the daily post

Opening Lines – Skinny Love

Opening Lines – Skinny Love

What’s the first line of the last song you listened to (on the radio, on your music player, or anywhere else)? Use it as the first sentence of your post.

“Come on skinny love, just last the year
Pour a little salt, we were never here…”

Skinny Love by Bon Iver

“come on skinny love, just last the year

Pour a little salt, we were never here…”

Unlucky love, insincere

Withered and broke, nothing there

Gimme that salt, I don’t care.


Lyrics here at Lyrics.wikia 


Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song

singing and triumph


Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song


If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Yes, I would work. I would spend my time writing both non-fiction and fiction, especially short stories.

I would also establish a Trauma Practice and work with those who have experienced life traumas of various kinds. Cape Town, South Africa has the highest levels of trauma experiences of various kinds, including PTSD, in the country. I would like to be able to travel to areas that have experienced trauma or disaster and give assistance there. I would use coaching and Logotherapeutic techniques. I would focus on finding meaning and meaning making. Mindfulness and meditation would also be included.

Stress reduction techniques would marry very well with the above.

I see this as my future work.  Out of the rain and the dark and into the song.

Images from Imagicity

10,000 Spoons

10,000 Spoons

10,000 machines when all you need is a heart

10,000 barbs when all you need is a touch

10,000 distractions when all you need is a moment

10,000 pains when all you need is a joy

10,000 prizes when all you need is a jewel

10,000 bummers when all you need is a triumph

10,000 mishaps when all you need is a wonder.

Matters of Taste: Sex and the City

Matters of Taste: Sex and the City

sex and the cityWhen was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?

I really didn’t enjoy this series. I probably watched only two episodes. Despite the acclaim I found it uninteresting and uninspiring. I feel that it lacked depth and credibility, portraying a world far removed from the daily experiences of most women, but it failed to capture my attention. On the above website it was rated 6.9. I would rate it a 4. 

Sudden Shifts – Can’t Do – a Discomfort Destination

Sudden Shifts – Can’t Do – a Discomfort Destination

You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next. 

I am seldom on the beach. It is uncomfortable and the sun and sand hurt my skin. I don’t like to swim in cold or even tepid water. I don’t swim too well, so the waves buffet me and I have had several near drowning experiences. The only time I am likely to be there is to walk a dog or walk along a wind-swept beach. The last time we had hail in Durban, it was the size of golf balls. The best I would be able to do is run, holding my folded newspaper over my head, the one with the headline:

Gaza bloody Sunday: 87 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers killed

…as I run, the ink swishes, oozes and dribbles to become nothing but a smudge…


From the Top – Who is to see, who is to know?

From the Top – Who is to see, who is to know?

Today, write about any topic you feel like — but you must reuse your opening line (at least) two more times in the course of your post.


Who is to see, who is to know? I am me, but I keep the grit, struggles, angst, from the eyes of others. Usually I only share with my daughters and until recently, I didn’t share the whole extent of the minutiae of my life, until asked a direct question, or more to the point, several questions. Who is to see, who is to know? It is a kind of a fierce privacy that I have erected around struggle. I do not wish to reveal a vulnerability, or show the underside. Starting this blog was a way for me to write about life experiences, a way to make them real, a way not to deny, a way to look at some of the unfolding. I have always believed that one has to speak something to make it real, to be able to heal. Who is to see, who is to know? A dear person I have not seen for many years has recently also asked me a direct question. This is not what I have come to expect, even from friends. It’s a kind of squirming discomfort. He knows me well. I did reveal some of my struggle, but now I feel somewhat distressed and feel the need to pull away. I do not wish him to worry on my behalf. Who is to see, who is to know? Maybe I just need to sit with this discomfort? Sometimes I feel that I see too clearly, that I have none of the scales or veils over my eyes that others have. Maybe those who see, are the one’s who need to know? Maybe we are all somnambulists, barely able to see one foot in front of another?

Image Creative Commons Share Alike

Long Exposure – Epiphanies and Meaning Unfolding – Lived Experience

Long Exposure – Epiphanies and Meaning Unfolding – Lived Experience

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

ambs 3

My daughter Amber. I had a call from her this morning. She talked about the incredible challenges she experienced in B. She is one of the organisers of a debating tournament. She explained how she really felt a deep spiritual understanding of how the world works. How she got through immense problems while feeling she was: “just able to keep standing in her skin”. She talked about how she was challenged as an individual to the very boundary of her being, her exhaustion, pushing through and becoming far beyond what she thought was possible. She learnt what she is capable of as a human being, while actualising the following Franklinian values and sources of meaning, achieving a self-transcendence: the creative value, doing something in the service of others – “we experience meaning only when we make use of our gifts and fulfill our unique calling in contributing to society” ~ Paul Wong. Goals or projects that are future oriented; experiential value, relating to other people, life and nature with openness and appreciation, strengthening herself, others and her personal relationship. Finding meaning through love and loved ones; attitudinal value, which applies to finding meaning in times of suffering – in helping others and becoming what she had to become when confronted with very difficult circumstances, including helping someone who was seriously ill – transforming suffering, revising life goals, positive meaning and lessons, spirituality ~ Paul Wong.

In Amber’s own words:

“…i love you all, and i am proud of you all, and i can’t wait to work to move forward with this as the foundation that has spread so strongly among us through the toughest of circumstances.

you have changed how i view debate, and the world, and myself, and i cannot thank you enough…”

She is very blessed to have had this opportunity to really work on a deep level in her experiences in this situation, which when confronted with it, she became for others. How extraordinary to have had this opportunity to really extend herself. I am deeply happy for her, to have had these challenges so young and to learn so much about herself. She talked about how the spiritual teachings she has been exposed to at a young age, (Buddhist teachings from Geshela’s and teaching in India when she was 13), had given her a kind of inner bedrock of strength to work from. I wept when I realised that the teachings I have exposed her to, have had a profound impact on her life, in ways neither she nor I could have expected. I am grateful to all my precious teachers, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for enabling me to be a vehicle to bring the Dharma, (dharma is the universal truth common to all individuals at all times, and it is regarded as one of the primary sources of Buddhist doctrine and practice), to my daughter, who has brought it to her partner, through lived and challenging experiences. She was protected.

Image courtesy of Carol Knox.

Can’t Stand Me – Neither Talking nor Viewing

Can’t Stand Me – Neither Talking nor Viewing

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

I have overcome any reticence about viewing or talking. Having developed online training courses and viewed video of myself during social science research, I overcame the feelings of discomfort. If I were to choose one, it would be video. I would probably need in the future to develop videos for training. I think this will take a lot of practice to get it right, since there will be many challenges, including my body language, confidence and the technicalities of setting up video inexpensively. I still need to do a lot of research in this area.

Here is an intro video I created without talking/voice:

See my website here for more information around mindfulness and Stress Reduction: Meaning and Mindfulness

You can create a powerpoint and save it as a video, then add music/sound and manage the speed of the slide transitions. You can use Windows Movie Maker to do this.

Frame of Mind – In between, the Passage Before the Door Opens

Frame of Mind – In between, the Passage Before the Door Opens 

If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?


It would show me in the passage, the door has closed behind and the new one has not yet opened. I need to turn away and walk into the passage to find the new door and open it. Right now I don’t see it yet.

Image purchased as part of the Epilogue Powerpoint Template at Creative Market.


Reviving Bricks

Reviving Bricks 

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

Roaring Laughter, My Netherworld

Roaring Laughter – My Netherworld

What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

Showing the way, when opening doors or parking in car parks, pay attention.

Showing the way, when opening doors or parking in car parks, pay attention.

“This is how I feel, it may as well be a Netherworld.

I am not kidding when I say this. Literally I get out of my car, get distracted and fail to take notice of landmarks like colour coding and Levels…”

When I laughed at myself retelling this story posted under Wrong Turns, here is part of it, (so o.k., I didn’t exactly roar with laughter, but it was funny in the telling), my natural “scattiness” is not improving. My girls joke that they don’t know how I manage to cross the road, never mind that I managed to raise three daughters and have traveled alone and worked in Asia:

Wrong Turns 

“Off I go, distracted. On my return I am in the queue to pay, with impatient individuals behind me who stop just short of riding onto my heels with their laden trolleys. I start to fish in my bag for the ticket. I can’t find it, so I have to stand aside. Since I seldom carry cash, having been relieved of over R500 once, and theft is prevalent, I have learnt my lesson, but this also means I seldom have any cash at all, especially not coins or notes that will be accepted by the machine. I rummage some more, by this time embarrassed and flustered, with cash slips spilling from my wallet, raining like confetti, (I always think I will refer to them when budgeting, but I seldom do). The fine for a lost ticket is R300. Finally, I pass this hurdle. But now I need to find my car. I wonder around heading in the direction I think it is. I’m sure this is where it was. Up and down several levels. Now I am convinced my car has been stolen. I approach a security guard, who radios others. I ask if they can access CCTV footage. They say yes. We search. Finally I come across my car, not at all where I thought I had left it. Sheepishly I explain that in fact my car has not been stolen. But, I have to find the keys…”

Image courtesy Carol Knox.

Generous Genies – Not for Me – They go One to Each of My Three Girls

Generous Genies – Not for Me – They go One to Each of My Three Girls


Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

No contest, hands down each of my girls would get one. I am quite sure they will each make good use of their wishes.

Suspending for a moment one’s disbelief, a moment, only a moment, a nano-second, with only one wish, everything will transform, catalyse by some alchemy, become manifest. I know for each, their choices will be worthy and noble.

Image from Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0