Constructively lonely

I went for a long drive yesterday after church.

From Stellenbosch to Edgemead for a quick family visit, then back to Stellenbosch via Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Constantia, Tokai and Muizenberg.

It took me the entire afternoon.

Simply because I had the time, and a solo roadtrip on a Sunday afternoon feels more constructive than a solo couch sit.

I did the same thing on Saturday. Parkrun in the morning, and then spontaneously decided on a Cape Town trip in the afternoon to watch shows at the Suidoosterfees. In-between the shows I read a book on a couch in a quiet corner, and chatted to artists and journalists that I’d met when I was also an artist and a journalist. It felt constructive.

To be honest, sometimes it feels like the single life is basically the art of being constructively lonely. Especially over long-weekends. White privilege acknowledged.

I’m not talking about not being alone. I actually quite like being alone. I’m a strangely extroverted introvert in that sense. I really sometimes want to do stuff by myself, and I don’t mind one bit. Like going to the movies, or seeing shows, or flying cross continents. I actually prefer doing some things in my own company, very content with the conversations I have with myself, and with random strangers along the way …

So, I’m not talking about being alone.

I’m talking about the occasional heart-wrenching ache that no amount of adventure or socialising or work or exercise can fill.

Yes, as a believer I am aware of the spiritual discipline of taking that particular ache to Jesus. I do that. He knows. It helps. Truly, it does. No human can actually love us as fully. No contest.

But, when I’m wrestling with deep loneliness, I end up just moaning with Him over the fact that He made people with this ache. And that it doesn’t go away.

I think loneliness is one of the most interesting emotions. It certainly is a normal emotion, regardless of relationship status.

I think it’s an emotion that can be most helpful to us, if we let it confront what needs to be confronted in our lives. Things like pride, independence, vanity, arrogance, selfishness … etc.

I believe loneliness can either draw us into isolation and self-pity, or it can propel us into vulnerability and relationship. I believe it’s like hunger. You know it’s not necessarily an unchangeable state. When you’re hungry, you can technically speaking just eat something. But it needs to actually be something healthy and filling if it’s really going to solve the problem.

When you’re lonely, you can reach out to someone. You can be a friend.

I however still think there is a level of loneliness that friendship simply does not cater for.

Yes, I have found comfort and fulfillment in relationship with God, and in the companionship of friends. My life is very rich in a relational sense. I am also a rather busy human, generally.

But busy-ness often just pushes soul-stuff to the background – it doesn’t actually deal with it.

It does often take discipline to choose to recognise and confront, and then direct loneliness into constructive activity that is not too self-indulging.

Things like quiet time, Bible study, exercise, studying, spending time with friends, serving people, hobbies etc. …

Alas.

I’m not in the “waiting” paradigm. I believe it is unhelpful to think of oneself of “waiting”. Waiting for what?

I’m not going to place the weight of my happiness on a man. I am, however, going to really, really, really appreciate him in my life. I think it will be wonderful to have someone to do life with. A permanent life-friend. I’m so very much looking forward to figure out how that works in reality.

But I’m not “waiting”, in the sense of falsely believing that life will start when we get together.

I’m 35. Life started a long time ago.

May we find ways to form helpful habits when loneliness strikes, and may we be constructive with the times and seasons that we are tempted to feel sorry for ourselves …

Selah.

Not a river in Egypt

I have always been fascinated with the relationship between psychology and spirituality.

It’s quite a slippery slope to try and climb though, particularly because I neither have a degree in psychology nor theology. So, as with everything I write, but with this in particular, a very adamant disclaimer applies: These are my own creatively subjective internal observations. I might be completely off.  Or spot-on. I do not claim any degree of medical accuracy or foundational truth. I’m just getting some order in my own head, and writing sometimes helps …

So, as I was saying.

Navigating psychology and spirituality is fascinating to me. And it’s a flippen warzone.

It’s no secret that I have the odd experience of mild depression. It is neither clinically diagnosed, nor medicated at this stage. I do however have a counsellor / therapist that I speak to occasionally. There is no shame in needing someone objective (and professionally trained) to help you get clarity in your thoughts and emotions. You see a doctor when you feel sick, right? Same thing.

I know in my case it’s not a mood- or personality disorder (trust me, I asked a few professionals). It lifts before it gets debilitating, I am fully aware of the difference between reality and fantasy, and I can carry on with my life even when it hits hard.

It is just intense seasons of battling with really dark and negative emotions. Jip, it’s often PMS. (It’s a real thing, guys). But sometimes it’s a bit more intense than a general female mood swing. It gets pretty intense up in here. The Afrikaans word is “wroeg”. Wrestle. I’m sure many people can relate.

On a very basic psychology level, the lows (normal sadness vibes) have sort of generally been traced to trauma and loss. Jip, it’s been a few years, but mourning takes it’s own damn time, believe you me. It’s pretty traumatic to spend the last few hours of your father’s life next to his bed in ICU when cerebral malaria and organ failure has set in. Let’s just say it’s not a pretty sight. So, I’ve been easy on myself with getting over that fully.

A poetically inclined dramatically inspired personality (perhaps slightly melancholic at times) also doesn’t help on the downswing. Add to that a bit of loneliness, and a few generally crappy disappointments in love. Some challenges in a few important relationships. Not being quite where I want to be in life in general (ie married and wealthy … jokes. But seriously).

So, there are perfectly normal reasons for the occasional sadness vibes in my life.

Nothing that the rest of humanity doesn’t deal with. I just feel things rather intensely.

Which makes sense on a psychology level, and is dealt with rationally and practically. I try to have healthy life-rhythms: Sleep well, exercise frequently, eat healthy, sing enough, spend time debriefing with friends, focus on others and not too much on morbid introspection … read the Psalms …  eat ice cream … etc.

I also, however, sometimes experience another type of low.

There’s what I would call the bouts of mild depression, as discussed above. In Dutch they say “gemoedsbekakking“. Because that is exactly what it is.

And then there’s oppression.

For the second category, I have not yet found a rational practical explanation.

So, I’ve needed to go to the spiritual reality to get to grips with that one.

Oppression for me is when I somehow sense that there might be an external spiritual influence that affects my mood or mindset. It’s a bit more aggressive.

I do think that some psychological situations actually do have spiritual realities as a cause, and that one can actually deal with the psychology by dealing with the spirituality. But I won’t go there, because much harm has been done in the name of “deliverance”. First apply love, then wisdom.

What I am however saying is that some of the negative thoughts I have wrestled with, I have learned to trace to assaults from demonic sources. Sorry to freak you out. Don’t be. If you’re going to believe in Good, you have to deal with the counterfeit too.

