#EkOok

My friend, Yolandi Claassens, writes Afrikaans motivational, Christian-based stuff drawing from her own testimonies.   She has published one anthology already, entitled Padlangs (translation in context of her writing:  The Journey), which started as a blog and Facebook page (much like Reflections of a Misfit).  Padlangs and it as well as her second manuscript, Padkos (translation in context of her writing:  Soul Food) are currently being edited by a different publishing house for publication later this year.

The story of why she changed publishers is outlined in this book I purchased from her today.  It is entitled #EkOok (#MeToo), a collection of stories written by various South African women from all walks of life who share their stories of hope after disappointment and rising after defeat.

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Obviously if I only bought the book today, I haven’t done much in the line of reading.  I jumped to Yolandi’s story, where she had penned the message “Jeremiah 29:11 – make it yours”.  I then happened upon another story about a woman who found out about her husband’s infidelity when she received a text intended for his mistress.  She fell pregnant and came to after the birth, only to discover her husband and his mistress in her hospital ward.  But that’s not all, he went on to tell her that due to her disobedience, he would not be tending to her-, nor the baby’s needs.  If she wanted anything, she would have to ask his mistress.  If your jaws haven’t all dropped in disbelief, then I’d like to know what is wrong with you?!  The writer goes on to say that she has moved on, forgiving her (which I gather must be her now ex-) husband, in order for her to be able to live her life to the fullest.

From my own experience, I know forgiveness is hard.  Especially when you did nothing but care for someone who betrayed your heart so badly, you would rather have died than go on.  But (there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?) forgiveness does enable one to move past the hurt, resentment and anger – eventually.  Also, drawing from my own life, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to let them back into your life when they have (apparently) seen the error of their ways.  I wrote, well ranted, about such an instance here.

Both Yolandi, and the other lady’s story have one thing in common:  We are not always in control of what happens to us, but (this is a good ‘but’) we do command the power of how we react.  As someone who needs medication to keep Darkness at bay, I do know that I can either decide to let It envelope me, or I can take a rest and give myself time to regain perspective.  That is where my authority lies – in knowing that I need to heed the warnings and that having a boundary of I’m not able to (insert whatever seemingly normal activity may become overwhelming at times) is not a weakness.  I can choose to do what I need to do to remain strong.

There are seventy-one stories in #EkOok and my intention is to read at least three a day, because there are stories in it that remind me that no matter how hard things seem for me, there are women that have faced worse and reached a point in their life where they can share their story – that’s true healing, right there.  There are times when I feel unworthy or unloved and there, on the crisp pages of this book, ink dances to remind me that I am enough!

 

Versatile Blogger Awards

The sun is shining a bit brighter today because for the first time since I started blogging, I have received a blogging award! It looks like this:

 The blogger who bestowed this honour on me is Granny, whose blog home is here

Traditionally, when one receives an award like this, he/she graciously passes it along to someone else with no strings attached, but The Versatile Blogger Award comes with some conditions, listed below.

If you are one of the recipients, please understand there is no pressure to accept it – just know that we enjoy visiting your blog.

Conditions:

1. Thank the folks and link to them

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass along to 15 bloggers (and link to them)

4. Comment on their blogs to tell them of the award

I will admit that I was not at all aware that I was even in the running for such an award, and thus was not able, at the time of receiving the award, able to give a proper acceptance speech, but…now that I have had time to gather my thoughts after copious amounts of celebratory champagne cocktails, here is my acceptance speech.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Courtesy of:  

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Knowledge

The first time I came into contact with this quote was in 1993, when I was in my first term of standard six at Ladysmith High School in Natal. It was on a poster in my History class. It has been firmly entrenched in my mind ever since. Having imagination allows for an escape from the confines of what society dictates and what it expects of us.

Many of you know that for the first nine years of my life I lived in Marshalltown, Johannesburg with Mom and my biological father. The flat we stayed in was in the same building where Mom worked and thus, there were no other children for me to interact with.

Mom nurtured in me a love of reading. I would spend hours reading, living myself into the story, imagining myself as one of the characters. My imagination allowed me to escape into worlds beyond the confines and dictations of knowledge.

