Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Elul's List

On my 2015 Yira list you are
Written in invisible ink.

When I think of you, and I do,
I sometimes shed a tear.

I remember the fights, those
in and around the kitchen sink.

A guitar plays without your voice
reminding me.

There were days back then that I dipped into
cheap wine just so I could decently think.

Thoughts came hard and damn it,
I was angry, in every single ear.

Dumb struck, after, on that pavement,
street dust made it hard to blink.

Our essence escaped faster than trapped ether
along with the sound of us, silent as a warrior's spear.

No spit in my mouth, swallowing hard,
I saw an abyss and stepped up to the brink.

We never did understand that beastly fear;
each other's and those we hold most dear.



The tree at the library inspired this drawing.

It was meant to be a painting. 

Perhaps I shall paint it on the next canvas once I am done struggling with a big canvas that is not nearly done. 

With the amount of paint I have used it might well end up a sculpture.

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah with my Tree of Life.

Shana Tovah




Saturday, 23 July 2016

Syria, lest we forget.

I have been absent.
Coming and going with nothing to say.

I spent more time with paint and pencils than words.  I haven't shared them all here as I intended.  

A picture I come across of a little girl playing house-house in the rubble, using a piece of something for a wall in her "house" touched me so much I drew it.  Her mother, I assume, is hanging up some washing. There is a doorway behind her. That must be home. The bombs have crushed just about everything else, so, hopefully, they are not coming back.

Syria from newspaper photograph. This child, this rubble, this blurred existence in a broken street, still is able to play house-house.  May the Creator hold her and keep her so that one day she will tell her story.  21.3.2016:

My connection to Syria is "close to abnormal, but not wrong," to quote one of my family members.  I have been breaking inside for that country as if it were my own; the people, the children, the animals, the doctors, the nurses who have to be doctors because there is no one else.  I can't help but wonder what the story line is for the little girl playing in her play, on a world stage, oblivious of cameras and the surrounding broken street.   Did she feel an odd sensation while I drew the picture?

France is in a panic.  Turkey is not well.  America ...

I don't think it matters much where we live anymore.  The opponent is everywhere.  Until we all get that this is not a physical matter, but a spiritual matter, things will no doubt continue to dumbfound us. We shall continue to cope and vote and "dream of better days," as my Ouma used to say.

I am less freaked out than I used to be because I have studied hours of Kabbalah with the Kabbalah Centre's online University, learning from the teachers there the why of things.

When I was a child I only wanted to know why. I didn't care too much for how, when, especially when, or where. I wanted to know why.  

At last, I have found the wisdom I have longed for. Kabbalah.

I am too much of a student as yet to share this with you, but I will say this, "Love thy neighbour as thyself,"   means a whole lot more than anyone thinks it does.

Anger and jealousy are lethal.

I see faith differently now.   It's like a wide blue ribbon that is frayed on the edges and those with faith are like pins in that ribbon. One can be in the centre or on the edge and still feel wobbly when one prays.  Certainty, on the other hand, is a thin white line.

Love and Light

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Apartheid and the fall out

When I was little my grandmother's gardener was effectively my only father figure for four years.   My grandmother's housekeeper was my nanny and mother figure. My grandmother was too old to take care of me constantly.

I was not an unhappy child.  I loved my dark-skinned family.  They took care of me as they would have their own.

This early beginning birthed my love for the African and it falters when stupid stuff happens: murders, robberies, dumping of garbage in the cities and protests turn violent.

The new South Africa as I see it has nothing to do with the mad robberies and theft from businesses.  It has to do with the suspicion, hatred and avoidance of the other colour without having the chance to understand each other, discuss and demonstrate goodwill.

It has to do with common decency.  Kindness. Being honest. The meeting of each other as equals - not even as equals exactly, because none of us are the same.  We are all fraught with past life experiences and they affect us whether we like it or not.

But, at least let us not have a blanket judgement for every dark skinned human and equally for a white skinned human.  We are all in this together.

I met a man in a garage.  It was the first time I was treated by a black man the way I would treat a black man.  There was no pretense.  This man was as comfortable in his skin as I am comfortable in mine.  It was a great day.  This is what I expected would happen in the new South Africa.  But it hasn't happened.

My prayer for the coming year is that both black and white South Africans will find comfort in their skins.  I pray that the protests will stop, that new leaders will emerge and that ordinary men and women will treat each other with human dignity at every opportunity.

We think everyone was better off in Apartheid.  Mostly we think this because crime has gone berserk, drugs came along and ruined the brains of many.  Nothing has been done to make it easier for the unemployable to find jobs.  Trucks burning, buses burning, rubbish in the streets, murders and robberies, houses burned down because drunk people cook on open flames and whole townships get destroyed, leaving men and their families in the bushes and in community halls.

Hatred for each other and judgement isn't going to make for a better South Africa.
Looking at the past isn't either.  We have to look to the future if we want to make a go of things in this country.

We have every reason to be hopeful for the new South Africa.   My prayer is that we find ourselves again.  We have extraordinary humans amongst us. Let's learn from them.

Love and Light

Saturday, 14 November 2015


Black Friday/ Friday 13th 2015.

Clearly bombs exploding in Paris is a much bigger deal than bombs falling on Syria, Bagdad, Lebanon or Isreal and, and, and...

Deeply sad for Paris.

Deeply concerned about refugees.

Positively sure we don't know what to do.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Friday, 14 August 2015


The Gardening Angel (one of four)
repainted with a head added by my gardener.

in the face of it all