It’s called spiritual warfare. It’s very clear in the Bible that it’s going to always be a thing, until the end.

All authority belongs to Jesus. Just get behind Him. In Him, actually.

Celebrating easter is pointless if you don’t engage with the power of the Gospel. He actually accomplished something on the Cross. It’s not a sentiment. Yes, it’s about eternal salvation in Him. But it’s also about fullness-of-life-now in Him too.

And it seems to me like it sometimes takes some faith and perseverance to experience the fullness of His victory. It’s done, He won. But we’re still learning what that actually means.

Maybe that’s just my journey. But if you’ve also been dealing with the tension between knowing that there is victory in Him, but also not always feeling very victorious … take heart. You are not alone.

I’ve been in a strange mental war for a long time. There have been a few rounds of breakthrough, but in essense methinks denial was basically trying it’s level best to “protect” an inner vow made long ago.

It wasn’t very helpful.

It actually created a foothold for weird mental health type challenges, ie occasional slight delusional tendencies.

Hey. You live, you learn.

Denial is a mental state (a purely psychological mis-perspective). I know this.

I now also believe that denial is a mind-binding spirit. It works with pride (also a spirit), and it works with passivity (another spirit). Often also, with fear (also, a spirit, by the way). Sometimes it’s related to confusion (also a stupid spirit).

Denial is unfortunately a difficult stronghold to break, since it’s very existence is hidden from the person under its influence.

I recently experienced again the freedom that comes from recognizing and being disentangled from the afflicting delusions created by the mental stronghold of denial.

It sounds dramatic. It is, when you’re in it.

It’s nothing when you’re out. Freedom has the final word.

I however needed quite a few people to pray for me, and speak truth to my mind, and the Holy Spirit to shine His light on some deep roots.

I repented from what was revealed to me.

The sticky emotions lifted. The mist cleared.

I’m actually now completely free from the misery of the particular delusion a wrestled with.

That’s the cool thing with recognizing spiritual oppression. You can rebuke it (in Jesus Name) as soon as you’ve confessed it. It has no right to torment you any longer. Light dispels darkness. It’s not difficult math. Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee. Be excellent at what is good and innocent of evil, and the God of peace will soon crush satan underneath your feet. Those last two lines are Scripture, by the way.

And that’s sort of the journey I’ve been on.

Discerning the difference between normal psychology (with a healthy imagination and occasional sad vibes), and spiritual oppression (with delusional disorders and torment).

You should see my dreams. They’re rather whack. I had the Obamas over the other night. Then some building blew up. We escaped safely because the elevator was fireproof … Etc.

But sometimes the dreams are pretty helpful too. Like that time I dreamed about how the following three years of my career life would play out. And it sort of did play out like in the dream.

No, I don’t know who my husband is. But thanks for asking.

Anyway.

To walk out my salvation for me also means to apply God’s truth to the areas of my mind that may still need to be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It also means to use my Sword to break witchcraft curses. True story. Calling angels and praying in tounges and anointing doorposts … etc.

The struggle is real. Flesh vs Spirit. Daily choices. Community. Accountability. Worship. Prayer. Intimacy. Truth. Holy Spirit ministry. Bind and loose stuff, as we are commanded and given authority to do.

And eating ice cream.

Mind-renewal is a spiritual discipline (which includes reading and acting on the Word of God), but there is also a degree of spiritual warfare. Repenting from the sin that keeps us from living in the abundance of the Life He enables us to live, in His Name.

To have the mind of Christ.

The Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, joy and peace in the Spirit.

May you walk in ever-increasing freedom as you set your mind on the things that are Above.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3  

In Jesus Name.

Selah.

Sing a new song, South Africa

It has happened a few times now.

The one moment I’m on stage, singing at full volume. The next moment it feels like something pierces my vocal chords, and I cannot get a sound out beyond a hoarse whisper. It actually feels a bit like being hit with pepper spray in the face. Not that that has happened to me, but I would imagine that it has the same effect. Almost like choking.

Then, no strength to produce sound.

For a soprano who normally doesn’t even really need a mic to be able to be heard loud and clear in the back of a full hall, that is the most frustrating experience. Discouraging. Debilitating.

Yes, I do vocal warm-ups. No, I don’t sing from my throat. It’s all from the core. Always, from the core.

It only happens when I need to be the leading vocal on a song.

For all practical purposes, it feels like my voice gets stolen when I am given the opportunity to lead.

It’s weird.

And I think it has very little to do with me.

South Africa currently feels like it is being choked. It is literally fighting for its democracy at the moment.

Good leaders who have stood against corruption have unceremoniously been removed from their rightful positions. Their voices attacked. Gagged. Silenced.

The nation is upset.

With government.

With one another.

Many frustrated voices, each trying to make their own cries the loudest.

Many people feel like they are not being heard. That their concerns are not taken seriously, or that their attempts to lead something positive are aggressively silenced.

Today, many people are considering taking to the streets in protest. #YESWEWILL #ZUMAMUSTFALL #SAVESA etc.

At the heart of a democratic society is the notion of a collective voice being heard.

I’m not sure if we are able yet to really sing together, though. But, that is our hope.

May today be the start of a new song, South Africa.

I suggest Psalm 46:10 as a tonal reference.

Selah.

It’s complicated.

DISCLAIMER. You can skip the lengthy disclaimer part if you just want to get to the part where I speak about burning bras. But I would read the disclaimer. For context.

Let me just say this: I am not scared to challenge my own opinions. Because where there really is Truth, it won’t budge. I will.

My first priority in exploring topics like the minefield I am about to approach is to humbly acknowledge that my mind is still very much in the process of being renewed. I desire a Biblical worldview. Biblical, however, also implies dismantling religious or cultural or personal preference notions that have been accepted as immovable truth, but are not.

So, before you church-peeps assume that I am implying that all the presuppositions of liberal feminism are worthy of consideration, can I just say that my deepest personal allegiance is to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Submission and sanctification is an ongoing process of dying to self, as you would hopefully know. Selah.

And before you not-so-church peeps write me off as a religious zealot, can I just say that I am also committed to using my emotional intelligence, brain and common sense to make sure that what I believe and how I act is the honest-before-God-truth of what I profess to be a living reality. If you don’t see love and reasonableness in me, you don’t have to listen to one more word from me about Jesus. Because then I’m not representing Him right. Selah.

So, can we sort of hear each other out, and then not judge, either way …

I believe that the Spirit of Christ who dwells in a born-again Christian enables us to know Truth, ie Himself. He has given us His living truth in written form in the Bible. He also gives us His living Truth through the gifts of His Spirit. Wisdom, for example, is one of the gifts where we are given insight into what God thinks about stuff, so that we can align with that, and walk in the delight and freedom of obedience.

So, yes, I do believe in Truth. And I do believe humans can know Truth through revelation. By grace. I desire wisdom.

That is why I dive into my own worldview foundations, to test if how I act in particular situations is not perhaps the result of wrong thinking, often based on wrong theology. Or plain untruth. Or being stupid.

The math is simple.

Truth = freedom. Peace.

Untruth = not freedom. Striving.

This is what has lead me to venture into the topic of power dynamics in gender relationships.

I approach it from the most obvious area of “figuring stuff out” context in my life. It applies to numerous other (probably more important) contexts too.

END OF DISCLAIMER.

I sort of don’t want to write another word.

But that would not be very brave of me.

So, here goes.

I have always believed that it is a guy’s honour to decide to pursue a woman he thinks he might like. Then she get’s to decide if she likes being pursued, or not.

That’s sort of the order of things that has been taught to, and by me.

Baseline: If he likes you, he will find a way to show you, somehow. You don’t have to like him back. You just need to be nice and truthful in the process of figuring out whether or not you do.

Now, that’s a very sanitized way of going about it if he likes you first. It sort of derails the theory if you like him first.

Us decent church girls don’t actually know what we’re allowed to do with that second scenario. Seduction and manipulation aren’t really open to us as options in this game … anyway.

So, we’re sitting with the following:

If he’s not that into you, there is pretty much nothing that you can do about it. The message we give girls is: Don’t embarrass yourself. If you’re not the one he makes an effort with, he’s not the one you should be spending your emotional energy on. Move on. Run for the hills. Delete his number. Boycott yourself from being that girl … We’ve all seen the movie. Ugh.

So, anyone who has heard any form of church-y type relationship teaching would know that gender roles are very much defined in that sense. In recent years, at least. I don’t really see it play out that way in Song of Songs. But anyway.

I am not contending that order. I prefer that order. It sort of feels safer for the feminine heart, somehow, to be pursued romantically than to pursue, initially.

I also know from experience that it “works” better that way. A man will do what is in his heart to do. If you’re not in there, you simply aren’t. And vice versa. I have the utmost respect for that freedom of will to desire and choose. Utmost. I show that respect, and I expect that respect.

But I realised recently that something within that acceptance of the “leave him alone to choose to act on what’s in his heart, and there’s nothing you can actually do about it …” way of thinking, actually bugs me.

Even if I’ve sort of picked up (from guys) that it’s just the way it is … deal with it … It simply doesn’t feel like freedom, if you are the girl in that situation.

Listen, I have sucked it up more than what you can imagine.

I believe I speak from the type of street cred that has recovered from a few heartbreaks by guys who never even knew I liked them. Because I chose to shut-up and back-off and let time show me what they feel for me. That mostly also involves rocking the friendzone, crying in my pillow, and then befriending their new girlfriends.

Others knew, because I told them. The ones I tell are the ones I need to get boundaries in place in order to preserve a friendship that I value more than a crush. They know who they are, obviously. Laughs all around.

On the other hand, some guys also hoped that I might reciprocate their feelings, and were brave in making their intentions known, and I had to be the one honest about what wasn’t in my heart. They also know who they are, and that I respect them immensely for acting on their convictions.

It’s not easy to be in either scenario of non-aligned affections.

So, this isn’t three years of waiting and honoring and choosing to let go, ladies and gentlemen. This is more like 20 years of figuring out how to live this stuff out for emotional freedom to be an experienced reality, regardless of what someone else feels or doesn’t feel.

And my recent unravellings has to do with me, not anyone else. I think I’m wrong in how I’ve thought about this, and how I have thought about myself in this. I need to change. I need to get a new perspective.

To some it might sound like feminism. Women’s lib. Burn the bra.

But I sort of like my bra. It’s practical. And pretty. So, it’s not really that. I think.

There’s the bra thing out of the way then …

Methinks this is probably actually just part of the process of being healed in my sense of self-worth.

So, here’s the fundamental problem I have with how I’ve personally been “waiting to be pursued”:

In this submission to my assigned gender role of being the one who has to wait to be pursued, I have learned to actually completely deny the legitimacy of my own desires.

I have never truly allowed myself to act overtly on what I feel for a guy. For some weird reason, I told myself that what I feel, doesn’t count.

My feelings are nullified. Made void. Declared invalid. By myself.

I think I have never valued myself enough to actually believe that what I want, as a woman, matters.

And that is obviously not Biblical. Even if you take ‘love does not seek it’s own’ into consideration.

I’m  obviously going to have to deal with this, on a deeper level. A Jesus heals level.

This is not the “fault” of any man. I’m not contending for anything. You will never find me in in a “fight” for equality. You will find me grappling in the spaces where people’s worldviews are being liberated to simply live as equals. There is a fundamental difference. That applies to race as much as to gender.

So, in a sudden turn of events, from the girl who tells other girls to “wait for his move, and get on with your life”… I begin to wonder if what I have been practicing as relational truth, especially in the area of romantic initiating, reflects the truth of the liberty I profess to have in Christ.

Am I allowed to like a guy, and do something (pure and sincere) about it?

Experience and instinct says: No. Wait. You will be sought-after and pursued when it’s right.
Experience also says: You’ve been living under the fruitless tyranny of self-denial for years.

Can you see why this is a freaking minefield …

I’m sort of going to pull the pin, and then tap out there. For now.

Like I said in the beginning. My mind is being renewed. Terms and conditions apply.

May we have many more meaning, respectful and fruitful conversations that lead to liberty …

Freedom of choice is a basic human right, right?

Selah.

Being oneself, unapologetically

I recently received a fantastic compliment from someone who told me how they appreciate that I am what they perceive to be, unapologetically myself.

It was meant in a positive and encouraging way, and that is how I received it, but I also thought it might be worth exploring the dynamics of this state of being unapologetically oneself.

Being unapologetically yourself can be a very liberating space to live from.

But I guess it can also be a rather selfish space to live from.

What would make the difference?

Let us ponder together … well, I’m pondering. You’re reading. Let’s get on with it.

One of the theoretical marketing topics I enjoy unpacking is something called Positioning.

It’s a marketing term that has to to with how brands portray themselves to their desired target markets to be known for something distinctive. Think Volvo and safety, Coke and fun, Cape Union Mart and outdoor adventures… that’s essentially their positioning. It’s how they want to be thought of. To hopefully become part of someones life (read: brand loyalty) because the brand resonates in a meaningful way with how the person sees themselves. It can also just be purely functional (ie well-designed technology or sports gear), and actually rather helpful for brands to serve their customers in this way.

