Monthly Archives: June 2012



Shocking! Misunderstood. Illness. Deviation. Problem. Many words describe what first flows through your mind when you hear the word. In this week I had been confronted with the reality of it, or rather and attempt at it. A family member of a colleague had been under treatment for bi-polar disorder and had taken an overdose of her medication. Luckily the attempt was just that and the quick actions of people in this persons life saved it. I remember going ice cold. Like a part of the arctic was pushed into my core.

Several years ago, I had suffered from severe depression. To the point where taking my own life was not something to be feared, but sought. Anything to just feel again. It is hard to describe to anyone the feeling of not feeling. It’s much the same as explaining the concept of a world where God is not present to someone that devoutly believes. You just cannot fathom the depth of despair when you cannot feel joy again. Everyone is used to these emotions in their lives and having to do without them simple is unthinkable.

Lucky for me, I took the direct route and spoke with my doctor before I did something drastic. Probably the only time I was thankful for being a procrastinator. That I put off acting of the feelings of despair until I’d gotten help. For six months I was on a string drug regiment to re-balance my brain chemicals. An easy fix it would seem. Pop a pill and your fine. But your not. Whilst popping these pills I still did not feel, happy or sad. You existed. You were always sad, but now on medication there was nothing. Empty.

You are, for the first time ever, an empty husk walking amongst humanity. You look at what they are looking at and can’t see what they are reacting to. You cannot see the funny in a cartoon, or the hilarity in someone’s dress sense or the horror, depending on what dress sense you were looking at. Where you once enjoyed the hour or two while the sun rose and set, marveling at the colors the sky is painted, you then see the sunrise with your eyes only. No response from anything inside. No answering emotion at the wonder of this daily event, but then again, most people hurry through their lives never once enjoying these little gifts.

This must be what is meant with living in the now. In the here and now. Enjoy what you have now. Don’t lament that which you didn’t get, or won’t have. Appreciate the here, the now, the people with you, the life flowing in and out of your lungs, the rush of your blood around your body. The feel of the air against your skin, the sound of all the people around you and if you are alone, the sound of the cosmos as it wraps itself around you. You are part of all the life. I can enjoy these again. I came through that ordeal with a new zest for life. I was one of the lucky ones. How many were not so lucky?

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in General


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Connections. Everyone starts life dependent. For food, for shelter, for emotional comfort. Then we start to fight, for independence. Once we have the independence we start the fight for dependence. Yeah, that’s right. Dependence. (Just don’t tell teenagers this, they’ll never believe you) We start looking for the significant other to share our lives with. When we find them, we start talking long term,… walking the path together. Having children. Dependents. We think we are living by our own terms, but are actually just complying with the strictures of society. We need to belong. We need to belong so badly that we stop to think about what it is we belong to or what that belonging costs us.

We join social clubs, sport clubs, art clubs, book clubs, all in the pursuit to belong and to give meaning to our lives. We join churches for religious fellowship… finding people that think like us. I rather like the saying:”Where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks a lot”. I’m paraphrasing Walter Lippmann, US author and journalist but it still holds true. We seek out people that think and feel like we do, thereby we are not expected to extend our own mental barriers and borders.

We aren’t exposed to new ideas or new concepts. We don’t run the risk of thinking in a different way, or considering alternatives. We are safe in the walls of our own making. Closing off our harts and minds to the world, and staying dependent on the norms of our own making. We don’t find these strange for we point to those around us and say: “see they too think as I”. The argument could be made that we surround us with the familiar and that holds the same values as ourselves, but the converse is also true. The worlds diversity is racing ever closer to home. Away are the days when seeing a stranger was a strange occurrence. One speculated about and talked about for months on end. But, now there are more strangers in our average day than there used to be in an entire life time. My grand parents saw the direct family virtually everyday and the kin that lived further away on an infrequent basis. But, with the advent of the automobile and mass transport systems not only has kin folk moved further afield but they can come and go more frequently than ever before. It’s not unheard of to visit once a year with family that live on the opposite end of the country from you, or even on the other side of the globe. In this trek you are exposed to people from different back grounds and cultures. Different norms and standards. Different thinking. A different belonging when viewed from your point of view. For them you are the stranger that ‘do not belong’.

