Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

And all that Jazz….

Certain things just piss me off. Miss South Africa, Miss World and Miss Universe is right up there. Now if those chicks had super powers and could really solve poverty and world hunger by parading in a swimming costume – perhaps I would switch on my tv. It’s all so slick and smooth…and at the end of the day it’s just business honey. After a few years most of those ladies have their own businesses and are married to some rich dude who’s well connected….

Look, I have a daughter and we make fun of those competitions. In fact we do the same with IDOLS. What bothers me is that those “judges” are deciding what the “acceptable” standards are and everyone is just agreeing with them. Who the hell are they to tell anyone that they will never achieve their goals?

A friend of mine once said not all people develop the same way or through the same channels. I guess that’s what really bothers me about IDOLS and beauty competitions. Kids watch these things and think that those are the only ways that you can get to where you need to be. “I have to be this…and look like that….to get there….”

I mean what does it really mean to be beautiful or talented for that matter? I had a really crap father who made it his personal mission to make me feel terrible whenever he could.  And that taught me one valuable lesson. The only one that gets to decide how anything will turn out or what it means is ME.

I always thought that the thing that makes this world an interesting place to be at is its diversity. And sure you get some men, for example,  who will only look at thin, white, blonde Russian women – but so what? Even those idiots have to be tolerated….until they pick up a disease that kills them off…slowly and very painfully…

posted by auriol in human nature and have Comment (1)

Shine Acoustic

Would you stay out of someone’s business if you knew they were up to shit? If you knew they were taking drugs or doing something illegal? I can already hear people saying, “Hell yes I would say something!” But having an answer in theory is always easy. It’s another matter when the situation is real and people who you know or care about are involved.

A while back I asked someone an important question. Saying I was distraught when I asked it would be an understatement. I was at the end of every nerve I had in my body and knew that this person could say something that would help….. and guess what? They did not get back to me at all. Perhaps it comes down to this.

Life forces you to make decisions based on half truths and bullshit…and those people who choose to be silent are all part of the test. Why a test? Because when someone is up to shit, there is always a part of you that knows it but refuses to look at it. Maybe you want to believe in their better nature or not face the fact that yours is that messed up.

I won’t lie I was annoyed and pissed off when I did not get an answer. Surely if I was in that position I would have given an answer. Then my mind started wondering. Who am I to judge another person for not doing what I thought was the proper thing? How could I possibly know what brought that person to that decision in any case?

Is it really as easy as treating another person the way you would want to be treated? And could you know how you would treat another if you were never placed in that position? Some would say it comes down to common sense. But allow me to let you in on a secret. Not everyone has common sense. I have been without it on many occasions.

posted by auriol in human nature and have Comment (1)

Skeleton Key

I tend to get very introspective when watching horror movies. I don’t think about the special effects or the quality of the scares on screen. As I get older I realise that I am not as good or nice as I would like to think I am – and horrors remind me of that little fact.

A few days ago I asked my daughter if she would ever torture and kill someone. “No way, Mummy!” I then told her about the prisoners held at the Baghdad Correctional Facility and how normal, good people tortured and killed those supposed “bad guys”. “What is it that made them do that?” I asked. They didn’t just pop out of their mother’s wombs evil. Being a funny 10 years old she came up with a bunch of crazy ideas – none of which I found amusing at the time.

Then I brought Lucifer into the mix. I actually felt bad that she knew so little…lol! I explained how Lucifer transformed from an angel to a demon. That if you look at that idea a bit closer…we all have the capacity to be transformed into something we don’t want to be – if we are not careful.

This is why I think vampires, werewolves and all the supernatural beings in books and movies captivate people. We all have our own demons to fight…and seeing others kill theirs off in fun and creative ways can’t be all bad, can it? lol!

In this world there are so many people who would have her believe their story and live accordingly. I don’t want my daughter to be a good girl who follows rules blindly. I encourage her to throw things at boys who cheese her off…to hurl a few nasty words at girls who are bitchy and to always , always make up her own mind.

All I can do is hope that a bit of the stuff I talk about sticks in that funny brain…and that by teaching it I remember it myself.

posted by auriol in on the wild side and have Comment (1)

Funhouse

Fact – everyone has issues. Fact two – everyone wants to move past them. Fact three (and this is the most vital bit) you can only move past them when you are ready to move past them. No amount of running will ever work. And people run in different ways. Some work their asses off, others drink…while the rest of us are completely functional. We get up, go to work, love who we love….and then one day….for no apparent reason we just can’t get out of bed.

