#We Are the World Blogfest

 

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

It’s the 12th month of posting a blog for #WATWB on the last Friday of every month. The aim of the blogfest is to spread good news in a world that seems increasingly unstable. With the good news of humanity in action the negativity is lessened a little.

I’ve chosen a recent post that I found in the goodthingsguy.com started by Brent Lindeque here in South Africa. The link for my post is below.

When Elizabeth Ann Robertson’s husband’s died in 2010 she had to start a new life for herself.  She moved to be closer to her daughter in Somerset West, my old stomping ground in the western Cape a very ling time ago. What I loved about this story is how she took the bulls by the horns and graduated with a Master’s degree from Stellenbosch University at the age of 74.

So, one woman’s story of how it’s never too late to learn something new. I’m inspired – I’m aware that my choice this month is not about one person’s brave deed or kindness that helped out another or others; it’s about a woman taking her own life into her hands. I’m hoping that all who read it may be similarly inspired.

Thank you to our co-hosts this month: Belinda Witzenhausen,  Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein  Shilpa GargEric Lahti . Do pop by and say hello to them. Their stories are bound to be wonderful. Add your name to the link below if you’d like to be part of #WATWB. You can add your name to the link here. Keep your story short, provide the link and mention why your choice of story is inspiring to you.

Thank you for reading. Have a blessed Easter and/or Passover. Keep safe. Keep centred. Let your light shine.

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.

No automatic alt text available.

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.

 

#WATWB New brooms sweep clean

#WATWB New brooms sweep clean

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

On the last Friday of every month, #WATWB posts a story linking to a story that is inspiring and shows humanity in action around the world. We are in our 11th month of spreading good news to dim the negativity –

Thank you to  Peter NenaEric LahtiRoshan Radhakrishnan and Inderpreet Kaur Uppal &  Shilpa Garg for being our co-hosts this month. Do pop by to say hello and see their posts and others from around the world for a dose of feel good news.

My post for this month ‘We Are the World Blogfest’ post is different this time round. I am not linking to any story, but just saying that last Wednesday, 14th February, I heard on the radio, close to midnight, the president of South Africa, resign. In his own words. For the last several weeks we’d been on a roller coaster, wondering  what would happen. The tension was palpable. We had been hoping that Jacob Zuma would either resign or be forced out – and face the charges brought against him. His resignation was the best Valentine’s gift I could have received.

For me and the citizens of South Africa, this shows the power of protest in civil society, the justice system, the voice of the ordinary person. Saying NO MORE to State Capture – unbridled corruption. State capture is the capture of state-owned enterprises eg our national airline, railways, power grid. Government gives tenders to preferred suppliers and receives from them HUGE kickbacks to go into their pockets. Needless to say, suppliers that offer better services at better costs are overlooked. Billions of rands have been lost to services that require this money – education, housing, health – 

So, Zuma is OUT and we have a new president, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in last Friday. We anticipate a sweeping clean up of government ministers who have failed in their duty to the peoples of South Africa. There is a new sense of hope and unity in my country. I am inspired as I hope you will be too; although the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, we CAN use our voice and protest and say NO.

If you wish to partake in this monthly fest, please add your name to the linky list below, and put up the #WATWB badge on your sidebar. Posts to be 500 words or less,  providing a link to your story, and a mention of why it inspires you. The posts are not supposed to be political … 

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=277138

Thank you for reading, have a great weekend.

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?

 

#WATWB

#WATWB: Being Water-Wise

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

All good wishes for 2018!

This is the first #WATWB blog post for 2018 (the 10th so far). It’s purpose is to spread goodwill around the world where all is mostly troubling not only on the political front but on our planet as well. It’s always cheering to be reminded of the goodness in the world. Our cohosts for this month are, with our thanks –

 Shilpa GargSimon FalkLynn HallbrooksEric LahtiDamyanti Biswas and Guilie Castillo. Please link with them to your posts and say hello.

I chose this story below as the drought here in South Africa is critical especially in 3 provinces, the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape. Cape Town faces NO WATER mid April. #Day Zero is what it’s called.

I hadn’t really thought about animals and water. Our cat here in Johannesburg has fresh water put out daily and I keep the bird bath in the garden topped up. People in drought stricken areas no doubt ensure their pets keep hydrated. But who would have thought about places of shelter for animals? Is this just taken for granted that this would automatically happen? I confess I hadn’t really thought about it. Hence, this story. 

I’ll be down in Cape Town from Johannesburg when you read this. I was there in early November when already people were getting used to the idea of using water wisely. I learned how to have the quickest of showers, one minute, the water from the shower into a bucket to be used in the toilets. People as from now are being restricted to 50 litres of water per day (although the post says 25 lt). Unless there’s rain, soon, the taps will be dry –

Fiona Barron used the idea of Herman H. le Roux and implemented the drive ... worthy heroes! Showing how we can EACH make a difference, and be water-wise whenever, wherever –

Should you wish to take part in this awareness initiative of spreading good will, a few basic guidelines: posts to be short, below 500 words. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

 Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hashtag to help us trend.

The link to add your name if you want to share a goodnews storyhttp://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=277138&type=basic;

A Capetonian woman’s idea that has sparked an entire movement for Day Zero.

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.

