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

Friday, 31 July 2015

The four garden angels.

This one is sweet and hard of hearing.
Rizzi has decided to put a head of putty on the body of the metal angel that had only wires wrapped in a bundle to form a head.  He painted the rose red and the new coat of silver paint replaces the original white.

We live by the sea and the painted angels, four of, had begun to rust. It was time for a new coat.

This one angel has his head inclined a little.

Here's the crew.

Our security system.  

This one likes having a word.

This one is the overseer.

The one who gives the orders, obviously.

When he paints the faces I will be back to show you.

Jesus save you and bless you.  

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Notice the emotion in this eye compared to the same eye below.

There are too many distractions to notice that eye.
Curious, no?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Three Trees

Trees.  Again.

I have been watching the news.

Nato has been cutting down on its weapon shopping for, I don't know how many, years.

Everyone was happy.

Now they are being accused of cutting down their consumerism.  ?

And, and, and - President Obama is going to look terrific in retrospect.

I'm rambling.

Jesus save you and Bless you.

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Lines of a White Lion

Drawing white lions on white paper with pastels hasn't a lot to do with white.

It's brown and black and red and dark green.
""The path to anywhere never goes as you think it will."  Me
I don't know.

I think I have to get over myself and start writing about proper stuff again.

I have been trying really hard to write about nothing.  Nothing is really popular. As you know. You are the only one reading this.

I don't know if you are a young graduate potential hacker of the future or just a machine - and how can I say just a machine when my entire world centers round some machine.

The machine is my people.

Jesus Save you and Bless you.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Crocodiles; floods and ...

I am not only drawing blind; now I am writing blind.  The middle of the night has my eyes seeing everything a little more blurry than in the day.

I drew this picture a long while back from a newspaper... there was a township fire.  Accidental.  The gathering of men and women in the wake of the fire ~ the wake ... we say things, don't we, without thinking about the meanings of the words.

I am up. A crone doesn't need that much replenishing. Frequent dozing is good enough - mid sentence in the book, mid pencil stroke underling the passage and it goes without saying, mid television program.  However, every stories seem, feel, are ... a kind of sci-fi horror. I am too old for these tales.

As I draw closer to the Creator, seeking His Light, my soul grows more sensitive,: it is restored or reset (as they say in the cell phone manual) to the original setting and I become afraid of the future.

I am often reminded that men have said this about the state of things for centuries, but it certainly feels like we are facing the season of calamities head on.  The age of lawlessness...

Some years back I was caught in a flood in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, in Africa, and it can be scary to be all that at the same time.  I thought I was going to die a few seconds before a good man directed me onto a bit of road that was not covered in rushing waters.  I was the first car.  He was a lone man taking the time to keep the oncoming drivers safe, regardless of who they were.  I wondered where he has going in the pouring rain that night without a rain coat.  Perhaps he was an angel sent to save us all.

The next vehicle was loaded with black youths and as the door opened and they all pealed out with wide smiles, one of the young men said, with a fair amount of glee and a good deal of certainty,

"God is coming soon!"

Within no time the taxi was playing music.  The rain kept coming down in sheets of wetness.  I was trading cigarettes for beer with a German couple who were teachers and had a boot full of books they intended marking that weekend away.

We all got out of our cars.  No one but me thought about crocodiles.   We were near the crocodile farm and just a few weeks before this I had attended a lectures on the beautiful beasts.  The guide said," when it floods they can go for miles..."  They end up in swimming pools, mostly all get found and brought back, but what if they were lurking in the waters swirling around our little island?

The weather which woke me at some silly hour beginning with a three reminds me of that night.  The wind reminds me of the judgments of the Lord and the book I am reading reminds me that God is coming soon.

My picture reminds me that my country is a praying nation and that more souls emerge and gather together in parks, under trees, sensing the time we are in.

Shall I make a big sign that reads, THE END IS NIGH?

I think not.  Even the atheist senses it.   It comes.  On a horse.  And it is time to make right the things of the soul and the connection with the Light of the Creator must be restored.

"I have decided to follow Jesus.... No turning back, No turning back...."  A song from nursery school.

Jesus save you and bless you.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Mothers, poetry, pictures and ...

My Mom.

I draw her at least once a year.  I improve. My eye sight doesn't.

All her pictures are smiling ones.
Can't get the glasses the same on both sides - but I think I finally found that smile enough for this year.  The picture is unfinished.  I need to work on the glasses - they are not that white and I need to finish the background.

The less I see more I realise who my mother was.

She was a softy.  She laughed easily.  She told lovely remember when stories. We loved watching movies together. If we didn't cry, it wasn't that much of a movie.  Love stories were big in my youth. On some level we didn't get on very well. At least that is what I thought.

I only realized this week how my dramatic life affected her.

Here is a letter I found today ...

Dear Mrs ...Your sketch of .... nearly out poems your poetry in its intensity - in its focused effect.
Your paintings have enchantment of colour and love.
I felt your poems on Violence (tears my threaded tapestry of words ~~~~ Silence)and "Dead Roses" more clearly than your anguished poems that I'm too guilty to want to read too much.
Retrospectively, "The Clown after the circus has closed" is perhaps too you, and the irony of "Warrior Wonderful" is quite crushing.  "What happened to the dreams we had?" is a poignant lament - I felt shivers there along my own rememberings.
Your poems are inciteful and often captivating and yours is a mind not content with a quiet sea. You are for turbulence - troughs and crests - perhaps a few more crests!
Perhaps your introductory piece reflects best your talent.
It is personalized and abstract together.
It is tantalizingly diffuse.
I disagree about you not counting. 
You tangibly touched somewhere me.
If you're in "The Shadow-lands" come out into "The Sunshine" (if you can, if you dare).It's dangerously bright and you might get burnt.  But you'll live unjamed up ~ densely focused, deeply imaged, sparkling (although it is true that shade and shadow need expression too.)


My children had an "elderly" English teacher. A real British gentleman. A famous enough one at that and so I won't give his name.  I met him at a child's concert practice.

""What do you do Mrs ...?" He asked.

Not wanting to appear a total fool, being as I was unemployed at the time, and for the sake of the children, I said, without a moment's thought, not entirely a lie really, but still ...

"Oh, I draw and write a bit of poetry..."

Trusted that would suffice, looked away and smiled at the children

"May I read some of your work?  And, I'd like to see some of your drawings..." he said.

My innards went haywire.

"Um... well ... alright.  I'm not really all that good... I don't think my stuff counts for much," I said.

"Still, if you will..." he said.

"Okay ..."

I went home and wrote about twenty poems in a few days, drew a few pictures, collected from my stash a couple of the better ones and presented them at our next encounter.

He liked my children, being as they are delightful girls and then, pure pretty with innocence. He made them fall in love with words; English was their most favourite class and I suppose he wanted to know who their mother was.

I still have the poems and the picture he remarked on.   I haven't looked at them in ages.  I will have to do that now.  

But, as you can see from the titles, my life was full of the stuff that affects the soul, makes it uncomfortable, causes a raucousness in the mind and, and, and  ...  

If I were my child I would have been frightened for me.  I was fine, of course, strong and able, took most of it on the chin at the time.  It is only now that my soul has traveled through those valleys and up those mountains that I feel tender and bruised ~ soul wise.

Mommy Dearest ~ if you can hear me ... I am sorry.  

And, to the gentleman in question - you may be with Mom now or just charming somewhere in England.  When I found your notes on my work and a few other letters today I was so cheered.

To quote from something you wrote about our friendship ...

"Perhaps we will swim in fields of flowers, on waves of breeze tossed grasses, in deep symphonic rememberings and recall low-hummed landscaped murmurings pulsed in visions, dream-lived, and feel warm candle-lighted languid ecstasies echoing beneath time's slender embrace, ...  "

Perhaps ...

We were both in love with words.  I think that letter was composed thinking mostly of the next life or the after-life because I had long left town and he had left the country.  The other children complained about his teaching methods and missed out on the most gratifying class, but he did demand a love for the language, I suppose.  He longed for a world in which he could swim in fields of flowers and listen to the beat of earth's heart in forests and next to lakes where he often walked alone in search of time's slender embrace.

Jesus save you and bless you.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Motor Bikes and Life lessons.

A memory doodle

What do I know about motor bikes? Nothing.

The only thing I can remember is that I am a hazard on the back of one.

I tend to lean the wrong way, as if I am on a sail boat, not a bike.  I was a more successful sailor on a small sail boat (on the town dam) than a bike passenger.  I discovered that a boat on the sea is not as much fun. Once it stops and bobs I am done for.

Sometimes leaning the wrong way feels absolutely right.  

It's a life lesson if you are paying attention.  Pity one has to fall off "the bike" a few times before one gets that the bike needs you to lean into the corner.

Jesus save you and bless you.


Friday, 5 June 2015

Cows are my favourite beings.

Okay... My first Nguni, copied from another artist's picture, not perfectly I might add, and I don't know the artist.  The picture was given to me. 

I thought it would be impossible for me.  There is so much white in the painting I had to copy, but this is yesterday's work.  

To Lord be the glory.

I don't know how else I could have managed it. 

It is so very different from my usual drawings.

Supernal help. 

My eye sight is poor after an operation. My glasses are not correct... So, evidence for the existence of God - for those of you who haven't had the experience yet. 

I read an article in Dutch - um... here and there - and the author said that he discovered that his asthma was traced to his use of milk.

I'm no scientist, but it might be expedient to stop pumping animals full of whatever it is we pump into them and give them more time to roam the fields in peace before we ...

It's not the cows or the milk.  It's what farmers, struggling to keep up with demand, think they need to do to keep providing.  

We can do with less than we think.  Let's help the farmers and send love and light to them and the wonderful beings in their care that keep most of us alive. 

Jesus save you and bless you.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Seeds for Future Seasons

I am fond of this little picture.  I call it The Seed Collector.

The crones in my family knew the importance of harvesting and keeping seed for the future seasons. 

Having grown up in the age of supermarkets we are so far removed from the source of our food that we don't even think about cows when we buy milk, or hens when we buy eggs.

All the skills my grandmother, mother and aunties learned as a matter of course, since being a wife and a mother was a certainty, such skills were not optional extras.

My one surviving aunty recently gave a man a few bean seeds because he complained that he couldn't get any beans to grow from the seeds he bought.  He called to say that he was harvesting enough beans to supply the neighbours with his crop.

The men in my family could build, make furniture, plant fruitful gardens, knew when and how to prune the many fruit trees they planted and maintain their homes until the day they died. I can't remember ever getting in a plumber or a painter or a roof repair man.  My father was in his eighties, up the ladder, painting the roof again for the year to keep it leak proof.

We grew up with supermarkets. My children grew up with malls.  We might do well to remember that nothing actually grows in there.

Although the malls are huge and high, they are not pyramids. They won't be seen on postcards or attracting sightseers on coach tours 1000 years from now.

Perhaps it's a good time to rethink how we use our free time. If you must sit on the computer, Google how to ...   Teach the new babies ...  Give television a miss.  Knit while someone else reads from a book.

Jesus save you and bless you.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015


This is a bit of a daft picture, but I do like the size of it, and the lines, and the colours.  It was a clear day. 

I do like trees.

That's all I have to say about that.

Jesus save you and bless you.


Cats.  I have two; neither belong to me. This is a drawing of the latest visitor. He my sister's cat. He's taken to coming upstairs to sleep and eat here as well.  Monkey Cattle we call him.  I prefer to spell it, Monkey Cat 'till - because he's only a cat until he's ...   We think he's a healer.  He's hanging about, we think, because I have had this big operation and need healing.   

He's big and heavy and likes to sleep on my chest when he chooses to sleep on me.  Most times he's on a chair somewhere in the house.

Madonika came with the house, as it were, because she has been here since I moved in.  She has issues with Monkey and  there are a few difficulties at night when one or the other gets to the bed first.  Ideally they should both sleep on the bed, if the choose to, but there seems to be a rule about that, between cats.  At least at the moment.  Perhaps this will change.

Cats can't be ruled.  They find their zones. There isn't much we can do about that.

Wilkie was the first and only cat I ever chose and owned.  She was charcoal black and could catch flies on the windowsill when she was a kitten.  Never needed much from me.  She ate cheese and stole raw meat if I forgot it out for a minute on the counter.  She came and went and commanded a couple of dogs much bigger than herself.

When I was single she slept on my feet.  When my children arrived she slept on one of their beds.  She lived long.  I never thought I would get another cat.  She was one of a kind.  These two have come to me.  I am grateful for the company and the love.  And the healing. 

I don't suppose it is given to us to understand how animals think and feel, but we do know that we are better for their love.

Jesus save you and bless you.

Monday, 1 June 2015

A Tent

I found this picture that I drew a while back. I can't remember drawing it, but there were a few from that same time.  I can see by the pencil strokes and the calm colours that it was a good time.   My drawing ability comes and goes.  It has something to do with my state of mind. It's not happiness, particularly, or sadness even, that removes it.  I've produced enough dark pictures to know that much. 

This is a memory picture of a camping weekend beside a dam with brown waters and a forest of pine and other trees randomly surrounding it.  A few cows came by that weekend and my boyfriend fished for bass, which he cooked and we ate, with our fingers. 

Jesus save you and bless you.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Desires of my Heart

When I were a lass, it was the desire of my heart to become a wife and a mother and then, later, much later, an artist.

I have always drawn pictures, mostly doodles, never took it seriously. I wrote more than I drew. 

I am no longer a lass, became a wife and a mother. After wondering what on earth should I do, now that I am in my sixties, "half blind" and at a loss, I started drawing again.

How thankful I am.  I am having the most wonderful time drawing.  This week's work.

"Ask and you shall receive."  It is written.

Jesus save you and bless you.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Scratchy Pad

Scratchy pad...
Unfinished business - man.
You often see the caption -
"God's not finished with me yet!"
My grandmother would say, "I'm finished with you!" 
She wouldn't mean that she's made you perfectly beautiful or good or ... Nah.   She meant she was finished, with you.
What if there's a cut off date? The trumpets sound. And there you are, standing in the queue to pay for some things... thinking ... and ...

Jesus save you and Bless you.


Monday, 11 May 2015

Same sticks, different colours.

Freaky effect of dancing.

The picture has been edited.  

The original :


Drawing is quiet contemplation; it affects nothing.  But, once colours turn into a picture, one is affected.

I feel different about the same picture just because the colours are different.

Jesus save you and bless you.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mothers' Day Blog

My grandmother ...  She used to put her hand into her dress and hold her heart.  I grew up and did the same quite unconsciously until some aging office-bitch pointed out that it was pure obscene.  Who knew?

I do have pictures of her, but since this is the Drawing Bind blog ...

She was my comfort in her "feather bed" and my nurse when I was ill, my carer with a neglectful eye which gave me my freedom, for four and a half years, to roam "the forest" (a clump of bluegum trees) and the farm (a small holding on the wrong side of the tracks (literally) and she gave me a puppy for company and protection.  

I drew this picture thinking about those days and how I saw it in my looking back glass.  The moon was a big thing in our lives.  She blew my warts off to it.  I keep waiting for NASA to report on finding them, but they were small and I expect hard to find under the Moon dust and all.

She told wild and wonderful stories that always managed to involve the railway station and her running away with a good smacking of fairyland thrown in for child friendly material.  She gave me my first paint brush and I had to make do with a stick for a pencil, but she taught me to write my name in the sand.

I wish I had pictures of all the people that worked that little bit of land because I had many mothers.  A child, they say, is raised by a whole village.  I was raised in such a village.

My mother I only really got to know when she forgot who I was.  Note to the young.  Don't wait that long.  But, Mommy Dearest didn't make getting to know her easy.  No matter.  We were all good in the end.


This is how we remember her. 
Always with a smile on her face, come to think of it, never mind her Virgo nature.  She cooked fabulous food and my most endearing memory of her was when I had measels. I was about 9 years old.  She read me a whole book, a book which she reveived as a child from her grandmother. I never imgained my mother as a reader, but when I found the book "In God's name" She was most disturbed to find out that I had read it.  More surprised was I.  Who knew she read (stuff like that).   I wanted to protect her more than I needed protection.

Then there are, as always there are, other mothers.  A child is lucky to have other mothers who bring light into their lives.  My Pincipal, Sr Cyril was that other mother for me.  She wrote to me after school, all the way up to her nearly passing away, and guided me through my obstacle ridden life, mostly self inflicted I might add, and was the only authority I accepted with regards to my writing.
I wrote her long letters, as I did to my mother and others, but she was the only one who one day wrote back and said, "try to get published."  I still have the letter.  I did try.  I am still in a slow way trying, though what to say to the crazy world right now, I wouldn't know exactly.
The other "girls" in the pictures are all mothers, my class mates, and we are all still in contact and still are friends.  I think we shared this other mother in equal measures.
 My beautiful sister, Brenda.  Without her ... who knows?
She's mother to Mr Thomson... seen here in the painting.  And, of course, she mothers Wins and me with a firm hand. 
My beautiful baby sister, Winnie, without her we would not have been able to laugh at it all!  She mothers us back. 
Then I became a mother, a little later than most of my friends.
The picture below was taken in 1993 before most of us left the country. 
Things got very real after that.  It was a happy day. 
The whole side of my children's father's family together with Granny, the Mother of Mothers. 
My first born, first left in the front row, is now also a Mommy.

Somewhere in the archives is this picture of Renee as a ... four year old-ish running close to the surf in a yellow costume while on holiday with my sisters and mother - not really ready for my darling girl who has always been a wild horse - the free kind that couldn't be stabled back in the day when we called the West Wild and ... a beautiful dark maned creature that wouldn't let you put a bridle on her if her life or yours, mostly yours, depended on it.  I love this picture because she is still that little girl racing in the waves, only now she is carrying her beloved son who is just like her.  Soon they will be running along the surf together and be oblivious to the palipations of all those who must watch this excersie of freedom ... you want to shout MIND!  BE CAREFUL!  but you know it's useless. They are going to leap into the white foam whether you like it or not. 

Not for softies.
Photo credit:   Rick Taylor

But where would be without Dad.
Elaine - "Dad"
When the lad came along His aunty was officially "Dad"
She is one of his other mothers and how lucky he is too.  If anyone, other than his mother, will understand his little Libra Moon heart it shall be she, the one who knows, our very own Baba Yaga.
Greta is my step daughter, but her mother, Madam President, lets me love her like my own.  Below are her lovelies and her beauty shines through their eyes. 
I don't know who took the pictures - thank you.
We are still waiting for more littlies from Pier's daughter.  For the moment we will accept the fury friend as offspring.  Delightful, the pair of them.
Photo credit:  Unknown.... but good one.

And the picture would not be complete without Madam President.

Lovely picture Madam President - Happy Mother's day.
That's it.  For the record.  Life so far while boxing in big cities close and far.
Jesus save you and bless you.

Saturday, 9 May 2015



We look back and see what
we cannot forget,
remember with love and a little regret.

Our days are no longer
filled with things to do.
There is only our love for you.

The wisdom we had,
banked and saved,
drowned when we bathed.

There are hills and valleys
green oceans of grass,
lights in the distance... All pass.

We look back and see what
we cannot forget:
We love you almost to a fret.

Jesus save you and bless you.

Drawing Blind

One sees less these days. Details fade.  

One draws blind because one loves drawing, not that one draws well. One does not. 

Drawing was my first love.  It seems I shall end off drawing.  When I draw, the things of the world grow strangely dim.

Jesus save you and bless you.


Late in the day

I have a tattoo. "This Earth of Mine," is what it says.

Some days there is an exclamation mark after it.
Some days a question mark.
Some days just three dots...

I won't tell you where the quote is from.  If you've read the book, you'll know.  You don't need to read the book.  The writer could not have imagined where we would get to.  The sages on the other hand were never in the dark.

Our lives lie in the hands of God, I am grateful to believe. 

One fine day, every knee shall bow. 
Every mouth shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

It is written.

Jesus save and bless you. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Sound and a little Light.

Noise creeps into the garden from the street grouching like underground music.
The breeze catches it, throws it back.
Silence grumbles.
Primary voices fall into the mix.
Birds dart through the changing colours.
The garden swing creeks.
The sound of peace.
The full moon on the rise.
A lamp paints leaves brighter.

Jesus save you and bless you.


The air looks different - has for a while.

Smart people will notice.

"There was uh... something that kept everything... everyone .... uh ...together," they will say. "But, like what, hey?"  All sounding as though they are smoking weed.

The sun shines on everyone, good and not so much, equally.

More countries turn to dust.

Tornadoes.  We've had an earthquake and a volcano, droughts and floods, pestilence.... war and rumours of war.

The big turtle is silent.  "not that it matters" is no longer an appropriate response.  

Prayers in all sorts of places. Some without ceasing, some sporadically.

God's will be done.

Jesus save you and bless you.