Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dinner with Andre: "Out of Africa"

Tonight I went to a splendiferous birthday bash for Andre Van Zyl, a dear artist friend I know through the Parliament of the World's Religions. Andre was born and raised in South Africa, rebelled against his conservative Christian father by becoming a Vedantist and an artist, and now lives in Santa Monica with his charming and gracious wife Debrah. He is deeply involved in many spiritual as well as artist activities in the LA area. This poem came to me this morning as I went on my daily zikr [remembering God] walk.

Out of Africa

(for Andre)

You came out of Africa
out of deepest darkness,
out of piercing light,
out of your mind,
out of your heart
into this moment, into this place
into this circle of friends and family
into this amazing grace

circling the sun sixty times
you managed not to grow too dizzy
circling the One who is eternal
you managed to stay centered

confronting angry lions, angry elephants,
and angry critics
you still created beautiful art,
beautiful children, and a beautiful life

now we celebrate with you
not only your birth then
but also your rebirth now
in this moment always new
in this place always here
where we circle round and round
in wonder and delight
the One who made us
out of deepest darkness,
out of gracious light

AndrĂ© van Zyl is an award winning artist whose work appears in 30 museums internationally, and public collections. He is published in Resistance Art, South Africa. As a writer and author, an excerpt from his childhood memoir A Country Without Men, from the collection Stories From The Heart #2 - was featured as Amazon # 1 bestselling title. AndrĂ©’s book of poems – Notes of an Eskimo Dying of Thirst is due to be published Dec. 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment