Category: uncategorised

Heat, Rain, Queen Modjadji, the Rain Queen and Rugby

Heat, Rain, Queen Modadji, the Rain Queen and Rugby

For days and weeks we’ve had extreme heat, everyone enervated, warnings re keeping hydrated and animals too. Average temps for October are 27 degrees C. We’ve been having temps of 35, 36, 37, 38, even higher in surrounding areas. (Down in Cape Town it’s still cool-ish). Rain usually comes to the highveld within the first week of October, sometimes not, but definitely not preceded by this kind of extreme heat. No sign of rain or hope in sight …

I’ve been watering my very thirsty garden daily and watching the jacarandas from my study in the near distance bloom, colours and shadings different at changing times of the day. There’ve been some breezes in the last few days – I took this 5 sec video from my garden on Tuesday.

My gardener and I visited the nursery on Wednesday – lovely to choose some plantings. Rain looked promising mid afternoon but no luck. The wind was high, the clouds looked promising.

 I thought of Queen Modjadji VI, the Rain Queen. She comes from a matrilineal dynasty from as far back as the 1400’s. It is a tale of intrigue and incest in the royal family, mysticism, strife and ritual. She was a direct descendant of one of the royal houses of Momomatapa, which ruled over the Zimbabwean people in the 15th and 16th century. They fled Zimbabwe, their place of origin, and have been in here in Limpopo (South Africa) where unique cycads are to be found, for the last 2 centuries.

queen modadji


The Rain Dance is an annual ritual performed in the first week of October when the rainmaking charms, hitherto kept under strict lock and key, are brought out.

The people (of the Balobedu tribe) remove to a kraal and Makhubo the cow enters the kraal, praises are sung to it and it is fed beer.

They then remove to a special shrine adjacent, where the rainmaking charms are laid out. Skins are strategically placed, and the beer is poured over the charms. The Rain Queen calls on the ancestors for rain and the people praise the Queen. There’s a complicated beer making and drinking ritual, out come the drums, songs for unity are sung and people dance around the shrine.

The nation of the Balobedu (about 1 million) sing and dance for the rest of the day …

She died young in a nearby hospital at the age of 27, in 2005, from a sudden and mysterious illness – she’d ruled for only 2 years. There are all sorts of theories as to the real cause of her early death. (

I’ve done my own version of a rain dance on the odd occasion in the privacy of my garden. Just a bit of jumping around for a minute, outside, imploring the rain to come. I did one this past Tuesday afternoon. I could smell the rain in the air, on the wind… At long, long last – rain on Wednesday night. What a blessing it is … the air is different, all a little brighter, and things are slightly cooler.

The clouds are building up as I write –

Tomorrow afternoon our Springboks play Wales at the Twickenham Stadium (London) – we’re in the quarter-final! It’s going to be one hang of a match (Rugby World Cup). I’m having some girlfriends for tea at 4.00 and the match starts at 5.00, when the beer comes out, and other …

And, while I think of it, imagining – I remember last week when SA played the US. How the US team sang their national anthem prior to the match! With such gusto and energy! It was a lovely experience to share in their pride while they were singing – they played well too. Gave us good competition ..

Have a wonderful week one and all –

Thanks Mike for uploading the video for me, long distance.

with thanks to google images for photos and info

Equinox, Turkey, Yom Kippur, Lunar Eclipse & World Cup Rugby

Equinox, Turkey, Yom Kippur, Lunar Eclipse & World Cup Rugby

It’s the Equinox today. For us in South Africa and the southern hemisphere it is the point of turning out towards Spring and Summer; for those in the northern hemisphere it is the point of turning in towards Fall (here in S.A. we call it Autumn) and Winter. Such a special time of year – when the earth stands still for a brief moment before it tilts and turns on its axis – and for when we also note these changing seasons and what they portray on both visible and non-visible levels – there’s a shift, we sense it.

It was wonderful to return home last Wednesday from my adventures with Susan Schwartz in Turkey. My husband was welcoming – he did not play golf as he always does on a Wednesday afternoon! The garden is beautiful with buds and blossoms blooming, many in my absence. My orchids are a delight!

orchids september



I had a fever on my return but with a good night’s sleep, I woke on Thursday feeling better. All is well on the home front, save for ongoing disturbing news here and abroad.

Turkey – how to say in a few brief words on a blog post. Vast, vibrant, verdant, colourful, thrumming, thriving, handsome, beautiful, magnificent, ancient, modern. We travelled southwest from Istanbul (pop. 12 million) then eastwards stopping many times en route and overnighting; and a 12 hour drive back to Istanbul from Ankara leaving at 7.00 a.m. on our last day. Many hours in the air-conditioned bus, travelling, travelling, beautiful countryside, interesting architecture in the towns, mosques everywhere, their gilded minarets pointing up towards the sky. Hot, 35 degrees most days or a little more. Walking among ancient ruins telling of time before – steps, many steps, climbing up and climbing down (Ephesus), amphitheatres (Pergamum), caves (Göreme-Cappadocia), Salt lakes (Pamukkale)  – places of ancient beauty –




 Çan (pronounced John or Jan) our Turkish guide, a very tall, very lean and handsome man of around 33 or so, spoke English extremely well and was very knowledgeable and kind. Naheem our driver was a sweetie. The others in our group were interesting and lovely. A young couple from New Zealand, 4 Australians, 3 young Mexican women. Gabriella from Mexico was here in Johannesburg visiting Alexander Township on an exchange from the London School of Business when Mr. Mandela died nearly 2 years ago; she was so moved by the national outpouring of grief over our deep loss. We saw and experienced much on many levels. I am still digesting which will still take much time for me to process. I even took some videos on my Ipad when Susan and I took a boat ride on the Bosphorus on our last day! A first for me!

And Yom Kippur, which begins tomorrow at sundown, the holiest day in the Jewish Calendar. The Day of Atonement. At-One-Ment. Susan and I spoke a little of this while in Turkey. A few days into our travels was the beginning of the New Year – Rosh Hashana – with Yom Kippur still 10 days away. This day asks much of the person observing the 25 hours of Yom Kippur. It is a rigorous examination of one’s life over the previous year, confessing all one’s sins to G.d, repenting and asking forgiveness. It is a time of fasting as well, denying bodily comforts as a way of focusing on repentance. And prior to the covenant with G.d, making right with those to whom one has caused harm in any way and asking their forgiveness. It is a cleansing for those who repent and a joy to be cleansed.  A solemn time indeed. O that we all – of all stripes – do this! The shofar sounds at sundown the following day and a feast ensues! 

And a few days later, on the 28th September, the total eclipse of the full super-moon, ‘…also called a Blood Moon because it presents the 4th and final eclipse of a lunar tetrad: four straight total eclipses of the moon, spaced at six lunar months (full moons) apart’. *

And the Rugby World Cup which began last Friday night at Twickenham, London. Our Springboks played Japan on Saturday night in Brighton and horror of horrors, we lost. South Africa is in the top 3 of the 20 countries taking part. We’ve won the World Cup (played every four years) twice in the past. But, Japan outplayed us. We were leading by a hair’s breadth in the last few minutes 32:29 but Japan scored a try in the last minute to win 34:32. It was a totally nerve wracking match and we’re all in shock at this completely unexpected result. The shock has been felt world-wide. One of the only times I feel patriotic and feel that buzz is when our boys in green and gold and the crowd in the cathedral of the rugby field (or soccer field) stand to sing our national anthem Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika which is sung in 5 (of our 11) official languages: Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English. I’m always reminded of 1995 when we took the World Cup on home ground – Mr Nelson Mandela was our newly elected President (1994) and to see him walk onto the field prior to the match, and after to raise the cup with Francois Pienaar the captain, were unforgettable moments. S’truth, unity … what a feeling … a birthing moment.madibapienaar

And, in a sense, I feel as if we’re in a birthing moment with change all about –



Spring is Sprung

Happy Spring Day for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere!


Where did August go? I don’t know – do you?

The last several days have been sunny and hot, unseasonably so.  For some, it’s a ritual to have a swim on the first day of September even though it may be freezing cold; the ritual is performed as a way of greeting the official first day of Spring. Though I heard that from Thursday we’ll have a cold spell with temperatures halving, lasting a while.

There’s a lot of green on the trees and colour on the winter blooms but I’m glad that the jacaranda trees have shed their leaves and they look stark and bare as they should. They usually blossom in their full glory by mid October – they are truly an extraordinarily beautiful sight – I know I’ve posted pics before – probably last year October or November.

