Thursday, November 20, 2008


My friend from school is getting married this weekend. After eight years with her boyfriend, they are tying the knot in a sweet little town called Dullstroom. It is wonderful and I am looking forward to the privilege of witnessing their vow to love one another for the rest of their lives. This event has, inevitably, set me to thinking about marriage again.

The journey

Getting married is a big step and a big deal in the cycle of life, especially at an age where your life is already well on track and your habits are really set. You choose now to share a life, a world, with another person, someone not of your blood, someone apart from yourself. I have great respect for people who decide to embark on the journey of marital pilgrimage. I call it a pilgrimage because that is what I believe it is. defines a pilgrimage as “any long journey, esp. one undertaken as a quest or for a votive purpose, as to pay homage”

As we all know, in the common western wedding ceremony, the parties vow to love one another for as long as they both shall live. In the over-dramatized and often unrealistic Hollywood movies, this vow often becomes a promise to love beyond the grave. Now I will not spend time on the merits of life (and love) after death, suffice to say that in real time, loving and being with another person for the duration of your natural life is daunting – at least for me.

Realistic Jade vs. The Anti-Marriage Fallacy

I once attended a wedding where my (gay) date enquired of me whether I find the whole thing exciting (that was before gays were allowed to get married in SA). My response was no. I found it frightening at that point, and 10 years later I still find it scary. The learned ones and people who’ve known me a long time will relate my trepidation to my parents’ failed marriage or a myriad of rejection and abandonment issues, and they would not be completely wrong.

What they are wrong about is that my past and my issues make me averse to marriage. Being scared of getting married is not rejecting the idea; it is a realistic and maybe a bit of a jaded viewpoint. I mean, with the high divorce rates and worse still, the incredible pain people inflict on one another when removing themselves from marriage, is it any wonder so many people prefer to stay unmarried? Co-habiting in harmony for years without the “chains” of marriage, or simply deciding to never marry have become less of an exception to the rule. Why co-habiting is different from marriage is often basically a legal and religious thing (as in “don’t live in sin”). Or when you’ve lived together for six months you are considered “married” and can take legal action should the relationship turn sour. Therefore, pretty similar to traditional concepts of marriage. But I will leave the distinctions to the clever people, and keep to what I wish to opine about today. And that is the marital relationship.

Marriage Lite: Low in carbs and Fat-free!

I believe that a healthy relationship contains two people of equal status: equal rights, equal inputs, equal respect, and equal love. Maybe I am being idealistic here, but humour me. I have seen too many divorcing couples tearing each other apart. These are the same people who, ten years earlier, vowed in front of God and witnesses to be together for better or worse. They didn’t think they would ever get to the point where the sight of the other would make them sick. Or that that person, who lovingly gazed into their eyes over the rings and the cake and the register, would stare daggers into their heart.

I believe that fairy tales and movies have enhanced the idea that love conquers all the moment the two finally get together and get married. I believe many people, especially young women, grow up dreaming of the wedding dress, the cake, the doves and the self-written vows. The romance, the dreamy scenery and the sunset farewell en route to the honeymoon... What comes after, is seldom considered, and in the prelude to the wedding the hectic preparations very seldom include an “after the wedding” part. Or if it does, it is often done because it is required by the church or the pastor, and not for the purpose of actually preparing people to face the realities after the honeymoon is over.

Marriage is a dangerous pilgrimage. It has unforeseen bumps and rough terrain; it has misleading tunnels and dark side roads. To stay on it till the end takes courage, conviction, dedication and faith. Faith in each other and faith in God (if you are a religious person) or Fate (if not). It is not the wedding dress, or the vows, or the cake or even the honeymoon that makes a successful marriage. These things just make a great wedding, a “Marriage Lite”. A real marriage requires so much more. There is no short cuts or ”lite” version – the real thing is a full-course, nutritious and fulfilling thing. It is healthily organic and devoid of the pesticides of laziness, quick-fix and window-dressing.

Work it, baby!

