The de-colonization project – a pretty prickly issue

z Where to begin? Colonization is as much a thing of nature as it is of culture and is happening all the while we read and write here. Bacteria colonize organisms. Vikings raid and colonize foreign lands. Comets are colonized. In scientific parlance: DARMSTADT, Germany — For the last two years, the Rosetta spacecraft has danced …

Into the New Year

Dear friends, Contemplating The Ship of Fools could well serve to alert us to the follies in our own lives if not the world at large at a time when all our good New Year’s resolutions have dulled away. Bosch’s work speaks to us as freshly as it must have moved people at the turn of …

The Curse of Racism

We belong to the human race. The classification of humans according to essentially distinguishable traits is part of 19th century anthropology, subsequently throughout the 20th century, exploited as a political tool. Behaviour among the human race that today still uses such classification openly or in subtle ways, is justifiably branded “racist”. When and where the …

The Agony in the Garden

Reading Mark, the evangelist’s account afresh and meditating on the agony in the garden and on the corporeality of the man there meeting his fate, we have tried to empathise and to find words for it. The German text is the original and the English a kind of rendering in thought. With oil of nard …

The Good, the not so Good and the …

                      Our wish list for 2015, jotted down and in no particular order, is very short: Staying in touch with family and friends and meeting personal challenges with courage and integrity. What more, really, can one do or wish for. The debate about global warming …

The End of History

Living in Betty’s Bay for the moment, living in bliss for a while, where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans overlap, and where at this time of the year, whales, sea otters, porcupines, baboons, leopards, francolins, guinea fowls, mongoose and a myriad of birds share sea and land with us, there is not much of an …

Mutually beneficial communities

Our children are questioning the wisdom not so much of our institutions but of our ways of living together as human beings on planet earth. We live, they say, wastefully and could share with each other so much more of our talents. How true is that and how so very naïve. Much of what we …

Dreaming

Much has been researched in the last almost three hundred years about dreams and dreaming, yet, we still do not know where we go when we dream. Looking at early, biblical accounts of dreams in the history of dreams, we see their images and interpretations to be of another world outside the one we experience …

Depression

What is depression? Depression is the unexpected – a serious deviation from the expected. We expect the economy to continue to perform to our advantage. We expect the weather to fit in with our weekend plans. We expect people to behave rationally and virtuously. We expect to wake up and be well. And all of …

Is there a Blog?

Colleen said the other day: Wasn’t it time you wrote another blog? My answer: I am blogged out. After 120 blogs I have come to an end. Colleen: Come on. That’s not true. Perhaps because those 111 blogs (108 to be exact) are now all printed in hardcover book format,* that I have the feeling …

200 years of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Arthur Rackham, Little Red Riding Hood A Father comes home from work one evening and asking his wife and daughter for the whereabouts of his son, hears that he has gone to visit relatives. The father is saddened by the news: “That was not good of him to not say good bye.” With that he …

Im Haus der Sprache wohnt das Sein

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) argued that we as people cannot assure a secure foothold because everything we produce is potentially capricious and because of that we have to allow our Being domiciliary rights in the home of language. Of that nature was our discussion with Herman Perold, philosopher friend from Prince Albert who together with his …

House of Icons Traben-Trarbach

This icon and most of the other icons on display at the House of Icons in Traben-Trarbach were written by Alexej Alexandrowitch Saweljew (1920 Kiev – 1996 Traben-Trarbach). Saweljew re-discovered and used the Byzantine technique of icon writing taking the recipes to his grave. His icons are referred to as “modern icons” according to the …

Atavism

Atavism is the archaeology of the soul. How so? And what is “atavism” in the first place? The term “atavism” or “atavistic” is derived from Latin “atavus” meaning great-great-great-…. grandfather or “ancestor”, “ancestral” – in other words, referring to something very old, millions of millions of years old and which still belongs to us, is …

Quince compote and judgement day

Misty days, cool nights but no rain. Rain seems to fail us where and when it is needed most. Storm and rain without end should have started by now. Now, not even a rumble. We are expecting a yearly, monthly, daily ration of regular occurrences – salaries paid, anniversaries celebrated, meals served and all that …

Bipolarity

Bipolarity is another name for a condition that has been with mankind since we left the tree-scape, entered the land-scape and began to roam the world.   It is a name for a condition within the conditio humana we all are subjected to and most of us have more or less under control.   It …

The nature of the beast …

The animal nature within us – that is the animal part in the process of our becoming human within the general process of evolution in our world. For all who are critical about the concept of “evolution”, we might want to say that components of everything in this world, even the universe, are within us …

Ageing – not for sissies

“Getting old is not for the faint-hearted!” Sybil used to say. How true is that?! As a parent when your children do not ask you for advice any longer but instead are offering advice to you, that is when you notice you have grown old enough to be on the way out. “On the way …

A thought on Judas Iscariot

It has always irked me that Judas Iscariot, this lovely man and truthful follower of the master, was painted into the awful corner of becoming a vile traitor. Of all people, he, who loved their teacher as much if not more than any of the other disciples, gets the chop. I also find it difficult …

Tempus fugit – slowing down

fugit … tempus – the Roman poet Vergil (70-19 BC) writes in his Georgics – time flees or flies: Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus/singula dum capti circumvectamur amore. (Virgil, Georgics III:284-5). That time flees or flies is a commonly shared experience and a truism. Virgil however says, time flees irreparably from you while you are enamoured of …

Guilt – where it resides

Guilt. Why in heaven’s name do you want to blog about guilt? Well, with so much “liberation” going on in the Middle East, the question of the guilt of those keeping their people in bondage can no longer be suppressed. When, one wonders, will the people of Zimbabwe rise up against their oppressors? What then …