What I thought about today – Day 6

The randomness of stuff I suppose you could say ……………………

“And in the quiet there is sound

I can hear my head spinning

There is no rhythm, no rhyme

A merry-go-round of randomness.

The path is in shadow

Yet there is no choice but to take a step forward

One at a time because the universe is in a constant state of flux

There is no pause button

Moving is the only option

At least you get to choose.

 

What I thought about today – Day 5

Some days are just meh and blah and the recipient for a host of thumbs down (tangible reasons totally overrated). And in the paradoxical writhing of those days it’s ok to feel a bit sad and a bit flat. It’s also ok to feel a bit under appreciated and a bit under-loved.  The real woo-hoo part is that you get a “get out of jail” free card to not play nice, to not be co-operative and to be able to say (with complete carte blanche ) …….

“Before you go any further, today is not the day and I am not the one”

Such a succinct comment should be immediately followed by vigorous pointy use of your extremities for maximum impact.

Permission granted to be foul and growly, sweet scented roses need manure to bloom.

What I thought about today – Day 4

Relationships – good, bad, long, short, professional, intimate, random – pretty much every minute of the day is linked to a relationship of some description. I suppose given the nature of us bipeds, relationships come with the territory but they can be a tricky old thing.

Himself and I have been together for almost three decades. Someone told me the other day that it’s quite an achievement, almost three decades, so yay us I guess. We have a “good marriage” I think – lots in common (but not everything), similar views on politics, religion, finances etc Compromise though still plays a leading role, you learn to pick your battles for lack of a better way to put it. Do you face the possibility of losing yourself in making compromise though? I don’t think so, I think you have to know yourself super well, be cognizant of your worth and be comfortable in your own skin. This sense of self will give you the ability to be a functioning one of two and understand the complexities that come with having a life partner. Do I have “don’t even go there” triggers – absolutely and so does he but they’ve been on the table from day one.

So after all that and despite perhaps sounding like a leaking pipe of psycho babble, what I want to say is that relationships take work. It’s not easy, disagreements are going to happen but they need to be the rarity not the norm. Respect your differences and revel in the similarities.

What I thought about today – Day 3

Sadness is the theme du jour. Catching up on the news and reading about the apparent suicides of two survivors from the Marjory Stoneman school shooting and a Dad from Sandyhook. I grieve for anyone who is in such an overwhelming place that the only apparent solution is to close the book forever – can’t fathom the loneliness and helplessness that must be all pervading. The anguish of the people left behind again is another festering quagmire all of its own. Could I have done more and what did I miss?

I find I tend to take on board a lot of the emotional stuff doing the rounds (evidently an empath I’m told – if you need to put a name to it) and it’s hard let me tell you. The happiness and joy highs are a fun thing but when loss, heartache and sadness are on the march it’s quite overwhelming at times. There have been days when all I want to do is crawl into a hole and hide and I have (well not the hole bit but you get my drift.) Most of the time though you pack it, wrap it and stack it away. I verbalise a lot, I write sometimes which seems to help balance everything out. It’s made me acknowledge myself, my worth and made my boundaries stronger I think. All good but if you’re out there and you’re battling *fist bump* I see you.

What I thought about today – Day 2

So it’s technically still today and I’m still thinking about stuff. The world is a very judgey place. Your race, your gender, your religion, your sexual orientation, your physical appearance, your mental aptitude, your political views, your ……… (There’ll be more but my brain has recoiled in horror and called a time out). Forward, clear and unbiased thinking seems to be just a pipe dream.

What is wrong with humanity you have to ask? Have I been guilty, absolutely and it’s still a conscious effort not to make snap decisions about people based on the above “put them in a box” way of thinking. Most everyone has got some sort of story to tell that shows a different side and a different reasoning behind their lousy behavior. It doesn’t make it right but it does make the bigger picture a little clearer. There are without doubt those individuals though who remain sewerage worthy residents because they don’t have a story and are just dire human beings and their true colors will show eventually. These additions to the story will also hopefully get their just desserts as speedily as possible.

So bottom line,( in my opinion, you know the thing we’re all allowed to have even if you don’t agree) – turn off the judgement tap with a big brute spanner. Having an opinion gets a thumbs up, not agreeing with the process/principle/dogma is also fine and dandy. Fight the good fight but leave the people out of if, that’s not your job. Use your voice for change, not retribution (easy to say I know but we have to keep trying). Here’s a stellar example *insert eye roll here (judgey I know but damn) ” If you don’t like your country’s policies change the blasted government don’t wreak havoc on its citizens.

What I thought about today – Day 1

Most days are just a mundane flow of thoughts and routine blips on the radar and then you get days where you think, a lot. So I saw a video clip on social media the other day of a young woman, in her 20’s I would guess, taking part in some sort of parade. She had on a t shirt and shorts so perfectly adequately clad. I still fail to see how your choice of clothing apparently gives other people any rights over you but just in case you were wondering. Anyhow there she was, bouncing along and seemingly enjoying the experience when some disgrace of a man comes up behind her and starts putting his hands all over her. As it would he certainly got his arse handed to him as she physically beat him off and was then aided by another young woman who chased him away.

What really pissed me off and got me to thinking was that it’s the 21st century and yet there still isn’t anywhere that’s completely safe as a woman where you can go and enjoy yourself without some fool getting in your face. For clarity, because I know there’s going to be some “gift to the world” out there who’s going to want to justify something, I’m straight and married to a good man. With that said, even if I was as alternative as ….”…….. (insert your own example here because what is alternative to some is everyday living to others) what gives any person the right to assault (because that’s what it is) another person because apparently just because defies explanation.

As much as I’m sure there are incidents of women sexually and mentally abusing men, my train today is men abusing women. So yes the #metoo and every other inspirational campaign that involves women taking back their power is relevant here. Wait, did I hear somebody roll their eyes, you better damn well believe it – the time is now. So here’s my thing – speak up, every time – support each other, every time – believe what she says, every time.

“A woman is unstoppable after she realises she deserves better”.

The flower of human rights – an unlikely combination

There is a public holiday in South Africa today – Human Rights Day. A worthy celebration if ever there was one – the right to sustenance, employment, political freedom, safety, quality of life etc

Yet, (despite being especially proud of our piece of the planet) I look with a jaundiced eye at our own failings and those around the world – war, famine, poverty, discrimation, intolerance and while heaping praise on everybody that continues to fight the good fight and struggle uphill, unceasingly, I’m a little uncelebratory today!

Instead, on a selfish note, I’ve turned my focus back to our time away. The KZN Drakensberg is not known for its floral splendour – the harsh conditions are not condusive to blowsy splendour yet if you look a little closer you will find beauty in the smallest detail ….

I think DH was beginning to wonder if my knees were giving out as everytime he turned around I was on my knees peering at something in the veld.

All you need is love ……

ratatata. – horse bloody twaddle. If the only pre-requisite for a successful relationship was being in love then divorce lawyers would be out of a job! Relationships require work – knock, knock *hello, hello, anybody in there*. Right now swiflty clambering down from one soap box and onto the next ……………

Valentines Day – red and pink and cupid and teddy bears and schmaltz! So in the spirit of cock – a – mamie Monday I throw a curved ball at the world – if it’s all about love (which I know is in direct contrast to my opening parry but work with me here) then why is love only celebrated once a year???? Ah hah – check mate, the prosecution rests its case without too much further comment.

Here’s a controversial thought that will send all the schmaltz producers into a veritable pink fit – celebrate the goodness every day with your words and deeds (save some trees, close some sweat shops and prevent soft toys ending up on the rubbish heap (is that just not the saddest sight 😦

I adore fresh flowers (especially roses) but on our first “valentines day” (which was a multiple decades ago) DH bought me a red silk rose. To be honest, I was a smidge disappointed but then he said “I bought you a silk rose so that it, like our love, will last forever” (good save you might say)….it’s entwined around my kitchen calendar – it makes me smile and when I want “real” roses I buy my own!