Sometimes, the brand becomes a way for the person to show the world who they are … or is it the other way around? Who is using who …?

That’s the strategy behind branding, ladies and gentlemen. Major consumer psychology research involved, in case you didn’t know.

You can draw your own relational parallels if you like.

It takes an intentional, strategically curated marketing communication effort to consistently associate brands with lifestyles to the point of those brands and those lifestyles to be synonymous. It takes years of consistent marketing communication, together with synchronized product, price and distribution efforts, to get people to “know a brand” for what it wants to be known for.

I guess having this knowledge of how perceptions are created and communicated has been both helpful and tricky for me personally.

In a weird world where social media gives us the platforms to portray whatever we want to portray about our lives, it really does take vulnerability (read: guts) to be authentic, without being narcissistic. We probably need more wisdom. I know I do.

As with the case of brands choosing how they want to position, we choose what we want to highlight, and what we want to downplay. We subconsciously (or sometimes strategically and intentionally) curate our social media content to portray our desired positioning to our desired target markets.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s actually Personal Branding 101.

If you choose to play in the social media space, on whichever level, it’s a good thing to decide what you want to put out there, and what stays private. People have every right to choose what they “want to be known for” publically.

Or to not be so serious about it. Whatever.

I just find it peculiar to every now and again meet a version of myself that someone else created based on the perceptions they form from what they see on social media, or read on this blog.

Sometimes I want to be that person.

But often, I am not only that person.

In branding, the theoretical term is “narrow positioning” … which basically means to be known for something too specific that does not represent the full value offering of the brand.

Granted, it often is the brand’s own fault.

It doesn’t just happen to brands, or just online to people, though.

It also happens in spaces where, over time, people associate you with something specific, and basically disengage from or gradually ignore the rest of you.

Methinks that might be the current life space challenge for yours truly.

It was highlighted once for me in an unexpected situation, where I had an opportunity to speak to a group of people about what I felt to be a significant experience (that had nothing to do with my marital status). When I was introduced though, a comment was made about how I am available to be taken out for coffee afterwards, because I am single. Laughs all around, but I felt how that unintentionally sabotaged the significance of the message I had to deliver. I essentially felt demoted from “prophet to the nations” to “single girl desperate for a date”.

In that specific context, “narrow positioning” caused me to feel like the value of my contribution will always be undermined until my marital state changes.

It’s a spiritual principle. Honour allows a gift to flourish and have impact. The opposite applies too.

It can also happen when you are positioned as a specialist in a field that is actually only one of the sub-fields that you have learned to navigate well through exposure and experience.

It’s difficult to decide what to do when you sense this happening.

What do you want to be known for, when you are unapologetically yourself?

I guess I’m still figuring it out.

What I do know is this:

You can be anything you choose to be, especially if you have a natural talent for it. There is very little that cannot be accomplished through grace, opportunity, choice, resource allocation, focus and discipline. Story for another day.

Fact of the matter is however this:

My life as a born-again believer, wherever it is encountered, should actually be increasingly reflecting Someone way more interesting than me.

I’m not sure that this is is always the case with my life.

And perhaps that’s the point of pausing to reflect. Which is what selah means, by the way.

To be more like Jesus is the point of personal transformation (and “self”-actualisation) for a Christian. That is a definition of being a disciple. To be and do as the One you profess to follow.

When we are unapologetically ourselves, we reveal sin-scarred hearts, healed by God’s love.

We still fight with flesh pride, and the vanity that wants to make itself seem important, or significant.

Being unapologetically myself actually means also coming to the place where who I am is seen as being completely insufficient, to be able to reveal how fully defined I am by the grace of God.

Anyway.

In all of this knowing and desiring to be known, my hope is to occasionally be unapologetically myself enough to actually look like the only One who I am supposed to look like …

The only One worth being seen, forever.

We become what we behold.

May that beholding increasingly be His glory.

In a very real, unreligious, liberating-to-ourselves-and-others way.

Selah.

Rekindling romance

Rule one of news journalism … hook them with the heading. Gotcha.

So no, this is not a blogpost about surviving another February without roses. A shout-out to all my peeps, though … keep the faith :).

No publishable news on that front. I know you’re all waiting with baited breath. I’ve sort of let my breath out. Resting in surrender. When the desire comes, it will be a tree of life. I shall keep you posted, promise.

This isn’t about that, though.

This is, however, about rekindling romance.

Not necessarily the kind that gets highlighted by what single people affectionately refer to as In-your-face Day … jokes. But seriously.

The longer I walk on this journey of life, the more I realise how crucially important a sense of the romantic is. And by romantic I actually am referring to all the beautiful and exciting things that make life worth the effort …

So, here goes.

It’s not that I’m unhappy. On the contrary, I’m actually rather content, for once in my life. I have a sense of being rooted, and I am living in that healthy space of peaceful thankfulness for where I am and what I have. It’s a place that I have disciplined myself with diligence to remain in. It is a good place.

It’s just …

I’m not really bursting at the seams with passionate excitement about life.

It’s called adulting, I guess.

Sometimes, you just gotta put your big girl pants on and deal with your responsibilities. I get that. I do that.

Effective time management and functional efficiency. All for it.

Diving into a fruitful routine on a Monday morning, surfacing again on a Friday afternoon. Up at 4am. Prep, gym, work, people, prep … Living the good life. Free from many of the responsibilities connected to marriage and family. I get that it is a blessing to be single, from that perspective.

It’s all good. I’m keen to max out the opportunities, time, energy and health at my disposal.

Challenge is, I have one of those souls …

It’s the songbird in me.

She needs to breathe in beauty. Oceans and mountains and movies and music. Inspiration and adventure.

Purpose and vision and future hopes.

Romance.

She needs soulfood. Otherwise the song fades, and even good days become dull.

She also knows by now that she cannot expect this sense of being delighted about life to be restored to her heart by the choices and actions of a male of her species.

She has to rekindle the romance of her own heart.

To be in awe, once again.

There is only One Source for the soulfood she needs.

She needs to be found in the River, where no good thing is withheld.

Selah.

You have to be really intentional about nurturing your own spirit and your own soul.

Find the things you need to do for the simple sake of having fun. Being you. With or without someone else.

Tending to your garden, so to speak.

Guarding your heart, with all diligence.

Against being disappointed by the limited definition of romance that the world has to offer.

To keep your soul burning with true passion.

Selah.

Hope prevails and delivers, despite …

I am weary of bandwagon prophecy. Let’s just put that out there.

