F Fear of the Dark Feminine Lilith

Fear of the Dark Feminine: Lilith

‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ : Old Testament, Psalms 118 vs 22.

Meister Eckhart: The ground of the soul is dark.

Barbara Koltuv, in her book The Book of Lilith says: ‘Experiencing Lilith in her many forms is part of the process of giving birth to the feminine self‘.

Hannelore Traugott, German Lilith expert:  ‘ .. Lilith…is striving to become conscious again. Let’s call it archaic energy, spiritual femininity, something akin to the wisdom of the goddess. As long as we don’t have access to this energy we experience it psychologically as loss, suppression, isolation, emptiness, addiction and above all, power struggles’.

Lilith is seen as all we are NOT, she who is the container for the dark, earthy creative feminine. We have all sought to repress her through our projections. We have put her out there, as not belonging to us and the hard work is bringing her in again, allowing her her rightful place within our psyches.

Both men and women have suffered because of the repression of the feminine principle. Oddly enough, this served for the arising of ego-consciousness as masculine values of perception, behaviour and feeling came to be of supreme value. Bringing the feminine back into our lives will be a bringing back of the cornerstone that was rejected.

 The ego-consciousness of patriarchy devalued the life-death-rebirth, instinctual values of women. Men took a stand against women for fear of falling prey to their wiles and seductive powers. Mary Magdalene was seen as both prophetess and whore, the Black Madonna covered over and unknown …

The feminine principle stands for all that is life giving as well as life destroying, paradoxical though that may seem. It stands for chaos from which order emerges in a new transformative, transcendent form. It is both joyful and grieving. It is dark and fecund, like the soil of the earth. It embraces ALL in life, and in death. Pain and suffering, sorrow, grief, anger, destruction, wildness, non-conformity, death and darkness are all embraced by Lilith. She also embraces compassion, joy, creativity, light, playfulness, mothering, nurturing, birthing, ugliness and beauty. She devours and she transforms. Nothing is meaningless to her. She knows that ALL is part of the whole of life and death (like Kali). Wanting only the light and the good and the heights is an awful denial of the depths and is overly fixed and one-sided which leaves little or no room for manoeuvre.

This is not a call for a re-emergence of the matriarchal archetype over the patriarchal archetype but for an integration of the two. If these two complementary archetypes are brought into play with each other, each recognising the value of the other, we would be on the way to being more psychologically whole as we become more aware and awakened on a personal and collective level.

Is she calling us to our own darkness and depth? Can darkness and depth be the deep unsolvable mystery of all mysteries? Have we been fleeing from the depths in our desperate desire to reach the heights?

How to integrate these energies is our personal and collective challenge.

It is important to be aware of Lilith’s divine and demonic powers. She is not to be cast out and banished. She needs to be redeemed through our conscious awareness of her. Becoming conscious of the conflict is an achievement.

Thank you for reading! (did you notice the man with the moustache in the middle of the women in the top picture?)

 

 

 

 

E Eve Lilith’s sister

E : Eve, Lilith’s sister

In an earlier post in this thread of Lilith, I mentioned Lilith & Eve in the Garden of Eden as being the first trailblazers. Please remember that I am treating this story as a myth for the purpose of extracting some psychological meanings from the acts of Lilith who challenged Adam, and Eve who disobeyed the prohibition of not eating the apple.

Many authors, historians & theologians who have written about the fall from Paradise, view it as the rise from an ouroboric, unconscious, innocent and childlike state; that something had to happen to precipitate Eve & Adam’s departure from the Garden. For Paul Tillich (Western theologian), the Fall represented ‘…a fall from the state of dreaming innocence…’ ‘…and awakening from potentiality into actuality; and that the ‘fall’ was necessary for the development of humankind, a symbol for the human situation, not a story of an event that happened ‘once upon a time’.

