Build himself a sun

He had looked into the void and the void had looked back into him

He wasn’t prepared for that

The void had probed deep into his core code
It had laid his subconscious bare
It had explored way beyond his highest logic centres, filled with their carefully rehearsed narratives…
_ who I think I am
_ where I think I come from
_ who I think you think I am
_ what I tell myself it is that made me this way
his familiar stories had had no power on it,
none whatsoever
He could bluff himself, he found
But he couldn’t fool the void

For the longest time as the process had begun, he tried to hide, but the void sought him out from the dark corners of himself where he didn’t even know he liked to crawl away from himself, let alone others

He had learned new rules to deal with the way the void was stripping him bare of everything familiar,

“If you’re going through hell – just keep going”

“The only way out is through”

“You just need to get half way, plus one step”

There were days the void had threatened to consume him entirely – the pain and severity of the probing, beyond any torture he had ever known

But eventually the storms that had been whipped up inside of him by the prodding and poking of the void, had begun to subside.
The darkness that had consumed his consciousness for the longest time began to draw back and revealed a new landscape

In the literal sense, he found himself physically living far from where he had begun his journey of exploration, and from his first timid steps toward the edge of the event horizon at the centre of his conscious world. He had uprooted himself from his work security, from the annuities, unit trusts and insurance policies to which he had faithfully contributed, all promising security for him beyond retirement, and beyond his death, for his family.
He had left behind him, people who had accepted him – who had played a role in the seasons of his life before this journey into his own nothingness.
He had left behind him fellow worshippers still locked in their limiting views of life and reality, people he knew to be good, but not ready to face a void of their own

From them, and from all of this, he had been uprooted and had then been thrust into the wild by a chaos of the void’s making

The tearing away had very nearly resulted in him ending his own life

Fortunately, as the void had forced him to investigate his own stories about himself, he was able to see the holes in the narrative – holes through which he had felt the need to feel sorry for himself, and therefore end his life – and so he had been empowered to dispense with these harmful stories forever, and found new ramrod, steel-clad strength inside of him…

He learned a remarkable truth about the friendship and help of complete strangers – fellow pilgrims on journeys of their own – not blind and existing at surface level in this world like so many, but like him, drinking deep from the rivers of consciousness that mark a well-examined life

He had given up on all other narratives and fables concerning this life or any other and had determined to find his own truth, no matter how ugly or how magnificent or, how plain, it could possibly turn out to be

He learned that specifics mean nothing

A car doesn’t bring you happiness

A blonde wife doesn’t make you more fulfilled than a brunette one does

A house really won’t make you feel secure and safe

The choice to be possessed by “things” in order to find fulfilment, or (heaven forbid) to be “successful” is shallow and meaningless, he realised. Many desperate lives are led by people who find themselves trapped by the “things” they worship, and in which their search for identity is wrapped up in vain

In a desperate bid to validate themselves they identify with people who are “more successful” than they are, and acquire the things these people have, hoping to discover the fulfilment and happiness they see in the fake instagram smiles they blindly follow. Groping about in the shallows of consciousness, they fail to see how they teach their children to sacrifice their own identities one day

He had encountered a lot of that and it caused him to question himself. “If they all say life is this way, maybe by the weight of their numbers, they’re right”, he had reasoned

He had previously believed that he had messed up in his own life with regards to not caring for family, or having family-first principles

He had had to leave familiar but toxic shores to learn within the void that “family” is people who choose to bare all of themselves and share all of themselves with you, and in front of whom, you are safe to do the same, no matter what, no matter when

The void showed him many things

He had challenged it once upon a time, saying, I don’t care how terrible or how dark or how bland the truth is, and I don’t care if seeking it kills me.
I am already dead in my own mind.
Whatever life and meaning I discover, I’m happy to accept, so long as none of the lies from my past, and which we tell ourselves, continue to trap or define me.

