I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.
- Nelson Mandela
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I do not write this blog topically, politically, of the moment. I try to write with a thousand year stare, but the passing of Mandela opens me up to this moment and it is time to get back to business.
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Asimbonang' umandela thina
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Everywhere around you is evidence of the need to let go of those things that have poisoned your life, that have stopped you, wounded you, made you fearful and small. You were not born for such things. You were born to venture this risk, to test the limits of what you know and what you can bear and find that there is always a bit more to do, a bit more to give, a bit more to love. Such is the way of being at peace with the world, at peace with yourself. What has fucked you has been a mistaken assumption about life, about your life and your place in the stream of life. It is not Life's concern that you believe you were entitled to anything. That is your business. Life is only concerned in what comes next. You can serve it or not, but that is the flow of things and you are part of it whether you believe it or not.
The answer is always to keep one's feet moving, to travel the road, to see what emerges. There was no visible path from Robben Island to the reconciliation of a nation, but it occurred. It occurred because one man kept his feet moving and so a nation moved with him.
You don't need to move a nation. You only need to move yourself, to move with a sense of the possible in your life. There are many dark times that visit each of us. The way out of the darkness is earned by moving while it is still dark, by living by a light only you know: trusting it, tending it, living according to it. And if the external darkness does not change, you will still be living by that light and that is all, that is all, that is all.
There is no cure for life. It is a cluster fuck of beauty and broken-ness, of healing wells and prison walls and it is constantly moving, changing, finding new ways to combine and re-combine its parts to bring something new and emergent into view. Why fear it? Run with it. See what you can do with the wit and time you have available to you.
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Asimbonanga means "We have not seen him."
Asimbonag' umandela thina is "We have not seen Mandela."
For 27 years this was true. He was hidden, but he kept his head pointed towards the sun, he kept his feet moving - even as they were in chains - and because of that we have seen him. Oh, how we have seen him.
Now it is your turn to show us what can be done with a life.
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