This that & the next thing –

Spring is sprung. It’s lovely to see buds beginning to bloom in my small garden. My orchids are flourishing, the azaleas are lovely, the yesterday today and tomorrow (Oxford & Cambridge) are releasing their lovely scent from their violet and white flowers, I see the occasional bee, birds landing in the bird bath, the jacarandas over the wall which I can see from my study are greening, my roses pruned in late July are beginning to shoot, my clivias are joyous, the days are longer and warmer.

My son Dave and his lovely wife Jüte have been here in Johannesburg for the last few days, flying back to Cape Town early tomorrow morning. Jüte put up the link below for me yesterday. Tamara LePine – Williams, the morning radio host of Classic FM, invited us to their studios for an off-air interview with me and Susan Schwartz, when Susan was here in Johannesburg from Paradise Valley Az. The producer of Tamara’s Wednesday book show slot had requested some weeks prior a copy of our co-authored book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ for review.

I was sent the link the day after it was it was broadcast almost two weeks ago. It is only with Jüte’s help that I am able to put it up. It’s just over 13 mins long. It begins with a little music.

Politically, all is still pretty hay-wire here in South Africa. The end of this year sees the governing political party putting forth their candidates for the 2019 elections. The opposition parties will be doing the same. We hope many of them join forces to oust the current trough feeders of the ANC and its leader. Quite a few of the ANC have openly stated that they want the president GONE. Right now, it’s open season with much muck-raking and mud-slinging by those who are fearful of losing their positions of power towards those who are morally stronger than they. Corruption is endemic, billions are lost annually to dysfunctional parastatals, money which could have been used for housing, medical clinics, education. I keep on thinking and feeling and hoping this lawlessness cannot last, surely justice will be served and those who deserve to be put in jail will finally get their come-uppance. But who’s to know – maybe it’s too firmly entrenched already –

I know that we are all troubled by world events and sometimes everything seems hopeless given the floods & fires, people in exile fleeing their war-torn homes, innocent lives lost, droughts & threats of nuclear war. Things are too unstable – 

Faith & Doubt – strange bedfellows. Doubt can strengthen faith though most times I feel like a feather blown in the wind. But holding the tension of these opposites is the essential task I’ve come to realise, for me, even though it is very difficult. Maybe the transcendent will emerge from these two extremes and I, and we, will land and stand on terra firma …

Thank you for reading. Keep safe and keep the faith – may our centre hold. The equinox for both hemispheres is around the corner – may that moment of balance be of lasting value. And may the full moon shine her energetic and healing brightness to all corners of the earth –


41 comments on “This that and the next thing”

  1. It’s strange to think that it’s spring somewhere else in the world…. Enjoy Susan. And I can’t wait to listen to the audio – how wonderful.

  2. Lovely to hear about your beautiful garden, Susan. My recent anxiety and pain has been to do with what has happened at KPMG – you many have seen it in the press. Two of the nine partners that are leaving are my direct bosses. I have worked with them for 18 years.

    • So sorry to hear how directly you are affected Robbie. I heard Pravin Gordhan on tv the other day saying how employees of KPMG would be affected. I truly wish for good outcome in this whole sorry mess –

  3. Your words and ideas ring true with me. “Keep safe and keep the faith – may our centre hold.” Yes, indeed. This seem like a perfect prayer and goal. So well said. Thank you.

  4. Dear Susan, Thank you so much for updating us with your spring news. Here in the UK it’s approaching autumn and I can already feel excitement growing for the imminent palette of rich reds, russets, browns and golds to adorn trees and hedges countrywide. Ha-Ha! For a moment there, I thought you were actually here in the UK, when I read those azaleas names!

    I agree retreating into nature is the best remedy for unease of mind, body, spirit and soul. The world seems certainly seems crazy at the moment! Alongside your doubt and faith, patience and strength seem to be two virtues I’m trying to hold onto at the moment. Thank you once more for reading and commenting on my latest post today, much appreciated!

    That was a great podcast, and a joy to listen too! I really like your “re-firing” instead of “re-tiring” take on life and exploration of trying to be in control and the impossibility of it as I’ve learnt with my healing ankle. Wonderful to listen to your wisdom! Blessings always, Deborah.

    • So lovely to hear from you Deborah not only here but on your recent blog post, the first in many a month and how rich your post is. How kind to take the time to listen to the podcast! Re-firing is I agree a more dynamic word, though retiring has its great benefits if we use that time beneficially, sometimes retiring from the world into Nature for its healing powers – in all sorts of ways. Blessings to you dear Deborah, pleased to hear you’re more mobile …

  5. Its always nice to connect with you susan, thanks for the updates, everywhere its the similar feeling the political parties are getting prepared to outdo one another in the 2019 elections. we have to pray for the leaders and also for the people to make the right choices when choosing the person to lead the country.

    Nice to hear about your son and daughter in law – it must have been a pleasant experience for you, congrats again for the radio interview. hoping that all go well with you, wishing you peace and blessings !!

