Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: random things (Page 1 of 2)

FB break

It’s been almost 3 full days of not being on Facebum and I can already feel the difference. I am a social media addict for sure. The reality is unless I have a project to promote I get too involved in the sad, the political, the vegan, the incomprehensibly racist, and I was being very contentious and grumpy. I think Facebum breaks are necessary for a bit of perspective.

The result has been that I have been writing (a teeny bit) more, and being a little bit more in the actual real world. I have been exercising more, and for longer, I have been in the kitchen more, and healthier. Oh I am sure the old bad habits will creep in, but I am enjoying the one restriction I have placed on myself; my primary distraction, procrastination, opinion making place.

Some of the other things on my mind are, what next? Should I carry on with more shows of The Deep Red Sea? Should I write a screenplay? Where can I perform improv weekly to a paying audience. How can I become a theatre producer?

A Friend in the Unlikeliest Place

Yesterday just happened to be one of those days that are so incongruous and strange they are a challenge to understand, let alone write down. But it was the kind of day that I believe will shift me and take me down an unexpected path of my journey.

Let me try. Big Friendly is out of town so my day started early, walking, feeding and watering the animals. My first appointment was in Wynberg, to meet with the CJSA (Cape Jewish Seniors Association) for an interesting chat/session. I met with a different branch in Milnerton in July and it had been a success and then I was asked to do the Wynberg one. I am not naive. I was asked because I said yes to the first one. Almost 30 ladies of a certain age (no men this time) were there to find out more about me, and resist playing improv games like I did the last time! I was as prepared as I always am. No idea about what I was going to do or say until I got there.

And then something amazing happened. In my introduction, and emboldened by the clarity Robin DiAngelo has given me about who I am and the enormous edge my White Privilege (not to mention the addition of Jewish Privilege) gives me, I said, by way of introducing myself, “My name is Megan Furniss. I used to be Megan Choritz (nods and sighs of recognition here). I am a writer, actor, director, improvisor. I am Jewish, anti religious, and very political. I want to state here, for the record and so you know, I am anti-Zionist and pro-Palestine.” Can you imagine? There was a massive communal gasp. One brave lady finally swallowed and said, “We don’t have to go there.” There was a shocked and relieved murmur of agreement.

A lot happened in that session. A lot.We jumped through my family and ancestry, flew through my career highlights, touched on Cape Town history, and family, and District Six and Woodstock. We joined dots, dived deep, and even ‘went there’ politically. There were many details, and many moments, and hard questions, and hilarious interludes. There were feelings hurt, and hearts won over. In the group was a shiny, funny, clever, vocal powerhouse of a woman with a lot to say. I haven’t asked her permission to use her name publicly so I won’t, but we got each other. She was excited by me and my points of view, and I was thrilled by her tenacity, and cleverness, and out-there-ness. She was my tribe. I left that time there shifted. As much as I had come to share my stuff with them I felt differently seen by a community that I have constant struggles with. I had to dash, with promises to return.

Then I flew over to the Golden Acre to take part in an hour long interactive improvisation performance called Film Me In as part of Infecting the City. Honestly, from the ridiculous to the incomprehensible. It’s been a while since I performed in the Golden Acre and I had forgotten what an awesome space it is. I was standing there, in the big open space we were performing in, trying to encourage people to participate, when I felt a tap on my head. My new friend from the CJSA meeting had taken a trip to town to see what I was up to! This woman had brought herself to the Golden Acre, a place I can guarantee her fellow community members hadn’t visited in years, to come an check us out. I love her.

My day ended with me falling asleep in front of the insane, hideous and demented impeachment hearings where Americans tore into each other and behaved like lunatics in support of chief batshit crazy, psycho, abuser Donald J. Trump.

A Completely Weird Obsession

This is a confession. I am obsessed with the American impeachment hearings. I watch them like other people rubberneck at car crashes. I watch the live stream like people who obsess about watching people fall down, or listening to hair brushes on skin or watching pimples being squeezed. I watch with a morbid and ignorant fascination because I have no real idea about how US politics actually work, other than the policy and the people seem to be entirely at odds with anything else in the real world.

I am amazed at how conservative all these people are, including the Democrats and especially those with positions in any foreign office. Everybody genuflects at anyone in uniform, and especially those with medals on. The Democrats, obviously, the impeachment proceedings are their’s, are a strange combination of self righteous and polite, with a smattering of disbelief and a peppering of snivelling. The Republicans are raving lunatics, rabid and champing at the bit, full of bluster and noise and defensiveness. It seems to me they are playing to an audience who don’t really care about the truth and who will support their lying, cheating, narcissistic buffoon of a president at any cost.

What does seem particularly creepy is how the Republicans lay into their own people if they think they aren’t playing ball. Ambassadors, government employees, non partisan civil servants have been lambasted, made fun of, bullied and threatened. It is vile.

I follow the threads on twitter. It’s terrifying how aggressive and threatening Trump’s supporters and Republicans are. The Democrats are also their own worst enemies; they whine and moan and complain like children who are telling tattle tales.

I can’t stop watching. It’s better than Game of Thrones. And more twisty.

 

Money

One hundred percent of my anxiety is about money. Probably, if I compare myself to other people, with jobs, I handle my anxiety better, because I haven’t submitted myself to an endless job, ever.

Still. That is what I worry about. And I don’t get it. I don’t get this world that needs us to do so much stuff for money to live. And I don’t get the inequality of it; I don’t get how a human body that does backbreaking manual labour, fetching things out of the ground, is less valuable money wise than the actions of the man who sends them down there. I don’t understand.

I drove past roadworks the day before yesterday and looked at the ragged team standing in a gash in the earth, splitting open the platinum real estate of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. These men, sweating in the sun, knew what they were doing in that gash. It involved a huge pipe and other cables and big machinery. There was a (lighter skinned) foreman watching them over his giant belly. He was the one who had a hardhat on. For his more valuable head. My radio was playing an advert for ‘affordable’ retirement homes that would never accommodate me, or these people.

I get hysterical when I hear about how really rich people do not want to pay more tax, and I cannot understand it, and then I get a traffic fine that is exactly how much I have earned while my car was parked illegally and nothing makes sense at all. Money, and how we perceive it, and how we use it, and how we are attached to it and how we bring it to our lives; sometimes in mythological and spiritual ways, doesn’t feel right. And truthfully, I don’t love that this is what it takes to be in the world, to measure our success, to rate our progress.

 

I feel them like nagging pilot fish…

these new thoughts of nameless frustration. This is a quote from The Deep Red Sea. I love it, even if I say so myself (as my granny Janie would say).

I am surrounded by nagging pilot fish at the moment. They are the prickle of ideas that have not solidified into things yet.

They are social media and the irritating little nibbles they take out of my brain and time that I just can’t seem to shake.

They are the edgy rasp of global politics that are part nauseating horror and part nauseating almost excitement. Is the world really changing? Everywhere is on fire and people are protesting, from Lebanon to Hong Kong to Chile. People have had enough. A tide could be, may be turning as the terrifying, terrified last dictators stamp their feet and dig their heels deeper. Are people booing at the clown they made or are they distracted as Pennywise takes hold? Or are these more nagging pilot fish? Do most people in the world want to stay as they are because change is even more terrifying than the hell that is known?

I watch things on Netflix with titles like The End of the F***ing World. Imagine that. I watch same sex sex on TV while our own politician tells us to mind our own business when homosexuality is criminalised and given a death sentence by our neighbours. Twitter hate explodes, reverses, twists in on itself, hates the hater. Words bite, burn and heal.

White people deny concepts rather than things and are hurt by the ideas of White Fragility and White Tears, more than the real lived experience of black people, who must be the other every day in a country where they are not the other.

Slaves are bought and sold. Animals are food. Vegans and climate change activists are lampooned. Billionaires are crying about having to pay tax. There is a lobby, a lobby ffs, that has successfully sold the false notion that Pro-Palestine means anti-Semitism.

In the meantime a man is 3D printing limbs for people without limbs. A schoolgirl stands against grown men in the world and makes her voice heard. Chickens run to get hugs from boys. And tiny stories of love, friendship, defiance and bonding float to the surface like blown kisses.

True Story

About 5 years ago I bought a Cape Honeysuckle and planted it in our back courtyard, up against the wall, in a tiny patch of sand after I had lifted one of the tiles. I also planted a Black Eyed Susan. These two went absolutely mad, took over completely and were impossible to control. I was really sad when I had to make the decision to chop them down, especially since their colours were extraordinary. The Honeysuckle had deep red flowers instead of the more common yellow or orange. But, they were becoming a big nuisance and were threatening the wall, so I chopped them down.

A year ago I noticed that a shoot of the Honeysuckle had taken hold and was growing in a tiny crack in the corner. We had a conversation, me and it, and I warned it that I was going to be absolutely ruthless with it; I was keeping an eye on it to make sure it only went upwards and more than once I chopped off big runners that went off on their own. And I have been keeping an eye on it.

Imagine my utter shock and surprise when I saw these.

These lilac trumpet like flowers have absolutely nothing to do with the original plant whatsoever. I have no idea how this happened.

I had another conversation with it after seeing the first bloom. I was, “What are you doing? Where do those come from, and wow, they are a beautiful surprise.” Bad idea. It went mad and there are blooms and runners and shoots and leaves all over. It was as if it had tried me out on this new floral expression and now, with permission, it was going to show off, a lot.

This is a true story. No idea what is going on here but it is beautiful.

PS. My accidental tomato plant has also gone totally bonkers and I harvest about 30 teeny tomatoes a day. They are delicious.

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