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A Night at Wolves Cafe

Life – when past collides with present.


So I went to Wolves Café recently to support my friend Meghan Holmes who plays in a band. That’s the great thing about Instagram, you are always learning about other people as you engage more and more around shared passions.


Meghan is the lead singer for Under The Influence. Her voice was so captivating; the band’s sound so truthful and authentic. It’s one thing to write about life and your experiences through music; it’s quite another when you continue the cycle of artistic expression and actually perform it.


I have always been captivated by live performances. To witness someone lay before my very eyes their raw, heartfelt emotions evokes in me a sense of awe.


Meghan and Under The Influence began to cajole me along a path of general reflection; as the hypnotic music played on.


Wolves Café is located in the heart of Illovo, Johannesburg. Being my first visit to the establishment, I was excited about the prospect of delving into something not previously explored. The ambiance of the place further fed my already reflective state of mind.


I Loved Wolves.Ryan at table


It reminded me of Durban. There are many similar places in that lovely city. From the old Kelvinator fridge, to the parquet flooring which abruptly ends and continues as a concrete slab, to the bar tender who used a teaspoon to open my craft beer, Wolves oozes authenticity and charm. The old wooden chairs took me back to those my grandmother used to have in her home, in Durban.


Memories continued to flood my mind as Meghan sang. I began thinking about my life progression, beginning as a young adult; the music my faithful companion. I also became acutely aware of the age difference between the band members and me. I am 38 at the time of writing this and they were so much younger, yet given the age gap these “youngsters” continued to lead me to reflect on a time long past.


on-the-floorI felt an overwhelming sense of regret, that this is what I should have been doing at a younger time of my life. In my student days I should have been in a space where I pushed and explored my boundaries.


However as a student of accounting we had fun in other, more subdued ways. I now realize that this career path was not everything that I could become.


I watched the act but allowed myself the space to process my reflections and their associated feelings, nostalgia gripping hold of my sensitive mind.


All too quickly the set was over and jolted me back to reality mid-way through my contemplative state.


What am I to conclude from this? Well, for a start, to spend more time at places like Wolves, surround myself with good people who share my passions (even if expressed in different ways) and allow all those emotions to filter to my heart. The experience was liberating and insightful. I have no doubt my future life experiences, perhaps one’s this very day, will continue to evoke the process of reflection. And in so doing, give me further insights and answers and lead me to connect with my true self – an exciting journey. My boundaries are indeed being pushed.


“we all begin the process before we are ready, before we are strong enough, before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. We respond before we know how to speak the language, before we know all the answers, and before we know exactly to whom we are speaking”


Clarissa Pinkola Estes



ryan at fridge

The fridge had my name written all over it

ryan at fridge and floor

Me, reflective

photo credit: Meghan Holmes (@yellowteapot on Instagram)


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      1. An interesting take on a cozy cafe. I agree with Ryan that we need more areas like this, not only for nostalgia’s sake, but spaces that afford the participant time to reflect, muse and drink descent wine.

        I really enjoyed going there myself when supporting a local friend, Megan Bird-Steyn who had her first art exhibition for her company, Driehoek, at Wolves. I didn’t know they did live music as well? Good on them for supporting the locals…keep it up!

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My name is Ryan and I am a work in progress.

(hello Ryan)

I blog about aspects of life that interest and excite me, those issues that make me think and reflect. These musings I look forward to sharing with you on the blog, as they happen.

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