“Love is a verb” I have often heard. Yes, that is true – more so in marriage perhaps that in serving others. I also believe that love is a choice, not only a feeling. Because you have chosen to spend the rest of your natural life with another human being: one with faults and issues and fears and joys and laughter and tears. A human being that you have chosen to love because of all these things, and sometimes even despite them. In the pilgrimage of marriage, we pay homage to our insecurities, our past hurts and our future hopes. We pay homage to the person next to us, who will be the one person to know and love us in ways no-one else will; in ways that expose our vulnerabilities. For me, that is the true test of lasting love: that you can trust that other person with your complete, naked, vulnerable self – and know that they will choose to not use it against you.

If I can have that, I think I will be ready for the pilgrimage.

I would like to end with an excerpt from “Don’t break my heart” by Vaya Con Dios:

“The anger and the fury
And the fears living inside me
Should you love me
Would you love them just the same?”

I concur with that.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Going back (North) West

A short note to share my trepidation: tomorrow I will be heading back to the province and town I grew up in. We are attending a music and arts festival in the North West province of SA. The town is called Potchefstroom, the festival is Aardklop. Potchefstroom is near Stilfontein, the town I spent most of my puberty in.

Growing up in a small town has its advantages - you tend to find creative ways of keeping busy (no movie theatres or malls), and you do not get shot at when acquiring fruit from neighbours' trees... Ringing the church bell in the wee hours of the morning is fun when you have exhausted the video collection at the local video shop during school holidays. Children could roam the streets in safety and the ice-cream at Keurboom Motors was divine.

There is only one high school - where the entire grade 11 group refused to take part in singsongs by shouting an empathic "NO" to the teacher when asked for their participation in'92... and paid for that with resultant laps around the field for disobedience. There we played hockey in winter, coached by a man affectionately called "Jan Bom" (meaning John Bomb), whose philosophies on injuries included "if there's no blood it doesn't hurt". The school housed the usual group of teachers with weird and sometimes wonderful quirks - the accounting one who called the pupils "papkoppe" (cereal heads); the English subject head (Mad Mam) who listened to children's radio shows during class time; and the sexy biology teacher who had all the boys in hormone-ridden suspense.

I remember the incredibly cold winter mornings on the hockey fields - your hands so icy you could hardly feel the vibrations of the stick when you hit the ball. And the exam hall in winter... The cold seeped into your legs - we ended up bringing blankets to school to wrap around our legs like old people. Summers were long and hot, the yellow school shirts with blue tunics almost unbearable; and the sunburn at the local athletics hurt even more than losing to the other schools.

The town holds many many memories. That's where I got my first kiss (wasn't nice); learnt to drive (dangerous!) in the old unused drive-in area; where we rode our pasolas past the Afrikaans teacher's house after someone burnt unmentionable words into her grass using petrol... In Stilfontein I laughed and cried and played and grew. Although I will never regret growing up there, I detested the narrow-minded "box" mentality of small-towners that expected you to act in a certain way. I wanted out of the smallness and therefore spread my wings in the city of Pretoria after school. I never went back there except to visit my mom while she was still there. She was the only reason to go back. That is why I cannot think of the town separate from my memories of my mother.

I think that is where my trepidation lies: I haven't been back to that place since we moved my mom's house (September 06) after her passing away in December 05. My mom was an icon there: the English and drama teacher of the only High School, she left no-one untouched. She was one of those teachers that you either adored or couldn't stand. She lived out loud: she laughed loudly, she cried loudly, she sang loudly (and beautifully) and would support you through anything. And that is not just as our mom - it was the kind of person she was. She could be difficult as hell and sweeter than honey. She was tough and fragile and mean and caring all at the same time.

I realised people's perceptions of her when we held her memorial service in town. So many people attended, most we didn't know. We held many men and women who cried on our shoulders - sobbing "she was like a mother to me". I felt like screaming: "she was MY mother!!!!" They wrote poignant notes in a "memory journal" for her; they shared stories and memories.

Yes, my mom made an impression on the town and on its people. Now I'm going back - back to the memories and the house I grew up in. I'm scared because I heard the town is run-down now... I also heard the later owners of my mom's house had all the trees cut down, including the big shady one in the front yard, the fruit trees in the back yard and the huge apricot tree. I'm not sure I want to see that.

