This week’s response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge show cases some street photographs taken in the town of Espargos – capital of the lovely island of Sal part of the Cape (or Cabo) Verde Islands. The tranquil over built town which somehow remained deserted most of the day looked beautiful in what appeared to be a traditional mix of pretty intense and most engaging colours. For me, the blue and yellow stood out the most and set this world apart from many I have had the privilege of visiting. It has since come to my attention that Espargos means “asparagus” and refers to the wild vegetable asparagus stalk with its bright yellow flowers, which grows in sandy areas around the island. I now wonder if the dominant use of yellow represents this…
Is all I can say about today’s entry to Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge. This flower had me mesmerised throughout the Spring – Summer months of 2018 that posting just one image would not do it the justice it deserves. I had so much pleasure documenting these changes. I await this season with much anticipation.
“Dimming someone else’s light won’t make yours shine any brighter”
I was never your shadow
I never lived your darkness How could I when I Cast my own light?
The light that you fought so hard to dim The light that you fought so hard not to see The light that you claimed showed you up
Was the same light that offered you solace
The same light that illuminated your pathway
Yet, relentlessly you tried to shoot down every bulb.
That was my light and with it came my own shadow.
Perhaps of brokenness but mine.
I embrace it, I own it – its cracks and all.
And yes, I still cast that light – brighter each day
At the time, for the both of us so we could make it through, sail through the mist of darkness. How was I to know of your allergy to light? How was I to know you preferred to live in the mist of darkness? The brighter I shone, the more visible your darkness became – for you, not a welcome sight. For that was the one thing you were fighting to keep hidden; that which you could not allow me or others to discover. And so it was easier to cast your veil of darkness over both of us to keep your secret cloaked.
In a world of dualities where do you find balance but somewhere between both worlds…
But I’m a lover and a fighter. You didn’t see that or so I thought. I realise now how much you ‘saw that’. You ‘saw that’ so well in the sense that it exposed you; but exposure was never part of your plan. And so you continued your attempts to tear down, Annihilate and assassinate what you thought were my light sources – shoot down my light bulbs.
Did you ever wonder why you never succeeded? Did you ever wonder why my compassion never waned? Do YOU ever wonder why?
For the history and ‘old times sake’, I shall tell you: To destroy something is to break the rules And to break the rules, you’d better understand them first.
You never bothered to discover my inner light, my inner engineering, my inner workings.
You mastered darkness, I mastered light.
How could you destroy me when a light still flickers so deep within me it’s untouchable?
You cannot destroy what you do not understand. There will always be untouched areas that flicker on; self-preservation had became my elixir. A tiny flicker still remained and that was enough to reignite my entire mechanics.
With time, my light enough to see through your hidden works.
Thank you for the life lesson; shadows are cast when the path of light is blocked.
I understand now why I couldn’t possibly penetrate an obstacle, a hindrance.
I understand now that the shadow of darkness you spoke of, that which I apparently bore –
I, unapologetically expose, was your own.
I understand now that I must step aside; allow my light through, unobstructed. Should I cast a shadow of darkness, let it be my own, my own responsibility.
Once bitten, twice shy.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
So, the other day, a friend asked me if I was angry about a certain transgression afflicted upon me recently, one which she had also experienced, I paused then waffled on about not feeling angry passé but rather alternating between feelings of guilt, regret and emotional exhaustion. My reflection to this response forms the basis of my first ever ‘personal’ blog.
ANGER SOMETIMES REQUIRES EMOTIONAL VALIDATION
Up until this point, I had not stopped to question whether or not I had at any point felt angry; whether at myself or the transgressor. Afterall, the injustices that had plagued my home life had infiltrated all areas of my life and the lives of my children inflicting an invisible pain and burden that we all carried and still carry with us that was neither justified nor called for regardless of what may have led the transgressor to resort to such behaviours.
My initial response, however was calculated. I was aware that it was necessary to validate my friend’s feelings through an understanding that we all have varying reactions to circumstances that we find ourselves in and careful not to send her on a downward spiral of ‘is it just me?’ or ‘what is wrong with me?’…thoughts that can lead to isolation and further feelings of doubt, rejection and judgement. My after thoughts on the other hand went something like this, “Should I have been angry? Should I be angry? Was I in denial because this was now historical? Had I even ever being angry?”
Unable to place a moment of registered anger, I found myself replacing anger with guilt and regret. I had felt guilt…. lots of guilt especially for the ‘failure’ to protect my children or to have done something sooner for the sake of my children. The guilt was largely for the wrong done to my children. What about me, I wondered? Did I feel ‘the wrong’? Bloody hell, I did! The anger unveiled itself like a Russian Brown Bear unleashed from a poacher’s cage. No longer was I restrained from feeling or showing ‘negative’ emotion, no longer was I expected to hold it all together, no longer was I required to offer explanations in defence mode for what my brain had decided or not decided was appropriate action to carry out…
I NO LONGER NEEDED PERMISSION TO BE HUMAN!
With that came the realisation that, not only is anger a valid emotion, it is also natural and definitely a catalyst to the healing process. Anger makes you fight or flight. Managed constructively, it can bring to your attention that something does not sit right with you. This does not mean that you are justified in being angry in all circumstances and voila!, the healing process is activated, but rather anger alerts you to an injustice or some sort of transgression having taken place and this can lead you to some sort of action; a responsible sort of action that is beneficial to you and those around you in a positive way – an action that leads to personal growth transforming your life to one that serves your highest good.
ANGER CAN BE A MOTIVATOR
The key word here is ‘constructive’ redirection of anger to produce positive change in order not to harbour negative emotions or internalise them. For anger can also be toxic such as in situations where it is projected onto others, is aggressive, is violent or downright destructive. It can also adversely affect your health, physically and mentally.
Constructive redirection of anger will therefore involve taking responsibility of your emotions; listen to them as soon as you become aware, understand their origins, regulate their intensity and act in healthy ways towards the changes you wish to see in your life.
So, to my dear friend, I wonder if you could ask me that question again for my response would be:
Yes, I was ever so angry and frustrated. My anger was so great that it kicked me into action. It kicked me hard enough to a direction where I knew I had to make changes to better my circumstances. I was not prepared to ‘flight’ for if I did, I knew I would take my anger with me and that would be the same as allowing my transgressor the power to continue with the torment – the anger forever consuming me and controlling me. But I wanted to be liberated, I wanted my children to be liberated…physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.