“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.” ― ram dass
If you want to see humanity at its most splendid, sit for a while with those who have known great suffering. Drink from the water-cooler of life with those who have very little worldly wealth. Cry with those who have faced terrible darkness. Join in with the song of the survivors who made it to the other side.. You will find yourself in kinship with the most beautiful expressions of humanity poured out.. The trees will dance for you the skies will open up and butterflies will visit you on tender wings. You will find yourself rejoicing in the divinity of humankind…
Someone asked me what is the point of poetry and from her emptiness, I spoke…
That wealth may not be amassed by mere words, but only the riches of gentle thought, that our own tears may flow together with the rest of humanity.
That our small light may bring light to someone else’s darkness. That our depth of understanding may lift someone out of their own inner chaos and reacquaint them with joy.
So that wounded mortals will rise on tides of loveliness like flowers blossoming in the darkness because we have helped them belong to the beauty of everything with words.
It is sunshine and even rain that enables us to flourish.
No, our words have not brought us great wealth like dollars or rubles. We have not chased after such things, rather we have found the lonely and the afflicted in far corners of the earth and we have fed their souls with loving kindness and the magic of words.
Words fly to them on wings of faith, like prayers, unfettered by ambition or greed.
Words have the power to bring us back to life and reconnect us to the divine, and to reawaken our higher selves.
No, my friend poetry has not brought money into the coffers, but rather it has brought contentment, a true wealth of faith made whole.
It has brought us friends who love just because love is their way.
It has brought watercolor pictures into the minds-eye. The riches of poetry are plain to see, they encircle the globe.
You read books but not poetry, have you become wiser and more compassionate from these?
Search your heart for the meaning of life, Search the archives of great poets such as Rumi and Rainer Maria Rilke and you will find joy and sorrow entwined.
You will find prophecy and wisdom beyond what time ever imagined. You will see through the eyes of great suffering and joy and you will meld with the light of every being.
You will become a blend of heaven and earth. Poetry is a message beyond the veil, a channel of something more beautiful than can be bought with money.
If you can’t find meaning in poetry that’s okay, your time has not yet come, for you are not ready to behold the loveliness that resides deep inside you and enfolds you everyday.
Everything in this world will pass away but love will remain and the articulate ones, the sages, the ones fluent in mystical things will recite the most beautiful stories your heart cannot imagine.
Go with them into the glory of what is, and is to come… All you need is a spark to rekindle that which you were born to recognize with your heart…
I wrote this a year ago and it still feels relevant!
Stormy overtures the reviews are in, summer’s gig is wearing thin. Autumn creeps and clouds converge, on grey horizons the call is heard. Harbingers of what is to come foretelling rains and a distant sun. Though warmer days have not yet passed, an autumnal attitude is being forecast. Birds tarry with brighter days in morning dew and in matinees… Change foretold by the songs of fall, while the summer sun is acting small!