How much heartache because you didn’t get a card or flowers, or a squishy toy on 14 February – phooey! Personally I’d rather an sms in the middle of the day, a skype message in the afternoon or a warm smile when I open my eyes. Besides have you noticed the stratospheric prices – a friend of mine is in the “business” (she’s a real sweetheart despite this epic failing in choice of profession) and everything gets escalated by 200% in most cases.

DH and I do like a bit of romance though and we have a pair of “lovebirds” in the garden. Yesterday a tortured whisper of “darling, Slinky has a girl – bring your camera” had me haring upstairs to peek. Ahem, people of the world meet “Slinky” a striped skink that lives inside the iron clad decorative guinea fowl in the garden and likes to sunbathe

He’s a bit of a poser is our boy 😉 

and this (we think) is his girl (currently nameless).

She’s also quite shy and retiring (this was as close as I was “allowed” to get before she skedaddled into the ferns).

Then again, I suppose, it could of course be the other way around ……. hmmm no matter as sexing a lizard is not my forte and not a skill I care to cultivate any time soon!

The afterlife

(All my personal opinion – no insult intended – just a thought.)

Do you think about the hereafter? Irrespective of your religious inclinations (or not) do you ever ponder the prospect of life after death? If you’re a Christian (like me), the whole heaven and hell thing is apparently what lies ahead. One would deem it safe to assume that in heaven it’s all moonlight and roses, everybody gets along, there’s no poverty or crime or war or hunger – utopia. The thought did cross my mind though that does utopia exist because all residents are in spiritual, ethereal form and the thus there’s no wing size envy or covetous desire of somebody else’s better fitting robe?

In fact most religions seem to believe in the afterlife in some shape or form with a liberal dose of reincarnation thrown in for good measure depending which way you lean (Wikipedia has quite an extensive write up here if you’re interested). The thing is if you’re a big bang theorist then what’s the deal? When you pass on do you decay and go back to forming part of the earth again – which has a distinct religious hook to it? 

Alternatively, do I really care what happens when I depart this mortal coil? When I’m dust, ash or anything in between will it really matter what part of the cosmos I inhabit. This metaphysical, philosophical internal debate happened while pounding the pavements last night after work. Perhaps it was the most spectacular sunset to grace the skies for quite some time, perhaps it was an overdose of sweat and heavy breathing – whatever the reason, my conclusion is that the hereafter can look after itself, the here and now needs my full attention and (on most days) it’s a whole lot of not too shabby!

                                                          (The parking lot is is bloom)

Living in South Africa

My Kiwi sister-in-law asked me a few days ago, “aren’t you afraid to still live in South Africa? The rate of crime and especially violent crime is so terribly high.”

To be honest, it’s not something that’s in the forefront of my mind everyday like some malevolant toad but after some thought, let me say this:-

~Yes, we have crime.

~Yes, we have have a comparatively high percentage of violent crime.

~ Am I afraid to live – not in the slightest. I am, however, very aware of my surroundings – where I am and who’s around me. I am vigilant but not to the point of paranoia.

~Yes, my home is secured against intrusion (as best possible). No, we dont have attack dogs!

~ Yes, I would love to be able to go for a walk at night and not lock my doors but the phrase “asking for trouble” is not one I want to get used to.

~ We live on a continent that is rife with political upheaval, poverty, corruption and unemployment: all manner of people plagues yet the people are also the life blood and the hope.

~ Don’t ignore, but look beyond the ugliness to the citizens that are inexorably bound to this topsy, turvy land. Mostly good, mostly hard-working, struggling to survive in a fragile economy. The concept of ubuntu still has meaning.

~Is living in South Africa easy ? – No

~ Is living in South Africa worth the trouble ? – Oh yes, every day.

Footnote

One of our country’s celebrated author’s Alan Paton penned a marvellous book “Cry, the beloved country” – a highschool set work for many of my generation. It’s a superb piece brimming with anecodotes and memorable quotes. One that has stuck with me over the years and has vague relevance to my ramblings today goes like this:-

“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey. But, sorrow is at least an arriving. ”
Alan Paton