Friday, August 17, 2018

The lines between: notes from a knife's edge

Seven weeks ago, this morning, I was walking on a long sandy and wet beach. Nature's Valley.

The sand dune 'cliffs' in the distance was on a magnificent lagoon fed by the Groot River. It is the border between the Western and Eastern Cape provinces. Borders - transient, blurred - always draw me.

The Otter Hiking Trail more or less ends here. It's where, 43 km later, bedraggled but mostly enlightened hikers emerge after four-and-a-half days: Know thyself.

"The Ancient Greek aphorism 'know thyself" is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias. The phrase was later expounded upon by the philosopher Socrates who taught that:'The unexamined life is not worth living.'"


Seven weeks have passed, in a blur. Except for the first two weeks back on campus, it's not been a pleasant blur. Bewilderingly unpleasant.

A swathe of much-needed rain moves, now, across the city bowl. The first drops smatter my window. The gloom deepens.

Against the window, splattered, the still-fresh and bloodied corpses of two flies that had been the size of juicy-plump currants. I killed them earlier. I've still to wipe their bodies and gore off the glass.


Snapshot: Last year today, this week and weekend, I was in Kampala, at the Writivism festival.


I'm not sure if I'm depressed, or if I'm just totally empty from being poured out. In other words, the void and emptiness that (I think, as this is new territory) between having one's worldliness drained from you, before, He fills the void. 

I have less and less ambition, which is intricately linked to ego, but which terrifies me because it has been entwined with my very fibre for my lifetime. A gardening term comes to mind: Potbound? It's the process of being strangled in and by your own life. The void is all that appears to remain.

Naked. Empty. Unsure. But, knowing I cannot go back/wards, 'cos I've seen through all of that (the bling of it all).

However, when one peers more closely, that void is in fact filled with nutritious potting soil, compost. Spring is around the corner and new, exuberant growth is what's promised.

I'm reading HJM Nouwen and Andrew Murray and they are screwing me up big time.

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