Tempus Fugit

How these days fly by. Normally I would’ve blogged on The Equinox, acknowledging the turn of the planet and its relation to the sun and that still point when all is in balance for a moment, maybe posted a photograph of the full moon that shone so brightly the night before. The last few days have been strange indeed, in part because the 2nd year anniversary of my friend’s death was on the 19th, yet it was also my son and daughter-in-law’s 3rd wedding anniversary as well as his wife Jüte’s birthday. My very good friend Al had her hip op on Tuesday, and her recuperation is not going to be easy. How I wish I was in Johannesburg to help her post operatively.

What strikes me is how quickly time flies. Deborah Gregory posts on her blog The Liberated Sheep on the first of the month for each month. Her last 3 for the first 3 months are poetically depthful, as all her posts are. The #We are the World Blogfest rolls round with regularity, where bloggers post on the last Friday of each month spreading good news around the globe, stories of humanity and positive action that can pass by unnoticed among the ongoing negativity. The April A-Z international blogfest is about to get underway. I won’t be partaking this time round unless I change my mind at the last minute. It makes April fly by in a wink and then it’s May – 

So many markers of the months – today is Human Rights Day, a public holiday here in South Africa, acknowledging the Sharpeville massacre that took place in 1960. Next month is another public holiday, on 27th April, the day on which SA had it’s first democratic election. Mr. Nelson Mandela would be turning in his grave to see what is going on in our country. May 8th is election day …

The alarm bells have been ringing for some time. Especially when Mr. Ramaphosa announced his inner circle some days ago, thugs the lot of them. It’s ok according to him that they have not been convicted. It’s ok says Ramaphosa that this won’t tarnish the image of our country. Ramaphosa says that corruption will be rooted out and people will be jailed. Who’s he kidding? What have they got on Ramaphosa that he can’t get rid of them I have to ask, along with very many who cannot understand why these thugs have not been removed? Assassinations of those who speak out or who are whistle blowers is a not uncommon occurrence –

Also very alarming is Eskom our electricity provider. Its henchmen are facing commissions of enquiry and we are aghast at the deep rot. Well, we always knew. But we did NOT expect to have load shedding or blackouts such as we’ve been having for the last several days. Eskom, once an extremely well run and efficient State Owned Enterprise is completely dysfunctional and has been bailed out countless times. The interest on the debt is scary. The daily cost to the economy is absolutely enormous. In practical terms this means that we have no electricity for many hours of the day and night. For me, it’s an irritating inconvenience, I can work around it even if it means I have to keep on buying data for my cell phone to keep connected. It’s not cheap. We use solar lamps, torches and candles. But I’m thinking of the traffic chaos around the country, small businesses having to close down, the long nights with no lights, those who cannot cook for their families, those who cannot study, or they do by candle light. TV and radio is sometimes inaccessible to keep up with the news. So that we can’t follow the commissions of enquiry? I suspect so.

Other SEO’s are in deep doo doo. Railways continue to have breakdowns while commuters are on the way to work. Those on the highveld are facing water shortages – electricity is needed to get the dams to do their work to higher areas. Generators use diesel which is fast running out. Another petrol increase is due. Food prices are escalating. Winter is approaching. Electricity costs are going through the roof. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we actually get another downgrade, this time to the one below, which is junk status. And then?

And then? People are now removing as much cash as they can from banks and ATM’s. They are stockpiling.

