Thoughts, topics of interest, points of view, stories and poetry. Some posts also feature my own photographs - here, as well as on the 'valleyguardians' blog. While I don't mind my material being used, I would ask the courtesy of acknowledgement by name or link. A thank you would then follow.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Reality check

Ok, so it's Saturday 26 May and although the words don't stop coming the jumble they're in means what ends up on paper (the screen) does not necessarily always reflect the true meaning of what I'm trying to say.
Being a mom of three adult 'boys' - yes, they'll always just be my 'boys' - is not a simple thing. Not that being a parent can ever be simple, especially not when you're a single parent.

When they're really little and depend on you for everything and your life feels as if it's chaos personified, at times you can't wait for them to grow up...but it happens so fast...and before you know it you're coping with the loss of not having them so dependent, be relegated to standing on the sidelines as they live their own lives and you're coping instead with the losses they have to endure.

The flipside is that you also share their joys and achievements, holding your breath with every step they take in their own living, cheering silently so they don't feel that you're interfering and nodding quiet consent when they look to you for approval. As much as you'd love to scream and shout their achievements from the rooftops you learn (over time) what they will or won't allow and adjust your reactions according to what your children want, setting your 'usual' reactions aside.

Each of my boys is so totally unique, so absolutely their own person, that there is no way I can generalise my dealings with them... motherhood in triplicate!

So, today is a reality check for me because they're all grown up and out of the house, have been for some time, and I miss them and I need to say so.

A sad story of bravery

"How cruel is fate to take a life so young and rip it from this world, even if that life is given to protect another."

The sun had been baking all day. It was still hot at four in the afternoon but it was the time when new seedlings were checked. It was important because it was day three since the transplanting and some of the lettuce and spinach looked borderline. Today was make or break!
Although he was the youngest in a pack of 13 Jack Russells, Dogmatix firmly believed in his right to do everything first. He took pride in his chosen position and the passion with which he attacked every moment of his life adventure could be quite contagious, hurrying everyone along.
The knowledge that all the chores would be done by early evening when the best time of day started…FOOD…ensured that Dogmatix was insistently first again on that fateful day.
I took a short-cut through a patch of weeds; earmarked for clearing the following day, and had to make a quick sidestep as the ‘pointsman’ in the protection squad charged past, ready to be the first to identify and eliminate any threats.
The snake had managed to stay alive for many years, its almost orange-brown colour, size as thick as my forearm and length of about a metre, attesting to its maturity. The definitive markings and not having moved away at our approach identified it as a Puff Adder!
The strike, swift as an arrow, struck deep, penetrating the fleshy part above the eye-bank. Not quite one year old, the short legged, wire-haired Jack Russell known as ‘Dogmatix’, knew no fear. Shaking off his attacker, he followed through with an attack of his own…and suffered three more strikes to the head before the pack descended.
The riot that followed left behind the tattered and torn body of what had been the proudly muscled Puff Adder, who had not managed to cheat death this time…but neither had Dogmatix.
In living the life of my self-appointed ‘protector’, a role he adopted from the time he opened his eyes at about 10 days old, Dogmatix had managed to ensure his place in Paradise by giving his own life in defending and protecting my own life. The agony I helped ease him through that evening, was denied me by this brave young animal friend and I waited with him, watching helplessly as he lost his fight against the snake poison.
I pay tribute in verse to a friend who deserves it:
You chose me as your playmate
And your friend
You were magnificent and brave
till the end

You supervised the garden work
Watched and learned about hunting
Practised on geckoes and lizards
you even caught a rat and made your first kill
And in between…PLAY of course!
And insisting on being and doing everything first.

Thank you for choosing me
to be
part of your life and
for choosing
to be part of mine.

