Friday, February 29, 2008

ramblings - what's your worth?

What is your worth? As a human being? In your career? In your social circles?

We all inhabit so many spaces on a planet with billions of people. Do you ever wonder what you bring to it all? What the significance of you being here is? When you leave this physical realm, how will you be remembered beyond your family and friends? Do you need to be remembered beyond them? How quickly will you fade into distant memory? Or will you linger?

When a celebrity or anyone else the public eye moves on, they are celebrated (some), honoured and remembered. What makes them different from you and I? Are we not each unique beings with much to offer?

We inhabit a world that is becoming more and more connected, for those of us with the resources to take advantage of that connectivity (and we are a minority). This means that our contribution, our impact on humanity can reach that much further. Are we using it effectively?

These are the questions that plague and influence how I view and interact with the world. I just hope I get it right. The real influence lies with the 'ordinary' people, but we all need to step up to the plate and harness the power we have.

Honour those who truly create positivity. Let us not be distracted by the trivial.

Just a thought.

Monday, February 25, 2008

is there a future?

Other than the dreaded writer’s block, staying inspired, enthused and committed to writing is one of the biggest challenges I face as a poet and writer, especially because I continue to dream of living solely off my writing, my passion.

Over the years, I have attempted to do this with extremely limited success, but I still dream of being able to in the future. I envy writers who are able to take a sabbatical and commit to their writing for any particular period, whether a week, a month or a year.

For those of us who have to squeeze the words in between hustling other hustles, it can be hard staying focused on that end goal. At times, it seems easier to pursue the whole writing thing as a hobby as opposed to attempting to build a career out of it. But, the heart, the soul demands that the words be spoken.

Anyway, I struggle to stay excited about the whole poetry writing thing, especially since, in the last two years, I haven’t really been involved in the whole scene in Joburg or beyond. But today, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Nandi, from Inside Out Literar
y Arts Project, an NGO involved in schools programmes in Detroit. It was refreshing to be able to talk poetry and get a different perspective on it.

I have, over the last year, discovered that my joy, my passion lies in the interaction with youth on poetry and writing. They still retain a love that hasn’t been tainted by the external, such as commercialisation, career, etc. They write because they love to. And in being allowed into their space, I remember that I write because I cannot not write. Whether I reach any measure of success in my career as a writer or not, I will always love the Word. And I will always write. Nandi reminded me of this, through her sharing of experience, thought and knowledge.

It is not always easy, but we all need to remember why we do what we do. Why we find pleasure in those experiences. We also need to remember that success is defined by self. Keep on reaching, stay focused, remember and enjoy the ride. It is the experience that counts.

Just a thought

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ramblings - still here

The irregularity of ramblings is a positive symptom of this creature we call 'life'. It is nice to know that it is missed - if the random complaints I get is anything to go by. In all honesty, many a night, I start to scribble some thoughts down but they are never coherent enough to share so I delete them.

Occassionally, I am invited to talk to kids about poetry and there are two things I always harp on about, two bits of contrived wisdom that I believe are important for anyone who seeks a writing lifestyle. These are:

1. Read. If you do not know what other people have, and are, writing, how can you honestly say that you have a space within that realm.

2. Live life. I am often asked what my inspiration is and, as cliched as it sounds, Life is what drives me. And I need to live it to find the reference points for my writing.

Where am I going with this? Well, it is basically a roundabout excuse for why my ramblings are so erratic. I seem to have gone to the opposite extreme. I am so consumed by life that I have no time to write, which in itself is a different challenge. I am the first to go on about finding and living one's passion, one's purpose but this should also not fall victim to the joys and trials of living day-to-day.

It is about finding balance, which I am grappling with right now. I sincerely believe that once we know where we are trying to go, we need to spend even a few minutes working towards this. Your purpose (or what a friend of mine refers to as your personal legend) should be the lens through which you look at the world.

That said, also recognise that, as long as you use that lens and consciously work towards something, you will find that that there is progress, even when it doesn't seem so because, as the saying goes: many small things add up to something big.

Thought I'd share that while I navigate the physical realm building the future I dream of. Not sure how much sense it makes.

An erratic thought.