When I look around all I see are people who are unable to move out of their “stuff. I revisit that place every now and then, trust me. It was only when I spoke to George, who works at the bank, that the light bulb went off. I asked him if he was happy. He looked at me and then said, very thoughtfully, “I am thankful for what I have.” Dammit-all, I thought, why didn’t someone tell me this years ago?

Man, I spent years, on and off, being miserable. I would wake up feeling antsy and anxious –convinced that I should be somewhere else. After years of reflection this is what I know with great certainty. No matter how smart you think you are…the universe will find a way for you to face your issues. You can only run for so long.

Yet why is it that people with issues ,and some of them very serious, seldom get help? Hell man, I think we owe it to ourselves to just admit that we have problems! Someone once said, “”We are perishing for want of wonder, not want of wonders“. I think this is very true.

We are all looking for something or someone who will take us out of our misery and remind us that we matter…that we are remarkable. Looking outside of yourself for that wonder is always going to get you into trouble, I reckon…

posted by auriol in life in general and have No Comments

Everyday Hurts a Little More

I often tell my daughter that this world is filled with strange and mysterious things. Once I told her that there are people who think the Little Gray Men are the mercenaries of the galaxy (they harvest genetic material for other alien races). I got a very skewered are-you-out-of-your-mind- kinda look! I don’t expect her to believe it but I want her to know that there are strange and seemingly mysterious things out there;things that fall outside the limits of our understanding.

While I love my esoteric and extraterrestrial, I know that we all will all face greater puzzling dilemmas right here on planet earth. They come in the shape of people who challenge the way we live – just by being who they are. See, this is the bit I am trying to not only understand myself but teach my daughter. Like I said it’s easy being morally righteous. The government advocates it. Religion is based on it…in fact the very structures that keep things ticking on and over depends on it. Yet the reality of who we are as people is anything but.

Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, once said that “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take on them.” It’s all about the stories and details we add. The stories we tell ourselves help put the people and events into context. The problem is that after a while you start believing those stories. Often the only way you can put a stop to them is by running into other people who make you stop and ask yourself, “What the hell is going on here?” or “Who have I been for the last few years of my life?”

And those questions are the ones that keep me awake at night. Most people are neophobic – they just don’t like new things. Some don’t even want to make new friends. So imagine asking someone to expand their moral horizons? To make place for the seemingly “incomprehensible” events or situations that life will present them with….

I have always tried to find meaning for those mind shattering personal events in my life. So when I loose my shit and scream and shout bloodly murder at 9 on a Saturday morning, the only person I have to answer to is myself. And all it takes is a little bit of nerve – to be honest enough and move a step beyond the lies and stories I have told myself for so long….

posted by auriol in insight and have No Comments

True Blood

Someone once told me that Scorpios don’t know how to be happy. We’re always brooding about some thing or the other. Perhaps there is some truth to that – but trust me when I mope it’s for very good reasons. The story is the same – I got ahead of myself….wanted something a bit too much and was arrogant enough to think I could get it. Then, inevitably, the worse happens….

And in those dark moment two questions circle incessantly in my mind , “What the hell is wrong with me?” and “Does this mean that I am not good enough?” Now, rationally I know the answer to those questions but when the desire and expectation is so overwhelming – all those rational, seemingly logical explanations just mean nothing.

I have known that feeling many times in my life. Sushi and hand holding just won’t cut it then. I don’t want to be around people, smile and chit chat. All I need then is the time to think it through, feel it out and listen to MUSE and John Lee Hooker. Luckily those moments do not stay with me for that long anymore. Then all it takes is one silly joke from my daughter and I am right as rain.

I can’t afford to let any hurt or disappointment swallow me whole. So when these moments come along I do what I have always done. I say “fook you bitches” and do my own damn thing like I always have. If people catch up with me cool – if not….dammit all I will live…lol!

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Jail Song

When the writing is on the wall, what can you do but read it? I realised last night that some things just have to be faced head on. It’s like going home to visit your parents. If you are lucky they will see you for the grown ass adult you are and not a snotty nosed kid. But most of us are not that lucky…

I have been going on and on about my daughter. She is funny, temperamental and crazy as all hell. I just like her a lot even when we are shouting at each other at 6 in the morning – but the realisation that I have to change, ever so slightly, the way I relate to her is a bit alarming.

I reckon that’s true for anyone you care about or love. You have to pay attention and notice the small things. Watch them carefully and be there for them in any way you can. So my daughter no longer watches movies in the lounge. Instead she now chills in her room with her PSP and watches movies there.

I made the drastic decision to get the Eclipse book (she is a twilight fan) and read it to her at night – even though it will pretty much kill me. I will do it not because I want to but because she matters that much to me. My mother did that for me. My father can’t and I am okay with that, but that’s life – you can’t have it all. And when you can’t, you have to make slight adjustments to fit the things and people you need into it.

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Everything is Illuminated

The mind can be a terrible thing.  It can comfort. It can lie… and seduce you into believing virtually anything. My daughter confessed that when she was smaller she thought God looked like the Mr Min guy on the TV ads! When I asked her where she got this idea from she replied “It just popped into my head”. She never questioned her thoughts and continued to believe it until she knew better.

I once heard someone say that when new people enter your life it signals the start of something other. Yes, it’s very similar to the line, “When the pupil is ready the master appears.” But we all know that people don’t really like change that much.  All you have to do is attend a party in Cape Town to understand. Everyone hangs out with their own friends and rarely talk to people they don’t know.  Now don’t act as though you were not part of that reluctant click once. I can already hear the justifications… “No dammit, I just have standards!” or “I am shy in front of strangers.” Perhaps there is merit to those arguments but that tribal mentality is very revealing. It shows how reluctant we all can be to not only new people and new ideas but how caught up we are in our insecurities. We want to stick with what we know and have it reinforced by the people who hang around us.

My daughter and I have lecture sessions a few times a week where we talk about more “serious” matters. Yesterday I explained that my sister was assaulted by her boyfriend and the impact it has on the family. I could see  that she was very shocked and angry. “I didn’t know he was bad,” she said. “No, he just made some bad decisions,” I replied.

In the movie Everything is Illuminated, the character named Alex says, “I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. Like you say, inside out.”

Yes, we all make bad decisions sometimes and until everything is illuminated we will keep repeating our mistakes.  So the next time someone around you messes up remember this – none of us came to this planet knowing everything…

posted by auriol in human nature and have No Comments

Being Human

People like pretending they know the answers.  We love telling our kids or anyone who will listen “Don’t do this!” “Stay away from that!” I have accepted that life is littered with arbitrary rules and bullshit.  With people who refuse to understand. People who act righteous but aren’t and those who are blinded selfish desires. I can understand because I have been on the giving and receiving end many times….

To say that this world is filled with damaged people is an understatement.  People are damaged and damage others. We all have reasons to feel justified…. chip that we shoulder and resentments that we cling to. It’s easy.  You just sit there and stew in your own crap year in and year out. Recently I came out of a trying ordeal and honestly I was 100% responsible. It was all my own doing or (if you like) undoing.  And sure I fell to pieces many times and in fact still do – but there have been many unexpected silver linings and pots of gold along the way…

When going through a rough time many things are forgotten along with common sense and reason.  I was lucky because I had friends who did not preach at me while I was being a complete idiot. They did not point fingers and judge or give stupid advice. Instead they showed me how to deal with my failures…. to understand my weakness…and how to move away from my justifications, bullshit and anger.

And when you are going through your own little apocalypse there is no greater gift  than being surrounded by  people who can remind you what it means to be human…

posted by auriol in sanity's overrated and have No Comments

Somewhere over the rainbow

We’ve all done really stupid things. Things that would shock; things that seem out of character. While it’s happening everything seems just fine. You wake up with a smile on your face, greet your neighbors, call friends and then when you think you have a few minutes to spare you make more questionable choices…

I always wondered about those moments or events that seem to turn your world upside down. Sometimes they seem too fantastical to be real or to have happened to you. So you wonder, “Am I just stupid or is something else going on here?” Any other person would stop and say, “No, something is off. I should not do anything.” But you react because you cannot help but to …because those moments are entangled with your deepest desires and fears. So you do the instinctive; you react…and in hindsight those things seem almost fated to happen.

I hate it when people say things like, “Those moments of undoing come at a great cost and with great lessons.” I hate it because I know those esoteric mofo’s are right.  I should not focus on the who’s and how’s. Instead I should focus on what I am being asked to uncover about myself.

Sometimes I think we all have a bit of a Pinocchio thing going on. We are all just trying to find some way of making our deepest wishes come true….trying to find peace…. or any kind of joy.  For some it’s as simple as being understood, being cared for, finding a place to belong or someone to belong to. All those questionable choices  are a part of the search for that everlasting moment… when you will finally look, feel and be  – real.

posted by auriol in sanity's overrated and have Comment (1)