This post is part of the contest Ten words to a Story(or Poem).. on

Sunday, 20 May 2012


on the box
repeat after me
you will watch
whatever's presented
you have no other choice

your choice is irrelevant
what's presented is all
watching a habit
repeat after me
on the box

choosing the best
of poor choices
you fail to see
the best way
is to switch off

read, write, ride a bike
talk, laugh, share
be more than what's
on the box
be free

Tied to ties

trials and tribulations
ties and being tied
fact is
means being

because not being
means you deny
where you come from
your own
parenthood threatened
your childhood
what's good?

living your own life
is not a given
with friendship forsaken
for the sake
of being part of
blood ties
for good

be the one and
you're taken for granted
be still
be silent
knowing that
it's no good

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Visvang water...Fishing waters

Die son se skerp is uit my oe                                             Reflected sunlight fades
en ek sien meer as net                                                         and I can see
die blink op die water                                                         past the glare on the water

dis windrimpels en vis                                                       wind ruffles and fish
wat die visstokke tart                                                        tease trembling rods
miskien vanaand se ete?                                                     with promise

Elke wolk, net voor sonsondergang                                   Before the sun sets
het sy eie goue rand                                                           silver lined clouds shine
met sagte vingerstrepe                                                       with soft sunlight fingers
sonstrale wat glansend verander                                        sunbeams turning colours
in die mooiste kleure                                                          from nice to beautiful

skakering op skakering                                                      colours tumbling
dan geel, half perske, selfs appelkoos                               through the spectrum
terwyl die lug wasig raak                                                   yellow, peach then apricot
en die paddas en krieke                                                     as mist creeps over the water
geraas maak.                                                                      and frogs and crickets shout.

Ek lewe...

Daardie borrelende
lewensfontein hier binne
skaterlag van lekkerkry
want om te kan lewe
is makliker
meer eenvoudig
en verg minder inspanning
as enigiets anders

En ja, dis intens
en ja, dit verg jou alles
maar deur doodeenvoudig
lief te he
met jou hele hart en siel
om dit te kan doen
beteken jy lewe!

Anderkant ... Flipside

en in my soeke                                     and in my search
na 'om liefgehe te word'                        to being loved
sien ek dit byna nie raak nie                  I nearly didn't notice
die liefde vir die lewe                            the love for living
wat meer is as                                      that is more than
net een menseliefde                              one person's loving
dis alle liefde                                        it's all love
liefwees vir lief wees self                      loving love itself

dit is liefde lewe                                   it's living love
elke oomblik                                       every moment
van elke dag                                        of every day
en die vreugde, trane                           and the joy, tears
pyn en eensaamheid                             pain and loneliness
word elk                                             each become
'n ondervinding                                    an experience
'n groeiproses                                      a growing process
wat my 'ek' maak                                that defines me

Follow soon

Follow on
follow through
no letting go now

winding roads lead
where I go
slowly turning
you too?

read and write
dark and light
day and night

I wait
wanting more
and you?


Let me cry
and care

Little girl all grown up

Petulantly pouting,
ready to stomp my feet,
throw myself on the floor and,
and scream-sob


Instead I act my age,
swallow my anger
and leave it bubbling under the surface,
breathe to relax,
stretch to unwind
my mind
from where it wishes
to where it is.
where are you in my life
when I am never alone enough to appreciate company?
I visit and chat
show what is needed to be seen as me. 

When all is said and done,
my being
matters not in the presence of company
- it is the affected exterior
and how it is perceived
that draws attention
and if need be, it is held,
drawing from the encounter
whatever is required
physical contact
it is mostly lacking.

little girl all grown up

Stored for later...

... more tears
less fears
a clear head
a stifled sob
and much writing not done
while time wasted away years
of less tears
and more fears
in a mind muddled by agony
silently screaming.

and hoping
and hoping
that the swings between mood changes
would last longer
stay stable
and diminish the violent outbursts
when nothing was right
and everyone out to get even or more.

Living with a manic depressive who self-medicated with dope, alcohol, nicotine and violence can maim you beyond imagining - if you allow it to damage the core of who you are BUT when you realise that at the centre of your being is a well of loving that never runs dry EVER and you draw your strength, hope and inspiration from there ... nothing negative can be sustained and when it stays it is turned and turning becomes part of the love you live.

The best but hardest is finding out that the love is for all, not specific but general and fills so much, the little bits that are kept from you by those who selfishly feel they can hurt you this way, are as drops in an ocean and again ... eventually they accumulate somewhere to overflowing and so are not really kept away but stored for later.

How many chances do you get?

This question dates back to school when you were given only so many chances to get it right, to do the oral, hand in that essay etc. etc. ... and once the chances were used up you were disqualified, had to sit out or weren't allowed to participate any further.