I heard and saw Ramaphosa with my own eyes and ears saying in response to a question put to him in Parliament. ‘Oh I see you are white – that means you are one of those who supported the apartheid regime and were therefore involved in the slaughter of our people’. It was a 30 sec clip … dear heavens, if this isn’t racist I honestly don’t know what is. Thank you for nothing. You forget too quickly how many ordinary people, political parties, businesses, media, churches, organisations fought against apartheid. Stereotyping is the way of the weak, let alone deceitful –

Meanwhile, we hear of thousands of NGO’s helping those in need, people who give of their time and hard work to help those far worse off. Rescue SA has returned from Mocambique on our borders where cyclone Idai has wrecked havoc. Thousands were brought to safety, hundreds rescued from the jaws of death. Gift of the Givers (Imtiaz Sooliman is the founder) continues their extraordinary work wherever required around the world. Zimbabwe also on our borders has felt the effects of cyclone Idai, and are in dire need of help of food and water. Malawi, that poor beleaguered country also in disaster territory. News from Zimbabwe has virtually closed down. The current president is a clone of Zimbabwe’s past president, the mug, Mugabe.

I often fantasise about a tax revolt, withholding taxes to the government in power, putting money into a separate account that is used to pay for roads, housing, clinics, schools and other essential services. I remember looking into this some years ago whether this was legal, and in fact found out that one is not obliged to pay taxes. It may be a duty but it is perfectly legal not to. Do we collude in some way when we give our hard earned taxes to a corrupt system? I suspect that that information has been removed from everywhere.

I know that there are good people in politics. Good people in our justice system. People everywhere who really do want the best for all and who work tirelessly towards fulfilling that goal.

My rant is over – I watered a tired looking indoor plant just now and was amazed at how quickly it prettily perked up. I’m outside on the balcony overlooking the sea the colour of which keeps changing as the day draws to a close. The electrickery has been on for the last 4 hours – who knows how much longer –

Thank you for reading. The photo is one I took from our bedroom balcony early in February. I remember feeling the beauty of it. One part of it in darkness heavy with rain, the other side in light. And G.d’s covenant with Noah after the flood that He wouldn’t allow such disasters again. Where are you G.d? Nebraska? Venezuela?The Middle East, New Zealand?

44 Comments on Tempus Fugit

  1. Oh goodness Susan, these are indeed unsettling times, and I’m sad to hear of the difficulties where you’re at. This sense of being unsettled not only with the physical things around us, but also what I’ve come to think of locating myself in time and space feels so challenging and distracting to me. I find time isn’t functioning in a supportive way, and yet I can’t figure out a way to release our old definitions and beliefs about it, and so I feel like I’m spinning round and round the drain. I’m sorry you won’t be doing A2Z this year, but it’s always wonderful to read your posts whenever they appear.

    • My goodness Deborah, the image of spinning around and round the drain is a very graphic one but one that I can relate to – sort of dizzy! I’m thinking then it’s necessary to let the water swirl around while staying upright!

      I’ll be looking forward to your abracaderium, if that is the right word for the AtoZ – always so interesting! And thank you for coming by!

  2. Hi Susan – the electrickery may not be around for you … but for some reason your posts aren’t coming through – though ‘it’ tells me they are … I’ll subscribe by email … I don’t like doing things twice – but needs must.

    The world/g*d is having its/his cumuppance I think … so much going on leaving us all out of kilter. You sound as though you’re having an horrendous time in SA – while the floods further east have just completely ruined so many lives … bad enough the poverty, but the hope washed away – I cannot imagine what it’d be like.

    I haven’t been able to settle either .. but must adjust my thinking and get on. At least I can get on and concentrate on my small world, not ignoring the broader picture, but for the time being making sure I get my own life in order, and I’ve really nothing to stop me getting on …

    My friend died early in January … and I must catch up with the others … but it does sound like you’re in a terrible mess politically as too Zimbabwe. I would hope the butterflies of help, kindness and love spread across the world … so much is needed just about everywhere.

    Jacinda Adern has really set the standard … yet I heard someone say – who would be interested in the little country of NZ once the challenge had been faced and gone by … yet my thought was – well surely the leadership she has set should be the headline. We (they the media) seem to always want to tell us about the negatives …

    #WAWTB is a great monthly blog hop … and always being positive even in the negative telling … there’s always good and much more of that than the horrors that we seem to invoke.

