"take a deep breath, then exhale slowly and fully. Now pause. Focus on that empty space, where there is nothing in your lungs. This is the moment of the spirit, of complete stillness in the body. Each time you breathe, pay close attention to what you feel in the silence."
I think of a relationship like a spiderweb, something that can look very diaphanous and tender, but that’s actually extremely strong because of the material, because of the time, because of the energy that was put into it. I love the idea of webbing. It doesn’t have to be a solid thing that we’re creating with relationships. It has to be something that is just as thick as it needs to be to hold this particular group up. A web allows things to fall through, like a sieve. Some things are not meant to be caught. The things that are meant to be caught and held will nourish us.
The most common greeting in the Zulu tribe is Sawubona. It literally means “I see you, you are important to me and I value you”. It’s a way to make the other person visible and to accept them as they are with their virtues, nuances, and flaws. In response to this greeting, people usually say with “Shiboka”, which means “I exist for you”.
Natal was one of the four original provinces of South Africa. It included the Bantustan of KwaZulu, or the land of the Zulus. Most people know about it due to its famous war with Britain at the end of the 19th century. However, sometimes history books camouflage or hide things. They can relegate or disregard our cultural, human, and philosophical legacies. This is a shame, as the African culture is so fascinating.
Sawubona: All my attention is with you. I see you and I allow myself to discover your needs, to see your fears, to identify your mistakes and accept them. I accept you for what you are and you are part of me.