I'm not sure I want to face the tiny ghosts of my uneventful past - but I will. In a way, it will be a rite of passage, a last good bye. Not just to my childhood, but to the raw part of the sorrow I still bear for my mom. Because in the gold dust of the town lies my mom's footprints. And my own.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Case of you: thoughts on lust and desire

"I could drink a case of you, darling
and still be on my feet" Joni Mitchell (1971)

The above snippet is from one of my ultimate favourite love songs of all time - "A case of you". In my opinion, Tori Amos' version is the best. These specific lyrics have made me think about many things love-related over the years. Two concepts have taken up some space in my mind off late: lust and desire. Two terms often used interchangeably; similar in meaning, but for me, two very different things.

A question of lust
Lust is defined as an overmastering craving; an intense sexual appetite ( Synonyms include insatiable, lecherous, lewd, libertine, lubricious, lustful, randy, salacious. All these terms relate to something relatively uncontrollable and ultimately primal in nature.

Desire is half of life (Kahlil Gibran)

Desire as a noun is defined as a longing or craving for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment; as a verb it is to wish or long for; crave; want. Synonyms include ache, hanker, long, pine, want, wish, yearn. These symbolize an intensive yearning for something that will bring great satisfaction.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire
I wish to liken lust and desire to the element of fire. Fire consists of heat and air and some sort of fuel. Without one of these elements fire cannot exist. Similarly, lust and desire both contain elements that make them work. Passion is the heat that feeds the fire for lust and desire. The fuel is also similar: usually an object of intense affection. It is in the air that lust and desire require that I see a difference. And that air makes the difference between a destructive wildfire and the comforting flames of a winter fireplace.

The air that keeps lust going consists of a need for immediate gratification and this drive leaves no thoughts for consequence. Lust inhales its own pleasure above all others. Lust breathes with the body: with its most primal sexual nature. It is wild and uncontrolled, and in the drive to fulfill lust, it often sucks the life out of everything around it. Bad addictions are often the result of lust raging uncontrolled.

Desire's air is relational. It is something more than just an insatiable yearning. It is more than mindless passion and bodily drive. It is both primal and sophisticated; it inhales its own pleasure and exhales into the pleasure of others, like emotional CPR. It breathes through the heart, the mind and the body. It is vibrant and it gives life to all it touches. Its vigour comes from the same primal drive as that of lust. This is revealed in its passion and its fire, but it transcends the pure basic instinct of lust.

In many ways desire takes lust and turns it into a masterpiece in much the same manner as an artist takes formless clay and makes a figure. Lust is the clay, desire is the sculpture. Lust transformed is recreated as art. And that art is desire.

A Case of You
"Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
And you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
And still be on my feet"

I think Joni Mitchell knew desire when she wrote these beautiful lyrics. These words speak of pure, unadulterated desire. They talk of being intoxicated with the one you love: filled with the wine of that person's love. Intoxicated but not uncontrolled...

You see, lust will also want to drink the whole case. But it can only handle one bottle.

Desire... now desire will have the whole case. And in its warm intoxication, it will still be on its feet.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How do you like your eggs? My thoughts on relationships.

This is something that I have thought about a lot over the years. Coming from a so-called broken home myself, the subject of marriage and relationships occupy my mind every so often. Today I would like to share some thoughts on this topic. And I want to do so by referring to eggs. Yup, eggs as in breakfast fare. Specifically scrambled and fried eggs.

Scrambled, please
A while ago someone likened marriage to the mixing of two eggs in a bowl, like we do when we want to cook scrambled eggs. If a relationship is indeed like scrambled eggs, it means that the two individuals will become one, but not just that, they will become bits and pieces of the other. With scrambled eggs, no indication is left of the original egg, and it is only capable of being something in conjunction with the other. Each egg will by default become a function of the other. Their original structure and wholeness will be a distant memory, and they will not be able to distinguish their identity from the other egg's.

Sunny side up
If one likens a relationship to two eggs fried in a pan, the following becomes clear: the whites of the two eggs will inevitably flow into one another in the pan (that is if you're not using one of those nifty round egg thingies... but that is not the point now!). The whites become "one", joining the eggs completely. The yolks, however, remain separate, clearly defined and whole. The eggs become one, without completely losing their core.

In my opinion, a healthy relationship is one where the two people are like the fried eggs. They will mesh; they will flow into each other's lives and they will be one. They are able to be flawlessly conjoined, yet they will remain individuals. They will not lose their core identity or their wholeness in the other person, yet they will be connected intimately.

