“May you have the good fortune of love and the delirium of solitude.” Angeles Mastretta

 

A dear friend said, “People expect everything to be contrived. They don’t know how to sit and let life come to them.” I am sure that to an outsider we must have looked insane. Two people on the floor of a parking lot, close to nine at night in Johannesburg no less! However, we did not care. Unperturbed by stares, we spoke and until we felt it time to leave.  In other words, we allowed life to come to us.

Humans, we are an impatient lot! I can recall innumerable occasions when I begged the Gods to move my life along. Days when I sickened myself with longing for things I desire. Things not yet in my reach but always at the forefront of my mind. Dreams of places I would like to visit, people to experience and all the unwritten music that needs to find its way to me. Those troubling thoughts nearly drove me to the brink of despair. Oddly enough it was a trip to a busy city that brought perspective and peace. The grace of friends and moments of inspired madness, like the one I shared, reminded me – Life unfolds at its own pace.

The poet Mary Oliver once opined, “All of it, the differences and the maverick uprisings, are part of the richness of life. If you are too much like myself, what shall I learn of you, or you of me?” The grace of true friendship should never be underestimated.  That is especially true if their lives are far removed from mine. The perspective those friends bring grounds me, informs my music and makes me less afraid. And let’s be honest, there is plenty to be afraid of. Love that we could be missing out on, money and opportunities we are not taking advantage of, fearful thoughts about our family, our country…

We are driven by so many fears, that peace seems a luxury.  While experiencing a moment of dark doubt, I exclaimed, “Mummy, your faith in me is misplaced!” Her response was terse, “Faith is all there is. Amen!” Only my Mother can bring a smile to my face so effortlessly. Naturally that was followed by a long bible verse….

So I allow the doubt and fear to linger, and later find my way to the hearts of friends I love deeply.  I read voraciously. I listen intently. Spend hours being crushed by the sun, as my Mother suggested, “To take away all your dark thoughts.”  Food, wine, conversating with good friends all amount to a sensuality, a luxury, I freely allow myself.

I will leave you with the musings of Oscar Wilde. “What man has sought for is, indeed, neither pain nor pleasure, but simply Life. Man has sought to live intensely, fully, perfectly.”  Take the time to uncover those things that enrich your life, then refuse to be without it. Who knows what you might find there…

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