Dear lady,

I have prepared a few snippets of some of the texts I have. In my mind, they are like a bouquet of assorted flowers, I could have posted each exclusively but they are much prettier together. In truth, I have been more agile in getting my words out. Lately my thoughts form into words like the way I imagine a two-year old’s do. I find I arrange my feelings with things like ‘Naleli do happiness now’ or ‘make joy not worry’ or ‘want pineapples’ you know, things of that nature. In any case…
• The view from inside the house is interesting. I often pile on vests beneath a heavy coat and scarves. I’ll further layer sock on sock and fill my warmest boots with plumped feet. When stepping out I will find that it is neither grey nor is it chilly outside. I wonder about this a lot: the mind made climate which can possess us to see storm where there is a perfectly sunny day. 
• She was thinking about everything. Do they know I greet butterflies? Do they know I sing to the moon? Where was the sun when we were born? Where were the stars? Did you know that they say where the stars were when we were birthed can tell us the stories of who we are or how we are? Why on earth do we ever feel lost? All the bodies follow their course. A wonder of wanders, revolutions and spins. And the waters, should they rise, flow or fall never do they worry about the moon.

• My birthday was two days ago and on the day before while waiting in an endless queue at the bank I wrote this on a piece of paper. 

 I cannot think of a physical thing that I REALLY want. I only have a prayer and a hope. To always stay hopeful and positive. To always keep believing in miracles. Positivity… belief… the keeping of these things. Maybe that’s where the rest of the things are birthed: happiness, confidence, general kickass-edness, boldness, courage, integrity and the undying ability and act of showing up and showing out for myself. Good things continue to happen. My wish for myself in what might be the slowest moving queue on earth… seriously, it is possible that the first flying car might be launched with me still on this line… my wish is to never forget how great this is or this can be and surely how awesome things will get. I wish to always appreciate my life and the unique set of circumstances (which aren’t always great) that make it my own, mine to be both ruler and subordinate. My heart is open. I am thankful. Many did not make it. Look at me! Look at God!

• If days pass by so swiftly, what does that mean for months and years? What does it mean for lifetimes?
• “Until now Thursday hadn’t seemed quite so threatening.” – Tim Winton


Before The Flames

“She was floating, arms outspread, water lapping her body, breathing in a summery fragrance of salt and coconut.”- Liane Moriarty

I believe, in everything that is inside the pockets of goodness which fill the space and time between the moments of my life.

Where are the words when I want to write about what a heck of a ride this is? The lyrics to the song my heart is beating to can’t form fast enough for me to write about the dance it gets out of me. Last year was one for the books. Like a Ngaka’s litaola come tumbling out of a pouch, peculiar strings of events and other such tokens and things sprung out in the open from heaven knows where to reveal unknown sides of me. And all the while every thing I tried to hold on to had the rigor of jelly in a bowl full of custard, like life was saying ‘sorry dear, no crutch here!’  And then followed all the whirling around with the seconds, whirling requires no braces, to spin you have to let go of the rod you are leaning on. Would you know it, the damn thing is wonderful!

It is Sugar who sparked these notions. She talks of “the capacity to stand before the scorching flames”, the decisions and knowledge which have to be employed and coming to a point of understanding what to take in and what to throw out. I guess I am grabbing a hunk of bread.

I was thinking about cancer. Or maybe that it can leave you feeling like everything which means the most to you can be ripped from your grasp at any time. For this reason and others some experiences can leave you feeling like you are mid-breath and unable to fully inhale or exhale. In the midst of it extraordinary things happen which allow you to forget. You step outside of yourself and all your perceived conditioning and walk into amazing experiences. Like everything else these wonderful events end, most times too swiftly but they do not leave you undone. In the end you are not the same. You begin to see your mid-breath state for exactly what it is: irrelevant; although it is sometimes lasting, sometimes biting, a reaction to a lasting biting thing and duly so but irrelevant still.

I am grateful, for having been born into a family at all, for friends and the brief moments with strangers which have changed my life. I am grateful for it all: for life, spirit, heart and renewal. For faith, joy, burns, tears and lessons. For dreams, desire, sight and sense. I am grateful for the amazing thing which lives in my craze for my mother, my curiosity for my father and my sameness with my brother. Something extraordinary lives there, much like the tiny shiny speckles of white across the vast dark summer night’s sky. The gentle reminder of being part of a much larger order of things; a framework whose awesomeness you might miss if you get wound in yourself too much.

To a Happy New Year!!!

musings · poetry · Uncategorized · young adult


And I was looking for better words – words far superior to my own. Words that could make me travel worlds, force a spring out of the bed from me, breathe fervor into my steps and parallel me to life.


“Well, I think I might be dying and I came here for help. My poop is green Sir! And not like I ate too much spinach either, like I swallowed a lime highlighter, like if I switch off the bathroom light the thing is going to glow. And it hurts so badly when I breathe and …” I explained to my doctor who was then in fits of hysterical laughter. The night coming before this episode in a small physician’s room felt like it was my last. I made calls to my mother, boyfriend and brother who in spite of reactions similar to the doctor’s promised to follow up on my request to be checked on in the morning or otherwise confirm my death. I left my dorm door unlocked you know, for easy access to my corpse and all, and then fell asleep mid final prayers. (Okay, health anxiety mixed in with panic attacks is not that uncommon. Okay? Good)

When basking in the hilarious verdict of no death by green poop later on, the whole saga struck me in some kind of way.


My perceived soon-to-be death reminded me of my life to-do list which had a lot of unchecked items. Incidentally, I feel that this would make an accurate tagline to my emergence in adulthood.

And this brings me to this next realization:

There is an eventual pain which escorts the heart when a life feels almost half-lived, when curiosities are ignored and when stepping up to the plate is short-changed.

Oh! And I remember thinking “Sweet Creator, I am not yet ready to leave Earth I like it here. It is the pain stabbing at my chest leading me to my plea, the pain of not doing what I know I should. I pay allegiance to the energies which fuel my creativity and passions. My mind operates in a wacky multiplicity that I should appreciate and exercise more. My heart left the sleeves and clung to the elbows. Though sometimes I allow for my vibes to be harshed, my godliness is my loveliness. Allow the means so that the stories entangled in my wrists no longer lock the bones; so that these feet walk the path I have been made far. Damn it, I cannot die a girl afraid of roller-coasters. I want to experience things worthy of fear like exercising true freedom, not caring what people think, matchless faith, dreaming big and all the things which bar human beings from complete contentment. I am willing myself to greatness in every moment; how about some of that before my exit please? ”


Music must be felt,

Life must be heard,

Time must be lived,

Joyful noise may peal from objects hit hard,

Hard-hit objects weaken,

break or bend,

If I must be,

Is it an instrument or the note it sounds?

musings · Uncategorized · young adult


“I write like a girl. I write about my lady life experiences, and that usually comes out as unfiltered emotion, unrequited love, and eventual discussion of my vagina as metaphor.”Elissa Bassist


Women like Elissa Bassit have written things like the one I’ve quoted here that have let me know indisputably that my people do in fact exist in this lifetime. These women have freed me from the burden of over-explanations. My “whew! So I am not melodramatic then” sigh of relief came just in time. I had been fixing to cook up one of those awkward ‘don’t mistake me for …’ posts which skim a poor-me perimeter in order to get my missions across. But my belonging was gracefully reaffirmed. The teachings I’ve accepted have given me sturdier hands kind of to reach for, rip apart and sport like a monarch’s regalia my dear freedoms which have led me here.

This grace has also delivered me from being afraid of telling the truth about being afraid, being in my feelings, being a thing in the awareness of its being in what seems to be a stunning world, being alive, being sensitive, being hopeful, being whatever the hell it might be that possesses a soul to want to be better.


“… and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring, still.” ― Maya Angelou




Once so helplessly bound to what I now call voluntary hopefulness I once described myself as an aspiring writer of inspiring things. And this is the gist of it all, really.


“Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”Cheryl Strayed


It is not that complicated. I write about brokenness to mend it. I write about hope to birth it. And I write like this over and over, to love, to live, to learn, to mend and for rebirth- again and again and again. The themes which plague me lately are ingenuity and what I refer to as the getting off of one’s ass. I am realizing as I type this that my (our) becoming is not the kind of thing that I (we) can ease into. I (we) have to go at it steamrolling and merciless until it is well within me (us).

The thing I am shamefully beating about is this: It has taken me a while to accept that all the things I am interested in blogging about are valid and necessary. All the stories of our hearts are necessary. There is no right and neither is there wrong to it, only precision.

young adult


“Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighbourhood.” ― Maya Angelou

This post has taken a while building itself. I might have indulged a little inactivity and mingled far too long with self-doubt when the fears hit me. I’d been terrified at the thought that my attempts at creative nonfiction might render me a tad whiny and so I did nothing.

In addition, I must mention that I went on hiatus in order to gather my wits. I’ve wanted to change the narrative for a long time not knowing the first thing of how to begin. And I toiled a bit too much if you ask me, the thing is it never occurred to me that I could just … change. Like that.  In one moment be one thing and in the next moment be a totally different being. I suppose change has always seemed an event to me; a kind of formal affair requiring seasoned preparation, maybe a little fuss and a little stress. There is a quote I quite like by Sharon Salzberg which says,

“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view. When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn’t matter whether it’s been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades.
The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn’t see before.”

You would think that my liking for this quote would be paralleled by my understanding and practicing of it but up until a couple of weeks ago you would have been wrong.


Once so helplessly bound to what I now call voluntary hopelessness I once wrote, dreams can be murderous and cruel, and one who dares to chase them must be willing to sustain the sting and desolation on the way to reaching them. A very false statement. But to appreciate my miscalculation I should mention that this came about from my inability to reconcile my growth balance sheet if you will, to recognize my joys and pains and to really acknowledge and accept all my losses and gains.

The sincere truth is that I did not know that good friendships end; that the sparkle of love fades; that hope unnurtured fizzles into space and is hard to reform. I did not truly grasp that soul-mates could one day leave or that a loved one can suddenly fall ill or die. I did not know that I could be an utter fool, sulking over the various people who’ve walked out of my life instead of celebrating the ones who continuously stay.

It was the constant wanting to be there robbing me of being joyful here. But there, not within is where dreams have set up shop when you are kind of hopeless, and when dreams sell it is imperative we buy.

musings · Uncategorized · young adult

The Sum of Many Things

Things! Well, let’s get straight to them.


Sometimes you shift your stuff to different corners around your room or you walk all over your stuff where it carelessly lies or you even skip over your jumbled stack of things because you’re not yet ready to pack up. But a mess is disarray and sometimes this is crippling so that order remains undone when the hands are free and none of it is seen into even when the eyes stare. A brilliant man was delivering a lecture maybe a month ago. When brilliant people discuss the things their brilliance is attributable to it’s enchanting. He could have been listing the alphabets in reverse order and he still would have been a sensation to observe. I got lost in the sparkle then immediately got even more lost in my fear of macroeconomics and the I-am-not-going-to-make-it hoopla that goes along with it. I may have been in the process of conceptualizing an idea about dreams; that the things we dream to achieve are like carefree travelers. They move unsystematically from our hearts, to the back of our minds and possibly in front of our eyes with the passage of time and each day what lives is the incessant hope and work so that they become a physical form realization while we are still alive. Then he said “it’s all here, change begins here” pointing to his head and all together ripping me from the fear based narrative distracting me before a moment so good. He was not talking to me but he definitely swept up my mess.

Young womanhood

It is the dark skinned lady who grabbed my hand without my permission, read my palm and told me things I was not ready to hear. It is the aggressive individual who barged into my space and told me “Naleli, you don’t run! You never run, you stand your ground.” It is my new neighbor who discusses the subliminal messages in Tolkien’s work with me in the early hours of the morning. It is my father and his new way of being, the way he leans over blatantly when weak relinquishing all undue expectations of being a pillar strength. It is also the way he ends our brief phone calls lately “e, u ts’oare joalo” he’ll say sending me unglued and reeling back to my realities because that was strangely what I needed to hear to become fortified. It is that young womanhood set in like a tornado spinning and tossing everything in its path; destroying, misplacing, creating pathways where there were obstacles, hurling out the old and setting plains for the sprout of the new. Young womanhood came in violently too like a merciless slayer an injurious windstorm and the dangerous bringer of my greatest teachings. It is all of this and the imprint left on the heart; it is the present moment willing me to live in it unbarred. The present moment is powerful to extents much too grand to hyperbolize, it is resourceful and when it calls, I heed.

originally from: https://medium.com/@naleli/the-sum-of-many-things

musings · Uncategorized · young adult

Tall Trees

when they say “Mathe smile more” and I think “hey man, this is it, I’m looking up!”

a messy sticky little escapade thing led me outside to a long soothing walk. it’s always best to walk beside other things that are alive I say. it all got me thinking that I don’t want to be the kind of person who can walk past trees and not appreciate their size, that they stand tall because of being rooted beneath and if one leaf falls off they remain as they are to await regrowth of more leaves. all that swaying and yet all that staying as well. It all got me thinking that I don’t want to be blinded by the noise in my head. i suspect it takes a little bit more to not get totally bent out of shape from the goals yet to be achieved. it takes some kind of tree-like hardiness too to tell your heart, ‘be still, I have got you. love freely, you are loved. be brave, do it now. and if you walk among tall trees, mind your life, look up.’


What Do We Become

If we do not hear our own hearts beating

If we do not notice the seconds fleeting

If we do not see the ridges in our palms or the strength in our arms

If our hands do not feel life

If our lives do not touch the ones we love

If our mouths remain closed when our souls are ablaze

If we loose our way home and no one comes to find us

If we get ourselves bound to waste and no redeemer scrubs us

What do we become if the skies turn green and our eyes remain shut?

If our muddy heads stay hatted under the rains

If when our favourite songs play we do not sway to the beat

If when we are required to stretch ourselves we do not even blink

What do we become if we live outside of knowing;

That the sun shines even when the skies are overcast

That our golden moments cannot be relived once they have passed

That life has begun

And that each day is a glimmering shimmering gift offered to us by the shinning sun

If we do not unwrap our gifts on the pedestal

If our arms remain crossed in the wake of ruin

If our torches in darkened spaces remain dim

What do we become?

source: Here


Going Home – part 2


These motions

remind me of a recurring dream
in it I’m running fast with a tonne of things to tell my mother and with a weight in my chest that only she, Daddy and Tebo can hug off,
in it I am running like never before for a home I never reach.
But then again I am always running home, awake or asleep.

I have a need for familiarity too, I do. the city gets shitty quickly and I feel a little lost when I am lonely.
But on the day I took these pictures I  wasn’t in the city nor was I loaded in the heart, the day was breezy, I was taking things easy and I had myself a heck of a time; some dancing in the sun without a hat until you’re three shades darker kind of fun.
I think might be relearning goodness.

I’ve been thinking lately that to walk in the sun is not the same as to be kissed by it and I see that though I walk outside daily rarely am I truly touched by the sun or by life. But someone showed me that good things can still happen and they have the power to drown out inner conflict. Someone grabbed me by the hand and danced with me in the sun. I was reminded once again how great it is to be young and free and I felt again what it is like to be touched by kindness.




a way in the manager that makes him guide and formulate solutions

a way in the surfer that makes him overcome the strength of the waves

a way a dreamer that makes him tune out pessimism

a way in the seamstress: tact and technique to mend, cut, bend and create with ease something to be used and something to be worn

a way in the playwright: he creates from source tales that tell, tellings that teach  and teachings to be born

the is a way in our eyes which makes us see through all the times no matter how dark or bright

there is a way in everything, that makes anything worthy and wonderful.