My Heritage



I have to state right off the bat that I wrote this post about two weeks ago, but have been struggling to post the video link forever. I have faced more frustration than any one  person should face in a period of a few weeks, but have felt compelled to persist, and thank heavens for Sara and Nina (read people with high Tech Quotient), who finally helped me load my video onto YouTube. It truly is the simple things that bring so much joy. That post is below, mostly as is:

My last post was heavily-laden. I know. Thank you for bearing with me. I did feel at the time as if I was falling through, as if I was about to disappear down the rabbit hole, and looking back, perhaps I did.

I know that the main issue concerns my current state- 50 years old and standing in front of an unformed future, with zero prospects. It’s not scary, it’s shit scary (but thankfully I’ve since made some shifts, curtesy of the teachings of A Course in Miracles, which I will cover in the next post).

It continues to befuddle me that here I am, with a good work track record, am sort of attractive, with a doctoral degree and love in and all around me, and am basically stuffed. Turns out none of these matter when it comes to mid-life turning points. I look sorted from the outside, but life actually doesn’t care a hoot about my SES, or this body I’ve appeared in this lifetime in. Something new is needed, and I’m not sure I have what it takes to face Maslow’s foundational needs simultaneously with higher level needs- 5, 6, 7?

I’m not at crossroads, I’m simply facing a future unknown, and I repeat, it scares me beyond belief. I just don’t know how to do this.

My health crisis episode of three weeks ago invited me to go within rather, in order to delve deeper into the source of this liminal space. This nowhere, no one space that makes me question who I am, and where I belong.
I have stood here before, in this nothingness of an unknowable space, from where what is essential is revealed only a tiny nano bit by tiny nano bit at a time, but where sometimes nothing shows up even. The only way I have managed to be here in the past, is that it had never felt like I was about to be swallowed up into the great abyss. Something always showed up. Some desirable outcome always presented itself, albeit only for that moment. This time though, nothing. And this time has been a very long ‘this time’.

Last week after reading my post, my eldest sister had phoned to tell me that I’ve actually been like this for seven years since mama’s death in 2009. She’d said a part of me had become unhinged by the loss (goodness did I get unhinged- so much so that I’d dealt with the passing through a little myth I’d written, an African Heroine’s Journey, which inspired a physical theatre piece that I and two other women had been directed and had performed in).

She’d also reminded me that I’d moved provinces from Joburg to Cape Town, running away from the pain of the loss. The running away bit is not my interpretation, but rather what my sister tells me in the phone call. I had never thought of it that way, and even now feel like I moved because I was in the mood to move. Nevertheless, the  move of course had disconnected me from my family, at least physically. The emotional impact of this is palpable every time I go back home to Mamelodi (Yes, I still call Gauteng home, six years into my Cape Town habitation).

But this question of home and my people pulls me in, and asks me to consider my heritage, and what it means. It of course wasn’t lost on me that this questioning coincided with Heritage Month.

As I look into my heritage in an attempt to find myself and home in the world, hm something just doesn’t fit. It all feels too obvious to consult only my family and culture, my ancestral lineage for my selfhood and belonging. I feel like I’m missing some crucial information, but what? Heritage has me asking myself what it is I carry in my bones, and what it is I am giving birth to in my life? How did I get to where I am right now? Where do I come from, and where do I belong? Where am I going?
A few mornings into this exploration, I happened to be looking through my bookshelf for a particular book, when every book on the Goddess jumps out at me. Hmmm…

I have to tell you that just over two months ago, I’d been guided to write a poem which I’d read at the McGregor poetry festival, called Her Light Shadow.

As I page through my books on the Goddess, my mind keeps being directed towards this poem, insisting I read it. I am overcome by it and no further journeying is permitted. Lines keep repeating themselves through me during random activities, in meditations, chatting to a friend on the phone, whilst watching TV…

It becomes clear that I am meant to share this poem.
“But I already have”, I protest.
“No”, I’m told, “you are to read it, so you can hear it, and let it save you.”
“Read it out loud”, I’m told.

I am permitted nothing else except this, for now. So, here is the poem, we’ll,  YouTube link to the poem…(you can also read it by going into a previous post called My Poetry).

Thank you and ka lerato🙏

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