My purply-pink orchids on the patio have died down, already a while ago.The beautiful white ones are in full bloom! Photo at top. I’m so tempted to cut a few stems and bring them into our home – but they look so glorious where they are. The azaleas are blossoming (though two other azaleas in another part of the garden look as if they’re gasping their last breath); the clivias are also blooming.. The primulas in front of the azaleas are still looking very pretty and gay.


I’ve added two photos I took recently when I was down in Natal to see my brother. My sister flew to Durban from Cape Town so we were all together for several days. Natal is always lush and green – these photos are from my cell phone outside his home. I plucked some branches and brought them home and put in a vase in the entrance where they looked so beautiful.

christopher's home3

christopher's home

The week finally arrived – i.e. this week, yesterday. It’s when I had to realise that this Friday I leave for Turkey. Am I organised? Am I calm? Half-organised in answer to first question. Answer to second one? I’m trying to be – though I am agitated at some real level. Perhaps I’m just being alert to the reality that while I’m busy making proper plans, something can come along and tip the cart. So, where I can prepare, this is what I’m doing. Tomorrow will be a busy day. Today has been seriously busy.  Am making lists of things still to be done – the list grows longer –  

Changing seasons, changing world. Soon, the equinox on the 21st September. The days and the nights will be of equal length a moment before they begin their tilt. The spring gardens here will be in full bloom. There are already early signs of it – jasmine – wafting her delicious scent. And the yesterday, today and tomorrow – strong, delicious, delightful fragrance –

I leave on Friday night, return Johannesburg 16th Sept. Susan Schwartz from Phoenix Az. and I will meet Saturday morning in Istanbul. We’re on a tour – a tour being a first for the both of us. I still have to check quite where we are touring … and to print out the much edited book that we’ve collaborated on over the months and the airwaves: ‘Aging & Becoming’. It’s about 115 pages, we may do more deleting, more adding and amending.

This blog post is my first in many weeks – and it is really just to keep in touch. We’re very aware not only of the changing seasons but also of the worrying times around the world. Fires, droughts, economic concerns, terrorism, the plight of the migrants escaping from war torn countries – the list is endless. 

Keep safe, and be well.

Five Photos Five Days challenge Day 5

Five Photos Five Days Challenge – last day

Gulara at http://gulara nominated me some days ago to take part in this challenge. Her recent posts in this challenge have shown her appreciation for Nature which reminds her of the beauty in the world.

To conclude my part in it, I’m showing buds.

Anais Nin: And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom –

My gardener Wayne is here today pruning the roses inter alia. I took this photo this morning of the last remaining bud. It’s in a vase now on my desk with the last of the white roses.


My American friends were visiting some while back and gave us an air orchid which hangs on a branch of a tree up against the wall. When they visited several months after that, I was so pleased that it bloomed almost in anticipation of them arriving! I watch over it but it hasn’t bloomed in a while. But, it is showing two buds!
bud air orchid

Below is a picture of the air orchid

air orchid

 The orchid plant below was given many years ago – maybe 15 years ago – to my husband as a gift from a patient for whom he provides a pro deo service. It always bloomed prolifically and was truly a thing of beauty. We brought this large pot from our old home two years ago to the townhouse. Last year it didn’t flower, and I was concerned. Now I see 3 huge buds emerging and I am excited.

orchidSo, even though we’re in the depths of winter here in South Africa, and much looks tired and worn in my garden, there are signs of abundant life and a reminder to me that there are times that life must lie fallow and that the seeds will germinate and that this is how it is also in our own lives – cycles, wheels turning, ever changing, lying low for however long, yet ever seeking expression when the time is right –

I’ll be lying low for a while – I have a lot of work to do on the book that Susan Schwartz and I are collaborating on. Thank you for accompanying me on this 5 Day 5 photo challenge! I’ve enjoyed it very much!

I’m  nominating Samantha Mozart Delaware to continue (when she can). 

Rules for 5 photos, 5 days challenge:-

1) post a photo for each consecutive day

2) attach a story to the photo. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely up to you!

3) nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the nomination. This is fun, not a command performance!

Day 3 of 3 day quote challenge

Day 3 of 3 day quote challengeroses-with-thornsFrom: Meditations for Women who do too much: Anne Wilson Schaef 1990.

