Thinking & Feeling

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

Saturday, 3 June 2017

INNOVATION CLUB - June 2017 - Jean De Villiers

Thursday night 1 June, was Innovator's Club time again. The last one I attended was Andrea Bohmert's Venture Capital talk in February. This time it was hosted at the slick new Citadel Investments building in Claremont (I think it's not THAT new, I have just not seen it or been there before).
And the guest speaker was Jean De Villiers. Yes, he of Springbok rugby fame. It turns out he is Citadel's 'Head of Philanthopy'.

What does Jean De Villiers have to do with innovation, you may ask? I was also wondering... in fact that was a big part of why I went along this time, to get the answer to that exact question.

So it seems that's a pretty obvious first question and one Jean addressed immediately as he got his talk started. He said that if we were there for tips on tech innovation, he had none, and we were in the wrong place. He went on to say that if however we were there for tips on the Springbok's rugby game play and how they can get back on top... he has none of those either, and again we were in the wrong place. And if that was the case, we'd better leave.

No one left and so he had to go on to tell his story. And what he did was give us a brief run-through of his development into and then extensive and lengthy career in the game of rugby, starting at the age of 5. I have admittedly not really followed the rugby scene closely for the last *cough* 10 *cough* years since the 2007 world cup win, but I do at least know who he is.

Jean has a candid, open, engaging and slightly self-deprecating and humourous style, which is quite endearing. This coupled with his story about his rise to fame in the rugby world, which was marred constantly by many and varied injuries at critical points, made for an interesting and engaging tale of repeated cycles of success and set-backs at every turn.

For me personally, and due to my own life experience, I related strongly and quite emotionally, to his message about how in those moments of set-back and failure you face your biggest choices. The choice to give up or try again. How you can either accept defeat and stop trying. Or you pick yourself up, learn and grow and try once again. And how each time you have to make that choice to keep going it actually gets easier. Not necessarily easier to do, but easier to make the decision to do so. Because you build grit, tenacity and resilience along the way. In my experience giving up also feels bad. Keeping going and trying to be and do better and to build on the failure to hopefully achieve possitivity feels much better.

He also brought in the sentiment of how you can't really claim to be innovative unless you have failed. This is a pretty widely held belief...

Jean then also spoke briefly about his philanthropy work much of which seems to focus on Early Childhood Development in underprivileged communities.

It was great to see speakers from many of the other Innovation Clubs I have attended there too, Sihle Tshabalala, Marlon Parker, Mark Forrester, and Andrea Bohmert and as usual getting a chance to network, chat and interact with interesting, dynamic and successful innovators and entrepreneurs is always inspirational.

I have been lucky enough to get a chance to speak to Sihle at several of these events now and each time he appears to be even more confident, successful and driven. He certainly seems to be doing things right and I was very impressed to hear that he is not only running his not-for-profit ventures which seem to be thriving but has now also running a for-profit set-up too which is doing really well - evidenced by his slick suit and the MacBook and iPhone he was toting. I just love his story and what he is doing. What an inspiration!

I'd probably break down and cry

Both Andrew and I watched Captain Fantastic  recently and independently of each other while on planes. Both of us found it to be a profoundly provocative and emotive movie and both of us were so so struck and moved by the scene at the end where this song is played. It made us both cry big round and wet tears of love, sadness and longing.

It's written by Guns & Roses, but I know it best from the version Sheryl Crow did....

She's got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I'd stare too long
I'd probably break down and cry
Oh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine
She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by
Oh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Oh, oh

Where do we go now?
No, no, no, no, no, no
Sweet child,
Sweet child of mine

Friday, 2 June 2017

How long will I love you?

This song played on my iPod while I was running yesterday... it made me cry.

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I can
How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan
How long will I be with you
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash up on the sand
How long will I want you
As long as you want me to
And longer by far
How long will I hold you
As long as your father told you
As long as you can
How long will I give to you
As long as I live through you
However long you say
How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may
We're all travelling through time together
Every day of our lives
All we can do is do our best
To relish this remarkable ride

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Grief is tidal

I read this posted by someone on Facebook today....

Grief is tidal.
Lost in the depths of despair. 
Plunged under by relentless crashing waves of sadness, gasping, drowning, floundering. 
He is gone, I cannot be left. 
Just when all is lost to the deep, I am washed into a pool of calm. 
Salt sanitised by tears. 
Only to be caught and sucked out by the strong relentless current of memories.
Fingers of feelings pulling me down.
Back into the depths.
And so it goes, circular. 
Until I learn to swim, swimming makes me stronger, to become one with the water. 
The memories of you. 
Moving with the squalls. 
Until one day I know I will reach my depth. 
Stand on the shore and watch our love vanish over the horizon to the next place - leaving only your salt stain in my story. 
Gone too soon. 
Like so many broken shells make the sand on which I stand.
Goodbye my dearest.
I am yet learning to swim.

Image result for dark sea shore