He had come close to the edge of stepping himself over physically into the black-hole beyond the reality he knew before.
It was touch-and-go for the better part of 18 months.
Death by exhaust fumes,
death by drowning,
death by his own hand.
All welcome options to him at various dark moments within the void

But he had pressed on

“learn to rest – not give up” – he had learned another new rule for surviving life’s journey

He had looked deep into the void, probed it intensely, picked it apart and examined every angle. It felt to him like he had looked all the way in – but do you ever really know?

It didn’t matter anymore, he found

The void had looked deeply enough back into him, he felt. He hadn’t asked it to stop, and now the storms in his life were calming down as a new reality opened to him

The void had done its work

What it left behind was a new man, an unafraid man. A man who now grasped the value of time like he had never done before.
It left a man who could be thrust into the deepest, most fiery parts of hell, and make a home there, shining a new light for himself and those around him. Surprised he learned that as his journey into the void drew to a close, he was discovered a new light inside of him.

As he looked back he realised, whenever the void had threatened to swallow him and everything around him, he had found himself learning to burn for himself and for others, a sun.

Things were going to be different now…

Not sure why we’re surprised

Once upon a time a lot of really bad stuff happened to homo sapiens on Tuesdays. They, sorry, we, got eaten by saber-tooth tigers, were trampled by woolly mammoths, bitten and stung by the worst imaginable insects, and without flouride toothpaste, suffered serious tooth decay and major dental inconvenience and pain. And don’t get me started on prehistoric childbirth…
These earlier, smellier versions of us broke their limbs and had appendix problems just like we do now, but they had no anaesthetic, antiseptics or antibiotics, which I’m sure we can easily agree is a bad state of affairs, and so life for them was a much shorter and somewhat brutal affair. The “art” of surgery does fortunately go back a few thousand years for these early us-oids, but was carried out with the kind of tools that cause us to scream when we see them being used in horror movies today, albeit for slightly more altruistic purposes. It’s exactly things like this that cause me to view with suspicion any person who sanguinely states that he wishes for the “good old days”…

Anyway, to roll even further back, there was a time when dinosaurs walked on, swam under and flew above, the earth. Back then, there existed a variety of huge, lumbering, land-bound beasts that scientists now believe were adorned with feathers rather than the reptilian scales made popular by Hollywood, and boy, did they have it bad. The popular saying, “it’s a dog eat dog world” hadn’t been invented yet, and so, since no one had explained the rules of engagement to them, everything pretty much ate everything else. And if a dinosaur or really big insectoid thing wasn’t being eaten, or doing the eating, it was being spat on by super-massive volcanos that were impolitely and inconveniently coughing up new lands everywhere, or it was being rained on by bits of space rock that were fairly commonplace leftovers from the lego pieces that make up what is now our (relatively) stable and peaceful solar system, and which hadn’t yet coagulated properly together to form a Haiwaii beach on a balmy Friday evening.

And before that, well, things were even wilder and weirder.

But let’s fast forward a bit to somewhere after Mrs Pless, but not too close to Jacob Zuma. For calibration purposes, there was a time historians refer to as the Dark Ages, and a time after it known as the Enlightenment, which we are allegedly still experiencing, although a perfunctory glance at a newspaper on any given day would probably supply enough grounds to successfully refute that. And before the Dark Ages there was a time that has different names in different cultures because those different cultures pretty much believed they were the sum total of the known world, so they didn’t have to be “inclusive”, and before all of that is a time we call pre-history.

Throughout the piece of history that includes us, whether in pre-historic or modern guise, the rule about dogs eating dogs was known, and some took this to be the desired state of affairs, like it was an objective to achieve. Which is important to state because, in light of that, farm murders are nothing new, for example.
Vikings conquered, raped and pillaged.
Visigoths burnt down and looted.
Ottomans were not pulled up for a quiet sit down and a cup of tea with somewhere soft to put your feet. They were vicious brutes who rode on horses and chariots and made subjects of peasants on conquered land, while doing things that their version of Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t have let them post on FacePapyrus.
Before the new world was discovered, and violently oppressed, the old world had known and suffered violence and oppression, and people had experienced waves of being subjects, followed by waves of dominating their neighbours, as kingdoms and empires successively grew and waned.

