If Spanish be the Food of Love Speak On!


Today I happened to be speaking with a native Spanish speaker and he was saying how Spanish is a very direct language, whereas English is a language more suitable for poetry. So Spanish speakers are as the crow flies and English speakers meander descriptively, with words having many possible meanings. Interestingly, I then happened on two articles which spoke about the finding that people in Spain talk more about love and use more positive language than other countries studied. The Spanish used more words like “love” and “laughter” than other places. So maybe we all need more of this kind of positivity. In a play on Shakespeare: If Spanish be the Food of Love Speak On:

“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

See the MailOnline: Spain’s the Place to Live (I so agree if this is the case)

BigThink: Spanish is the Language of Love

Image: Los Gigantes, Tenerife, Spain from Wikimedia Commons


Wild Robberg Nature Reserve in Plettenberg Bay and a Disappointment after 38 Years

My hair is literally standing upright in the wind. Wild, windy, beautiful! My eyes are streaming. A brief visit. K is excitedly snapping pictures and an old friend I have not seen in 38 years, is standing back and looking on. I had felt such anticipation in seeing him, he had always been very kind and sweet. Interesting how he had changed little and seemed simultaneously distant, if not quite unfriendly. In the three short days, K and I were blown off for a lunch, with a decided reluctance on his part to help carry some heavy luggage in the beginning and at the end, I kind of felt disillusioned with him. Curious how he walked ahead and offered no hand ups or assistance over rocky patches. I had more help on a hike here in Cape Town, from a complete stranger. Many things had changed indeed in all this time.

With the wind whipping in my face, K’s joy in the place was so endearing and wonderful to see. Her “upliftment”, uplifted me, her smile was so bright and unconstrained, so open. I felt exhilarated by the place if not by the company of the person I had not seen in so long. We were able to see the seals in the distance and listen to their squeals and honking. I am delighted that I had the opportunity to experience this exquisite beauty, trudge along paths and clamber over rocks, with expanses of dune and white beach. Plettenberg Bay I would give a miss on the whole, I found the town pretentious.

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Robberg Nature Reserve

Photos taken by K October, 2014.

This photo of Robberg Nature Reserve is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Five Star Review from Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite | Belongings in the Sand

five star review

Kindle see inside belongings in the sand

Five star review for my short story: Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes:
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite:

“Carol Knox’s short story, Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes, is suspenseful and exciting. Her heroine is polished, urbane and successful at her business, but it is when she’s faced with danger that she becomes alive and in the moment. Knox’s plot swiftly propels the reader into her dilemma, and I could vividly envision the woman standing perplexed and tense by the side of the road.”

To read more follow the link above.

Sloughed Off | How I Grew a New Skin Such a Magical Thing


In response to Daily Post | New Skin

As the little green Suzuki Alto entered the 2 600 foot  Outeniqua Mountain Pass in all its majesty, fecundity and wonder, a magical thing happened. Looking down at my arms, my right one in a spasm of carpel tunnel frigidity, my skin began to slough off, much like the dry skin peeling of a snake. My sight extended to a cartoon like vision of myself, a half crazed red-head, driving a tiny car bulging with stuff, a white rabbit in one of my magical extra hands and a bird-cage in the other. Somehow, entering this pass was like being squeezed from a womb through a birth canal, where I came out the other end with not only new skin, but a renewed awe, hope and enthusiasm for what was potentially to come. I was brand new! This indeed was a R. D. Laing landscape, a circuitous and twisted place, the primal journey of coming into being. A true renewal and metamorphosis, and I thought in the words attributed to Francois Rabelais:


Image from Wikimedia Commons
See Janus Head for more on Laing See also Laing’s Language of Experience

“I Go to Seek a Great Perhaps” – Attributed to François Rabelais

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This quote resonates with me and the words are said to be the last words of Franciois Rabelais, although there is some controversy about this. It encapsulates my journey outlined in my previous posts: Cross Country Ramblings I and Cross Country Ramblings II. I also mentioned this in the post Shaking Up and Giving Up. My journey in all ways is towards uncovering/discovering the “great perhaps”. My wish especially for those who really need it, who are suffering or in pain in some way, is for them in the new year, to discover their “great perhaps”, which in the words of Viktor Frankl is unique to you: “…meaning must be found and cannot be given.”  (1975, p. 112).

Here is a lovely piece in the Huffington Post, written by a young girl, Shanzeh-khurram where she says:

‘While reading “Looking for Alaska” by John Green a few years ago, I came across the last words of the poet Francois Rabelais: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” The main character, Miles, states these words as his reason for going to a college away from home; he doesn’t want to “wait until he dies to start seeking a Great Perhaps.” ‘

Do read further, this is a lovely piece.

Frankl, V. E. (1975).  The Unconscious God:  Psychotherapy and Theology.  New York:  Simon and Schuster.  (Originally published in 1948 as Der unbewusste Gott.  Republished in 1997 as Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning.)

Image free download from Creative Market


Fevered Mutterings | Mike Sowden and Story Telling Everything


I came across this guide from Mike Sowden on Fevered Mutterings about Story Telling Everything. I really enjoyed it and thought others might find it useful. Mike’s free guide is here

His humour is great, with just the right mix of vulnerability and self-disclosure. Let’s hope he is not suffering from too much hillside exposure right now. His storytelling resources are great, find them at this page.

My own travel image, a street that I used to know, in Durban, South Africa.

Cross Country Ramblings II

Leaving Bloemfontein in the Free State, the little green Suzuki Alto drove into what seemed a desertification. After the glittering fields of the day before, the endless vistas ahead were bleak, bleached, literally blanched. It seemed as if the whole area, including the Northern Cape, had suffered from a combination of geological and human evisceration, an emptying out. Homesteads ghostly, crumbling and deserted, seemed to stare out at the passing cars, vacant with loss, poignant with history, nothing left but the whisper of buildings, a pointing to what once was. The living creatures seemed sad, gathering in small groups, thin and hungry looking. I felt so moved and sad as we drove on, an overpowering sense of yawing fatigue took over me. We almost missed Graaff-Reinet, since Google Maps pointed to a way which would have added on hours to the journey. It was a kind of time warp space, what should have taken 4 hours took 6.

Finally we arrived by way of a major detour, at Heather’s Guest House. There we met Heather and Barry, a most delightful couple. Their motto: “Arrive as a stranger, leave as a friend, return as a regular” certainly rings very true. Warm and inviting, not only as people, but also their home and the Fig Tree Cottage where we stayed. As I stepped through the front door of their home, I was transported to another time, another place. To the Karoo farms I visited as a child, the homey feel of the place, the lamps, the “voorkamer”, (I could almost hear the milk machine “ting tinging” in the dark). The “voorkamer” even had the ladies sitting, doing their needlework, amidst crochet blankets, beautiful old porcelain dolls, patchwork, doilies and all manner of goodies from yesteryear. Barry whispered conspiratorially later, that they were all gossiping. What a lovely but brief stay this was. I would recommend Heather’s to anyone wanting to visit Graaff-Reinet a lovely, very pretty little town, with so much to see and do. Below is an image of Fig Tree Cottage and the other is the church in the centre of town, opposite where we ate that evening.

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Top image from Gratisphotogrpahy

Photos taken by Carol Knox.

Cross Country Ramblings 1

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The tiny Suzuki Alto is crammed with clothing, birds in a cage and a rabbit in a pet carrier. K had been freaking out because she felt it couldn’t be done. The journey is about to begin. We get a late start. Climbing the hill towards Hilton’s verdant green, I begin to feel the relief of leaving Durban behind. Something seems to fall from my shoulders like a veil slipping from my face. I can see more clearly, feel more intensely, dream more bigly, and hope more fervently. I am leaving behind KwaZulu-Natal and going forward and toward the Western Cape, literally and figuratively. As we progress towards the Free State, the skies become more blue and seem to occupy the windshield space with a hugeness not known in KZN. This big sky blue and white take my breath away. There are fields that have been planted and harvested both left and right of my vision. They glitter gold in the late afternoon sun. The golden glitter of the fields of the Free State I will not easily not remember. As I walked on the beach in the Cape Southern Peninsula, I thought of this and felt the need to write down some parts of the journey that have brought me to this destination, by the sea, with the view, with the loveliness of pink late setting suns, of whipping winds and cold sea air.

Images Carol Knox. The beach I walk on, approach five minutes from where I live, the sand fine like talcum powder, large strands of kelp almost the size of an arm strewn across the beach, white, windy, a wildness not quite tamed.

An earlier post: The Felt Weight where the relief from the weight can be likened to the slipping of the veil.

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”

― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter