame for public opinion so we often blame ourselves. That can be true, since we are responsible for our own lives and our own choices, but if one wants to ‘change’, how does one change for the betterment of society?

You don’t, if you want to ‘change’, you need to want to ‘change’ for yourself.
Changing your own thought patterns, appreciating yourself and how you are, there is only one of you and there will only ever be one of you. You are an individual. Once you overcome the notion that society won’t change yourself for you and stop comparing yourself to other women who are prettier or perhaps have longer hair and perfect eyebrows you gain little more freedom in your mind.

To be able to appreciate yourself you need to be happy with who you are. Worrying less about what you’re not and carring more about who you are will have a positive impact not only on your self-esteem but your life in general.

You are born into this world as beautiful as any other can be. All you have to do is see. See yourself, see yourself beyond and above all that this world can be.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane

Photography by Bellah Mohitlhi