Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Running: The Cape Town 12 One Run

I ran the first Cape Town One Run 2 years ago. It was a great event, and I was keen to give it another go. Last time I finished at just a few seconds over 1 hour, so this year when my amazing friend Dave (who is doing an INCREDIBLY inspirational life and health turn-around) said he wanted to enter this year as his first race I was IN. For some reason despite entering about 6 weeks ago, I was not seeded and was placed in Batch F right at the back. Meh. So I arrived this morning on my own, lonely, and feeling pretty glum. But I had my #DoingItForNatey sign on my back and knew I had to just do it. Before the race I walked towards the lagoon on the edge of tears... and then a huge crow flew over me and then off towards the sea. It was so big majestic and beautiful. I remember thinking 'Haha, I actually couldn't make this up!' That gave me a big smile and so I headed to the start determined to go do it. They started us a good 10-15 mins after the first batch started. So by the time I crossed the start line at least 10 000 of the 14 000 participants were ahead of me... ARGH! I started trying to fight through the mass of people. I came so so close to thinking 'fuck-it' and just giving up and walking as it was almost impossible to move. In stead I ducked, dived, jumped, and scampered, in and out and around one after another of all those people. And any gap I got I ran as fast as I could. It took at least 7kms before I was able to get any kind of clear path. The whole was was a fight through hordes of other runners. (I am not used to this I normally start as close tot he front as I can!). But I ran and ran and wouldn't allow myself to slow down or walk at all. By the time we got the the 'Usain Bolt 100m sprint' I ran my heart out... almost literally. I actually thought I might go into cardiac arrest, I was pushing so hard. With 1.5kms to go I kept going. As I got to the last 500m I realised my time was not terrible and my goal of a sub-60 - which I had abandoned before even starting - seemed possible. But by that stage I was so tired I actually couldn't sprint any faster. So it was all I could do to carry on plodding down to the end and to finish in 1:00:24. Still that's an average of 12kms/hr or 5min/km over the race, which is not too shabby! And although results are still being finalised it seems I came 60th female and 9th in my age category. That was hard work though, next time I want my bloody seeding! Despite the seeding grumbles it was an amazing event and wonderful day out, and the absolute cherry on top was watching Dave Luis finish his first ever race and longest ever run.... like a boss! #SoProud #DoingItForNatey

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Twinkle boy in the stars with his crows

Natey was our Little Prince....

At his memorial his Aunt Edie read from 'The Little Prince'

"You—You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so, it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! 

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It was a beautiful and poignant reading. I had never actually read The Little Prince at that point. But I got myself a copy and read it cover to cover one Saturday afternoon in January while tears streamed down my face. It is a lovely and evocative book which really struck a cord with me.

The symbolism of Natey as the Little Prince and also his 'Twinkle Stars' association was set.

Within the first few weeks of January I knew I wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate Natey. I spent a few months mulling over ideas and elements I wanted to include. I had too many ideas. But stars, crows and the Little Prince kept coming up and stayed pretty constant. The other elements came and went and never felt completely right.

I had several different ideas.. and then suddenly it became clear and I knew exactly what I wanted. Just like that.

It started with this picture I found of a tattoo someone else had which actually pretty much encapsulated what I wanted to do...

I love the circle, the stars and the way the little prince was portrayed. But his hair needed to be like Natey's and he had to have his crows (Odin/Thor's Crows Huginn & Muninn 'Thought & Memory')

Elements were inspired by these...

And in the end I had a vision conceptualized. I mulled it for a few weeks or so, and then just after my birthday the time suddenly seemed right. And I acted - fast. I decided on the Friday that I was going to do it and 2 hours later I had an appointment for 12:00 the next day.

I contacted Cape Electric Tattoo. And when I went in Waldo worked with me to turn my conceptualization into a final design and he got it.

Next thing I was on the table and under the needle... for 1.5 hours. Waldo was great. It could have been extremely emotional and overwhelming. But he is a lovely guy, hee was so kind, caring and respectful and he did a great job of distracting me (so I didn't focus too much on the pain and physical trauma) while still allowing me to be present and feeling what I needed to feel at the time.

I LOVE what he produced, and I now have a permanent physical connection to Natey and his memory.

It is nowhere near as good as having that precious beautiful boy here. But I have to accept that this is all I have now... his twinkle stars laughing in the sky and his crows that I see every day. Pretty much without fail.