Love grows
I believe that love grows more easily if the two people in the relationship can retain their uniqueness. I am not advocating separate lives and keeping secrets. I am supporting the idea that a man and a woman in a relationship keep on being themselves, retaining that unique something that makes you you. That is the spark that your loved one fell in love with to start with, because it was something that was not in them. It was different...

That spark of "otherness" is what draws the eye, fascinates the mind and captivates the heart. Often our differences are what attracts us to each other. Often they are the things that enable us to learn from one another. I believe we should never stop learning. Not in life, and not in love.

How else will we grow?

Friday, August 8, 2008


Sensual innocence
you have
in abundance
what would it take
to discover you?

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Jy laat die son in my hart opkom:
jou warm strale voed my grond;
jou koester sluit my blomtuin oop.

Jy laat die son in my hart opkom:
jou wees by my balsem my seer;
jy bring vreugde na my gemoed.

Jy laat die son in my hart opkom:
jou hande maak lig in my nag,
en wanneer my boot rusteloos ronddobber,
maak jy die storms in my stil.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Winter Blues

An everlasting aching heartache
blows in bitterly from the north
of the Valley of Pain.

A rending, shattering gale
shreds through the heart’s caverns,
turning warm pools to ice.

A crack appears in the unbroken rock
and rips open the centre
of its helpless heart.

The Winter Blues have come again,
spreading fear and helplessness
- a hopeless, crying bundle
lies choking in its wake.

My hands are frozen
my face is cold
no feeling remains
in my snowed-in limbs.

I reach out to you
from the depths of my pain;
unable to touch
the warmth of your heart
to help me defrost the ache in mine

so that it can beat again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I said

I said I could not resist you
but I know I can if I tried...
but I don’t want to.

What I want
is you close to me
what I want
is your breath in my hair
what I want
is your arms around me and
your eyes that grow soft when you see me.

Monday, June 9, 2008


The wine I had of you last night
still wanders through my veins
- the taste still remains on my tongue.

It lingers sensually:
perfectly balanced on the nose;
robust and rich on the palate;
and seductively welcome to my soul.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Translation: Afrikaans goes English :-)

honour recently expressed an interest in reading a translation of one of my Afrikaans poems. Although I do write in two languages, I have to confess that my heart beats in Afrikaans (my mother tongue), and it is my preferred writing medium. What follows is a translation of my poem "My hart is ‘n see" that I posted on May 3.

My heart is an ocean

My heart is an ocean,
I told you one night.
The waves of emotions
still break on the rocks
and beaches of my mind.

I knew that if you dived into it
you'd have to swim or sink.
But you chose
- fortunately for you -
to go away
- far away.

Away from the waves of my heart;
away from the salt of my waters.

Forever away from the altars of water in my soul.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Winter state of mind

The clouds in the sky today
herald the coming of the cold.
Just for today,
they've covered my soul, too.

Covered it in white cloudy fluffiness;
not warm nor cold,
but cool
- a factual reminder
that winter is on his way.

Winter with his cold hands;
Winter with his frosty touch;
Winter that smiles a snow-white smile
of perfect teeth.

The same Winter that inspires
warm fires and thick soup;
red wine and cosy cuddles;
long coats and fluffy scarves.

Winter that contrarily is able to wrap the warmth of coffee
comfortably around my autumn heart.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Waar jy human word

Ek ken jou nie
tot jy naderkom en ek jou kan sien
ek ken jou nie
tot ons sit en gesels.
Jou hande maak praatjies,
jou mond glimlag,
en steeds ken ek jou nog nie,
want totdat die tyd met my en jou padvat
sal ek ook nie jou ken nie
maar eendag gaan ek uitkom waar jy human word.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

My hart is ‘n see

My hart is ‘n see,
het ek een aand vir jou gesê.
Die branders van voel
breek nog steeds teen die rotse
en strande van my kop.

Ek het geweet as jy jou daarin begewe
sal jy moet swem of sink.
Maar jy het
- gelukkig vir jou -
gekies om weg te gaan
- ver weg.

