#WATWB

#WATWB : short films about good people

It’s the last Friday of the month and therefore the day on which bloggers from around the world post on good news, as a way of alleviating the darkness and confusion that seems to pervade our everyday lives. I always enjoy looking for a good news story, they come my way through various media. I feel uplifted when I read about the good in people, ordinary men, women and children who in some meaningful way make the world just that little bit better. This takes many forms – people acting individually (like people picking up trash or coming to the aid of another); or on a collective level where there is a common purpose eg raising funds for a worthwhile cause, which invariably began with an individual who heard the call and responded to it ..

It’s always hard to choose one story from around South Africa, there are so many. But the one below seems like a good choice and is in line with the aim of #WATWB ie to spread good news. This couple, Justine & Michael, travel the world making short films about good people. “We hope to remind our audience of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges.  We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think.” The link I’ve provided shows a video of a woman, Maggie, of indeterminate age and her love for life and her animals. The scenery is beautiful, her roses and red hot pokers are lovely, she speaks in Afrikaans, there are English subtitles. She is the epitome of our strong South African Afrikaner women. You can see her vitality shining through. The video Perpetual Motion is at the end of the story –

                                                                                  https://www.goodthingsguy.com/people/sa-couple-short-films/
                                                                               

Your co-hosts this month are: Susan Scott, Damyanti Biswas, Peter Nena, Shilpa Garg and Mary J. Giese.

Do pop by them and say hello – their posts are sure to be wonderfully up-lifting.

If you’d like to take part there are a few guide lines. Posts to be non-political, 500 words or less and a note as to why you particularly liked it. The purpose of #WATWB is to show humanity in action, that crosses all borders. The #WATWB badge to be used, and as always we appreciate your sharing it on social media.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend.

Packing up is hard to do

Packing up is hard to do

Does order come from chaos as the Bible and quantum physics claim? Have we underestimated the magnitude of this relocation from Johannesburg down to Plettenberg Bay? Our lovely home down there is already furnished, but now that we are renting out our townhouse with furniture and all else to a corporate SOE, we have to remove our personal belongings, clothes, toiletries, books (mine are down there but my husband still has tooooo many of his here, including medical and golf books galore), too many boxes of photographs, files, paintings, my art stuff (much of it down there) and I don’t know what else – more stuff –

It’s too soon to panic or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. At least the appointment is made for professional carpet and tile cleaners to come by this Friday. We plan to drive down in our 2 cars with trailer in tow on Saturday. My husband is aghast at my wanting to take down my beautiful hanging orchid and at least one pot plant of my already blooming orchids.

What to keep, what to toss. An existential question for me. Already I’ve given away many clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff. Breaking up is hard to do – I’ve tossed photos of old boyfriends with a loving thought to them. No time for any reminiscing. I’m keeping letters and post cards from family and friends from when Moses was a boy; there’s no time for any reading of them now. It would take forever –

In among this all (and Wimbledon – my nerves), my lovely blogger friend Norah Colvin in Sydney Australia, has and is running a series on School Day reminiscences. It’s been so interesting to read these guest posts which appear on Sundays in which she interviews fellow bloggers from around the world on their memories of school days. My school memories went up on Sunday and can be read on her link below. The below photo is one I found of my sister and me which is not on Norah’s post & which I sent via what’s app to my sister in Cape Town while sorting photographs, which made her a bit weepy – I MUCH prefer her rounded collar –

https://norahcolvin.com/2019/07/07/school-days-reminiscences-of-susan-scott

Norah is a great proponent of early learning and especially reading – www.readilearn.com.au – learn.com.au – and her posts for parents and teachers are always excellent and innovative on this topic. Her web page is www.NorahColvin.com .com 

I’d better get on with it – thankfully Jane my housekeeper is here and will work for the new tenants a few days a week; and although our employer-employee relationship officially came to an end at the end of May, she’s being an enormous help right now in the cleaning of cupboards and much more –

Little by little, bit by bit, slowly we come to the end of it – 

To begin again.

Everything is pretty tumultuous around the world. Here as well. Plettenberg Bay where we’re heading to has recently seen several days of terrible protest action with some pretty darn revolting thuggery and destruction thrown in among the mess – may order reign everywhere and not a moment too soon.

