Friday, 18 July 2014

Will You Pour Me One for the Road?

The above blurry, iPhone photograph was taken by a stubborn party-goer who was wearing chinos and a bad attitude about taking un petit photo of me and my girls while also trying to hit on us and perhaps try to take a bad photo of Kelicia (middle) which, as he found out, is scientifically impossible and morally wrong.

This was two days after change-your-hair-change-your-life applied to me (see: weave) and a less than 24 hours before I would prepare to board a plane heading to the greatest two weeks of my life: summer in Europe. Think of this photo as the beginning of Daydream Nation or whatever Indie film where our heroine's all like, "... before everything changed forever."

I've been back in sunny South Africa for almost a week now and I haven't had the courage to write or blog or stay at home all day because that would mean my European summer, my climb up Kilimanjaro if you will, was officially over and that it would all only exist in shared memories and unflattering photographs.

So I've been looking at life before Europe, laughing at how completely different life turned out to be.
I just wanted to show how cute my outfit was - well, at least I felt really cute because I had frilly socks over my tights. Also, my panther jersey never gets to go outside to play. Also, my friend, Kate, made that top five minutes before we had to leave the house. 
So, my little Northern Hemispherites (and, yeah, some of you Southerners), how has your summer (or "summer") been going?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Last Days of Summer

"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance." - Yoko Ono (I think.)

One (you, me) starts to look at time and things laterally, as simply location. Like, when your gran looks back on a time, she mentions the place first; or how certain things only exist in terms of certain places. Like, you were happy in that townhouse and your baby brother started teething when you were in that gross flat behind the highway. Where as, something my brother mentioned in passing (that I know aren't his words but the sentiment is there), "The question isn't where are we but when are we." The big, ol' fat daddy Time. And nothing makes you more aware of the all-encompassing Self than the changing of seasons and position of the moon.

I was woken up one Sunday morning by the rustling of the leaves in the tree behind my bedroom window. I was still fully clothed from the night before and had my phone under my breast. My knees were locked and my back ached from hunching over myself. Before I had time to register the night before or the day ahead, I was hit with that creeping sense of waiting and uncomfortable aloneness that comes with the feeling of waiting, dreading that you get on a Sunday. Usually it comes around 18h00 and you think about the English essay you still need to write. But this wasn't the 'I want to hang myself' weight of a Monday morning. No, this was just waiting. Like, in the beginning of a fantasy/sci-fi film when the a wind howls through the main character's room and they're woken up by just the moonlight. A faceless voice whispers, "It's time." Except that I felt like I was waiting for the moment that it would be time.
That's how I knew summer was over.

No one appreciates walking anymore. A boy once told me it was possibly the most redundant form of transportation. He found the whole act of depending on your own feet, leaving it all up to numero uno, to be such a waste of time. I guess he spent so much time by himself that the trip from his house to the gas station for Marlboros was overkill. I'm not so fortunate. And I guess there's a connection between not feeling Self and never walking enough. Maybe that's why the middle-aged, grey cheeked, who spend hours inhaling exhaust fumes and monotony never feel quite at home anywhere. Maybe that's why driving through the yellow tinted suburbia you've known so well strips you of those feelings of independence and grown-upness because the lawns aren't as green and the dogs don't bark like they once did. Maybe that's why the first thing he did after you both exploded over the marble counters and dirty dishes, after you'd cried venom and the door frame shook was walk and walk and walk.
I vow to walk everyday.

"I think desire isn't lack, it's surplus energy..." - Chris Kraus, I Love Dick.
I remember reading this earlier in the year, the more rosier of the days before I started to feel grown, and wanting to apply it to everything. Chris describes desire as this sort of claustrophobia, where in desire seems to only fill you up. It's not this want for, need for, quest for more. More and more and more. It's an, 'I need to give and give and give.' I can't be exactly sure that's how I felt because I journaled it three months ago and never revisited it.
I'd recently found myself in a relationship of the romantic sort after declaring myself as emotionally ready and independent and filled with Eartha Kitt goodness and it freaked me out. I abide by the Justin Timblerlakian philosophy of 'what goes around comes around', osmosis, really. So gaining all this energy, this desire (for another person, for moments, for warmth in these bones) would have to mean losing this energy somewhere else. I hate admitting it to myself but it seems like whenever I enter a phase of, I don't know, happiness or contentment I can't create. I worry I'm depending too much on ache to do things or those moments of pity and uncomfortable intospectiveness you go through when you come off of a high to make.
Then Maya Angelou passed and I cried for a death for the first time ever. And I read Toni Morrison's Beloved and in the preface she talks about the day she quit her job and went home to relax and live off of novel royalties. Then she was overcome with this sensation. It was unfamiliar and a little disconcerting at first until she realised that she was, well, happy. Just simply and purely and truly content. Then she wrote Beloved
It's not really desire or pleasure or rose stained glass if you have can'ts. Then you're just passing Time.

