Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fine rain..

It's been an exceptional year of rain. Normally, by now, the rain would have dried up, except for a brief burst just before the autumn. This year the rain has not let up; I'm grateful because for me it's symbolic of His blessings showered upon me.
I'm at the Sabie River Sun's restuarant: sitting outside, under the deck, right next to a magnificent Lowveld garden I can feel the faint mist of therain on my arm and face. Breathing in deep the fresh humid air of these lower altitudes, I'm ecstatic to be alive and considering new options and directions. And the Boschendal Blanc de Noir was great... Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sometimes I just sit..

I consider it a priviledge to be able to just sit and watch the clouds move, I know when the rain is coming and from where. I have a table at the back of the house and the view from it calms me. I know now that when the mountain starts turning brown it's the grass going to seed, not it being parched of water. Two wagtails have become friendly and don't mind me as they scavenge for last night's moths, those that didn't get burned by the flame.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Red velvet

Paul Theroux, in his latest travel book 'Ghost Train to the Eastern Star' has so far introduced me to two writers: Orhan Pamuk and Pico Iyer.

Iyer says that travel writing, more than any other kind of writing, has to transport you, has to teach you about the world, has to imnform you, and, ideally, has to take you into deeper and deeper questions about yourself and the world. He says the writer's job, as Milan Kundera once told Philip Roth, is to see the world as a question. And travel writing has to hold your attention, first, and then take you into a dialogue between yourself and the world that tells you something new about both and compels you more powerfully than any other dialogue around.

As thunder richochets off 'Imemeza' - which in Seswati aptly means 'place of shouting' - the amphitheatre-like mountain behind my house, I'm reading Pamuk's 'Istanbul: Memories and the City'. But the books piled high on my bedside table, an old zinc tpped beehive box stolen from a forest near White River, encourages dabbling.

One that I've read before but have returned for inspiration, to hold up at a different angle and for different reasons in the half light, is Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing Down the Bones'. In the introduction she lists four of Jack Kerouac's essentials for prose:
- Accept loss forever
- Be submissive to everything, open, listening
- No fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language, and knowledge
- Be in love with your life

Now that my arm is lame from being leaned on, that the gelatin reek of the dog's chewed hoof has become overpowering, and while the rain still slaps down on the concrete just outside my wide open window, I'm putting out my passionate, velvet red-shaded bedside lamp.
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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Balmy Sunday afternoon

Black Eagle Pub & Restaurant: No better way to spend a hot summer's afternoon than with shorts and t-shirts in the baking sun across the table from friends with a glass of chilled wine in my hand, a view over the mountains that hedge the Elands Valley, not 20km eastwards down the N4 from Waterval-Boven. This is the Lowveld after all, and the temperature here always confirms this. That's why it was a pleasure to walk down to the river - the Schoemanspruit runs down the mountain behind Black Eagle and into the Elands River - to dip my sun browned toes into the cool, not icy, water. Even though I could, ironically, yesterday evening and early this morning, sense the impending winter. Bring it on I say!
Life could not be better and I wouldn't want to be living anywhere else... except, perhaps, the Karoo.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

He's huge, wild and dangerous

As it turns out, we do not have a little, tame, domestic God, thank God, but we do have a huge, wild, dangerous God - dangerous of course only if we think that God ought to be manageable and safe; a God of almost manic creativity, ingenuity, and enthusiasm; a Big-Enough God, who is also a supremely generous and patient God; a God of beauty and chance and solidarity. - Sara Maitland

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I've chosen the road less travelled

Last night just after I gulped in deeply the scent of an unexpected and translucent lemon blossom on the tree in my backyard, the rain started. Even in the dark I could see that the mountain behind the house was completely covered in a woolly blanket of mist. Every time I awoke in the night I'd smile deep-in-my-sleep-to-myself at the sound of the rain, at the splat of it on the ground outside my window because of the rusty hole in the gutter. So far this year my distractions have been less, the pull to the city diminished, and my home has drawn me in and pulled itself around me; this last weekend, two years ago, I fell in love and offered to buy it. Now, sitting on the couch, my knees pulled under my chin and my morning pages book on the arm of my blue couch, I sip coffee from my little brown-glass mug (the only one left from the original 80's family set) and rejoice in my almost complete freedom... longing to travel, open to the world, I wonder where this road will lead?

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