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Archive for January, 2014

Teddy bear donation – The Ilze Halliday Foundation.

A friend of mine, Marinda Deyzel, owner of El Pelo Studio in Magalieskruin, informed me on Wednesday that one of her clients was kind enough to bring this donation to her shop so that she can hand it over to me. I’m ever so much thankful for that and will see that the toys are used well. If I cannot find a home for it during the months ahead, it will definitely be used during our annual Santa Shoebox drive during September/October. Thanks again!!

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Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away
When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door
Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

Antigonish” (1899) by William Hughes Mearns
This poem is often quoted in works by the master of horror, the one and only, Stephen King. I LOVE this poem and remembered it as I am re-reading ‘Dreamcatcher’ and watching the mini-series based on his book…’The Stand’. 
As always, I am stunned (and even a bit jealous) at the raw talent of this author. The way he uses words, the way he plays with our emotions…in such a way that you cannot help but cry, even in the midst of all the horror of his stories. Last night I watched the last chapter of the mini-series and, although the acting is mediocre (most of the actors are not, though….Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise….those guys REALLY are right up there with the best of them) and the screenplay is only so-so, the real story behind the entire good-evil battle tale shone through. I remember, years ago, I read an article about Stephen and he mentioned that ‘The Stand’ is the book most people seem to mention to him and yes, I will have to agree…in my opinion it is one of his best works ever. I’ve read it a thousand times, can paraphrase with ease from it at the drop of a hat even, but always, always, the craft itself is amazing. I wish I could write like that….use language so spectacularly and have a reader bawling one moment and screaming with laughter the next…and when you put down that book…THAT is when the REAL story begins to unfold.
The sweetness of reading, of getting to know the characters and wearing them like a comfortable cloak and then closing the back-sleeve, only to feel melancholy at the loss, as if you’ve lost a friend for a while, knowing, though, that you can go back anytime. That is the thing with a book, with reading; you dive into the story, it hooks you and you become part of the tale and, for a while at least, you can escape your own harsh reality, for a moment you can share the magic, the adventure of the story. To me, books have been constant companions my entire life….I’m NEVER without one. I don’t read biographies and stuff, no, I’m very proud to say I do not feel that my books should have SUBSTANCE or mean anything to my image in the world, I really don’t care about that. For me, a book is only worth reading if the reader can find some kind of fulfillment in it….if biographies and historical transcripts rock your boat, good for you….for me it is fiction. I do read the occasional ‘intelligent’ book, but not very often…for me reading is like a drug, a drug that doesn’t lead to rehab and eventual death, without it, I will most certainly not be who I am today. 
In our society today, we find that children read less and less, and that is SUCH a shame. We have become a visual society, which is, in a way, fine, but kids cannot sit down and just dive into a story and ENJOY anymore…they have to SEE the pictures given to them. When I read a book I build the story in my mind….the characters each receive a face, the environment is in living colour and sometimes, when you watch a movie based on a book, you are totally disorientated. Like with ‘The Stand’….I remember when I started reading this book in 1991 (there after it became an annual thing, like some kind of ritual…every year I just HAVE to read ‘The Stand’ at least once)…well, I saw someone like David Copperfield play Randall Flagg and was sorely disappointed when Jamey Sheridan was chosen…he didn’t do a terrible job, but he was just too…uhm, chunky???…to my taste. Flagg should have been someone REALLY handsome, tall, with MAGIC in his eyes. Just recently I started to think that Colin Farrell will be great at playing it too. Stu Redman…well, Gary Sinise did a wonderful job, but I had someone else in mind….someone like Sam Elliott (a younger version of him anyway) or even Tom Selleck. Larry Underwood…I remember Stephen King mentioning once that Bruce Springsteen will make a wonderful Larry, he was right…but I’m not sure Bruce can act, so perhaps someone like Peter Gallagher…I can go on forever about these people, but I suppose you have absolutely no clue who the hell I’m talking about. I am just mentioning it to show you how very real characters in books can become to a person. That is something, I think that children miss out on today…the imagination of it all, the magic of the book, the ‘getting lost’ in a story, not to mention the use of language, of appreciating the beauty of English or whatever language you read. It is such a shame, actually.
Anyway, I want to go back to my re-reading of ‘Dreamcatcher’…Typhoid Jonesy is on the loose and Owen Underhill wants to save the world!!! Want to know what I’m babbling about…GO READ THE BOOK!!!!

