Wednesday, 21 October 2015

all i want .... is authenticity

if I wrote Poetry .... This is what i would want to say ........... i love her work ....... it is what i would say to everyone that i care for and everyone that i interact with ..... with me ... be you .... the authentic you ..... not the public you ...... not the person you think you have to be with others .... be authentic .... because that is how i love you.   And Always Will. 

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain -
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Monday, 19 October 2015

airlines. late check-ins. half marathons and more

The Travel by Air Manual


All those travelling by air shall remember that whilst 2 of the "lower cost" airlines make more of a *humming* noise whilst flying, 1 of the others makes more of a *growling* sound.  Important to remember if you are uncomfortable with a teeny bit extra movement under the seat whilst flying.


If you hire a car and return it to CT airport and catch the outgoing flight from there, please ensure that you add an additional 45 minutes on to your original "arrive to check-in" time.  It is quick to drive to the Car Rental returns spot.  And relatively quick to have them check that you have not totalled their vehicle.  What is not short, or quick however is the distance you have to walk from that spot to the Terminal.  Also important to bear in mind that when you push the trolley with the 35kgs of luggage (yes us 2 had that much), downhill to the underground parking to cross to the terminal, you better be able to hang onto that weight as well as the weight of the trolley as it careers downhill.  We were quite a sight.


When, as a result of number 2 above, you reach the check-in desk and discover that the flight check-in closes 45 minutes and not 30 minutes before the flight, ensure that you smile brightly, shed gentle movie-style tears (sliding down your cheeks) and if necessary remind them that you have to be at work at 10am (which is why you are on the 530am flight) and they should please not leave you at the mercy of your boss.  Drumroll ....... Oscar winning performance ...... they will quickly check you in at a side desk.  The smile and tears were real.  As was having to be at work by 10am.  My boss however is not a tyrant.


When the airline desk says you need to "run" to boarding gate 12, they mean it.  Do not be discouraged when you see the board showing the times to reach all the boarding gates and for number 12 they have eight minutes.  You can do it.  Yes I know that running is hard when you have a handbag, 2 free newspapers, a Coke for airsickness, a book and that extra 20kgs you have been trying to lose since your 21st.  Almost 3 decades ago.  But give it your best shot.


The size of the airline belt is not designed to in any way make you feel bad.  Just because during the onboard safety "show" they say "clip the buckle in till you hear the click and then pull tight" and then they pull about 50cm of belt across.  Who did they practice on?  Barbie?.  So yes, don't worry, you will not be the only one on board who hears the click and then finds you only have 1cm of belt available to pull.  Us chubby people are cute too.


When the plane lands, breathe, whilst it is taxing to park you do not have to whip out your phone, switch on your data and get online immediately.  Unless you are racing to a court case or are a cardiothoracic surgeon on call, your friends can wait ..... really ...... you will be in the terminal in a short while.  I promise.  You also do not have to jump up, grab your bags and leap into the aisle ..... it is a Jumbo Jet ....... riding on the tarmac ....... to its allocated parking ..... where the hell are you going to?


When you eventually get to the arrivals area and that cute little circular thing returning your bags to you - please ensure that by the time you get a trolley, go to the loo, talk to someone and look up which carousel it is, that everyone has not taken their bags - all the carousels have stopped, and there are your 2 bags, along with 3 airport security peeps in their little yellow jackets waiting to see if it is unclaimed baggage and they should call a code Red.  I had splashed my whole tshirt with water, it was drying under the dryer.  But thank you for taking such good care of the cases.  And yes, I felt like a real idiot.

Airports and travel .... gotta love it.  But High 5 to Safair on brilliantly friendly staff who actually looked like they enjoyed their jobs - on time flights and understanding ground staff.  And I dunno (Low 5?) to Jacksons OR Tambo who clearly don't know the difference between a beef breakfast sausage and a moerse piece of Boerewors.  Which I did not feel like at 730am after being up since 3am.

till soon
c'est la vie xxx

Monday, 5 October 2015

Facebook - not all friends, but its own kind of community

Facebook is a funny little thing.  Social media indeed, but also very often well disguised and hiding what it can be - a malicious, spiteful little playground in which, like kids, people play little games.  It fascinates me for 2 reasons - one because I am stunned that people cannot just enjoy the site - share in other's happiness - be happy for other's happiness - say something - know when they share something sad that perhaps this forum is the only one one which they can share hurt, consider that before you mutter a nasty comment in your head, or to someone else about them.  Secondly because many people make it so obvious.  I shake my head in something akin to pity. 

I have a casual friend and we have a mutual acquaintance.  It tickles me - if she puts the word "the" as her status my friend will be the first Like she gets.  If she posts one of the vast collection of regular pics of herself, even if completely blurred and average ..... the land speed record for Like Like Like is broken.  It is not about what she says or posts or reposts or comments on, it is simply that if her name appears in the News Feed, then it must be Liked.  I thought I was being strange until 3 other people noticed it - so I am not as mad as I thought.  

Then you have the flipside - friends who make it a point not to comment or Like anything - and lets face it - you know when it is deliberate.  I am a little amused as to what the message is that the person is trying to send.  I am actually a little concerned at such pettiness in grown ups.  

Something I learnt in Lifeline when I did my counselling course - THINK!!!!!  

Maybe someone who shares something about a joyful occurrence in their lives is doing simply that - sharing a joy with you.  Not bragging or showing off. 