By bandwagon prophecy, I mean people latching on to what they heard other cool people saying, and declaring that to be their own personal revelation. It sometimes feels (slightly skeptical vibe, sorry …) like many peeps be repeating prophetic hear-say, and not necessarily what they honestly sense the Spirit “say to the churches” … #justsaying.

I’m not talking about confirmations. I’m talking about piggy-backing.

That being said, I’m also cautious to not “despise prophecy”, because Scripture tells us to not do that. It also, however, teaches us to test the spirits.

And that is basically what I normally default to whenever I set my ears to “picking up” what the general prophetic sense is at any given time.

Test the spirits. But in order to test the spirits accurately, you need to have your mind renewed.  Otherwise, you just gonna be a mouthpiece for accusations, projecting your own issues and revealing the state of your heart. True story. This “discerning spirits” stuff can mess you up big time if you do not have the helmet of salvation in place.

Will get back to that.

Basics first: If the “prophetic sense” is mainly about ultimately glorifying Jesus as Messiah, I’m generally open to it.

Yes, we are blessed in the process of Him being glorified in and through us. But blessed is defined by the One who blesses in Matthew 5. Go read that for perspective on being blessed.

So, before we even start to talk about receiving the promises of 2017 (or 5777, if you like), let’s just say that ultimately, the fulfillment of all prophecy is already in the Promised One. Selah.

Back to what we want to hear.

I am first in line to want good news. I want to hear that things are looking up, all my longsuffering longings will be fulfilled, all my dreams will come true, and all my tears were not in vain … believe you me, I honestly do want to believe that.

2017: Victory. Answered prayers. Fulfilled hopes. You are coming into your fullness vibes. Some nice things about money. Breakthrough. Etc.

Those are some of the themes I have picked up from most of the “influential” prophetically vibed things that have been released globally via platforms like Elijah’s List. Arise and shine … Isaiah 61. Despite the increasing darkness in the world (ie horrendous politics, dismal economics etc … pretty obvious to all), God’s light shines on His people, and His glory will be revealed (not always so obvious to all, unfortunately). His glory is not revealed to make you look shiny, by the way … His glory revealed … also meaning that there is grace for arch-enemies to forgive one another, for reconciliation between races to happen, and for widows, orphans and refugees to be cared for by His people etc.

2017: Hope prevails and delivers, despite …

It’s the sense I got too, in all honesty. In my bleh’ish mental space.

Arise. Shine.

Let’s be real. To my flesh-ears, the temptation was to make it sound like I am thus finally getting what I’ve been nagging God for for years …

Do you get why I, in that sense, struggled to receive the general 2017 prophetic words of victory and breakthrough?

When I made it about me “finally getting what I’ve alway wanted”, immediately my past disappointments from “standing in faith for years” loomed large …

Because if these personal expectations (longsuffering answered prayers, fulfilled hopes etc) aren’t fulfilled in the natural (as in physically and tangibly, in reality, according to how I think they should be …) this year especially, it seems like it can only mean one of two things:

1) God’s answer to those long-suffering prayers (an answer He took His time at giving) is no (which is, in fact, a legitimate answer to prayer if Jesus is your Lord), or
2) the global prophetic sense was inaccurately interpreted by flawed humans who want to say nice things to make weary people feel a bit better after a difficult 2016 …

Either way, it seems like a pretty definitive year of “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. If I may be so bold.

OK, with the slight cynicism out the way … (before it sounds like I’m testing God or sneering at the prophetic. Which would just be stupid, counter-productive and essentially, self-destructive).

Let’s just say that I have learned that sometimes being ready to receive a prophetic promise (which seems to be the prophetic promise of 2017), includes going through confusing seasons where the opposite of what you were expecting seems to be the reality. Think Joseph, bra. Point made.

So, let’s keep it real.

I had to wrestle with a few stubborn mental blocks to get into the right headspace to even just be hopeful for the year ahead.

First mental block is to actually think that God’s sensed personal promises to you, are just about you. Read Esther to get that out of the way.

Secondly, to wait for a long time for something that one feels is actually just supposed to happen as part of normal human existence, tends to make one weary.

Truth be told, I surrendered many of my heart desires. Or actually, I just let go.

I probably just took a few too many shots to the heart. Or stabs to the back. Bleeding without knowing. Blah, blah, blah … woe is me … etc. :).

Seriously, though. I reached a point where childlike optimism for “the best is yet to come” (normally my default setting) seeped away, and a lukewarm resolve to just do what needs to be done to survive alone (the ultimate betrayal to my soul’s hope) settled in.

Tired.

And that basically sums up the (hidden) headspace I was in when these words of victory and breakthrough etc. started to be released.

Truthfully, my inner reaction was: Seriously? You really want me to rally up some form of sense of “faith” … again … to be able to be “positioned to receive” … again?!

Because that seemed like the pre-requisite. Without faith, you won’t “access” any of this … disqualified by your evil unbelief, you backsliding heathen.

OK. No one said that last bit. But the dramatic effect highlights the crapness of the mindset I was stuck in.

I simply didn’t feel like I had a mustard seed.

But.

You know what?

I really actually don’t know how to explain it.

My real relationship with God simply does not resonate with what so many people say you need to do to receive from Him. Sometimes people make “stand in faith” sound like you need to muster up all your courage to stand as tall as you possibly can to impress God with your level of zeal and determination to believe Him for His goodness to be shown towards you. Pick me, Lord. I’ve proven myself. I’m still standing, after all this time. You gotta bless me now. Newsflash: That’s karma, not grace.

And it is just so far from my reality. The anointing breaks the yoke. Not the determination. Rest, weary one.

So many times the relational reality I have with God is to simply bring my harsh honestly and dramatic brokenness for Him to do with what only He can.

And you know what I found in that process?

He does not despise a broken heart. He does not despise a crushed soul. He does not despise a weary spirit.

He is not intimidated by tantrums, or deterred by false accusations slung at Him from a human heart in anguish.

I think He knows that we don’t know what’s really going on. We cannot see what He sees, so we accuse Him from our lack of perspective.

I have learned to voice those nagging accusations in honest prayer. “Lord, You forgot.” It makes them sound stupid. “Your name is engraved in the palms of My hands …”.

It’s not bipolarity. It’s just loneliness.

None of the hurtful things I have slung at Abba over the past few weeks of being frustrated with myself, have seemed to put Him off loving me. The fact that I trust Him enough to voice my doubts, is also received by Him as faith, it seems.

I find that I still receive from God, despite my lack of sanctimonious behaviour, because of His faithfulness to His covenant.

He is love. He is good. He is faithful.

And I am simply a beneficiary of His goodwill towards man, in Christ.