Jean Raffa, author of beautiful books and Matrignosis: A blog about Inner Wisdom (rich and real soul food), blogged today on Susan E. Schwartz’s and my co-authored book, ‘Aging and Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ – it was a wonderful surprise to see this today! 

May the Force be with you and thank you for reading-

 

www.NorahColvin.com 

www.readilearn.com.au

#WATWB Nomi video

 

#WATWB

It’s that time again, the last Friday of the month, in which bloggers around the world post a good news story, one that uplifts and recognizes the inherent goodness of humanity although at times it seems that collectively, and individually, it ain’t so.

There are so many stories of humanity in action that cross borders of colour, race and religion. The one I’ve chosen is a 3 min video. This young man took his domestic worker Nomi from Cape Town (in the Western Cape) to Addo (in the Eastern Cape) to fetch her ailing mother and bring her back to Cape Town to the hearth and home of Nomi. He set up a backabuddy platform whereby all revenue from the streaming of the song would go towards Nomi’s mother’s medical treatment, a gas heater and a wheel chair. The target was reached within 24 hours.  Enjoy it!

If you wish to take part in the #WATWB here are a few guidelines. Posts to be short, a brief description of the how and why it attracted you, and a link to the post. Posts to a be non political, non religious. It can be of an individual or group or organization that highlights the efforts made to make the better place. The #WATWB badge to be used and please share on social media as a way of bringing light into the shadows –

The cohosts this month:
Sylvia McGrath,
Susan Scott,
Shilpa Garg,
Eric Lahti,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

Do pop by them – their stories are bound to be uplifting! Have a great weekend!

Anniversaries, a delicate balance

Anniversaries, a Delicate Balance

So much has been happening in this last while I hardly know where to start. Like many of us, I feel overwhelmed by all that is happening around the world. Overwhelmed to the point of feeling shut down, a tank that has run out of fuel, a brain that barely seems to function, a chest that feels closed and clogged.

I usually take a photo or two of the full moon when she appears, and last month’s full moon seems like just the other day. But this one I took last Sunday night, with Jupiter close by. Jupiter is the speck on the upper right hand side of the moon. Ah Jupiter -The symbol for Jupiter is said to represent a hieroglyph of the eagle, Jove’s bird, or to be the initial letter of Zeus with a line drawn through it to indicate its abbreviation.

I’ve been in Johannesburg for the last several weeks and am flying down to Plettenberg Bay tomorrow. Which happens to be the anniversary of my car accident 6 years ago on 20th June when Jupiter, also known as Zeus, sent a thunderbolt down from the sky onto me, and 6 years (on 21st June, the day after) since we moved into our lovely townhouse. All I have to do is uber to the airport on tomorrow morning. Invariably on the 20th June over the last 5 years (ubering this time round), I ride past the scene of my accident and acknowledge yet again how transient life is, and send a thought into the stratosphere of gratitude, that in spite of Zeus’ thunderbolt of my car being smashed into and overturned and a total write off, I survived.

And of course Friday 21st June is the solstice, the longest night of the year here in the southern hemisphere, the shortest night in the northern hemisphere. It is also the anniversary of moving to the townhouse 6 years ago, that date especially chosen by me and because there was a full moon to boot. But this also a moment I acknowledge, a moment when things stand still for a nano second. A delicate balance for that one moment before the tilting begins. And always the hope that the tilting brings renewal in its movement and orbit.

I’m much looking to seeing my sons and husband on Thursday. Mike my older son has just arrived back from France attending an international animation congress and David the younger will also be there ex Cape Town with his lovely wife Jüte. My husband has been on his own, dealing with maintenance – and also golfing to his heart’s content. I just heard he’s bought a scooter …

In amongst all the drama in my country, there are moments when I feel my heart swelling and my blood corpuscles expanding. It’s the smile from a stranger, a helpful and friendly shop assistant, a man who runs after me with my sunglasses in hand, a car guard who shows you the perfect parking spot, a major antiviral medication to help my flu and being able to afford it, all the willing NGO’s and individuals who do so much to alleviate the suffering of the poor and unemployed, our commissions of enquiry into state capture that aim with complete dedication, to bring about the truth of corruption in the higher echelons – all of which brings a delicate balance to the turbulence.