    Thanks for letting us know about South Africa and reminding us of other aspects of the world … as always your words are thought provoking … all the best and destress (or keep the stress at bay) somehow. I wondered about writing your comments in gmail … as that system saves all the time and then you could copy and paste across … I’m going to subscribe by email now … cheers Hilary

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Hilary! There are always moments of light and love in amongst it all. We had ex SA friends come by to our home last evening for supper and a few others who are also living in the UK plus friends who have re-located from Johannesburg to Plett. We served babotie a good old SA classic which everyone LOVED! And we had a day and night free of load shedding! Butterflies of light indeed!

      Many condolences about your friend earlier this year – always so sad for those left behind.

      Jacinda Adern is a symbol of all that is good and true, her act of compassion will never be forgotten, nor those of many others in these stressful times.

      I reckon settling in takes its time … it’s only about 3 months that you’ve been back in the UK?

      And, clearly, your comment came through so thank you again. Have a great week 🙂 Susan

  3. Such a post, Susan. So many troubles. You live in such a beautiful place but it’s heart doesn’t match your own wonderful heart. You ask where G.d is, and mention New Zealand as a possibility. I think she is indeed there. They are the shining lights at the moment and I hope their light is enough to envelope the world. We all need to follow their lead. Your rainbow image is beautiful – in darkness, let there be light.
    May the light shine upon you, Susan. Wishing you joy.

    • Thanks Norah so much – I was asking where G.d is when the floods hit Mocambique and Nebraska, where was S/He in New Zealand & Venezuela and in the Middle East. Your comment is helping me look at this is a different way – ie that G.d was there in the humanity of people who showed up. G.d clearly present in Jacinda Adern and Gift of the Givers, and Rescue SA and all those who show up to assist wherever possible when disaster strikes. The UN and aid relief … And in those who stand up to corporations and businesses who too often are after only profit, irrespective of who and what gets displaced, humans, animals, forests … so, we can follow their good examples in countless ways. So, thank you, your ‘reminder’ given me a little lift – 🙂

      Light upon you Norah – I hear there are floods due to come to Australia. I know that you’ve experienced the most ghastly ones, and drought too. I know that all our thoughts and shining lights are always with everyone when disaster hits.

  4. Whew! And, sadly, yes! I’m sorry What can we do to keep our spirits up in these difficult times? I’m fortunate to have electricity, but there are constant warnings about the frailty and vulnerability of our power grid in the United States. So far, I lose power rarely and I’m fortunate this house has its own water supply and septic system (rural living). My country is at a new–another–tipping point in the US. Mueller’s report is in the news, but everyone is making a deal about something that’s only another step in this process of facing corruption and we have no idea what’s in the report–and still there are headlines and a sense of anxiety or panic. Meanwhile, trials are ongoing and others besides Mueller, such as the State of New York, carry forward their investigations into corruption that runs old and deep. Meanwhile, we don’t help the poor or the elderly or the young. Meanwhile, human kindness gets shoved aside by one more snide political remark. The sun is out here today, so a little light therapy always lifts my spirits. And I turn back to learning to hear and finishing preparations for a workshop as I wait for what comes next in political realms.

    • Rural living and off the grid – the dream of many of us – off the grid at least and the use of renewable energy.

      Yes, I’ve been hearing about Mueller’s report and T’s gloating about it – much like what’s happening here sad to say in that those who should be in jail, still evade it and are part of the president’s inner circle …

      Kindness and extending a hand to those in need or just a friendly smile to anyone, helps to lighten the load. It’s as well that we’re aware of how those in real need so seldom get it because of budget restraints or just a plain denial of the extent of those in need.

      Ah well, Elaine – there are always rainbows – and cochlear implants to aid in hearing and seeing and admiring and being grateful for all the beauty and goodness that is in the world. Today we are NOT experiencing load shedding, or black outs, according to Eskom. I hope they stick to this – this is only for today I gather. From tomorrow we’ll be back to it.

