Wednesday, 10 January 2018


THE ALTERNATIVE SPACE is a vibrant small bed an breakfast in Swakopmund, Namibia. 




At the Alternative Space B&B we differentiate LOVE into three categories:

RESPONSIBLE LOVE - such as the love for your children or your pet (if misused it becomes perverse and could be harmful)

CAMARADERIE LOVE - such as the love for your spouse, or your best friend (if misused it could lead to feelings of betrayal)

PASSION AND LUST LOVE - the fire that burns in the eyes of the person in love (should be misused to let it burn properly)








I AM JUST NOT A “CIVILIZED” ARCHITECT
Wikipedia defines civilization as a complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication such as writing, art and music, and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment.
Unlike the other animal species on earth, homo sapience only developed their brains and none of their other senses. The big breakthrough for humans came with the invention and extreme development of language. It allowed humans to create imagination. Imagination is the glue that binds millions of humans together into cohesive societies in which every individual works independently towards the fulfillment of the same dream created by the imagination.
It is said by the great philosophers that the more we reject nature, the more human we become. If we look at the mess we are making with our planet Earth, then we understand that this statement is true. Humanity in general prefers to move away from nature towards the urban glitter created by the rational hand of man.
During the thirty five years of my professional life as an architect I have tried to be civilized. I have been educated. I have practiced the arts and I have read as much as my simple mind could take. All along this period I had the nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was missing something very important. I had the feeling that what I believed in, and what I was doing, is not entirely correct.
I have spent the last few months doing hard labor and thinking. And every day the realization grew stronger that I do not like being a civilized architect. I like nature the way God has made it and not the way we human reshape it. I like making love with simple natural feelings and passion, and not as an intellectual fetish. I like to feel the sun on my skin, but not institutionalized nudism. I prefer food straight from the ground rather than from a tin. I like plants and gardens to grow completely wild and not square and straight. I cannot consider trees planted in straight rows as a forest. It is an industrial plantation. But, most of all, I do not like the fashionable inhumanness of modern architecture!
Yes, I admit that if I was an animal, and if it was not for modern medicine, I would have died at birth. Should I deny humans their quest for being human, then I will most certainly treat my fellow humans without respect. It simply means that the contradiction between nature as God created it and the need for homo sapience to be human should be the essence of good architecture.
Many years ago I traveled the south of Italy. On a volcanic island in the Mediterranean I discovered a house built for and by a self reliant goldsmith. It was also his jewelry shop. The building utilized a natural cave in the mountain. The inside of the building was very modern with good taste in the extreme. However the exterior of building did very little to disturb the way God created the mountain. Only glass was most sensitively used as a fragile skin to separate what God created and what man created. I did not understand it rationally at the time, but when I saw this little building I knew instinctively that I was looking at something that was just right.
Should “respect” not be the foundation of civilization?
Man should be allowed to create as best he can, but the moment man destroys one bird’s nest to create something that looks “more pretty”, then you have failed to respect. In my humble opinion you have then failed as a human being, you have failed as an architect, and you have no right to be called civilized.
Our existence and our creations must be about respectful harmony. Only that can become true beauty! The life of a spider, or a fish, must be considered just as important as that of a human. That is the architecture that I will strive towards in future. The essence of architecture should be about creating sensitive barriers between the harshness of sophisticated civilized human existence and the incredible beauty of nature as God created it.





TALKING ABOUT LOVE AT A BRAAI
Recently we spent the afternoon with two wonderful friends making a “barby”. The food and drink were good and plentiful. When our tummies were full and we were wiping the erotic sweet sauce with the smell of smoke from around our mouths, she popped me the question….
“Before you met the lady you live with today, you slept with all the women in this town. Why did you change?”
That really made me laugh out loud. “Funny how people perceive what you are doing. It does not mean that you have sex with a person if you are friendly with them” I stated. “But it is true that I was seeking.”
“So, what is it that you found that made you stop seeking?” she persisted.
“I found a friend that did not expect anything from me other than to be the crazy person I was” I replied. “In fact, she was prepared to invest everything she had into our friendship without asking for anything in return. That included her family, her friends, her future, her country, her money, everything including her nice educated boyfriend from a good family, and she did it without being asked or without hesitation. And probably even more important was the fact that she was prepared to help me live out who I am, and push me to develop my dreams to its fullest.”
“And what did you give her in return?” she asked
“I did not have much to give, if I have to be very honest.” I replied with a smile. “My life was a mess. I owed huge amounts of money and was close to being put in prison. My career and my pancreas were both destroyed because of drink. You yourself referred to my bad boy image in town. So what must I say?”
“Do you not think she considered you a good catch? Or, did she not consider you at least a catch with lots of potential?”
“No!” I replied. “I certainly stood far back in the line considering the potential of her other boyfriends. That fact is for sure. Perhaps my understanding of freedom helped me.”
“What is this freedom you refer to?”
“Freedom means understanding that you give everything without ever expecting anything in return.” I replied.
I put the kettle on for coffee. She was looking at me frowning and we changed the subject…..







