Tag Archives: Arts

Respite

Respite ↔ Reason


VIEW from RAMABANTA LODGE – Lesotho, Southern Africa

What drives us sometimes to resist respite, like toddlers fighting the urge to sleep? Such as prior to traveling, when every possible responsibility crowds the mind. This was the case last week, while I planned for Lesotho. Yet the sweetness of the let-go is all-encompassing. Every time. Lying on the sun-splashed lawn, everything but the present faded into insignificance . So why the conflict? It’s like entering into creative flow. That struggle to relinquish the tension of time dissolves into an absence of its importance.

Observing myself today, I become aware that the same can be said about exercise. Prioritising it above other pressures of life requires self-discipline. Peculiar really, since the benefits seep far deeper than bones, straight into soul. ‘Relax your face…take a deep breath and sigh it out.’ Pat’s peaceful words permeate our cells, touching a place of total Respite. I realize that it shares a home with Reason, giving rise to renewed perspective.

Quotes to consider:

“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” – John De Paola

“Art is a spiritual, immaterial respite from the hardships of life” – Fernando Botero

“I have a very full and busy life and occasionally I am asked, Scotty, how can you do all that you do? The most telling reply I can give is: Because I spend at least two hours a day doing nothing.” – M. Scott Peck

“One must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life.” – Henry David Thoreau

“It is familiarity with life that makes time speed quickly. When everyday is a step in the unknown, as for children, the days are long with gathering of experience.” – George Gissing

In line with that last quote, Patricia (our yoga instructor this morning) suggested experiencing our bodies in a spirit of adventure. Respite can similarly invite delight, such as this miniature flower that shimmered ‘hello’ on the Ramabanta lawn 🙂


LITTLE YELLOW FLOWER – Ramabanta Lodge, Lesotho

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WOO-HOO! 2010 SA Best Photographic Blog Finalist!

Huge, heart-felt THANK YOU to EVERYONE who nominated this blog for SA Best Photographic Blog 2010!! Because of you, we’re through to the Top 10 FINALISTS! Special mentions also to The Only Cin and Spirit Lights The Way for drawing … Continue reading

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Peter Sarstedt Sings for Conservation in South Africa

Isn’t it stunning to come across a celebrity with a big heart? No wonder the words ‘Where do you go to, my lovely’, sung from that heart, touched so many. The Number 1 hit single of Feb 1969, which topped the British charts for 6 weeks, and reached # 1 in 14 more countries, is as familiar today – over 40 years later! This composition earned Peter Sarstedt the coveted Ivor Novello Award for Best Song 1969/1970. No surprise really that it’s also the theme song for a recent movie by Wes Anderson, ‘The Darjeeling Limited‘.

Some offerings of the soul are simply timeless, like this musician’s attitude to conservation. His ‘Green Alphabet’ song explores urgent environmental issues. Another, ‘Hemmingway’, expresses passion for Africa, while deploring the ease with which nature’s beauty can be lost. Peter Sarstedt’s signature works are born of an era when folk singing raised awareness and protested injustice, captivating the world and initiating change.

Not for the first time, his reach is extending here to South Africa, where he’ll be singing this month. His ‘green music’ does more than entertain. It promotes sustainable improvement of our planet. He will be performing ‘Save the Rhino’ to assist with the plight of these threatened creatures. In conjunction with Sappi Ltd., dedicated environmental supporter, his visit will benefit additional causes, such as The Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre, Birdlife SA and The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, among a number of others.

To give you an idea of these Gardens, here’s a pic of their spectacular waterfall:


WATERFALL – Botanical Gardens, Roodekrans, Johannesburg

And two of the majestic residents that nest near the top:


BLACK EAGLE ON NEST – Botanical Gardens, Roodekrans, Johannesburg


BLACK EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Botanical Gardens, Roodekrans, Johannesburg

The Gardens will be celebrating 10 years of Sappi Sunday Picnic Concerts on 12 September. With Peter’s help, since he’ll be appearing as a guest artist on the Mathys Roets programme. He will also host ‘singer songwriter‘ workshops for aspiring musicians, in line with his and Sappi’s upliftment of this art in South Africa.

Andre Oberholzer, Group Head Corporate Affairs at Sappi Ltd, says that they ‘invited Peter back to South Africa to add a new dimension to our long-standing support for the arts, community development and conservation.’ How fabulous for this country!

Shows are scheduled for Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Cape Town and Franschhoek. For details, go to: 702 Talk Radio.

To wrap up, here’s a video of Peter Sarstedt’s ‘Lovely’ song:

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Timely Message from the Writing Stratosphere

Wintry warmth soothes my bones, spreading Sunday laziness through my body. Indistinct doggie sounds decorate the background. A yap here, gallop there, punctuated by noisy chewing, which I’m determinedly ignoring. I mean, really, how much damage can they do out here? The first whiffs of Spring float her pending arrival on the still air. O The Oprah Magazine is pleasant company, serving up some inspiring women’s stories and stunning images. What’s this? The sparkle of our nearby pool reflects sweetly off the page.

INSPIRING ARTICLE – O, The Oprah Magazine South Africa


VIEW FROM OUR BEDROOM DOOR

Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat Pray Love shares some timely insight. ‘Nearly all the women I know,’ she writes, ‘are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren’t doing enough with their lives.’ Despite the fact that each and every one is doing ‘a lot’. Doesn’t that ring a clanging bell? It does for me 🙂 Elizabeth confides something enlightening: after writing 5 books, never mind the millions of copies sold and the movie just launched, she worries that she hasn’t written the right kinds of books, or that she’s maybe dedicated too much of her life to writing, thereby neglecting other aspects of her being. She asks: ‘Can we all lighten up a little bit?’

Brilliant point, corroborated by my primary muse, our gorgeous Jina. She’s a staunch believer that when all else fails, and even when it doesn’t, the best thing to do is RELAX!


JINA AS A KITTEN SNOOZING ON JOE’S PAWS

And when you’re done with relaxing, PLAY!


JINA AS A KITTEN: ‘Please can we play?’

Uh-oh, hysterical barking. A silver-grey streak catches the corner of my eye. Okay, so even Jina falls short sometimes. Composure be damned, I rush to her rescue. Guess all we can manage is our best in each moment. Or for a fresh change, a little less than our best!
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“Writers Write”

Sincere thanks to Amanda Patterson of The Write Co., since I completed her Writers Write 2 novel-writing course today. This is the follow-on to the first course, Writers Write, which helped immensely with my first novel, OUT OF AIR. It’s … Continue reading

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World Book & Copyright Day

In recognition of today being World Book and Copyright Day, I’d like to share some inspiration especially for those who honour the urge to write, regardless of the challenges posed by the process. The following quote is included in Napoleon … Continue reading

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Delight

Delight > Drugs


ELEPHANTS IN MUD-BATH – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

It is freely available – anytime, anywhere 🙂

Quotes to consider:

“We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children, that makes the heart too big for the body” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own.” – Emanuel Swedenborg

“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight.” – Marcus Aurelius
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