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International Nelson Mandela Day

International Nelson Mandela Day

We arrived home 2 weeks ago after being away in Europe for just over 3 weeks. Home – the reality was as joyful as the anticipation. All was well on our return thanks to Jane (Kgomotso, her African name) our housekeeper; Angie our ginger cat was happy to have us back home to lord it over us.. The winter garden looked healthy, bright and green though I was warned beforehand that the cold bite was due the next day. And boy did it bite. From the northern summer climes to hard hitting bitter biting cold. Snow all over South Africa. The temperatures plunged overnight … and it is still cold cold cold. Up here on the highveld (Johannesburg, 2000 mts above sea level) the cold is different – the skies are bright blue, so it is deceptive.

Our European trip was eventful and wonderful. There are a few photographs at the end of this post.

As eventful on our return was the rescue of the Thai schoolboys in the cave and the death of the courageous Thai Navy Seal diver Saman Kunan. And learning that their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, taught them to meditate to stay calm in the cave, made my blood corpuscles expand in a good way. The Wimbledon semi finals kept us on the edge of our seats, Kevin Anderson (SA) playing against John Isner (US). The 5th & final set was Anderson’s, 26:24, the longest in Wimbledon history. Anderson lost to Djokovic in the finals. The soccer World Cup was also pretty exciting, some of it we watched while in Europe. The political dramas around the world are worrying, here in South Africa also. Every day our heads spin at the latest uncovering of graft and corruption of those in power. Riots, strikes, violent protests are the order of the day –

Today is Nelson Mandela International Day, a day set up by ‘The Elders’ 16 years ago to honour this man and all for which he stood. Today is the day of his birth, 100 years ago. Yesterday afternoon I watched the live TV broadcast at the Wanderers Stadium, just a short way from where I live in Johannesburg. Persons in the past who’ve been invited to give the annual lecture include Mary Robinson (former prime minister of Ireland);  Kofi Annan former general secretary of the UN; Ellen Sirleaf former president of Liberia; Kgalema Motlanthe former president and deputy president of South Africa and many other dignitaries over the years.

Yesterday’s invited guest was US former president Barack Obama. There were several speeches beforehand, the first given by Prof. Njabulo Ndebele, academic and chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. My heart swelled at listening to him. One of his anecdotes was of Richard Stengel, American editor, journalist and author who collaborated with Mandela’s book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’. Stengel and Mandela were in an airplane over Natal when Stengel saw that the prop of the plane had stopped turning. He told Mandela who merely nodded his head – You’d better tell the pilot, he said. Which Stengel did. The pilot was aware and said he’d alerted ground forces in the event of a crash landing. Stengel relayed this back to Mandela who merely nodded his head and said yes. They landed safely. Afterwards Mandela expressed his real fear of this incident but he also spoke of his fear for humanity. Stengel relayed how calm and calming Mandela was in his ability to suppress his inner fears so as to be brave for other people. 

Mr. Mandela has also said that if the poor and marginalised do not have a future, then those who are privileged also do not have a future –

Patrick Motsepe founder of the Motsepe foundation followed Prof. Ndebele’s speech, then Graça Machel widow of Mr. Mandela. She made her husband come alive for us when she spoke of him. Her essential message was to recognise our common humanity. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa our president then stepped up to the microphone to rapturous applause. It was lovely to see him beaming and looking much less stressed and exhausted than he usually does. He spoke inter alia of the need to clean up and fix our broken institutions. And the need for accountability and responsibility of each and every person.

Mr Barack Obama followed also to rapturous applause. He gave a rousing speech, highlighting many advances in all fields made since 100 years ago and the strides in the last few decades. He spoke of the current danger of going back to the old ways, of authoritarianism, nationalism, restriction of freedom of speech. The more things change the more they stay the same. He reminded us of the value of activism at the grass roots level.

I’ve excerpted a few of Obama’s statements thanks to the FB feed of Don Maxwell Searll.

 “It is in part because of the failures of governments and powerful elites to squarely address the failures and shortcomings of this international order that we now see much of the world threatening to return to an older, a more dangerous, a more brutal way of doing business.”.

“We have to start by admitting that whatever laws may have existed on the books, whatever wonderful pronouncements existed in constitutions, whatever nice words were spoken these last decades at international conferences or in the halls of the United Nations, the previous structures of power and privilege and injustice and exploitation never completely went away.”

 “It is a plain fact that racial discrimination still exists both in the United States and in South Africa.”

 “The politics of resentment and fear and retrenchment began to appeal. And that kind of politics is now on the move.”

 “On Madiba’s 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads. A moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be.”

 “I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln. I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy built on the premise that all people are created equal and they’re endowed by our Creator certain inalienable rights. And I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation and pursuit of a common good.”

BUT what really was heart stopping for me was Prof. Patrick Lumbumba’s (Kenyan legal expert and scholar) speech that he gave on campus at the Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape last night. As wonderful and inspiring as the memorial at Wanderers stadium was with its audience of 15000, Lumumba’s speech was much more powerful (not related to but named after Patrice Lumbumba, the first and only elected Prime Minister of the Congo Republic who was assassinated – believed to be by the CIA – a few months after Congo gained formal independence 50 years ago)…The clip below is long. Prof. Lumbumba starts speaking at 59 mins into this video after being addressed by I think a Xhosa headman singing his praises (added after I realised my mistake – not a Zulu warrior) for about 5 mins. He reminded us not to repeat the mistakes of history. It is so worth watching – not the whole meeting but Prof. Patrick Lumbumba’s speech. … what questions would Nelson Mandela have asked if he was alive today? He would have asked questions as in eg ‘how is it that a country’s people (Africa) so well endowed, are still so poor?’ He would not have stopped at that question, he would have asked, ‘how is it that people are still fighting and killing each other?’ He would not have stopped at that question .. Nelson Mandela would have asked ‘are we liberated from the pain of killing our brothers and sisters?’ He would not have stopped at that question, he would have asked ‘how is it that Africa produces what it does, but does not consume it; but consumes what it does not produce?’ … but you can hear him for yourself … he talks for about a half hour … the last 30 mins. He urges us to continue petitions and protests, we need leaders not dealers, we need teachers not cheaters.

