“To call each thing by its right name “– Christopher McCandless
One of my favourite movies is ‘Into the Wild’ by Sean Penn.
I just identified with the main character so deeply and remembered my own attempts at shaking off the ‘system’ and its rules about money and stature and success. I was so over it. My quest for a real adventure sometimes only took me as far as the jungle gym in the next neighbourhood until my growling tummy reminded me that running away wasn’t as fun as it looked in the cartoons. When I got older it took me a bit further and it taught me some hard lessons about having the people that love you, bless what you are doing. I definitely began to that sometimes ‘happiness is only real when shared.’
At the end of the movie, Alexandra Supertramp, as he had named himself, sees the significance of his real name at the very end of his stolen, brave, lonely adventure. As the cold, starvation and the poison from an inedible plant shuts his body down, he writes with his last bit of energy as the sun comes out to shine on his bony face ‘Happiness is only real when shared,’ and then signs himself off as Christopher McCandless and dies alone somewhere in the woods of Alaska in the snow. The thing that messes me up about this is the fact that it is a true story.
There is a Chinese proverb that says,’ The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name’ As I say yes again to dying to this self that has believed that my name was too boring, too common, not profound enough and insignificant… I went back to the beginning and asked my mother and father about my name one more time. I had just accepted the more accurate definition, ‘Still increasing’ over the ‘oh well, here’s another’ that I had believed for so long by looking at myself through some of life’s sneaky filters. I’m not sure what made me bring it up that day in the parking lot while waiting for my little brother uLuvuyiso (you are happiness) after his rugby game, but I did. The silence followed and my mom said it in full and the ears of my heart heard it for the first time. Your full name is Asandamantombazanelikhaya. The daughters of this home are still increasing.
The daughters of this homestead are still increasing? Are you serious? That is my name!? Well, that is my name!! My name is a statement of hope so sure, so expectant. There is not a whiff of doubt in my name. It is spoken so strong and it was spoken over me as soon as I entered this world. My name is ASANDA (,picture me standing on the chair in the dining room.)
I am a beloved daughter of God. I am a beloved daughter of this beautiful family. I am a beloved daughter of many amazing communities and I am a beloved daughter of this land. Scattered daughters hiding in their shame and lost sons swimming in their squalor will point their feet towards home…home to the reality of just how forgiven and loved they are. I will stand on this dining room chair and sing of this love that brought me home from the wilderness just as the cold what beginning to freeze the tissue in my heart to a self-righteous, stubborn, apathetic yet lonely death. I will stand on this chair in our dining room and sing it out in the streets that Love is real. I am alive!
The sons and daughters are waking up and they are coming home!
After many hours bent over my iPad, I have created it; the pseudo-studio recording of Blanket Landscape. Have a listen!
It’s been just over a week. Feels unreal. I have no respect for time anymore. This week I have had here, gazing at God as a good father who loves me, has changed so much in me.
I am blown away at the simplicity of all the things that melt my heart. Simple truths like the nature of God, his loving character, a good father with a good heart. I could go home now and be forever changed. But there is more.
I have bound his character to my earthly experiences and ideas of fatherhood and limited my view of his abundant love. I see now… the revolution of seeing him not only as the almighty and powerful creator but as a father who weeps when I weep, who waits for me on the porch when I have strayed and squandered my inheritance, he waits; for me just to turn my feet towards home and want his love again. At the first sight of me he jumps the porch and makes his way towards me undignified, running, holding his skirt, showing his ankles so that he can embrace me and kiss the vile stench of death and folly off of me. He holds me and stops me as I apologise, stumbling on my words repenting. He cuts me off as I say how unworthy I am and reminds me that I am a daughter. He orders the fattened calf to be slaughtered and calls for a ring of his authority and a beautiful robe to clothe me. He calls me daughter and wipes my tears of self pity and disgust and guilt. He calls for a celebration at my homecoming. What kind of love is this?
Mine is just to believe that this kind of love is what Jesus came to reveal. Jesus is a contested idea because of crazy things like this. In all his stories he is painting a beautiful picture of a loving Father who isn’t angry , who just wants his children to live in the knowledge of his love for them. He came to show us the character of our Father who loves us before we even do a thing. I see how we get validated in this world once we have done a task worth celebrating, worth beholding. A world of so much pressure.
I am taking a deep breath here. No expectations. Just a rest in a place of love and knowing that my Father is pleased with me, just as I am. I will create and love, and be from that place of s3knowing I am a beloved daughter, not an orphan or a servant. He loves what I love, he put these dreams inside of me and he created me to be me. The more I become exactly who I was made to be the more I glorify him God.
I have been told to breathe deep and slow down. Sometimes it drives me crazy. I am so deeply programmed to do perform, do, produce … for love. But the thick love of a family fighting for your heart and encouraging a true and rested creativity to flow out of you is disarming me day by day. More about that another time.
The Father’s arms are around me and I do not know what to do. I am so used to hand shakes. I am desperate for this hug from my father but I don’t know how to feel as he sings his love song over me. The one he sang at the very beginning before I bought into the lies that I had to do something to earn his love.
So I am learning to believe that this is indeed the truth. I am learning to exist in this embrace. I am taking it all in… this love because the truth is I want from no one else.
lost it at skinny love.
at Fort Donkin, my friend Joel and I up horsing around with melodies and shoowaps. So we decide to play Fluem by Bon Iver :) We present to you what we call “Fluem bloom” !