I saw something on Tumblr that was along the lines of, "Locate your feelings. Don't analyse. Locate. Are they in your stomach, leg?" It reminded me of an article I'd read (what could've been) weeks or months ago about theories on where certain emotions stem from. 
I think all the hours of making/admiring art, crying into poetry and trying to understand everything about Sofia Coppola films means that I had come to spending a lot of my time trying to analyse feelings. Beat them until they confessed their motives, until they revealed every intention they'd ever had, until I could kick them in the shins and make them leave my bones so I could be self-aware. 
And I guess that's why I'd also grown so disinterested in Instagram and Tumblr and Twitter and, eventually, blogging. It felt like I was beginning to spend a lot of my time watching myself and my thoughts and my feelings instead of just being assured by the fact that all those things are there and that I'm alive in the most exciting time to be a person and that my friends are great, my relationship is wonderful and I have all these beautiful things to look forward to. Journaling and photo-taking just felt like abuse of these moments of 'Strange Magic' I so desperately wanted to keep so that I could look back on an aesthetically pleasing life.
I started a diary then. I was just going to write down a play by play of the things that happened that had some sort of long-lasting impact on me. Be it, Katy calling me 'my boy' with a huge grin the one Monday or when I got invited to a house party by ex-boyfriend (and spent an hour wondering if I was lying to Lilita when I said that I wouldn't go) or how I scribbled Donald Glover's open letter (to himself? The world? His future? Me?) on my bedroom wall. I was just going to have to locate feelings.
I want to look back and enjoy or cringe at these moments once again for what they were. Not the grey balls of putty I would mash and twist and wring out to be whatever I needed them to be.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

It's Three in the Morning and I'm Trying to Change Your Mind

black fashion box braids
It has literally only been two weeks of second term and two weeks since I've blogged and I am officially done with everything (you can see my completely done-ness in the above photograph). OK, I'm done in spirit. I still have another three weeks until exams and two weeks after that until I'm off to Europe where I'll buy a fabulous faux-fur coat and extra long cigarettes, put my hair up in a bob and smudge all my eyeliner. Basically, I'll become Margot Tennenbaum in Spain.

I can't wrap my head around how quickly the year is going by. All my tests are still littered with crossed out 2013s! My refusal to get the hang of replacing the 3 with a 4 may be because I'm so terrified of Grade Twelve and matriculating and becoming a grown woman who can do whatever [she] wants. At the same time I can't wait as well. It's so much easier to go through this end-of-high-school-freak-out when you just have to watch from the sidelines as your sister or older friends go through it while you're in the state of dreaming. I mean, I can't even.

I finally bought into the hype that is Arctic Monkeys' AM. I am so in love with them, I think I might let myself discover the rest of the discography. The problem with something that everyone's Instagramming and has appeared forty times a day on your Tumblr dashboard is that half the time it's total shit. So I'm really wary of checking out the things I've seen reblogged.
But, afhhgfhfghgfhfhfhfhghgghgh - AM is the bomb. My favourite right now is Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High just because there was time last year when I was literally living that song.
indigo jersey over blue printed dress socks over tights
socks over tights and navy creepers
My jersey and dashiki-like T-shirt worn as a dress and creepers are all from stores on the same street in Turkey. My bag is from Mr Price. My bangle was a fourteenth birthday gift from Truworths.
box braids eyebrow game hella proper
south africa winter fashion 2014
navy creepers socks over tights
the maboneng precinct fox street
 I'm planning on make the Maboneng Precinct my regular hangout. I helped out a friend today who had to interview people about rediscovering Johannesburg. The best and worst thing about hipster neighbourhoods like Maboneng and Braamfontein is that everyone is an up and coming artist, photographer, model, fashion designer, etc. so they are all really open to collaborating and getting interviewed and posing for street style.
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
 There was a beautiful exhibit called Mirrors at the Museum of African Design. Unfortunately, we didn't stay long enough to read the artist's rationale but she/he made a really great copy of my favourite Gustave Courbet self-portrait.
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
mirrors 18 may museum of african design
the maboneng precinct fox street
I know Cape Town is always recommended as the place to visit in South Africa but as unforgiving as it may be sometimes, Johannesburg is one of the greatest cities you'll ever encounter. There are so many different groups of people from so many different places with so many different stories and histories here. And it's like a really great painting, the more you look the better it gets, the more little things you notice here and there, the more you fall in love.
rediscovering johannesburg joburg first class african city
rediscovering johannesburg joburg first class african city
rediscovering johannesburg joburg first class african city
rediscovering johannesburg joburg first class african city
rediscovering johannesburg joburg first class african city
rediscovering johannesburg joburg first class african city

