I went for a ride yesterday. Packed my camera in my bag. The same bag that caused some commotion back in 1986 when my family arrived in SA at the now OR Tambo airport. Shaped like a big tekkie and chock-full of sweets ( dubbelzoute drop), the bag triggered some alarm bells at the airport. There I was, a stubborn 8-year-old Brown Dutch boy, protecting my goods. Can still laugh at the mayhem at customs because I did not understand the Afrikaans or English word for shoe.
So, on Sunday I set off from home for my favourite Chapman’s Peak trip. You could say, carrying my baggage in my shoe.
About an hour later I got to the tollgate and started winding my way up. And I just have to say… damn those Italians knew how to build a road just perfect for a bike. Think it is at that point of the trip that my back finally clicked into place, as I took a deep breath and started to relax. My head was clearing up.
No point going into all the details of why my head needed clearing. Let’s just say it was angry, sad and confused… I'm lying, I should just say baffled and damn pissed off with myself, friends and life.
Topics included hunger, separation or divorce, homelessness, joblessness and tik... Just your ordinary topics you run into in your daily life. Well, they got to me and I am glad they did. Those things make me who I am and I thank my friends and the people in my life for that. I really do, I really mean it when I say thank you. I am alive in the most exciting time of my life. And, yes, even if it sometimes takes a deep breath that finally clicks my back into place to clear my head.
I am someone who struggles to stop the mind. My camera and my piano are the two sure things that stop it for me… I've only lately realised why I wake up many mornings completely lost and almost paranoid – because I didn’t or don’t remember my dream. If I didn’t dream, it's like: What happened? What did I miss? Have I lost it? Am I still here? What did I do last? What do I remember? So now, no matter what time I wake up, I know I need to take 5min to just lie there and relax (after sleeping lol ) and take it all in…
And this mind of mine that I have carried around for the last 35 years, in this South African person that I am today, has brought and introduced me to the most genius creative drunkards, paranoid druggies and homeless people. My friends are among soldiers and teachers, scientists, artists and geeks. The politicians, the sailors, chefs and architects all shape my daily life. Including the engineers, the musicians and restaurateurs. There are the waiters, the barmen, the theologians, farmers, students, professors, magicians, clowns and travellers, comedians, photographers, doctors, lawyers, journalist, thieves, police, prostitutes, clerks, bakers and welders. The housewives, handymen, moms and dads, etc, etc, etc…
And the list goes on and on… and in the end I still find that after clearing my head the best friend and only person in my life is me.
If the shoe fits, wear it! I am!