Western Cape

PHD Update: Research Proposal Approved

PHD Research proposal approved by the Psychology Department Ethics Committee of University of South Africa, (UNISA)! My thanks to my supervisor Professor Teria Shantall for inspiring me in the first place and for her patience and invaluable advice and to the Department of Psychology for all their help, support and incredibly quick responses. So next year looks like it might be a GO.

“From frozen space to meaning: A psycho-educational intervention among a group of PTSD and/or trauma sufferers based on mindfulness and the work of Viktor Frankl.”

My journey in all ways is towards uncovering/discovering the “great perhaps”. I wrote about aspects of my personal journey here:

https://meaningunfolding.wordpress.com/…/shaking-up-and-gi…/

See also here: https://meaningunfolding.wordpress.com/…/i-go-to-seek-a-gr…/

In the words of Viktor Frankl meaning is unique to you: “…meaning must be found and cannot be given.” It waits for you to unfold it.

#ViktorFrankl #PHD #Trauma #PTSD #Mindfulness #Meaning #Existential #Western Cape #SouthAfrica #Logotherapy #Psycho-Education #UNISA #Psychology

sunrise one morning

A Valley Existing for it’s Own Sake ~ Piketberg, West Coast, Western Cape

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SEEN ON THE DRIVE BETWEEN LAMBERT’S BAY AND PIKETBERG.

Coming through the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 tonight, at around 6:25pm, from Lambert’s Bay, the sun was setting on the Piketberg valley below. Awash with golden light, the grasses and farms shone in shades of yellow, brown and gold, with touches of red. The warmth of the light created a glow, seeming to suggest that the valley existed purely for its own pleasure and not for the farmers who had created the fields. There was a kind of vibration of peacefulness and perfection, as if nothing painful could touch such beauty, in that moment unsurpassed. The rounded forms of sheep, grey and moving, walking with direction and pure purpose, created eddies of dust, stirred by their feet, in the otherwise undisturbed and silent valley, interrupted only by the occasional windmill. A moment of breathtaking beauty, so sweet.

I attach the eerie sound of the windmill half forgotten from childhood holidays, spent on karoo sheep farms. City girl, listening, with eyes wide open, to the singing metal whine, in the cold and pitch dark:

“A recording of a metal windmill. You can hear the resonant sounds of a metal pole slowly going up and down, lightly rubbing on a metallic disc, changing in tempo, pitch and volume with the slight breeze that was powering the windmill.”

Here is a Vimeo video with the sound and the wind:

Listen to the windmill here from Freesound.org just as I remember it.


Image from Pinterest Kansas by Mary Sue Sander 

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

Shaking Up and Giving Up | A New Life

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Having encountered Dr Viktor Frankl in studying the Introductory course in Logotherapy at the University of South Africa, (UNISA), in  2012 and meeting Dr Teria Shantall at the workshop, I discovered my own vehicle to unfolding my meaning. At the time I was not sure how this would unfold. I really wanted to become a Logotherapist, but was not in the financial position to continue with the other courses offered at UNISA. In the time since then I have been in the process of paring down, which began with the letting out of my home. I moved in with my sister and then into a tiny “cupboard” as I put my house on the market, sold it and waited for my funds to come through. During this time of waiting and paring down, I worked on a fictional short story: Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes, and a small How to Guide on How to Reduce Stress, which I learnt how to publish as an ebook through BookBaby, which is nearing completion and due for submission to BookBaby for distribution.

As I struggled with the confines of the small space and many disruptions and lack of peace and quiet while living in my “cupboard”, I came to the idea to do a PHD to work with sufferers of trauma and PTSD. The underlying inspiration for this came from my relationship with Brett Pelser, who suffered so from depression and what I feel was PTSD. Finally and tragically he committed suicide. The idea also is deeply inspired by Logotherapy and Viktor Frankl. I really feel that trauma sufferers experience an existential crisis, their world no longer makes sense, they have no language to speak this senselessness, this schism in their very being and at the heart of their lives. My journey has taken me across the country to the Western Cape, which has the highest trauma statistics in the country. I have been accepted to do this PHD through UNISA and the Psychology Department. Things are uncertain for me in terms of creating an income to support myself and this study. I am staying in the moment, being positive and looking forward to new opportunities. A new life, a revealing and unfolding, the time is now.

Image of the beach five minutes from my new space. Courtesy Carol Knox.