Thinking Spots

Diana whose blog I follow over at talktodiana.wordpress.com took us on a little walkabout pointing out, by means of photos, significant places in her city. What I really warmed to in the post was a photo of a bench beside a river which she called her “Thinking Spot” a bench where she obviously does a lot of thinking and reflecting. To me the term was so natural, simple and delightfully secular, no place of great spiritual epiphany, just an ordinary loved “thinking spot” in the midst of life. I like that. I really do.

I’ve been on the move for most of my life and in that moment as I read her post I was taken back to all my “Thinking Spots,” rivers, mountains, gardens, parks, forests and a myriad of other places, places where I lay down, where I stood, where I sat and where I simply walked,  places where I thought about things, where I thought about what I was thinking about, where I watched myself thinking, where I changed my thinking and where I simply allowed or tried to allow my thinking to cease. Soon I’ll be saying  goodbye again to my existing thinking spots and will have to find new ones in a new country. It’s sad, but that said, I’m also filled with new anticipation and joy.  Thank you Diana. :-)

Posted in Contemplation, inspiration, Life, Transformation | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

A Memory

I was given a memory today of work I had done some thirty years ago. As my thoughts were carried back to those events, I saw a young, energetic and glowing idealist launching out in to the unknown and working with such fervour, that it looked as if he would go up in flames at any moment. Today, having experienced the uncertainties and the struggles of life, I find myself in that ghostly realm between idealism and realism not quite sure which one to hold on to. Perhaps it’s both. That certainly sounds more realistic and whole, but I must confess there are times when I hear the whispers of that glowing young person and I want to take his hand and launch out with him again.

Posted in Contemplation, inspiration, Life, My Journal, Spirituality, wisdom and insight | Tagged , , , | 50 Comments

Internet Down 2

We lost our connection but our Internet is back up again in our area and we hope this will continue. Sorry about my absence on your blogs and my engagement with you all, but there’s nothing we can really do about it.

We’ve been having serious problems with various aspects of our infrastructure in South Africa. Our Electricity Supply Commission has not maintained their equipment properly and we have been having electricity blackouts throughout the country. They call it Load Shedding where they shift the load on the grid, because of the incapacity of power stations, in order to keep things going. This is having a profound effect on our economy. People are losing their jobs and investment coming in to the country is being cut and limited. Everything is being effected by this and it is reaching rather serious levels. Even our mobile service providers are struggling to provide services.

Sadly we are a country of monopolies and corruption which creates another set of problems when it comes to services to the nation. According to the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa has lost 700 billion Rand to corruption over the last 20 years and things don’t seem to be getting better. Nobody is being called to account and it’s a very sad state of affairs.

Any way enough of my moaning; we remain positive. Hope the internet connection holds up this time. Again sorry about the prolonged absence.

 

Posted in Internet, Uncategorized | 30 Comments

Internet Down

Sorry about not responding, but our internet line has been down for the last five days. It’s just been fixed so hopefully all is well now.

Posted in Internet, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

From My Sketchbook – 35

Another venture of mine in to Zen artistic endeavour.

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The Wound Of “Toughness”

Some two years ago Sky News reported that 306 soldiers from World War 1 who were court-martialed for cowardice and executed, had been pardoned by the British Government. The cemetery where these men were buried was also shown. Isolated rustic looking poles, each with a plaque with the man’s name, protruded out of the ground. There was something rather tragic about this cemetery with its statue of a young soldier standing blindfolded waiting to be shot.

There was an interview with the daughter of a man, Private Harry Farr who was sentenced and shot for cowardice. It was desperately sad to watch the pain of this woman as she told the story. During a particular battle Harry Farr began to experience a bad attack of what was then called shell-shock. He was hospitalized for a period of six weeks. When the doctors diagnosed him as being well enough, he was sent back to the front straight in to the battle of the Somme. In the engagement he once again had an attack and refused to go over the top. He was court-martialed for cowardice and sentenced to be shot.

The execution was carried out and his parents received notification that on such and such a date he had been shot at dawn for cowardice. His father, an ex – military man and his brothers, who had also fought in the war, never spoke about him. The daughter telling the story shared how difficult this was and also spoke about the shame and abuse that was heaped on them as a family. His name was not placed on the roll of honour and his military pension was cut off, leaving his family destitute having to eke out an existence through all sorts of menial and degrading ways.

The last ten years had been spent by the daughter trying to get him a pardon, which finally came through together with 305 others. One could see the relief and joy of her success. It was extremely touching. Let it also be said that there were three seventeen-year-olds among those who were shot. When you think of your own son at age seventeen it boggles the mind.

What kind of structure and perception did this to that man and the others and their families? It was a structure permeated with unredeemed masculine energy, which firstly, believed the lie that war is the only means of negotiation, and secondly, that when the true humanity of one of its own revolts against the insanity, you destroy it because it wasn’t “brave” or “tough” enough.

It’s striking to note that it was a woman, positive female energy, who finally restored sanity, stability and compassion to a situation and a memory that was totally warped and unbalanced.

Posted in Differences between men and women, Family, history, inspiration, Life, Male and Female responses, Men and Women, Warfare | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

From My Sketchbook – 34

I’ve been doing a bit of Zen art which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s a quick Zen like sketch I did yesterday. I’ve been fascinated by the role of the line, the space and simplicity of the art form. I’m trying to learn the art of creating and seeing a steady line which is such an important part of Zen art.

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Posted in Art, From My Sketchbook, imagination, inspiration | 24 Comments