  5. Oh my, Susan. I’m so sorry to hear things have reached this point in your beautiful country. The loss of electricity–I hope that doesn’t signal the end of more services. Thank you though also for sharing that double rainbow photo again. In its random beauty, one might find some hope.

    • Thanks Merril – we had serious load shedding in 2008, the year of all the financial crises around the world, but were assured this would never happen again to this once excellent SOE, hailed as the best of its kind in the world. This was pre 1994 .. I just hope that none of us become numbed by all of this –

      I thought I may have used the rainbow photo before! I could go check I suppose! Have a great weekend 🙂

  6. A very thorough post, Susan, and the second along these lines I have read in two days. Our power was off from 4pm to 8pm yesterday and then from 4am to 8am this morning. We are well equipped but many are not so fortunate. The situation for businesses is alarming and I am hearing talk of major retrenchments. Many families I know are emigrating but it is not easy for older people on pensions and those of us with family commitments here. I help my parents and one of my sister’s and my hubby helps members of his family too. It is so difficult.

    • Thanks for coming by Robbie. I’d responded soon after your comment, at some length, but the server was suddenly terminated! Never mind. Yes, many of us are ranting, and are anxious and concerned as to what may yet happen with all the faction fighting going on within the ANC. I’d like to believe that Ramaphosa can turn things around after the elections and get rid of those who belong in yellow onesies. But this long game of diplomacy has gone on for far too long now.

      Yes, I too have now got a UPS put in place as of this morning. I may think of LED for our Plett home. Irritations for sure this load shedding – we will have to get used to it methinks.And who knows if it’s a ploy to get (more) nuclear which is what Zuma always wanted and no doubt he was paid by the Russians to facilitate it..

      So, here we go with the election looming – if it’s not averted due to sate of emergency being imposed. Go safely, you and family.

  7. I’m frankly horrified to hear about what you and your countrymen/women are dealing with… We do not get that kind of thorough overview report in the news. Your blog really helps to summarize the extent of the corruption and the spread of the wasteland in your area. We are seeing signs of erosion of consciousness here in Canada too with a meanness and dangerous regressiveness rising in increasingly right-wing conservatives. Alarming as it takes hold, as a kind of rot within the collective consciousness. Always grateful for your thoughts, wherever they take you!

    • Thank you Andrea for coming by, so appreciated! There seems to be a lowering of consciousness all round I agree that is very disturbing. Maybe we have to go into Hell in order to go through it so as to rise from those depths. Much like undergoing a hero’s or heroine’s journey, leaving all that is familiar and known so as to escape complacency. I think of the Lilith’s, Inanna, Demeter & Perspehone, Odysseus and many others whose trials and tribulations echo even today .. and as I write, Mother Nature being desecrated and undergoing her own trials and tribulations at the hand of so-called ‘civilisation’.

      yes, the rise of right wing nationalism or conservatives is extremely troubling. We have to hold our centre – though it seems as if it’s falling apart …

      • When the center does not hold, go deeper, Marion Woodman would say… where else is there to go? I really hear and feel your heart, deep at work where you are. This is a comfort, across the miles, an affirming echo of this deeper reality at work… Thank you, again.

        • I love that – go deeper – where else is there to go? Thank you Andrea. And for your affirming me – thank you again …

  8. Dear Susan, I love your title and thank you so much for mentioning my “Poetry of the Year” series. Yes, how time flies! I’ve also been experiencing quite a few strange days this month packed full with family birthdays and anniversaries of all kinds! In recent weeks four of my neighbours and friends have all received a cancer diagnosis and sadly there’s been a death in the family too. No wonder I feel as though I’m wandering the underworld! I’m reading “The Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood … hmm, “as above , so below” I’m now thinking!

    So many markers indeed which must be so demanding for you at the moment! March is rushing by far too quickly which translates as I haven’t got out into nature as much as I would like this month … because for me being “outdoors” is the only place I find where time literally slows down. So this afternoon and over the weekend I’ll make a concerted effort to visit my local ancient woodlands and stop my own alarm bell from ringing. I think this must be what tinnitus sounds like “below” not “above” … hmm, more food for thought!

