Reconciliation and Reflections –
There’s seldom time for reflecting – real hard inner and outer reflecting. At least for me it seems so –
But today is providing a space as I am mostly at home today. Much to do – have completed wrapping Christmas presents for my 3 friends who I’m meeting at a restaurant this evening for our Christmas dinner. We meet throughout the year when it is one of our birthdays. And for Christmas – it’s been going on for I don’t know how long. 15 years? Always for me, such a special time, spent so well – interludes throughout the year when we share each other with each other, and exchange gifts –
Wrapping presents, not a fast task for me. Choosing the paper from beautiful wrapping paper that I’ve kept for just such occasions – recycling at the same time – remembering sometimes where that lovely paper came from, a present to me wrapped in it, and from whom. And now for my three women friends, items carefully chosen by me, lovingly –
Still to complete a present to each of them – a pretty little notebook. I started on this a day or so ago, writing in a quote or 3, many from Susan Schwartz’s and my book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. *
One such quote is from Simone Weil : Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity ~
I’ve wrapped presents for the girls at the rooms – we have our Christmas lunch next week Thursday at a fancy restaurant. The rooms will close down that day after my husband has attended to his patients in the morning. The next day, 16th December, is a public holiday, the Day of Reconciliation* in South Africa held annually on16 December since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Reconcile – a pretty powerful word.
From The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary On Historical Principles Vol 2:- Reconcile 1.1. trans. To bring (a person) again into friendly relations to or with (oneself or another) after an estrangement.
There was much else also, under Reconciliation and Reconciliatory – quite easy for me to get diverted and indulge in origins and historical quotations of it and what it meant from times past. And to wonder about reconciliation in the current times in which we are living. Not just here in South Africa, but world-wide. I especially like that the definition includes ‘…friendly relations ... with (oneself …) after an estrangement.
It’s almost too big for me to think and reflect about – it almost takes me down the rabbit hole – but somehow I do think of the urgency of reconciliation, within and without. Within, as in our own selves, re-conciling all that needs re-conciling. Giving and paying attention, the rarest and purest form of generosity. Paying attention to that which has been neglected, and needs attention. Doing our own inner work hard though that be. Finding the treasure within, though the road be rocky. Not littering, or wasting water, being kind and considerate, standing in protest and solidarity with deserving causes e.g. Standing Rock about the DAPL – The Dakota Pipe Line, not buying groceries and food stuffs that contain palm oil (hard one that one, you really have to look), or other items whose origins may be dubious (e.g. sweat shops or suspicious ingredients). Buying locally supporting smaller businesses. I love to know that I’m making a protest in my own small way. I’m all for lawful civil disobedience –
Being a little more thoughtful in word and deed, a little more considerate, a little more loving, a little more aware – these are my tasks. Perhaps also to myself – bringing the micro into the macro with a tiny grain of consciousness, knowing always that the shadow is not far behind. Hoping and praying that reconciliation on a macro level is actually possible –
My husband & I spent 5 days down in Plettenberg Bay recently. We thought we’d get a tiny bit organised before we go there for the festive season around the 19th or so. Well, we did a bit, the pantry has some tins of tuna, three bean salad and beetroot salad and some things in the freezer.
On the evening before we flew down, I cut these roses from my garden with the intention of taking them down to Plett. I photographed them also and they spent a night on the dining room table. Wate-rly wrapped the next day, the only item in my small back pack to go on the plane to place in our Plett home. I gave them to Pat who works at the rooms who gave us a lift to the Gautrain (our speed train that gets us speedily to the airport) –
My husband found this butterfly wing in our driveway at our Plett home. I still have it in a notebook somewhere.
On the Keurbooms beach there was this strange something – we suspect the skin of a jellyfish? There were quite a few swimming in the sea – it was rather lovely –
I love this image – it comes from The Spectator, many copies of which I have offloaded from my friend Lyndy. The image is used for Diary. Various columnists contribute to it.
May all be well – thank you for reading. Another quote from our book –
Indira Gandhi: You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose
*our book: ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ in process. Soon to be published I hope.