November 22: Wholeness

May Sarton: Women’s work is always towards wholeness

Anne Wilson Schaef commentary: When we women do our work, we move towards wholeness. The world is in need of wholeness. The world is in need of women’s way of working.

Too long we have doubted ourselves and tried to fit comfortably into a male modality. To have wholeness, we need to make our contribution too. To have wholeness, we need to know our values and value our knowing.

We have ‘welched’ on our responsibility to this society and this planet. It is time that we courageously put our thoughts, ideas and values out there and let them stand for themselves.

When I do my work, my work is wholeness.

 with thanks to google images

Day two of 3 Day Quote Challenge

Day 2 of 3 day quote challenge542591_620348161315085_803962571_nSecond day of 3 day quote challenge. Quote taken from ‘Meditations for Women who do too Much’ Anne Wilson Schaef 1990.

September 12: Reaching our Limits

Golda Meir: I have had enough

Anne Wilson Schaef’s commentary: What beautiful words, and how rarely are they spoken by women who do too much. Part of our craziness is not recognising that we have limits and not knowing when we reach them. In fact, many of us may see having limits as an indicator of inadequacy. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being able to carry on when we are exhausted or for not being able to keep going regardless of the circumstances.

Recognising that we are approaching our limits and accepting those limits may be the beginning of recovery.

Every human being has limits, and I am a human being

 with thanks to google images

Day one of 3 day Quote Challenge

Day one of 3 day quote challenge

542591_620348161315085_803962571_nGenevive nominated me to take part in this 3 day challenge. Thank you Genevive! (at – she writes from Hyderabad in India and her posts are so inspiring and gentle). I love quotes. I’ve taken the easy way out. I found this little book given to me by a friend many years ago but I hadn’t noticed it in a long long time. It’s called ‘Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much’: Anne Wilson Schaef. 1990. It has a quote for every day of the year by women known and unknown and the author adds her insight to it. I am making random selections for today and next two days.

July 31: Happiness/Depression

Anna Pavlova: When I was a small child … I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights for one brief moment, but soon flits away.

Anne Wilson Schaef’s commentary: There is no difference between happiness and depression. They both have the same process. It is just the content that is not the same. Both will come and go. The major difference is what we do with them.

We are always seeking happiness. When we see it coming we say, ‘Ah, come here, I see you. Stay with me always’. Happiness laughs and says, ‘Oh, she’s seen me, I can leave now’. And it does.

With depression, we see it coming, and we say: ‘Go away, I don’t want you. Not me’. And depression sighs and says, ‘Here we go again, I’m going to have to get bigger and bigger for her to hear me and learn what I have to teach’. So it taps us on the shoulder and says, “over here, over here!’ until it gets our attention. Then it leaves.

Both happiness and depression have something to teach us. Both will come and go. Both will return. It is our response and openness to learn from both that makes the difference.

My happiness is a gift. My depression is a gift. Both are like butterflies in my life.

I’d like to pass the challenge on to three special people to post 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days. We’ve become very good friends over the years and the miles in our blogging and writing. Their websites are worth a visit! It can be your very own quote, from a book, a poem, a writer, a film, or from anywhere, followed by however you want to do it. What it means to you for example or the how and why you like it. And honestly, more than fine if you choose not to accept. Comments are always welcome, and not just from these three!




And, I forgot to mention – please nominate three others to take up this challenge. Thank them and nominate three others!

 with thanks to google images

Winter Solstice

  Winter Solsticesunrise plettSo sorry about my faux pas last night but thank you to those who read my unfinished post! And added comments!

The winter solstice happens tomorrow June 21st at around 18.39. The significance of the solstice is always very real for me. It marks the anniversary of our moving from our old and lovely home to our townhouse 2 years ago. It also marks the 2nd anniversary of my dreadful car accident the day before our move (today as I write)..

In the southern hemisphere the winter solstice marks the longest night and shortest day. Winter has seemed a long time coming this time round – just last week we were in Plettenberg Bay, in the South Western Cape at the tip of South Africa. The days were very warm, the nights cold, made even more so when we had load shedding (black outs) when our electricity grid was shut down. Thank heavens for gas heaters, log fire, candles and solar lamps. This has been happening for several years now much to our dismay and the fault is well and truly laid at our inept government and their handling of the parastatals. Our electricity supplier wants a further R50 BILLION from the government to bail them out … which means the tax payer will pay …

But when in Plett at 8.00 p.m. like clockwork we were plunged into darkness, it was thrilling to look up at the night sky. Those stars so bright, the milky way so pure. It was heart warming to see the magnificence of the skies and imagine the earth slowly turning.