I imagine Lilith in the depths of the Red Sea pondering her Fate and that of Eve. She temporarily shed her pain and anguish and returned in disguise as a serpent (I’ll write later of Lilith as serpent and symbol of transformation) and tempted Eve to take the apple. I imagine Eve being presented with a choice – to remain forever dependent in the Garden or to experience the world beyond, even given the very high stakes.

She took the apple, chewed and swallowed it, pips and all. And gave it to Adam to do the same. The digesting came later but the immediate consequence was the Authority admonishing Adam for eating the apple. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. This issue of blaming and not being accountable continues today in all spheres of society.  Even worse, denial –

From a world of perfect (unconscious) unity, they were immediately thrust into a new world, that of duality. Thrust into a world of as yet unknown opposites. To experience pain and pleasure, life and death, good and evil, divinity and mortality. Now they were fixed by time and space, fixed by corruptible bodies whose forms would not endure.

Is there meaning in disobeying injunctions and expulsion from Paradise? Are there times in our lives when we go against the taboo? A few myths come to mind – Bluebeard’s wife using the key she was prohibited from using to open a certain door which she did while he was away a’hunting, and discovering his dreadful secret. Psyche going against Eros’ injunction to not look upon him in his aware state. Anthony Stevens writes about breaking the taboo* : ‘Expulsion from Paradise results in contact with the real world and a development in consciousness’. ‘Disobedience is about defying the dominant male, refusing to be subordinate and coming to selfhood. It is a necessary step on the path to individuation, the realisation in consciousness of one’s full Self-potential’. **

“The Garden is a metaphor for the following: our minds, and our thinking in terms of pairs of opposites – man and woman, good and evil -are as holy as that of a god. Joseph Campbell

Thank you for reading!

*Anthony Stevens: Ariadne’s Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Mankind

** Robert Johnson: She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D Daimon or Daemon

D: Lilith: Daimon or Demon

Daimon is from the Greek diamôn.

Socrates wrote of his daimon somewhat disparagingly when he said that sometimes his daimon played tricks on him and prevented him from the task at hand. Significantly, his daimon did not prompt him to do something else in its place. The daimon left it up to Socrates, in part so that Socrates retained his own authority and also that the daimon bore no blame. The daimon was often a feminine whisper –

Daimon can be seen as the higher part of a human’s spirit or as a gift, that inner voice that guides us if we care to listen well. It can be inspirational and enlightening …

Can the demons we deal with in our everyday lives be transformed? I imagine Lilith sitting in the depths of the Red Sea and plotting her revenge in the most demonic way possible. I feel like that sometimes when I fantasise about gouging out the eyes of the idiot driver who almost ran me over, or slicing off the extremities of women abusers, traffickers, child molesters. The depth of my feeling scares me. I acknowledge succumbing to self-destructive behaviour when I over eat like a demon. It is only afterwards when I reflect and digest my disgust at myself of over-eating completely unconsciously. I give a nod to Lilith when I see her in me, as a personification of the destructive demonic force – my ‘hunger’ for something that was there and which I did not acknowledge it for what it was, unconsciously turning it against myself.

Relating to Lilith in a more compassionate way, we can see in her, some of ourselves. We all get into horribly dark places at times when we feel unloved, unappreciated, unvalued, unfairly treated, exiled even from ourselves and we feel that dark, destructive and dangerous energy rising. Too often we act out our feelings of rage and despair, stuffing ourselves with food, whiskey, drugs, anything, to rid us, numb us, of those uncomfortable feelings and emotions.

 Lilith’s time alone in the depths of Red Sea was a time when all the demons invaded her. She must have felt the whole range of emotions experienced by us. 

What are we to do with that energy? Do we disregard it as too foreign to ourselves? Can we bring this dark Lilith energy out of the shadows and connect to it in a different way, releasing some of its demonic powers by acknowledging her? Any dark energy stored in darkness tends to become distorted and, if disregarded, turns against us to our detriment. 