 

 

#WATWB

#WATWB

We Are The World

 

It’s the 9th #WATWB in which we bring you, dear reader, a spot of GOOD news. It is hoped seeing ordinary people do extraordinary things will inspire you in some way; even if, yet very significantly, to know that humanity in its best sense shows itself in many ways just about all the time  – even if just a smile –

We post on the last Friday of every month – if you’d like to take part and spread some goodwill around, please see the link below to which you can add your link. It’s an easy operation …

It was hard for me to select an ‘event’ – there’ve been plenty. But this one touched my heart. And Prosper’s face is just beautiful and so handsome .. I loved how he was such a comfort to Annatjie.

A Joburg petrol attendant helped a woman with Alzheimer’s contact her family and got her home safely

Our thanks to our hosts this for the month of December. I’m also co-hosting. It would be great if you stopped by them. The stories people tell are sometimes mindblowingly amazing. 

  Shilpa GargInderpreet UppalSylvia SteinSusan ScottAndrea Michaels and Damyanti Biswas . Do go by and say hello ..

Should you wish to take part in this awareness initiative of spreading good will, here are a few basic guidelines: posts to be short, below 500 words. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

 Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so – a gentle reminder for the others. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share on social media using the #WATWB hashtag to help us trend.

Should you wish to take part this is the link to add your name:-

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=277138

I was tempted to use a link that Elaine Mansfield sent me in response to my last #WATWB. But I decided to keep it local and current. Elaine’s link is on Irene Sendlerowa (I know of her as Irene Sendler). Her story of rescuing people during in the Warsaw ghetto during WW2 is extraordinary. She died in May 2008. This is the link if you care to check it out. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/mar/15/secondworldwar.poland

May your Thanksgiving be blessed if you’re celebrating it. I hope this finds you well and in good health and cheer.  Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

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.

 

 

 

 

#WATWB Sir Nicholas Winton

#WATWB: Sir Nicholas Winton.

We Are The World

It’s the 8th #We Are The World Blogfest and, as in the last 7 months, on the last Friday of each month, bloggers from around the world post an article that has caught our attention and brings a little light and inspiration into our sometimes murky world. 

I caught an interview of Sir Nicholas Winton with Stephen Sackur of BBC Hard Talk on TV last week. It was filmed in 2014. He died in July 2015 peacefully at home in Slough UK aged 106. You may know the story of this man who as a British citizen arranged for the excavation of children – 669 of them – from camps in Germany in 1939, to relocate to foster parents in England. It is an extraordinary story – it is a 30 minute interview of this 105 year old man who said that he had to do what he had to do, and with the help of his mother approached the Home Office in London. On arrival in Germany, he simply stated his purpose and set about effecting it. Please take the time whenever that may be to listen and be amazed and inspired … his answers are so brilliant and thought provoking. I’m glad I found the link – I know that I will listen again to this man who to the world is a hero, but as he said, he had to do what had to be done.  A comment I remember from this interview rather shook me. He was brought up as a Christian while a young boy and young man and found comfort in it. But when he got to Germany, he realised that both sides were praying to the same G.d to win the war. He gave up religion – or that kind of religion – when this hit home for him. He believes that life should be lived ethically .. if there were ethics, the world would be a better place. He states that he’s a pessimist. Actually, I note it’s only a 3 minute clip. I’ll have to search harder for the full interview and will put it up if and when I find it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3csw9k4  

Our thanks to our hosts this for the month of November. It would be great if you stopped by them – Mary J. Giese, Guilie Castillo, Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen, and Peter Nena. 

Should you wish to take part in this awareness initiative of spreading good will, a few basic guidelines: posts to be short, below 500 words. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

 Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hashtag to help us trend.

Should you wish to take part this is the link to add your name: http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=277138&type=basic;

Thank you for reading! Have a great November!

 

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.

#WATWB Happy tummy happy child

#WATWB: Happy Tummy Happy Child

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!
We Are The World Blogfest

It’s the last Friday of the month and the 7th month in which we post good news stories in We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB. For me, as the day draws near and time is tighter, I wonder about where I’ll find a good news story amongst all the sturm und drang prevalent in the world today.

Then I find there are plenty of stories in South Africa from which to choose. This one appealed to me – uniting against childhood hunger – this is in the wider Cape Town Flats area – and I thought I could link this to myself. I plan to check the Health app on my phone which measures the number of steps I do daily and if for example I do 5000 steps on a day or even 8000 steps in a day, I’ll put a corresponding amount in a jar – 4000 steps is R4.00, 8000 steps is R8 and at the end of the month donate the amount to Blisters for Bread. I’ve already put the jar out on my desk – 

I was telling my son who is visiting from Cape Town about this and he wondered why we don’t just do these things anyway – why people contribute and support when an initiative is eg climbing Kilimanjaro, bicycling across Africa, swimming to Robben Island and so on … I reckon it’s because we like the initiative and to feel part of a community? And we can support anonymously …

A Happy Tummy is a Happy Child

Your cohosts for this month are: Michelle Wallace , Shilpa Garg,  Andrea Michaels,  Peter Nena,  Emerald Barnes. Please link to them in your WATWB posts and go say hi!

These are the guidelines for #WATWB if you’d like to take part –

Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

 Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hashtag to help us trend.

Should you wish to take part this is the link to add your name: http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=277138&type=basic;

 Thank you for reading! Have a great weekend!
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