Sunday, August 29, 2010

Other half

These last few days I've been grappling with my other half, my other side so to speak. I've come to terms with it. Long time ago. But, how do I communicate him to anyone on earth will anyone else be able to grapple with him, then to still try live with him under the same room? He's the stuff great fiction is made from. Frighteningly great stuff.
This battle within is frustrating me. My nerve ends are raw, bloody.

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A day spent fighting mind battles. My own. You lust after what you can see. Or after what you have recently seen. Upheaval. But not good, and for no good reason. I have come a long way, yet always those long ghost-like, spidery fingers grip my throat...the worst is when you know better, and because you do, you have to take responsibility (all adult-like).
I worked for a while in the garden. Late afternoon. It did me some good. On two levels I weeded...the hardest to rip out were my negative thoughts. My erratic last week and a half has seen me unbalanced, mentally too.
Over supper I typed up a story on Kaapsehoop's so-called wild horses. I had handwritten notes from over a year ago. To find them I rummaged through notebooks I'd forgotten I had. Butterflies in my gut. Another time, another place...but all of those words describing my deep unhappiness at the time. Also lots of, what I thought at the time was therapeutic, sex. Words describing the painful steps...that got me to where I am now.
Which is in bed, reading those notebooks, and feeling my heart punch my rib cage.

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Tree hugs

Yesterday, on our way out of Johannesburg and just before collecting the Sept 10 newspaper from the printers, Harem and Anton gave us a Huilboerboon (NTN 202) - Weeping Boerbean or iHluze (Zulu) - tree.
Anton had bought it spontaneously near Rustenburg, only to realise it won't survive the Highveld's winter extremes, especially not frost. We're optimistic that this stretch of Middleveld will be more conducive to its health and longevity.
It's described as a handsome and popular, well-shaped tree with a rounded to fairly wide-spreading crown of glossy dark-green foliage that is beautiful coppery-red in spring.
And rich in nectar, they attract pollinating birds and insects.
"The tree busses with activity as birds squabble over abundant nectar that drips to the ground below."
Welcome to your new home tree, I look forward to you out-living me.

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Boschendal, Le Bouquet 2009

I've been depressed. At least for as long as for half of the winter. I'm forcing my mind out of hibernation. I've also not written, nor have I blogged. I've fallen into the trap of not having fun living. Of living without words.
To celebrate my personal spring I've taken off my shirt, put on shorts, have shucked my shoes, got out my gardening books.
I've also poured a glass of wine...

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Camino des Santiago

In this week I made up my mind to walk the Camino des Santiago. It is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. Right now I cannot possibly imagine being able to take the time out (at least a month) to walk the 780km, but now that it's on the 'agenda' so to speak, I'm waiting for God to give me a gap (and I'm probably in for a great lesson in patience in the process... the 'killing two birds with one stone' theory I suppose, with an chuckle).

Below is an opening of a paragraph of a story - Buen Camino‏ to the Camino Frances - written by someone who completed the pilgrimage last year. It titillated me to say the least:

The hotel attendant walked me down a very long, wide, immense stone hallway and showed me to my room. It was just what I needed! A small, cell-like room with a small bed, nightstand with no lamp, simple desk with a simple chair, high ceilings and a huge window on one of the stone walls. The bathroom had an old fashioned toilet with the water tank hanging from the ceiling with a chain to pull for flushing. The door was old and worn and shower curtain was flimsy, but I was grateful to have my own room and I was glad to have a refuge away from the teeming crowds on the streets outside...

The site I've enjoyed for my introduction on the pilgrimage includes a great blog.

Pic credits (with thanks!):

Friday, August 20, 2010


There's a beautiful fat chested cape robin, my good omen, amongst the blossoms on the otherwise bare, miniature, apricot tree in the back garden. Almost breathless with joy I linger at the kitchen window.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

God in the detail

Hectic, scratchy, all over the place kinda day. Late afternoon, in a
desperate hurry I came flying around the corner into the kitchen. Stopped
dead in my tracks. Beautiful. Was the orchid in the afternoon light on the
kitchen table. Was just what I needed. Broad smile. Only after that was I
able to notice the very first frogs of the coming spring, also that - at
last - there's movement & sound in the coming-to-life winter garden...
crickets chirping tonight, also moths on the backdoor screen. After the long
silence of winter I'm relieved. God is in the detail.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cold front

No exercise today, I hardly left the house. One of the last (bring 'em on!) cold fronts of winter hit last night, and looks to last (if tweeted 3rd hand weather reports can be trusted) until Sunday.
Instead, right now: red wine, laptop, fire, freezing outside, 2x cats, and a faded blue couch; all of which equals a backpack full of personal bliss.
Oh yes, S is cooking... I just wish S could cook quietly; then all would be perfect. (That's a joke, especially if S is reading this.)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Courage & confidence

Ayn Rand: "Courage and confidence are practical necessities . . . courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth, and confidence is the practical form of being true to one's own consciousness."
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Sunday, August 01, 2010


Oranges, tangerines and ruby grapefruit.

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Northern Province road

Scenery has again dramatically changed. Tinderbox landscape the colour of a lion, on the road between Tzaneen and Lydenburg.
It's beautiful. And inspiring.

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Magoebaskloof, Limpopo

Coming down the Magoebaskloof, on the R71 between Haenertsburg and Tzaneen, I'm amazed at the transition from arid and bleak to the green lushness and forests.
Also, after traipsing around Haenertsburg village, I've reached the conclusion that I live in an tourst-unfriendly dump, that the same label can be given to Machadodorp and Belfast.
We need to ask whether we really have anything to offer people should they decide to stop?

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Tropic of Capricorn

I'm just driving out of Polokwane in Limpopo province. 300km north of Waterval Boven, it's hot, arid, dry and very flat.
Spring has more or less arrived here on the tropic of Capricorn, fruit trees - in stark contrast to bleached bone, dry skin landscape - are in bud, their green leaves give a welcome, calming relief to my eyeballs.
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