2002-08-29

Welcome to the World Summit on Sustainable Blogging. Tens of thosands of people crammed into my study. Hardly enough space to move my fingers as I type. Sirens going mad as motorcade after motorcade speeds through my garden, ripping up the poppies as they go. Not to mention the tables groaning under their loads of caviar and lobsters and whatnot.

Hey, it's Joburg in 2002. Suddenly the world's attention is on South Africa again. We're all under strict orders from our government to be on our best behaviour -- no running around mugging foreign dignitaries and so forth. Of course, this doesn't apply if you're a sex worker. Pity I'm too old to go back into that line of work.

Joburgers have largely fled the city. Driving to work is a pleasure (if you don't work in Sandton) as most schools seem to have moved their spring break forward to coincide with the Summit. And if you do work in Sandton -- you probably deserve it for being the corporate slave that you are. Mike, sorry about all the hideous Gautengers cluttering up the beautiful streets of Cape Town at the moment.

The Summit has got a lot of attention lately. I've been staying the hell away from Sandton. I really can't take the chance of being shot by some over-zealous bodyguard. So all my news has come from newspapers and the web and talking to people at work. It's been interesting stuff too. The Sun, of course, does the typically tabloid thing in focusing on what delegates are eating. Bizarre that. If that's the only scandal they could rake up, it's pretty good going for the organisers. Others tend to take a slightly less desperate-for-sensation approach and even approach the actual issues, however obliquely.

Some (South Africans especially) focus on how terribly inconvenient it is to have the Summit here. They talk about the cost of upgrading infrastructure to cope with the influx of people. They go on about all the police guarding delegates instead of protecting their precious suburbs. They talk about the horror of "riots" on Saturday when several protest marches will be taking place. I don't buy it. Sure, it's cost me some tax money to have the Summit here, but I'm pretty sure all those dollar-spending delegates are happily pouring lots of cash into the local economy. And then, if the upgrades hadn't happened, these same people would be complaining about how terrible it was that they hadn't. If the police presence wasn't so strong and somebody took the opportunity to rid the world of someone famous, these same people would be complaining about what a pitiful police service we have. And, of course, it's a peculiarity of white South Africans to say "riot" when they mean "demonstration". It's obviously some kind of hangover from the bad old days when any public gathering of more than two people qualified as a riot and was reported as such by the state-controlled media.

Still, there are some who actually talk about the Summit itself and what it may or may not achieve. The jury's still out on this one for me. I hear that many expected delegates haven't actually arrived. I hear there is still vast disagreement on important points. But for me it can't be a waste of time to even attempt to address these issues. I hope with all my heart that the result of this Summit is actual concrete commitment to do something about the scary state that we've got the world into. I hope that it's not just more spewing forth of hot air coupled with short-sighted refusal to address global issues. Maybe I'm insane for even being able to contemplate such hope. But my insanity makes me happy and the world is full of sane and unhappy people.

2002-08-28

In the immortal words of Sam Gamgee: "Well, I’m back." It's been a wonderful few months. Months of being so in love that nothing else seemed to matter. Nothing could compare to the sheer wonderfulness of it all. Months of being in a state so rare in my life that I couldn't help but devote all my attention to it.

Of course, it's over now. Greg, beautiful Greg, wonderful Greg, brought my worst nightmare to life last week. Why? I'm still not entirely sure. I guess he's realized that he's not quite as in love with me as he'd thought. And of course we'd got to the point in our relationship where we either had to make some kind of commitment or run away screaming. Greg chose to run.

The last week has been tough. I spent a lot of time wondering what I had done to make this happen. I had to face the horrifying possibility that I may not be as wonderful as I'd like to think. I felt rejected and lonely. All my insecurities came to the surface clamouring for attention.

I've been told many times, have read in many places that the essential me, my essential self, is beyond such hurt, such pain, such suffering. On a deep and fundamental level, I've been told, nothing can disturb my bliss and tranquillity. But somehow, I've never quite got that. It has always remained an idea, rather than an experience.

One bleak evening last week, I realised that truth of it. I could look at my situation and somehow, none of it could touch me. I could even laugh again. Life is still wonderful and beautiful. I can still dance through the dahlias, even if Greg decides to stop and rest. That lesson is worth the pain and the disappointment. Oh it still hurt, but it didn't matter nearly as much.

I went away for the weekend to a little town in the mountains, to spend some time with two very good friends who had rented a cottage there for a few days. It was amazing. The clear air, the springtime garden, the warm lazy days and the joy of being with people who surrounded me with love and caring lifted me out of my unhappiness and hurt.

Last week I didn't like Greg very much. This week I see that he's still beautiful, still wonderful. I do still love him and I'm very grateful that I could share this time with him. I called him yesterday and told him so. I expected there to be some awkwardness, some discomfort. But there wasn't. It was an easy, open conversation. I think there may be hope for our friendship yet.