Tag Archives: Rain

#6 ~ Let the Rain Wash Over You

Her crown of purple and gold was drenched by the intermittent tears that fell, like rapid fire, from the tempestuous faces of a fatigued crowd of underfed and overworked clouds. They grumbled their discontent each time a proposition to suspend their lethargic tantrum was presented. And so the tears fell, pooling along bitumen lined roads, washing them slick with the image of sweat, a covering that turned them from trusted friends to slimy paths that shimmered belligerently under drug induced headlights. I watched their shallow tears fall, washing over the hushed night like a damp blanket that brought no comfort but the anxiety of further ill. I thought of their cries, hollowing out the heavens with each unexpected shower, bursting over the huddled figures gracelessly, carelessly.

And I thought of how each cry was mimicked, behind concrete and wood lined walls, in the cracks of brick and ageing mortar. I heard the disaffected chorus welling up, swelling over doorposts and under window frames, trailing round fences and gates. A moaning, wailing, mournful chorus that shook tears onto carpets, and scrunched screams up in shredded sheets of paper.

I thought about how the rain was meant to wash things away, how it was supposed to beckon in new dawns lined with fresh sprays of freedom and hope. How it was meant to cover the evil that had erupted from the clods of earth and manure we built our foundations upon.

But that night, the rain was not a blanket of peace, it was not the amniotic sac that preserved what was good in this world, holding it gently until dry land was found upon which life, crowned by a white dove, could be re-born.

That night, the rain washed over a scar wrenched city, each drop a nail hammering into already broken minds, the cries of the clouds only swelling that grey matter, their rumblings covering the pitiful moans with a forecast of tempestuous weather.

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#305 ~ One Hundred Words and a Photo: 25

picture25A blurred heartbeat, and the tendrils of water drizzled across my face softening the edges of the elements cool embrace.Feet poised to move, as small whirlpools sucked me to the spot that had not a single dry patch or island that I could resuscitate myself upon, I was a  fuzzy heart-shaped heartbeat, with just enough life left to pulse, one, two, three-

In the dim grey lights that lit the strip of street that I could see, out of focus in this sea of mild grayness, I saw the checkered spike of her coloured heart-beat, one two, me?

Copyright: Victoria. O

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#251 ~ Ithemba Projects : Day 18

If music be the food of love, play on. 

If I’m honest, at the beginning of my time working for Ithemba Projects, there was no love lost between myself and the children of the Drop in Centre. My inability to communicate with them effectively, meant they pushed all the boundaries that one could push. If it wasn’t that they were screaming, then they were pulling the guitar strings, taking each others food, jumping up, eating crayons, trying to hug you – you name it, they crossed it. So this morning, whilst the African Rain was still pelting Hilton hard, I was mildly concerned when my colleague explained I would once again have the privilege of going solo to the crèche. She had a meeting, I took the guitar.

As Sweetwaters and Hilton are located on an escarpment, they are often covered in a dense mist, when the rest of Martizburg is enjoying sunshine which will happily tip 40 degrees. I had effectively deceived myself before I left – an African winter was more or less a UK summer. Therefore, I failed to pack both a rain coat and a jacket. With one real jumper, and a thin excuse of a jumper, two Primark cardigans and lots of t-shirts, I thought I was prepared.

Swaddled then, in seven top layers, long socks and jeans, I bravely entered the crèche, gingerly hopping over the spooling mud pool that had transformed into the welcome mat; having only one pair of trainers and two sandals, I could literally not afford to get my feet wet. The poor weather had created a poor turnout in the usual bursting crowd of children that I am normally confronted with. Yet the cries were still as loud as ever. So breathing, I said to myself – although you can’t speak isiZulu, they say music is a universal language – so play on.

Guitar out, capo on, loud voice at the ready, hacking cough kept to a minimum, I began. It is incredible, the power music has to captivate children’s attention. How creative you can be. With pretty much the chords, Em, C, G, D, Am and F in my repertoire (once in a while dropping a dodgy strummed C#m for luck), basic children’s songs and worship songs mutated into new chants. Throw in some dead chords and a regular tap on the body of the guitar and you have a drum beat, which means rhythm, which means dancing.

Although the children didn’t take part in their usual activities of painting and puzzles, and considering the appalling weather, the outside wasn’t even a near possibility, they got themselves into a neat train (stimela) so we could sing ‘Shoshloza’, before switching into Ageko o Fana no Jesu. And when my voice caught that didn’t stop them. Every song in my repertoire and then some was used, and the children came alive inside of it. Dancing, clapping, involving their teachers, playing games, eating quietly, talking quietly. Where cacophony normally shrouds the crèche, a serene peace was being spooled out at the strum of a few metal strings.

All children need is a but of stimulation, something exciting, creative, something new, and it opens up the world of possibilities that waits outside their wire fence, for them.

Prayer for Day 18: That as the Drop in Centre crèche grows and the teachers excel in their teaching skills, new and innovative ways of inspiring the children would be revealed. That the world of possibilities would enter the crèche and brighten their lives. That more music would find a way into education systems the world the over.

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#250 ~ Ithemba Projects: Day 17

African thunder storms

raining over me. Like the pelting of hammer and tongs

beating the landscape into submission,

repentance, as grated fires roar in pain, and stomachs convulse

An African thunder storm is reigning over me.

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#24/25 ~ Rainfall in Bayswater

 They fell like tiny globules of melted diamond, elongated, translucent yet shining like the sun. They gently stroked the tips of our ears and noses, and pawed our cheeks. Our long-lashed eyes closed and laughter escaped our lips, as we scrunched up our faces and jiggled our shoulders. One pulled the slender branch, the other reached up with pliers. Together, two separate brown-eyed girls, one was a hazelnut the other an almond, cut the mimosa branch.

***

 The sky was a moody grey, streaked with black and white like an unfurling badger. Clouds clustered together gossiping and the shy sun hid behind, the last to be picked in the school play.

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Metal chewed at bark, and bit by bit branches were cut loose. The small yellow-brown hand held on tightly, stubby fingers clutched around the gangly limbs of the tree. The other arm, closer to bronze, manipulated the pliers, twisting and turning them. When three whole branches were gathered, they locked eyes, and on a unanimous count let go of the branch.

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 A girlish giggle bubbled up and out just as a shower of diamonds encrusted our hair, our eyes, and bright yellow mimosa flowers shone out against a pale grey sky.

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