That is it.

You are welcome to argue that with theology. I’ll just keep breaking my alabaster pots at His feet. You’ll still benefit from the fragrance of broken worship, even in your inability to even recognise the existence of the ministry. Sorry, still a bit feisty … Selah.

Somewhere in a really truthful prayer time two weeks ago week, I realised that I had allowed a lie to bind my mind to despair, and that this was a root of the hopelessness (all is vanity …) and depression (nothing has meaning …) I had been fighting with.

The lie was blatant attack on my hope for the future, and an attack on destiny: You are a has-been that never really made it.

I identified the lie, through what I sense to be the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and replaced it with the truth of God’s Word: I have plans to prosper you … to give you a hope and a future.

That is essentially what it means to take up the sword of the Word, put on the helmet of salvation, and to be transformed through the renewal your mind, to be able to know the good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

In the week therafter, I received a personal prophetic word of how a God the Creator breathes into dust, and creates life where there literally is nothing.

Spot on. Personal. Accurate and encouraging.

Let’s just say, I think I might be out of the woods.

I might even be able to muster up a mustard seed. Imagine what He can do with that …

Heads-up, peeps. Be transformed through the renewal of your mind.

5777 might just be the best year after-all :).

I’m asking God for the promised normal, as painted in poetry.

He knows what I mean.

Selah.

Internasionale belange – ‘n belaglike vlak kortverhaal poging :)

Disclosure: No rock stars were harmed in the writing of this completely fictional ridiculously shallow short-story that apparently is too risque for the magazine I sent it too for publication consideration … So now, you get to read it for free, and judge all you like ;). 

Dis nie nou die tyd om second thoughts te kry nie.

Sy ignoreer die rooi liggie op die foon se skerm wat op haar hart skree.

Sy kan nie nou ingee nie.

As sy die boodskap oopmaak gaan Whatsapp se twee blou regmerkies weggee dat sy weet hy het probeer om haar stilswye te breek. Dat hy probeer het om te verstaan hoekom sy teruggetrek het.

Dat hy dalk regtig wil weet.

Sy kan nie. Nie nou nie. Daar is te veel in die weegskaal.

Die paspoort ry beweeg stadig. Mense is almal doenig op hulle fone. Praat vir oulaas met hulle geliefdes. Sommiges opgewonde om uiteindelik op die langverwagte oorsese vakansie te gaan. Ander reeds moeg van die vooruitsig om vir besigheid van die huis af weg te wees.

International Departures.

Die twee weke wat voor haar strek het nie hierdie keer die normale uitwerking van opwinding en afwagting nie. Sy lewe vir die kere wat hulle spesifiek vra dat sy moet kom. Internsionale lughawens se doolhowe is vir haar tweede natuur. Dubai. Ben Gurion. Attaturk. Zurich. New York. Maar hierdie keer moet sy erken dat sy bang is. Die wêreld waarin sy verdwyn wanneer hulle haar oproep is onvoorspelbaar, en daar was nog nooit so baie om te verloor nie.

Dis nie die tipe ding wat jy met ’n voicenote op iemand laat val nie. Veral nie op iemand soos hy nie. Daar moet non-disclosure kontrakte opgetrek word, en sy moes hom sien om dit te bespreek, maar daar was net nie tyd nie. Hy moes weer vertrek op ‘n wereldtoer.

Sy het nie geweet hulle gaan haar weer stuur nie. Nog minder het sy geweet hoe moeilik dit sou wees om hierdie keer te gaan nie.

Sy agent het uit Nashville uit laat weet dat die toer met nog twee weke verleng is, en dat hy nie betyds terug sou kon wees om haar te sien voor sy moes vertrek op haar “vakansie” nie. “You know how it is when they’re big in Japan, doll.

Sy het geweet. As hy maar net geweet het.

Sy het vrede gemaak met die realiteit van planne wat verander soos wat konsertdatums rondskuif.

Aanvanklik was dit opwindend. Voorblaaie. Onderhoude. ’n Skielike toename in sosiale media belangstelling.

Dit het die agentskap aanvanklik op high alert gehad, tot hulle agtergekom het hoe goeie dekmantel dit vir haar regte werk kon wees.

Sy was verbaas hoe gemaklik sy in die rol van famous-by-association geval val. Die Suid Afrikaanse pers was nie naastenby so behep met haar van soos van die ander lande se media nie, en die plaaslike aandag het baie vinnig weer verskuif na politieke katestrofes toe.

Elke nou en dan het iemand haar erken van sy sosiale media fotos af, maar wanneer hulle besef dat hy nie by haar is nie het hulle vinnig belangstelling verloor. Dit is goed so.

Sy kon wel nie vat kry aan hoe vreemdelinge maak of hulle haar al vir jare ken nie. Tannies wat haar uit die bloute uit DM om te hoor of sy ok is elke keer as hy saam met ‘n ander meisie op ’n foto verskyn. Sy het gou besef hoe vinnig dit oud om die hele tyd op datum te probeer bly met die nuutste skindernuus oor jouself.

Sy het nog nooit verstaan hoekom mense so mal gaan oor celebrities nie. Dis net ’n mens, magtag, het sy altyd gedink. Dis net dat hulle werk in die publieke oog gebeur. Hoekom maak ons nie so bohaai oor dokters of onderwysers nie? Dalk het sy net al te veel gesien van wat aan die ander kant van geld en roem met mense se karakters gebeur.

Dis nie dat sy nie geweet het wie hy is nie. ’n Mens sou onder ’n klip moes bly om die reklameborde en sosiale media hype te mis. Dis net dat sy nie noodwendig deur ’n publieke beeld beindruk word nie. Dis alles smoke en mirrors. Daarvan weet sy baie goed.

Almal was op hol oor die groot ster wat die dag by die agentskap sou aankom. Asof hulle nie met die wêreld se presidente werk nie. Gewoonlik stuur die kunstenaars net hulle bestuurders om sekuriteit te bespreek, maar hy het daarop aangedring om hulle te kom ontmoet. Hy het opgedaag met sy hele entourage, in jeans en leer plakkies. Die sweempie van ‘n Amerikaanse aksent het haar herinner dat hy vyf jaar terug te groot geraak het vir die Suid Afrikaanse musiek industrie. Op sy gemak, soos net iemand wat al voor miljoene oë sy hart uitgesing het, kan wees. Hy het doodluiters daar gesit, en gemaak of hy nie agterkom dat selfs die kaptein so bietjie oor sy woorde gestruikel het met die bekendstellings nie.

Sy het langs hom gesit in daardie vergadering. Soos die noodlot soms dinge bepaal.