    It must be hellish to watch such huge corruption from the side-lines with murderers and henchmen in positions of power and influence! No wonder you feel the need to rant, and why not as you have much to complain about, and rightly so! As Ashen notes in the UK we’re all having to endure the Brex(sh)it circus! Collectively, the negative animus needs to be more balanced out with the positive feminine. What would that look like in us? Mandela embodied such a beautiful anima, without “her” history would’ve been recorded otherwise.

    Remember your touchstones my dear friend and go to them often in these dark night(s) of your soul. I was touched by the beauty of your dream, especially how the tall rose towered above the rooftop. Your psyche is magnifying this for a reason I’m sure! And a visit from the Great Mother herself in the form of a spider, an auspicious dream indeed! It look as if as many feel like “flickering flames” at the moment but we must not give up. We must “renew” and as Elaine so eloquently writes, find new ways to relight our vital fire’. Love and light always, Deborah.

    • Dear Deborah, thank you so much for your lovely reply! I wish I could have just added the URL to your posts – the computer has been so slow in these last several days and if I go searching it often just stops and says this took too long to respond, reload, check cables and I don’t know what all.

      I’m so sorry to hear of the 4 diagnoses of cancer including a death in your family. My deepest condolences. I sometimes wonder whether the stresses of the world and on an individual level have anything to do with the increase of all sorts of illnesses. I suspect so

      March will go down as a strange month for me – I plan to pull myself up by my bootstraps, tomorrow. I know this sounds like procrastination and it is, but I’m ok about that. I’ve been mooning around for too long – and by the end of the day and a good night’s sleep I feel I wake refreshed.

      Thank you also for saying about my dream which I can see pictorially as clear as crystal. I’ve rough sketched it. The spider in the dream was also very clear hiding among a cluster of yellow roses with rather woody and gnarled branches. And, yesterday when we were setting out for the shops, using my car which was luckily parked outside (I don’t like using remotes to open the garage doors as I usually open the wrong one) and putting some large containers in the boot to collect water, my husband saw a huge spider on the car, on the boot. I can tell you I didn’t eye ball it – in true Sir Galahad fashion my husband removed it to another part of the garden. But that was quite something following on a few hours after my dream. Thank you for saying about the dream – this has lifted me hugely!

      May you stride out in among Mother Nature. And put Brex(sh)it aside. I don’t want to end on that note – so, sending love and light to you Deborah and may you be renewed in all that is glorious.

  9. I consider your rant a sharing of distressful news. I don’t see international news and welcome your opinion of internal politics. How I wish things were better for your country!

    • Thanks for your response Anne. Sorry I’m responding only now – I found you in my spam folder 🙁
      Our ‘resilience’ is being tested to the extreme!

  10. Oh MY, Susan! I am terribly sorry to learn of the politics and corporate games taking place in your country. I had no idea that life there is so unhappy. I am amazed that you, your husband, and sons don’t leave and move to another country. However, there are sad issues taking place around the world. Take care.

    Like you, I don’t plan on doing the A to Z Challenge this year either.

    You and your family are in my heart. Good Luck and stay healthy.

    • Thanks Gwynn – yes, all around the world there is tragedy. One disaster after the other after the other – Thank you for your thoughts and good wishes. I do sometimes fantasise about emigrating. Sometimes we wish that our sons would. Many are leaving at the rate of knots. More so than before. Yet, we all know that most of the people in our country are for peace and prosperity and that racism for example is used as a political ploy by the powers that be. This is not to deny that racism doesn’t exist, it does.

      • Racism exists, I think, everywhere and that makes me SO SAD! I often wonder how we manage to let these extreme right people in control of our governments. It shocks me that Trump became President and he is so classless it isn’t funny. He is spreading HATE and not Kindness. Take care as I definitely am sending prayers your way.

