It burns in your veins like liquid fire; moving patiently while it impatiently breathes fire into every cell, into every strand of muscle and into every valley of tissue. It’s singed into your every waking breath, pronounced in every desperate tattoo of your beating heart and it’s seared into your vision like ancient insignia. It won’t go away, it’ll never go away.
Some will call it a curse; a generational itch that’s lanced through the groaning bark of their family tree like travelling, septic sap. Others refer to it as a calling; an ancient howl from the gods, a beckoning from their ancestors and the alluring sent of their destiny.
This desire, this passion, has built civilisations, made towering legends and destroyed works.
I once met a man who was deeply passionate about being there. His skin burned with the need to experience life and to share it. It was an exotic concept to me; a novel sliver of knowledge i couldn’t grasp at the time. My youth and naivety almost disallowed my understanding of something so deeply personal that it took a trying year for the pieces to fall into place.
Passion and desire are not without fear and insecurity; less so insecurity but more so the fear. I can see it now; passion as the dancing flames of an enchanting fire and fear being the whistling wind that billows and furiously fuels the twisting flames. Think of empires, civilisations and the greatest and most significant success throughout history. Each performed under the influence of passion; a heady cocktail of want and power and each not without the poisonous element of fear.
The greatest love story ever written, Romeo and Juliet, was a tale of destructive passion and debilitating and fuelling fear. Romeo wanted Juliet; he needed her as she needed him. Their love was a passionate meeting of worlds, a disastrous battle of societies and all of it was coaxed by the fear of existing without the other. Juliet’s suicide, the ultimate act of passion was fuelled by her fear of a life without Romeo. Passion is never without fear.
Wars in their inception are acts of patriotic passion. Patriotism laced with the stink of fear; fear of losing, fear of being bested and the fear of death. It’s a remarkable phenomenon; when we’re faced with certain danger, many run straight for it instead of away from it. Those instances are unique in the sense that passion and fear co-mingle and breathe fight into every atom in your body.
A more common example would be in passionate love-making. The searing touch of your loved one as the world disintegrates and the two of you are the only beings in existence. Few words are shared as with each beat and each breath taken, a rousing inferno engulfs you both and you’re lost in the throes of passion and love. This meeting of bodies, this deliberate, inebriating tryst is not without the fear of not being enough. The idea of not doing everything humanly possible to be everything your partner needs; the fear of not satisfying each other is one that wears itself over your heated bodies like a sheet of satin sin.
No dangerous has there ever been any other passion then that for perfection. Hitler’s regime and quest for the perfect race, the Aryan race, was one that went hand-in-hand with the fear of imperfection. It was the fear of losing a tapering Nordic bloodline and ruling over a population sullied by genetic imperfection, in his eyes. Apartheid was a regime housed in the belief and passion for white brilliance and domination and the fear of black rebellion and succession.
My point is that your passion, what fuels you, what breathes life to your purpose and calling, is not without even the faintest dustings of fear. Fear can be debilitating, disastrous and deadly but when honed in the right way, it would lead to magnificent creations, illustrious and affluent societies and almost biblical successes.
Fear is not the demon you should fear the most; inequity and loss of passion is what you should most fear. For the day you lose that fire, that passion, is the day you lose direction and hope.
Morning/evening/noon or night everyone. This is a list of links for you budding writers to consider should you want to enter into any writing competition.
Now i feel like i should issue out a very fair disclaimer; none of the competitions are affiliated with this blog in any way, shape or form. So should you experience any unpleasantries; just know…it wasn’t me.
But seriously; competition is more than a way for the confident to flex their egos, it’s a good way for the less confident to find their voices and to build a strong reputation and knowledge base.
These aren’t extensive, they’re just a few links i came across while trolling the net (Yes, i’m one of those people…)
Spokane Prize for short fiction
Those are just a few i’ve come across that seem legit and a good start for anyone to put their writing to the test. Don’t take this opportunity lightly; it could be the single greatest moment of your life, should you decide to put caution to the wind and go for it.
So all the best and much love.
– A.C. Shabangu
It’s a tragedy. It was never meant to be like this. Limbs as gentle as those were never meant to wield such cold, callous vessels of death. Their eyes were never meant to wear the stink of vengeance so sweetly; it should never be this way.
It’s like a disease that’s consciously infected the inhabited wilds of Africa; an infection that’s marred an already frowned upon bloodline and a burgeoning, hidden sect, festering proudly in plain sight. These boys, these children, were never meant to bleed into the darkness with death glazed eyes and steal breaths, pillage homes and howl to the moon like wolves drawn to the liquor of blood. They walk around, weighed down by the pull of the underworld, with ghosts tattooed on the faces and yet they stain their tender blood with burning shots of invincibility like they’ve earned the right to almost recognise the screams, the cries and to almost remember the blood, tears and slaughters in the wake of night.
These boys drag their armour around, without smiles. These forgotten children, these fatherless, motherless wonders are no longer part of a secret society. They’re no longer hidden beneath raw earth and unseen while moulded onto the thick jungle brush. They’re no longer a unique brand of existence, unchartered, misunderstood wonders of a silent culture; they’re a growing village. They’re the rising tide and they’re the entitled mushrooms that have come to inherit the earth.
These boys that no longer smile, no longer exist. They’re trained, lethal and living ghosts and they’ve been redesigned to singe their hollow cheeks and vacant glares into the dying memories of their victims. They were never meant to have victims to begin with.
This cannot continue.
We’ve heard the stories, read the atrocities and we’ve prayed for the victims, but have we asked ourselves, who the victims in these wars are?
The homes reduced to cinder and rubble? Of course. The mothers, fathers and children committed to their early graves? Certainly. But the forgotten children, the deceived boys, those are victims too. The argument of who the real victims are shouldn’t be the focus. We’re programmed to believe that life is a tale of binaries; where there’s a victim, there’s only ever an oppressor, an evil born from fire and brimstone.
These boys without smiles, they’re victims too. They’re the ones stolen, stripped and deceived and they’re the ones being led towards a cold fate. They’re the ones that continue to suffer, they’re the ones in over their heads and they’re the ones who’ve been convinced, persuaded into wielding a machete as a vessel of change. They’re the ones poisoned by violence.
I can’t force you to see what i see, to feel what i feel and to fight against the same demons i battle. I can only tell you about the boys who could have run away. I can only tell you about the children that still have a fighting chance and about the people that are willing to place themselves at the brink, only to fight for us, for the boys.
The power of your convictions can be greatly underestimated. Don’t make the same mistake many others make of you; saying something, screaming it out or writing something is as great a weapon as any currency is.