Six, And Far From The City

So where does an addict go to convalesce, in South Africa?

If money’s no option, and you like to hob-knob with local celebs and schlebs (monied non-celebs, who think that they should be celebs and behave accordingly…) you could always trade in your vice at either the Oasis Counselling Centre, in Plettenberg Bay, or at Stepping Stones, outside Cape Town, or if you’d like to be brow-beaten into submission, with a theological mien, Noupoort – also in the Cape – is an option. One place I love to visit, if only for their beautiful setting, is The Cedars, in Scottburgh, Kwazulu-Natal. Jozi’s famous Houghton House is a choice (now THERE’S a word that needs re-looking: CHOICE!) along with the globally recognisable Narcotics Anonymous.

But I’m homeless, and penniless, so these six options are not options at all, unless the state pays, and while I agree I’m at rock bottom, and fast becoming familiar with the territory, I have not yet had to have the South African government intervene on my behalf…yet…I aim to keep it out of my life, as far as possible!

Musina is my port of call, the charity and beneficence of my brother and sister-in-law having relocated me to the farmhouse they call home, on Dongola Ranch, some 30km west of Musina, on the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana. It’s hot, it’s dusty. It’s so far from anywhere that even the Middle of Nowhere is far away. There are animals, there are creepy-crawlies…and there are snakes. Plenty of them.

I used to think places like this were hell, but as my mind settles from the crazy psychotropic fantasies I created through my…hey, let’s not get all P.C. here, by calling it my “substance dependency“, and call it what it is: my drug addiction, I realise that this facsimile of the Garden of Eden is probably the very best place I can be, to get straight.

Bathed each day by the magnificent African sun, who unashamadely puts on a phantasmagoric light show, twice, daily, and then mesmerised by the lunar  strobe and stellar swathes that arch across the night sky, Dongola’s ambience, if only you lift your eyes above the horizon, are unmatched in their awesomeness, certainly in my recent experience: they beget awe, in major amounts, in anyone lucky enough to witness them.
Last night, I was caressed by the urgent, hot and truculent wind, a mini Chinook, a tiny Sirocco, eine kleine Föhn (look them up – I’ve given you six hyperlinks already, you lazy sod, you!) that my brother – we’ll call him Geordie, (though he’s not from Tyneside) tells me brings destructive, violent storms. Though I don’t wish violence or destruction on anyone – not even the sod who stole my shoulder bag, yesterday, with every important piece of paper I need in it – I do love a dramatic storm. Also, Oneiro, in his track “Shhhh!” bids us to remember that “madness and unreason, have often moved the world forward, and pure passion, has created most of the beauty and the music you love…” 

And pure passion, that is everything that a beautiful, sonorous, dramatic storm is…much like the recent months of my life, and the reason I am sitting here, today.

© 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Six, And Far From The City

  1. This is your Song Of The Day.I am infatuated and besotted with Florence + The Machine! This is your song for today, more to follow…Florence And The Machine -Dog Days Are Over http://vimeo.com/14008881Happiness, hit her like a train on a trackComing towards her, stuck still no turning backShe hid around corners and she hid under bedsShe killed it with kisses and from it she fledWith every bubble she sank with a drinkAnd washed it away down the kitchen sinkThe dog days are overThe dog days are doneThe horses are comingSo you better runRun fast for your mother run fast for your fatherRun for your children for your sisters and brothersLeave all your love and your longing behind youCan't carry it with you if you want to surviveThe dog days are overThe dog days are doneCan you hear the horses'Cause here they comeAnd I never wanted anything from youExcept everything you hadAnd what was left after that too. oh.Happiness hit her like a bullet in the backStruck from a great heightBy someone who should know better than thatThe dog days are overThe dog days are goneCan you hear the horses'Cause here they comeRun fast for your mother and fast for your fatherRun for your children for your sisters and brothersLeave all your love and your longing behind youCan't carry it with you if you want to surviveThe dog days are overThe dog days are goneCan you hear the horsesBecause here they comeThe dog days are overThe dog days are goneCan you hear the horsesBecause here they come

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