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OK, so I here go. My first entry and I'm writing just what comes to mind. I've just joined. I'm already seven days behind but I'm going to get grooving and get up to date so I can finish my first batch. I like the idea of having only 100 words. Makes it manageable and makes it realistic. The challenge will be to finish with a complete sentence and not with an idea hanging in plain white space - maybe not even rammed up against the blue edge of the box. Just there waiting and knowing that the is no end.
Right! On to day 2. The conversation continues. It wasn't so bad trying to finish with a complete sentence. It's a game at the moment. Just writing anything makes it possible. I have a feeling that if I were writing something that I deemed important and something that I really wanted to feel proud of, it may be a tad more difficult. In the meantime I will merely fill up these empty boxes. I do, in fact, want to write more meaningful entries. The whole purpose is to get creative with my writing again. It's been a long time indeeed.
Today was a gorgeous winter's day. We've just had two really wet, chilly days. The Cape winter at its wettest most miserable best. I am so grateful that I have a warm roof over my head and can enjoy the rain by looking out. Today was perfect. On with the running gear. A T-shirt. 12 C. Chilly but I knew that I would warm up. I can feel that it's going to be a good run from the first 10 steps. Today was going to be good. Those first few steps were light and easy. Good, very good - wonderful!
Cyril has just found his grey tracksuit pants. We've been searching for at least 3 minutes. He's very careful about rotating his pants. It isn't possible to wear the same ones as today or yesterday. So we looked - outside, inside and outside, inside again. Oh well, he was just going to have to wear a repeat. He's just come out of the shower. Grimacing because the smell of yesterday overwhelms him. Only him. I can't smell it. Oh, he says, as he looks at the chair next to me. There's a grey blob hanging over the back. Here they are.
This is nothing to do with you. It's all about me. That's communication today. Bleep, tap, whizz, click, ring, ping, poke, Beethoven's 5th, so what... everyone is communicating but they're not. It's about them and only them. Today I saw a young man, probably in his 20's at Pick n Pay. He had those fingerless gloves on. Black ones. I've always wondered about them. Do they really keep you warm I asked. If I wear proper gloves I can't text he replies. So he didn't answer my question. Probably because he's never had to converse with someone in person. Shame.
I'm getting into this now. The first entry felt odd. Kind of forced. But there's a rhythm to it now. I like the brevity. It's pithy. Say what I have to say and make it snappy. There has to be a punch at the end. Or so I like to think. There are so many words, so many thoughts, so many sentences and yet here there are only 100. Make everyone count. Yes, everyone - they exist in their own right. Each word has a purpose. Each word has its rightful place. It's so much harder to write less than more.
The frogs are frogging. They like this weather. They sing away in happiness day and night. In spring the birds are birding. Those tweets (yes REAL tweets - not those meaningless strings of characters)are the beginning of long, clear days and sunny songs. But the frogs - their song is just a good. Warm milo (made by Cyril), a beanie on my head (knitted by my mother), a blanket shawl (from Jaisalmer), a pot of soup (made my me), running in the rain (my choice), and hats - fabulous hats. Red, green, blue, purple, beige, orange. Gloriously different like each new day.
We've just come home from a walk. We were holed up inside looking at the gloomy clouds wet with rain yet to fall. We've got to get the blood flowing so off we went. Along the Main Road. Protected from the wind. Umbrellas to hand. People were getting Sunday out of their systems, coming out of fuzzy flats and having a smoke at the bus stop. We chatted, walked and turned around. A drop fell, then another, then some more. The swish of tyres and the road glistening in the rain. Umbrellas unfurled we huddled to the car - home time.
I can't remember where I left off. My memory is failing. Not a pleasant thought as I'm only 49. I tell my mother that she inherited her bad memory from me. Perhaps it's not so bad to forget. Some people say that it's what you forget to remember that's worse. I have no problem remembering to forget. An anagram of forget is "go fret" maybe that's why I'm so concerned about it. I'm fretting. I should let it go. Let all the memories float away like many blue balloons flying gently in the breeze. I forgot to hold the string.
The doctor said You'll never go back to school again she tells me. Her yellow eyes look at me intensely. I still have to get to grips with that she continues. I'm a word person. I have no words. When I hear her husband say we give her morphine now, my heart sinks. Morphine comes close to the end. I keep forgetting where I put things I say. It's bad. I'm 49. What about 46? she asks. 46 - a wife, a mother (kids 9 and 17). The best teacher I know. 46 years. There are only two words. Cancer sucks.
Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I hate. Sometimes I am silent. Sometimes I hope. Sometimes I am sad. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I want the world to swallow me whole. Sometimes I wish. Sometimes I want to fly. Sometimes I am cold. Sometimes I float. Sometimes I long. Sometimes I have nothing to hold on to. Sometimes it's dark. Sometimes I'm black. Sometimes I am nothing. Sometimes I shout. Sometimes my head is full. Sometimes I fall. Sometimes I wonder why there are no answers. Sometimes I wish I could change. Sometimes I wish there was some time.
I'm falling behind. I thought it would be easy to write 100 words every day. Perhaps I'm not in the groove yet. Maybe after my first month it will become a habit. I'm a Taurean, a creature of habit, they say. In many ways this is true for me. I am also loyal, stubborn and fiercely determined to stay the course. So it can only get better from here on. It seems that what I write is banal. Maybe that's what this is about - just getting words on a page and taking it from there. I'm going places I know!
It's wild and woolly out there today. The wind is gusting and the clouds are toying with rain. It's always worse looking out than looking in. Once I'm in it, it's good. Today I will wear my beanie. That means winter running is here. Gloves remain at home. I'll probably regret it but I don't like holding anything if I can possibly help it. Except for the water bottle. It's glued to my hand and it's my survival juice. Daily actually. I don't know how I'd get through the day without my juice. Funny what you can get used to.
There is nothing like going for a run in a howling gale, with raindrops almost raining and no one else around except for other loonies like yourself. You feel like you belong to a secret club. No one knows what it's like. You have to become a member before you know. You may imagine what it's like, you may think you know. You may be dying to know. The only way of knowing is to become a member by getting out there and doing it. Once you're a member you are proud to belong. It's simple. That's camaraderie for you.
I have run out of words. I wanted to write yesterday and couldn't think of anything. I was excited to put something down and then I forgot. Forgetting has been a topic of mine before. I thought my laptop was cleaned out of all the glitches. But it appears not. Somehow the odd things keep popping up. It drives me nuts. I'm not happy with this writing today. But I'm going to post it anyway. I have to keep up with this daily post. Eventually, I will have something to say that I will like. Something I am proud of.
The words thud. The words hit me in the stomach when I saw them today. On facebook of course, where else? Felicia is gone. I wrote about her a week ago. I went to see her, spent the afternoon chatting pretending that it was a normal visit. Nothing is normal when you are 46 and dying before your time. Nothing is normal when you have a 9 year old son and a 17 year old daughter who love you and need their mother. Nothing is normal when a good man has lost his wife. No, there is no normal anymore.
It's been a difficult day. I cried when I saw she was gone. I cried for me. I cried for her family and I cried for all the children who would NOT have her for their teacher. She had 46 years. She did what she could in the time that she had. I did not cry for her. She is gone and her spirit lives on. She fought for so long and so hard. There's nothing dignified about dying at home. There's nothing dignified about dying so young. I know this for sure - my life is richer because of her.
I took them to the airport today. We sat in traffic - just-before-rush-hour traffic so it wasn't so bad. But it was bad enough. Drivers here are rude and selfish. They won't let you in no matter what. OK, so you let them in because you're a kind, friendly, generous person. They may even flash their lights to say "thanks." But do they then let someone else in in front of them? No prizes for guessing the answer. Selfish sods! Never. And there I was thinking they were so nice because they said "thanks." I was wrong. Bastards!
I am way,way behind and have 9 days to catch up. This was not the way I intended to do this at all. There I was thinking... OK - a 100 words a day, I can do this. Well, it's not as easy as it sounds. Time shouldn't be a problem. Come on, there is always 3 minutes to write a 100 words - or 5, or 7. Let's make it 10 at the most.... and even then, even then I haven't found those few minutes. And if they're lost where do they go? To a place we can never find..
This month has been one of the most emotional months I can remember in a long time. Or maybe one of the most emotional ever. Felicia died. It has affected me more than any other death. She was a wonderful, vibrant, passionate, dedicated teacher. A gem of a human being - generous, loving and open-hearted. Truly a woman of worth. Truly a woman of power. I cannot believe how sad I have been. I cannot understand why whenever I think of her my eyes fill with tears. She was so full of life and fought so hard. I miss her.
I never usually care about what men of religion have to say - particularly when someone dies. There's always the platitudes. Things they say about the person whom they have not really known. But there was one line which the man said that stood out. I'm surprised that I even heard it as I wasn't listening. I was focused on not crying and just being still. He said, "Grief is the price we pay for love." Now that's probably something that has often been said before but it was the first time I heard it. I liked it. It was nice.
We've decided to go one weekend jaunts to places up to 100km or so around Cape Town. There are "dorpies" so close with lovely old buildings and colourful people. We went to Paarl last Sunday. Tomorrow we are off to Malmesbury and Riebeek Kasteel. The weather promises to be fine. I will take my camera and my "good eye" and we will walk along the main street like tourists. Photographing what we see and chatting and laughing. And we will be happy. Happy to be together, happy to share the outing and happy that the world can be happy sometimes.
I looked around me in the staff room. It was after 5pm. The whiff of weariness was overpowering. Disengagement plastered all over everybody. We went through class by class - children who were failing, problems or just not up to scratch. The funny thing was that it wasn't punitive. It was caring. We were doing this to make sure that these kids don't fall through the cracks, that they make it because we can do something about it. Just by looking at us you wouldn't believe it. All we wanted to do was just go home. To hell with them all!
The whirr of the oven warms my ears. We're having soup for supper. It's been a clear chilly day. We've come in from a bracing walk. Along the sea. Watching people at the end of the day. Grateful for the weak sunshine as it slipped below the horizon. My hands were cold, my nose was red - I could feel the redness - but my blood was warm. It was flowing healthily through my veins. And I am grateful for that. Even though I'm sad, the blood still flows warmly round my body and keeps my soul alive. That's something at least.
I'm sitting in a glorious sunbeam. It's winter now which makes these sunbeams all the more special. We're off on the next Weekend Wanderings adventure. Fairly close to home - about 67km away. Malmesbury. Let's see what the main road has to offer this time. Camera at the ready, my photographic eye is peeled and the sunshine will make the pictures sparkle. I'm adding to my blessings bank today: What a blessing to live in such a beautiful country. What a blessing to be able to go out and enjoy the winter sunshine in a place not so far from home.
In Malmesbury we parked near the local Kentucky. "Die volk" queued up around the building for their piece of grease. Lines snaked around the banks for the month's welfare payouts. I'm sure they went to the bank first, then to Kentucky. Use it or lose it - better eat now and starve later. There is always a church in these places. The spire is a phallus reaching far into the blueness. It has to stick out - NOTICE ME! it shrieks. I took pictures much to the locals' amusement. I could see their why-would-tourists-come-here? expression on their faces.
Today is the beginning of the school holidays. 3 glorious weeks of nothingness lie ahead. And at the beginning of the holidays I always post a "Have a fabulous holiday" message on facebook. The first person to respond would always be Felicia. And now that little like from her will not be there. My god, Felicia, I never knew how much you were part of me and my life. We didn't see each other often but I know that I was in your thoughts ass much as you were in mine. I want to cry now as I write this.
I'm up to date. Writing a post on the day that I'm supposed to. Maybe the next batch will be better. I'm trying so hard but I suppose I shouldn't. It's better to be spontaneous. Writing daily isn't spontaneous - yet. Why do other people write on here? Do they have a desire to write and be noticed? Do they have a desire to be published? Do they have a desire to see their creations read by someone else? Why do I write? I like to think I write well. I like to think that the more I write the better I'll become...
The air was choked with the hum of a helicopter. I looked over the sea and I saw something dangling from the end of the rope. A person? I wasn't sure at all. There was a dingy out on the sea, many orange-clad people on the rocks close by. I didn't want to stop as there is nothing worse than gawking at something which is not yours to see. There was shouting but I was too far to hear any words. Who ever it is - I hope they will be OK. Maybe it will be in the paper tomorrow.
There were two women clinging to the yellow traffic light pole. One was wearing board front and back advertising "Cash for Gold." Her friend was holding a bag of slap chips which she'd bought at the Kentucky two doors down. They were chatting and enjoying each other's company. Where did they live? Where did they go to school? Did they even reach matric? How much does the board-bearing lady earn every month? And her friend? Does she have a job? Can they really afford to buy greasy slap chips, hang onto a yellow pole and chat all day long?
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