Thursday, March 31, 2011
This is a crazy space for me, I've a long history with Wits over many phases of my life. It's both a nostalgic and dangerous space, also one that's a strange combination of intellectual insecurity and intellectual awakening.
I've set June as the deadline for completing my MA, while my other goal is to drastically expand my freelance output as a writer, while simultaneously growing the business and publishing aspects of the newspaper.
But to achieve all of these things I need to focus. And it's focus that remains my greatest challenge. I need somewhere remote that I can retire to for a short while to realize perspective. Somewhere in nature, preferably on he ocean.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Then the rain came this morning, after a great night's rest. A restless moaning of the wind through the trees, which are already lighter because of shedding their pale-yellowed leaves, followed the downpour.
I've been thrilling at the thought of the respite from the summer and it's much harsher light; my skin has been crawling at delicious thoughts of my annual pilgrimage into the heart of the Karoo. It's a luxury time of solitude and introspection that I always allow myself at this time of the year: a period of self-searching assessment and questioning of my life path, and whether I'm 'on track' or not.
But for now it's another cappuccino and a bagel breakfast at Fourno's in Benmore, where I'm enjoying the gray, moody weather.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
What's the lesson in this? It's that you can run but you can't hide. Everywhere you go you take your head with you.
So what does that leave me with? Cut it off I say...cut my head off.
Now we're sitting in Harrie's Pancakes in Dullstroom after scoffing down a creamy spinach and mushroom pancake, also a Thai chicken one with chilli marmalade.
Now for a slice of carrot cake and stainless steel plunger filled with local coffee from Sabie.
I wisely spent this weekend resting, so that as of tomorrow I can take on my new challenges as the publisher of the newspaper, while working closely with Claire Taylor, our month-old editor. I sense great things in the pipeline...
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
It also means we're entering fire season. That's why fire breaks are now being burnt, and the highway's grass verges bushwhacked.
Before Easter gets here it's the blessing of this season to enjoy cosmos flowering. But more about that later....
My favourite is the moody little sand road that runs parallel to the railway tracks. When there I try to imagine how things were back then.
Where, for example, did the Transvaal Republic's president Paul Kruger take his walks in the short time that he was here before going into exile in Switzerland via Lourenco Marques?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I took a breather at sunset, what a beautiful one it was, but many hours later we're still at it. I'm longing for bed...
one I photographed on the edge of the Mpumalanga escarpment, near
Kaapsehoop, a step or two away from Adam's Calendar.
They are always a sign to me that the days of summer are shortening, that
autumn is approaching. Nevertheless I find them extremely beautiful and love
that my house if filled with their scent. It also gives me great pleasure to
know that city folk pay astronomical amounts for these flowers that grow
here in wild abundance.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Life is short. Time passes quickly. We have only this lifetime. I want to live passionately, deeply, intensely. I want to live an out-of-the-box, albeit simple, life.
My friend Angela and her two daughters stopped in say goodbye before heading home to Johannesburg. I could sense her heart was heavy, that she longed to be staying here longer, that she was dreading Monday. Her burdens are heavy. I long for her to be free...and for her to have the strength and courage to into the abyss hot on the heels her dreams. She is a writer dying to break free... and the world can never have enough writers.
The photos were taken this morning in Cape Town by my friend Ronelle Rust. She was photographing the Argus cycle race. Both here and in Cape Town it was a magnificent morning.
Among other things, she is a cycling photographer.
Today I long for the (more or less) southern tip of Africa; for the pungent combination of seaweed and Atlantic ocean at Seapoint, also for the cry of seagulls.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I have a lot of work to do this weekend. I must be strong. I'm in hectic, pressured space currently.
Friday, March 11, 2011
It's a perfectly peaceful Friday evening. I've just come indoors from watering the garden barefoot, without a t-shirt, it's so hot and humid.
There's a slight, cool breeze through the house; I'm leaving the curtains and blinds open so that I can soak in the cool, calm and peace.
Angela and her two young daughters came to visit. They brought a milk chocolate cake from Zoune's with them; it's tradition when they come from the city.
The kid energy in the home was good, what I needed.
Now it's time to be alone and rest.
Happiness and calm seeps through me.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
I also saw a dead-still crocodile and a fearless hippo.
The sun setting through the quiet arbors absorbed my melancholia, and had me lifting my eyes heavenwards.
There's a lad in a wheelchair. I can see that it's a permanent situation for him. His dad is steering, pushing, guiding. My heart goes out to them both. I send a prayer too. And I thank God that all my limbs and senses are intact; may I never ever take them for granted. Thank you for my legs God.
I'm also enjoying baking my bare legs in the hot sun.
Then a young male Jack Russell, with the prettiest face muzzled up against me and expected attention. Which I lavished upon him.
On the way, now, to Graskop, then to God's Window.
It's a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, just sunshine on my skin. And joy in my heart.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Crickets and frogs all around. Cascading water behind me. Plonking nearby in pool, so I know they are there. A faint breeze trills my arm hairs. A cough, them their deep and haunting bass bark.
It's good to be in Africa tonight.
Today's forecast is clear skies and 35 degrees Celsius; it's going to hard to pin myself down to get some work done. If not, next week will also be a blur.
Friday, March 04, 2011
The resort is quiet, I can hear laughter in the background. Also crickets chirruping. Above, pressed in black velvet, is the milky way and southern cross.
This is the Lowveld bushveld; relatively close to Kruger, we are walking distance to Hazeyview: Sabie River Sun.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
A cafe mocha at Seattle, Millys on the N4, one of my favourite coffee joints in the region. Many hours have been spent here analyzing my life, other's actions, or merely resting like now.
It's a magnificent evening, the sky is blue, the sun's setting in all it's glory.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The first thing she stipulated that needed commitment was the freehand writing, daily, of three foolscap pages first thing in the morning, while your mind still belonged to the night and sleep.
No matter what you did you had to write those pages. It also didn't matter what you filled them with. Just fill them, she said, and don't stop until you're finished. Don't reread, don't edit, don't care about spelling or anything else. Just write.
Ten years later I've scores of A4 folio books filled with wild scribbling. Meeting at the pages just about every morning has saved my life on hundreds of occasions. These books are witness to my personal emancipation, from my selfish, self-centered self. Not that I had a hand in that...
My morning pages have over time become a daily three page direct letter to God. Like clockwork he meets me on the pages everyday. The pages are about everything and nothing. I cannot even contemplate a day not begun in the pages.
The photo is of three new lithops plants that I bought on a street in Melville on Saturday. Lithops, or living-stones, are astonishing members of the succulent family Mesembryanthemum, which has adapted a physiological structure and colouring to survive the extremely dry conditions of it's South African home. These plants inspire me; they remind me of my exile in the desert, when I believed I was king. When I see them, I long for the Karoo... which is my personal soul-space.