Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Of The Happiest Places I Have Lived

One of the happiest places I have lived 

I love writing, so whether I am writing to friends, busy with a book or just putting my thoughts down on paper … I am in my element.  I have always wanted to be able to be just a writer when I am wealthy enough to only write, since it is seldom that anyone makes money with writing. Thousands and thousands of books are written every month all over the world and perhaps one or two may get into the top 100 books and begin to make some money.  As yet, I am just one of the hundreds of thousands of people just writing for the love of it.
Over the past two weeks I have had enormous health challenges, some of the days which are just a blur in my memory, and some of the days are just gone.  But what I have missed is writing.  I have wondered why the world seems to be conspiring against me in my absolute desire to write.  First my computer is stolen with the external hard drive that had saved a book in its final edit (I could have cried but decided there must be some reason I am yet to understand why it has gone).  Then I had a borrowed computer until the insurance eventually paid out but instead of a laptop, I now have a desktop (cheaper and less likely to be stolen).  After the myriad things one has to do to get back up and running on internet as well as locating all the necessary software, I was ready to go.  Still I could not get to my keyboard.
My human serum transplants which I have every two weeks in Cape Town takes up a lot of time and since my last blog/letter/article I have been in hospital three times with various complications.   I am certainly giving a new meaning to the words “as sick as a dog”.  There was one point during this time that I actually asked God to please take me because I could no longer cope with feeling so ill.  Well, needless to say, He said, “NAF, I don’t want you here trying to tell me how to do my job”, so here I am, still breathing, dreaming and being.   AND best of all, actually writing again.
Oh, of course there have been the usual things that we also have to deal with as a community.  No water for a few days because the water pipes from the dams broke due to too much rain and then the sub-station blew up so we had no electricity either for a few days.  A lot of people were complaining about it, but since I felt so awful I had absolutely no sympathy for them.  All I could say was “Well, you live in Africa.  Build a bridge and get over it”.  There are many things one can do.  Candles can give you light; a primus stove with paraffin is cheap so you can make a meal.  You can go collect water or use buckets outside (it is raining enough) and fill your bath to use to flush the loo when it is brown.  When it is yellow, you just let it mellow.  I cannot understand why people get so hit up about such small issues.  Even the burglary did not upset me that much since I figured that given the crime statistics … I had been quite lucky not to have been burgled more often.  What I am rather mad about is that they stole my computer – if I had been here I would have helped them put the two televisions in their vehicle and helped them load everything they wanted, but I would have asked them to leave my fucking computer alone.  
And of course, the thief having my gun (with the bloody safe) also makes me mad.  I received a phone call from the police a few days after the burglary that went very much like this:
“How many magazines were there in the safe when your gun was stolen?”
“How?  Thees cannot be”
“There were no magazines with the gun”
“Why not?”
“Because it was a revolver”
“Ow, zen how many bullets?”
“About 25 in the box and 5 in the chamber”
“Where is the sixth bullet then?”
“The chamber only takes 5 bullets” …. And so it is with the weapons crime unit.   Agh, this is Africa!!  You got to love it and have patience or you end up with high blood pressure and a stroke.  A sense of humour is a prerogative if you live in Africa.
I have been up since two this morning.   I was so nauseous which is one of the nastier sides of being ill.  I took some anti-nausea meds, some pain killers, and came to do something productive instead of lying there in that bed feeling sorry for myself.  I can always choose how I want to react (well, almost always) to not feeling well.  And … I have seen the most amazing sunrise this morning.  The nausea has abated, whether due to the meds or due to the fact that I am occupied with doing something I love to do … who cares?  Had I not woken with that nausea, I would not have had the privilege of seeing this beautiful sunrise this morning.  I wish I had the ability to convey to you in words the brilliance of this rising sun – the radiance of this enormous round disc floating in the sky, just under a dark blue patch of sky with fluffy white clouds scurrying across the front of the sun every now and again.  But alas, my ability to describe scenery is quite dismal.  People I can describe, but nature has me buggered.
Having spent so much time in bed lately, I have been doing my other favourite thing … reading.  My reading has some kind of link to it because I go from doing research on Eugene de Kock, to the apartheid era and the politics and dramas of that time, those people who had the power to those who tried to get freedom, from there to communism and the rise and fall of it in Russia … from there to comparing what is going on here politically with what went and still continues to happen in post-communist countries … the similarities are striking.  One day I think I may just do a thesis on what huge social movements can achieve and how they can also destroy the individuals who live within these states.  That should keep me busy for a long time so I won’t be able to die before I have completed that task.
I have very few things on my bucket list … one of them is that I wanted to have dreadlocks. Yesterday I sat for hours in a very comfortable recliner in my own bedroom while I was transformed into a Raggedy Ann – African style.   I absolutely love it but I know that there will be many people who will think I am crazy.  They will be right of course.  And again, I don’t care what they think.
If I did not lift your spirits with this communication, I hope I at least made you smile.   Life is so short, let us live each moment and become more aware of the very breath we breathe.  Thank you for letting me talk to you today.