Monday, November 22, 2010

Bodacious Breakfast!!!

Last Saturday - 20th November - I hosted my first real Bodaciously me...! event - a breakfast the women called a Kaleidescope of Stories.  The restaurant Eat@Alltydgedacht is at a wine estate on your way to Durbanville (Cape Town).  Its a small place that has indoor and outdoor seating.  The beauty of the place is both its informality, and the care with which customers are treated - perfect for the day!  We had booked to be seated in the tent, adjoining the barrel room, however Sharon, the owner checked out the weather (on - a website which tells you the weather - even by the hour, in any part of the world!!!!) and it was going to be rainy.  So she gave us the barrel room.  This is a large room with huge wooden wine barrels lined up on either side of the room, leaving a not too narrow passage in the middle for the tables.  It has warm lighting interspersed with twinkly lights - like stars twinkling above.  It is a beautifully intimate space - and was perfect for the morning.  The food was divine!!

I started off 14 women, many who did not know each other, and did not know quite what to expect, but willing to take the plunge.  They were seated in 3's or 4's at a table with people they did not know.  The intention was to get them to meet new people.  I began with a welcome, and reading my poem - The Blaze of herself - and then spoke about the danger of the single stories (thanks to Chimamanda Adichie) we tell about ourselves and others.  The purpose of the day was to find the kaleidescope of stories that is each one of us.

Participants told stories about the times in their lives when their 'breast were erect, and they shook as I walked' (song of lawino - okot p'bitek).  There was a lot of laughter as people remembered the power of youth and sensuality.  We had powerful memories of childhood and deep reflection when I read my poem 'Velvety skies'

I stare at the velvety skies
through the frosted glass window
light blue... deeper blue ... purply blue
It is dusk
God made this time specially

Memories of fathers, and of grandparents , of special moments came back.  We reflected on moments of power - when we felt so absolutely in our own power.  Memories of childbirth and defiance, of pain and joy, of facing fear and going on anyway - of living flooded our minds!!!  As each woman made time to slow down, and reflect 

                her soul crackled and popped
like dry wood ready for burning
        and she saw
her reflection in the skies again
                   deep red,
       moon orange
sun gold
setting pink…
 ... ...
for she had rekindled
   the blaze of HERself  

We played with kaleidescopes, shared stories and poetry, wrote poetry, and drew with jik and ink - to create images of what had been revealed to us, of ourselves.  There was a lot of laughter, and lot of love, and a lot of support.  Each person left having connected with parts of themselves that they had forgotten and with at least 2 or 3 other women.

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