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 – 

60 Comments on Word Games While Walking

  1. I loved this post! … the pondering of your mind, rearranging a single word to reflect your thoughts … but mostly I loved “gaining lightness”. It works on so many levels! I think this might become my new all-purpose mantra 🙂

  2. Hi, Susan! Checking in to see your blog, and loving your holiday photo! I am impressed with your variations on the word “DIET” which has become so laden with negative connotations. I’ve been working to eat to “nourish my body,” but I also like the idea of “lightening the load” and “editing my world.” I’ll be back!

    • Great comment Jane thank you! ‘Editing my world’ … so long as we keep in the important bits and pieces even if tricky …

  3. What a lovely post Susan. I’ve always enjoyed your blog and am going to try to stop by more often. I love your emphasis on gaining lightness and the word game…very clever. I’m glad that you are finding your way up out of gloominess. I’ve been to that place and didn’t much care for it either. The service is terrible 😉

    It is starting to warm up a little here. I’m looking forward to getting out more too, roaming the streets…hanging out in the park. Enjoy your walks.

    • How great to see you here Tracy thank you for coming by! Yes, gloom comes and goes … I agree the service is terrible!
      Ah roaming the streets, nothing like a stretch of the bones, walking, thinking, seeing, observing inner and outer – enjoy!

  4. I’m hoping for a little lightness in my future too. And as for the editing… Oh my, my. I’ll never be done. As soon as I get close, there’s more in my pile. 🙂

  5. I love your idea of gaining lightness. Lovely picture too. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. Look forward to reading your posts in the A to Z Challenge.

  6. I too have just returned form 3 weeks camping at the beach and am fronting up to a reality that I so willingly disappeared from . I always want it to linger to go on forever in that way of the child but wherever we go we have to return and pick up the threads of attachments to our reality. simultaneously we have the opportunity to see with fresh eyes and weave our ‘outside time’ back into the world choosing and allowing some things to go and picking up new ones as you have with gaining light. beautiful description – such a word of limitation diet as if by tinkering around with it we think we will gain control.
    what a delight to come home and hear from you thank you susan

    • Sandra, how lovely that you came by thank you!

      I hope your re-entry into your other reality brings lightness and joy, peace, quiet, lingering and reflection.

  7. Beautiful photo, Susan — great quality. And oh, I would love to read that letter. I used to play fun with words as a kid — in fact the character in my book makes reference to the same using this as a clue in finding the bad guy — and your anagram here brought it all back. Walking does that; I do some of my best thinking while walking — or while stuck in traffic. 🙂

    • Thanks Silvia for your comment! How interesting about the character using words’ as a clue in nabbing the baddie! Am madly intrigued … 🙂

      Traffic is also great I agree …

      The photo was with my Samsung Galaxy S111 mini … only 3 pixels I think, but this time round the object of the photo did all the work … I’s love an Apple 6 … or some such with a zillion pixels ..

      BTW my letter to newspaper is reprinted on this blog …

  8. Hello Susan,

    Hope you are doing well. I discovered your lovely blog last year via AtoZ Challenge. So, when I got an opportunity to nominate someone for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, you were in my thoughts. This leaves me to wonder if you will accept my nomination ! In case you are thinking what is it, you can find out more about my nomination here:

    Bangalore, India

  9. Personally, I don’t do anything with the word “die” in it these days, Susan, since life is short and I’ve way too much to live for. Food is a necessity, but it also tastes really good and is a very social activity. Plus, I love to cook and garden, which makes food a bit of a creative outlet for me.

    People make such a big deal about food, eating and weight. My personal philosophy is everything in moderation. Self discipline (or lack of it) seems to be more the issue at hand, in my opinion. Everyone is prone to a few extra pounds during the holidays. It’s the people who over-indulge all day everyday that have true health and food issues, not those of us who enjoy all the treats of the season, if only to kick ourselves in January (and maybe February) while we work hard to lose those few extra pounds. It’s my 2 cents. Don’t beat yourself up too much and keep moving forward.

    Ah, editing…that’s a work in progress that never truly ends, isn’t it? Editors definitely need to be responsible when editing another persons work. I’m glad you took the time to respond. We’re all in this together, and sometimes editors need to have their bubbles deflated a little bit too.

    I’ve swam parallel to the shoreline in the Pacific Ocean a few times in my life. It takes a bit of time to walk back when you finally make it to the shore, but at least you are safe. The ocean is to be respected and admired for its beauty. Short of that, it’s power will soon overtake those who treat it foolishly.

    The photo is stunning! Cell phone cameras sure are getting better and better these days. Long winded comment, I know, but it’s been a while since I’ve visited, and it really is nice to catch up a bit 🙂

    • Thanks M.J. for coming by and such a thoughtful response! I wasn’t really beating myself up about the extra kilo or so … (it’s already gone!) Food though has so many connotations –

      Putting ingredients together and working in the garden is so satisfying and creative as is enjoying the fruits of one’s labour – as is swimming in the sea and being aware of its extraordinary power and beauty.

  10. Love the idea of rearranging letters. That could be one of those weekly writing prompts (that I never participate in). I don’t like gaining weight not so much because of appearance, but then I have to buy new clothes and that’s always a problem. I’m insanely difficult to please in that area.

    • I re-arrange letters in words all the time in my head and it’s constantly surprising. If I look at the word ‘clothes’ I can make only 2 though – no, wait, 4 .. actually 11, 12 – this is difficult ..

      Thanks for coming by Jacqui 🙂

  11. Yes, there is a definite feel of shedding about 2015 – the heaviness of the past few years is lifting and we’re seeing glimmers of light ahead. I’m looking forward to 2015 (and being lighter in many ways, including “editing” the excess body weight into a leaner, meaner kg count! 🙂

    Great photo of the seagull!

    • Thanks for coming by Judy! Apart from Eskom’s (Eishkom)load shedding may the shedding continue for you and lightness be your guide.

  12. Thanks so much Lee! Very interesting to know about the A-Z idea while walking! You’ve given me an idea about the upcoming one! I better make a note of this …
    I agree about long drives being ideal for creative thinking and being –

  13. That was the ideal word to play a word game with. Walking is such a wonderful thinking time. I do it a lot. In fact I conceived the Blogging from A to Z idea while taking a morning walk and have come up with many blog posts during walks. Long drives can be good creative thinking times as well.

    Tossing It Out

  14. Another lovely post, Susan. Thank you, and for the delightful word game. Walking is my favourite form of exercise. It’s great for thinking through plot, and coming up with new writing ideas. It gives a feeling of lightness to heart and body 🙂

    • Lovely comment Sharon thank you! I must try thinking perhaps while walking … I go into another zone sort of … maybe another kind of thinking but I do find it creative 🙂

  15. Yes Susan. Gaining lightness! Perhaps in everything. I would like to gain lightness in involvement with shallow busyness, with time wasting altogether – take in more activities that make me light of spirit – walking, playing, writing, drawing, meditating!
    And I love that moment you capture. beauty.

    • So beautifully put Jan thank you and I find encouragement in your saying so, so thank you! May lightness be your guide, and the dark your friend …

  16. FYI – the print of of the scan was really small and I couldn’t attach it
    20 Mail & Guardian January 16 to 22 2015

    Comment & Analysis
    Letters To The Editor

    Whites are South Africans too

    ”I read Buhle Zuma’s piece “Why we should not give racist white people what they want ” (January 9) a few times in order to understand his position better before putting pen to paper.
    The history of South Africa is dark and the struggle was grim. Countless individuals in the struggle were white, as were organisations, political parties, newspapers, churches and teachers, who fought against apartheid, knowing that denying anyone anything based on the colour of their skin was a crime against humanity. Part of me feels that Zuma is giving the middle finger to those who also struggled, and I am aggrieved at his short memory or lack of knowledge about the contribution of whites.
    I for one do not live ‘in a peculiar fear and fantasy of death…guilt-induced’. I am only too aware of the complex world in which we live. We face formidable challenges and would do well to reflect where we’ve come from and where we’re headed.
    It is not only ‘black people who are changing’; we are all changing, as we must. Can we not do this together? We, too, are South Africans and believe in ubuntu”. – Susan Scott

  17. Loved the blog, lots of clever parallels – enjoyed the twist on Diet – getting lighter?
    I cannot work out what WIP is? Remarkably simply I am sure….. Blank Important Person??

  18. Beautiful scene caught by the camera. Thank you for these thoughts. The amazing point is that despite the vicious undercurrents that hide Mack-the Knife, Europeans continue to bring in gifts of millions of Euros and donate the gift to South Africa towards the National Development Plan, and I refer here to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Germany, The Honorable Steinmeier
    amazing goodwill towards South Africa.

    • Thanks so much Gillian for coming by. Goodwill by and large amongst all the ‘ordinary’ people here in SA, and from afar, is what keeps us going. Long may it remain!

  19. I love the word play, especially the ones of diet and tide. Glad you are well my friend and thankfully you have the most important thing, your health!

    • Thank you Vicki! Yes, health is so important, in all ways, physically, psychologically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally – unsure how I rate on them though! Especially important, how are you Vicki – I was thinking of you the other day …

      • So nice of you to think about me! Truthfully I’ve been better but you give what life chooses to give. Never give up till you run out of options.

        • Vicki, thank you for responding back. I guess our reaction to what life doles out is what makes us ponder and wonder about our place in it … Never give up, and even when options appear to have run out, this can be the turning point.

  20. Sis, I love this post – The riptide – it’s happening all around us, on all levels, all over the world. Ride with the tide…… will deposit you in a safe place. Difficult not to fight it…. instinct tells you to fight it in order to survive, and yet……… I need to think more about this. Please will you post the letter to the editor as well as your response. Beautiful photograph of Plettenberg Bay

    • Thank you dear Sis for coming by. Yes the rip tide is all around us, on all levels, micro and macroscopic. Sometimes the macro level seems so huge that we ignore the microlevel … yes, I’ll be thinking more about this as well ..

      I’ll see what I can do about putting up my letter. It was last week’s Mail and Guardian …

  21. Dear Susan,

    Interesting word games.

    Letting the tide take you has a brighter side! Pema Chodron, a Tibetan nun who lives (lived?) in Halifax, Canada wrote about meditation. Other than the physical breathing of Buddhist practice, she advised becoming more mindful of the pain, anxiety, discomfort, fears, stress—embracing these. The psychological undertow can be embraced and you come out to a higher level.

    • Thank you so much Joseph for commenting and saying about Pema Chodron and the embracing of all the anxieties – and the psychological undertow that is ever present. Lovely comment thank you!

  22. I loved the twists in the words. You will laugh at me… Remember it is early here when I started to read your post. My brain hadn’t fully turned on so in reading your post at first I was thinking that you were depressed… the let-down from after the holidays after all. THEN, MY brain kicked into gear and I enjoyed the twists that a little word could provide. GREAT THINKING Susan!!

    Btw, all of my walking has helped me leave my extra baggage on the streets. I think you will benefit from your walks. Also, I would LOVE to see the letter that you sent your newspaper. I really enjoyed the picture of your waterfront…so SPECTACULAR!! Thanks!!

    • The benefits of walking … I know that you love it Gwynn out among the boardwalk and the pigeons come cloud or shine. Yes I was a bit depressed when I went walking – lightened up a bit thereafter!

      I’ll ask the girls at the rooms to scan the letter and see if I can attach it or something …

      And thank you for commenting!

  23. Your anagram is pure genius and drove home several messages in this clever post. One, related to diet, has inspired me to get out the door and WALK today before I get sucked further into the quagmire of phone calls and writing. The brilliant photo tops it off!

    Another anagram I like is Silent – re-arranged the letters spell Listen.

    • Thanks so much Marian! Hope the walk was good and energising! I forced myself again this afternoon, cleared my head!

      I love your anagram thank you! Pretty powerful!

  24. I would love you to publish your letter to the editor for those of us unable to get a copy.
    Your word twists and mind twists are intriguing. Maybe reading the world with different lens brings the unconscious to conscious sight.
    Thank you…

    • Thank you Susan for commenting – much appreciated! Walking does that, brings out the hidden as my ego takes a break and I see/think/feel about things differently. On another level, I’m amazed sometimes at what I miss when retracing my steps. How could I not have seen these newly lain plants on someone’s pavement when I passed them 10 minutes ago? Maybe I was on the other side of the road – but still ..

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