Nelson Mandela. Madiba – as he was fondly known.
Today marks a special day in history as the world reflects on Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) and the profound impact he had on the entire human population. And I take this moment, with everybody else, to think and reflect on how he shaped my own life.
I am from South Africa. I was born when Mandela had already spent 6 years in prison. I left South Africa, as an expat, when he was the President in Office. I was born into a world of Apartheid, which I had nothing to do with….. and I lived through the transformation and unification period that South Africa underwent with his release. When I left the country in 1998 to join my husband on his career path, South Africans were living the dream of a post-apartheid era where the Rainbow Nation joined hands in truth and reconciliation in an unique feeling of unity that Mandela orchestrated at the time. None of the scenarios played out which so many feared in anticipation of this event. Solely contributed to his great leadership and strength of character, wisdom and compassion. I was proud of what our people were able to achieve under his leadership. Like a child receives the rewards of good parenting, us as South Africans received the rewards of being taught phenomenal citizenship and forgiveness as character traits, amongst so many other things, while we were in his house, under his roof, being brought up with Mandela as our country’s parent – our President.
What a Remarkable Reconciliator and Remediator.
When he became the President, I was 27 years old. The time he spent in jail. To me that would mean wiping out my entire life at that point and try to compare that to being confined to a small cell for that entire period, working on one thing and one thing only – Freedom. Something I received as a birthright. By then I had achieved so much already – and yet not understanding nearly enough of what was going on behind my back, from even before I was born. Only later in life I realized that I would wear that tag around my neck wherever I went in the world … being asked about it and certainly many time beings judged as a white, Afrikaans person who lived through the oppression era that the world was pointing fingers at. Simply for being born white. As he was fighting the struggle for being born black. Worlds apart in the same country. That is not what I choose to dwell on today.
The amazing thing is that Mandela meant so many things to so many people in this world. Irrespective of color, irrespective of race. Whether you are a South African or not, whether you lived there or not, whether he was your President or not, whether you understood fully the depth of the cause he fought or not, whether you were part of that system or not… Every person has his own impressions, his own lessons learnt from Mandela’s life , his leading example and his incredibly inspirational integrity that will continue to inspire generations to come.
Today we see non-stop images of his life as every channel pull up their archives. But there are also works of art everywhere in commemoration – some of which you might not get to see on TV. My personal favorite is this sculpture that consist of 50 ten metre high laser cut steel plates set into this particular landscape in South Africa.
It is done by the sculptor Marco Cianfanelli, of Johannesburg, and it was done representing the 50 year anniversary of when and where Mandela was captured and arrested in 1962.
Besides the brilliance in the sculpture itself, it represents another lesson that I have learnt in life ..not from Mandela himself, but from these steel plates representing the image of Nelson Mandela.
Sometimes you are so close to a situation that you fail to see what it is all about.
You have to step back to get the picture.
And sometimes when you stand back, and you still look from the wrong angle – you will still not get the essence of what it is about – it will remain a steel structure, 50 steel poles standing on its own or a skewed picture from your own point of view, not fully in perspective.
But when you get the right distance and the right angle from a situation, a setting or a scenario …. and you look again……only then you stand in awe of what you have been missing and only then you see the beauty and the brilliance of the image that the sculptor had in mind when he created it. Only then you get the picture and you understand what the process was all about and what the creator of that idea (or ideology) saw long before it even became a reality.
And in my own life…. I have to continue to step back and look at things from the right angle and the right distance to get perspective. Even today still.
Today will start a 10 day period of mourning in South Africa. It will be over on December, 16th – my birthday and a public holiday in South Africa – Reconciliation Day.
But for the rest of my life, the lessons and the inspiration we could draw from his life will live on in my heart and in so many others who were inspired by him and his unthinkable capability to forgive and move forward.
The world mourns his passing but rejoice the presence and impact he had on every South African and beyond its borders.
Thank you Madiba for what you did for our country, what you taught me and what your life and legacy continues to teach the world today.
I honor you today in this post. May God bless your wife and your family, in mourning alongside the Nation.
Sometimes we allow certain things to just downward spiral. It just happens over time.
And then comes a day where you have no choice but to take charge and take control to get yourself back up top!
Have you ever tried climbing up a spiral…? Not as easy as sliding down, right ?
But sometimes you should try getting back on top in a way different than what got you down there in the first instance.
Do things a bit differently. This is what I will try this time….. Doing things a bit differently…and maybe, just maybe this will make it easier to get back up to where I once was.
If you can relate…. Let’s do it together…
Climb back up…not too late…this year is not over…. And this life even less so.
I sit here today and think about relationships.
We are all so connected nowadays…
and yet we are so disconnected still from each other on the level where it really matters.
We live under the false pretense that we know everything that is going on in somebody’s live because there is Facebook and Twitter and e-mail and everything else that say out loud to society what is going on in our lives.
But then there is our hearts. There is still no place where our hearts can speak out…because it never comes across the right way, when we convey the real, honest truth from our hearts over a medium that was not meant for that.
We are hesitant to share what goes on in our heads and our hearts…. simply because those feelings are the real, raw, unedited feelings – the ones that are more difficult to lay out on the table and the ones that could easily be misunderstood.
And when we do pull them out in the open…the way it is received will certainly dictate what we do the next time we are confronted with bearing our souls.
So I come to the conclusion today that in speaking your mind….do it to an audience that you know is prepared and receptive to what you are about to say.
And when responding when somebody do open up, do so in a manner that would encourage the other to take that risk again in sharing with you.
If those two elements are not present, you risk compromising relationships where some things would have been better left unsaid.
However, if those two elements are there…. you can reach a new understanding, you can resolve conflicted emotions and you can take a relationship to a new, deeper level.
So next time you consider whether or not to speak from your heart….. I would say consider these two things first…
If you are the one who shares – your relationship with – , the receptiveness and maturity of your listener and if you are on the receiving end of the news – consider your responses.
It will make all the difference and perhaps we can then see the beauty in people’s hearts right in front of us and blur out the background behind it which is the harsh realities that constantly competes with it.
This Mama was recently where this Monkey is hanging. Anyone knows where that is?!
If you don’t…then stay tuned to this blog, for I will share a few pictures of my latest journey on the blog soon.
But first and foremost I feel like this monkey – just hanging in there and hoping to make it through till we can kick off our boots for 2013 !
Because when that clock strikes at midnight on December 31st… it will not matter what you have or have not done for 2013…it will be gone and forgotten and everybody’s minds will be filled with what they wish to achieve in 2014. Only to start all the madness again for the 12 months to follow that ! Are you with me on that?
I lost my voice for the last 4 days…bad case of laryngitis …..so happy though that I still have a voice here on my blog when my actual voice is gone. I intend not waiting for 2014 to work on my vision…and that is to put a lot more out here of what I have piled up in my draft box…that I never get to share !! It is in the works and I have even been working on it today, all while I am still busy brushing up on my homework for the online course I am currently doing.
So, be prepared to hear a lot more from me. Hope you are ready. But I would love to start chatting with you all over here…so, please leave me a comment if you have something to share ! I love company.
If you prefer talking to me via Facebook or e-mail, that is also still okay… I just love hearing from you all ! And this year I certainly want to get to know my readers better.
I have not been counting the Mondays – but I have heard of so many of you out there who are …because the end of this year is now fast approaching…and although it is the festive season..there is also a lot that happens this time of the year before we all take that well deserved Christmas break.
I am working non-stop today on my computer software, my editing programs, organizing photos, back ups of systems, set up and prep-work for organizing my photos into photo books and to start exploring with graphic design and play around with new toys and tools….. and I am working on ways to bring some of the loveliness that I see through my camera lens to you… so I am hoping to share a lot more with you on that as soon as it all comes together !! It is just so time consuming and tedious but also fun and inspirational to work on !
What have you been up to on this Monday?? Also anxiously (or perhaps excitedly?) counting Mondays till the end of year/ your vacation??
Let me know. Would love to hear what you are all up to !
Today is Tuesday. That usually means that I am one day behind with everything I lined up to do with my week up to this point.
I know. It’s only day 2…
I just never do what I intend to do on a Monday. Many reasons. This time perhaps to be blamed on the insanely busy month October turned out to be and I needed a little rest and recovery…. stay-in-bed weather meant I had to do just what the Weatherman demanded yesterday and lay low !
But today it’s back to business and as I look at my never-ending to-do list, I thought of sharing a little DIY organizing tool I did the other day !
My wall almost always looks like this……
I have a wonderful “filing” system, but a lot needs to happen before you can put those papers in a box or file or even bin them. That’s the part that sucks !
There is always a paper trail that lies “behind” that sticky note that I pin up as a reminder…. the actual document or invoice or form or whatever…..
Those papers need attention !!
But it is super annoying to have that pile lying around while it is waiting for you to “deal” with them !
And so messy when it is just one big pile.
I have a few of these clips that are store-bought and they help keeping things “together” that belongs together…
Problem is that they are expensive, I don’t have enough of these for MY piles and they are not customized enough !
So, I decided to do a little DIY to the rescue.
Bought these super simple clips that you get at any handy- / stationery store.
and found some super downloadable, printable Jar Labels from Limeshot. Super, super cool site – go check them out !!!!!
Printed them out…..
Had to cut them down a bit… boohoo…… I know… they were so pretty, right?!
Personalize my labels to pile the papers together that belong together and ..
Stick them on…
…and voila !!! Less intimidating to have all the papers in one big pile…now, I can attend to them in a more organized manner and all in its’ own good time.
Don’t you just love it when you feel like you have done something even though you have done nothing yet??
So, let’s do a happy dance to celebrate just that !!! Getting things done without really doing them yet ….
It’s far from weekend yet…but I feel like we have done a lot already. Let’s dance to that !!
Happy TUESDAY everybody !
If you arrived at this door today, you certainly were at the right place for a Thursday treat !
Arriving early at the lovely home of Leonie Roets, owner of PoP ChArLie, I could immediately tell that even in prepping for the party, she spares no detail when it comes to her display and the delightful ways in which she does business.
Today was no exception at the OPEN HOUSE she hosted, as the owner of PoP ChArLie.
PoP ChArLie is an eclectic collection of beautiful things that Leonie stocks, and currently the stock range is mainly, but not only, party supplies and handmade towels.
Fun Things that also form part of the collection are items such as these Lanterns – a favourite, especially here in Asia.
Decisions Decisions ??!!!
It’s a tough decision with so many beautiful things to choose from, but the price range of the items take away the headache of choosing….because they are so well and reasonably priced !
It was a lovely day with so many beautiful things….but don’t sweat if you missed it…..
There are many more photos on the Auburn & Blue facebook page to show you some of the other collections – or show the love and pop by their new facebook Page here and LIKE the page if you loved what you saw here !
You can’t be left behind if everybody else in town is going glam on their party supplies !!
Go party with PoP ChArLie !
Calm down. Not me – but stay with me and read on…. and you’ll find out something I bet you did not know about some people who were shot in a project called I got shot (in Johannesburg) ! (You can see some of them in the video at the bottom !)
Street Photography. I absolutely love it. And you?
If you are in Hong Kong and you love it too, you can consider going on a Walk with a Group who shares the same passion and while being on the walk, take some great street shots of alleys and buildings from days gone by. There is one this coming Saturday and you can find the details here.
But here is the other super cool project that I wanted to tell you about !! This one is pretty exciting and based in South Africa – for A SUPER CAUSE !!
It is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY taken to a different level !!
It’s called i got shot in johannesburg.
In 2009, street children were given disposable cameras to shoot some images in the area in and around Hillbrow, Johannesburg. These images were used to teach these kids skills and to generate some income to provide them a platform to be saved from their situations ! But I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Do go visit their website, called iwasshot in johannesburg, and you will see what this amazing and exciting project is all about ! Such a great initiative and we need to spread awareness to support them and help these kids to a better future by supporting their online stores and merchandise that resulted from this as it evolved over the past few years.
What do you think about it? Pretty cool, right ?
Well, it’s Friday and that means one thing – WEEKEND !!!! Have some happiness and a double dose of dessert this weekend.
From me to you. X
I really love going to a market. How about you?
It’s just refreshing to have something taken off a shelf or out of a trunk and have it displayed out in open air !
Time to admire people’s handwork and creative ideas.
And it most definitely almost always involves Fabulous Food, right?
So, what more do you need for a fun, festive, family outing ?
If you are in Hong Kong – I am going to give you just enough details so you can go find them yourself!
If you don’t live in Hong Kong – how about you just join in a little photo journey and have your mind take you there for a minute?
Maybe it will inspire you to go look for a market near where you live?
Island East Markets is a Sunday market of local organic farmers, craftspeople and sustainable retailers and they are open between the hours of 11 am – 6 pm for the period Sunday, Sept, 15, 2013 thru January, 26th 2014.
There were good, healthy options …vegan, gluten-free, dairy free…. you name it …….like these guys…..I really liked their happy faces and friendly smiles !
Especially if you are far and you can not come to the market yourself !
Want to know where to find the adorable dresses at the top of the post??
or…. off course… HERE:
Yes. This is the man and his dog.
The one I showed you on the blog’s facebook page earlier this week.
They are both super cool.
Like the rest of the people in Stanley.
If you missed the post about Stanley, you can still read it here.
Happy weekend, everybody !
Feeling crafty and creative?
Here’s an idea for those old magazines you have stacked up somewhere ! (I know you do…)
Turn it into something useful and beautiful.
Cheap and Easy. Oh – and would I even show them to you, if not cute too??
Ever ran out of time to shop for a little bag to hold nibbles, nuts or popcorn at a party – be it kiddie or more a-la-chic-mommy style?
Or having friends over and don’t want to end up with dishes after kids’ snack time?
Here is one idea to pimp up your party in ….. less than …….2 minutes…..
Here’s a recap…. yes… super duper easy:
1. Tear out a page
3. Stick with good old washi tape at the end – or stitch or glue.
4. Tie a ribbon to pretty things up !
5. Voila – fill with your favorite.
You can do the same for other foods – where you perhaps serve some pizza at a meeting, but you don’t want your glam girls ending up with greasy hands and neither do you want them to think you’re a order/ deliver kinda girl without adding your own touch – do you?
Not only a fab solution ….. it oozes STYLE !
WHY BE ORDINARY?
Not that I need to point this out….but DO make sure you match the magazine page with the style of your party/ food – just a tiny detail to make sure it takes you 3 minutes and not just 2 !!
If you are not a food person, maybe check out this post for another fab thing to do with your old magazines ! Find it here.