    • Thanks Genevive for coming by. 2019 – I wonder how this will unravel in different parts of the world. Our ‘leaders’ can be so disappointing and it’s a wonder that they keep on being re-elected. I suppose it’s a truth that we get the government we deserve since they get our vote 🙁

      Yes, it was lovely to have Dave & Jüte with us! Peace & blessings to you dear Genevive & happy birthday to your lovely daughter and niece!

  6. I take such delight in hearing about your Spring-welcoming garden. Sometimes retreating to a garden is the only thing that eases some of the distress of the worldly goings on. And what a joy to listen to the podcast Susan.

  7. What’s not to like with floral scents named Oxford and Cambridge.

    Again, I marvel at our opposition in seasons, you anticipating spring and we facing fall. I am glad you enjoyed the companionship of family recently. Yes, I understand politics gone hay-wire, but my faith is not in men and their machinations. The center holds when I trust in a Power beyond myself. Thank you, Susan.

    • Thanks Marian – and for saying about the centre holding when you (one) trusts in a Power greater than one’s self. This is so true – thank you again!

  8. “The equinox for both hemispheres is around the corner – may that moment of balance be of lasting value. And may the full moon shine her energetic and healing brightness to all corners of the earth”

    Let us hope so, Susan.
    I love spring–enjoy.

  9. After a week of watching the fires, out west, and the horrible flooding conditions in Texas and Louisiana, the madness of No Korean missiles and a president who seems to believe he’s in a schoolyard bully battle, and so much more here, in the US, I await the possibility of the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Western Hemisphere. Then to be reminded of the insanity in So Africa, and to see views from around the world, all we can do is raise our spirit through prayer and meditation.

    Thanks for the scenes of your Springtime, in the southern most parts of the world. It’s time to literally smell the flowers.

    • Marcia, I’m watching the news and am very concerned for you all, and am hoping that Irma blows by into the Atlantic ocean and does not make landfall. We have to raise our spirits and just hope and pray that out of this chaos, order comes. Keep safe dear friend …

  10. Faith and doubt are so related.
    Thanks for mentioning the interview on Classic FM as it was interesting on many cultural levels…

  11. Boy, I can relate to the stress. My eyes are literally burning from the smoke and ash in the air from the fires. Plus, I’m terribly worried about the ways of the world as our leaders are making things worse. I’m beginning to feel that they are all crooks.

    However, on a good note, I just received your book, AGING AND BECOMING, A Reflective Enquiry, in the mail yesterday. I have just started reading.

    We all will get through this horrific mess of a world as we can work together and support one another. Love and Hugs to you and your delightful family.

    • Gwynn, you’re so right – these sorts of events also bring out the best in us when we support and care for each other in these troubled times. I’m sorry to hear about you being directly affected by the fires. Do keep indoors as much as possible. Thank you for letting me know you received the book which I hope you will find of some value. Love to you, keep safe … thoughts and prayers with all so affected.

  12. Thank you for this, Susan. I especially like what you said about holding on to the tension between faith and doubt. I think that Robert Graves meant something along these lines in “A Time of Waiting,” when he wrote about “fix[ing your] mind in a close caul of doubt” and holding yourself still.

    • Thanks T.J. – I’ll look up Robert Graves in the morning ‘A Time of Waiting’ .. how apt that is! Just returned from a play (Freud’s Last Session) where Freud and C.S. Lewis are in an imagined conversation as war is declared. The eternal questions were debated …

      • Thanks Tammy – I looked up Robert Graves’ A Time of Waiting’ – a wonderfully metaphoric poem.

        The moment comes when my sound senses
        Warn me to keep the pot at a quiet simmer,
        Conclude no rash decisions, enter into
        No random friendships, check the runaway tongue
        And fix my mind in a close caul of doubt –
        Which is more difficult, maybe, than to face
        Night-long assaults of lurking furies.

        The pool lies almost empty; I watch it nursed
        By a thin stream. Such idle intervals
        Are from waning moon to the new – a moon always
        Holds the cords of my heart. Then patience, hands;
        Dabble your nerveless fingers in the shallows;
        A time shall come when she has need of them.

  13. Hi Susan – I hear you … not an easy time … frankly Brexit is a trouble …and then all the ‘tales’ we’re told about so many things – I just wish we could find leaders who would lead – and not take power for the sake of exploiting all around it ..

    Love Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – I’d never heard it called Oxford and Cambridge … that scent and those blues especially with the Jacarandas a-coming …

    Foul weather here – thick wet mist … very thick wet mist!!

    Take care and wishing you well – I’ll be back to listen to the podcast tomorrow – cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary for coming by. We keep abreast of Brexit and Theresa May meeting in Japan to strengthen ties. Maybe the full moon will clear that thick mist? I’m hoping it will bring some rain… Take care your side too. Susan

      • Thanks Susan … I’ve almost lost track of Brexit, even though I belong to a group that does know about it … we’re still in the misty mire – but it is coming up to Autumn. Life changes … and so we go – cheers for now – Hilary

    • Welcome back to our shores Robbie after your time away in the UK 🙂 There’s no place like home really – even if it is the way it is. Thank you for coming by.

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