WATCH: Prof Lumumba delivers Nelson Mandela memorial lecture

I heard Mr. Mandela’s personal chef Xoliswa Ndoyiya speak today. She served him porridge every single morning for 19 years when he was at his Johannesburg home, with nuts, raisins and currants. One morning he asked for Frosties for breakfast. Ooooo Tata she said, no you cannot have sugar. Why do you want Frosties? Are your grandchildren encouraging you? No, he said, I’ve listened and honoured my mother eating porridge for breakfast for a long time now and now I want a change!

Well, this has been a long post, probably my longest ever. But I wanted to share this historic moment which makes me think and feel that more than ever, we need to find it in ourselves to continue opening our heart, to realise the common humanity we share, to practise kindness and the art of giving, the art of listening, the art of appreciating what we have, to continue to wonder at the small things that bring us joy, to continue to be curious about this strange mystery called life.

A few days in Paris, this one overlooking the Seine, close to Notre Dame Cathedral, before flying to Lisbon to catch a taxi to Sintra –

The villa in Sintra
view from balcony of villa, castles everywhere on the mountainside –
Down the lane from the villa we were staying in, in Sintra, I was admiring the lemons in the garden. This lovely lady picked some for me. They were huge!
family photograph of my sister-in-law Jenny, her husband Mike, Neil, their son Alex and his twin daughters
After our wonderful family holiday in Portugal, we flew to Zurich. There were so many highlights, the ride on the tram to Einsiedeln and seeing the Black Madonna on 21st June which was the solstice or close enough to it. She was magnificent – words cannot describe the emotions that were evoked in both Neil and myself.We went on a boat to Küsnacht and visited the Jung Institute there. I bought this book …
and walked down the road to see Jung’s house…
Our hotel in Zurich was central to much … the restaurant over the road called Tibits was one we frequented often, 100% vegetarian.

From Basel after 4 nights in Zurich, we embarked on the boat for the river cruise up the Rhine. So many photos of beauty, hard to select one … this from the deck in Canal d’Alsace

There were many excursions to places of historical interest when the boat docked. We could either join planned excursions or walk about towns at our own leisure. We did both … I’ll write about some of those places another time –

7 nights later after cruising through countryside of great beauty we docked in Amsterdam where we spent two nights on the boat.  We did a cruise seeing Amsterdam from the river. We also did a lot of walking. The one below is standing outside Anne Frank’s house –

Thank you for reading. May this find you well and may your centre hold.

Travel and Transitions

Travel and transitions

It’s the first time I’m using my iPad to put up a post. Not without difficulty – but I felt that I didn’t want to let the 20th June go by without acknowledging transitions.

We’ve spent a week in Sintra Portugal with my husband’s family from the States – his sister and her husband, their son and wife and delightful 9 year old twins, and their daughter. A very comfortable villa, gorgeous garden and pool, and views of the mountains and castles. I wish I could post pictures but getting them from my cell to iPad is beyond me.

I’m not sure of the exact date of the solstice, whether it’s the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd but the solstice it is, longest day here in the northern hemisphere, longest night back home in the southern hemisphere – and then a tilting of the earth’s axis – and a seasonal transition.

It’s also 5 years to the day of my car accident, the day before moving from our old home to our new one, the townhouse. I remember my younger son praying over me at the side of my upturned car, and my right hand dangling next to me. The ambulance ride I don’t remember, I remember vaguely being wheeled in for the operation, both sons and my husband there.

We did move the next day, on the solstice which was  also a full moon that night, and which was my plan 5 years ago. I remember learning patience – my right hand was badly damaged and encased in plaster for several weeks … using my left hand to write blog posts and do the usual that had to be done.

We leave Sintra today and fly to Zurich for a few days before embarking on a boat cruise.

It’s been a big year this year. Politically in South Africa where we had a change of president and we’re still battling to emerge from all that was so badly wrong. I know this is true around the world.

My husband and I both turned 70 – he at the end of May and I about 2 weeks ago. (Adding later: NOT 2 weeks ago, it was last week!!!) So this too is a transition. I’m just acknowledging a still point and transitions and I hope that any transitions you are or may be making go well and creatively.

-thank you for reading-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This and That

This and That …

I wanted to write about Jacob and Esau, hostile twin brothers from Genesis in the Old Testament. I wanted to look afresh at this ancient story which has always fascinated me. I wanted to look beyond what we hear on the news of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The Genesis story tells of Esau, the hunter, favoured son of Isaac; and Jacob the diligent student, favoured son of Rebekah. When Rebekah asked the Lord what was going on with all the jostling in her womb while she was pregnant, He replied: Genesis 25:23

“Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
    and the older will serve the younger”. 

Esau came out first, red haired and ruddy, with Jacob holding onto his heel. Later, Esau sells his first born birthright to Jacob for a pottage when he comes in from the fields faint with hunger. Later, their mother Rebekah used deception to ensure Jacob’s ascension as leader of Israel by disguising him as Esau, the favoured son of Isaac, in order for her favoured son Jacob to receive his father’s blessing and thereby the covenant, as he lay dying.

And so, Esau went away and became the leader of 12 tribes of Edom, and Jacob went away and became the leader of 12 tribes of Israel. At war with each other for many a year until such time as they saw each other and embraced each other.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

This is a hundred times less than the bare bones of this biblical story.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

 Ishmael, firstborn son of Abraham was born to Hagar, handmaiden to Sarah. Isaac was the second son of Abraham born to Sarah. It was Isaac who became father to Jacob & Esau. While there was rivalry and deception between the 2 mothers, their sons and brothers, Ishmael and Isaac lived in harmony. Again, 1000 times less than the bare bones of this story.

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Why am I telling so much less than the skeleton of these stories?

There is a part of me that finds some comfort in the biblical narrative. Going back in order to go forward. Like looking in the rear view mirror. As in the Lilith myth of the Dark Feminine inter alia. As In the myth of Oedipus, Gilgamesh, Psyche and Amor, Demeter & Persephone and many others. Stories that tell of complex and conflicting relationships, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, conscious and unconscious agendas, betrayals, deceptions, displacement, dominance and subservience, identity crises, marginalisation and fear of ‘the other’, rejection and many more real ongoing psychological complexes and dynamics that are alive and active in today’s world and continue to play themselves out on the world stage.

I find some comfort in the story in that Jacob and Esau ultimately do find peace with each other, albeit after a very long while and were able to put their fractured history somewhat behind them. They embraced and wept with each other. And the earlier story of Abraham’s sons Ishmael & Isaac who became leaders of different nations, like Jacob & Esau, who lived in relative harmony in spite of their mother’s positioning for each of them.

