Personal Blog

The pain and shame

The pain and shame of showing up alone

You can’t understand it until your body and soul was meshed into one with another in the name of love

The pain and shame

Weddings and funerals, parties and lunch dates

The pain and shame of showing up alone

Doctors appointments and surgery, recovery and holidays

The pain and shame

Of lying while smiling, protecting while crying, burning in the pit of your stomach because your value, time and efforts together cannot be matched to that of a stray dog.

The pain and shame

Of phone calls and texts that go unaswered and put on affection only when in want

The pain and shame

When a stranger decides if you get a yes or a no then laughs about it with your friends

The pain and the shame of showing up alone both at the dawn and dusk of your birthday

And now you look like pain and shame and somebody else must show up? For broken old you?

What soap does one use to scrub of the pain and the shame of showing up alone

Image Nigel Sibisi

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On my mind 30/03

22:12

The pockets of my universe are spilling all at once.

The peices of my heart are dropping all at once.

The gaps in the passage ways of my mind are widening all at once.

My laughter invited my tears to travel on the path that runs through my lips all at once.

The spoils in my bank account have depleted all at once.

Weeds of resentment and restoration grow all at once.

Oh how I wish you could have loved me all at once and not in pockets that broke the stitches that held my happiness bound

The short of it

I have successfully failed at crafting an introductory lifestyle blog whilst utilising my more common style of writing. With each paragraph I felt more like a raging fisherman’s wife rather than a blooming and contemporary lifestyle blogger. Boy did I complain about the demise of my former lifestyle city living glory and the real hacks my problematic skin has afforded me since primary school.

But, in 2018 we know better, so we do better. So here I am to very briefly share a little bit about my city life and the commencement of my wellness journey. And yes, you may raise your glasses to the more detailed blog posts that will follow because I do promise not to slack.

Before the anticipated ramble do remember to visit http://www.mathunzi.com for a look at who I am and what I do. And in future search Mathunzi Macdonald on your YouTube app for video footage of my journey, music and experiences.

Let’s begin with my beautiful addiction. Well, it isn’t contributing much to the beauty of my skin or immune system but work with me; Coffee.

You may have spotted me or notice that I spend a lot of time at Starbucks. Thankfully my addictions do not extend to WiFi even though I appreciate the uninterrupted Apple updates and music downloads that come with having my feet up on their couches. The gingerbread latte always hits the spot but nothing quite does it like their food and desserts. I can’t complain about the Jazz that plays overhead and I am grateful to have graced the Starbucks Rosebank stage performing my own music with The Verse.

But then came Naked Coffee. I think I may be in love! In support of black business and beautiful souls, Gorge Sandton will be a spor to visit. Owned by actress Mapaseka Koetle-Nyokong and her husband, an experience there has already confirmed it as my other home. At home we stick to our green packaged bestie Jacob’s K and bitterly weep over the loss of my Nespresso machine.

4th avenue in Parkhurst is ideal for easy Sunday living and seriously good food. I was also introduced to Miss Salon London on this street and has my first ever tattoo done here. I don’t frequent it as much since Menlyn Maine came to existence boasting culinary beauties such as Ribs & Burgers but it is always a safe bet if anyone were to ask where to dine in Johannesburg.

Be it a grocery cart or sit in at the cafe, Woolies stays winning. May I argue that contrary to popular belief, their regular food and household products are priced in the same category as most other popular supermarkets. Free tip; Grab a green smoothie to get regular. It gets the job done but tastes way better than green juice.

Host your breakfast and brunch meetings at Lucky bread 7. Wives and in house honeys, the breadsticks are a winner for your partner’s snack time or lunch box.

I stumbled upon a growing collaboration opportunity with The Laser Beautique Irene branch and this is where I will begin my new skin journey and continue my much needed pamper sessions. Look out for #MakeupIsOptional and more excitingly #MathunziAndFriends as I will have a few old and new friends join me at TLB from time to time. My hair care will continue at Candi & Co. Reasonable prices aside they serve free drinks and have decent WiFi like Miss Salon London does too. (Sucker for bottomless cappuccinos).

