Monday, April 30, 2012

Sublittoral emotion

Life is strange.
I rushed down to the KZN South Coast yesterday in an emergency. Of the heart.
How do I even begin to encapsulate yesterday, last night and today in words?
I'm a swirl of deep current and dangerous emotion, not necessarily good. I'm being swept out to sea, but from a beach that I don't know well, maybe not at all.
I won't write that I'm floundering, I won't lie that I'm not uncomfortable and not way out of my depth.
I am disappointed. But I trust that I'm meant to be here right now, emotionally and geographically, although I have no clue why or what's next. And definitely not, again for emphasis, do I know why. Why?
I'm writing in code, because I know no other way to decode the current stream of my matrix without literally decoding it as I un-write it.
Back home, on my outside storm- and sun-battered couch, everything seemed so clear. And straight forward. And lonely.
I am alone. My world is an alone one. But it's changing. And I'm not sure how or why. Or where to.
So right now I'm surfing the sublittoral zone of my coastline on a razor blade. While the jaded and terribly aged Beach Boy's California Girls, playing very softly in the cool background of the coffee shop I've landed in, reminds me that all things shall pass, this too.
The passage of time, and the grappling with life's lessons, are themes that always flutter and then rot around my mind in deep autumn: I compel myself to live more deeply, more passionately, more intensely. Even at the serious risk of self-implosion.
So, right now, on which hook do I hang myself and this day? (Again, my prayer is for wisdom, understanding and - please God - guidance.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pingless on The Edge

Who would ever have thought. That a month and eight days later. I'd be sitting in exactly the same section of the couch. At roughly the same time. In Salvador's, Kaapsehoop.
But this time it would be deep autumn, as opposed to the very solstice itself. And that now, so quickly, I'd be with broken heart, as opposed to - then - one falling in love, and one filled to overflowing with the anticipation of a new relationship.
And that two birthdays would have passed, mine in celebration glory, his ruined. By me.
Oh I've been foolish and small, and have taken love, and human being, for granted. The pain is enormous. Much worse is my helplessness and knowing that my heart, and his, is in 'fate's' hand: Which way will the dice roll?
But the most serious question of them all, is whether I would have learnt my lesson or not?
How many more lovers must I bring to The Edge in just as many, or more years?
We'll walk to the edge after lunch is done, just as him and I did then. I'll look out with hope, looking for positive signs in cosmic tea leaves.
But for now my heart yearns for his Ping in my whattsapp, and to know (for sure) that I'm in his thoughts.
Oh how I have taken love for granted.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

He who dies (Ode to Life) - Pablo Neruda

Slowly dies he who becomes a slave to habit,
repeating the same journey every day,
he who doesn't change his march, he who doesn't risk
and change the color of his clothes, he who doesn't speak to he whom he doesn't know.

Slowly dies he who makes of the television his guru,
he who avoids a passion dies, he who prefers
black on white and dots on i's rather than a togetherness of emotions
exactly those that make the eyes shine,
those that make the heart beat
before error and feeling.

Slowly dies he who doesn't overturn the table,
he who is unhappy in his work,
he who doesn't risk certainty for uncertainty
to follow a dream,
he who doesn't permit himself at least one time in his life
to flee sensible counsels.

Slowly dies he who doesn't travel, he who doesn't read,
he who doesn't listen to music,
he who doesn't find grace in himself.
he who destroys his own love dies,
he who doesn't allow himself to be helped.

He who passes his days lamenting
about his own misfortune or the incessant rain dies.
Slowly dies he who abandons a project
before beginning it,
he who doesn't ask questions about topics he doesn't know,
he who doesn't answer when he is asked something that he knows.

Let's avoid death by small doses,
remembering always that being alive requires a much larger effort
than the simple act of breathing.
Only burning patience will bring within reach a splendid happiness.......

What you have to do

So if you're paralyzed with fear, it's a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.
Steven Pressfield has a written an entire, and brilliant, book about Resistance. He called it The War of Art. I keep it constantly before me, especially for times like this. When I'm riddled and rotten with fear. Petrified to stillness, procrastination and rearrangement. The rearrangement of my desk, the kitchen, the racks and shelves of my mind.
In a chapter titled Resistance and Fear he writes that fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.
"Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it."
He defines Resistance over a number of succinct chapters: Resistance is Invisible, is one of them.
"Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. It's aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work."