DESTINY
“I often wonder if any of the other species on earth believe in the Creator. If so, they must also believe in destiny” I stated to some guests around the breakfast table in the Alternative Space this morning.
“I do not believe in destiny” a truck driver from Germany stated. He has the most wonderful tattoos on his well developed upper arms. “I simply believe that life consists of endless random possibilities. I believe that every person makes of his life what he or she decides by choosing from the random possibilities that cross your path” he concluded.
“The biggest problem I see with believing in destiny is that when you are in a stage of your life where life “sucks”, the question arises why the Creator that controls your destiny treats you so badly” I replied. “Of course, the believer in destiny cannot sort out what makes his life “suck” because “sucking” is part of his destiny. The believer, just like a beggar, at most can only hope for a “blessing”.
“On the other hand, if you do not believe in destiny, then you have to start thinking of yourself as the centre of the universe” the lorry driver’s wife intervened. “Your ego must take over control of your life. Your rejection of society becomes a logic consequence. We often think that a society that celebrates egocentricity, and thus no longer believes in destiny, will implode. But, I cannot think of any examples of that happening in history. So, perhaps that is not true”.
I thought about it for a while and said “Obviously there is no clear answer to this essential question of our lives. And, that is the rather crazy situation we find ourselves in!”
My son was listening to us quietly from the other side of the table. He looked at me and asked if he could propose another understanding of destiny. We all smiled at him rather patronizing, but focused our attention on him.
“Is it not true that the universe consist of only matter and energy?” he asked. We all nodded in agreement. “Is it not true that our bodies are matter, and energy is what makes us alive? Is this life energy not what the Bible calls our souls?
None of us argued with him. I suppose he is right, I thought.
“I think that we can concentrate the abundant energies of the universe with our minds, just as you can concentrate sunlight with a magnifying glass” he continued. “The people in the East call this process meditation, and we Christians call it prayer and belief. Did Jesus not say that mountains can be moved? All we need to do is practice how to channel all the available energies towards the subconscious needs of our minds. Once you master this art, you will be able to create your own destiny. You will be able to empower your destiny for it to become reality. But, the responsibility of channeling positive energy rather that black negative energy is that of the person. If opposing energies are concentrated against each other, the strongest person in the art will triumph”.
It was at that moment that a fat, and obviously very unhappy, lady guest interrupted us by telling us that it was too early in the morning for philosophy. She instructed all to eat there eggs, and drink their coffee, because they needed to get on the road.





BOREDOM, DESTINY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE…
It was between Christmas and New Year that a few of us decided to chill around a fire, braai some delicious meat and drink a few beers. We were joined by a few of the guests in the Alternative Space.
I explained to my friends that I often feel bored. I asked then how they would define the emotion of boredom. I got the usual explanation that boredom is simply depression. I did not agree. That is when my oldest son gave his explanation. “Boredom is the feeling of frustration when you are not working towards your destiny”.
“But, how do you define a person’s destiny?” I asked.
“I never feel bored, and here is no such thing as destiny.“ Charles stated. “I do not have any beliefs that provide me with false hopes. I simply live life to its fullest with no regrets. Not everything a person does in life must have a purpose. Your life can simply be pure entertainment, as if you are watching television.”
“I agree” Johannes said. “There is no such thing as destiny. The universe consists of energy and matter. Sometimes matter and energy combine and something that we call life happens. When that energy and the matter separates again, it all dissipates into something else in the universe.”
What my friends said sounds logically true, but somehow did not provide me with satisfying answers as to why some strange things happened in my life, when the chances of it happening was so slim.
“It is all pure coincidence” Charles explained further. “Where a person is at what time is all that defines life. If something unexpected happens, then it is only pure coincidence”.
A few days later my oldest son went tandem skydiving. He specifically asked an old friend to take him, but this old friend is no longer a tandem master. However, as my son grew up in front of him, our old friend decided to jump with my son. Afterwards we received some photos that the cameraman took while free falling. My son and the tandem master is in the foreground, and my old friend, facing the camera, is in the background.
This photo explained the meaning of life to me. The photo makes it crystal clear that at that moment in time my friend did not have one muscle in tension. His posture was virtually religious, while in perfect control of the flight. The expression on his face is of complete happiness and harmony. It is a picture of a moment of nirvana.
And that is destiny. That is the meaning of life. To practice something thousands of times over and over till you reach the point of pure perfection. Not for profit. Not for acknowledgment from others, or fame. Simply for the personal challenge of reaching perfection in doing something you love.





THE DILEMMA OF ARCHITECTURE
The basic dilemma of architecture is that ARCHITECTURE IS THE BUILT REPRESENTATION OF THE CULTURAL AMBITIONS OF A SOCIETY.
My oldest son went to see the Shonbrunn Palace in Vienna yesterday. He wrote to me that he nearly “shit himself”. I do not know why. I do not know if he was impressed by the way man portrayed his power and superiority over creation with creating this man-made beauty, or if he was disgusted with what this place because of what it represents in terms of the culture.
Modern man regards himself superior to creation and the natural beauty of the planet Earth. Architecture is thus in essence destructive, even to the point where our gardens must look as if it was created by man and not God. The lawns and plants are neatly cut to look like a Miro painting. No dead leaves are allowed.
Traditional societies (such as the Southern African societies before the arrival of the Europeans) did not, and still do not have any need for architects.
Off course, we regard societies that have no need for architects as inferior, and perhaps even stupid, but are they?


ARCHITECTURE IS THE BUILT REPRESENTATION OF THE CULTURAL AMBITIONS OF A SOCIETY.
In my previous post I asked if is correct to regard traditional societies that have no need for architects, as inferior societies. I do believe that such an observation is pure nonsense..
Western society has built itself some incredible monuments to prove and represent the superiority of man over other men, and even over Creation. Historically we think of the pyramids, the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Similar present day “masterpieces” are the cucumber and the big wheel in London, Gehry’s “post wind storm pondok” in Bilbao, Calatrava’s pretty skeleton bridges and Libeskind’s very appropriate post apocalyptic competition winner for the new World Trade Centre in New York.
So, what underlying cultural values do these incredible pieces of architecture represent? Could it be climate chaos, terrorism, melting of the ice caps, violence, pollution, hunger, lack of fresh water, destruction of the rain forests, elimination of species, war, total destruction of cities and countries, loneliness, stress, severe inequality, severe poverty, exploitation, mass migration, population explosion and fake news? If so, is it not an incredibly high price to pay for “beauty”?
My oldest Son read what I wrote and replied: “Papa, you are a technocrat. You always worry about the underlying structure of society and the meaning of buildings. Most of the rest of us are romantics. We see the dream in buildings. We look at the beauty that people create. We look at the magic. We look at the beauty of the decoration and the incredible gardens. Is there no value in the romantic aspect of things larger than life?”
“But why would anybody build a palace with 1441 rooms, if it is not only to impress the neighbors?” my middle son asked
“You are both correct my Sons!” I replied “But, perhaps the Sagrada Familia is then one of the few modern buildings that combine its technocratic values perfectly with its romantic values. Is that not what makes it so much better than all the rest of modern day world architecture?”
I must admit that I have on purpose not included Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in the above mentioned list of architectural masterpieces. As far as I am concerned and most honestly, the Sagrada Familia cathedral is the only worth while modern piece of architecture in Europe.
I could not help it, but I cried like a baby while watching this video. It is a building that stands in stark contrast to all the other superficial commercial bullshit modern architecture all over the world, including in our own country. The cultural values that the Sagrada Familia represents are old and entrenched in thousand of years of history. The values the Sagrada Familia represents are the good values of love, respect and unselfishness that billions of normal people all around the world very strongly believe in. Besides the moral reasons for this building, its beauty and decoration is of the absolute highest standard.
I do believe strongly that the reasons why you build something the way it is, is of critical importance. I think that the big fancy houses we build in Namibia, and the big fancy office blocks our Government builds, it a reflection of serious moral problems in our society. Moral problems always create tension, and tension always destroys the quality of life.



WRITING STORIES…..

I often think I should write about politics. But, then I ask myself, why will I spend energy on something so banal?
Should I write about religion? I do not belong to a church, so many call me an atheist. I think we all agree that the Creator of the Universe exists, and that the Creator created the universe as defined by the scientists, and if I was somehow created as part of that universe in some way as per His image and likeness, then surely I would be stupid to try and prove to myself that I did not exist. After all, all nothing is in fact always something.
I have experimented in most that life has to offer. I have been involved in the arts, letters and in all kinds of sensual pleasures. The only thing that I have found that is of real and lasting interest is the unpredictability of people’s behavior in love and hate. This behavior sometimes contradicts acceptable moral and legal standards. Love being the opposite of broken trust, shattered hopes, sexual jealousy, and passions betrayed. Love being the opposite of hate. Is it not true that life is only about love and hate? People that stop to love and hate are no more than the walking dead.
This weekend we has a lady and her husband from Europe staying in our Alternative Space B&B. The lady has a chain tattooed around her ankle. I asked her if it signified that she is a “hot wife”.
“No” she replied. “I am a vixen!” I think the expression on my face made it clear that I had no idea what she was talking about. Her husband smiled at me…..
“A hot wife sleeps with men simply for the fun of it, and to cuckold her husband” she explained. “But, a vixen is a woman that does not surrender the ownership of her body and sexuality in marriage. I do not sleep with other men for the fun of it, and I also do not swing. However, during my marriage I have been involved in two other serious love relationships. My husband knows about it, and has never considered it as negative behavior. I am human and passionate. I love my husband and sexually he is my man. I love my kids, I love my family and I will always keep a very special place in my heart for my lovers”.
This made me think about my uncle. He is the younger brother of my mother and was my total hero when I was a child. I lost contact with him some fifty years ago due to a fight between him and my father. While discussing our family tragedies, we realized just how much the relationship between a mother and her son influences the son’s behavior for the rest of his life.
My mother would have loved to have been a vixen. She was well aware of the fact that she was neglecting her natural sensibilities that the system around her regarded as dangerous and even illegal. I remember her often joking about going on a holiday to exotic far away places and coming back with precious gifts that her lovers have given her. But, she was destined to only be a “boere tannie” baking koeksusters, living on a maize farm near a village in white rule South Africa. Sexuality was banned, although my mother secretly had a copy of Naked Yoga in her cupboard. She developed cancer when she was still reasonably young. The cancer attacked the parts of her body related to her sexuality. Frustration killed her. Fear and moral guilt was her prison. She died when I was only twenty six years old.
My mother’s sadness affected me greatly as a young man. I promised myself that as long as I live, I will not forget that marriage must be nothing other than supporting the person you love to make their fantasies and dreams a reality. Marriage is not a permit to take the other person’s freedom away. Your husband is responsible to protect you from the tragic rules of society. Your husband is responsible to destroy your fear of daring to break the rules, and to set you free from the burden of moral guilt for breaking the rules. That is the difference between a man and a pathetic insecure jealous wimp.
“You are married. Is your wife a vixen?” the lady with the tattoo asked me.
I just smiled at her, and went to the kitchen to make some coffee. Discussing philosophy is different from gossiping!



WHAT IS IT THAT WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR?