We are in a sense daughters – and sons – of Lilith. We also experience deep wounding in our lives. Though the rose is a thing of beauty, its thorns prick and make us bleed. That pricking and bleeding can immobilise us. It is meant to …

Can the daimon appear to us in these times of sorrow? Are we open to the deeper messages, even if a whisper, that our soul is in need of receiving?

 

C Catalyst Lilith

 Lilith as Catalyst

Lilith has had many projections made upon her and still does. She is seen as a demon who usurps man’s sperm while he sleeps at night, steals babies, tortures men by their overt sexuality, is wild, undomesticated, ruthless, destroying everything and everyone in her path. A harmful spirit who spreads chaos by casting spells all around her.  She is called ‘Alien Woman’, Impure Female’  – and many other such pejorative adjectives. This is a one dimensional approach though, but sadly, the images remain in the modern psyche.

She challenged the patriarchal authority, and though she was severely punished for this, she knew that her voice was to be honoured and not callously dismissed by those who thought her inferior and of no worth, worth only to be tamed into obedience and submission.

 Counter forces arise naturally when one’s ‘way in life’ is too one-sided, too fixed, too stagnant. Things cannot remain that way forever. I suppose they can if it serves the status quo or entropy. Lilith was such a counter force and thus was a catalyst – for change, for not settling for the status quo. Something in her must have said, no, things cannot always be like this. A real sense of her desire for freedom, not necessarily equality – some desire to stand as her own woman, to be her own ‘authority’ –

This is the energy of Lilith that we can use as a catalyst for our own awakening.

We see this today, strong women who say look at me, listen to me, who courageously write or speak of their pain and anguish in their lives from being oppressed from patriarchy. Their voices are being heard and shared gaining recognition for speaking out, in poignantly expressed lines of poetry, artworks, writings, laying bare and articulating what many times has been impossible to do. We receive a jolt  when we read and remember e.g. the witch hunts from the Middle Ages. We remember the courage of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, and who helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. We remember the Quakers. We remember the Black Sash movement here in South Africa, started in 1955, by women, as a protest against apartheid. We remember the Helen Suzman’s of our world, the Ruth First’s, our past public protector Thuli Madonsela who stood up against our ruling party. We remember Malala Yousafzai who took a bullet to her head by the Taliban and young Emma Gonzàlez who stood in silence for over 6 minutes which is how long it took to mow down 17 students at the Parklands School in Florida. Standing up to the NRA no less –

So many many women past and present who said No! and took action. All catalysts for each of us. Lilith was the first. Eve the 2nd …

picture: Sumerin/Assyrian relief of Lilith – though this is in dispute by scholars ..

 

D: Daimon or daemon

 

 

 

 

B Banishment of Lilith

B: Banishment of Lilith

Lilith was banished – to the depths of the Red Sea in the hopes that she would never arise again. Out of sight, out of mind, never to be seen or thought of again. Under the carpet, under the radar, under everything. Gone, never to return –

Silenced – instigated by her partner when she wanted to experiment in lovemaking positions. Always being in a passive and recumbent position implied male supremacy with which she took great issue. Adam requested the authority to make her obey him. She too appealed for help from the authority to redress this situation. Her plea for recognition was not heard. He too denied her. No! was the resounding answer.

In her rage and bitterness she blasphemed, and for this ultimate outrage, she was banished from Paradise, never to return. Her home, her belonging in Paradise was ripped from her in one fell swoop –

Into Exile …

Have you had the experience of being banished?  Exiled from family, or groups, or country? Or purposefully exiling yourself towards another or group or member of a family, because the relationship was too toxic? Including the situation where one’s country and its rulers are too poisonous? In the 1970’s I left my country because of the apartheid laws and the crushing reality of the majority of our people being so oppressed. I returned though … I remember kissing the tarmac of the airport when I stepped onto solid ground.