As a species we have developed the ability to compartmentalize the connections between us into personal connections, social connections, work connections and the general amorphous blobs that form when we travel. The fellow travelers in the airport waiting on their flights… some of us can make temporary connections with the strangers on these locations, because we are extroverted enough to talk to them about absolutely anything. These are the connection initiators who can initiate new life time connections, if we are willing to connect outside out safe, normative bubbles.

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Writer interrupted

It never ceases to amaze me when a simple interruption turns into a ten day ordeal. A simple power interruption has been the cause of me falling of the wagon so to speak, and nearly ruining my intention of writing two hundred words a day for thirty days. It’s with shock and dismay that I look at this journal and see that exactly ten days have elapsed since my last entry. A lot has been happening in my life and it’s not been dreary or dull. By a long shot. In short, I’ve installed my flat panel LCD TV and a home theater system. After unstringing, re-stringing, connecting and generally moving cables around it’s my definitive opinion that spaghetti belongs in a plate. The cable for this home theater system is lying al over my rooms like the skin of snake done with it’s shedding. I now have sound in half of the speakers and none in the other half. Very productive and at no time is any home theatre installer’s job in jeopardy.

I just can’t seem to fit plug A into socket B and get harmony. A irritatingly regular wheeze emanates from the left front speaker and that is it. I would hate to admit defeat to a HT-1001 amplifier but this is simply ten connections that need to be made in a specific sequence. I just don’t get the sequence. It’s speakers for crying out loud. Speak!

So for now the snakes are still lying on the floor. I have, for know, given into the quiet fuming and waiting till I can find the time to take up a magnifying glass and a set of pliers and get back to connecting plug-A with socket B.

At least the frustration has me back to journaling and putting my thoughts to paper.

For now it’s Home Theater System 1, writer 0… but the tide shall turn….

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The road led off the main highway. The trees on either side were covered in white flowers. Like white lollipops stuck into the ground. I lowered the window on the driver side and inhaled deeply. The smell of flowers, grass, wet earth, life filled my lungs. It krept into my very being. It tugged at my soul. It’s dark. When did it become dark? It’s then that I realized I had closed my eyes while savoring the smell of spring that poured down this lane. I had to find the source. Where the wind came from that filled me with life, joy and boundless energy. It calmed me even as I bounced down the two lines of dirt making up the road. The grass on the center divider long enough to slap against my cars body work. I listened to the crunch of the gravel under the tires. The swish and faint tap of the grass fronds against the front fenders. For the first time I was willingly driving under ten miles an hour, enjoying every second of it, as I kept creeping down the lane. I rolled down the passenger window as well, inviting the spring air into the car. It rushed in, played around the seats and darted out again. I turned off the air conditioner. Nothing could imitate or come close to reproducing this seductive wind that played in my car. Slowly the car and I made our way down the lane, until we burst through the trees into an open veld.

Grass and flowers swayed and made waves in the spring breeze. The smells were everywhere. Sweet and enticing. Alluring, yet familiar. All the smells of home, of being all right, of not having to worry. I stopped the car. I had to get out. I clicked the seat belt loose, and heard it slap against the pillar. I pulled the door release and pushed it open.My legs where shaky as I straightened out. My head popped past the roof. My hand tightened on the door as I stared at the wonder of all that grass. All the flowers. Birds were chasing each other across the blue, blue sky. Clouds sailed by as if on a majestic journey. Their billowy tops reaching high into the sky, up past the sunlight that shone just for me. It was a moment in time where nothing else mattered. Not the life that was whizzing by on the road. The sound of the cars I could still hear. Here, this spot, was just for me. Gone was the need to join the mad rush. I lived. Here. In the moment. A first. I acknowledge this new feeling. This was what now felt like. I wondered at the majesty of the view before me. The exuberance of the colors that spread in waves in front of me. With such ease this luxurious display of colors was placed before me. No painter could touch this majesty. No camera could capture it. You had to be here. Now. Living. Breathing. Feeling the air rush through your hair. Tickling the hairs on your arms, raising goose bumps all along them. The warmth of the sun on your skin making you forget about the cool breeze. I can hear insects in the grass. Singing, chirping, rustling. Perfect.

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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in General


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