You have my word.

Words have power: that must count for something.

12 Warning Signs That You’re a Writer

1. About getting out of bed: your laptop has booted before you’ve rubbed sleep from your eyes.

2. You have a whole house, but sit in the same spot. Always.

3. Pyjamas transcend time.

4. Talking to characters on TV is the new “talking to yourself”.

5. Coffee is food. I don’t see what the problem is.

6. Pencil sharpenings are not food.

7. Word invention, because they all start to sound the same.

8. Abdominal pain because you’d rather just.finish.this.one.part before using the facilities.

9. Possible to be eating, reading, texting, listening, stroking cats and laughing at the same time? Yes.

10. You’re still in the same spot.

11. All weather reports are disregarded – inside is the same.

12. Couch to fridge to couch to fridge, is exercise.

*Original list written three years ago and it hasn’t changed one bit. OK, maybe it has – my spelling is better.

Keep crashing beautiful wave

crashing-storm-wave-vince-cavataio

Keep crashing beautiful wave

Break and crash and make a scene

They are watching you anyway

They are watching you waiting for peace

They are watching you not knowing you’re also rushing to the shore

Crash and scatter and show your strength in undoing

Show them you are strong enough to break

You are strong enough to spread yourself thin

You are strong enough to draw back again

You are strong enough to try again

You are strong enough to try again

You are strong enough to try again

Break brave wave

They are watching you anyway

It is seldom that they find peace in broken things

But you…

They piece themselves together as you come apart

So keep crashing beautiful wave

Keep doing what you’ve done for centuries till now

Let me tell you a little something about laughter:

LAUGHOUTLOUD

Sometimes it’s all you’ve got; it’s all you’ve got to open your mouth and let out a sound. You can’t hold it but you can have it and that’s all the reason it’s so beautiful. It is not any kind of weight to carry like the sadness and the fear your hold. Those weigh heavy. Laughter is light, and it is light. Laughter is life and often it’s the start of a love that won’t die.

Laughter is more than that though. I remember the first time I saw my love laugh – there’s something about sharing that kind of moment: both of you for those few seconds open up. Laughter connects people. Laughter is more than a smile – although a smile needs credit in its own way. Laughter is sound, and sight and soul – there are few other things as intimate.

Apparently, every fifteen minutes you laugh you add a day to your life. Now I don’t know how true that is but clearly there is some benefit. Something of a truth and something of a cliché states that laughter is good medicine. Let me say that I know this well; I take medicine and it helps but it doesn’t have the same kick as a laugh.

Here’s something you might not expect, you can laugh for sorrow too. Sad laughter is a different kind of sound – it’s a bit like a wild animal that’s been snared. It’s violent and happens when least expected. It is not a gentle laugh, nor is it an excited party laugh. It is harsh, and it hurts. More than that, people who hear it don’t know what to do. Is it a warning cry? Do they laugh too?

But let’s not dwell. Laughter is universal; it’s more than a language. It’s a bit like music in that sometimes you can’t explain it… it just is. Laughter is the sound of not giving up. It feels like applause in your mouth telling you that you can do it – that you’re going to make it – that you’re doing well. Laughter has a ripple effect, like you pay happiness forward without having to do a thing except open your mouth and let out a sound.

Don’t leave me. Or am I better off alone?

It goes without saying that times are hard – there is a rarely a reality that sits closer to the tip of our tongues than this. South Africa is by no means exempt from this reality either – if anything, the day-to-day truth of this is evident from the poorest to the richest. Yes, even the rich face tragedy in the trying air of this country.

South-Africa-Landscape

I love South Africa – through and through. It is beautiful; it is colourful. Despite the challenges, we are strong. We know a good thing when we see it and we smile. We are fierce. We have not given up. As much as it is “easy” to look for a way out – a better neighbourhood, more security, moving to another country – it is so easy to take a step back and admire what we actually have.

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For a moment, remove the proverbial stones in shoe and breathe in the glory of this great land. Forget the blackouts, the etolls, the “security” swimming pools, the theft, the apathy. Forget it all and rather think of freedom. Think of our ocean of cultures, and races, and languages, and South Africanisms. Think of the minimal natural disasters, think of the hand-in-hand way of life overcoming dire poverty and ruin. Think of family – not only immediate, but your friends, the man selling newspapers at the robot each morning, the strangers who become part of the pack around a braai (with a Black Label and some biltong).

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I am not denying that we have some work to do, but what a great time to be alive in a country that is far from boring – for better or for worse. South Africa will teach you many things, namely, how to survive… how to survive and make a difference at the same time. Maybe it’s a cup of sugar to the woman across the street, maybe it’s giving someone a ride home, maybe it’s buying a bar of soap for the small community sleeping under a shop’s balcony. This is who we are.

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All this to say that Freshly Ground just dropped this amazing song called “Don’t Leave Me” – the perfect plea for a country. South Africa, you’ll be glad to know that I’m not going anywhere.

Readers, I hope you’ll stay too.

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