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“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” (from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare)

Before I start, I want you all to think carefully about something…..  

We are all people sharing life on planet Earth, yet we are all so very different, however, sometimes, we feel obligated to judge people, to speak our mind about someone else, whether we know them well or not. In my opinion, we have absolutely NO right to do this….everyone of us has done something in our lives that, perhaps, caused others to feel pain and/or sorrow, NONE of us are SO very innocent that we should have the right to be judgmental at all…think about it, every time you cast a stone, you do not only cause hurt, you literally steal someone’s light. Life is like a bunch of candles or globes, a light that we are all born with, without prejudice, with innocence, and as we live our different lives on (this same) earth, we start losing these flickers of light. Sometimes it is our own doing, sometimes (and I think more often than not) it is caused by others, who carelessly go around spreading tall tales, causing so much darkness in the lives of others, perhaps as retribution and revenge for losing their own light….almost like sharing the pain, if you will. In the end we need to light our own candles, happiness and joy start with ourselves, because if you depend on others to bring it to you, you can just forget it. It is in man’s very nature to bring darkness to others. Why? I couldn’t even begin to guess this…

Well, enough of this…my point is, while you read this story, please remember the last time you GAVE light to someone (if you can, that is), and also recall the last time you STOLE someone’s light. Try to remember…when was the last time someone gave YOU light and what did you say to that person…..what did you do with the shared light?  ….just keep it in mind.

Now, a little tall tale of my own….

There once was a little girl, born into a relatively happy and normal middle class family; the youngest of three children. Her parents were content, sometimes fighting, like most people, sometimes laughing, also like most of us….there was nothing remarkable about her upbringing or the girl herself. She was non-descript; not pretty, nor ugly, not particularly clever, nor too stupid….there was one thing though, this girl had a light inside that shone brighter than the brightest star. This was something people saw from the first time they met her. She always had a smile for everyone on the ready, always giving a hand, even to those who disliked her or teased her (which was often), yet she was never very popular. This was her nature…..she was a self-confessed loner, something she preferred, even treasured (even to this day). Oh, she had friends, but few and never really CLOSE friends….no BFF’s, if you will. She was always quick to forgive, never held a grudge, hardly ever spoke ill of others (sometimes she did, though, but mostly only to herself, in her own mind….she couldn’t bear the idea of her ‘bad’ ideas hurting those other people…people had their own reasons for doing things, she reckoned, so she rarely gave opinions about others).  She was never the head girl or the star of the school play, she was never the captain of a sports team or a cheerleader, never the prefect or head girl or class captain, in fact, she was so insignificant a person, that people hardly noticed her…one of those invisible people, you know. But still, somehow,….classmates wrote things like: ‘I will always remember your smile’, ‘You always made me happy’, ‘You were always so kind’, etc, etc, in her yearbook. You see, despite the fact that she was such an ‘invisible person’, her LIGHT got noticed….she was indeed a ‘light-giver’ and she was HAPPY to share.

So, the years passed and this girl grew up. She never became what she dreamt of becoming, but that disappointment was something she learned to live with…that was just how she was. Bad situations never seemed to get her down, she always picked herself (and all those around her) up and got on with life. The ‘bad’ things became REAL bad during her 18th year…..she lost someone very dear to her and in the same year she lost her dream of a successful career…but like the lost dream, this desperate loss also didn’t seem to get her down. All those around her were crushed, hurt and grieving…..she got up and did what was expected of her….bring the light back. Shortly after that she got deathly sick and, for some very bizarre reason, others held that illness against her for years to come….how could she be so selfish??? How could she allow herself to become so sick???? Didn’t she care for others???? Those were the questions asked….not…come, let us help you…you are losing your light, let us give some of ours for a change…no, no, no, never….the lightbringer was supposed to use her own light, her own strength to get back to normal (or a reasonable facsimile of normal, anyway)…and she did. She survived, she got better and everyone was smiling again….for a while.

