Monday, August 24, 2009



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Images of Life

What moved me to post again? after months and months of blogging silence?

the following: Images of Life in Lusaka

Sir G, I remain awed and touched by your work. Amazing. Im so so glad you followed your bliss and made the change way back then. Despite all the risks and all the ties, you are the perfect example of what can happen when inpired humans listen to their hearts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

it's been a while.
all words not yet said or written haunt me, live inside me. formless.
will they take shape once i touch the letters? i don't know.
once again music moves me to crawl out from my shelter.

The Sea Song, by Lisa Hannigan.

There's one man he's like the wishful thinking in my life i see so and he's like the wine on the weekend and though he is like the sea and it's right he be so if I hold tight he'll wash over me

There's one girl i like she's a smile on a monday and she'll fight to stay so And she's like the sun on the weekend And though she is like the sea and she's right to be so i like that she sails with me

Didn't we all break down Didn't we all fake. Isn't it alright now Didn't we all break out

There's one man so bright he blocks the light and he'll always be so he's like no sleep on the weekend and though he is like the sea and he's right to be so when i hold tight i sink down deep

Didn't we all break down didn't we all fake, Isn't it all right now didn't we all break out

And though we are like the sea and it's right we be so We could chase tails all the years I've been given

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Baby don't rush, you're no waterfall, love me
that is all

now this song resonates.. :)
beautiful so have to share

i'll try to get some of the thoughts and emotions experienced during this trip down in words
guess i'm still digesting

Love me like a river does
Cross the sea
Love me like a river does
Love me like a river does
Baby don't rush you're no waterfall
Love me that is all

Love me like a roaring sea
Swirls about
Love me like a roaring sea
Wash me out
Love me like a roaring sea
Baby don't rush you're no waterfall
Love me that is all

Love me like the earth itself
Spins around
Love me like the earth itself
Sky above below the ground
Love me like the earth itself
Baby don't rush you're no waterfall
Love me that is all

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday eve, in Zambia,
on Amazon
words, mythologies,
moving images, biographies
I couldn't stop consuming
more and more bits
of Mr L. Cohen
I hope it arrives in time
so my three weeks in the sun
will be filled with wine for the soul

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Those mystical moments at conferences

A few years back at the WCCD in Rome, I met Baba Ziad. A clear connection, both sides felt despite not really being able to explain. Tales of White Robes and ancient temples. Baba, Samsara ey? Yes. Not explicitly, but letting myself be drawn in instead of overstanding. I owe you an update, despite not having donned my white gown, and recent events below again make me wonder.

Another similar but dissimilar situation at eLA just gone.
A man familiar to me from previous encounters stops to talk. His long white beard and stooped composure makes him a sight out of the ordinary at this gathering. He walks past and stops to mid-path to converse with me. My name inspired him to stop, and meander over mental paths to arrive at a monologue hinting at the role of muses in painters' art and life struggles, via black and white film history that caused him to accuse me of cinematic ignorance, to the ill-fated piece of cinematic history I, Claudius , another from Alexander Korda's hand, and onward to places, images and names I had never heard before. With the bustle of conference comings and goings around me, listening to him produce facts and anecdotes of topics so far removed from our collective matter-at-hand, I let him induldge in his flights of fancy, touched yet removed from his emotion that came over him when talking of the role that Saskia played in Rembrandt's life. A cheeky grin indicating that he knew he was taking me to far removed themes, and expectantly yet playfully watching for my reaction. He left me standing with many stories fed into my reality, all left dangling and incomplete.
The evening of the next day I found him on the terrace of my hotel, a little lost and inebriated, but whether from alcohol or his natural unearthly state, I don't know. He sat me down seriously for a few minutes, recalled our previous day's encounter and the momentary yet strong wave of emotion that had come over him while speaking with me.

He started speaking of Robert Grave's The White Goddess, and the power that some women carry, often unconsciously, that inspire men to great works - think Saskia van Rijn for Rembrandt, think Merle Oberon for Charles Laughton. He alluded to many things, and simply asked me to ponder over what our encounter brought up in him, what has been said, and what might resonate, regardless of discipline. It need not be a romantic liaison, it could be in friendships, in development work..
He shook my hand, said that I might remember what he has told me a few years from now, and took his leave.
And I went back to the matter-at-hand. Integrating ICTs in Teaching and Learning.

I tend to ignore what synchronicity brings me, fearful of its potential revelation.
Yet this seemingly unlikely encounter, adding on to synchronicity's history with me, will be pursued, at least in passive absorbtion form - as literary explorations of mythology and Godess history has come across my path time and again. Uncanny it is. Maktub.

