Lockdown Ocean stories, love and life in the time of Corona

It’s the last day of 2020, and we are back in Level 3 lockdown. The Presidents speech on You tube gave me a gasping feeling. I felt like I was suffocating. 

Disconnection despite all the connectivity. Breathe through a mask when you walk down the street. (A warning that you may be arrested if you are seen in public without one.). Rhamaposa anounced a clampdown -the second wave is here. So no swimming in the sea.  This, just at peak season, when everyone is at the height of their holiday. No ocean, no park, nowhere to run free. It’s the children’s holidays; they must stay safe till school begins. So keep them indoors, where they by default end up in front of their screens.

Are they safe there? Is that the healthy choice? This is where we find ourselves, battling it out between the veils of illusion and all the speculation. What is real, and what is just a dream?

This morning Mike came into our room to report a powerful dream he’d just woken from: -a woman was channeling information from the universe: “She said the world is “rounding,” it’s “rounding” and changing -there was this utopian happy society, where everyone was helping each other in community. Working for each other to help the common good, and every one was happy.” It seemed clear to me that this was a prophetic dream. The world is indeed “rounding,” it’s getting smaller, people are being brought together under oppressive state control as the whole world has been brought together for a common cause. The theme of 2020. I liked the happy ending most. Common cause and common sense will bring the people together in circle, that is what rounding means, rounding means love, rounding means evolving, rounding means caring. Community is where it begins.

Yesterday I took the left overs of the Christmas dinner and gave it to some homeless men near the 7/10 shop. The three of them, who had just learned that all the bottle stores were again closed for a long time, and the beaches closed too, were cheered up deeply by my offering. They were facing withdrawal from their addictions.  I bought them a loaf of bread to eat their picnic with, even though I only had pennies to spare.  I left them with a dishtowel as a picnic mat and said. “Have a picnic!”  The three ramshackle men looked very amused.  “A picnic!”  They laughed.  “Happy Christmas!”  They were very grateful. They tucked in ravenously. It felt good to have brought joy, even if it was temporary.

After that I went down to the sea, even though we are not allowed to swim, I found a way… 

A free-spirited woman, who noticed me gasping as she passed, told me kindly that if I was desperate, there was a window of opportunity. A friend of hers did this in California, she said. It turned out (coincidentally-synchronistically- not surprisingly) the friend she referred to happened to be a mutual friend, as she mentioned her name.  Our mutual friend on the other side of this ocean, waited for the patrolling cops on their scooters to be down the far end of the beach and then ran in and swam and ran out before they could reach her. (The world is rounding.)

It did not take any convincing, I just needed permission, being of the “mermaid” family, I waded in, in my dress and dived into the waves.  Surfed a few and made it back just in the nick of time.  I had to dash through the colorful booths and hide in the changing rooms.

“Put on your mask -put on your mask!” Said the cleaning lady standing on guard. (Put on your mask to get dressed alone in a booth? Where is the sense? No common sense at all, just obey.)  I promised I would.  

I hid there a while, waiting for them to pass, feeling like a criminal.  Terrified for doing what I usually do every day for my mental health, even when it’s cold and raining.  Swimming in the cold ocean cleanses me and transforms my energy and mood every time. It’s an essential practice. I cannot fathom being denied it.  Closing the bottle store is one thing, but closing the ocean is another!  It’s my sanity to swim in the sea; I live 5 minutes walk from the beach.  It’s a daily meditation. It cleanses and strengthens and heals me.

 I came out all wrapped and dry in my spare clothes, pretending to be someone else completely.  Masked and hidden behind my dark glasses, with my scarf tied as a turban around my wet hair. Nobody would guess I was me. Disguised as a different person, I even walked with a different step as an extra disguise.

I wondered on to find refuge at the nearby apartment of a friend, as I needed some reviving after the adrenalin rush of running from those cops on their 4 by 4 bikes. “You’re an outlaw now!” laughed Tumela, when she heard what I had done. I was served hot chocolate and found myself in a heated discussion about Mandela on the balcony – they have a stunning view of the sea. (We were outdoors and social distancing of course,) a black born- free poet artist activist, who was visiting them too, stated vehemently that Mandela was nothing but a puppet used by the white people to avert a war, which would have sorted things out for the better. At least he seemed to have it in his head that Mandela let his people down, and someone else would have made sure that all black people in South Africa would be free and equal by now. I understand his frustration, as there has not been enough change, but I had to wonder who he had been listening to. It seems that people have too much pinned on leaders, expecting them to wave a magic wand and just sort out all the problems after years of scars and false programming. It takes a long time to unravel these things. No leader can fix in one term what has taken centuries to create.

I found this view of the great man -who gave his life for his people, tragic.  He offered his life for his country, it was his truth, and not some false story. I was there when he said it that day on the Grand Parade when they let him out of jail.  I met him twice after that.  He was of a very high vibration.  I understand that life is still hard and getting harder, as poverty and apartheids scars run deep, but it’s not Mandela’s fault.  That’s not fair. I tried to tell the young poet about my encounters with Mandela, between all the interruptions, but my attempts were lost as the party made the best of the last box of red wine and seemed too stoned to listen anyway.

It was not the time for heated political arguments, although my born-free poet was enjoying the debate. He told me he loved me for arguing anyway and we moved on and spontaneously sang a beautiful song together in the sunset. Focus on the present, leave the past behind. Nothing is as it seems, the world is changing before us, we are evolving, nothing that mattered before matters in the same way anymore.

After disaster, skeleton priorities, only love remains.

An artwork I made after the tsunami in Japan. It is relevant at this time. It applies. Covid19 is a different kind of Tsunami.

 What happened next on the balcony, was like a musical.  We naturally fell into a four-part harmony as the sun began to set over the sea. I sang and played guitar using the prayer: (composed by Peia). My healing theme song this year. It goes like this:

“Blessed we are to dance on this ground, The rhythm of saints to carry the sound. We hold a prayer for the earth, for the ones yet to come, ‘May you walk in beauty and remember your song.’ Remember why you came here, Remember your life is sacred.” 

Meanwhile the poet rapped a spontaneous political rap over it, and Tumela and others sang the third and fourth part. Even my Jamie, my husband with his musically distinguished overhearing ear, was delighted by the spontaneous harmony.

It’s up to us to free ourselves. We are evolving, we can’t get stuck in the details, nor can we get lost in stories of “us” and “them”, stories of separation are so last season. No more speculation about the future, no more misinterpretation of the past. All we have is right now, as we walk one step at a time together, in beauty upon the sacred earth.

Tumela and Jamie singing to the last sunset of 2020 and the deep blue sea.

Some of you may be frowning upon this social activity. We were after all outdoors and socially distanced.

If one is concerned at having been in contact with others, there are some precautions one can take. It is natural for humans to interact and sing songs together. A healthy activity as long as one takes precautions.

Artimisia Afra is a blood cleansing herb with antiviral, anti parasitic and antibactarial properties. It is a great defence and protection both as a drink and a steam inhalent. Contact me: owlsightshine@gmail.com to order

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