#IAmMyOwnBodyGoals Therefore, most exercise (if I successfully work through this laziness) will take place in the comfort of my home.

Speaking of collaborations, I recently discovered that a primary school companion Muhle Matthews works for one of Joburg’s most popular hubs, Maboneng. A few years before this I discovered her singing ability which is rather sweet in comparison to her husky speaking voice loaded with a strong twang, which leans more to sexy. Muhle, my photographic and digital guru Nigel and myself sat down and curated the inception of my more intentional exploration of Maboneng and the spaces with it. Let’s just say a lot of my time will be wasted there in 2018. Oh! I will glady welcome a surprise party at the Living Room, any time of the year, I’m not picky.

I think I have far superceded the confines of being “short” so let’s speed this up.

Nouveau over commercial movies anyday. Theatre is undoubtedly the most authentic way to experience the art of acting. Live music never fails to elevate the soul. Markets and rooftop events are ideal to quench YOLO and FOMO. Hiking at Hennops is all of R70 (totally worth it) considering all the zonkey’s you’ll see. Yes! Zonkey! Hahaha.

Is it considered saucy when you clarify that pumps are not ballet flats? Consider it pay back for the giggles that taunt me for shopping in the junior sneaker section because my foot freakishly shrunk to nothingness in 2009. I declare 2018 the year of pumps and sneakers and finally affording goodies at Zara out of sale season. Don’t be fooled by the TopShop merch in my closet, I have my ways that rescue my pocket from constant emptiness.

As I wrap this up, let me share what I genuinely am burdened to share in my journey; The true meaning of being kind. We preach a lot on showing kindness to others and seemingly forget to show ourselves even a smidgen of it. Listen, you cannot give what you do not have so be kind to your self. Forgive yourself, love yourself and spoil yourself rotten when the means allow. You really only get to do this life thing once, do it well; kindly.

Too much

How much is too much?

I waste so much time deleting captions and text because I can not seem to decide when too much is too much.

God forbid we appease the enemy by revealing too much of the contents stacked up in the many boxes of pain that we carry. The bigger boxes labelled shame, failure and regret. But who is the enemy?

Perhaps self; for freely giving the paintbrushes of progress that were custom made for it’s healing. When do we realise that we are on our own timetable? That the real healing begins when we stop thinking about them, thinking for them, making decisions to annoy them. Seeking their attention by continuously numbing our potential and instead squeezing our fat bruised bodies into the spaces of their dreams?

When did this become his, her or their story? Not a minute in my shoes and I have given the power to write my ending? You have already carelessly rewritten chapters in my book with ink you did not purchase. You stole the bottle that leaked of colours that looked like mine, spat your lies into it and began to paint with your unwashed feet. Now I fear your two bit opinion about the pages written with actuality? Piss off.

I love Nomfundo Xaluva’s Bayathetha. It resonates so deeply with me because wow, can people talk! For similar reasons as those relayed in this post I refrained from sharing the cover on my Soundcloud because what if;

What if I am stripped naked for the umpteenth time for the world’s laughter to gnaw at my stained skinned? I dropped out of the Jazz department to resume my administrative position in the department of your dreams and my voice dropped out of my voice box. My 3.3 octave range reduced to one. My scatting into lazy lines 2mm off the walk way of scales. Listen, I heard them talking then and I hear them talking now but I fail to learn the lesson.

I can feel this pen slipping and it shatters me to think that perhaps you, they, I was right to think I could not paint with all my talents.

Too much is the principal of myths in the institution that houses tales that teach us that yellow bones are more attractive and us berry babies should sharpen our wits if we wish to gain any attention. Too much gives a shoulder to the whining of women who stepped into the battle grounds for men who still failed at the pre primary tasks of zip up and keep your shoes on when it rains. Too much told you to bow your head in pity when I mention that my children were never born and labour is twice as hard when it is in vain.

Too much will receive it’s dismissal letter on Monday. Here’s to a weekend of forgiving ourselves and letting our ink flow as we silence the humans who have found nothing better to do but walk outside of our shoes.

All errors should be blamed on my picking up my phone at 23:30 to type and insisting on publishing at 00:05. Let’s proof read on Monday too

Glass

“Your lip is bleeding..”

So are your ears. I took a bite of your lobes in retaliation.

My pallet has acquired the taste of blood; how is your face dealing with the sensation?

Drip!

Your bastard hands fed me glass in the place of the croissant I asked for when you offered breakfast in bed. I sat soaked in the sheets now leaking in the aftermath of your poisonous passion. Your eyes travelling up and down the ridge of my nose as the tray shook.

Nervous?

The bottle of orange juice she asked you to give me was heavier than expected. The sacs were not birthed from fruit but from trees. I reached out to grab it in wanting thirst but that curtain interrupted your step and you dropped it.

“Ignore the spill, I don’t want your breakfast to get cold”.

But windows shiver with cold dew and here you carried pieces of the one that cracked when you saw my car lights as you dropped your keys after walking through our kitchen door at an unmentionable hour.

If only tongues bent like spoons off a hot stove I would still have the half that was brave enough to say you are breaking me.

Swallow…

Your bastard hands fed me glass.

Why are you pretending to be unfamiliar with the smell of my blood? On depletion you drank from my heart’s flood and still asked for more beyond the rainbow coloured by my exhaustion. The words you hear are the products of the excess waste your hands delivered to my mouth. How then is the sting of my bite unbearable when you designed this menu?

Ask me where the napkins are…

If you are kind to me for just a day I may show you in gestures how to wipe the blood just enough for cameras not to see it. If the smell begins to choke you, like me, tell yourself you signed up for this.

Don’t spit into your hands. You need them to replace her bottle of orange juice and refill it with your own sweet tea.

She like me will become accustomed to the taste of cold broken glass; If the smell of my blood doesn’t repel her first.

The sharpest piece just purchased a one way ticket to my heart.

I am no Saint 

I am no delinquent neither.

How do you confess an ill that carries the potential to topple you as the narrator before it hits anyone else? Confessions don’t begin with the person who has been wronged or situation that you have mishandled, no. There is a conversation with self that is usually held off because it begs the question, how on God’s good earth are you this person?

I am pretty good at a number of things, including playful banter right down to calculated self serving manipulation (Aries are made this way). At some point in my life I could drive almost any decision to suit and serve my wants, not needs, and sometimes I could achieve this in complete silence. Before the age of 21  I was well aware of the power of the mind and how malleable emotions can be, and I used this knowledge as a tool to chisel a world I thought I preferred. My older sister became aware of my not so pretty side very early in our childhood. For a couple of years she would not exclusively enjoy a birthday celebrations birthday gift. If I liked what she had, I would seek it and best believe I would get it. I loved her deeply and sometimes envied her “girly” disposition, her less husky and hard voice, curvy body and well manicured hands. But, I would literally die before she was dubbed “the favourite”. To combat this I learnt to pick locks so as to gain access to her diary which I offered to my mom for her early evening reading, precisely marked pages and all. I hated the boarding school we both attended and had convinced myself that it was her fault that I had grown so miserable and was subject to an openly lesbian stalker who pushed me to the verge of suspension twice, so I “retaliated”. I slow brewed the tears, called my father and went on a desperate rant about my deep worries for her spiritual life after discovering that she planned to get her tongue pierced. My father was livid. She has no piercings to date. I had my tongue pierced a year later.

