more than one voice

Monday, August 29, 2011

Change - in season

was change really so hard, she wondered out loud

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been watching a tree outside my bedroom window slowing get its new leaves, changing from a bare silhouette, into a mass of soft green leaves.  The weather is warm, and it gives a hint of the long hot summer ahead. Watching this new growth has made me contemplate change, what it means to me, how there is no escaping change. Just like that tree, changing, growing new leaves, we constantly experience change in our lives, times of growth, times of stagnation, times of joy and times of pain.

Although, life mostly seems pretty unpredictable, change is the one constant.  I don’t know too many people that don’t find change stressful, even the good changes in life can prove a challenge.  Inevitable, sooner rather than later one is faced with some sort of change.

My husband was saying just the other day how much he is battling with the changes in our children.  The changes aren’t bad; we are blessed with wonderful children, who are growing into fine people, we are very proud of them.  Just thinking about the day when they will leave home is sad, we have both enjoyed the day-to-day job of being parents.

When I look at my parents and see the wrinkles now etched on their faces or hear about their health problems, I realise that soon that phase of my life will change forever. 

I’ve always enjoyed new challenges and have prided myself on being quiet adaptable – but lately the changes that seem to loom do not seem to be easy ones.  I’m just glad that I have a bit of life experience to get me through them, to be able to step into this new season of life.

the smell of the jasmine - was intoxicating

Today I turn 45, another change - Finally, I think i'm okay with being in the 40's, my skin is fitting a lot better than it did a few years ago and its not just the filling it out better part either, getting older doesn't seem to be so bad after all. 
this was waiting for me on my arrival home from work - my husband had made me an easle out of an old door frame he salvage from the rubbish damp - I'm feeling better damn lucky right now. Oh, if you look carefully behind the easle you can see the cupboard he made for me - out of old facade boards he picked up outside a house that was under going renovations.

Here is a link to a story about the organisation that I work for - 

Women in a savings group - photo credit SaveAct

Friday, August 12, 2011

a gift for my soul

these ladies just arrived - rather suddenly

Lately I have been feeling sad.  I have heard too many sad stories, been reminded of how fragile and delicate life can be.  Life, for the time being has lost its robust character and my mood has followed.  My natural inclination has been to avoid this feeling, to escape it, to resist its incursion into my life – to distract myself from allowing this mood to invade my soul.

But something tells me to rather stay with it, see where it takes me.  As Thomas Moore says in the Care of the Soul – ‘some feelings and thoughts seem to emerge only in a dark mood. Suppress the mood and you will suppress those ideas and reflections.’  Rather than being afraid of the mood he encourages the reader to move into the darker shades of what it has to offer. The soul is then able to express itself in a different way.  In this place there are lessons to be learnt, new understands, new ways of seeing things.   I’m trying to be brave to embrace this melancholy and see what it has to teach me.  I think we are too afraid of embracing these darker feelings, we have been conditioned in our modern world to see them as undesirable, yet they have gifts to bring our souls.

I have found that this pensive mood has made me look back and observe my life in different hues, the colours are more muted.  I feel an urgency not to waste anymore time, I feel something pulling me forward, encouraging me to be braver, to explore, to not resist life but to rather flow with it.  I suppose in essence it is my own mortality that I am being forced to consider. 
but i'm glad they did - I hope they stick around for awhile

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

a feast for the eyes

Today was Womens Day, which meant that I got the day off work - yah.  Jess and I decided to go for a drive to the 'Midlands', and visit some of the interesting  places along the route.  For a long time I've wanted to visit a ceramic studio - called Ardmore. 

Here are some pictures of the work that the studio produces - enjoy the feast.

Ceramic vase - photo credit
Each piece is painted with fine detail

some of the pieces are a little frightening - filled with Zulu folklore

and some pieces are a little graphic - no subject in taboo
newly scultured piece - family riding on a hippo

the artists didn't mind us chatting or taking photos - we were amazed at the simple tools they used to scult their pieces.

once the pieces are made - they are given to different artists to paint.

Oh wow - what a place, the work is absolutely amazing. What a feast for the eyes and soul. Here is a link to Ardmore Ceramics. It has a fasinating story and the work is incredible.  The founder of Ardmore, was in the gallery and pointed out special and unique pieces to us.  We also got to meet some of the artists and talk to them about their art.  Jess and I both decided we are definetly going to make this one of our favorite places to visit.  There is too much to take in on a first visit and I think several visits are needed.

Bonnie Ntshalintshali Museum photo credit

The museum is dedicated to the very first Ardmore artist - who sadly died of AIDS - much of the work addresses this issue