History shows that banishment was used to silence those who criticised a ruling party. History is replete with examples of imperial colonialists banishing unwanted people from their land of origin in order to serve imperial ‘ideals’, enabling forced labour and much else.

I reflect of all those who have been displaced through war. Heading for unknown destinations, exile, carrying what little belongings they can. Children strapped on their backs. Fear and confusion their companions, forced to be silent. To the borderlands or even farther afield. Foreign lands. Homesickness. Anguish –

I reflect on those who have had land stolen from them in the historical past and the deep wounds of being forced out of their ancestral lands – history books often banish or distort the truth.

I remember the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt where they had laboured long – and for those of you observing Pesach at this time, Chag Sameach.

We also banish unpleasant thoughts from our mind, not wanting to entertain them because they will make us uncomfortable. We may feel the sort of rage Lilith felt, yet are fearful of expressing it in any way. We may be unconsciously fearful that any displays of anger or rage will result in punishment or rejection and banishment similar to that meted out to Lilith – or Eve. We tame, exile, banish our primal real responses of outrage and collude in some way when we do not speak out. We are exiled from our true authentic selves … 

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

Adam’s first wife Lilith

A: Adam’s first wife, Lilith

In the ongoing April A-Z posts I’ll be writing about Lilith, first wife of Adam, in the Garden of Eden. In my retelling of the biblical story, you’ll gain a broader view of the first two women, Lilith & Eve. Both trailblazers. I’ll focus on Lilith. Hopefully we’ll have a better idea of the value of this myth. While myths and fairy tales may be ancient stories, they are also contemporary ones. The dynamics underpinning them are similar today. The time, place and circumstance may be different but the psychological dynamics and their after-effects are universal.

My posts will not exceed 500 words. It is a stretch and a bit unrealistic to give an overview of Lilith in the A-Z, so my posts will hint at the complexity of this mythological figure and how she is present in our lives, today. 

According to the Midrash*, Lilith was born at the same time as Adam, from the same dust and clay and they were born equal. They were happy in Paradise, until Lilith felt she did not want to always be in the supine position when making love. She wanted to experiment but Adam refused, not wanting to give up his ‘superior’ position. Her pleas to Adam were ignored and he begged G.d to make her obey him. This angered Lilith, and she called upon G.d to intervene in the impasse. G.d also did not listen; this further angered Lilith and she blasphemed against Him. He, in turn, aghast at her blasphemy, ordered her out of Paradise into the Depths of the Red Sea. 

Banished, exiled …

Dr. Susan E. Schwartz, Jungian Analyst resident in Paradise Valley, US., gave a talk many years ago to the Jung Centre here in Johannesburg on ‘Marriage & Divorce & the Nature of Unresolved Psychological Issues therein’. I’m quoting from her transcript –

‘The Adam & Lilith story represents a stereotype of the masculine and feminine in relationships we see today. Adam expresses no curiosity about Lilith’s needs. He complains to G.d the authority to correct Lilith and make her obey him. The two never work it out, learn nothing about communication skills and separate in mutual frustration. Later, G.d gives Adam another wife and we see the same unresolved issues of the original situation appearing again. Ignored, psychological elements tend to return – Eve also thinks for herself and challenges the masculine status quo by listening to the snake, eating the apple and encouraging Adam to do the same’.

‘Unresolved issues‘ – in our everyday lives. Do they remain unresolved only to ourselves or do we carry them forward in our relationships where they impact negatively, and we wonder why. Too often we do not know where to look for the source of ongoing difficulties within our relationships, whether between parent and child, spouse or partnership or friendships that always seem fraught with ongoing unresolved dramas.

*midrash – an ancient commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures, attached to the biblical text. The earliest Midrashim come from the 2nd century AD, although much of their content is older.

*picture at top – I bought this print many years ago in an art museum in London when visiting. The original painting is by John Collier 1887.

Thank you for reading!

 

#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.

 

 

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