Most of my friends have experienced quite a bit of life. Most have been married and brought up children. Some have experienced love, lust and divorce. Somehow, I have the feeling that we are all going around in circles looking for something. And I can only wonder if that “something” is basically not the same thing in the majority of cases.
I should not talk about what others might need. I can only state what I am seeking, and that might enable others to compare their needs with mine. Perhaps what I seek is unique, and then my friends can prove that I am crazy or a pervert. So be it! I will rest assure that although it is very difficult, I have tried to be completely honest, no matter the consequences.
They say the shortest road between point one and point two is not necessarily a straight line. And so it is with life. Reaching that “something” seems to be as difficult and elusive as catching a raw egg yolk with your bare hands.
I love to have interaction with people. I cannot live without it. But I do not enjoy interaction with other people that is structured in any way. The interaction I seek, must be completely free, and should only be based on respect.
Long ago I built a place.  Many of us lived there, some for short periods of time, some us for very long. You found a bed in a corner and made yourself comfortable. Many people shared one open air toilet and two open air showers. Privacy did not exist. Ownership of property was virtually non existent. There was a fire place, a braai, two Cadac gas stoves and a few pots for cooking.
People came and went as they pleased. There were no rules and no regulations. Modesty and nudity was natural. Relationships between the people were completely fluid and without any moral judgments or rules. People got together, shared emotions and sex as was determined by the moment and the needs. There was no price for staying. People stayed as long as they wished, and putting a donation in the pink tin towards the running costs of the place, was totally voluntary.
It is interesting how well people can actually live together when you understand ownership of property for the ridiculous notion it is, and rather manages to base your life, and relationships, purely on respect. Creativity and the arts flourished. For nearly seven years this place existed. I cannot speak for all the other people I shared that period and experience with, but I will always remember it as one of the most incredibly beautiful and free periods of my life.
Unfortunately, society cannot allow such “festering wounds of anarchy”. Society wrote laws to regulate our little place of freedom. People staying needed to book in and register, they needed to pay a predetermined price for facilities that were up to a predetermined standard, and we needed to pay monthly taxes to the people that imposed these ridiculous rules on our freedom and fun. If not we would be fined twenty thousand dollars or two years in prison.
I would not be honest if I deny that I miss the freedom of that time. I miss just sitting next to the fire with people that truly want to be there with me. I do not mind exchanging my time, my energy, my thoughts and my passions freely on the open market of human relations. I do hate the idea that people think they can buy my time, my energy, my thoughts and my passion with a few dollars, as if I am a prostitute.
Let me emphasize that it is not the women I loved, or the children I have brought up, that took away my freedom.  Truth be told, then it is family life that kept me going through these dark ages of slavery. It is society with their laws, regulations, punishments and taxes that destroyed my freedom, and has given me nothing in return, not even security and/or protection



TEENAGE CUCKOLD


It is not easy to tell stories of when you were a young fool, but the atmosphere around the fire was special. Our stomachs were full with good potato soup and our brains were pacified with good wine. I simply could not resist telling my story.

“When I was at school there was this incredible girl. She had long black hair, dark eyes and was as pretty as a flower. She was one of the academical stars at school, she was a chosen leader, a good athlete and even sang in the school choir. All the boys were in love with her, but it was I who managed to ask her to be my girlfriend and she agreed. We exchanged pendants, and I was allowed to carry her schoolbag for her”.

“My life was sorted” I continued. “We were in love and we experimented with kissing and some other minor sexual transgressions, as was allowed at the time. I was going to study to become a priest in the local Calvinist church, and she was going to study law. In my mind, and as was ordained by the values of society, we would then get married, have two kids and live happily ever after”.

“I remember her” Charles said. “She married into a good family, became a successful professional, is a pillar of society and the church, and wears pearl earrings.”
“One Monday morning one of my friends asked me if I was aware that she sat in the back of the choir bus, and was kissing another boy. I asked my girlfriend about it, and she just laughed it off as idle gossip, and not the truth. I believed her until some months later when she dropped me for her new official serial monogamy youth choir boyfriend that she eventually married”.

“That girl was really nasty to you!” Dee Dee exclaimed
“I do not think she was” I replied. “I think it was the society that imposed on us the abnormal values of exclusivity and cheating. It was society that was nasty to us both. I have traveled and searched the world since then, and have not as yet found a couple that is, and has been truly monogamous. The idea of monogamy is a strange concept created by humans and not by God. Why monogamy is so important to society, especially when you consider how much heartache it causes, is very difficult to understand. Why do we not teach our children the truth rather than concepts that are so unnatural to their basic human needs? What kind of parents are we if we cannot trust our children with the harsh realities of life? Why on earth should she not have had several intimate friendships at the same time? Why did everybody snigger at me because she wanted more out of life than what only I could provide? 
Just imagine how much simpler and richer life would have been if we as kids considered it completely normal to either have only one, or two or several boyfriends or girlfriends at the same time”.
“It sounds as if you condone cuckolding” Dee Dee stated with a very naughty smile.
“She did not cuckold me.” I replied rather irritated. “If she cuckolded me she would have shared with me what she did. Instead she felt the need, like some kind of petty criminal, to deny what she did, and try to keep it secret from me. Her actions amounted to some sort of betrayal. Cuckolding is being naughty without betrayal. Did I not some time ago write an article about the importance of being naughty together?” I asked.
“Actually, that piece was also called: Dancing naked with the woman I love” she replied.
“Please repeat what you said in that article” Charles asked
“Betrayal in a relationship must be avoided at all costs. Betrayal is an act of the Devil, and spells the end of any relationship, or friendship. Betrayal occurs when you do not make the effort to include the interests of your soul mate in what you are doing. Where “illicit love” becomes true magic is when it is an act of combined rebellion, or mischief, by the partners involved in a relationship. Such acts of naughtiness strengthen the feelings of camaraderie and passion between partners. This kind of "illicit love" is an essential ingredient for any great relationship!”
They both looked at me with frowns between their eyes.
“Have you ever cuckolded him?” Charles asked Dee Dee. The twinkle in his eyes will make me wonder for a long time.
“Ag, Charles, what must I say?” she laughingly winked at him. “Why is it that the truth never seems true? I believe there is so much more to cuckolding than the obvious. I promised myself that one day I would say what I have got to say. I will say it without rancor or ill feelings, and so I will put many things I have experienced in my life, in their true perspective”.