The approaching solstice makes me think both backwards and forwards. Backwards when I reflect on that car accident 2 years ago the day before the big move when I learned how quickly these things happen. Smashed in by a truck who overshot the stop street, car turned upside down. I learned about impermanence and patience first hand, even right hand as my right writing hand was out of action for about 6 weeks  – I am constantly grateful that the accident didn’t render more dreadful injuries –

In thinking forwards I will as always plan a ritual for the day/night tomorrow. It is a sacred time, that time when there is a momentary stillness before the earth turns yet again and the Sun is re-birthed. Solstice comes from the Latin sol:sun; sistere:to stand still. It is the time in winter when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest from the sun. We don’t say goodbye to winter, as it’s only just begun it seems. But I do know that from the gloom, darkness and dormancy of winter the light and warmth of spring will follow. And my orchids out on my patio are a delight! Why and how they bloom in this freezing cold weather is a mystery to me but they are such a joy and brighten my day every day in these winter months. There are many more buds still to open. The freeze is only just beginning.

orchids June 2015

From my garden taken this afternoon –

It is lovely to have glimpses of beauty, most often in Nature as in the photograph at the top that my younger son David took this past Monday morning of the sunrise from the balcony in Plett before he drove back to Cape Town. He totally surprised me last Friday around noon when he pitched up at the doorstep to spend my birthday and the weekend with us. I could not believe it and my heart was just about bursting with happiness. There is beauty all about, in friendship, love, compassion, even amongst the horrors all around. 

We are shocked at saddened by the dreadful shootings in Charleston 2 days ago and I/we stand with you in America in your sadness.

May your solstice be joyous and the turn of the wheel keep you in touch with all that is good and true and valuable.

Pesach and Easter

Pesach and Easter


A time of reflection – to deepen faith; a time of redemption – to deepen faith; a time of renewal – to deepen faith.

A time of ‘looking back to the going forward’. Pesach commemorates the Exodus (Greek: going out, 2nd book of the Bible), from Egypt. A time to look back to the 400 years of slavery, and Moses’ leading the children of Israel to the land God had promised on oath to Abraham. Their homes were passed-over when Pharoah ordered the slaying of all first borns.  Joyfully celebrated, in remembrance of the fulfilment of God’s promise of reaching the Promised Land, in spite of trials and tribulations.

Had the Passover not happened, we would not have had the birth of the carpenter from Nazareth. We would not have had His extraordinary teachings applicable to every human, of religious feeling or not, many times told in parable form. Every word, every setting, every moment, is painfully poignant. They are of psychological meaning. The gospels, also, are succour to my soul as I enter the story and feel it, challenged, speaking directly to my psyche.

 I celebrate Easter as a remembrance of His Life and message. For His unconditional Love, for sacrificing His own life so that our sins be forgiven and arising again, and again as we do even among these very difficult times we live in. His poetic justice; His showing us that the spirit alone is of value; His love for the sinner who repented.sunrise

For all, my Chag Sameach good wishes to you, to Christians too who celebrate this time, to all of any persuasion of good will, may this be a time of reflection, redemption, renewal.

New Moon, Equinox, Solar Eclipse

New Moon, Solar Eclipse, Equinox 

wheel images

The new moon (super moon) is tomorrow, Friday night and at the same time, there’s a solar eclipse (partially viewable only in some parts of northern Africa and Europe. The total eclipse is viewable from Greenland and Iceland); and it’s the equinox the following day on Saturday. Three rather extraordinary celestial events.

The new moon is always an inspiration to me – even if she causes a solar eclipse while passing in front of the sun (the solar disk) and her shadow falls on our planet. The moon will be in her waxing phase from tomorrow night, growing brighter and fuller in the night sky  – even if she plays hide and seek.