She was in a relationship during her illness and the young man in question was, in fact, the only one that brought some light to her…the only one that cared enough to do so. Strangely enough, his name literally means ‘light-bringer’….so you understand, this was a match made in Heaven….together they had hope, because together they thought they could light up the world….dreams, hopes…all the good things we, as innocent youngsters dare to have. After she got better, they decided to get married, and they did. During the arrangements for this wedding, she decided to, for once in her life, stand her ground and TAKE some light for herself….to MAKE herself happy for a change and not constantly consider others….oh, boy…what a disaster!!! Of course, EVERYONE hated her for it…how could she? This selfish girl??? How dare she do this??? But she pressed on and both she and the young man were so very happy to be together at last (they are still together, still happy, still attempting to ‘light the world’, although now, they know more, now they understand more…and you will come to understand the scope of the entire thing before this story is at its end, as well – hopefully). They had children (a miracle, given her earlier illness)…things kept on happening, bad things that caused her to lose light, but still she continued to be a light giver….still hardly ever on the receiving end of it, yet, ever the fighter,  she pressed on.

Years went by, some good, some bad….and all the time she shared light….always trying to make people happy, always trying to keep other’s candles burning. In the latter part of the nineties, she and her husband decided to try for another baby. She was older, and keeping her long-ago illness in mind, they knew it was either now or never. Luckily she fell pregnant almost immediately, only to lose the child during the first few months. Struggling for another baby, they finally had success and a little one was on the way. Everything was rosy until the 25th week when her body starting shutting down. Liver failure set in and she was hospitalized with doctors once again fearing for her life. Finally, after a battle, the child was born…a healthy little baby,  but, she suffered terrible post-natal depression and was in a very dark place indeed. She didn’t talk about this, you’ll understand, thinking that she didn’t want to burden people with her problems…she survived other bad times, she’ll get through this too. All the while, her, now smaller light, was dimming…..she kept on sharing it, you see. Never for once stopping in her caring process for others, constantly supporting and helping, giving light away….light she didn’t really have anymore.

 In the early 2000’s things started to really go off-track for her. She became severely ill again and doctor’s had to operate in order to save her life yet again. Now, she knew, that, in life, one tends to, continuously lose loved ones. Sometimes people move away and you never see them again, sometimes people die and as we grow older, the possibility for the latter increases…everyone gets older and human bodies tend to give out eventually. It is only natural to expect this, but within a mere 10 years, she lost her entire family, save her own husband and children (that is one blessing she is very thankful for) and one brother. After every heartache, she did what she was good at…she survived…she picked herself up, gave her light away, lifted people out of the ashes and held their hands until they could walk on their own again, forgetting that these were her losses too, not minding though, as long as other’s were happy. All the while, though, this light of hers was losing strength….responsibilities increased, demands from others never let up and no help was ever offered….not that she asked it, ever (but if she could see that other people need help, why, then somehow they must also know that she needs it too, so they should have been there for her. Don’t you agree?)

It happened then that, the other day, she came to me crying, asking me what happened, why was everything so dark, why was there no light anymore. She said that she felt as if she was locked in a very dark room, peeking through the keyhole once in a while, only witnessing a little piece of light, outside of her own darkness. She felt adrift, she said….the ocean below dark and foreboding, sharks circling and a lighthouse….very far in the distance, becoming ever further and further as she kept on drifting away on these cold, dark waters. What to do? She wanted to know…how do I get back to the light? I cannot even find the way.

Her story touched my soul….someone once said that, once we look into the darkness, see it for what it really is, we will always have trouble finding the light again. (These were the words of a certain Father Richard Moore….but he was speaking of ‘evil’ rather than just simple dark, depression…yet, I thought it was apt anyway) I am not sure I have an answer yet…how do you find your way to the light in this darkness? This was, thinking back on her life, a darkness created because she has given so much of her own light, never receiving any back. The light left in her life is so pale in comparison to the darkness, that it all but fades to a distant glimmer. How is it possible that others were blind to her troubles? Why didn’t anyone notice that she was giving, giving, giving, yet never receiving? Now she sits their in her dark little corner, alone, nothing left to give and no one wants anything to do with her anymore, because she has no more light. Was that all she was worth to them then? This light she had…why did they take it all away, without giving it a second thought? And the question she poses….how do I get back to the light? How do I find my way?

How indeed…..

In the end, I have to admit that I do understand more than I let on. You see, this girl….. this girl is……… me and I have just realised that I am left to my own devices here. I am alone in the dark, you have stolen my light….but since I gave it freely, so I will not hold it against you. I gave it and you needed it, it made you happy…and that was the most important thing after all. I’ve been in this darkness for a very long time…that is my deepest secret. I’ve been living a lie….people look at me and say…oh, how happy, how lucky she is. Yes, I may be lucky, with a wonderful husband and lovely children and I am extremely thankful for that….but don’t you dare think for a minute that the face you see is the real one. I’ve managed to show the world my ‘light-face’…..that little glimmer in the distance is the one you see in my eyes when you look at me. It’s like missing the forest, while looking at the tree….you see the light, because that is what you WANT to see…that is what you’ve always wanted from me, still want, expect even, from me….but you TOTALLY miss the darkness around the light. That, friends and neighbours, is where I live…that darkness.

As we all know, when you look into the darkness for too long, eventually your eyes adjust, eventually you start seeing shapes again, despite the blackness. That is what I’m waiting for now, for that moment that I can start seeing things again, shapes in the dark. Perhaps I can find the road that leads back to the light, perhaps this dark life of mine is finally going to come to an end… I’m tired, you see, I’m tired of giving, of trying so hard, I’m tired of pushing others up, while always staying down myself…I don’t mind being down, but I do mind the effort…I just don’t have the strength anymore.

Please understand that I’m not saying any of this so that you can feel sorry for me…I don’t feel sorry for myself at all. Giving the light away was MY choice and my choice alone…..now all I can hope, can PRAY for, is that I will be able to finally, somehow,  get some of it back so that the rest of my life can be a bit brighter, a bit more there. Do you think that is too much to ask? I have not many years left, you know….do you think I can finally demand that someone, somewhere, share some of their matches with me so that I can at least light a candle???

You may ask, why on earth did I tell this story? Whatever do I mean by it? Well, it is just this….I feel compelled to bring a small message to you. The message is this…next time someone share light with you, next time someone helps you, gives you hope, remember to pass it on or return the favor at some stage. You see, light is not our’s to keep, light is our’s to share…..if you take light from someone, whether the person helps you, gives advice, comforts you, or whether you take the light by saying something dark about someone, you should share it, pass it on, pay it forward. Being in the dark is not very nice, but let me tell you……I suspect that if you keep on taking the light, stealing it even, well, it will indeed kill you…there will come a day that you will just burn out..poof, gone… even a fire dies eventually, no matter how bright the flames, no matter how radiant the light it gives….and who will then give you the light, if you’ve already used everyone else’s.

Do you understand what I’m trying to say? The lesson I’ve learnt here? I’ve lost my light and I’m not demanding it back, but I do demand that you take note of the lesson I’m trying to teach you….

….if we keep on stealing light from each other, if we do not keep the light alive in the world, we will eventually find ourselves in a very dark place indeed…I don’t know, perhaps its too late already, perhaps the darkness is already upon us, but let us remember that light in the distance….the one I still see now and then, and let us hope to find our way there…..let us hope….let us pray….let us seek the light of day…..

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Baby in grade 8 and princess in grade 3

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Daily bread

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I’ve been Imagean avid Image

I’ve been such a fan of both Mathau and Lemmon since I can remember. i love their movies…..have it all in my collection. Such good, clean fun…and those anecdotes…..HILARIOUS! Such a shame that both is not with us anymore, I do think the younger generation can learn something precious from them.

Thanks you dearly departed fella’s…. you will live forever in my memories.

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My kids is gone…off to school for the first day of 2014. I hope and pray that God will be with them every step of the way.

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