I like very much what someone said to me the other day when I questioned him about accepting a top position at one of our SOE’s. He said ‘in crises, I see opportunities’. He’s from abroad and already loves this country and its people –

I wonder sometimes if we may have a re-enactment of Caesar and Brutus. There is so much skullduggery going on in the inner circle of our newly elected president who nevertheless portrays a man in charge of things and who inspires confidence, in spite of it all. I can’t help smiling when I see him on TV interacting with ordinary people with his broad smile and twinkle in his eye even though he looks tired –

And in spite of the freezing winter weather, my orchids are blooming –

This last is a music video made by thekiffness. Do watch it, it’s fun. It’s a heart-melt. A road trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, some 840 kms to fetch Nomi’s ailing mother in Addo and bring her to Cape Town. His aim of R10,000 for Nomi’s mother for gas heater and wheelchair was reached in a matter of hours.

thekiffness: ‘Some info if you’d like to share with your friends ❤ Hi guys, I made a song for my very legendary domestic worker Nomi. 

She’s had a rough few years, so I made this song & video after her in the hopes of raising some money for her. All the streaming royalties made from the song are going to her & I’ve also set up a Back a Buddy if anyone would like to make a donation. https://youtu.be/Q8Mw-nibaVkStream here: bit.ly/KiffNomi

May you awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

– John O’Donohue

Thank you for reading! May your centre hold –

 

 

#WATWB

#WATWB

Bloggers around the world put up a good news story post on the last Friday of each month that shows humanity in action. This serves as an antidote to the alarming news we hear every day through various news feeds.

I could have chosen the story about the first Black South African woman, Saray Khumula, who summited Mt. Everest a few weeks ago. It is a lovely story coupled with the fact that she raised funds for a library for orphaned children in Soweto. Her message was of patience and perseverance and encouragement of black South African women to reach for the dream.

The one I’ve chosen is short and sweet and typical of many if not most South Africans who lend a hand when needed. I can just see the goodness in this young man’s heart  – Nkosikho Mbele – who paid for petrol for a woman who had left her card at home. As the story says, Monet van Deventer was at the petrol station when a young man started cleaning her windows. She was looking for her petrol card and asked him not to fill her car or clean her windows as she had left her card at home. He said ‘Ma’am, you can’t run out of petrol on the N2. I’ll throw in R100 and then you can just bring back my R100 whenever you are near again”.

This very recent story has gone viral – Monet van Deventer has set up a fund for this young man who, when she returned the money to him, asked him why he helped a trusted a stranger. He replied: ”Ma’am, I’m a believer”. 

Well, so am I – in the inherent kindness and goodness of people the world over …

If you’d like to take part in spreading the good news, please add your name to the link. Your post to be under 500 words with your link to the fuller story. Your story is to be non-political and one that shows humanity in action which restores your faith in the goodness of the people of our planet.

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month i.e. Damyanti BiswasSimon FalkShilpa GargMary J. Giese , and Dan Antion who welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. Do pop by them – their stories are sure to be inspiring as will all the stories of those participating.

Petrol attendant pays for fuel to make sure woman gets home safely… restores faith in all South Africans!

AtoZ Freedom Z

Freedom Z

Ze end! April has whizzed by –

What is the zeitgeist of our times?  Will be ever be free of this particular time in history, with its rapid advance of technology and with it the spread of fake news, the rise of nationalism and its concomitant awfulness, climate change and much more, which seems to be the defining mood?Image result for zeitgeist images

Zorba: Kazantakis, Zorba the Greek: “Free yourself from one passion to be dominated by another and nobler one. But is not that, too, a form of slavery? To sacrifice oneself to an idea, to a race, to God? Or does it mean that the higher the model the longer the tether of our slavery?”

Solzhenitzyn: Gulag Archipelago: “…Do not pursue what is illusionary – property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves…It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy?” (with thanks to my bridesmaid who sent this to me).

Zorba: “Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all, is not to have one.”

Khalil Gibran: Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.

Autumn tree in it’s golden glory taken by my son yesterday –

Thank you all for coming by to my Freedom posts. I’ve so enjoyed and appreciated your comments.

AtoZ Freedom Y

Freedom Y

Yes, to Freedom in all it’s guises – freedom from, to, with, against, for, in, out, below, above, freedoms lost and freedoms gained –

Mr. Nelson Mandela: “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended”.

freedom quotes know but one that mind antoine de saint exupery wisdomfreedom quotes the only real prison fear freedom from aung san suu kyi wisdomfreedom quotes one outside ourselves can rule inwardly when know this become free buddha wisdom

Jean-Paul Sartre: “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does”. 