 The equinox, when the days and nights are of the same length, 12 hours each, before the days and nights slip into a different gear. For a moment, balance. Here in South Africa, the days become shorter while in northern climes you’ll be welcoming spring and longer days of sunlight. Here, we note the advent of autumn. Already I see signs of it when I walk around my small garden. But surprisingly, while I note some things looking decidedly tired and weary, I note other plants and flowers coming into their own. They’ve been lying low, giving me surprise and joy. Yesterday when I went for a walk, my first in ages, I noticed the lengthening shadows, and the sun lower down in the sky.  It’s our season for turning towards darkness and burial, while for many of you a time to look toward renewal. 

As I write it is hailing, something I haven’t seen for a while. So far it does not look destructive. The thunder is rumbling, at times hugely banging. We have fearsome lightning bolts. I’m writing off line as I’ve disconnected from the plugs – I’m taking no chances while the celestial happenings are making themselves felt.

May the balance of the equinox, and the new moon and the sun in alchemical counter poise to each other, be a reminder to us all of the changing and turning of the seasons, bringing change into our lives, a harbinger of a positive and healthy kind amidst all the turmoil of the world.

With Easter and Pesach approaching early next month, I’m reminded that both are times for redemption and renewal. May these days irrespective of your perspective, bring you exactly that. 

Health and Anarchy


Does anyone feel really fit and well these days? You know, fighting fit, glad to be alive, full of energy, full of the joys of life and brimming with good will?

I’m  not sure if it’s the change of seasons here in South Africa from summer to autumn – harbinger of winter – but so many are ill, feeling low, exhausted, depleted, weak. But sometimes I wonder if it is the outer events on the world arena that predispose one – me – to feeling drained, enervated, anaemic, from hot to cold, like the weather, and back to feverish again.

The world near and far seems to me a troubled and dangerous place. I feel anxious when watching the news, hearing flowery, political spin by those doctors about the behaviours of their leaders. All that plotting and planning, depriving the ordinary citizen of their rights, exploiting their hard earned money by way of inter alia higher taxes to fund their extravagant lifestyle – while smiling. I want to withhold my taxes and let them know why and wherefore. My anarchic protest is my way of not colluding. R33 BILLION rands lost to corruption in the last financial year. 700 BILLION rands in last 20 years. Let them know that I will not be bound or bowed by their illegitimate rules and laws, that I am fed up to the back teeth of their fleecing, the injustices, not only on my person but on all of us, in the attempt to render us sheep like, obedient, subservient. We, the tax paying public (only about maximum 10% of the total population), fund their flamboyant flights with families in tow to far-flung places, boisterous parties, sexy shoes, cars the size of their egos, systemic, systematic failure of the government where patronage is the name of the game. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Parastatals like our power utility service, the post office, our national air carrier, mines, hospitals and clinics in dire straits ‘managed’ by ill educated CEO’s, our education system designed to keep the majority dumbed down…

My husband is a medical specialist and he tells of the sick people he is seeing at his rooms, more so than ever before.  It’s like a malaise that has gripped us all. The parasite that is the government, sucking away at its host. I feel the prison walls coming closer, the power elite sniggering outside. Our beloved beautiful country, being fracked and f*%#@ed, waters and rivers poisoned from mining, fish dying, animals, birds, forests under threat, rhino, elephant poached. This is what misery feels like – and it’s why I am in favour of anarchy. Purposeful anarchy may be necessary for my health if it means freedom from the shackles of a government who does not have my or anyone else’s best interests at heart. They are tyrants who do not know the meaning of being servants of the people. They call themselves the ‘ruling party’ – and this is what they stand and live by, forgetting who it is who pays their salaries.

It’s enough; it’s making us ill.

Faith, Synchronicity, Doubt, Uncertainty

 Faith, Synchronicity, Doubt, Uncertainty –


 What does one do when one can do no more? Perhaps a better question is what can one be when all else seems dark and hopeless? Is keeping Faith uppermost in our hearts and minds the only way to endure, and thereby ‘get through’ suffering?

