Nostalgie/Nostalgia

This is another post of long ago memories and remembering. I have been leafing and reading through old journals and precious sheets of paper given to me by dear friends: Poems written by the poets and the artists, the extraordinary people that have blessed my life with rich friendship. I miss most of them, because they are now not part of my day to day, week to week, month to month or even year to year. Some I have not seen or heard from for more than ten years. Yet they live in my heart and I have treasured these pieces of their hearts, of their creative souls. They are precious jewels in my treasure chest of memories, not possessions.

I also have a whole box full of letters and a little stash of cards that dates back all the way to my childhood. It’s not so much that I’m sentimental, it’s what I could keep to remind me of connections made… and lost. I mentioned in a previous post how devastating family relocation was to me, when I was just about to turn twelve years old. I think I lost myself in that move and have been finding myself ever since, more consciously during the last five years.

We are all looking for home, for places of acceptance and love. Throughout my life, friends have given me ‘homes’ for that part of my heart. My family of origin has a lot of brokenness and I live far away from them. A real connection can overcome any distance and grow despite it. We carry memories and hope and people in our hearts and sometimes the appearance of our lives belies the richness that lies within us. I’ve had to learn how to not continually judge myself and my own life as a failure against some set of ill defined external standards. Instead, I had to awaken to my own core values and realise that I have been striving all my life to live according to them, that they are not bad and that I am not bad.

So here are five little poems, two written by me and three by friends. (One person is missing from the list of authors! That little stash of treasure is currently displaced.) It dates back to our twenties. I love them. They speak powerfully of vulnerability, connection, friendship, mistakes, forgiveness, reconciliation, blindness, core values, cultural influence, simplicity, presence. We were deep! We had old souls, or not. We had awakened souls, childlike souls that refused to forget the things we already knew!

They are all in Afrikaans, so many of my readers will have to use a translation tool.

Enjoy!

Blomme vir die blindes

En as jy ooit gewonder het of jy blomme sal
pluk terwyl die skerp punte van die dorings
in jou vingers sny, sou ek jou nie glo nie.
Want wie’t al ooit maanligrose geblinddoek
gaan steel en wie wil met rouseer vingerpunte voel?

Of kyk jy die glimlag van ‘n rooi angelier mis
en vergeet van die oranje lag van die 
Eersterivier kappertjies.
Maak jou oe styf toe en ruik die naeltjiegeur 
tussen jou hande.
Die gevlek bly sit en hang die hele dag in jou hare.

Speel jy wegkruipertjie voor jou agterdeur 
en dolwe die grond vir heuningkelkies.
Soek en soek jy gesiggies wat tussen jou 
kromtrektone pas?

Ek wens jy plant vir my ‘n blom agter my oor
en dan deel ek die glimlag op jou mond.
Maar alleenlik neem ons as geskenk,
‘n bloedbevlekte roos,
los dit in water op en spoel ons ons hande
in onskuld af.

Wat het jy dan vir my gedoen?

Deur: Dorita Harmse 1995

Vryheid

En nou hang ek hier
gekruisig en kaal
sodat jy my siel kan sien

Ek is:

vol berou
       oor my onGodheid
       on vryheid
       on op-staan-uit-die-doodheid

inniglik verlig
       dat jy nie spoeg nie

kindlik bly
       oor die sonskyn
       en die mooi dag
       wat ons
       (uit ‘n ander hoek)
       so dood gewoon deel

Deur: Chelline Kitshoff 1996

Vergifnis

‘n Kaalgestroopte boom
silhoeet wit teen die blou somerlug.

Sy blaarloosheid is weerloosheid
tussen die blaarbedekte somerbome.

O kaalwit boom met jou sigbare siel,
hoe kon ek jou sagte
blootgelegde hart so verniel!

Maar nou dat ek kan sien
weet ek dat niemand enigiets verdien.

Tog kan ons saam juig en dans
en vreugde vind in die splinternuwe kans
om te lewe en te deel en
weer in onskuld soos kinders
saam te speel. 

Deur: Thia Malan 1995

Maar onthou

maar onthou

reeds deur die waasgrys lens
van jou babamens
weerspieel jy hulle oe

reeds van die eerste keer
is jy geleer
om te sien wat hulle glo

maar onthou

reeds deur jou eerste sel
is daar voorspel
in jou gene uitgekryt

jou vryheid is soveel
as wat jy kan verbeel
ter wille van God, breek uit!

Deur: Muir de Wet 1999

Ontwaking

Hoe verblind
Hoe amper kind
sit ons dikwels vas
in vrae and vlakke
kakkerlakke en spinnerakke
mense sonder huise of dakke

soms is die aarde te stowwerig
die rivier te modderig
of droog
niks loop of lyk reg
die hele wereld is sleg

dan help die Gees en baklei teen my vlees

Hou vas aan jou geloof
in alles wat God die Vader beloof
oorwin jou verdriet met ‘n lied
van verlossing en dankbaarheid
vir oneindige liefde en genade
van die Skepper vir hierdie aarde
en die voorreg van wees
verlos en genees
deur die gawe van die Gees

Verstom jou oor die wolke
jubel oor die reen
en weet dat jy nie verdien
om te kan sien nie
maar kindlik bly alles kan los
vir die onbeskryfbare,
onverstaanbare liefde
wat almal soek.

Deur: Thia Malan 1997

So I hope you enjoyed this nostalgic trip of mine! I did! I am so proud of my friends and of myself for asking questions and sharing our lives. I feel satisfied that these beautiful thought and words are not gathering dust on my bookshelves anymore, but that ANYONE can now stumble upon them on the internet. They can be enjoyed and bring encouragement and hope to anyone. If that is you, please get in touch, it will mean a lot to me!

 

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