Dis sy hande wat haar oog gevang het.

Sy (en die res van die wereld) weet hulle kan kitaar speel, maar sulke hande moet sag kan vasvat ook. Die gedagte was onwillekeurig. Die res van die tyd moes sy baie hard probeer konsentreer op die strategie van die veligheid wat benodig sou word vir sy grootste konsert nog in Kaapstad. Groenpunt stadion. Dit sou hulle grootste projek wees vir die jaar.

Sy het nie gedink dat hy haar enigsens opgemerk het daardie dag nie. Hy is mos gewoond aan super modelle en baie gewillige aanhangers, as sy die skindernuus kan glo.

Dit was mos net ’n roetine vergadering om seker te maak die veligheidsmaatreëls is in plek.

Sy was verkeerd.

Daardie aand was daar ’n boodskap op haar foon. Die aksent was onmiskenbaar. Hoe het hy haar nommer gekry? Epos signature, besef sy later.

I’m still in town tonight, and I would like to make it count. Meet you at 9?”.

Sy het geweet dis ’n risiko. Maar sy was gewoond daaraan. Haar hele lewe is ’n risiko.

Vir een keer het sy ’n kans gevat op haar eie geluk.

Sy was reg oor sy hande.

Die foon ping weer. Haar maag fladder, soos altyd as dit hy is.

Sy weet sy kan hom nie langer ignoreer nie. Sy wil ook nie meer nie.

Die paspoort ry voor haar raak al korter.

Sy sit haar oorfone in, en luister na die voicenote.

Die stem wat duisende mense na konserte toe trek. Die stem wat die mooiste woorde in haar hart ingefluister het die aand toe sy uiteindelik ingestem het.

Die stem waarteen sy haarself nou moet staal, omdat lewens daarvan afhang.

As sy nou een woord te veel sê is alles in gedrang. As hulle uitvind, trek hulle haar dadelik uit die veld uit. Sy weet sy kan nie hierdie assignment aan iemand anders oorlaat nie. Dis te gevaarlik.

Sy boodskap sê nie juis veel nie. Jammer hy het haar gemis. Sy moet lekker vlieg. Sien haar in April as hy weer terug is. Hy het iets geskryf waarvan sy sal hou. Hy mis haar.

Hy weet nie dat sy dalk nie gaan terugkom nie.

Daar was weer ’n terreur aanval. Hoë profiel teikens.

Sy weet wat sy gewoonlik gestuur word om te doen.

Dis net dat sy nog nooit die dood moes konfronteer met ’n nuwe lewe wat in haar eie lyf groei nie.

Al wat sy terugstuur, is die sonar foto wat vroeër die dag haar vermoede bevestig het.

Sy weet nie eers of hy ’n pa wil wees nie.

Voor sy haar foon afsit vee sy al die boodskappe, fotos en adreslys af.

Vir sy beskerming. Vir ingeval hulle haar hierdie keer vang.

Die skerm gaan dood. Hy was nog besig om iets te tik.

Dis te laat.

Dis haar beurt om deur paspoort kontrole te gaan.

Angles of aiming: #2017

I think it is pretty obvious by now that I am not exactly a status quo kind of girl.

I just think that there are always more options to explore when it comes to deciding on how you want to approach this vulnerable life on earth. I try to not accept humanly constructed / societally defined obstacles to what my heart sees as possibilities. Obviously, within the vast boundaries that I shall just call Truth and Grace, for now.

In the light of that worldview, I’m taking a different approach to aiming at 2017.

I normally do quantitative and measurable. Ie get a masters degree (2015). Run a half-marathon, or three / Survive a major career transition (pretty much 2016).

This year, I don’t really feel the quantitative vibe.

It is fascinating how much you can learn about yourself if you make time to take a real look at your heart, to honestly disentangle the emotions that occupy the space.

I don’t take my emotions at face value these days. I sit with them, sometimes for a year, to figure out what they’re teaching me about the state of my heart, and in essence, the robustness of my faith.

So, in the past few days I’ve done that.

Looked as objectively as possible at many different emotions, and sort of figured out what my heart wants to set herself on in the new year. Angling my aim, so to speak.

I’m trying to be as practical as possible, but it would be unfair to not acknowledge the God-seeking aspect to this process of looking for new year’s direction. I believe He speaks, and I believe He wants to set our hearts on His agenda daily. So when I refer to “what my heart wants”, I actually also refer to what I believe He revealed about His desired focus for me.

This process included a solo day-trip through the Kruger National Park on New Year’s day. Where many prayers are prayed, declarations made, and revelations found, on an annual basis :).

So, here goes.

I’ve been pondering on Isaiah 58 for some time. The chapter basically speaks into how we need to  engage with the cause of justice for those who cannot fight for themselves. Being available and present where vulnerable people need protection. So, my first sort-of resolution is to get involved with a responsible ministry that does that. I’ve emailed a few NGOs about volunteering, positioning myself for obedience. Keen to wash dishes or weed gardens, if needs be. That’s the one area I want to grow in this year. Jesus 101.

The second, probably less religiously sounding thing, is to re-immerse myself in stories. Books, theater, movies … I love stories. To read them and to write them. A delight to my soul. So, I’m joining the library, as a step in that direction. Boom.

Thirdly, relationships. Man, I need people. So much. People to have real conversations with, and do significant things with. Like have fun. Climb mountains, have braai’s, drink good wine, and swim in the sea. I value friendship deeply. Sometimes you need to go through a season of feeling isolated to realize that. I value the amazing people in my life, and I need quality time with people that challenge my occasional independent stubbornness :). It’s a love language thing. So, to be intentional about the value of relationship and the communication it requires. Finding those mutually-valued friends, and sticking to them :).

Linking very deeply to that, is evaluating my commitment to a faith-community. Faith in Christ is inseparable from belonging in His church. We have to figure that stuff out if we call ourselves His followers. How do we do this love one another thing. As in, really. Our gifts are for one another.

I’ve been through many different seasons and expressions of charismatic Christianity. Through it all, I know that I believe in love. Spiritual family. I also am a watch(wo)man, which means I often see things that are not true to love and wisdom, and they perplex me, sometimes to the point of frustration and disengagement. (Read: A lack of maturity … :)).

I have struggled for a very long time to figure out where I actually and really fit in the Body. Some of the spiritual gifts I get to learn how to steward are not popular or easy to receive, because they confront, with the intention of warning, or healing. I have had to learn to shut up about what I sense, and just pray. Which has made for interesting times in my personal sense of connection to local congregations and global movements. I have made numerous mistakes that have caused people pain. I have also had to go through very interesting seasons of feeling completely misunderstood, displaced, and basically, unheard. Essentially, rejected. Even in being accurate and sincere :).

