Since I was little I have either had my nose in a book or been playing, painting, writing, climbing, dancing, drawing, splashing and scratching around in nature. Most of this was done outside, quietly, almost secretly within the safe cave of me. I am a native to the veld, so bush, mountains and deserts are places where I can comfortably hide. When I was little I was considered “good” when I was reading quietly or in the outdoors playing unobtrusively and alone. So this is how I learnt to be me. I know who I am when I’m barefoot on my haunches next to an open fire on the ground.
For me, my home, a dinner table, relationships, parties, suburbia, gallery openings, braais, restaurants, malls and offices with excel spread sheets has been the most unsafe of spaces. I fear them and I get lost in them. I used to have to look around within the confines of these spaces and ask myself: How do I become a native of this place? How does the mask of sanity look here?
We can only see and experience from where we are within ourselves – as Plato so beautifully explains through the Allegory of the Cave. The way I saw and experienced these unsafe places was necessary for my survival during traumatic and dark times, but my continuance to look from this place is insanity. Things change all the time and I now know my experience of anything is equal in proportion to my limited understanding and my restricted view from within myself.
The insanity of the machine isn’t so terrifying anymore, as the observer within me has changed. Yet, I still prefer to spend my time outdoors. I find nature honest and all-forgiving. Nature isn’t vague like some people and insurance papers that only show their real colours when things get tough and you’re forced to read the small print.
Nature is as it is. Honest. Fragile. Naked.
We were born like this too. Every time I work in the veld or start a blank canvass I am reminded of my limitations as a human being. The restrictions and borders I have to work and live within due to my own inadequacies and capabilities whether physiological or psychological.
Making this website has been a daunting task and a colossal challenge. Hereby I am willingly introducing myself as a product on a shelf in the never ending mall of consumerism. I feel bare, splayed like a carcass and as vulnerable as a moth. So, for now, I am walking gently. Pretending that this is just another open veld, a new unknown horison beyond which real, delicate and fragile little miracles could possibly await me. Even if it only produces the marvel of a more courageous me. I am considering that the probability might exist for me to stay authentic and human within this process. Maybe I won’t allow myself to experience my life energy purely as an investment, a commodity with which I should be making the highest possible profit with my particular personality package and skills.
Maybe my essential nature will remain: a land loving woman who endeavours to live an inspired and honest life, playing barefoot in the dust from whence she came.