I hope you have been well, it’s been 3 months since I’ve written,
I was recently part of a program run by NEWF, to teach storytelling while obtaining our Scuba Dive Masters in Sodwana, and so am back in Cape Town and of the many joys that are, was feeling my skin this morning.
Arriving at Dalebrook tidal pool for a morning swim, was the looks. A lot of my writings centre from my own experiences in the water space, as much as the oddness of the moment of feeling the eyes on my body, was a quick joy flowing into the humans I was with, the moment that was that bigger than anything else, the joy of the water despite of.
Later as I mentioned this, the bodies around me said yes.
The constant duality, perhaps of more than this body and it’s skin but the greater.
Being previously disadvantaged enough to benefit for x but not for y, access to this and not that and in it all, finding joy enough to attempt to exist.
In a conversation recently, a human said she read a say somewhere that we are not previously disadvantaged or underrepresented, we were previously excluded and as a result, are largely underrepresented.
How we say things, can expand their meaning and perhaps how they land on ears waking to the reality of various spaces that have previously looked one, the why and the individual journey of exploring ones own biases, prejudices and perhaps even racism.
This journey is possibly the most fulfilling journey, the work of the why.
To be Black is to constantly be in a ready state to explain, to exist enough in, to not be othered. To wonder how humanity could look so fitting on one, and this humanity is rarely extended to you in the same measure and so constant walls for each time your humanity is denied. Your dignity being shred to pieces… and in all of it, not having language to explain that you are human too.
This writing ends in the decision that I made recently as I returned home to this beautiful Cape Town, who’s duality never fails to strike me new each time, to honour my humanity.
To assume enough privilege over my body and its existence to speak up for how its treated in rooms, in response to trippy power behaviour, to inequality, to inequity, to disrespect and to undignified assumptions of norms for,
This in itself is a privilege. To elect this. And yet, this body will still show up in the skin it wears, in rooms that assume its existence to be lesser than, only to finally not wear the walls it always has, but to be in truth and in this truth, insisting on the honouring of its boundaries, and each time, past the shaking voice, choosing truth.
Happy Monday friends and a stunner week ahead,
Images by : Zandile Ndhlovu
First & Last Picture : @_purely_ and Naledi