The question of God’s covenant as to who would be the ‘light unto the nations’, is one that is still grappled with among all those with vested interests as well as those of Islamic and Israeli faith in pre-ordained fate and Palestinian faith in pre-ordained fate …

But the stories tell me of possible reconciliation, that God had or has a plan – I am leaning towards possibilities and potentialities that the divine order will be carried out and that nations can reconcile if they get beyond their tribal, cultural and historical influences –  and vested interests – and that peace is possible. The healing of past wounds CAN be healed even though the task of uncovering them requires courage. Which is why I am telling this story right now, even though I’m barely doing it justice. I’m telling it in my maybe naive desire to *trust* in peace, ultimately, between nations and peoples and our shared planet and I’m sharing it –

There are many links to google if you care to in order to get the fuller story. Many of them are pretty well researched and debated, and endlessly analysed by rabbinical scholars, theologians, historians, Jungian analysts, depth psychologists and the like.

 I remember some years ago being on radio about the murder of Abel by his brother Cain who were the sons of Adam & Eve. And God’s question to Abel – where is your brother? And Abel’s response: ”I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

 I’m preparing to leave for Europe tomorrow 8th June with my husband for just over 3 weeks. We’ll be on our own in Paris for a few days, then flying down to Lisbon where we’ll find Sintra and meet up with my husband’s sister and family who live in California. 4 of us are celebrating our June birthdays. After a week in Sintra, my husband & I leave the others behind and take off for Zurich for a few nights before boarding a boat which will take us up the Rhine.  We disembark a week later in Amsterdam and then fly home in early July.

It’s very cold up here on the highveld, though the skies are blue and the trees are green. In about 2 weeks it will be the solstices again, longest night here in South Africa, longest day in Europe. On the 20th we leave from Portugal for Switzerland … transitions everywhere. I’m hoping to see the Black Madonna in Einseideln, Zurich during the few days we’re there.

Thank you for reading! I hope this finds you well wherever you are, and may your centre continue to hold.

Boom or Bust

Boom or Bust ..

Much is happening at a lickety-split pace. Not just on the political front here, there and everywhere but also on my own home ground, i.e. in myself, in part because of epic sagas both near and far.

Our newly elected president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has agreed to land expropriation without compensation. It will be implemented according to the Constitution, to return land to the previously dispossessed. He has stated – I heard him say it – that it is an original sin, the historical possession of land by ‘others’ enabling dispossession of original land dwellers. Obviously this is a highly complex and delicate matter. But it gave me pause when he said about original sin and therefore the urgency to address this wound and make compensation.

Dispossession of persons of ancestral land is a grave sin indeed – 

Many are very disturbed about this. There’s been a bit of a panicked knee-jerk reaction. I am hopeful that ALL come to the table (including those whining about it) as Mr. Ramaphosa has requested, to start finding workable solutions. Many feel extremely threatened. Sadly, there’s already been some grabbing of land, illegally, even by violent means by the thuggery that is part of our landscape. The state actually owns a high percentage of the land; many of our indigenous people own land and the ‘white’ landowner represents a small percentage by comparison ..

I sit between shaky faith and doubt.  We have a sound justice system, sound constitution, a free press, intelligent observers and political analysts and activists from all sides. We know that the world has its eye on us. That’s not an inflated comment. Those that matter and have influence in the wider world are watching us very keenly. But more significantly, we as South Africans know somewhere in our bones, that this is Boom or Bust time … 

We had a very serious listeria bacteria outbreak here that caused the deaths of approximately 180 people out of over 4000 cases of  reported cases. Its source was recently detected to a local food plant where the bacteria was found in cold meats, salamis, viennas, polony and such like – processed foods. This is a form of cheap protein and is eaten by the less economically advantaged, the poor. It has affected mainly small children and the elderly whose immunity system is compromised. I read somewhere that 4 people recently died from listeria infected melons in Australia ..  

Death has been a part of my particular landscape this last little while. A few funerals in the last two weeks. Hearing of people who I know, dying suddenly, in spite of being in good health. Not from listeria, from other causes.

This was my younger son’s recent Facebook post in a store. I don’t know what to call it – satire?  It appeared unexpectedly on a day that I was thinking this very same thing about life and death and the necessity for keeping death alive on one’s left shoulder. Soft cheeses are also implicated in this outbreak.

”I feel so alive.

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https://www.facebook.com/thekiffness/posts/2034090616606562:0

Our health department was under fire, not only for this, but also for a tragedy that should never have happened i.e. the removal of psychiatric patients from their places of safety to other places where they were not adequately cared for, nor their families notified, and many died because of terrible management. It is a stain on our country. Heads rolled.

As I write, heads are rolling in many state departments. Ministers and minions are finally being called to account as the evidence of State Capture (read corruption) is being exposed for what it is. Billions lining the pockets of thieves in State Owned Enterprises.

The water crisis situation in Cape Town & surrounds is a 1000 times less dire than it was in January, when Day Zero was looming and overshadowing everything. People are more water-wise and plans are afoot to redress not only the incompetence by the Department of Water but also to effect desalination, already underway. There’s been a little recent rain in Cape Town! Dams are still dangerously low though –

The firing of Rex Tillerson US; Theresa May, UK prime minister firing Russian diplomats because of the nerve agent recently seriously disabling 2 Russians in Salisbury UK, and more recently, a police officer; and the firing of incompetent ministers here in SA, brings to mind being ‘in the line of fire’. Which, while it strictly means the bullet being fired and aimed at one, can be stretched into a metaphor. The dice are loaded, like guns are, there are triggers all over the world, we get triggered by personal and impersonal situations.

With thoughts of so many innocent and injured people dispossessed in ongoing war-torn countries, dispossession of people from their rightful lands historically, I can only keep a candle alight within …

“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.”
Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Thank you for reading. Today is the Ides of March. Autumn (Fall) is approaching here in the southern hemisphere, Spring in the northern hemisphere. Betwixt and between – changing seasons – May the Force be with you all.

 

In Limbo

In Limbo

The president of South Africa, mr. jacob zuma, was due to give his State of the Nation Address (SONA) tomorrow night in the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town. But, for a few weeks already, there’ve been protests about this as he is seen as not fit to address Parliament and the nation. He has about 780 criminal charges against him and he has not yet seen his day in court. He is wily. And has friends in high places. For the last few years, there have been fisticuffs and blood on the floor during jacob zuma’s annual SONA and only when the EFF (Economic Freedom Front) has been thrown out for protesting and other opposition parties have walked out in disgust at behaviour unbecoming, has some sort of order been restored and he was able to proceed in his egoistic waffle.

He is NOT fit to address the nation. It seems that many in his inner circle also feel this way. Yesterday, it was announced that the SONA has been postponed. And, it was noted yesterday, there would an urgent meeting of the NEC (National Executive Committee) today to decide the way forward, given the postponement of SONA.  We took this to mean that zuma would be urged to step down and measures would be taken to ensure a smooth transition. Today, it was announced that the NEC had decided it was NOT going to meet and that the deputy president, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa (also ANC president) and zuma were in meetings today in ‘constructive talks’.

 We do not know what is going on. We do NOT want zuma to go the way of Mugabe (ex pres of Zimbabwe) who has retained much of his ill gotten wealth and creature comforts. Plus pension etc etc etc – Zuma must face his charges or face impeachment – which is also on the cards. He has NOT upheld our constitution. He must NOT get amnesty. He must NOT avoid prosecution. He has brought our country to the brink. Zillions of Rands (our currency) has left the country illegally, lining the purses of criminals.

So we wait, for the next stage of the unfolding ongoing drama. Hence feeling in limbo. A vacuum –

I can’t help but reflect that what is happening in our country is happening just about everywhere else. We have to keep standing up against the rotten apples, the snakes in the grass who believe that because they hold high office, are above the law.

The protests of the ordinary people is what is needed, at all times. It is thanks to them as well as our judiciary system and the constitution, that many in high office are falling like dominoes and being held accountable for their crimes. It is refreshing to see –

There is never a dull moment in our country. I feel hopeful, and inspired that right is might and will ultimately be victorious. The day zuma leaves office is the day I believe the rain will fall where it is needed, bringing relief to the drought not only to the land but also to where we’ve felt the drought in our hearts, minds and souls.  

Thank you for reading. Do you feel hopeful, in spite of all to the contrary, that right will ultimately prevail?

 

This, That and the Next

This, That & the Next –

Happy New Year to you All. Let’s hope that 2018 brings its gentle wings of change for the betterment of all. The new moon is always a time of new beginnings, time to plant seeds in the soil, in the garden and in the heart.

We’re so aware of all that is happening at all times on our shared planet. We’re all doing our small bit, turning hope into action, whether picking up trash, being mindful of plastic water bottles and our use of them, plastic straws no longer for our drinks, a smile to a stranger, being helpful when we can, conservation and gratitude of all that is good and beautiful, including family and friends –

 We set off tomorrow morning from Plettenberg Bay in the early hours for the long trek back to Johannesburg with our cat Angie in tow. Packing still has to be done and a few tasks still to be completed. It has been very special indeed to spend time with our sons and daughter-in-law. The weather has mostly been very kind, any rain always welcome. I’ve had a few walks on the beach, a few swims in the sea. I wondered the other day whether the water in Plettenberg Bay shrinks clothes after being in the washing machine – fortunately though, after obsessing about this for several days, I came to realise I was engaging in classic avoidance behaviour and avoiding more essential concerns, i.e. the year ahead. 

My husband and I both turn 70 this year. I’ve hardly given this a thought but it’s time I did. There are plans afoot to meet with my husband’s sister and her husband, maybe their adult children and their children (who all live in California), and our sons and daughter-in-law somewhere exotic in June. 

I guess that’s the frill of the matter.

On a more urgent note, I was recently asked to give a talk at the end of February on ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’, the book I co-authored with Susan E. Schwartz Ph.D. This time I’ll be on my own. So, I’ve been thinking about that and making some notes and what with turning 70, several friends fairly suddenly being unwell, or experiencing difficulties in grave ways, and death, brought me up short in terms of my own life and what I plan to do with it, given the limit of time now more apparent. And, my dreams have been somewhat alarming. I’m paying attention. Been brought up short. Catching a wake-up call …

 

I will always remember my dear friend Lyndy who died in March last year and her emphasising the importance of doing and not delaying – of which I am a past mistress. 

What I did do this morning was to book a flight from Johannesburg next week to Cape Town on Thursday returning home a week later. I’ve thought a huge lot about this over the last several weeks. There are plans to meet an old friend (from more than 40 years ago and who lives in England) who is already sailing on the seas with her partner and who docks in Cape Town next week Friday. Lunch on Friday with other old friends. And a plan for a city bus tour on Saturday. I am not sure who I will know or recognise besides Wendy. I also hope to see some friends in Cape Town who I didn’t manage to see when last in Cape Town in November (for a school re-union), and one or two who I did see, but I want to see them again, including my sister.

I also have a yearning to go to Norway to seek out my paternal grandmother’s place of birth. I’ve been doing a bit of detective work and a few recent synchronistic happenings have enforced my wish to go, even if I go alone, this year.

I said in a post or so back about precipitation – how it means rain but it also means prayer. My note book in which I’ve written prayers for specific people and for our planet over the last months is constantly being added to. I’m taking my globe back to Johannesburg with me and will say prayers for the planet and all living in and on it.

I used this photograph from an atlas a while back – useful for making prayers for the world –

Praying … I’m still a newbie at this, but I’m learning and practising. As a dear friend of mine said recently on the phone when we were talking about one of her ill family members, it helps maybe for the one praying to feel a little better and to know that we are doing what we can for the other – even from a long long distance. I think she’s right. Does one pray for one’s self I wonder …? Something I’m thinking about – something that someone said –

 

There was very real physical labour in planting a newly purchased hibiscus. Getting the roots out of a previously planted creeper (which was here when we purchased our Plett holiday home 10 years ago) from its container took us a few hours last evening. Digging, digging, digging – back breaking work but so worthwhile. Re-planting of other in another place – geraniums. Soil in my fingers. (I don’t wear gloves). More work, taking out old roots in order to plant new ones by my husband and son today (while I was having acupuncture to be balanced for the year ahead and to be more disciplined and mindful of my health) and this is the photo of it. It’s sort of near the entrance surrounded by stones.

We plan to make the move to Plettenberg Bay sometime this year. The uncertainty is very real as to when this will actually happen. Who knows what will happen this year?

T. S. Eliot, East Coker

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
 
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well and in good spirits. Here’s to 2018. May the fates be kind to you and may the Force be with you.

 I won’t be able to respond to any comments for a day or so because of travelling although perhaps I can use my phone. It’s always a thrill to see comments!

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice Day

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice Day

We’re in Plettenberg Bay on the southern coast of South Africa – we motored down from Johannesburg last week at midnight with Angie the cat in tow. Both sons are here, Davey & his wife Jüte arrived from Cape Town this past Monday night. Angie has settled in very well indeed – maybe not surprising since she comes from Plett and lived for a while in this house quite a long time ago. He was my son Mike’s rescue cat –

I went for a walk on my own on the Robberg beach midday yesterday – such a gorgeous day, bright, sunny, not too hot …

That is not a shark fin! (If it was I would have left the country). It is a boat the body of which is obscured by the uprising wave … the Tsitsikama mountains in the background … the tide was out …

The results of the recent 5 day elective conference of the ANC (African National Congress) for their chosen president to lead the ANC has yielded the ANC president we hoped for i.e. Cyril Ramaphosa. Jacob Zuma has had his two 5 year terms and they were pretty disastrous for our country. Zuma remains president of South Africa until elections in 2019. Ramaphosa’s deputy and a few of his newly elected inner circle (not chosen by him, but by votes from the NEC – National Executive Council – of which there are about 4750) leaves much to be desired and have allegations of corruption and much else against them. Gangsters. Nevertheless, some new brooms – At least Zuma is no longer the ANC president – though he remains president of South Africa until the 2019 elections.  Although he may now face the many charges brought against him and have his day in court even while president of SA. (He always said he wanted to but so far has cleverly and manipulatively managed to avoid this). He faces impeachment charges inter alia. There is bound to be investor confidence. Ramaphosa is a savvy business man. It is hoped that he will investigate state capture which has been endemic. The Council of Churches spoke to CR in June this year – an unprecedented step for the Church to take – and urged him then to stop the rot as swiftly as possible. I hope and think CR has taken this to heart. The rand strengthened against all currencies as from Monday, though today it is yo-yo-ing. 

We are all hopeful that a new direction for our beloved country in which the fat cats no longer feed at the trough is underway and that all that is broken and ineffectual is not beyond repair. 

 CR gave his maiden speech in the early hours this morning as president of the ANC of which I watched a bit during today. He’s saying all the right things so far. Though I don’t think all is hunky-dory by any stretch of the imagination. There are too many gangsters in the inner circle. We’re still pretty vulnerable –

But enough of that …I feel for all of us in these extraordinary times of political upheaval; it feels to me as if the boil is being lanced little by little and when the pus is slowly, slowly all removed, then may the healing begin.

Solstice (from the Latin, sol:sun; sistere:to stand still), a twice a year happening when the earth stands still for a nano-second and then begins its tilt in the opposite direction towards a new season. In the northern hemisphere where the night is the longest, there is a promise of warmth to come after the bitterness of cold. In the southern hemisphere and the longest day, we’re aware that the days will shorten and the nights imperceptibly longer. A day worthy of reverence from ancient times …

 How this year has flown, one season blending into another, timelessly, sometimes forcefully, reflecting perhaps inner seasonal changes. So much has happened world wide. The new year always brings with it hope that things will be better on many levels. Change is always occurring, on all levels –

Thanks to son Mike for the greeting card!

Thank you for your participation in my blog over this year. I so appreciate it! I’ve enjoyed the meaningful connection and feel I’ve learned much as well as from your posts, many times a softening of my heart. What more could a gal want? Wishing you all peace and joy, good health and strength, happy family and relaxing times. And may our prayers for all that we ask, become a reality. May the Force be with you.

Camus: In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

 

 

 

Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry

‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’

co-authored by Susan Scott & Susan E. Schwartz Ph.D

Susan Schwartz in Paradise Valley, Az. and I are promoting for our book for a week in which we offer it at a reduced price for the paper back. T’is the season for gifting and for readers there’s nothing nicer than an book! Or a gift for one’s self. Or for book club? From $12.99 to $6.55 for the paper back.  It’s the lowest price that Amazon would accept. Other currencies eg the British pound, Euro etc. also show lowered prices. The kindle deal is another story – it will take a while.

We address much in our letters to each other and offer our personal in-depth psychological reflections on this stage of life. The issues women face are similar to those of men – life, death, body issues, health, psyche/soul. We explore the unsaid and also challenge the view that the aging woman has little to offer. Rather, aging is an opportunity to express a more rounded out personalty. Growing older one feels the pull to be more authentic, finding freedom and a widening of the lens.

A few selected Amazon reviews:

 Elaine : ‘…The authors approach difficult issues with honesty, clarity, and insight, leading the reader into a more meaningful relationship with growing older… The book also helps clarify the benefits and insights gained in the aging process… I especially enjoyed the excellent sections on grief and loss which are commonly experienced by the aging, but rarely discussed with such honesty and hope’.

JF: ‘The thoughts and musings of two intelligent and articulate women on the problems of aging. And, even more critically, on the notion of being. One read is not enough, once more, but slowly this time’.

Daniela: ‘There are some books that catch us unawares, as they open up to us in unexpected ways …The territory explored … in this book…is about the process of the beginning and the end of life and what happens in the middle, but the way this process is described is very original and fresh…I highly recommend it for people who want to experience this stage in life in a deeper way, and learn how to find and appreciate the gifts it offers.’

Deon: ‘…The kind of book that is filled with wisdom and deep insight on such a wide variety of fascinating topics. I like the combination of personal sharing with theoretical acumen, astuteness and understanding of Depth Psychology – a winning blend indeed’.

I plan to put up a blog post in the next little while. We motor down to Plettenberg Bay on Thursday morning for our Christmas break. In the meantime all good festive greetings to you all. In these strange times in which we live, may your centre hold –

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Petrichor

Petrichor – Earth’s perfume ..

It is only yesterday that I read the link that Norah Colvin supplied some days ago in response to my previous post on Precipitation.

It is truly lovely and so worth a read – petrichor: earth’s perfume.

‘petra’ – stone; ‘ichor’ – from Greek mythology – the ethereal blood of the goods. 

https://theconversation.com/the-smell-of-rain-how-csiro-invented-a-new-word-39231

On perfume, I’ve been looking for a new fragrance. I came across this in a FB post yesterday – it’s about perfume being made right here on our doorstep here in Johannesburg. The perfumier is Marie Aoun Founder of Saint d’Ici. The below is an excerpt from the interview. I’m intrigued and hope to see them on the shelves at some stage. And experiment –

“The name, Saint d’Ici, comes from my earliest olfactive memories. I spent a great deal of time growing up at my grandparents’ house near the small village of Saint Jeannet in Provence. I distinctly remember rosemary, lavender and laurel when I think back to that time. It was these beautiful, classic, natural scents that first drew me to natural perfumery. However, as I started to explore African perfume materials, a whole new world of smells opened up to me. Rich, dusty, sweet-herbaceous, animalic and deep scents. Saint Jeannet was updated, it became Saint d’Ici (of here), a blend of both worlds.”

I’m re-fashioning by blog site starting with the picture. I can’t decide. My son is helping me. I’m using the tools I have here at home. The lovely ouroborous or the meaningful yin yang symbol which I would have liked to use is too generic according to my son who is here for several days. I’ll be using pretty tiles as tools I bought some years ago, I think in Crete or maybe Istanbul. I’ve always liked my picture of the stone with an acorn on it – it suits my psychological leanings. But I think I must let the stone and acorn go and try something new – hopefully it will be up soon – 

I’m also fashioning something from papier mache so help me in prep for our last art circle meet this coming Saturday morning. It’s a once a month meet. This time we have to bring something we created ourselves to put into the gift basket and we each choose something from it blindfold …

All good Thanksgiving wishes for those who are celebrating!

Thank you for reading – as I write, it is headline news, Mugabe of Zimbabwe has JUST announced his resignation as president. At the 11th hour …

Precipitation

Precipitation

This is not precipitation of the ‘rain’ kind – it is of a different kind –

It’s been a day of being at home after being away for several days and settling in and attending to my study. I was scratching in a desk drawer for something and pulled out a scrap of paper, undated ..

It was/is a precipitation in my writing – on the back of a torn envelope –

Prayers:

for Christopher to know that he can return to who he essentially is, a good and caring doctor. And if not in the way he was before, then in some other way.

I pray that he regains his self-regard.

I pray that he does not hide behind depression.

I pray that he pays real soulful attention to himself.

                                                                                             x x x x x x x x x x x x

Many many years ago, at a guess I would say 20 years, my good friend who knows Christopher said about precipitation and that she had used it effectively on occasion, for her father if I remember correctly who was unwell. It was the first I’d heard of it. She is a science prof, so not in any way ‘woo woo’.  She did one for Christopher at that time. I’ve done a few over the years. And now I find myself taking this up again.

This one appears to be the only one I’ve retained. I’m paying attention to the timing of finding this old one with regard to other friends, not necessarily those with depression or with Christopher’s particular afflictions. I bought a pretty note book at a fair in the suburbs of Cape Town earlier this month and I’m using a separate page for each of those I know who are in some sort of crisis, soul and/or body wise. My sister for her ankle that is taking a long time healing and is painful. My neighbour who had a hip operation last week; my friend from Cape Town who had surgery recently here in Johannesburg to remove a basal carcinoma very close/behind her eye; another friend in Cape Town who is recovering from a hip operation; a friend here in Johannesburg whose husband committed suicide 2 years ago – the anniversary is this Sunday; another local, dear friend who is in the depths of despair and feels her soul is no longer alive. There are a few more – I’m writing out precipitations for them each. I saw on a google search that it is a form of intercession. Or prayer if you will … on behalf of another –

There’s something about putting my ‘precipitations’ down on paper and reading them daily or nightly or whenever as a prayer – into the atmosphere –

I am home, back from my Somerset West school re-union held near Stellenbosch/Somerset West (outside of Cape Town) in a lovely restaurant earlier this month. I had my hair cut and bleached while there – the day after I arrived – in parts (strand by strand) to begin the process of going au naturel – going grey naturally (hopefully gracefully). If this first step is anything to go by, I like it a lot. It’s an excellent cut and I like the grey/silver with the brown. Others who’ve seen it like it too. A few with fulsome praises – I enjoy an ego stroke every now and then, even if transient!

My Cape Town visit was very special on many levels. I saw 4 precious friends, 3 of whom schlepped a fair distance to come and visit me in the suburbs at my sister’s home for which I was and am very grateful. The school re-union was lovely – people I have not seen for 50 years! People came from far and wide, Australia, Canada, UK, Namibia and locally of course. Being with my sister was very special. She faithfully and arduously conserves water because of the severe drought and water shortage in Cape Town. All water is recycled. I got a shower down to 2 mins max. Water from the shower into the loo .. not a drop is wasted. Dishwashing water, much else. My sister’s daughter’s small sons are a delight. I feel privileged to be great aunt to them. Last Tuesday night my younger son and his wife came for dinner, as did my niece and her sons, my sister’s son and my brother’s son – 

We visited ZeitzMOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) last week the day before I flew home.  It is an extraordinary structure at the Cape Town Waterfront (the link https://zeitzmocaa.museum/  will show a few pictures under ‘Exhibition’). It’s hailed as The Tate of Africa. It is a refurbishment of silos and turbines and is now a magnificent architectural delight with 6 stories of enormous rooms containing art from all parts of Africa. It was officially opened in October. My sister and I met Robert there last Wednesday. He’s a classmate of mine from 50 years ago. He lives in Sydney where he is a forensic psychiatrist. Here we’re having an iced coffee after roaming the museum.

This is my photo of a bronze entitled ‘Zeus’ in the museum –

It’s raining as I write late-ish this Tuesday night – crashing thunder and lightning about. I hope it’s going to be a jolly good downpour. The distinct smell of rain in the air is called ‘petrichor’ and/or it’s the earthy smell after rains have soaked the dry earth. It’s hot here up on the high veld in Johannesburg. May rains come wherever they are needed.  I’ve added that to my precipitation list especially for where the drought is dire –

Thank you for reading. May this find you well. I pray for peace in this troubled world of ours and pray also that we each somehow manage to manoeuvre these trying times. May The Force be with you all.