Maybe someone who shares something sad like a death or the loss of a job or the loss of a pet or whatever - is simply sharing it because they are sad or projecting it on others or it is a coping mechanism.  Not looking for undeserved sympathy or snippy remarks

Maybe someone who shares a pic of their baby, toddler, teenager, grown child etc is proud and wants to show their child some public acknowledgement.  Not trying to make their child better than others.    

Maybe someone who vents about something that irritates them, has no-one else to vent to or no-one else that listens to them.  Will it kill you to read it?  

And before some of you attack me by saying it is your choice, yes it is.  When it is a reasonable choice.  But when it is done with forethought or to make some sort of point, nope.

So next time someone posts something or says something that includes you, or posts a photo that includes you, be what our priest calls your #bestself and be gentle. Maybe they are proud to feature in a pic with you.  Be kind. Have fun.  Who knows how happy you may make someone's heart. 

I know a priest who has subsequently moved to another province.  When Jess wrote matric, the results came out, she did phenomenally and the first place we came at 6pm was to Mass in thanksgiving.  This priest at the end of the Mass said "Let us share in a great joy" and he told them what had happened and how happy it made him to see people who prayed for success, also praying in thanks for that success.  He then said something I have never forgotten in the 2 years since then - "We are a community, we are not all friends, but we are all a community, and a community must celebrate the joys openly and share the sadness's together openly".    

How often when someone does something are we just not capable of telling others because we don't want any "shine" to come their way.

And that is what Facebook is to some.  A kind of community.  Not all friends, but to them a community in which they share. 

There are worse things you can do. 

till soon 
c'est la vie 

Young Men, Big Dreams & Insightful opinions

Young Adults ..... teenagers ....... Youth ......... whatever it is that you call 16 year olds .... I think Young Adults is the best word .... teenagers is so 13-ish. 

Some people really battle to relate to this age - it can be cocky, frustrating, stone-walling, trying and exasperating.  It can also be interesting, fun, self-assured, cocky, inquisitive, loving, responsible and many more descriptive words. 

I speak as an expert.  I have a 16 year old son.  And 4 years ago my daughter was also 16 (but girls are a whole other blog).  Being school holidays there was a lot of interaction between Nic and other 16 year olds in his Grade this week. 

One of them stayed here for 3 days, one spent a whole day with us and one stayed overnight.  At various stages I had 3 of them together.  Probably the highlight of the past week for me. 

16 year olds have opinions.  About everything.  And before you shrug off their opinions as being defensive or cocky, listen to them.  Really listen.  Kids today are savvy.  They know all the usual stuff ... music, games, sport ..... girls, girls, girls.  But they are also able to speak about what they perceive to be going on in our country, about how political parties behave.  They can converse on families, religion, how we treat others both adults and those younger and in turn how they treat 16 year olds.  They can give opinions on drugs, alcohol, smoking, same sex couples, relationships and you will be well advised to give them your ear.  They can have grown up discussions on this and allow open conversation and opinions to be aired.  It is important. 

I had a small group of boys (and later in the day a girl) help me to clean the Repository at the church and count the stock.  They did the usual ... laughed, teased, chased, wet each other and were crazy with each other.  They also successfully counted and recorded a massive amount of individual items, washed the shelves (without being asked) and packed back.  No moaning, nothing.  And it was not just because they were plied with pizza and colddrink.  One of the boys is not Catholic like the rest are, and I found his one on one chats to me about religion and Catholicism to be deeply inquisitive and grown up. 

On Friday night a slightly different compilation of boys stayed over and we watched 2 movies together.  Again it felt interesting ... they drift between laughing at the most ridiculous things and then coming out with the most deep opinions.  They speak about their futures, their dreams and their concerns.

Nic's friends of all sexes and ages have always been comfortable around me, since they were little, as were Jess'.  We have had them for sleepovers often over the years and some nights our rooms are as full as our lounge furniture.  In our house they know there is a line ... but the line is far enough down the lane that they can talk to me comfortably about most things. 

So if you have boys .... in this age group.  Spend time with them.  But most of all ... LISTEN .... listen without correcting ... listen without interrupting .... listen without judging or giving a lecture. 

Just listen. 

You may be amazed at what you learn. 

c'est la vie 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

allow your wedding band to irritate you

Today our Priest said a Nuptial Blessing over all the married couples during Mass - even those who were at Mass without their spouses today for whatever reason.  It was special, as were his comments about marriage, made during his Homily.  

Our Priest asked us to look down at our wedding bands - and really feel them on our fingers and become acutely aware of them.  He asked us to look at them whilst our hands are on our steering wheels and at any other time of the day.  And when we do, we must pray for our spouse.  Because he believes that married couples today do not pray for each other enough.  They pray for other married couples and other marriages, but need to include themselves, their marriages and their spouses. 

He indicated that we must be so aware of our wedding bands that it actually starts to irritate us.  That made Eug and I chuckle as I have developed an allergy to gold over the past 18 months and each time I put on my ring, I have to take it off after 3 to 4 days because of the red blistering around the area where it sits.  This after having it on my hand for almost 3 decades!  And he is on his 3rd wedding band having lost 2 down the drain.  Rings are an outward display - ours are around our hearts. 

So all my married friends and married readers - this month try and pray for your spouse literally every time you notice your ring .... remember what you said .... till death do us part.  May it be a long way away. 

c'est la vie 

2019 - new beginnings and other excitement

2019 is a big year for me.  For the first time in probably 30 years I am not in a fixed Monday to Friday job.  This is huge.  I return from...