Thich Nhat Hanh: “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free”. 

May strivings for freedom fall on fertile soil –

some recent cell phone photos of mine

As always, thank you for reading and for your comments which I appreciate greatly.

AtoZ Freedom X

Freedom X

X marks the spot! This day 25 years ago marks that momentous day when we all went to the polls to vote in our first democratically elected government. I was so proud to make mine for the ANC and for Mr. Nelson Mandela. O that feeling of Freedom for everyone! A collective joy swept through our nation for a long while filled as it was with optimism and hope and equality! And the next time around as well, when Mr. Thabo Mbeki took over the helm. Thereafter when a certain Jacob Zuma took over, dethroning Mbeki in a well planned coup, things went from not so good to worse and desperately worrying.

Today is a public holiday honouring our first democratically held election – it’s a beautiful and sunny day.

In these last few days, freedom of speech, freedom from poverty, economic freedom, freedom from gender bias, freedom from thuggery, freedom from xenophobia and other such have been hot topics on the radio as I’ve gone here and there in my car. Everyone who I’ve heard on the radio was examining and putting the x-ray onto this question of freedom and wondering how far we’ve come in pursuing this ideal. 

Could we put the x-ray onto the inner recesses of our souls? Our psyches may find it hard to withstand what the x-ray may reveal, but it’s a excellent way to start.

Neil S Freedom means to me to not be shackled by any encumbrances, physical, emotional, spiritual or financial.

Thank you for reading. I always appreciate your comments.

 

AtoZ Freedom W

Freedom W

Nearly there! But golly it’s been a weighty few weeks writing about Freedom everyday except for Sundays when we have a break! I’ve so appreciated your comments, I can’t tell you; I’ve found them thought provoking & broadening and I know that others have too. Thank you all for taking precious time to respond. Come Tuesday it is Z! Ze end!

Nathaniel Hawthorne below

We’re all wounded in one way or the other. Do we feel betrayed when the beliefs we’ve held dear are not so, such as being conditioned to believe in the sanctity and safety of the family, religion, government other institutions and therefore also conditioned to believe in the freedom to be and act only within those limits? We’re betrayed many times, by ourselves, those we love, the society in which we live. We also do the betraying to others. The wound of this, if acknowledged and the inner work done to address it, is a way of seeing or getting to the truth and being liberated and freer and less captive of clutches of which we are so familiar even if unconsciously –

C.G. Jung: “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries”.

Coco Chanel: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Ingrid M: My own idea about the word freedom …for me it would be not having to be concerned about the state of the world in general …the environment, the fate of the poor, the wars being fought in so many countries, cruelty to children and animals. That lovely line in Desiderata which used to give me comfort: “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should” no longer applies.

Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend. I so appreciate your comments.

 

AtoZ Freedom V

Freedom V

Do we have a vision of Freedom? How do we imagine it – every one living in peace and harmony and rainbows in the sky? Is this realistic when we know that economies are largely built on war machinery and the imposition of one country over other countries? Is violence inherent in man and he is still to learn to inhibit those tendencies? How can we call ourselves civilised when violence continues unabated in spite of much beneficial progress in many areas, and we violate others’ freedoms –

Jane Goodall: “The part that always shocked me was the inter-community violence among the chimps: the patrols and the vicious attacks on strangers that lead to death. It’s an unfortunate parallel to human behavior – they have a dark side just as we do. We have less excuse, because we can deliberate, so I believe only we are capable of true calculated evil”.

Billy Graham: “Auschwitz stands as a tragic reminder of the terrible potential man has for violence and inhumanity”.

“Nonviolence is the only credible response to the violence we’re seeing around the world”. Coretta Scott King

My version of freedom may differ from yours. Are there so many varieties of freedom that we can pick and choose?

Stokey Carmichael, activist in the 1960’s. “Dr. (Martin Luther) King’s policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for black people in the United States. … He only made one fallacious assumption: In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience”. 

Thank you for reading and bearing with me. I so appreciate your comments.

AtoZ Freedom U

Freedom U

Do we have a universal understanding of freedom? Does the concept of freedom feature in all lives and cultures? Do some not know what the word means? Does the east’s understanding of freedom differ to the west’s understanding? Northern and southern countries? 