 

 

 

 

spin doctoring and Faith and Doubt

Spin Doctoring & Faith & Doubt

I was listening to the Minister of Finance give his maiden speech of the midterm budget speech in the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town this afternoon. This country has been on tenterhooks to hear what he has to say and if and how he will use spin to the highest degree to ‘justify’ the economic wreck he and his ilk have imposed upon us – all – in the last several months. Spin doctors … what an exhausting and dizzying job it must be, until maybe the spin doctors begin to believe their own lies. It is an ongoing worry, at least on my part, that whoever it is, begins to believe their own lies. And more, expect/hope/wish that we the people believe them. Which sadly, many of us do.  We are in grave danger of believing those lies, and we all begin to believe our own lies and we deny what we hear see touch taste and smell with our senses and the web gets ever more spidery – and still we deny. In spite of the facts of history. Denial: insidious and perfidious, Janus-faced –

I know that everywhere in the world there are huge and worrying issues – issues of gigantic import. So much and so many are dying –  threats are everywhere –

I try hard to keep myself one step removed from it all, but it is not really possible for me. When I think on these things, I acknowledge, partly, the deep sorrow I feel about the world and its inhabitants and our planet. My tummy gets into a knot and I feel a pain in my groin. That’s my visceral response. I force myself to try to bring a different attitude to this enervation and despair I feel. I don’t want to feel the full weight of the world because I would immediately collapse under the burden. And it is not my place to feel the full weight of the world. I feel some of it nevertheless. I am glad that I have my own useful defence mechanisms to ward off the full weight but then I must find something else to take its place that is hopefully constructive.

So, I try to expand my cold crimped numbed heart in some way … I took paint to paper these last few days, something I had started in Plettenberg Bay about three weeks ago. An image from quite a long while ago which has come more and more to the fore in recent times. I painted it. I like what C.G. Jung said about using the hands to express what the head cannot (paraphrased). I think my ego or the overly critical part of myself took a bit of a back seat while my hands were doing what they did.  It was very hard. I’m pleased with myself that I have worked on it after great resistance – I feel I have done some justice to my psyche. The painting is still a bit incomplete.

The challenges we face here in South Africa are very daunting. All of us are in a state of shock and confusion and some denial at the corruption that goes on, notably but not exclusively at State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) which are in the dwang financially and forever being rescued. We’re very well aware of our dire economic situation, very high unemployment for one (and very little potential for economic growth) and the rotten apples at the top. This too I try to keep a step removed from. I have a bit of faith in the strength of our politically active organisations that call out unethical actions within the government or wherever it may occur; and in the public persons who speak out and say no.

Which makes me think on other things such as my son and daughter-in-law’s visit from Cape Town this weekend, so we’re looking forward to the few nights they’ll be with us (they have a wedding to attend) and my upcoming visit to Cape Town next week. I’ll be flying down on Wed 1st November for just over a week. Water is very scarce there and is impacting on people’s lives in a major way. My sister lives there; I’ll see her re-fashioned garden. She uprooted most of her lovingly tended garden and plants to replace with paving, stones and gravel. I know I won’t be able to indulge in a bath, part of my usual evening ritual at home. A quick shower and conserving falling water in a bucket to be re-used.

I’ve asked her to make an appointment for me with the woman who cut my hair in Cape Town just over a year ago when I was there. I want a cut and also for my hair to be highlighted so that I can start the process of going grey or whatever my natural colour is. If it doesn’t suit me because of my skin tone or whatever, I will revert to another plan. I’ve been thinking about this for several months already. The time feels right. Maybe a tiny protest on my part against ageism which is getting a good and healthy airing these days and a curiosity on my side to be ‘au naturel’ –

My husband and I will be relocating from Johannesburg at some stage to live permanently in Plettenberg Bay where we’ve had a lovely holiday home for the last long while. I do not know when exactly this will be but it is on the horizon. Maybe by June next year. I sincerely hope not sooner. But this is something that I think about in fits and starts, a new life, different to the one I’ve had here in Johannesburg for the last very long while. I hope to meet the unknown challenges – my husband too – I am trying to have faith in the process however it unfolds.

 I’ve been wondering about faith and doubt for the last several months, the strangest bedfellows if ever there were. I did a blog post on this in February 2015. Uncertainty and synchronicity were part of it. I went back to it re-read the responses which were so heartening and melted my heart all over again. Does doubt strengthen faith? Is doubt a necessary process? Is it a terrible thing? I excerpted the poem that Elaine posted on the comments:

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith,
but the faith and the love are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
― T.S. Eliot

I like my painting and the image it expresses about my personal challenge of faith and doubt. And also, maybe synchronistically, as in the February 2015 post, the last few days have brought up the discussion of Faith and Doubt on a thread I follow on FB. Which has demonstrated to me again, the necessity of exercising my faith muscle, in my psyche, in spite of being besieged by doubt, about much.

Walking out in nature is always a balm to my soul. I’m keeping to my Blisters for Bread initiative and noting on my cell phone the number of steps I walk on any given day and putting an amount of money into the jar I have on my table. I haven’t asked anyone to join me …

The rand to the dollar exchange rate has shot through the roof after the finance minister’s speech – I’ve been half heartedly listening to a summary of it all this evening. One of the analysts called it a dip in the rand – it’s not a dip, it’s a huge dive, southwards. So maybe it’s not through the roof but downwards to the murky depths. To give our new-ish minister his due, he did note the enormous challenges we face, but he has neatly avoided some fundamental issues. (Russia is behind a nuclear power deal with South Africa – we don’t need it, we already have a functioning power station, we don’t need a new one, we have an over-supply of renewable energies and coal and apart from other major concerns eg nuclear waste and its storage, we do not have the HUGE amount of money required – at least a trillion projected at this stage but no doubt this will climb. We are already in huge debt).

My son David happened on my February 2015 post. He made the following comment at the time –

‘I find that when things seem too certain, that’s when I start to worry. Certainty makes your faith weak, and a weak faith makes life stale.“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1: 2 – 4’

Thank you for reading – keep the faith and may the Force be with you in these uncertain times.

Beauty

Beauty

I went for a walk earlier this evening/late afternoon – the first two are from just outside my garden wall –

I enjoyed my walk – I usually have to force myself to do this. My innate slothful tendencies are ever present. My younger son David who is visiting, and I went for a walk yesterday late afternoon. I said to him how I have to FORCE myself to walk sometimes. He said how it is that that which you least want to do is the very thing that must be done. That resistance to doing what needs to be done, is a very real something (most often unconscious), and can emphasise or bring to attention that which needs attention – and I have to ask myself what is my resistance and my avoidance really all about. The question of why I do not do what needs be done – reminds me of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans ..