The White Goddess

All saints revile her, and all sober men
Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean -
In scorn of which we sailed to find her
In distant regions likeliest to hold her
Whom we desired above all things to know,
Sister of the mirage and echo.

It was a virtue not to stay,
To go our headstrong and heroic way
Seeking her out at the volcano's head,
Among pack ice, or where the track had faded
Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers:
Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's,
Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips,
With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips.

The sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate with green the Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But we are gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

Robert Graves

P.S. Baba, your name is Greek for Muse?

Friday, May 30, 2008

accra, may 29,30, and likely 31st

saskia is...

waiting for the letter....

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

...Chawama news...

A little boy walks into the local store, looks up and smiles at me.
He looks scruffy, cant be older than six or seven. He looks alive and alert.
He is attended to by the lady behind the counter. He asks for something, she takes a piece of cardboard off the display and removes a small tube.
'Seven thousand'. He hands her a note of ten thousand kwacha. While she gets the change I look at the display. I see small tubes of glue. I look down and see a small used dirty plastic bottle in his hand.
I walk out disturbed. Who am I to intervene and forbid her to sell the glue to the charming little sniffer?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A boy and his grandma

This morning i drove into town to buy printer cartridges so we can print colourful certificates for the teachers that have been participating in the workshop. While walking to the bank to get money out of the cashpoint, a small boy passes me with his elderly grandmother on his arm. Shuffeling slowly, the boy looked up at me with big eyes; his clothes dirty and holed, his grandmother blind and stooped and helpless on his arm. He held up his hand, I walked past on my auto-pilot "Sorry, No." So many ask me for money, so many hold up their hand. I wouldnt know where to start, and automatic pilot is on before i step out of the car.

Walking on towards the bank, my heart broke a little. My shell broke. He is not a glue sniffing street kid, although they deserve as much help as anybody. His grandmother is blind and cannot care for him as I imagine she wants to, needs to. The upside down roles, the shame the grandmother must carry inside her, the responsibility of the little boy, he couldn't have been more than six years old.

I promised that on my way back i would find the boy and his grandmother, and give them a little bit of money.

Scanning the streets for the boy and his grandma, my eyes fell on little boys in shop entrances, little girls on the sidewalk, with grandmothers on their arms, old, dilapitated and some also blind. But i couldnt find the boy. I walked beyond the car and continued on. Looking left and right, up the streets and down the streets. I couldnt see them anywhere. I saw a crowd infront of Shoprite, the big South African supermarket chain. I crossed the road, waded through the crowd, passed hords of little boys sniffing glue and gave up. I looked down to my left, and on the floor, just there, next to me, the little boy sat. Looking at the ground, a little distance from his grandmother who sat on the ground, crumpled in on herself.
Amazing, here they are!
I walked up, and said 'sorry'. He looked up, a little dazed. I put the 5,000 kwacha in his hand and he started to beam. Smiling, i pointed to his grandmother. He leaned over and said something, put the money in her hand, she lifted her head, he said something again. I smiled at him and walked away. I turned back and saw him wave at me, and beam, and smile a beautiful smile. I smiled back, kept on walking, crossed the road, and felt a force of something overpowering and painful rise up inside me. I crossed the road crying, walking on to the car crying.
I don't know what it was, or what it is, because it wells up inside me as I write.

My shell broke. I found the boy. He smiled, and I cried.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Protector of Travellers

Where the rivers flow into the seas, may the dolphins protect us, in this life and crossing to the hereafter

Apples, fruits and loafes of bread, May Mother Earth provide us with abundance

Attendant dogs and prophetic ravens watch over our travels on land

Oceans, rivers and sacred springs, may our life force always flow freely

Votum Solvit Libens Merito
the promise fulfilled, with pleasure and reason.

impressions of life in lusaka
sitting at breakfast in a café, a little mzungu (foreigner, i.e. white) kid drops his glas on the floor. he looks briefly disturbed and glances at his mom for a fraction of a second before turning around to the young zambian staff imploring him to clean up his mess. it looks just a little too habitual for comfort.

two young, capable and dedicated staff members of a training organisation have gone without any pay for two months now. they come to work at 8am every morning and do what they can until after sundown. the company isn't bringing in clients, there is no money for salaries for yet another month. it's not the first time.
The young woman is getting married and needs to put in money for her 'kitchen party'. Her relatives will contribute, as will family friends and friends from the mother's church. She is expected to put in the largest part before anyone else contributes. If she doesnt, she will be seen as expecting everyone else to pay for her. She is seen leaving her place of residence early every morning and returning late at night. 'Ahh that one! she works. she has money.' When she explains that she is not getting paid, she isn't believed. She asked her employer for help, but there is no money.
The young man went to see the doctor. Infection of the kidney. Antibiotics, immune boosters and Chinese herbs. 350,000 kwacha. He hasnt been paid for months, hasnt been eating, and can't take his girl out for a soda. He needs the medicines. He asks his employer for help, but there is no money.
They will be at the office at 8am tomorrow morning, doing their bit.

the recently wedded bar keeper is no longer wearing his ring on his finger. what happened? aahh, i found an sms in my wife's phone, and i didnt like it. I asked her what it was and she got angry. She packed her things and went to her parents place. Her parents called him, brought them together to work it out. They realised that he was right and that she did wrong. She is still at her parents place. She is due to give birth to their first child in three weeks.

I sit in a car with three young lads. They seem like boys yet they have responsible jobs. They jest and joke, we banter and laugh. I look out the window and appreciate being back in Zambia.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


images earlier encountered
stories earlier found
symbols earlier examined
mysteries earlier longed for
how could i have lost touch with it all?
it's been coming onto my path for years
a decade later, what am i to do with it..

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Moving into April

I was just taking a shower
absorbed in thought, touching far away places and far away people
moving closer to my day today, which had started with the happiness instilled in me when hearing people excited about their work, enjoying hearing the stories about the elderly farmer couple in Chilanga who have a dairy cow that produces 15 liters of milk a day. I had no idea cows produce that much milk a day.
Enjoying hearing the stories about Elga from Garden Compound, who was 20 and unemployed, and who is now working as an office assistant, slowly being given more responsibilities, now being able to prove what she can do.
A few more individual stories that trace back into some work that i've assisted, when the bigger picture gets murkier and murkier.
Lost in thought, i didn't see the flood.
Lost in thought, i didnt see the cockroach on the shower door.

People have been glued to the televisions, waiting to hear what the fate of their southern neighbour will be. Will Mugaba stay in power? Will Tsvangirai be given a chance? Zimbabweans are still afraid of the Lion, the wounded Lion, according to a BBC reporter.

It's the first time that i am travelling with a yoga mat. A new chapter. I haven't yet used it. I have never owned a yoga mat. I feel I don't know the exercises well enough. I've bought a magazine, a Yoga magazine. I enjoyed reading about the various poses, i enjoyed reading about all 'green diets' including avocados and artichokes. I enjoyed reading about the need to accept your desires before being able to one day realise you have left them behind when you have stopped feeding them. Not because you told or forced yourself to stop, but because you've grown and stopped desiring all those things.

I found myself pulled into the telly, watching Johnny Depp talk about moving to the South of France, he wasn't interested in Who is Doing What, Who is Hot and Who is not. I recognise it, i want to retreat onto a multi-acred rural property in the south of somewhere, I am watching him say it on E-Magazine (Entertainment Magazine for those without Satellite television in your (hotel) rooms). What am i doing?
There is so much work to do, good work, real work, work that will make a difference tomorrow.
There is a yoga mat and a yoga magazine staring at me. The mat is yet unpacked, it's a present, thanks my love, it feels strange to unpack it, go stand on it in a corner of my Chita room, and practice. Not entirely sure why.

I unplug the tv again, i trust i will hear about the results, even if not in Breaking News form. I saw the TV by the bar - Breaking News flashing, I asked Teddy, what? what? are the results out? aaaah no, just someone being interviewed, could be many hours or days yet. Breaking News.

I've got loads of music on my hard drive. My tv is unplugged. I am showered and cockroach free. I'm read up on whats happening in LA and whats happing in Accra. In Melrose Place and beautiful houses in the Hollywood Hills and in little airplanes and confession booths. I feel connected by words and far away in being.

I opt for Anja Lechner's music again - meaningful and melancholic. Beautiful and familiar.
And now I'm going to do that work.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keeping doors open, Keeping doors closed

what is it with humans, the need for ambiguity, the desire to keep doors open.
writing 'maybe you will be the one to...' Fill in the blanks.
'no, i'm not much of a writer/skater/dancer, but maybe you will be the one who will make me write/skate/dance...?' Especially the three dots (...) form the open door. What is the writer thinking or hoping the reader will fill in in the place of those dots?
Why is it necessary? For fear of too much simplicity?

on the other hand, there's those of us that keep doors shut - life brings people into our lives, and afraid of being faced with complicating circumstance, afraid of losing the simplicty and clear demarcations we have found, we keep all doors shut. Coffee? Uhm, no thanks. Lunch? Nah (shifting uncomfortably).
Closing off, rather than engaging, seeing, feeling - and clarifying.

Each their own challenge. I'm not taking the moral high ground here, at least i'm honestly trying not to. Both seems to stem from fear. And then Open doors are probably better than Closed doors. More life can flow through.
Is either of them more truthful?