        • A short response would be that all ideologies give something to people, perhaps a sense of belonging to a cause. As in the rise of Nazi ideology, countries in the past who separated themselves into north and south. Plenty of examples of tribes who fight and fought each other on account of their ideology – but, I guess it’s important that we know or witness the depths of human depravity rather than denying that it exists?

    • May there never be any hard and fast answers. Awfully one-sided then – I like that, that God was just absent …thanks Susan. I like another of his sayings: ‘I agree with Sophocles: the greatest luck is not to have been born – but, as the joke goes on, very few people succeed in it’. (yes, I looked him up)

  11. Yes, time flies, Susan. I think of the Andrew Marvell line from his poem: ” . . at my back I always hear / Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near; / And yonder all before us lie / Deserts of vast eternity.”

    The rainbow promise is true whether regardless of chaotic happenings, I believe. Our perspective as humans is very limited unfortunately. Thank you for a thoughtful treatise on time, incorporating so well world events and photos. 🙂

    • Thanks Marian for coming by and for those lovely lines. I’ve added a bit at the end of my post a few minutes ago – they were supposed to have been there but the electricity went off unexpectedly and I presume I hadn’t updated it in time. Ah well, my faith is being sorely tested. I’m glad I have one but – my own ongoing existential question – I guess it’s more a question of my saying I have no faith in politicians. I have faith in the beauty of nature and its Creator even though the acts are often times unbelievably destructive …

  12. Dear Susan thank you for sharing in such an elegant way what most of us feel and fear. Your closing of finding joy and wonder in small things like the thankful withering plant…is what we have to keep looking for.
    Susan l used your book Aging two years ago to theoretically inform my artwork for a unisa exam with the theme of the process of ageing.
    Im continuing into my fourth year now at the unusual student age of 60…and am working with a moment in the time line….hav ent quite worked my concept out…but l wondered if you would suggested some more reading in this field.
    Thanking you
    Diana Henriksen

    • Thank you for coming by Diana. It’s not often that a South African does! Yes, the plant and rainbow are touchstones – and the dream I had this morning that I wanted to mention in my post but didn’t as I temporarily forgot to add it. But it was a hopeful dream in its way. Roses – of various kinds and one especially tall of the most gorgeous colour over the rooftops. Other roses too closer to eye level – eye level also had me seeing a spider, dark charcoal with a blue line in its horizontal middle. I’ll maybe try to paint it.

      So great to hear that you used The Aging & Becoming book to inform your art work! Thank you for saying! I just found now notes on a lecture I gave almost 3 years ago in my documents which I’ll email on to you. Use it as you will – on art and aging .. if I think of anything else that may be of value I’ll let you know.

  13. I really worry ab out you, Sue. We don’t hear much about South Africa but it’s clear nothing has improved. My prayers flood your way.

    • Thanks Jacqui – it’s about as complicated as the US which is saying a lot. I’m sorry about the flooding in Nebraska. Thank you for your prayers – the whole blooming country and world needs them …

  14. I was thinking of you, Susan, your country being neighbour to Mocambique and Zimbabwe, which are both dealing with the terrible devastation of the recent cyclone. And I had no idea that the infrastructure in SA was in such dire state.
    In the UK we suffer from the prolonged circus of Brext. The world is truly in a dark moon phase.
    Look after yourself. ☼

    • Thanks Ashen, and of course Malawi too all dealing with the horrific effects of the cyclone. And Nebraska with flooding – and on it goes. And the Brexit drama is unimaginable … if this doesn’t jumble the brain cells, there’s plenty of other happenings that do though Brexit must surely rank among the top …

      Yes, looking after myself 🙂 thanks and I hope you too –

    • Thanks Beth – I’ve added a bit at the end of my post about the rainbow. It didn’t update as I hoped it would do prior to it being posted. The electrickery went off. It’s ONE of the reasons why I’m not going to be doing the A-Z though I look forward to yours.

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