You see, there is a funny rule of nature.

States of chaos and order are opposing points of a pendulum, and reality, which fancies a bit of swinging about, likes to cycle between those states as it orders and then tears itself down again. No one knows why, or knows how it all started, except for some of those sanguine fuckers who like to quote camel-rapists from old books, but whatever the cause, and whatever the reason, this pendulum swinging nature is clearly how the game goes. Right now, we are experiencing a strange kind of cycling where we are enlightened enough to know that we shouldn’t be stupid and tear it all down, but stupid enough to do it anyway even while realising that the consequences of our stupidity are going to be of a global scale. In addition to that, as the dominant life form in our neck of the woods, we appear to have split into 2 distinct branches. One branch appears to be orderly, conscientious and conscious, and the other, dull and ignorant and ever-so-slightly chaos-inducing. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the conscious lot had superior weapons, were better organised and were less hamstrung by a new thing called “rights”, which kind of interfere with the dog eat dog rule, or if the ignorant lot would start watching more television and stop producing dull and chaotic offspring. In the old days, the dull and ignorant lot weren’t as prodigious in number as they now are, but they behaved pretty much just as they do today, and back then the orderly lot could get permits to hunt them and instil a bit of righteous fear in order to stop them from fucking up the royal pumpkin patch. Mind you, when I say the “orderly lot” could get permits, you had to be a very connected part of the orderly lot in order to do so. Of course, nowadays that sort of thing is frowned upon and for good reason. A lot of innocent, orderly people have suffered through the centuries under the hands of these permit holders and despots, who are typically of a kind that are bent on enriching themselves – despots with somewhat of a god-complex about their intelligence and ability, while oftentimes spouting nonsense about divinely appointed bloodlines and families – and able to do pretty much as they pleased with no oversight to rein them in. We as a species just don’t seem to learn.

And all of this, to make this point…

I’m frankly surprised that we as a species and what is now called, a society, are individually or collectively surprised that life and existence is in such a sorry state and seems to be headed for a wall. I hear people complaining about one faction of their society or another, or about how we collectively and globally seem to be shitting in our bed, and polluting and killing everything, as if we ever had a decent, inclusive, actionable plan or the ability to control this cosmic game, and I shake my head in wonder. You see, reality is and always will be a swinging pendulum, and any time reality is experiencing a period of calm and collective orderliness, it, and by extension, we, should be aware that chaos is waiting just around the corner to have a go at the wheel, and that chaos isn’t too picky about what the agent of disaster will be.

It’s nothing personal.
It’s always been that way and it just always will. The fact that some information within this cyclical mucking about has gathered itself together and become self-aware as expressed in the shape of a sentient, albeit somewhat anxious ape, doesn’t suddenly stop the cycling or change the rules or the nature of the cosmic game. One way or the other, order follows chaos follows order follows chaos, and one way or the other, chaos will follow order which will follow chaos which will follow order and so on. Even, and especially on Thursdays.

The Chicken Coup

I have been reading a lot of news lately.
This is bad for the constitution, it seems, and for my stomach.
This news has recently, mostly included reports and revelations about a company called Bosasa, as told by a member of staff known as Angelo who I suspect decided to break ranks with his former boss (Gavin Watson), and probably did so because he got jealous that he wasn’t being given a bigger share of the Bosasa “chickens” to farm with himself, of those he was being ordered by his boss to dispense, to a steady and colourful procession of some of our most glorious revolutionary overlords – all of whom have been shown to have been standing in an unusually orderly row with open hands – and, who it seems, have suddenly turned all agricultural, if all this clucking about “chickens” by Angelo, is to be believed.
What boggles my mind is how Angelo could fancy himself as a farmer amongst them. I mean sure, he’s not a lover of darkies, apparently, so there’s that, and he’s fat and he’s white but I honestly doubt he knows three words of Afrikaans, and besides, it’s Lamborghini that builds tractors and not Ferrari. Any self-respecting farmer would know this.