Those times are good too. For the sake of wrestling through heart-issues. Like deep-seated insecurity, fear of man, vanity, immaturity, lovelessness, pride, arrogance … you know. The usual.

However.

There is a new Psalm 40 song. The season for singing has come. Let’s see how, and where, that goes down :).

While we’re on music. It’s difficult to explain how much I need to sing. But it needs a very particular context for the sound to be true. So, I shall be searching for that context again this year, having taken a break from the choir that has been such a blessing to me in this regard. I would absolutely LOVE to be in a proper musical.

In terms of work, I’m keen to keep learning and growing. Thankful for a healthy and dynamic work environment with multiple opportunities, and a fantastic bunch of talented people. Just grateful, and keen to expand into the potential of the season.

I think I want to try out photography. I keep looking at breathtaking landscapes and scenery and wishing I had a wider lens. Will see where that goes.

Obviously, I still want to leave the door open for the possibility of falling in mutual love. It remains a desire of my heart to be bride, a wife and a mother. A valued helper, a number one fan, and an equal life-partner. A best friend. A lover. It is a very real, very deep desire that I have had to wrestle with and surrender for seemingly decades. True story.

But the cool thing is that I can actually, in all honesty say that I have learned how to have fun by myself. Finally. Which is a great skill to acquire on this journey of learning how not to wait for someone else to “make you happy”. Seriously people, from what I observe, I’m starting to get where Paul is coming from when he says that he thinks it’s simpler to be single :).

But, let’s just say that hope is still alive. My heart still keeps a special place reserved. Just for in case, you now. I cannot deny the promises that I have protected through many dangers, toils and snares … :). But alas, God’s time is not my time, and I shall just roll happily with that then. It seriously takes two to commit to the tango. So, whenever that happens, I’m ready to dance. Might step on a toe or two initially, but willing to learn to let go and be led. I’m very unique, I know. It will take a patient and determined groom to find delight in a rather wild garden :). But hey, it should be worth it :). Top tip, from a veteran in the Song of Songs 3:1 season: Gotta learn to love yourself before you can love someone as much as you long to. True story.

I think that might be it.

It was good for me to realise that I don’t need to have “get fit” as a new year’s resolution this year. The realization that I need to value being a good steward of my body was disciplined into lifestyle  choices over the past two years. I’m grateful for that. So, just keeping it up, in community, and figuring out if I can run 21km a bit faster …

In terms of what I sensed as Scriptures to guide my thinking about approaching this year, I basically had Proverbs 18:20 & 21 (With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit) and Luke 6:45 (… For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of) as fragrances, mulling around in my mind as I drove into 2017, through the bush.

Basically, choose to habitually speak and declare life. But before we can speak life, our hearts need to by filled with His life. Psalm 45 (My heart is stirred by a noble theme …)

I can testify of a restored sense of this Life. This is a miracle I am deeply grateful for.

May our mouths bring forth good things from the good stored up in our hearts this year, and may the fruit of our mouths bring forth a harvest that satisfies. Not just ourselves, but the people, and a very desperate world around us, as well.

Here we go, 2017.

Laat wat jy doen aan die Here oor, en Hy sal jou die regte pad laat loop. Ken Hom in al jou weë, dan sy Hy jou paaie gelyk maak. Proverbs 3:6

Friendzone filters

“Meisie, jy is anders.”

Ons het op die stoep gesit van die rondawel. Randomste groep mense saam in die snikhete somer. Amper gevoel soos ’n ATKV-jeugberaad ruïnie van die vorige 15 jaar se hoërskool-hoofleiers.

Ek het net gaan daar aangekom, en my reeds-gebraaide tjops op die tafel gesit tussen almal anders se rou vleis. Vir ontdooi word op die vuur. Ek het regtig nie gedink dis vreemd nie. Dit is mos vleis, gebraai soos wat net my pa kon.

Die beskuit wat ek omgestuur het om te deel, het ook vir een of ander rede reaksie ontlok.

“Meisie, jy was maar net nog altyd anders.”

You mentioned that. I heard you the first time.

Die feit dat jy dit oplet, en hard-op sê, ontsenu my bietjie. En ek doen nie ontsenu nie. Ek hou oor die algemeen van center-stage aandag, maar nie noodwendig van so op die spot gesit word nie. Dit maak my onwillekeuring bloos.

En dan kan ek nie wegkruip agter my persoonlikheid nie, want my wange gee my weg. Dit skep ’n persepsie van iets wat ek nie noodwendig wou kommunikeer nie. Die hart wat gewoonlik op my mou te siene is, sê nie noodwendig altyd regtig dit wat mense aanneem nie. My mure is ook maar hoog, en die wagte is ook maar vigilant.

Ek let jou wel ook al jare op. Jy is ook anders. Dit hoef niks te beteken nie. Dis net iets wat ek opgelet het.

Later sit ons onder die grasdak saam met die bruid en bruidegom, en kyk diere wat wei in die river daar doer.

Na jy weg is kom praat die omie wat oorkant gesit en oplet het met my, en vra uit oor my man.

“Nee, oom, daai is nie my man nie. Ek ken hom skaars.”

“O, skies, ek het net opgelet …”

Wel oom, om eerlik te wees, ek moes seker ook erens op ’n stadium opgelet het. Almal het. Daar was ’n club.

Ek let glad nie meer so op nie. Die deur is lank-lank gelede duidelik bot-toe gemaak. Was nooit oop nie. Dit was nie die tipe anderse wat by mekaar gepas het nie. Paaie loop soms vir kort rukkies amper parrallel, al raak hulle nooit nie. Dit is goed.

Maar ek het wel iets geleer daai naweek van friendzone filters wat ek somehow nou weer aan dink.

Dat mens nie altyd weet hoe om woorde te gee aan wat jy oplet nie, en dat jy dit wat jy wel goeddink om te probeer sê opsom in woorde wat veilig is.

Anders.

Dankie. Ek dink? Jy ook.

Ek weet …

Wat weet jy?

Toemaar. Dis nie belangrik nie.

OK?

Los dit.

Dis al wat ek weet om te doen, so ek het.

Emoticon: Poef gesiggie.

Delete conversation.

Seriously? Kan ons nie maar net …

Nee. Ek kan nie. Nie weer nie.

Emoticon: Thumbs up.

Emoticon: Poef gesiggie.

Ek weet nie hoe om poef gesiggies profeties uit te lê nie …

Los dit.

Emoticon: Random kameel. En ‘n pynappel.

Presies.

Selah.