Friday, July 14, 2017
The walks out of the town at the end of the day without my phone, forced to be alone with my mind and whatever was offered up by Nature, in its winter beauty, provided both clarity and vision. Especially at this, the halfway mark of the year.
A year that has sped past. I'm regretfully preparing for an even speedier second half. Again, mostly alone I slammed on the brakes - reading, gardening, bathing, watching the birds in the fountain, sitting by the fire - at my humble place in Mpumalanga province.
I'm back in Cape Town, which despite being greener than when I left here almost three weeks ago, is still limping along drought stricken. It's the rainy winter season here and there's hardly been any rain. I've noticed that the narrative has changed: at first, it was about when the winter rains arrive, now it's about the fact that this is our new reality - our climate has changed, ours is a drier, bleaker future. What frightens me is the pace at which our winters have been transformed: in the four years here I've watched the tap being closed, tighter every year so far.
Monday I'm back at university and who knows what the next few months hold; I'm slightly apprehensive, anxious. I'm well rested though. But apprehensive, anxious. For the last two years we 'lost' the fourth quarter to student protests for free education. I'm on the students' side. But the violence unsettles me, also the incredible pressure it puts on the lecturers and the students themselves. It's a time spent treading water and feeling helpless and overwhelmed.
This afternoon I'm in limbo: on my bed surrounded by books, which I hop between - "hither and thither, restless as mosquito larvae swimming across a stagnant" pond (Derek Jarman in Modern Nature) - and coffee cups, a french press, my laptop too. I'd like to get out into the bright winter sunshine before tomorrow's cold-front arrives, although at the same time I'm reticent at the thought of showering (we're allowed 87 litres of water each daily) and dressing and bussing.
To go where to achieve what?
I must resist my negative state of mind; I must remind myself of all that I have, of how blessed my life is. My heart is wide open to life.