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi
Just recently I told the lady who used to be my domestic worker that my Stevie had died five years ago. She works at the Spar Supermarket now and she didn’t know. In that moment it hit me really hard, a sudden wave of grief nearly buried me under the floor boards. It was as though he had only died yesterday. She was surprised and sad and very apologetic. It brought up her own mother’s death and how hard it was not having her around. It also made me think of how complicated grief can be, because we all mourn in our own way. We as humans need to be respectful of each other’s sorrow and not pressure anyone into “just getting over it”! I said to her that it’s okay, and that I’m alright, but truthfully, I’m not okay, it’s horrible and devastating and world shattering. It was as though I was trying with sheer willpower to make it all better, and pretend myself into being healed. Our hearts lay shattered for a moment on that supermarket floor, but we didn’t shed a single tear, even though I wanted to wail and I’m sure she did too. It was actually a very holy moment, where our two hearts were united in grief, as though heaven opened up and surrounded us. She had known Stevie, she had been in my house, and she only had kind words to say about him, saying that he was always friendly and polite to her, a pleasure to be around. I knew he was like that; he would sit with our gardener at lunch time and chat to him like they were best friends. I didn’t just lose my son I lost an exceptional human being who was kind and smart and beloved by many. People who knew him always had good things to say about him. It’s still hard for me to tell some people that he died, I can’t really reason why that is, but it’s something really deep, a knowing. It’s taken me a good 5 years just to be able to say that he died, as if saying it would suddenly make it real. At times grief is so unexpected, it ambushes me. I observe the world around me just carrying on unintentionally oblivious of my pain, while I stand in a void of emptiness. There are so many triggers, some I don’t even know about, they sneak up on me and catch me unawares, some I am cognizant of and I prepare myself for them. I have had to be really gentle with myself and step ever so lightly into certain situations. There are some places I still won’t go though. I’ve made a concerted effort to heal, to be able to find joy in the ruins, I do this to honor my Stevie, I know he would want me to. After all, I know where he is and I know what he’s doing, even if I can’t touch him or hold his hand in the physical, he is still present in my life. The wound will never fully heal, I’ve come to accept that. When I’m around certain people and certain scenarios it hurts like crazy. I’m truly glad when people are told before-hand that he has died and I don’t have to break the news to them myself. It’s as though an angel goes before me to prepare the way. Both this wonderful lady and I walked away that day united by the shock and horror of death, but with the knowledge that our loved ones are all around us, like guiding lights in a sometimes-dark world!
It’s been a dry season where words failed moods were dreary and faith exhaled, the glory of heaven had slipped my gaze forsaking gatherings of earthen praise… But in the meantime the Divine is near reminding me daily not to hold to fear!
despondency had crowded-out my view, future scenarios unpleasant news…
in the silence of unhinged thought deep inadequacies took their course. then reimagining the words to write I prayed quietly in soft moonlight, and grace-filled angels were every were, moving closer like liquid-air…
Recently we had Canadians staying at our Airbnb and the thing that impressed me the most about them was their true humanity. They sold up everything they had to travel the world, and not to stay in 5-star villas or luxury accommodations with an impressive view. On looking at their Facebook page I found out they had visited places like Jordon, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Benin, joining in with the locals to experience the richness of the region and the people. They are world travellers wanting to experience different cultures, to try a variety of foods and experience local lifestyles, however humble. In a world where there is so much greed and opulence and people seeking their next fix through lavish lifestyles, luxury cruises, hoarding their wealth for what I don’t know, I was pleasantly surprised to find people from a wealthy, first world country sharing both their resources with us as well as their lives. They were interested in us and wanted to join in with what we were doing. After they left, I thought about it for a while and I realised that getting “down” to the level of humanity is far more enriching than any fancy hotel on the beach front, sipping cocktails and never getting to chat to the locals in the area. (And I say “down” reservedly, for obvious reasons) We have fallen on some bad luck in the last 3 years, trying to recover from the Pandemic. Our humble little Airbnb has only just kept us afloat and there have been times when I have felt extremely exhausted by our circumstances, to the point of giving up. It is people like our Canadian friends who make it worthwhile being an Airbnb host and in fact they have engendered some hope in me again. We opened our home to strangers six years ago, some travellers have been on a budget and are looking for reasonable accommodation, some just want to experience the brilliant culture of Afrique du Sud. We try to cater for our guests needs with what we have and we have made our Studio as comfortable and as private as possible. It’s a shared experience and we delight in visitors who enjoy their stay so much that they leave 5-star reviews. We have hosted many diverse people of all ages, religions, cultures from all over the world and many from our own nation, plus we have many returning guests. I have to say that some do stand out as our favourites. Airbnb started as a home-sharing concept for those who had limited funds both as hosts and guests, and although it has turned into an affluent operation, we still hold true to the concept of sharing. If you visit us, we don’t promise a magestic view or luxury accommodation, just a secluded garden where you can braai, a comfortable queen size bed in a large Studio and a few lovely little extras. We promise to be there for you when needed and to help you have the best experience our little town has to offer, to recommend eateries and places to visit and of course to play ball with our little dog Zeb all day. So whenever I feel like giving up, I will think of our Canadian friends and remember that we too were part of their amazing “Grande Adventure”.