A CONVERSATION BETWEEN OLD FRIENDS ABOUT FREEDOM 

"So, will our children ever taste true freedom?" Charles asked. "Maybe working for a boss and sacrificing eight hours a day towards the evils of consumerism is the only way that a person can survive is this modern world. Personally, I find it very sad. I find sacrificing your life for a bit of money wrong and unacceptable."
I asked Charles to explain further. "I think that freedom is a natural born instinct and need. I hate zoos as the animals caged up are totally unhappy and I believe that they would rather be out in the wilds taking their chances against the harsh odds."
I decided to throw a dangerous stone into the bush and I interrupted him. "Is it not the moral rules of society that tries to regulate man’s actions by neutralizing the feelings of honest passion and lust for life through subtle indoctrination?
"That would mean that emotional and physical freedom is essential to be able to discover your passions and lust for life” Charles mumbled. “It is true that the values of what was considered right and wrong that was drilled into us as children did not allow us to understand honest passion or lust for life. Christian nationalism was a terrible evil. School was mainly used to install political dogma. We were brought up to be the puppets of a greedy regime and cannon fodder for an unworthy war. Our moral lives were ruled by being brainwashed that in turn was enforced by the constant threat of physical punishment or being banished from society.” Charles took a sip from his coffee. Then he continued while staring into the distance. “Since then freedom for me has become like a drug. Once I tasted the true meaning of how to live freely, I was immediately hooked and knew that there was no turning back".
"Tell me how you managed to break free,” I asked my oldest friend. Charles just smiled, but did not answer.
I know what he did.  Out of the blue, one irrelevant Tuesday morning in the middle of the month, he suddenly resigned from his lucrative bank job. He took his savings and paid off his house. Then he started a small self reliant business from home that is based on a passion that he had since I knew him as a kid. 
Is he happy? 
I think he is!








HAVING NAKED FUN……or visiting a nudist resort

Friends of mine asked me if I know of any nudist resorts in Namibia. I must admit that I do not.
But, the question brought back many fantastic memories.
Years before the independence of Namibia, the colonial authorities tried to impose social segregation. We were a group of crazy liberal youngsters that took great pleasure in showing the authorities the symbolic stinky finger. And, so it was one afternoon, on the beach between Wlotskasbaken and Henties Bay that a group of us, boys and girls, black, colored and white were swimming, and playing beach soccer, all stark naked. I cannot deny that the smell of erotic was in the air. Suddenly a South African Air Force patrol plane flew low over us. I have never again seen a pilot trying to rip the wings off an aircraft by attempting a low level hand brake turn. When they flew over us a second time we all laughed and waved to the air crew, showing proudly what we thought the future Namibia should look like. They returned a third time, skimming the waves and the pilot gave us the thumb-up. I wonder if they were photographing us. Perhaps we will one day find our nude photos in some or other old military security file…..
I find institutionalized nudity very boring. I cannot see myself enjoying a nudist resort. I like the emotional and naughty aspects linked to nakedness. Imagine a formal dinner party at the upper class home of some of the richest people in the country (yes, we gate crashed the party). Suddenly, my incredibly beautiful girlfriend walks into the room, stark naked and soaking wet, asking for a towel. All senseless chatter stopped, and you could hear a pin drop on that very thick wall to wall carpet. Apparently she fell into the swimming pool “by accident”. I am sure I noticed several of the rich old ladies swallow their false teeth.
We often went to the water hole in the old Brandberg West copper mine. Mix the incredible atmosphere of the place with a bit of alcohol and without fail everyone ends up naked. One highly erotic moment I remember is when we ran out of sun screen, and a few of us guys decided to cover a beautiful lady’s vulnerable areas with margarine. The erotic can be many different things…..
Nudity is boring as it simply means you have no clothes on. Nakedness is when you have little or no clothes on, but you're up to something. It is these emotions linked to nakedness that makes it so exciting.
Unlike nudity, nakedness can be a pure art form. Philosophers as far back as Aristotle recognized the power of catharsis. i.e. the art of using nakedness in the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. I have in my possession a photo taken by a friend of mine of a young woman running naked through a cemetery in the middle of the night, screaming at the top of her voice. This is emotionally the strongest image I have ever seen. The releasing of repressed emotions completely nullifies the full frontal superficial nudity. I would love to show this photo, but I cannot out of my great respect for the persons involved.


CULTURE.

Uncle Google says that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "persons of worth within the world of meaning". I agree that what you do defines your culture. However, worldviews, on the other hand, are normally dangerous pollution of the mind. The problem with world views as part of culture is that it is often used as a socio-politically tool to create a false consciousness of reality
My oldest son is a young man well aware of the world around himself, and truly has no blinkers on regarding racism, sexism or even nationalism. We were talking about music the other day. I have grown up with Pink Floyd, The Who, Hendrix and later Lou Reed, Culture Club, Madonna, Pink and Miley Cyres. “But Papa, you are so missing out on real good Namibian music” he said to me. It was clear to him that I did not understand, so he continued: “If you want good Namibian music, just ask any half asleep security guard with earphones on his head for his phone. There are incredible musicians out there with no industry that supports them. They record their music on simple home devices and then they copy their music to friends and the local shebeen owner that again copies it to his friends, who hears it and likes it, and so on. No copyrights, no records, no money, no fame, just good music!” Modern music is losing its consumer purpose, and is again something simple to be enjoyed.
Recently we had a lovely young woman from Europe staying in the Alternative Space bed and breakfast. She is a well educated and very much liberated individual. I asked her about her tattoos. Each tattoo represents a specific period in her life, referring to specific friendships she made during that period, her emotions during that time, and the most important personal or spiritual events and passions that she experienced during that period. After listening to her incredible stories for a quite a while, I realized just how much more important these little pictures on her body are. These pictures on the live canvas of her body are so much more potent than all the Picassos, Miros, Warholls and Cezannes that I had to study for years out of countless expensive books for so-called art history. The Guggenheims obviously made billions out of commercializing visual art (and so also then our culture), but in fact, it has very little to do with our lives. Modern art is losing its consumer purpose, and is again becoming something personal to be enjoyed.
For the French and Italians sexuality are a very important part of their cultures. Probably the biggest problem that 20th century globalized consumerism created for us is that it industrialized the understanding of intimacy and sexuality. Making love has become a recipe of using oversized utensils, and with a great orgasmic cherry on the top. If you do not taste that cherry, then you are a flop and your partner has all the rights in the world to be dissatisfied, find something more interesting, divorce you, and so on. There are very few of us that do not know what I am talking about. It is ridiculous! Sexuality must not have a consumer purpose, and must again become something personal to be enjoyed honestly.
So what happens when the values of a culture does not support the needs of the people and/or the youth? Historically, that is where "alternative cultures" are born.
I grew up during the 1970’s and 1980’s in southern Africa. At the time we did not think much of what we are doing. We spent evenings thinking of ways to counteract the system. We dodged rubber bullets on De Waal drive. We left the country and became political refugees. We sang the music and dreamed of freedom and utopia. We read Breytenbach’s poetry. We were scared because people were killed and bad things happened. In retrospect is rather funny how Wikipedia described us and that time. Allow me to quote Wikipedia:
“South Africa has a long tradition of alternative culture. From the Creole fusion experience of the 17th and 18th centuries, to recent experiments in alternative living. A cross-over fusion between white punks and black ethnics in the 1980s produced an innovative local culture articulated by magazines such as Vula, music such as eVoid and Via Afrika, and clubs such as The Indaba Project and The Base. Alternative "Afrikaners" existed in juxtaposition to the dominant mainstream polices of racial oppression, alongside anti-apartheid resistance to war by students and groups such as the End Conscription Campaign.”
South Africa in the 1980’s never was culture. It was only a lot of strong worldviews! It was all a huge waste of time, a waste of lives and a lot of nonsense!
I asked my teenage son what he regarded as the four most important aspects of culture. “To be loved, to find friendship, to love all others and to find happiness” he replied. So be it…..



THERE IS NO OTHER REASON FOR MAN’S EXISTENCE ON PLANET EARTH BUT TO LOVE WOMEN

My old friend, Johan came round yesterday morning for an early cup of coffee. We often sit in the Alternative Space kitchen, with my teenage son, and watch the sunrise through the kitchen window. “Yesterday I told my son not to worry about the future, because everything will be fine” I told Johan. “The young man replied with a smile that yes Papa, you are the architect, and so it is your job to worry. Apparently I worry enough for everybody about everything!”
“Ja” Johan replied. “People think architects draw plans, but that hat is not true! A draughtsman draw plans. The job of an architect is just as complicated as that of a medical surgeon, if actually not more so. After all, surgeons try to keep you alive, whereas architects have to try to give your life some sort of quality and meaning”.
“By the way, talking about quality of life, when you get to our age of about sixty, and you look back over your life, how do you determine whether or not you have made a success of your life?” Johan asked
This is a difficult question. Fortunately, that was exactly the point where Charles arrived for his early cup of Earl’s Grey tea. He overheard the question. “I think it is different for each person” he mumbled. “Some would look at wealth accumulated, some will look at education achieved and some will look at their children’s achievements. I judge my success in terms of the love and unity of my family and the compassion I have for animals. I do not care what others think of me and I have absolutely no desire to prove myself to others or to impress them. I believe in fuck what the people think for I am the people. When I look at my family and my daily life, I feel successful!”
“What do you think?” I asked my teenage son.
“I suppose that when you reach old age and you have no desire to still do some things before you move on to another dimension (death), then your life was successful. As long as there are things you still desire to do, you have not reached that point of success” he answered.
“And, what do you think Papa?” my son asked, trying as always to put his father in a philosophical corner.
"Well, in the sixty years of my life I found no other reason for man’s existence on the planet Earth, but to love women” I replied. “I believe that when I die, all the woman I loved during my life time will be at the Pearly Gates to judge me according to my willingness and commitment to have made them happy with the gift of love”
“What is the gift of love, Papa?”
“It is the madness that you create with lust, passion, jealousy, sadness, anger, laughter and physical or emotional ecstasy”
That made Johan smile…..
I am not sure, but I think I heard him mumble “flippen idiot”.



A CONVERSATION BETWEEN OLD FRIENDS ABOUT FREEDOM AND DOUBT

Just before we went to sleep Jenny, lay down in my arm. "I know you agreed with Charles today. But, you are wrong", she said. "I saw Andy getting off the bus this afternoon, returning from his job on the mine and wearing his uniform. He was laughing. He was happy. Not everybody needs the freedom that Charles was talking about to be happy".
"Hmmm... " was all I could say
During the night Henri Miller visited my dreams. He was talking to his irritating friend MacGregor. "Look," Henri said, "it wouldn't matter to me if you were nothing but a bum, you could still be my friend and I yours. You could make fun of everything I believed in, if you believed in something yourself. But you don't. You believe in nothing. To my way of thinking one's got to believe in what he's doing, else all's a farce. I'd be all for you if you wanted to be a bum and became a bum with all your heart and soul. But what are you?"
When I woke up this morning it was clear to me. Over a breakfast of french toast and filter coffee I explained my thoughts to Jenny. “As long as people rely on a system, they can be happy, but they will not find freedom. You can only gain freedom by honestly believing in self reliance. People that rely on a system for their security will always wonder if they could do it without the support of that system. That is doubt. The moment you doubt is the moment that fear enters your heart. Fear is a very strong negative force. And so, the moment you compromise for the sake of the security provided by any system, you lose all your freedom. For the person that knows the passion and lust for life that only true freedom can provide, doubt is like violently ripping the wings off a bird”.
“Do you also regard marriage as a system that provides a false sense of security and in doing so takes away your freedom and lust for life?” Jenny asked. I realized that this was the critical question!
“Let us wait for Charles to join us and hear his opinion” I replied, smiling while pouring myself some more coffee.

 


PHYSICAL INTIMACY VERSUS EMOTIONAL INTIMACY

I grew up in a very conservative society. It was in the time when all women were born with three black stars (I always wondered why the stars were black?). Real men grabbed each other between the legs in a silly game they called rugby and marriage was apparently about being a good catch, and when you were caught, you were screwed.
But I had a mother that walked around naked, and was not born with stars. She did not allow me to play rugby and grab other boys between the legs. My mother admitted freely that her marriage to the man I called my father was a huge mistake, and that she was incredibly unhappy.  The books on our coffee table in the lounge were Naked Yoga and Sam Haskins’ Cowboy Kate. The local preacher from the Dutch Reformed Church never came to our house. I think he did not like our books, or perhaps he liked my mother too much for his own good.
So, let me tell you about a couple that got married while staying at the Alternative Space. They certainly made me consider the possibility that relationships can actually work differently from what I was told at school.
The scene I watched was at the wedding reception. The beautiful bride was dancing with a male friend. Her newly wedded husband was sipping on a drink in the background. The gold wedding rings glittered on their fingers. He could not take his eyes off his bride. She was more beautiful than an angel. The lights on the dance floor were low and couples were dancing slowly and intimately. She looked directly at her husband while she whispered in her dance partner’s ear. “I have nothing on underneath” Her dance partner smiled at her encouragingly. “Do you want to feel?” she asked him, not actually believing what she said. The obvious strangeness and crazy feelings assured her that it was ok. She kept her eyes on her husband. She knew that as long as she and her husband keep eye contact, she could do this. She knew it was supposed to be wrong, but it felt totally right.
Her dance partner held her tight and she could obviously feel his excitement. “Your husband might see what we are doing” he said. The tone of his voice was a pitch too high. “I want him to see” she replied, lifting her white dress a bit to allow his hands access to her recently married nakedness. She held her husband’s gaze. Even from this distance she could see the sweat on his forehead. Her dance partner’s hand was ice cold against her leg. She bit her lip. When his fingers touched her treasure, she knew that this was a more important moment than when she said yes in church. As she struggled to keep her eyes and concentration on her husband, she understood that physical intimacy is not the same as emotional intimacy.
And that is just it, I realized while watching them. She was correct. Physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are two very different things. That is why voyeurism, exhibitionism and even cuckolding or modern cuckqueaning are such strong aphrodisiacs.
It is like cooking spaghetti. The spaghetti is emotional intimacy. The physical intimacy is the water used for cooking the spaghetti. In the end, the quality of the water gives the spaghetti its flavor. After that, it is thrown away as useless. The delicacy and taste of the spaghetti is all that is important in the end. The taste of the spaghetti is all that remains to feed the body and soul.
In our modern world with serious illnesses such as HIV, the safe roles of voyeurism and exhibitionism have taken on a critical important purpose in relationships. It is the water for cooking the spaghetti.
When the song was finished she gave her dance partner a peck on the cheek. Then she very slowly walked towards her husband, never loosing eye contact with him. She willed him to slap her. She willed him to call her a slut. She willed him to get up and leave the wedding reception without her.
He smiled at her. Extreme love and lust was in his eyes. She sat down on his lap. His excitement pressed against her naked bum. They kissed. They kissed very long and they kissed very hard.
By the time they opened their eyes again, their friends that noticed what she did on the dance floor, have formed a circle around the couple and were cheering them on. They both felt that it would be ok to consummate their marriage right there within their circle of friends, but realized that they would probably cause too much of a scandal.
The quality of the water used for cooking the spaghetti is critically important, but must never be kept. Throw it away immediately, and forget about it. It is highly recommended to rather sprinkle good quality cheese on the spaghetti so as to add an incredible dazzle of taste. That is what you will remember long after eating the spaghetti.



BELIEF IN A GOD….

