Thursday, 17 December 2020

Celebrating Spirit

2020: an intense but exciting year of change, endings and the first glimmer of new beginnings. Watch this space for a new logo, a new design and a whole new adventure in 2021.

As the Jerusalema dance  went viral, London's The Guardian newspaper said, "Dance craze brings hope from Africa to the world amid Covid"


How apt: Africa, where the physical evolution of humankind began in Sterkfontein Caves a mere 50km from where I live.  Africa, with her sunlight and shadow;  her potential and sorrow; and her vast well of spiritual energy, bringing hope to the world. 

Above is the original 2019 version from Master KG, and below is a second version with the uplifting, inspiring words translated into English and French sub-titles.

Nkosi sikelel' Afrika

and may 2021 bring hope and light into the world.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

An Ordinary Life

I’m busy reading a thought-provoking and engrossing non-fiction book “Creating a Life: Finding Your Individual Path” by Jungian psychologist James Hollis. I’ll review it on Goodreads when I’m finished reading it but, as I start the new life that awaits, I’ve been reflecting deeply on the life Beric and I lived: constantly striving, always work before play and, yes, we both achieved much more than we’d ever hoped for in our childhood dreams.

At what cost though?

Taking the first tottering steps into a future without my beloved Beric as my anchor and my guide, I find myself without the burning fire of ambition that has for so long been my companion.

Hollis put my mind at rest: “The first half of life is usually spent in service to the world and to the development of the ego. The second half of life should be in service to the soul. Turning away from the delusion of ambition opens a free space wherein things may be done for the sake of doing them, where value is found in the value created and where meaning is the by-product of service to a vocation, not service to the ego.” (Chapter 13: The End of Ambition”)

There’s so much comfort in knowing that it’s natural to the soul’s evolutionary path that the raging fires of youth’s ambitions can mellow into a gentle flame of finding meaning by exploring the simple pleasures of an ordinary life.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

New Beginnings

With a major lunar eclipse on Friday 10/1/2020, quickly followed by Uranus in Taurus stationing direct, followed  two days later on 12/1/2020 with the much-discussed Great Capricorn Conjunction, 2020 is a year of changes, letting go the old and finding new beginnings on a deep and permanent level.

Since my beloved Beric crossed over last year 22/4/2019, I've been taking it easy and slowly stepping into a new life without him.  He is gone in body, but not in spirit and I know we'll meet again. That’s why I read Rabindranath Tagore’s beautiful poem "Unending Love" at his memorial service. 

Image result for rabindranath tagore unending love"

His beautiful spirit will always be with me and so I head into a new year and decade that's filled with both hope and memories. Hope for the fruition of all the new ventures I'm planning and memory of having been privileged to be part of an unending love story.

Some plans for 2020:

My two new kitties arrive today - 10 year old lady Gucci and 3 year old boy Mittens.

My main goal for 2020 is attending to my health (read weight!!) that has been out of control for too many years.

Then a 2020 writing challenge starting in February to finish off two half written books - a collection of short stories, and a volume of poetry about the grief and sorrow of being caregiver to a dying loved one for so many years (from 2015 to 2019).

I'm still expanding my astrology knowledge, via webinars from the London Faculty of Astrology College, and later in 2020 I'll be signing up for the 3 year diploma course to become a professional astrologer.

And some time in the future (probably early 2021), I'll be revealing a whole new look for my website.

Exciting times ahead! I wish all of you a wonderful 2020 - may it be a year of discovery and joy for you all.  

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Ashes Campaign

The Ashes Campaign will take place from 28/5/2019 to 25/8/2019.

Sunday 25/8/2019 is a very significant date both personally and astrologically. It's exactly 29 years from the day of Beric's and my first date on 25/8/1990 and for those with an astrological bent, 29 years is one full Saturn Return cycle - Saturn is the Lord of Karma, the Great Teacher. 

This year, on Sunday 25/8/2019, Hugo Marcus (who was the best man at our wedding in 1992, and has known Beric since their army days!) and I will be at Injisuthi Camp in the Drakensberg.

This peaceful, beautiful part of the Central Drakensberg is both Beric's and my favourite place on earth.
Beric hiking in the Drakensberg with Hugo on the way to sleep over at the Lower Injisuthi Cave

Beric and I, and Beric and Hugo, would try and visit Injisuthi in alternate years to stay in Hut 17. with its three-sided view of the surrounding mountains. From there, we'd do walks into the 'berg - to the Battle Cave, the Grindstone Cave, the Old Kraal and many others, including the most scenic walk of all, the hike up to the viewpoint at the top of Van Heyningen's Pass. 
Looking down into the Valley of the Well-Fed Dogs 
from the view point at Van Heyningen's Pass near Injisuthi
This year, on Sunday 25/8/2019, Hugo and I will carry Beric’s ashes up to the top of Van Heyningen’s pass high above the Injisuthi camp. There, Hugo will say some prayers from the Mourning Kaddish and I'll say some prayers honouring Beric's paternal and maternal ancestral lines, and thanking Beric's precious soul for the 29 years of love, blessings and happiness that we shared.

Then, when the moment is right, we'll release Beric’s ashes over the edge of the viewpoint overlooking the Injisuthi Valley, also known as the Valley of the Well-Fed Dogs because, as local legend has it, once, long ago, the game in the valley was so lush and plentiful that even the dogs were well-fed and happy. 

This is an 8km round day trip requiring some steep climbing. THE ASHES CAMPAIGN is to get me fit and thin enough to climb the mountain to set Beric free in this place that was so sacred to him. 

It’s a two pronged campaign - I have 3 months to (1) lose 15kgs and (2) build up a treadmill speed of 4kms per hour (with elevation).  
First batch of healthy homemade smoothies ready for the freezer
First day of treadmill training (no elevation) 15 minutes, at 4 km per hour, 1 km distance. 

 Here’s to a successful outcome of THE ASHES CAMPAIGN!!! And, while you're eagerly awaiting the outcome, here are a few of the tributes to my beloved Beric that appeared in local newspapers:

Saturday, 24 November 2018

The Evolution of a Book Cover

My Mom always used to say that your first child should be disposable because a first -time mother makes all her mistakes on that poor first child. The same principle applies to the cover of your first novel. 

Way back in 2011, I made all my mistakes on that first cover of the first edition of my first novel "DANCING IN THE SHADOW OF LOVE." The end result was nothing like I wanted it to be.

I loved my second cover, designed by a professional in 2012. But, as beautiful and unusual as it is, it still wasn't quite right for the book: it sent the wrong message to readers. This novel is not a romance novel, but a hard-hitting,  gritty spiritual allegory.  

In 2018, I decided to try again. I returned to the beginning. The artwork of my 2011 and 2018 covers is a mixed media painting by South African artist, Martin Wenkidu. Called "Man and the World of Stars" it - like the novel - is dense with symbolism. You can read an interview with the artist here, where he explains the imagery and symbolism.  This image resonates deeply with the content of the novel: the three figures in the dance of life, arms upraised to connect to the Divine, coming out of the shadows and into the light of Love. 

Third time lucky! Using the original artwork, Wendy from Apple Pie Graphics did a stunning job on the cover. Now I feel this book is finally complete and I can close the chapter on it. What a relief!