Come to think of it, with all the “chickens” they have being given I think I just figured out why our glorious revolutionary leaders are so obsessed with land nowadays. Where else must they keep all their new-found fowl? Mind you, the (not-so-)honourable revolutionary keepers-behind-bars-of-our-country’s-criminals, Linda Mti, Zach Modise, Khulekani Sithole and Patrick Gillingham should sommer just pass go and let their share of “chickens” come home to their correctional farms and roost there, since amongst themselves they have both the state land and free incarcerated labour with which to do their farming already. And who knows, if the NPA’s new boss Shamila Batohi is to be taken seriously, perhaps these glorious revolutionary avian agricultarians of the Correctional Services department, all of whom have been so colourfully fingered by Angelo, will yet have their day to don green overalls and farm their own fowl right there on Correctional Services grounds, by their glorious revolutionary selves. One can only hope…

But of course one can’t be too careful, you know. They will need to beef up their security. My aunty Susan from Zeerust says that life on farms is very dangerous nowadays and she would know. Especially when you consider all the security upgrades Angelo and his Bosasa cronies paid for and installed for more of our illustrious revolutionary leaders such as Mantashe, Mokonyane and Myeni, and they live in the cities, where it’s safe! Sheesh.
Ah well.
All this talk of fowl farming has made me hungry now.
Think I’ll take a look in my fridge and see if I can find myself some chicken of my own…

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Its your fault

Jabu Mabuza says it’s YOUR fault. (Jabu Mabuza is the new chairman of South Africa’s power generating and distribution, State-Owned-Enterprise, ESKOM, and he says that we’re all to blame for the energy crisis the country is now in)
Yes, you, aunty doing your makeup in the rearview mirror in your car at the robots on Oxford street while the light turns orange again. And for non, glorious-revolutionary-post-1994-south-africa residents, a robot is not what you think it is, which is probably generally a true statement in any case, but more so in South Africa. In South Africa we call a traffic light a robot. No one knows why. And for all us glorious-revolutionary-post-1994-south-africa inmates, a “light” is a thing that magically shines when you supply it with a rare thing called “electricity”, for which you have already paid, but like an Apple TV, doesn’t come with remote, cables, or an actual TV. But I digress. Yes aunty. While you were there sitting wasting the green light, you caused the current electricity crisis.

And you, single father in Mitchells plain, with your Fetal Alcohol Syndrome child and a SASSA card that used to be your only lifeline in this fucked up life situation that neither you nor your child asked for. It’s your fault. But don’t worry, Bathabile Dlamini who looks alarmingly like a crash test dummy with makeup, only with less intelligence than an actual dummy, will pay back 20% of your grant. Oh hang on, she can’t. She can’t even afford 20% of her legal costs, and besides which she doesn’t actually remember screwing you over, and somehow, for our glorious revolutionary overlords that’s good enough to deploy her elsewhere in government where she’ll surely leave another trail of incompetence and wrecked lives. But I digress. Because both you, your child, and Bathabile are to blame.

Yes, you, little girl getting dressed for school in the dark again in Secunda with no hot water for 2 days. While Jabu’s 18 year old daughter drives to school in the Porsche her daddy bought her, you’ll be pleased to know that together with millions of other “normal” South Africans, you are responsible for the fact that Eskom can’t supply you with the electricity that your parents faithfully paid for. But then again, your politicized municipality hasn’t paid its ESKOM bill for years, so maybe it is actually your fault. But again, I digress.

Don’t worry, it only took Jabu 9 years to wake up and realise that showerhead Jacob Zuma was a crook and then say something about it, so we won’t have to wait long for something tangible and positive to happen, I’m sure. In the meantime, please, dear South Africans, stop doing whatever it was that caused Eskom to become the looted shell of a utility that it now is, so I can switch on my non-revolutionary wifi and post this.

Oh, and, nice hat, Jabu.

~ this post was written in response to this article

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