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It’s my last few days in Cape Town before I head home. I was summoned home by my Mother. Daddy needs you. In truth, she needs me to keep her sane. As my Mother knows all my time will be dedicated to the family and ensuring everyone is okay. I don’t mind as there is no reason to be in CT anymore. Yet, a small bit of anxiety arose in the pit of my stomach nevertheless.

Why is it, I wondered that we lie to ourselves so much? I just spoke to a friend and asked him the same question. I know, as one of his closest people, what matters to him and what he needs. This bothers me a great deal – what we need and what we want. I tend to think that we are never certain in any of it. Only in retrospect do the things we need and want become clear.

As I wrote music for the past few weeks I took inventory of the last two years and my every interaction with others in my life. All of us would love nothing other than to have someone we love and trust at our side. Yet we pretend we are better off on our own. A small love affair here and a fling there, just a little something-something to make the days more bearable. Bullshit. Everyone needs deeper connection. No one knows how to manage any of it when it comes to us, and the lessons we learnt through it.

I try not to lie to myself…but when family is concerned, and my father specifically, it becomes tricky. If my Mother had her way I would never leave the beautiful town they live in. I would marry some man who lives close by and cook for them every day.  Also she does not want my father to die. Her light is so strong, so bright that I am convinced it is what keeps my Father going. What is it I want or desire? In an ideal world? To be in studio with Ben Harper naturally. Yet here I am, packing my bags to leave and see my father become sicker and sicker everyday.

I mentioned being rootless the other day. It is not that I am without fertile ground to sink my feet in. I just fear doing so. There is the real risk of facing more loss, when I make space for more people in my life. I cried when I heard my Mother and daughter snore badly a few months ago…I was so happy to have the two people I love in one space. When I woke up not a trace of that deep feeling was seen on my face. I stood back and watched them go about their lives while I stood outside of it.

Why do we lie to ourselves about what keeps us sane? About the places and people who make us feel loved and safe? Why are we so scared to reach out and touch the face of someone we love and say….I was an idiot.  Or, I have to leave as I have no idea who I am when I am around you anymore? Or, come and be a part of my life? And if you do I might not know how it will turn out but I am gonna love you anyway?

How does one balance being kind with the real needs we have as human beings? I had to learn to speak up and louder at that. As being considerate all the time lead to me being everyone’s doormat. This is why I have no choice but to murder people off in songs. Balance.

I know when I get home I will cry as I sit outside, smoke and hear my Mother play her church tunes badly on that piano. I know the lump in my throat will swell as I eat my Father’s ghetto soup (as he calls it) and I will mourn being without music while I stare at that open sky that’s filled with as much silence as my heart is. I seldom sing when I am home.

There are many ways to love people and  I show my love to my parents with my silence and the food I make. That’s the best I can give them for now. And only when I leave can I write and sing music.

 

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