Saturday, June 30, 2012

Turning point

Namaste. I'm back at home after a tumultuous week, and the stressful completion of another edition of the newspaper, one more closer to The End;
I'm sitting in my favourite chair, the ugly one, in the morning winter sun by the window, about to write my pages;
I feel yesterday was the beginning of the turning point - and a heading towards, and embracing of, and living in a new 'sanity' - of the life storm / drastic soul shaking that I'm currently being flogged with-and-through;
So what have I learnt this week (a learning that feels to have almost saved my life)?
I have learnt to no longer derive my identity, my sense of who I am, from the incessant stream of thinking that in the "old consciousness" (Eckhart Tolle) I took to be myself;
"What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that. The awareness that is prior to thought, the space in which the thought - or the emotion or sense perception - happens." (Tolle again.) I have grasped with firstly accepting, and going into the place with awareness.

Another photo of an aloe flower? Yes, the lion khaki of the tinderbox-dry winter environment is magnificently alive and colorful with these sense-saving flora. Every year I give thanks for these passionate red-and-orange-and-yellow missiles that brightly dot my landscape.

Exactly five years ago last night I moved into this home and began a drastically different life journey; one that has tested, and rewarded me, to way beyond anything I could have ever imagined;
I am grateful, I am thankful, I offer up a yielded and pliable spirit for the next chapter of the journey, one which has already begun in earnest....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Breakup of the old

Kaapsehoop: the sun's heading towards setting, I'm experiencing a strange combination of mellowness and anxiety at the intrinsic changes taking place in the very roots and within the very foundations of my life, of my existence.
I'm lying on the bed in the old forester's house reading, and pushing my fingers into my own rawness and tenderness, into my own pain.

"A significant portion of the earth's population will soon recognize, if they haven't already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. A still relatively small but rapidly growing percentage of humanity is already experiencing within themselves the breakup of the old egoic mind patterns and the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness." - Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Other side of half way

The longest night, belonging to the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, was on Thursday. It was a particularly dark and cold night; I'm glad its over.
I look forward to more light, longer days and spring. But before that comes the worst ravages of winter, always in the second half.
For now, mostly silently, I'm struggling through each day, taking them on one at a time.
At dusk I had my first proper, and longest, run ever in Waterval Boven, followed by a good stretch.
I've had a torrid week.
It's the most miserable I've ever been here in 5 years (on 29th June 5 years ago I left corporate Ogilvy for the last time and moved, that night, into this house).
My heart for here appears to be gone, I'm finding it excruciating and painful to be here.
I took the photo of the lighthouse, built in 1972 if I'm remembering correctly, at Tugela River Mouth on Monday. That day also turned into an excruciatingly painful late afternoon and evening: the tears streamed down my face in the car on the way back to Zinkwazi Beach, then again on the beach. My gut was lead-heavy with dread at leaving for 'home' the next morning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The fire

Sitting on the blue couch in front of the wood stove, winter is knocking at the back door.
The black cat's on my lap, the wild tortoiseshell is on the cushion, up tight against me.
The large black and white kitchen clock is ticking; the flames are licking, crackling and roar-rustling against the solid steel of the stove.
I'm reading Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving:

"The most important sphere of giving, however, is not that of material things, but lies specifically in the human realm. What does one person give to another? He gives of himself, of the most precious that he has, he gives of his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other - but that he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humour, of his sadness - of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other's sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself an exquisite joy."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mtunzini at dusk

Early dusk; the weather's in flux from fair to moody, so's the temperature of my soul-heart; we're randomly sitting on the outskirts of a fire pit not far from Mtunzini's raffia palm forest-monument and two zebras. It's Nature's Way backpackers.
Mtunzini is on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, I've only been here once very, very long ago. Tomorrow I'll be passing close by, on smy way 'home'.
The rain is coming, he says.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lagoon edge

Zinkwazi: The sun disappears from here, South Africa's eastern coastline, early in the winter months.
Sitting on the lagoon edge drinking a mug of good, strong coffee while waiting for my beloved, my heart appears to beat in rhythm with the ocean.
Wearing only shorts and a soft, white cotton t-shirt that caresses my skin and does not catch on my chest hair, I'm dipping into Don George's Travel Writing, and Janna Levin's A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines.
Children fishing on the opposite side of the lagoon sporadically laugh on the afternoon after the youth day public holiday. Their happiness lifts my heart even higher while my skin prickles from today's earlier sun.
The breeze is stronger, the air cooler, and the tips of the breakers whiter as they catch-and-then-reflect the last direct rays of syrup-golden late afternoon sunshine; my most favourite sunshine of all the sunshines!
I am rested, I am recuperated, I am alive.
My life is also simpler and more streamlined than a month ago, and almost unbelievably more so than 6 months ago.
I wait - like a big-eyed and excited child on his birthday - for the next move-gap-space-spark (no full stop intended)

All these things shall love do unto you

All these things shall live do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor.
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

- The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran

Friday, June 15, 2012

Speak to us of Love

And he answered:
People of Orphalese, of what can I speak save of that which is even now moving within your souls?

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love:
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings engulf yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your heights and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you into himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you free from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

- The Prophet: Kahlil Gibran


Yesterday, when I opened the window to garner inspiration from the dawn - because I'd woken exhausted - the deck outside was glistening wet and there was only a millimeter separating the battleship-gray ocean from a heavy set and elephant-gray sky.
In that moment I knew I needed a duvet day; that I needed to rest and recuperate.
I was in Zinkwazi for the previous night and felt pressured to hit the road with the work I had to do. It's a pressure that turbulently lives in your gut, and is particularly intense if you're self-employed, self-sufficient. It's not easy to stop, your month-end salary's never guaranteed.
But it's been a year, so far, of incredible pressure, high intensity and change: it's a new chapter that thus far sees me walking a tightrope of flux, fluidity and faith in the next blind step. Rest is what I needed.
In this year, particularly, I've learnt about the importance of striving towards life/work balance.
That's why i decided to spend the entire day in a bed, mostly sleeping and resting. Only much later in the day did I surface, an hour before sunset (which comes very early, relatively speaking of course), in this part of the world.
I picked my way along the damp and deserted beach; then back on the beach road gulped in deeply the heavily-laden-salt-humid-lush-vegetation-imbibed lukewarm air despite that it's winter.
It was moisture and scents I was unfamiliar with. As was the calm and quiet of a seaside village that casually enwrapped me in its arms, made me feel welcome, and gave me rest.
And gave me a well-deserved cappuccino as the weak sun faded to black.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Deep silence

Over two weeks have passed without typing a word into this space.
The fog behind my eyes longs to push rewind, replay, for you, and you, and for me.
Life doesn't work like that: thank God for the morning pages, without them I'd be unable to process my life and it's passage.
I write into, through, and out of my pain, joy, happiness and love.
Right now I selfishly wipe away the tears, and years; and living in the moment I repeatedly plunge the dagger of my pain and loneliness into my own heart.
But, in answer to my prayer for wisdom and understanding I know that distance, time apart, and space, make for a wonderfully sustaining and long lasting mulch. I need to stand back in peace and silence, both for perspective, and so that I can draw upon my God: my hand in His.
For now I pull over the covers and close my eyes.
I am, without doubt, alive: What a two weeks and a bit it has been.