Underlying all of this is, I suppose, the question of how conscious or unconscious we are of that beat, that striving, that yearning to be free of our inner demons (a daemon also) and those underpinnings of society. How aware or unaware are we of the choices we make?

Dalai Lama: “The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved by human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a personal responsibility for one another and the planet we share”.

Eleanor Roosevelt: “True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant and earnest striving towards the principles and ideals on which this country was founded”.

Woody Allen: ‘More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly’. 🙂

Nicki S: For me, freedom brings a lightness and space in your head from all the monkey chatter. Freedom in your surroundings and your own personal space without restrictions and regulations from others, or even oneself.
Thank you for reading and I so appreciate your comments –

AtoZ Freedom T

Freedom T

Where is truth to be found; is there freedom in truth?

And the Truth shall set you free. John 8: 32… it’s a taxing question in that do we want the truth? Is too painful to come to truths about ourselves and our loved ones and the societies in which we live? Isn’t it better sometimes to live in blissful ignorance, knowing that what we don’t know or don’t want to know can’t hurt us? Isn’t it easier to avoid those little hints at truth –

Image result for freedom and truth quotes

Image result for freedom and truth quotes

Steve Maraboli: “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness… but only when you pay your taxes? That means your freedom is rented, leased, & not unalienable.”

Thomas Jefferson: “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Martin Luther King: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

Image result for freedom and truth quotes

Linda H: This morning, Linda H’s definition of freedom is definitely Statutory, Financial and Fiduciary Statements and taxes up to date and filed, leaving a clean desk to play on.

Thank you for reading. I so appreciate your comments

A to Z Freedom S

Freedom S

Mr. Nelson Mandela: ‘It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’  20 April 1964 from the dock of the defendant at the Rivonia Trial.

What would I be prepared to sacrifice for my freedom if it was in danger of being taken away from me? Freedom of speech? If this was silenced, would I stand up and be counted? Would I be prepared to die for it?  And, as a free person seeing others kept in slavery, would I stand up and fight for their release from their imposed shackles?

What is the shadow side of Freedom? Does my freedom come at the expense of others?

What is sacred to us?

Albert Schweitzer: ‘There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul. Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be careful. You should realise that your soul suffers if you live superficially. People need times in which to concentrate, when they can search their inmost selves. It is tragic that most men have not achieved this feeling of self-awareness. And finally, when they hear the inner voice they do not want to listen anymore. They carry on as before so as not to be constantly reminded of what they have lost. But as for you, resolve to keep a quiet time … Then your soul can speak to you without being drowned out by the hustle and bustle of everyday life’.

Lisa B: (freedom means for me) the ability to choose not to suffer, no matter what the circumstances.

I thought long and hard about my friend’s view on what freedom means to her, and I couldn’t quite square it except for thinking she may have had the Buddha’s 8 fold Noble Truths in mind.

But as is known, suffering is a part of life. How we choose to respond to it, or look back on it, is a different question.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.

And what of our own shackles? Are our freedoms still limited by our conditioning, of family and institutions, that uphold one thing and practice another? is there a sense within that we can free ourselves from conditionings that no longer serve us?

Lizzie G: Freedom is being able to escape the shackles of our upbringing.

Moments of silence and sorrow for all victims of the Sri Lanka blasts.

Thank you for reading. I so appreciate your comments.

A to Z Freedom R

Freedom R

 I’m using quotes here as in their way they relate to freedom as I see it –

Most of them are about rebellion –

‘I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were  slaves’. Harriet Tubman.

Born Maryland, USA, died March 1913: Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad (wikipedia).

‘A little rebellion now and then is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government’.  Thomas Jefferson

‘Art is fuelled by rebellion: the need, in some amounting to obsessions, to resist what is, to defy one’s elders, even to the point of ostracism; to define oneself, and by extension one’s generation, as new, novel, ungovernable’.   Joyce Carol Oates 

‘Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love’. Albert Camus

‘The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule, and not to wander in mere lawlessness’. George Eliot

‘The spirit of rebellion which animated lovers of liberty from the 13th century onwards need to be reignited, so that the new generations assuming responsibility for the future understand that freedom is not just another word’. Frank Furedi, sociologist, commentator, author (in Spiked, May 2015).

I reckon it’s worth rebelling against any form or structure that seeks to limit our freedoms. Within the rule of law. But whose law is the greater? The inner one or the outer one?

Thank you for reading and I so appreciate your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

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