By Shameelah Khan
I was having a conversation with my co-director the other evening about when I was happiest. I didn’t have to think twice about it before I answered, “When I feel like my inner-child is present.”
While writing this editor’s note, I had to constantly remind myself that the theme was “Children” and not “Childhood”. This reiterates that this is not just a moment of nostalgic childhood lamentation, but a need to re-shift the mind to come out of the past and exist in the present. This shift in theme was calling for me to hold presence within my adult hands and reflect on how in this very moment I am a child. In this year alone, there were moments that made me feel like a child and it is only now– writing this– that I realise those moments were calling my attention to presence. So much to learn from Children and their whimsical-magical joy right?
How magical it is to cry sometimes.
This year invited with it depression. Curled up in my bed, lost in the cries of my past. I didn’t know much about what I wanted to do to erase the sadness so I ‘just’ cried. I basked in the sunlight of my moods, listened to that playlist (y’all know) and then you begin to remember that childlike thing that makes you need your mother’s spiritual touch all over again.
How magical it is to dance sometimes.
My thoughts move to a night with my friends on my birthday. It wasn’t something we had to think about. We just wanted to dance really, taking us out of unemployment, exploitation, our nine to five, our broken relationships, our spiritual lows… We just wanted to dance.
How magical it is to play sometimes.
My Godson and I were fighting the Monsters away. He was Spider man and I was Iron-Wo-man. QUICK- TAKE COVER – THE MONSTERS ARE COOOOMMMMIIIIINNNGGGGG. He wrapped the blanket over us- The Cave of Safety. THEY WON’T CATCH US IN HERE. A HUUUUGGGEEE SIGH OF RELIEF- WE ARE SAFE UNDER HERE. DON’T WORRY.
How magical it is to eat ice cream sometimes.
I don’t really need a story for this- but ice cream is always amazing and cold and wonderful and heals all sorts of things on the inside and sometimes the very good kinds taste like love. So maybe it is just magical to eat love sometimes. I really want some now…
How magical it is to get lost sometimes.
I got really lost in the middle of Stonetown and cried like a baby for a few seconds (refer to first paragraph), but then I saw men in front of me smoking cigarettes, working-hands exchanging food, laughter here and there and a baby trying to walk to its mama, maybe even for the first time. A friendly face- helping me get back to the hotel- to adulthood. But I wish- I could smell the Stonetown spices again like that- lost.
How magical it is to believe in Magic.
We sat there, on top of the world, and I listened to his advice- in fact- I wrote it down. Be brave, don’t complicate things, ask for what you really want in life, tell the people you love that you love them, say no thank you when you don’t want something, love yourself and ask when you don’t understand something.
I would like to end off with a section from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
This Edition is for the children we are, were and will be
The Odd Team
In this issue:
Children – Shakirah Thebus
The South African Hype Kids. . . Are Cool – Mzwandile Mpaka
Skate – Borders – anonymous
Lebo, in Parts – Shameelah Khan
Bright Sparks and Bush Fires – Owam Ntlemeza
I wonder if leaving home made me this way – Nkateko Masinga
From “Back Alley Blackouts” – John L. Stanizzi
Three big lessons from three little people – Ibtisaam Ahmed
Rock and Water – Nuha Suliman
Stream of Consciousness – Emma Michelle Porter
Meditations by Lucinda – Lucinda de Leeuw