South Africa

A Lacto-Vegetarian’s Story About Chickens ~ A South African Tale

During a day of corporate training in Conflict Management, in a multi-cultural environment, we were discussing how cultural differences in diet can cause misunderstandings in the workplace, for example, many Hindus don’t eat meat and are vegetarian, or do not eat meat on certain days for religious reasons. See this Wikipedia link about Vegetarianism and Religion. We spoke a bit about diet and I mentioned that in my own workplace in the past, I had been something of an oddity. I am a Lacto-Vegetarian, meaning, the only animal products I eat are dairy. The group gasped, many saying: “what is left to eat?” Yes, this is a strong reaction common in a predominantly meat-eating culture. When asked why I restricted my diet in this way, I said that I wanted to minimize the suffering of animals through compassion and not eating them. Some said yes, they understood because they loved their pets.

I was very surprised, when one delegate stood up, an African male, who originally came from a small rural village in KwaZulu-Natal, said:

“I can understand this. I have chickens on my farm at home. When I want to eat chicken, I go to the store to buy one, I do not want to kill my own chickens.”

In this way, coming from a very patriarchal background, he was able to express his own love for his chickens, whom he had noticed had personalities and loved to scratch around in the sun. I loved that this made him think and that he was able to express himself like this in front of his colleagues.

Here is a wonderful link to a story about the “hensioners”, pensioners, who are helped with loneliness through their relationships with chickens. I love it!

Like “Sea Glass” One Recent Cold Morning

Reminds me of Heather Nova’s use of like “sea glass”, on a cold rainy morning, over the sea, vast, still, desolate. Here is the music to go with it – the wave came all the way from Africa “and all the things that I forgot that I could feel …all I want is to live as clear as sea glass”:

Photos of False Bay by Carol Knox one recent morning in April, 2015. View from my veranda.

20150414_075749 20150411_075303 20150414_075753

20150219_082509

LOOKING FOR A VENUE IN THE SOUTHERN PENINSULA OF CAPE TOWN

woodstock healing1 woodstock healing2 woodstock healing3

This looks like an amazing space to perhaps offer Reiki training Arura Reiki Centre in the future or mindfulness meditation. I have inquired about rates. This is the Wellness4Living Venue, in Woodstock. Does anyone know of similar spots in the Cape South Peninsula?

Sea image taken by Carol Knox on Fish Hoek beach February 2015.

Awe | Cape Town Fires Devastate Large Areas

20150303_05594320150303_09111620150303_09113020150303_091238800px-Wild_fires_near_Invergarry_2013-04-05_01-20

Early today the fire coming over the mountain into Fish Hoek 6am and now 9:30 am. This morning I awoke to the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town burning wildly, with yesterdays fires spreading and causing closure of main roads to and from the Peninsula. Feeling awe – being a feeling of amazement and fascination, invoked by something outside of our usual understanding. We most commonly experience this through spiritual experiences, nature and art. It is amazing how things can change so quickly. Thinking of all those battling the fires and all the living creatures affected by these terrible fires. Great work being done by all the Firefighters, volunteers and countless helpers. Staying away so as not to block access roads for emergency teams.

One realizes in these moments how quickly things can change. A sharp and stark reminder to cherish the moments in the now. Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ

Om_Mani_Padme_Hum

Image from Wikipedia

Time lapse posted by Jason Kamera.

Image from Wikimedia Commons, not of the Cape Fires #MuizenbergFire but of Invergarry in April 2013.

EyeWitnessNews UPDATE: Fires rage in Cape Town’s deep south #MuizenbergFire

 

Sea Gulls Surfing and Fishing and Other Birds on Fish Hoek Beach

Fish Hoek beach with sea gulls surfing since yesterday, fishing away. Other birds like pigeons benefiting as well. Thursday morning beach walk. Low tide 8a.m. Studies in silver, blue, brown and grey. The sheer joy of a black dog running in the water.

20150219_081009 20150219_081129 20150219_081509 20150219_081658 20150219_081738 20150219_081740 20150219_082509

 

Photographs by Carol Knox.

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.

20141025_101539 20141025_101526(1) 20141025_101442(1)

Robberg Nature Reserve

Photos taken by K October, 2014.


This photo of Robberg Nature Reserve is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What I Did | Easy Fix | And All was Right with the World

What I did when my coaching session was cancelled: ‪#‎BeachWalk‬‪ #‎CapeTown‬ ‪#‎SouthernPeninsula‬ The lovely mist on the mountain was so wistful in the wind. Lovely boat, shark flag and a duck amongst the gulls. My first walk on the beach since the stint with bronchitis. Just sat on the dune and absorbed the sea spray and sea air. “And all was right with the world.”

20150123_110315 20150123_110424 20150123_110701 20150123_113436 20150123_114001

Response to Daily Post Easy Fix

Photos taken by Carol Knox on a beach in Cape Town.

20150104_195956(1)

Full Moon Gathering Sacred Tripod Kalk Bay Cape Town

20150104_180109 20150104_183631 20150104_183639 20150104_183952 20150104_184746 20150104_185234 20150104_185455 20150104_191054 20150104_193650 20150104_194922 20150104_192615 20150104_191103 20150104_195954 20150104_195956(1)

Full Moon Gathering Sacred Tripod Cape Town – I went. Sacred Earth Foundation of Southern Africa https://www.facebook.com/SacredSitesFoundationOfSouthernAfr… Although I did not make it to the Tripod, I made it about 3/4 way up, it was spectacular! My bronchitis has left me kind of low in spirit and low in body, so I thought I was due for a pick me up and what better way. Unfortunately, my lungs constricted and I couldn’t breath, so I decided to come down. I think it was Conrad who brought up the rear and was helping with the walk, he very kindly helped and waited, giving a hand up when it got tough. Thanks very much for the patience. One kind of feels bad for holding others up too, so the only thing to do right then was to come back. I took a picture of where I sat when I couldn’t breath any more and then came down.

How beautiful it was walking down. I walked so quietly that once a bird flew right across the path in font of me and another time, one sang and twitterd right beside me in the bos. I held out my hand and let it run across the fynbos, which gave off a beautiful aroma, the vistas were stunning, in the distance I heard the voices of the others who had reached the tripod. Otherwise it was wind, vistas, fynbos, my steps and quiet. The light was changing and beautiful, as it changed the mood shifted, at one point I walked literally enveloped by fynbos. I focused on what was around me – a kind of walking meditation, touching and smelling. My mood certainly has lifted and my lungs are slowly clearing with the help of allopathic medicine bombs, heavy handed phamacology opening me up once a-gain. I think tonight I will sleep well and hopefully not feverishly. You can see Kalk Bay looking down, the sea was so still, it looked almost frozen and the other side of the mountain into the valley. This valley looked like coming over the Outeniqua pass from the side of the Karoo, breathtaking green and teeming life, when I drove towards Cape Town in November. Amazing. The full moon coming down the road towards my car and the pink sun set at 8pm. Thanks to Dean Liprini for organizing: https://www.facebook.com/events/745128188912923/?ref=22 I feel blessed!
http://goo.gl/maps/kDsbL

Photos taken by Carol Knox.

— feeling happy.

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

Montagu_Pass00

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:

“I GO TO SEEK A GREAT PERHAPS”

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

Fevered Mutterings | Mike Sowden and Story Telling Everything

20140810_145124

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.

234H

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.

20141023_165414 20141023_180241

Top image from Gratisphotogrpahy

Photos taken by Carol Knox.