Waking up in Woodstock


Waking up in Woodstock.

This morning I woke up in Woodstock. Having just moved in overnight. Boxes opened across the floor and a chaotic clutter that added to my New Years eve induced headache.

Waking in up in Woodstock.

Was a bit of an interesting feeling.
2014 was a bit of a tough year.
I am somewhat at a loss to even piece together the journey it has been.
One thing that is definitely clear to me is that the conversations and interactions I’ve had with many of you.
Both online and offline have left heavy impressions upon me.

After deciding to openly discuss my identity conflicts I had unknowingly set off a chain reaction that led towards a radicalisation of my thoughts.
Many of which was not entirely new to my thinking.. but thoughts that I had long since put to the side now grew in importance when I realized how common the experiences were. How pervasive the mechanisms that have caused me great distress are.
How connected we all are.

I realised that for quite some time I had allowed the world to happen to me.
I attempted to fight back in my own small ways to push back against the restrictions I felt from within myself.
And from those placed upon me.

I think back to sitting in my car at a lunch break at work because I didn’t feel like I had anyone to speak to.
Listening to Afrikaans around a table of old men who cared not for my presence.
Listening red in the face to casual comments that defied the dignity of people I consider my family.
And then I remember heading to the barber.
And crafting a ridiculous hair cut. Which I still wear now.
And sitting at their table.
Responding in English and challenging their politics while I watch them snearingly flick between the hair on my head and my mouth that protests their dominance.

I remembered sitting in a conference room.
Forced to be there.
Listen to a boring pedantic presentation on some simulation software.
Feeling inspired.
Writing my best work of fiction to date.
Re-imagining the city. An Afrofuristic Dream.
I remember smiling will scribbling furiously at the end of that table.
Surrounded by the sound of mouse clicks.
Feeling invigorated.
But scowling. Realising.
That there was nothing that this man could tell me.
That could free me.
And so I wrote. And wrote.
Caught between joy and despair.
Oh just being stuck.
Having to sit there.

I remembered that this morning. Waking up in Woodstock.

I think back to moments sleeping in an airport on the way to the middle of nowhere on a ridiculous trip with someone I barely knew.
Meeting strangers whose eccentricities belong in wildly read thrillers.
And greeted with kindness from them. Which felt almost unparalleled.
I remember sitting at a fire. Wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life.
While listening to a young woman share her fearless dreams, camera in hand. Living on a Prayer. Not so much a plan.

Yeah, I remembered that.

But I also remembered.

Hours of time in coffee shops. While drinks ran cold.
Hours with beers in hand. That went from crisp and cold. To warm. As our conversations began to grow. And glow.
Of friends offering support.
Sharing their stories. Their struggles and triumphs.
Friends from all over the world.
Through their voices I felt like I made a thousand journeys in a year.

..

2014 was one of those years.
That felt all the way through. Like it was an important one.
Political unrest in and out of the country.
Growing youth participation in these conversations.
A sense of uneasiness.
Accompanied by a desire to get involved.
What a time to be alive.
2014.

From the carefully cleaned streets of the upper echelons of the city.
To the masterfully crafted grime of hipster havens.
To the bustling and complex Khayelitsha.
I found myself in the fortunate position of breaking bread with young people whose minds and hearts give me so much strength.
There are some conversations that I have seen happen everywhere. From folks from..
Colombia. Brazil. Finland. Palestine. United States. England. Kenya. You name it.
“Freedom”
What is it?
How can we get it?
What are we going to do about it?
..
There is an air. I get the sense.
That our generation is at a stage where what is important to us is becoming ever clearer.
Our parents are growing tired at their posts.
And they are largely ill equipped to keep up with the quickly changing world that we have begin building underneath their feet.

We are at a point where if we look to one another we can make serious dents in issues that have been left unattended for far too long.

I want 2015 to be a year that provides more Answers than Questions.
I feel like clarity and purpose is within grasp.
It is only a matter of time.
I look forward to working. Dreaming. Drinking. And singing. With each and every one of you in this year and the next.
For progress. For freedom. For tomorrow. For our children. And theirs. And the next. And the Next.

For now I rest my head in my new bed in Woodstock.
Surrounded. And complicit in a strange transformation of this part of the city.
This I feel. Is what it is to be a part of history. To be fully alive.
To be aware of ones surroundings. To take action. Use your voice. Challenge. To thrive.
From the corner of my window.
Just beyond the small yellow brick wall.
I saw the flag of Palestine. Wrapped on the balcony of my neighbor.
I smirked as I saw it flapping with the wind.

Palestine Flag

I wonder. I wonder.
What will be the fate our fight for freedom?
I wonder. I wonder.

What will 2015 bring?

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