As you can see by the photos of my last few posts, I'm desperately hanging on to my last ten days alongside, and in the ocean.
As the winter darkness creeps, crawls into all the crevices of my life, I find myself hanging desperately on to the brilliant light, warmth, sea sand and fresh air of KwaZulu-Natal's Indian Ocean coastline.
Tonight, as like most of today, I'm in the doldrums. Resistance won hands down today.
Sitting on the faded-blue old couch in front of the as yet unlit wood stove, I look left and straight into the green full moon eyes of my cat: what contrast! Again, in an instant, I'm reminded of the beauty and simplicity of it all.
Leaning back I close my eyes and visualize my world to be different. And better. Much better.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Can't believe

I can't believe that I took these two pics early on Friday morning. It was just before turning inland and northwards from the coast, while wearing nothing but shorts. And with sea air blustered through my hair, and up my nostrils.
Tonight, walking home from mince and steamed fresh veggies on fluffy white rice at Celeste's, I was sorry for not wearing long pants, and felt aimless and empty beneath the southern cross. Stark in contrast to the high-on-ozone-and-holiday vibe that forced my heart through my chest while I, almost, cried at the beauty.
Tonight I'm aimless and empty in my valley life, feeling far away from a string of mountain top experiences. Experience has taught me, too, that it's impossible to live permanently on the mountain top; attempting to do so would, I imagine, result in a life immersed in drugs or alcohol, even anti depressants or a sex addiction.
The challenge is to find meaning in the now. Which is easier said than done. Especially when I have consciously chosen to leave behind the city's distractions and to permanently live in the country: seeking peace, quite and solitude, I'm guaranteed to be alone when staring into the abyss.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pineapple sage

The pineapple sage flowers are starkly and magnificently red; the herb has grown large, robust from the ample rains; I'm dreading what the winter will do to it.
The peach tree's leaves are yellowing fast and pointing straight down towards the ground.
Sunset was at 17h44.
I've begun, with the kitchen, readying the house for winter: the covers are off the couch and being washed, I've moved the kitchen table-for-two next to the far wall, and the large comfy couch to in front of the wood stove, where I'll spend my winter time working.
Have picked some passionate-red cannas for a vase on the table where I'm writing this; I've made a plunger of fine coffee; and I've had 2 wholewheat slices of honey and peanut butter: contentment oozes from my very pores.
Got into bed at 21h30 last night and most unusually got out of bed at 13h00; it was a much needed sleep and how I celebrated getting news that i have my masters degree; the coldy written email came at 16h58 yesterday, an hour before I arrived home from my very good time at and in the ocean; I've been toiling at it since February 2005.
Thank God it's over, and that I'm free to pass through new doors and begin the live-writing of new chapters.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Sidled into Vryheid for breakfast, for coffee, to do my morning pages, and then into Gary's Garden Centre for a boot full of plants.
I'm just about to leave Piet Retief after coffee, a burger, and time to chill. I crossed the KZN / Mpumalanga province border not so long ago. I'm well on my way home, and very low on blogging inspiration.
If I could but turn back time...

Zululand, KZN

I'm in no hurry; just like the tan of my sun-kissed body will fade, just like the deep, thick-luscious green of the coast is acceding inland defeat to winter lion-coloured veld and much less dense scrub.
Slowly am I winding my way home with frequent pee breaks and coffee stops and soon soon breakfast somewhere: slow boat seemingly going nowhere.
Tonight I sleep in my own bed, although my inner nomad could abandon two cats and just keep driving and typing and driving and taking endless e-reels of photographs.
Listening to Adele. Before that it was a long period of silence. The silence of memories cutting, dicing and slicing themselves up suicidally in my verdant mind: I'm green behind and beyond my ears.
Beautiful day

Most perfect

Zinkwazi, KZN: Two hours up the coast from Hibberdene, we left early, I'm gulping down a considerably cooled cup of awful coffee while gulping in fresh, tangy ocean air dripping with delicious ozone.
I've dropped off, low-key, Lee.
Got out the car and took off my shirt while, almost, crying at the beauty of the deserted beach, and at the passing of time. Basking in the sunshine the last ten days flash before me, as if I was on my deathbed.
But it's my rest's death.
I will now turn inland and begin the journey up the escapement, and northwards, to home and to winter. And to a new chapter.
Thank You

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stream of consciousness

Bargain Books at some crappy and depressing Shelly Beach mall; I find a pretty blue and white edition of Jack Kerouac's Big Sur. For R49. That's probably not even 5 dollars. And it's brand new.
I like my full stops (Apple's Genius converts it into filmstrips for me, the opposite), Jack hates them: there's only one, right at the end, in his 2-and-a-quarter page chapter one. And that's as far as I have got.
Stream of consciousness.

Sitting at Margate's Mugg & Bean I'm reading it. Not only have the horny holiday makers gone home, in their hordes, but the restaurant is offering a buy-one, get-one-free from its menu's centre spread: where the most expensive meals live.

The penised, horny cock palm trees on the beach are wearing pulsating fairy lights for protection.

I'm going to sleep. Then I'm heading back to Mpumalanga in the morning; my ten days, exactly, are almost over. Thank you.

My words hammer at the mirror of my life, and shatter it. Nevertheless my only release comes from putting them down, the words, and bones and tendons and stretching skin, also fine blonde hairs. The odd freckle.

I are. Full stop intended.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Mind blurred by two beers and tiredness; a deep seated tiredness in an unstressful holiday kind of way. Make sense?
I know this is irrelevant, but this for me, and always will be, I don't need anything.
"Coke is the new Sparletta; everywhere you go is the chocolate mouse": random conversation snippets. They tripping?
I'm at the Mantis and Moon backpackers at Umzumbe, 5 km southwards of Hibberdene. Having my second beer, with Lee.
My holiday days are numbered

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

At last: something real

"When something real is about to happen to you, you go toward it with a transparent surface parallel to your own front that hums and bisects both your ears, making eyes very alert. The light bends toward chalky blue. Your skin aches. At last: something real."
-- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Amazon: “Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopaedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.”




Monday, April 09, 2012

Simple. Life

A day, wonderful, of rain and, sometimes, thunder, and of not getting dressed, nor leaving the house. Well, until I starved that is.
Got a lot done.
It's an unattractive little town this, but I have a soft spot for it; I come here because the, marvelous, space is made available to me. I'm most grateful to my father for allowing me use of this characterful A-frame holiday house.
My room is in the pinnacle, cozy, wood-like, with a double bed, and leads onto a relatively new addition - a comfy, carpeted and closed-in balcony with a sea view. There I do my morning pages, work and write.
And stare into the distance, and dream. And few can notice my nakedness.
I sleep with the sliding door open at night, so that I can instantly see the sea-sky-weather and hear the breakers, and my heart beat and earth pulse.
My pizza has arrived, in time for the bottom half of my draught.
And the sun's emerged for the first time... I am, abundantly, blessed. Simply, and beautifully blessed.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


Rain's hurtling down. Dinner was good. I'm doing all that I can to avoid the wet walk home, even though my mind's nicely fuzzy: even to the point of ordering ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Here it comes...

Easter Sunday mellow

Hardly left the house today. Consumed words, expounded ideas and thoughts-before-ideas, mulching others that should still be in the ground.
Now at dusk, and drunk, I briskly stumbled the 1 km down the road to the Jolly Roger. Adding to my strong brandy and coke, after a swig-from-the-bottle of Cape Velvet liqueur - that's all that was in the house - I've ordered a golden half draught of Hansa Pilsener.
A fine-but-soaking rain's permeating everything, including my inner head, and I'm loving it: the ocean has become muffled beneath a low-slung and padded coastal cloud bank that's overwhelmingly hugging the coastline of my content.
Earlier, in the last sun, I baked by the salt water pool and Sherlockly researched a literary tourism article I'm working on, and that i hope to have almost done by the time I'm done here this week.
Alone amongst the crowds I'm happy. Very. And do now dry. Very.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Sunrise was at 5h46. The day here started at 19 degrees C, and according to Accuweather, a chill 6 degrees in Waterval Boven.
I left there on the cusp, the day before winter arrived.
Good morning
I've watched the sunrise with a plunger full of fine Kenyan coffee, now I've put on swimming shorts and, barefoot and shirtless, I'm walking the 1km downhill to Hibberdene's beach.
I want to enjoy the ocean and a long walk before it gets too busy and mall-like with the Easter holiday makers from up north, like myself.
Then back to my sunny room with a view at the top, eastern side of the A-frame house that I love so much.
I must remember to shut the windows before leaving, the marauding monkeys can teenage-party-ruin a place when one's back is turned.
It's a day drenched in ozone, golden morning sunshine, all against the 3D wallpaper of endlessly crashing breakers.
There's probably not a finer place to be right now than the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, especially as winter begins to stroke and scratch the rest of SA with long-nailed and icy white fingers.
My sun is rising...

Friday, April 06, 2012

Jolly Roger

The pace is a lot slower here. And the rules less rigid: smoke where you want, bring your kids into the Jolly Roger bar, where they can breathe in the putrid air and watch drunken adults and semi-adults behave in a blur.
A very fat semi-adult orders his second tray of 10 shooters, his lips tripping over a frayed string of f-words.
I'm sitting quietly, and unusually, at the bar; strangely enveloped in my own peace and quiet, despite the 20 people around me, I'm cocooned and happy.
I've spent most of today naked, and in bed, after coming back from
my 2 early hours on the beach. Reading. Surfing the net. Controlling my mind. Watching the Easter full moon rise over the ocean. Eating muesli, boiled eggs, almonds and drinking coffee. And controlling my mind.
Strangely at peace. And in my swimming trunks, while knowing full well that up north, at home, winter has arrived and the average day-time temperature has dropped to a chilly 10 degrees centigrade.
It's warm and fuzzy at the Jolly Roger. Very. I'll be leaving soon.
"Ek kom van Vereeniging af," says the obese 'boy'.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Unlocking and airing

The fine but soaking rain is rolling in off the ocean.
Lying in the middle of the upstairs room bed I can smell the liquid scent and hear the breakers, also the Easter weekend traffic on the N2 between Durban and Port Shepstone.
I've not been in the wooden A-frame house an hour: the locked-up damp holiday home reek is still wonderfully cloying to my senses, ghosts of alone times, and relationship times, scurry past the edges of my peripheral vision.
I'm here to rest and re-orientate myself.
It's dark. I'm alone. And exhausted. And I need to shave.
As I unlocked and aired, I saw forward with sadness to the locking up and the leaving. But I remind myself to remain in the now.
Lee, on the North coast, is picnicking tonight. Me, at Hibberdene on the South coast, I'm munching on muesli, unscrunching my tired eyes, and looking forward to sleep.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Zinkwazi, KZN

I'm savouring an unanticipated cappuccino at the Zinkwazi shopping centre, which consists - perfectly - of a beach shop/cafe, an outside coffee deck, and of a real estate company or two, I'm not sure.
It been sugar cane, mud huts, verdant rolling hill vistas reminiscent of Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country, humidity, and Indian South Africans peppered across the Zululand kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal.
While winter is fast approaching 600 km from here, where I live, there's definitely no sign of it here.
This is a subtropical paradise and I'm heading for a plunge into the warm Indian Ocean straight after this post.
An old, well-lined woman is puffing away on a cigarette at the next table, her back to mine as if she's a pariah. The blue plastic tube of her asthma pump, on the bench next to her, catches my eye. She's literally going up in smoke.
I'm dying to see Lee, when he's finished with work. But now to the beach...
(The 3rd photo is of the sky's reflection in the retina screen of my iPad. Loved it.)

Fine line

I've walked a fine line today, straddling bliss and an unhinged mind, in the beat possible sense.
On the way to somewhere, I'm driving to someone, two new journeys, while embarked on a 'larger' one that started the weekend before last. The 'larger' one refers to my newspaper publishing space, as well as to me as freelancer.
I'm smelling freedom in the air, while realizing that I'd slumped into a bottomless pit of endless work.
It's sounding vague, but as I walk the line the vagueness is un-blurring, being clarified.


This is forestry, timber and sawmill country: between Carolina, Amsterdam and Piet Retief.
Pine scent and woodsmoke: my titillation.
Long shadows as dawn fades and my breath hangs on the autumn-crisp air.
Looking forward to a hearty roadside diner breakfast at Wimpy, Piet Retief in 30 km.
Listening to Jannie Moolman crooning my heart sore. CD.
Road trip.
Typing while driving.
Fuel reached a record high at midnight; I'm glad to have sold my truck and gone the small car route.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


I'm in Nelspruit sitting at a coffee shop in the old mall.
It's warm here but bearable for a change, because of the first cold spell that has hit.
I'm entering a brief rest and hibernation space, everything has slowed down.
Tomorrow, at dawn, I leave for the ocean. And to see Lee.
I just found a wonderful, small and affordable nursery on the White River road. It's called Go Green. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the name.
There I bought 5 rare (to me) and unusual succulents. And I met a wonderful woman called Michelle. She works there, has beautiful eyes, and is going to Europe soon: Brussels, the Chelsea flower show, Tuscany, Florence and Venice.
Her 89-year old father paid for the trip.
She was born in the Congo, is a Belgium, and speaks French; all wonderfully unusual for White River.
I'm heading home soon to pack, and to ready myself for rest.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Present tense recovery

It's a cold and wintery dawn. Sitting by my morning pages and east-facing window, I'm watching gold-tinged elephant gray storm clouds scuttle my horizon.
I'm in a hoody and track pants, and for good measure a scarf, the first time this autumn.
I noticed on the weekend that the fig tree is quickly losing its leaves: lying on the ground crumpled and clawed, like an ancient lady's hand, they are understandably vigourless.
The leaves on the peach tree are, also, making their transition to shades of red and golden yellow, beautifully stark against the green grass of their deathbed.
In 48-hours I'm leaving in my car, and heading for the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. To see Lee for one night, to briefly explore his world, and sample the humidity.
Then its southwards past Durban, to Hibberdene and Easter.
I'm craving: scouring my bare feet on grainy sea sand; deeply gulping in ocean-saturated-heavy air; having the warm and tumultuous Indian ocean crash-scurry-pummel my body, which is desperately craving nakedness, and exposure to the elements.
I'm in a recovery place. It's time to lie fallow: I'm leaving to see better, to regain the gift of perspective and, especially, hindsight.
And to centre me.
And to give thanks to the God of the entire universe; I'm alive.