Weg van die golwe van my hart;
weg van die sout van my waters.
Vir ewig weg van die wateraltare van my siel.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

you’re not a drug

you’re not a drug
yet you’re still an addiction
you’re one of my many vices
and I can’t seem to rid myself
of the need for you

Friday, April 25, 2008


Ek mis jou:
van die streelvat van jou mooi hande
tot die sagtheid van jou stem.
Ek mis jou:
van die lekker van jou lag
tot die sweet truth van jou woorde

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Everytime – fragment

Everytime I see you,
everytime we don’t quite touch
my heart turns slowly
her pale face to the sun
just to be obscured
by the shadow of your fear.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I am not brave

I am not so brave
I do not take risks
I live vicariously through words
and art
but I don’t take chances
that I know not the outcome of

It’s safer that way.

Drawn to those who ain’t afraid (thank you Joni Mitchell)

I’m drawn to you
but I could never be with you.
I cannot be
the woman that you need,
the same way you will never be
the man that I need.

But I’m drawn to you.
It’s because you’re not afraid.
Because you face every day
unfazed, unafraid, untroubled.

It drives me mad
wanting you like this,
wanting you close,
the strength of you;
the feel of you
the smell of you…

I inhale you,
fresh, life-giving you,
and you fill my being
to the sweet sweet brim
and I’m helpless
with every beat of my traitorous heart
- she yearns for you,
a hapless addict
drawn to you:
- drawn and quartered;
doomed to never rest in peace.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


There you are:
you stand before me
and suddenly I know you...

Know you as you are:
not the vision that I had of you,
not the face that you usually carry,
but the reality of you.

Unexpectedly and without my asking
you dropped all pretense
and opened your soul
to my senses and my mind.

I drink the real you;
I consume your naked truth.
You taste like heaven:
I grow as I partake of you.

Tonight you suddenly became human
with one glance.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Ek wil jou met al my sinne beleef…

Ek wil gebruik:
my oë
my ore
my neus
my hande en
my mond
om jou op elke denkbare manier te leer ken

Ek wil jou sien
- jou oë jou hande jou voete jou mond
Ek wil jou hoor
- jou woorde jou grappies jou lag
Ek wil jou ruik
- jou bekende vars geur
Ek wil jou voel
- jou sagte hande en ferm lyf
Ek wil jou proe…
- my verlustig in die banket van jou jy-wees

ek wil alles van jou weet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Brief vir my mede-pelgrim(s)

Ek is bly ek kon jou ruimte deel vanaand:
nie die imtieme ruimte van jou huis nie,
maar die beter ruimte van jou onverdeelde tyd.

Elke keer wat ons paaie kruis is die ongeveinste manier van ons kuier vir my ‘n wonder. Die wandelpaaie van jou gedagtes is ‘n nuwe road less travelled vir my en ek volg graag die kronkels wat tussen jou vlaktes en hoogtes deurbeweeg. So is dit ook dat ek my eie gedagtes uit ‘n ander hoek kan beskou – ‘n perspektief van vindingryke ontdekking en innoverende wendings.

Ek geniet die kere wat my pelgrimstog en joune raak: die uiteenlopendheid van ons paaie maak dit net meer prettig om die wandelstories te deel. Ek hou daarvan om die kodes van die lewenspadkaart saam met jou te probeer uitpluis, met die heerlike wete dat jy nie verwag dat ek die kaart reg moet lees nie. Dis bevrydend om ‘n mede-pelgrim te ken wat ook ‘n kaart moet lees, maar ook nie altyd lus het om dit so te doen nie. Dit maak my eie rebelse ignoreer van my persoonlike padkaart meer gesellig.

Die doel van pilgrim-wees is immers die journey net soveel as die bestemming. Ek dink mens leer soveel meer en route as by die eindpunt. En wie weet, dalk is daar nie regtig ‘n vasgelegde eindpunt nie. Dalk is daar net die heerlike kronkels en draaie van die weg wat mens loop. En is die lekkerste plesiere van menswees opgesluit in die lewensreis self.

Tonight I face myself again

Tonight I face myself again. And I see my humanness as I haven’t seen it in a long time. I see my incredible depths and my bright shallowness. I see my selfish glee and my altruistic compassion. I see my joys and my sorrows, yet I am strangely untouched by everything. Tonight I see myself as a human, and individual, an entity of thoughts and feelings and wants and needs and abilities. Tonight I am absolutely free from being, yet inescapably bound to myself. I am powerful beyond imagination, yet vulnerable beyond description.

I shout out my humanness, I embrace my uniqueness in the same way I nurture my sameness. I revel in the knowledge that I am different from all others, yet exactly the same as my peers. Tonight I believe in my ability to change the world, whilst being comfortable with the idea that it is too much for me to achieve. Tonight I am content with every aspect of my me-ness, I am satisfied with my brilliance as much as with my stupidity. Tonight I can forgive myself all my faults, and rejoice in all my strengths. I am empowered, because I do not expect myself to have all the answers, to have all the solutions, to know all the ways.

Tonight I know: I am flawed, yet I am brimming over with the fullness of being human, and I know, being human is as close to good as can be.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

True love

I wonder about true love:
I know that it comes
straight from God
and I know it will be better
than anything I could ever dream,
but still I wonder
about true love
and why it comes
when it does
and if it does
if I will know

and if I will care…

The Taming of the Heart

I own my own wild heart
pulsing inside of me -
that I can’t set loose,
that I can’t refuse.
But I know,
I know
that someday
I will have to see
the Taming of the Wild Heart.

* * *
and I want to,
I need to
wash your beautiful hands
with my tears,
and dance
sensual dances
with you -
in the fire of the wild night.


Never in my life shall
I forget you
‘Cause pain only dulls with age
- Kaleidoscope of broken tears -
You never could have imagined.

Keelhauled by despair,
Left alone in grief
Oh, why did it have to be you?
Please might we be forgiven
Please might he be safe,
evermore in God’s embrace -
Rest in peace...

I need to

I need to save myself.

I need to release myself
from the chains of your desire.

I need to break away
from the addiction of your hands -

I need to rid myself of you.
* * *
I need to rid myself of your smile
I need to rid myself
of your touch
of your taste
your body

and the thoughtless infidelity of your mouth.

Vat af…

Vat af
en kom sit by my
hier in die sonkamer
van my hart.
Moenie gaan werk nie.
Moenie vassit in spitsverkeer nie,
en laat wees wanneer ek soek
na jou hande óm myne,
en jou hart klop-kloppend teen my bors.
Omvou my
met jou skaam glimlag
en die nagtegaal van jou asemhaling,
want ek mis jou
as die wolke grys is,
die son verslaap
en die dag saggies luister
na die wegkruip van my hart.


Ek hardloop deur die reën
na jou soekende oë,
jou roepende hande
en die warm somer van jou lag…

Koester my
in die lente van jou palms
- jy speel met my
met die herfs van jou oë.
Ek dink aan jou hande
en hoe jy sal vat
eendag as jy my liefkry
met die diepte van jou borskas
en die ruimtes van jou hart -
jou hart van kaneelsuiker.
Jy ruik na appels
en die liefde wat groei in my tuin,
en ek pluk graag die bloeisels
wat rol in jou hare;
die vrugte van jou hande
- soet en sag en mooi.

Jy is
die kleure van die reënboog,
die geure van die veld,
die smaak van heuning en appelliefies
op ‘n lenteaand.

Fragment 1

in ‘n oomblik van hartseer
het ek, soos baie sekerlik voor my,
gevind dat my hart
- vasgevat deur die lewe -
saggies in my klop,
want sy het ook geleer
hoe baie sy kan dra
en die tyd wat agter haar lê,
het haar gevul en bly gemaak…

my beker loop oor

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Een dag by Mangwanani

En so is ek bevoorreg gewees om ‘n dag saam met my sus by Mangwanani African Day Spa te spandeer. Ek’s steeds nie seker of ek mooi genoeg woorde ken om die ondervinding te kan beskryf nie… een ding is seker, die bekwame hande van die pragtige Afrika-vroue staan vir geen bederf verkeerd nie, van hemelse masserings tot die eenvoudige vriendelikheid van Brenda wat jou hande na jy hulle gewas het sagkens kom afdroog. Janee – I could be a lady of leisure…

Elke stap van die heerlike dag was gevul met die allerlekkerste bederfies en pampering wat jy jou kan indink. Of jy wil de-stress en ontspan en bietjie van die wêreld wil vergeet, of dalk net omdat jy iemand wil bederf en sommer jouself ook, dis ‘n moet, vir manne en vroue.

Ons dag het begin met ‘n lugversorgde mini-busrit kompleet met vonkelwyn en lemoensap. By die spa aangekom word mens deur glimlagte begroet en met die intrapslag met opgewekte Afrika-musiek verwelkom. Dan verklee jy in ‘n sagte katoenjapon en pantoffels (darem met jou swemjurkie onderaan!), en word na jou ontbyttafel begelei. Na ‘n lekker ontbyt (heerlike koffie!) is dit tyd vir die eerste behandeling – body exfoliating. Nou ja, soos my sus opmerk: ek het ook ‘n body brush tuis, maar ek het nie geweet dit kan so goed aangewend word nie! Geborsel en ge-exfoliate en gemoisturise gaan mens terug na die hoofgebou waar jy ‘n drinkdingetjie kry en oor die water tuur (dit gebeur na elke behandeling). Dan na die mineral spa Jacuzzi… buite tussen die bome wat herinner aan ‘n woud in Duitsland. Met vonkelwyn in die hand soak jy jou stadsgeit uit en trek die natuurprag om jou in jou hart in.

Die volgende bederf is by die hands and feet department, eerste die hande – ‘n heerlike scrub en massering van elmboog tot vingerpunte. Ek kon nie help om my te verwonder hoe die vertroeteling van mens se hand jou hele lyf kan laat ontspan nie… dieselfde het gegeld vir die voetbehandeling wat bietjie later gevolg het. Dit met ‘n uitsig oor die dam waarlangs die bokkies loop… Tussen hande en die res was daar ‘n lekker middagete (met wyn natuurlik), waartydens die veelsydige vroue gesing en gedans het – verjaardagwense vir die wat verjaar, in Sotho en Zulu. Ek het nie verstaan wat hulle gesing het nie, maar hul entoesiasme en trots was genoeg om ‘n patriothartsnaar in my SA hart te roer.

Na middagete was die full body massage – met hot stones. Heerlik! Asof dit nie genoeg hemel was nie, volg die scalp and neck massage, waarvoor daar in die taal van Afrikaans nie woorde is nie… Ek dink die terapeut (Moipone) wat my massering gedoen het se hande moet as ‘n kultuurerfenis benoem word! Net voor die laaste behandeling kry mens ‘n kaasbord versnapering, en die laaste (snik) behandeling is ‘n relaxing facial – so relaxing dat mens sommer bietjie dut…

Met ‘n lyf sag, ontspanne en welriekend verklee mens terug in jou eie klere, geniet ‘n Amarula en sjokolade, en die dag is ongelukkig klaar… een ding weet ek beslis – die plek gaan my weer sien, en weer, en weer. ‘Cause I’m worth it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thoughts on happiness

Happiness for me is a constant state of being that is removed from, but not isolated from your emotions. Thus, happiness should permeate life, and one should have that sense even when having a bad day. That said, it also explains my belief that something or even someone else will never make you happy - you need to be that on your own already. We can share our happiness, and other people can give us happy moments, but they cannot make us happy people.

However, we do get momentary happiness as well. It represents moments of pure elation that is engulfed in emotion. They are, if you will, bubbles of pure gold joy that pours from the centre of one's heart without warning and without planning. They can happen anytime, anywhere, and when they do, they give a natural high that can leave you smiling for a long time. They can be given and shared and remembered for a long time.

Soul circles

I don't believe that your life partner is your only soul mate. I believe you can have more than one soul mate, and that they needn't be romantic involvements. I believe in Soul Circles.

Soul circles contain the people in your life that make a permanent impression. They may be in your life for a very long time, or they may feature for only a short while - but they have an influence on your thoughts, your way of living, your heart.

These are the people you feel in your soul... the kind of person you can see every day and still have a lot to talk about - from random nonsense to the meaning of life. Soul circle people may even be those you see very seldom, yet you still don't feel awkward with them. Maybe that is what differentiates a soul circle connection - there is never an uncomfortable silence. The connection can be instant, or it can grow over good coffee or good wine.

Your soul circle contains the most precious people in your life, however you may define them. Guard it well.

The faces of love

So I read The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho, and it speaks about the three types of love - Agape (the love that consumes: God's love), Eros (romantic love) and Philos (friendship love).

Now this information is not news to me. I've heard of these before. But the book has set me to thinking about these faces of love...

Friendship love is, for me, the easiest to understand. I have no difficulty feeling and expressing affection for my friends. And accepting it from a wide variety of people. Also, I am constantly amazed at the depth and splendour this most humble form of love can demonstrate. It is the comfy pillow upon which peaceful dreams are dreamt, the warm down duvet in winter, the cool breeze in summer. It is a long icy cocktail and a cup of rich hot chocolate. It is the joy of being at home.

Agape - I adore how it is interpreted as "the love that consumes". This is the love God expressed by sending His Son for us. I don't think we have the ability to fully understand this love, but I am very glad that it exists, and that we are the objects of this divine love. It consumes all guilt, al tribulations, all worries, anxieties and pain. This is the love that heals completely.

Now Eros is another matter!!! From the first puppy love demonstrated by hitting the boy in the primary school class, to the soul-wrenching pain of the first broken heart of mature love, this is the face of love that elicits the most comments, songs, poems, books and thoughts. I think it is the "Helen of Troy" of all forms of love. Gorgeous enough to launch a thousand ships, but deadly enough to cause strong men to fall. It enraptures, beguiles, enchants and mystifies us. Even Solomon in all his wisdom admitted to not understanding the way of romantic love.

It is, at its best, a feeling of pure joy that bubbles from the warmest room in the infatuated heart. And at its worst, it has the power to crush said heart into a meaningless pulp of sadness. In the film Shadowlands this question is asked: "why love, if losing hurts so much?". I'm still not sure what the answer may be. I don't know anyone who has not seen the painful side of love. But I know many brave souls who venture out again to attempt to tame this most dangerous of beasts...

They are the most courageous people I know.

My water

Water: we all need it to survive. Actual clear, fresh life-giving water. It has many faces: it is the gentle mistiness of light spring rain; it is the thunderous roar of a waterfall. It can be the mighty depths of the ocean, or the mirror of a tranquil lake. Whatever its glorious form, water touches my heart and refreshes my soul.

In the same way, our hearts need a different kind of water:
water in the form of people. Yes they hurt us and disappointed us and break our trust, but in the end, people more often than not quench our thirst for companionship; for laughs, for understanding. For love.


Ek wil alles in Afrikaans doen.

Afrikaans my moedertaal:

my voertaal, my hart.

Ek wil liefhê in Afrikaans.

Ek wil droom in Afrikaans.

Ek wil eet, drink, sing in Afrikaans.

Ek wil lééf in Afrikaans.

Want dit leef in my.

Dit wriemel op my tong en kielie my verhemelte.

Dit sing in my ore en lag in my mond.

Dit karring aan my hartsnare en grawe in my kop.

Dit gee nooit op.

Afrikaans, mooiste taal –

gesels oor my gevoelens, my wese en bestaan.

Afrikaans, liefdestaal -

jy vertolk my.


this desire I feel

is driving me insane

I don’t get

why its only you

that can draw me out like this

but I get you

every time

I come to you

I know you will

I know you want to

I know I will

I know I want to

I told you last time

in the words of Galadriel

“I cannot deny …”

and you smiled

you were hoping for more

the music was addictive

and so are you

See me

You see me

not only my body but my heart

You see me

not only my eyes but my mind

You see me

not only my light but my dark

it scares me senseless

that you do

Water en wyngedagtes 1

Jy vang my woorde met jou vingers

en bottel dit in jou oë,

dan sê jy vir my dat jy water is;

maar hoewel ek lief vir wyn is,

het ek water nodig om te leef.

Rooi soos Cabernet

bloei die wonde wat jy

in my hart

genadeloos met jou ystervingers

gegrou het.

Kom lê by my:

jou oë blou van die dou

en jou lyf vol van die son.

Hou my teen jou

sodat ek jou hart voel klop

teen die lentebloeisels

wat geil groei uit my hart.

Jou liggaam is ‘n vlakte

waarop ek duine skilder…

my hande hardloop speels

oor die blond van jou borskas,

en soek die dale van jou naeltjie

om rakelings te spring

na die spiere

wat styf span in jou arms.