Everyone knows there is no such thing as The Magic Faraway Tree, but believe me – I climbed that tree many times in my youth and I can regale the tales of my adventures in vivid, rainbow colours for you. M

y primary school reports all had a common thread, “MTM exhibits signs of imagination / fantasy / escapism” and “MTM is extremely talkative during class.”

The latter is understandable considering that I didn’t have other children my own age to interact with after school, but eventually I conjured up an imaginary friend called Penelope, who spent a tremendous amount of time with me and whom I was able to confide in.

Sometimes, like now (as I type this), I can see her – her long white-blond hair braided in two pigtails, her blue eyes questioning my next step with excited trepidation and her laughter ringing through the clear blue sky.

Strangely though, when we left Johannesburg all those years ago, Penelope stayed behind. I know she had another lonely little girl to look after, but when I imagine what they are getting up to, I can only smile.

As I got older one thing that I continued to nurture was my imagination. I remember having to write an essay in Standard nine using the lines:

“Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champ’d the grasses

Of the forest’s ferny floor”

From Walter de la Mare’s The Listeners

I eventually gave up writing the essay in ink and typed it – it was over seven pages long.

The comment I received from my English teacher was something in the lines of, “you have a vivid imagination MTM. Continue to feed, entertain, recognize and foster it – you will not regret it. You have a talent to paint a picture with words. Your imagination is the paintbrush.”

While my blog has become an outlet for all sorts of thoughts, emotions, ramblings and even rants, I have a burning desire to paint masterpieces of imaginary excellence with my words, but all life’s mundane happenings have seemed to stifle my imagination, leaving it almost catatonic.

Receiving this award today has reignited the fiery heat of my imagination, and for that I not only thank Granny as the awarder, but all of you who visit my blog, whether daily or on the odd occasion. I know I’m writing for a reason, but I’m imagining the thoughts running through your minds and the expressions as you read my posts – and that gives me unbridled pleasure.

So, one last time…thank you.

Right, onto the next condition: seven things about me (although I think I probably covered seven things about me in my speech above):

1. I don’t eat fruit. Ironic when you consider part of my job is tasting strawberries. I love chocolate though. I wonder if Cadbury needs a chocolate taster…

2. I can’t have a Sunday snooze if there isn’t a Sunday newspaper in the house. Seriously! No newspaper = no nap.

3. I am totally besotted with David Caruso, David Tennant and David Duchovny. I think I will most likely end up marrying a man called David. Or not…considering it rhymes with rabid. Hmmm Rabid David…sounds like the next Cujo novel.

4. I want to visit Cardiff just so I can see the places where Dr Who and Torchwood were filmed. Is there any other reason to visit Wales?

5. I adore Abba’s music. I could have been Meryl Streep’s double in Mamma Mia, except for the fact that she’s tall and blond and I’m short and mousy. I would definitely not have had a problem kissing Pierce Brosnan or Colin Firth, or the other guy whose name escapes me at this very moment.

6. I have a love affair with two gents called Jack and José. Both have the knack of getting me in the mood to party. Jack even helped me get rid of my last boyfriend, although he’ll never admit it, because we partied so hard, neither one of us can remember what happened.

7. I have seen Fatal Attraction nine times. I still can’t believe that Glenn Close didn’t win the Oscar for her performance of the bunny-boiling lunatic. It’s shocking!

Now for 15 bloggers (I know some have already received the award from other bloggers, but they deserve one from me too)… I haven’t been here at WordPress so long, so I am linking to external portals as well.

The Only Cin

Granny

Lyndatjie’s Blog – It’s Not Easy Being Green

The Barmaid Blog™: Life for a 20-something Manhattan Barmaid

Simon’s One Eye Only

Libra’s Child

Madmom

Don Juan de Kaapstad

Supagran

Lime

Ambi

Colonialist

Adeeyoyo

Zalina Alvi

Confessions of a Coffee Shop Whore

Now, I’m off to go and spread the sunshine and let the bloggers above know that there is something for them to see here.