Khensani xx

Saturday, 3 May 2014

I Live In a Hologram with You

I'm a rather boring person right now. I don't know why.
Today, an old friend asked me about things going on in my life. We hadn't seen each in a long time and it was weird. Talking to old friends gives you an uncomfortable sensation and guilt and nostalgia and that thing you get when you're with your mom and you feel like you have to constantly explain yourself. My friend noted that I didn't the laugh the way I used and my humour had changed. I was quieter, more subdued, like I had a lot on my mind.
Talking to an old friend and reminiscing - you'd expect you'd learn new things about your friend and receive a more rose-tinted view of the past but those things you find from just looking at the person, watching them check their Twitter whenever the conversation stalls.
And after said friend leaves and you promise to try to see more of each, say hi to your mom/sister/the-love-of-your-lives, you're still left with that gross feeling of guilt. It flows through your veins like oil and your arms become heavy.
You never realise how much you've changed until you're faced with the people who've become people you used to know. One of those people being yourself.
I don't know. It all made me think of Buzzcut Season by Lorde. There's something about the song that makes me think of the increasing number of people I know becoming people I knew. And it's great that times are changing but change is this terrible shade of blue that I find both warm and cool.
 Wifebeater: Topman | Jeans: Cotton On | Sandals: Edgars | Bangle: Truworths | Lipstick: some eyeshadow and Vaseline | Attitude: 16 years of being nothing
 Camisole: Mr Price | Pajama Trousers: Zara Istanbul | Shoes: Diva at | Ring: the store formerly known as Sass Diva, Zuri | Belt: Mr Price
 *** FYI: I wore these outfits on separate occasions. I am not a great catfish.
 Midnight blue is such a great colour. It's so suggestive of eternity and foreverness (in terms of Tavi's Rookie December 2013 Ed's Letter). I find it strange that blue is seen as a cool colour since there's nothing more comforting and refreshing than the night sky.

Khenzo xx

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Baby, When You Finally Get to Love Somebody

 Happy 10th Anniversary of Mean Girls! Also IT'S GONNA BE MAY! Also, Kate Moss's collection for Topshop launced today. Also, IT'S GONNA BE MAAAYY.
To celebrate the anniversary of one of my favourite films ever, I wore pink because it also happens to be Wednesday! Why is that significant, you ask? What is Mean Girls anyway, you ask? Why was my Tumblr dashboard filled with it, you keep on? Please pick up your orangatan boobs and army green Crocs and proceed to run over a cliff. Thanks, bye.
Don't even get me started on the NSYNC reference.
It was such a labour of love and sacrifice to basic bitchness to find the only pink top in my wardrobe (which is discombobulating - pink is such a great colour). I found these perfectly oppressive high waist jeans from Mr Price yesterday and they allow me to eat carbs and still be a walking catfish (read: this is real progress, Mark Zuckerberg). My socks and flatforms are from Mr Price as well.
As someone who is from Africa as well (and has actually grown up with Ladysmith Black Mambazo), I can verify that we all speak Swedish and that butter is a carb. This is all science.
 The Topshop South Africa Instagram promised a R2000 voucher for the Kate Moss collection to the first people to show up this morning when the store opened. I missed it by thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much. I was really disappointed with the lack of hype from Topshop, the fact that they didn't turn it into, like, a proper vibe and throw a launch party with fancy juices and sweets like they did somewhere in the world with Jourdan Dunn there (I think). But when I came face to sequins/fringe/leather with the collection, I understood why. I was so whelmed. Which is becoming a recurring theme with my visits to Topshop.
 Josh and I threw a little temper tantrum and then went for a carby lunch (WHERE MY PANTS DID NOT EXPLODE THIS IS SO IMPORTANT YOU GUYS).
On Monday, my blogger friend, Foyin (of Dear Solo) and I did a little clickety-click snap-snap thing at her house. She made me waffles and pink tea and bacon and I was just filled with a warmness unmatched by the white hot intesity of a thousand suns because having friends and bacon is so nice. Plus Foyin is such a babe, especially in photographs.
 I probably should have left Foyin to publish these photos herself (there are many more great ones) but I really love them and I'm kind of gushy proud of the way my photo-taking (too hipster to put photography) has improved since, like, this time last year.
 This is what the past two weeks of holidays have looked like for my laptop. I'm finally writing again, probably mediocre but better than nothing. I've also found that taking photos of self-portraits makes them look a lot better. I'm not a very strong or confident painter so I've been trying to teach myself these past weeks and, I know, I know, they're rather whelming but it's improvement. I'm just at a point in my life where growth is better than sitting around not doing anything because I'm scared of failing, you know?

Khenzo xx
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