 Last week I was away from home in another part of our country to be witness and hopefully a comfort to a dearly loved human being’s suffering, distress and despair. My sister was with me. The word Faith cropped up in the novel I was reading although this wasn’t its premise; on social media; someone else’s blog post; the newspaper; a billboard – in the strangest of places. This word was jumping out in front of my eyes practically all the time and I couldn’t ignore it any longer – the synchronicity was very real – it was like I was being knocked over the head to receive the message of Faith – when the tiniest bit of positive energy was no-where to be found –

 The more this happened the more I questioned whether my internal Faith muscle needs some exercising. It’s been dormant for too long –


What does this mean, practically, to me? Is it legitimate that I have faith that this person will get well again and come back to himself, and be the lovely soul that he essentially is? In other words, can I have faith on that person’s behalf? Does this in some peculiar way lessen that person’s authority  – and his own faith in himself – and could this also be arrogance on my side? My faith for that person? Could I rely too much on faith in order to lessen my own pain at being witness to another’s suffering? Will my faith in this person having the ability to overcome his pain and suffering go some way towards alleviating his darkness? Is it sufficient to ask G.d for His help for that person, and ask only once and to have faith that this request be granted – and consider it done? One asks only once –

Doubt is the other side of Faith – the strangest of bedfellows, so apparently poles apart at first glance. But bedfellows nevertheless. Side by side, not exclusive or opposite to each other. They belong together. Like quicksilver, mercury, Hermes on winged feet, doubt always creeps in. Or doesn’t creep but barges in and shakes you up. And brings uncertainty blazing in its wondrous wake. The ground beneath one’s feet does not seem so sure anymore.  Yet, Doubt has its extremely healthy aspect to it especially when it serves to strengthen one’s faith.  Doubt is indeed faith’s strange bedfellow. For me it is a tough struggle leaving me raw, maybe a little more rugged –

It can of course be thoroughly destructive if used in an unhealthy way to serve some or other nefarious purpose –

There are times in our lives which are hard, painful, including witnessing another’s suffering. And we have doubts and we do not know –

Living with un-knowing, uncertainty – a fertile landscape, welcoming it in, willing to walk in its wake no matter what, means exercising those inner muscles, struggling with them, trusting the process, having faith in the process –


In a way I have written this post fairly freely while thinking along the way about ‘things’ which pertain to me at this time. A sort of need on my side to put it down on paper and clarify my thoughts. Thank you for sharing it with me –

Word Games While Walking


 I forced my slothful, gloomy self to take a walk yesterday. We’d been back from our long sea holiday for a few days already, and I could feel myself sinking deeper into the quagmire of reality as I saw it. Not only within my gloomy self but on the world stage as well and, closer to home, the politics here in South Africa.

I was thinking about diet while walking. I re-arranged those letters. I’ve been tied up in knots and distressed about the extra kilograms gained.  When thinking about ‘weight’ I’ve been inclined to think in terms of ‘gaining lightness’ as opposed to ‘losing weight’. I don’t like the emphasis on losing. It is my plan to gain lightness this year, by shedding unnecessary baggage whether a kilogram or two, being less of a procrastinator, more focused on WIP, less time on e.g. FB, more time on walking and taking the air, making time to meet a friend here and there for coffee, shedding bad habits –

Re-arranging the letters again I get edit. A letter I wrote recently to a newspaper was published this last Friday to my surprise. A superfluous paragraph was removed by the editor rendering it tighter with stronger emphasis and more flow. My very own experience and one I will take with me while doing much needed editing on WIP. My letter was in response to an article in that newspaper the previous week headlined ‘Why we should not give racist white people what they want‘ the author of which has the same surname as our president. No idea if they’re related but it demanded a response from me expressing my dismay inter alia at its content.

The tide always turns and I’m keeping this idea foremost. I sink into its swells and rip currents from time to time or tide to tide. While holidaying in Plettenberg Bay there were many warnings about rip tides. Instead of trying to get out of it by battling the current and attempting to swim to shore, the best thing to do is to let the rip tide or the undercurrent take you, keeping the shore in sight and swimming parallel to it. Our first panicked thought may be to battle the undertow to try to get back to shore, maybe drowning in the attempt, but this is one of those times that following that first instinct is ill advised –

It is a bit like life I sometimes think –

The below photo was taken with my cell phone. The Kiffness was live on the lawns of the Beacon Island Hotel in Plettenberg Bay. It was around 7.00 p.m. Fishermen on the rocks, the Robberg Peninsula jutting out into sea, the seagull taking off, the tide momentarily stemmed -all was calm and peaceful and all was light and right with the world.

the kiffness beacon islandresized

Do you go with the ebb and flow of life and its tides, many times extreme? Yet, ever changing, re-arranging, becoming one thing, then another, retreating, advancing – 

%d bloggers like this: