Blog Getting Personal Quoting Others

"We do not remember days, we remember moments." Cesare Pavese

I have a rather embarrassingly high stack of unread books. Mj’s got it right when he says I’ll probably ask for a bunch of books for my mehr. They are at once my weakness and strength. So thumbing through one volume that’s served its time on my side table, I’ve come to love reading all over again-not that we ever revoked each other, reading and I, but this adulthood thing has led me to have a mind too full, days too busy and inclinations that are recalcitrant of previous affirmations. The reward has been learning all over again what makes reading so special, the vindication of thoughts, one-time ideas and “I would never say that alouds,” leadng one to feel less deserted of common-sense and infinitely more human.

Reading through excerpts of Sylvia Plath’s journals, after having recently read some of a volume of Ted Hughes’ poetry, I’m spending this Monday morning revelling in the potential for human experience to so often be universal.


I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Blog Quoting Others

Go from me, please.

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforth in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore–
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Blog Getting Personal

For sudden Joys, like Griefs, confound at first — Robert Wild

There are people in our lives, they are not the everyday fundamentals, they are a lot like film extras with occasional starring roles, but the knowledge that they are there, a phone call or road trip away enriches our lives. And just as often, these people are snatched away from us. We do not question His will, His master plan, we must learn to roll will it, be one with it, but there is that watershed moment in which we realise the vacuum created by the loss of just one person.


My younger sister is generally the better liked of the two of us among family friends. She’s more chatty, more boisterous and generally better at ease. But I was Uncle Anver’s favourite, so much so, he wanted his son and I to get married. We were momentarily foolish enough to like his idea and think we liked each other, thank the Lord he met Mary soon thereafter. One night , while Uncle Anver sat chatting to Mum and Dad, I offered him a chocolate and belatedly realising his diabetes told him he couldn’t have it after all, he teasingly unwrapped it and told me one chocolate wouldn’t make much of a difference. Four days later he was shot dead on his way home.

Uncle Hoosen was a business associate of my dad’s, during our trips to Mpumalanga we looked him up, became family friends and long after the business relationship became redundant, the familial relationship stayed. During a trip out east two years ago, I remember standing on the upper deck of a restaurant on the banks of the Sabi river in the Kruger National Park. Together with my brother, we watched the hippos in the river below, a consensus of silence between us. He passed away this morning. I haven’t found the space to cry, it’s a little surreal, some part of me still expects him to be there when next we’re out in the Kruger.

To Allah we indeed return.


Blog Quoting Others

I like this poem

A couple of weeks ago, Parasputin asked how I maintained my optimism. As an observation it was particularly unsettling- me and optimism? Really? Yet, I feel any semblance of glass-half-full spirit I may have had to be flagging. It’s disillusionment, I think. How else could I resonate with this poem?

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay