As long as I remember, I loved stories. I loved hearing them.

I remember being under a table as a toddler listening to my mother reading :”Pinocchio”, which in my toddler language would become ” Zitocchio”  :-). Why under the table, I do not know. I guess no place was really strange for a good story.

As long as I remember I loved stories. I loved reading them.

Growing up you could always find me with a book in the hands, books in the bedroom, books in the living room, books all over the place. Reading novels, mostly. Novels full of stories.

As long as I remember I loved stories.  So I started to write them down.

Scribbling notes everywhere, on my journal, om recycled paper. As a teenager mostly stories about my constant journey inside myself.  As an adult, stories about things that would touch me, people who would move me, places and humans who would inspire me.

I am fascinated by stories. I see them in every little encounter, every emotion, every landscape, every movement of my soul. I see them, I hear them, I make them up, or I just write down the stories people that I meet, tell me.

Later it came the moment to put this writing in action and write scripts for my shows.

-Background music and keep on reading :-)-

I am sitting on a small wall fencing one of the enourmous white beaches that make the city of Durban famous. I am wondering whether to feel the sand with my toes walking on it, or stay put where I am on, sitting on the bench, far from the human tide blending with the sea tide on the shore, under this hot afternoon African sun.
“It`s not safe to be here all by oneselves, ma’am, “ tells me my guide , “It’ s not safe to be sitting on the beach alone”. “I am blending in the human tide”, I say. He looks at me like I am nuts.
“Decent people sit in the cafés, sipping their sodas, looking at the beach”  he says pointing at the Circus Cafè. “ They do not sit by themselves ON the beach. Specially if they are tourists. Specially if they are white. Specially if they are women”.
I let him talk, I let him take me to the café, and I ask him to leave me alone, by myself, for 15 minutes. He agrees nodding his head still thinking I am a nutcase and he walks away. Finally, alone.  For 15 minutes.
My curiosity is great and the danger? I don`t seem to see it.  Where I come from, after all, I am used to watch my back. So bye bye Circus Cafè…3 steps and I am out of there.
I jump in, dive my feet into the sand and I start to walk, looking forward to be absorbed by the human tide. From where I stand it looks almost shapeless and colourless. But the more I walk. the more shapes and colours become more sharp and defined.
2 blond girls with their blue bikinis and their windsurf board; a moslim couple, he has a long beard, she has a traditional long  black dress and a headscarf covering her face; a group of black women ,who absolutely oblivious to the water soaking their clothes, are happily approaching the point where the waves break; a dozen of children with their whites petticoats, neatly sitting in a row holding  a bucket and a spade, screaming excited , while the teachers wash the sand away from their little hands.
What do all those people have in common? Sand in their hands, sand in their feet. What else? Love for the sea. What else? They are all standing here, like me, feeling in peace. Feeling content. Feeling peace, quiet, harmony, totally enjoying this sand, this beach, and this hot afternoon African sun.
To my eyes the human tide and the sea tide become one.  And I love them both in the same way.  Immensely.

Didn’t I tell you? I love stories. I do.

 

 

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