It was Christmas eve in the Alternative Space Bed and Breakfast. We always celebrate Christmas the German way with a feast the evening before Christmas.
While sitting with some of my very good friends, watching the sun disappear over the western horizon, in the direction of the USA, I asked them what they think happens when a society rejects their belief in God?
“If a society does not believe in God, then the people do not believe in the temporary and the eternal” Johan answered. “Without the prospect of the eternal, people can only live for earthly pleasure, and must feel lost. Because such people have no hope, chaos must be the only consequence”
This was obviously a very big stone that I have thrown into a very sensitive bush. The rabbit that jumped out is not what I expected.
“Who needs a fairy god, and who needs commandments apparently given by such a fairy god? Charles interrupted. “Atheists like me can show many a plastic showcase believer how to live a kind, caring and compassionate life, caring for animals, the environment and humans alike. The quicker that humankind realizes that he or she is their own god, and in charge of their own destinies, the better this place will be.”
“I was reading Satre today and you sound like a true existentialist” I said to Charles.
That was when my good teenage friend sitting in a corner and listening to us, asked if he could comment. “I do not believe in a god” he said. “The universe exists out of matter and energy. The matter that makes up our bodies was all part of the big bang. Our spirit or souls are the energy part of our existence. When the matter of our bodies disintegrates, then our energy will continue as part of the energy of the universe. God is the universe, and the universe is God. We are part of the universe and God, and will continue as such.”
“So, if you make yourself responsible for your life and your actions here on earth, by not believing that there is a father figure god that treats you like a kid with a book of rules, does passion then not become the essence of life on earth?” I asked my young friend.
“Passion, acceptance and compassion” Charles answered on his behalf.
“I think what worries me the most is that the people of the developed first world have not rejected the existence of God, but exchanged the traditional religious God for the money god. They believe and trust fully in money, and the technology that money can buy, to solve all their problems. The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard called this new First World culture based on the belief in money simulacra and simulation. Simulacra mean it is a copy of something else where the original never existed, and simulation means that it is an imitation of a real world process.” I said. “I am not so sure that such a belief system will work in the long run, and I am also not sure where this belief in the new money greed god will take us!”
The sun was down. We realized that we were on the verge of a very long discussion. We decided to rather go inside to the table set for the feast. The Christmas tree looked very pretty with its colored lights and glitter. I noticed a small present, with a big blue ribbon, with my name on it, under the tree. Somebody loves me….





A CONVERSATION BETWEEN OLD FRIENDS ABOUT CAUSING MISCHIEF
“Why is it that most people are scared to admit, or do the naughty things they truly would like to do?” I asked my friends while sitting around the open fire.
“I think that is why we make friends, or fall in love, with the people we do. Instinctively we know that the other person will help us, and push us, to do the things we are  even scared to admit to ourselves” Jenny chimed in from where she was busy pouring us some excellent port wine.
“The classic crutch is alcohol” Charles interrupted Jenny. “In essence drinking is not a bad thing if done in moderation. However when one drinks heavily, one’s personality changes and it allows you to do things you normally would not do”.
“Yes, alcohol is a crutch but not a very good one” she replied.  “But, it is much better to let your friends push you to do the mischief that is in your heart. That way you keep their support, their trust and their love”.
“Have you not pushed me to do some very radical things in the past by telling me little white lies?” she suddenly challenged me with a very naughty smile.
“I did”.
“Did you do it on purpose”..
“Yes, I did”.
“Why” she asked.
“Because I knew from the moment I met you what you need to feel alive “ I said. “I care for you, and love you, and so I need to see you feel incredibly alive from time to time. It is only when you break the rules and cross the boundaries of mediocrity that everything about you becomes pure art. So, yes, I will continue to push you.  And, I will again tell you white lies to provide you with the emotional alibis you need”.
“But, why” she asked, frowning.
“Because in a very perverse way, when you dare to cause mischief, it makes me feel like the strong man I would like to be, and that makes me happy!”
A very good old friend that knows me well and shared a glass or two of wine with me, long ago, told me that I am "pussy-footing" around with what I am writing... that my writing shows fear... Well "M", this one is for you!!


BOREDOM, DESTINY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE…

It was between Christmas and New Year that a few of us decided to chill around a fire, braai some delicious meat and drink a few beers. We were joined by a few of the guests in the Alternative Space.
I explained to my friends that I often feel bored. I asked then how they would define the emotion of boredom.  I got the usual explanation that boredom is simply depression. I did not agree. That is when my oldest son gave his explanation. “Boredom is the feeling of frustration when you are not working towards your destiny”.
“But, how do you define a person’s destiny?” I asked.
“I never feel bored, and here is no such thing as destiny.“ Charles stated. “I do not have any beliefs that provide me with false hopes. I simply live life to its fullest with no regrets. Not everything a person does in life must have a purpose. Your life can simply be pure entertainment, as if you are watching television.”
“I agree” Johannes said. “There is no such thing as destiny. The universe consists of energy and matter. Sometimes matter and energy combine and something that we call life happens. When that energy and the matter separates again, it all dissipates into something else in the universe.”
What my friends said sounds logically true, but somehow did not provide me with satisfying answers as to why some strange things happened in my life, when the chances of it happening was so slim.
“It is all pure coincidence” Charles explained further. “Where a person is at what time is all that defines life. If something unexpected happens, then it is only pure coincidence”.
A few days later my oldest son went tandem skydiving. He specifically asked an old friend to take him, but this old friend is no longer a tandem master. However, as my son grew up in front of him, our old friend decided to jump with my son. Afterwards we received some photos that the cameraman took while free falling. My son and the tandem master is in the foreground, and my old friend, facing the camera, is in the background.
This photo explained the meaning of life to me. The photo makes it crystal clear that at that moment in time my friend did not have one muscle in tension. His posture was virtually religious, while in perfect control of the flight. The expression on his face is of complete happiness and harmony. It is a picture of a moment of nirvana.
And that is destiny. That is the meaning of life. To practice something thousands of times over and over till you reach the point of pure perfection. Not for profit. Not for acknowledgment or fame. Simply for the personal challenge of reaching perfection.




THE ALTERNATIVE SPACE is a vibrant small bed an breakfast in Swakopmund, Namibia.   At the Alternative Space B&B we differe...