Monday, April 28, 2014


Today was a recharge day.
I did not leave the apartment; after waking at 10 I lay in bed reading for two coffee's worth.
Then I ran a deep, hot foam bath and read for three and a half hours while scoffing down a glass of chilled white wine and  baguette slices smeared with humus. In the bath.
Then I took these two photos.

This view over Woodstock and District Six towards the east city is one of my favourites.

As I said, it was a recharge day. An autumn day of enormous beauty.
I'm grateful. And rested.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bus stop (sky) blues

I'm continually amazed by Cape Town's relatively new rapid bus system, the MyCitiBus, which has an ever widening network that's shockingly cheap, safe, and pleasurable to use.
I'm enjoying exploring this way; not having to drive, and the big windows mean that I can really take in all the sights, and get high on a heady overdose of beauty.
On Good Friday, last week, I took the 106 from the Groote Kerk stop in the city to Camps Bay and ended up spending the afternoon there: it was a perfect autumnal day, a cooler and much more pleasurable version of summer.
Basking in the sun with a friend, we glugged down a bottle of ice-bucket chilled sauvignon blanc and feasted on a kilogram of scrumptious muscles in garlic butter. While watching the beautiful world go by from our table on the pavement we shared travel tales.
I took the pic at the bus stop while waiting to return to Woodstock; the other great MyCitiBus feature is the 'Cape Buses and Trains' smartphone app that lets you know the nearest bus stop, how long until the next bus, and other cool features.
I'm confirmed in my decision to live without a car for at least a year; despite fears and insecurities (after a lifetime of driving that list is long) it's been the best decision I've made in decades.
Of course the Cape winter is coming and that might check some of my enthusiasm.
But I'm an optimistic kinda guy... .

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A life in peace

It was my birthday last Saturday.

On that note, I live more simply now, much more streamlined, and there is not much that I need nor desire, particularly at birthday time.

Now I seek to travel more widely, also to spend as much time as possible with people that I love; I'm seeking experiences over possessions.

Also to have the time every day to lie on the couch in the sun and to read a little. That's reading for pleasure: a novel, poetry, short stories, in fact anything that will open the door the beauty of our world and lives.

On Saturday I was gratefully gifted a new French press, more commonly known around here as a coffee plunger; a 1 litre plunger at that! As well as a pack of African origin coffee I'd not seen before.

But it was the beautifully simple and glazed pottery coffee cup and milk jug that - instantly - tugged at my heart strings, despite me saying above that, um, I'm not that hot on possessions anymore.

The cyclamen brought joy to my heart, continues to do so, and constantly draws my eyes to its pink flowers (blessed am I!).

The apartment is taking shape; only recently could I proclaim that is now home. I am filling it with plants. It is already filled with light and sunshine. And my wonderful partner. And it has, as its focus, The Mountain; the rock-solid Mountain, which is in my eyes the entire continent's ballast. And it's full stop.

The Mountain, recently proclaimed one of the 'new' 7 natural wonders of the world, is in all its glory and moodiness a constant reminder of, on one hand, the passage-progress of my life; at every glance it reminds of the journey I took to here. While on the other it reminds that we're eternal beings, despite our short-lasting physical bodies.

It's a chilly, windy evening as I play with these words in soft light and with red wine on my tongue and in my nostrils; I'm also alone and enjoying the space, while contemplating my path through the forest; movement and change in my core.

I'm aware that two of my prayers are answered: I pray daily for enough, I pray daily for peace. I have enough, not more. I am at peace; my life is in peace. I am thus deeply satisfied in my life, which - despite my prayer for only enough - is o'er flowing.

Peace, for me, is among other things the non-existence of drama.

"When egos come together, whether in personal relationships or in organisations or institutions, 'bad' things happen sooner or later: drama of one kind or another, in the form of conflict, problems, power struggles, emotional or physical violence, or so on. This includes collective evils such as war, genocide, and exploitation - all due to mass unconsciousness. Furthermore, many types of illness are caused by the ego's continuous resistance, which creates restrictions and blockages in the flow of energy through the body. When you reconnect with Being and are no longer run by your mind, you cease to create those things. You do not create or participate in drama anymore."

That's an iota of Eckhardt Tolle in his The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. I'm reading it after first reading his A New Earth. Welcome to the new consciousness....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Curling at my edges

Morning has broken on Devil's Peak; winter arrived yesterday.

The terribly high temperatures of over a week ago seem like a distant memory, thankfully.

It's a beautiful day, despite the usual tearing-ripping-shreading Woodstock wind.

I've decided that the apartment is going to be a cozy, homely space to hibernate the winter; I'm already enjoying the shorter days and can feel my rhythm & pace relaxing, slowing as I shed my leaves and embrace sinking my roots deeper into the soil and bedrock of my relatively new existence here.

The Mountain and its moods is my inspiration: from home, as in this pic, the view is of Devil's Peak; from my wonderful office it's of the Table Mountain amphitheatre and cable car.

How blessed am I!

Monday, April 21, 2014

My mouth is dry, I've got no spit

It's 15h09 on Easter Monday: It is just short of 2 months since I last posted a word here, which is probably my longest silence in the almost 7 years that it has taken me to write the 955 posts before this one.

As I replied to a friend who messaged me that "it was time to blog again": "It feels as though I have nothing to say at all in terms of my blog; I've run out of words."

My mouth is dry, I've got no spit.

I never really set out with a plan for my blog; I also never expected to enjoy writing it as much as I have, nor to keep at it for as long as I have. Please note that this blog was always - in the humblest sense - about me, for me. I kept it as a self-censored (I'm still striving to find the balls to hold nothing back) online diary of notes and photos that while not being a complete and wholly honest 'story' or record, at least serves to trigger memories of at least my version of my life-'truth', as subjective as that obviously is.

In the feature and review writing class that I teach to my journalism students, I admitted just this last week that the greatest challenge for me is that my heart-focus (read True North) has changed - after some massive changes in my life, mostly triggered by a major 'breakdown' in 2012 - from journalism to writing. I'm still in transition however, I'm still in the no-man's land of the chasm that lies in-between the two.

I know not what I am here to write, again in the humblest sense, nor entirely if my writer's voice is in fact my voice. Nor to what the purpose my writing should serve. Except that in this bleak and seemingly barren place of transition - where my spit-words have been evaporated into the mealy mouthness of this insecure and barren place (and where I'm rightfully extremely insecure and uncertain) - I am beginning to get an inkling of where the compass is pointing to. No more about that though: I've learned the long, hard way not to dissipate energy and creativity by speaking out before time.

It's taken me an entire day of severe procrastination to get to the point at 15h09 when there was nothing left to do but to sit down and type this words, while reminding myself that I am writing, as I have done for my entire blog history, for no-one but myself:

I refuse to write for a perceived audience (how the hell could I ever pretend that I could please anyone but myself, never mind that that that self-imposed and ego-based pressure would do nothing but sink and destroy me).

I also strive to call out my ego whenever I spot it in my writing world, then to make sure it scurries off into the shadows.

I strive to blog honestly and humbly, for myself and only myself.

I have no expectations from anyone who chances upon my blog space, I refuse to link any advertising to the blog, I sadly even find it difficult to respond to comments from kind people who take the time to communicate with me via this platform because I feel so exposed and such a fraud, also because I'm as shy as all hell. And extremely anti-social. To these people I apologise. And promise to make more effort.

Because the focus of my writing is changed and will continue to do so going forward: It's no good pretending that I'm even close to being the same person that I was when I put my first words and photos 'down' into the ether of cyberspace.

Lastly, for now the pic is of the colours and textures before my eyes right now as I type these words. I'm in my Woodstock apartment, at a table made of a wooden crate off the street below, and 4 cardboard boxes.

I dedicate these words to Tertia: To her health, to her healing, to her creativity, to her morning pages and recovery, to her identifying her True North...and to her having the courage to go to where her journey calls her.