This evening’s walk was also an attempt to keep up my daily walking average as recorded on my cell phone (an app on my phone my elder son showed me how to use when he was here recently, also visiting). I checked it when I thought I had done x amount of steps this evening, but I was still short, so I did some more walking and then walked around the complex where I live. It was now night-time. This yesterday today and tomorrow (Oxford & Cambridge) is on the other side close to my kitchen – there was a lamp in the garden shining on it so I took a photo, admired and sniffed its glorious scent.

Tonight’s moon is resting on her bottom in the night sky peeking and waxing between the branches of the jacaranda tree (soon to bloom) that leans over our garage –

We were in Plett last week  – I photographed this below picture of this very large log from many angles on my phone. I wonder where it came from? Washed up? Put there as a work of art? Land Art?

The below photo was while on a walk on the beach in Plett on a different day – it was rather mystical to see the mist pouring in …

I have a need on my side to put up a post now. The #WATWB post is due this coming Friday. We post on the last Friday of every month. I must go in search of a good news story in the next few days. But these photos I wanted to share in the meantime –

 

New Moon, Rosh Hashanah and the Equinox

 

I’m writing this from the balcony of our home in Plettenberg Bay. The sunrise shows part of the bay and the Tsitsikama mountains. I’m hoping to see whales. We arrived here in Plett on Sunday afternoon after flying into George International Airport from Johannesburg. A week’s break –

So far a mixture of busy-ness and not so busy. Right now I’ve got the covers of sitting room and balcony furniture in the washing machine, some already out on the line. I’m wondering whether my need to have clean sofa covers and cushions has something to do with the new moon. Maybe. Maybe in preparation for what the new moon foretells, and along with it the Equinox; Spring Equinox for us in the southern hemisphere, Autumnal/ Fall Equinox for those in northern climes –

and Rosh Hashanah also …

Does each have any meaning to me? And especially all of them altogether?

I’m wondering whether seeing our son’s new home yesterday in his absence to air it but also to look at it anew, has something to do with wanting things to be fresh and clean in our own home. His home is so lovely, pristine, minimalistic (though not overly), contained yet spacious and the garden is a delight. No wonder he loves his home – I’m sure he’s missing it already and can’t wait to be home from Canada where he is at the moment attending an international animation meeting.

I took a couple of photos yesterday of his garden. I wish I could tell you the name of the plants. The golden and orange ones are extraordinary – I think indigenous. All I know is that the red one is a bottle brush.

 

These personal events that coincide with outer events give me cause for pause. The Equinox holds a fascination for me. A moment when the opposites of day and night come into play and are of equal length. A moment of balance.  A moment before the earth tilts on its axis. It’s representative of so much to me – the never-ending rhythmic cycles of our planet, the shortening or lengthening of the days and nights, my awareness of the passage of time, my self within ‘time’ as I know it and an awareness of its limit in terms of my life left to live –

And this morning a new moon which may be visible tonight.  The moon will be in its waxing phase for the next two weeks. A good time to plant – seeds of whatever kind – love, patience, kindness, joy are a few that come to mind – anything that blossoms in receptive and fertile soil.

This evening, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) begins at sunset and ends at sunset on Friday (although I think there is a prescription that Rosh Hashanah should never begin on a Wednesday?) Apples eaten with honey is symbolic of wishing everyone a sweet and prosperous year. The Shofar announcing Rosh Hashanah is trumpeted at sunset this evening …

For me, these coinciding events have an imaginative meaning – a moment of stillness as the opposites come into play, a forward tilting, a renewal as the soil is continually tilled.

Thank you for reading, a very happy New Year if you are welcoming it in, a blessed new moon, and likewise with the Equinox.

 

 

 

 

This that and the next thing

This that & the next thing –

Spring is sprung. It’s lovely to see buds beginning to bloom in my small garden. My orchids are flourishing, the azaleas are lovely, the yesterday today and tomorrow (Oxford & Cambridge) are releasing their lovely scent from their violet and white flowers, I see the occasional bee, birds landing in the bird bath, the jacarandas over the wall which I can see from my study are greening, my roses pruned in late July are beginning to shoot, my clivias are joyous, the days are longer and warmer.

My son Dave and his lovely wife Jüte have been here in Johannesburg for the last few days, flying back to Cape Town early tomorrow morning. Jüte put up the link below for me yesterday. Tamara LePine – Williams, the morning radio host of Classic FM, invited us to their studios for an off-air interview with me and Susan Schwartz, when Susan was here in Johannesburg from Paradise Valley Az. The producer of Tamara’s Wednesday book show slot had requested some weeks prior a copy of our co-authored book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ for review.

I was sent the link the day after it was it was broadcast almost two weeks ago. It is only with Jüte’s help that I am able to put it up. It’s just over 13 mins long. It begins with a little music.

Politically, all is still pretty hay-wire here in South Africa. The end of this year sees the governing political party putting forth their candidates for the 2019 elections. The opposition parties will be doing the same. We hope many of them join forces to oust the current trough feeders of the ANC and its leader. Quite a few of the ANC have openly stated that they want the president GONE. Right now, it’s open season with much muck-raking and mud-slinging by those who are fearful of losing their positions of power towards those who are morally stronger than they. Corruption is endemic, billions are lost annually to dysfunctional parastatals, money which could have been used for housing, medical clinics, education. I keep on thinking and feeling and hoping this lawlessness cannot last, surely justice will be served and those who deserve to be put in jail will finally get their come-uppance. But who’s to know – maybe it’s too firmly entrenched already –

I know that we are all troubled by world events and sometimes everything seems hopeless given the floods & fires, people in exile fleeing their war-torn homes, innocent lives lost, droughts & threats of nuclear war. Things are too unstable – 

Faith & Doubt – strange bedfellows. Doubt can strengthen faith though most times I feel like a feather blown in the wind. But holding the tension of these opposites is the essential task I’ve come to realise, for me, even though it is very difficult. Maybe the transcendent will emerge from these two extremes and I, and we, will land and stand on terra firma …

Thank you for reading. Keep safe and keep the faith – may our centre hold. The equinox for both hemispheres is around the corner – may that moment of balance be of lasting value. And may the full moon shine her energetic and healing brightness to all corners of the earth –

 

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