My parents seem to have known about my unique personality almost from birth, but apparently had more faith in how it would shape a resilience and determined spirit that would later fuel my more noble strengths. My father is intelligent and insightful. My mother? Let’s just say she has her God on speed dial and He seems to drop what ever information or remedy she may need or want as soon as she mutters, “Hello, it’s about these children again…”. I learnt the art and gift of confession and forgiveness from my parents and through religious teachings. Confession to self, confession to whom you have wronged and confession to God. There was a greater teacher, who’s methods were not supported by cushions of grace. Her name? Karma.

Karma may force you to do one of these three things, if not all three at the same time;

• Suffer in kind, tenfold

• Take a long hard look in the mirror and see a part of you that you may not have known to exist. A part that is not easy to look at

• Announce her arrival, be visible during her stay and leave a parting card noted “That was me sharing what you deserve. Kindly do not mistake me for that boring guy called Unfair”

In my life, karma was not responsive towards my flawed personality traits. Those were handled by my ability to love to a fault, my swift call to empathy, my anxiety and God. Karma answered to mistakes, bad decisions and carelessness. I mention mistakes before decisions because a repeated mistake is a choice. If you are of sound mind with a reasonable level of common sense, there is truly no sense in a second time. A second time breeds a third, the fourth may begin to numb your guilt and the filth will suffocate your conscious. Then comes habit, weak friends called lies and the most pathetic, meaningless and over used phrase; I am sorry. Sorry? As meaningless as saying grace at a table stacked with fuel before mass indulgence in fornication.

Consequence does not bow to apologies. Consequence will have it’s day.

There are things I will take to my grave, that I only mutter when my room is dark and my windows are sealed. But please know this, I am no saint. I don’t wish to be remembered as one. I am flawed, beautifully so and that has moulded me into a being who constantly seeks to become better.

My greatest sin? The breaking of a heart. Both unintentionally and once with the greatest will. This is why the response matters more than the cause. See pain changes you, shifts you to an unrecognisable state and the easiest way to respond is to inflict it as far as your mind allows you to stretch your constructive imaginings. And when we fear facing this pain, we mask, we soothe. We give of our bodies, our time, our money. We change how we talk and switch the music we listen to. We download messager apps for easier access to the bodies that will climb us and squeeze the life out of our moral graces. We have conversations with boring minds and schedule dates in dark spaces. And when we are found out our tongues trickle the words I am sorry but sadly or hearts are streaked with cobwebs of sinful stone.

I have been afraid of a shift in perspective that could be birthed by the telling of my shortcomings. Then it stopped, the being afraid of external perspectives; How did I perceive me? I walked into the shower barely breathing, bitterly sobbing as though someone had died. I felt dirty. I felt false. I was burdened with a weighted apology but I couldn’t make one until I confessed to self, to him, to God. Perspective.

These days, I am more afraid of laughing about what should sicken me. I am afraid of the texts that are welcomed on my phone after the sun sets. I am afraid of the hearts I may have left bleeding only because mine was gushing. I am afraid of lies and smiles that hide them. I am afraid of the words “I love you”.

I am not proud of my lack but I am pleased that the extreme opposite exists and by grace, it currently dominates my being. I am no delinquent.
My sister calls me loving now and I lock her secrets in my heart. My mom still dials Jesus for intel and dad? Still shakes his head quietly when I fib about the mismanagement of my monthly budget.

And I? I am Sorry

And scene (2017).

I peeled off my legendary  ‘mask of composure’ for all of two seconds but the tears continued dropping for roughly an hour. I had my Samsung in hand, plotting via Whatsapp text, the moves and manoeuvres I have prepared to carry into January 2018. Most of the faces on the other end of the line will not be able to tell that on some days my heart still shatters. On some days, I really don’t have it all together.

The year 2017 has been far more gracious than the two years that preceed it.  Thank God! So much so, I finally caught a glimpse of my not so familiar “happy weight” and I remember to eat at least twice a day. Again, there are earthly angels who have held my hand through even these things, that seem small, like chewing and swallowing more than one spoonful.

My Montessori practicals brought about routine, which was necessary.  I had forgotten that my best days are Mondays, just before sunrise. Should I tell you about Mondays? The promise they carry? Maybe another time.  I am so beautifully privileged to live, learn, grow and love amongst children in the Montessori environment.  These humans cleanse my spirit. They are God’s tangible reminder that He can make anything new. And that when He creates He does this with great delicacy coupled only with the agape kind of love. That even through challenged speech, crooked walks and difficult tantrums there is so much beauty and potential. So so much.

I laid my favourite uncle Stephan to rest on my birthday, 06-04-2017.  I walked into my parent’s living room and my father held me as if he would never let go again. My mother tried to break the news as gently as possible; This birthday like a few others would be heavy.  I smiled, genuinely on that Thursday afternoon.  Every mother who raised me, remembered that their little girl was growing up, painfully yes, but growing still. One mother sang quietly whilst holding me in the warmest embrace at the gravesite. Oh the joy.  My cousin sister Phumzile loved to sing. She had a stunning contra alto and was so humerous. She has 3 young children who with us bid her farewell about a month before. Death snatched her before her very own birthday.  The Wednesday after her passing, my mother would lose her cousin, my maternal uncle. I could continue with this morbid list but rather not. I will share this however; Never have I anticipated and yearned for a text from the being who became a stranger as I did during that time. If not for my comfort, just to know that they are still breathing.

I got rid of those dreadlocks that most of you had come to appreciate. And they will not make a return in the new year, or ever. There were a few lessons locked in those loose curl locs though, such as patience. Could we learn to be just a bit more patient with ourselves? Allow ourselves to break down so we can build bigger canvases for the masterpieces we were born to become. We are made of so much, to be so much, so why the rush? Who are you pitted against except you, that you must hurry sometimes with no plan or pleasure in the moments pocketed in your journey?

I am realising that if I attempt to breakdown every pivotal piece in 2017, I may lose you half way through this blog. We can’t risk this in case I have some epic one liner to share right at the end. So please stay with me, almost there.

Music. We are still an “old married couple”. We bicker quite a bit but the love? Endless. I placed The Verse on a partial hiatus for many reasons, including seriously not having enough time to be as dedicated to the music and management affairs as I should be. Also because I am exhausted of coming home with only enough to cover petrol for a night and squeeze in those horrid burgers from that place which is closely matched to my surname. I have the pleasure however of working with the most talented artists, who constantly feed my soul and mind with their art. I am grateful for this. Theatre fits into the neat bag of goodies carrying the better part of my year. What a beautiful medium. Stories that break your heart and mend it all at the same time. Have you seen Masasa Mbangeni on stage? You should.

“You need to own the fact that you are an actress” said the director after the acting workshop. “You are magic” said my gorgeous Tess after the shooting of a pilot with our mutual friend Kabomo. I had completely forgotten this. I became so familiar with appreciating what was around me, what was inside me was brutally silenced. I reach into the bag of better things and scream chants of gratitude to the angels that walk in dust as humans do because I am now AWAKE.

I can not call you all by name but know that the God who sees me, sees you.

I’ve stopped crying, for now. I have things to giggle about. I have things to sit in praise about. I have stuff to pray for and pray about.  Because I want laugh as I did in this year; tenfold at the break of a new season. I want to blush and bite my lip while my eyelashes fall in a dry(tearless) curl. I want to make you laugh too. I want to be strong for you. So I cry when life asks me to, so that I better understand your tears and gently drag you to a place of quiet.  You can then choose to burrow and break so that you can begin to rebuild but if you need a bit more time for it to make sense, that is okay too. I have been here.

Mondays are full of promise. So is a new year. The 1st of January is just another day, if you choose to see it that way. I thankfully have OCD, hahaha, so the first of anything is brilliant really. Ask me personally about this

Happy New Year

@Mluart