In real life though, the answer to this question can have an extremely negative impact on actions such as decision making, acting under pressure or having to lead by example. Why? Because if you have adopted a fear of failure through years of 'only so many chances and you're out' conditioning, it can be near impossible to try new things or attempt better ways in which to do stuff.

Luckily there are parents, teachers, mentors and friends who can help when you find yourself in a 'last chance' situation but it becomes bleak indeed when you have no support, no one shouting for you or being in your corner.

The best remedy is of course to own each and every situation with the bottom line being - you get as many chances as you need to get it right! With this kind of approach, it certainly becomes irrelevant whatever the question may be, as an outcome is expected - unlike the 'last chance' scenario where the fear of failure can stop you from even trying.

It's a bit, I suppose, like finding yourself in a corner - you can be stuck and stay stuck, or own the situation and finding yourself in a corner, simply step out of and away from it - it is your corner after all.

A good friend of mine recently turned an old saying completely upside down. I grew up with - "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again ..." - with his interpretation of the same scenario being "if you don't even try, you can't even fail ..."

From this, it is obvious that the answer to the original question in the headline has to be that it is up to you. You can limit your own performance or decide to go at it until you get it right.

Flowers as food for thought

Klein, pers en fyntjies
met dou-druppels blink
op rondings van blomblare
wat half skaam na my loer
uit 'n groen grashalmraam

Mindful Measures

"It's just like riding a bicycle," they said. 'They' being family and friends. All well-meaning and all beaming at delivering this age old advice.
Oh yes?! I could ride again if I had a bike, of this I am sure. But write again...
I mean, cycling is balance and pedal power. Writing though, means baring your soul, reflecting your inner thoughts and this kind of sharing is on a wholly different level to the leisure sport of riding a bicycle.
So I started, tentatively after an absence of two and a half years, not knowing where the words would come from, how I would shape them or how they would be perceived. And if nothing else it has been nerve-wracking.
Submitting an entry for the WriteUpCafe monthly contest seemed the answer to the absence of writing in my life but it pretty soon clouded all else and I found myself picking away at the completed sentences, half-listening to conversations as I wondered how my writing would be received.
I should have remembered the habit words have to creep up on me, infiltrating to the point where I type in my head as I speak, unable to stop the keys from clattering away.
Maybe it was just that I was still getting used to the new laptop, I thought at one point when, in casual conversation in the elevator, the keys tapped merrily in my mind's eye as those around me spoke. But no, it continued as I offered tea to my mother, then it spluttered on while I made supper and when I finally sat down to watch television it became overwhelming as my fingers raced to keep up with what was said on the screen.
Too afraid to sleep lest my dreams become keystrokes, I read till my eyes were dry and scratchy and lo and behold... silently, surfacing keystrokes claimed my rest as surely as they had claimed my waking hours.
What to do? How to deal with this before it became too much?
Fortunately, my imagination was up to the challenge and halfway through this morning I managed to master the intrusion, relegating it to its rightful place.
How, you may ask?
Easy - remembering that this was happening in my head was the breakthrough (how could I have missed that) and I took charge, upgraded my mind's eye typewriter to a laptop, silenced the keys to a whisper and then selected it to work in the background.
And from now on, whenever the keystroke clutter starts to intrude, I'll simply click on the buttons I have created and deal with the craziness that comes from having collected a cache of words by not writing for so long.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Everything is Art

Art, you ask?
How can everything be art?
Name it
interpret it
contemplate it's meaning
how it affects you
why it affects you
does it affect you?

Look around
and see the many hands
and minds
working tirelessly
to perfect
their doing
and see the art

Not seeing it
not feeling it
not knowing it's there
your perspective
can be altered
by only you

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

i am earth fighting for life ... anger boils over

drips acid rain
burns black smoke

... throws tornadoes
ashes and lava

where once was beauty
scorched earth remains

pools of silence

I am bleeding
I bleed
My blood runs

YOU have hurt me
YOU are hurting me

I am overused
I am used
I am abused

… and YOU just do not stop!

but stop you will

be stopped





Bubbles, Bouncing and Being Alive

In the almost three years since my husband died I have managed to hide, dug deep to keep the writing at a minimum, and managed to just about convince myself that it was better to not write. So I focused on others' writings, editing academic theses and proposals, even soundboarding for a young writer with so much talent he puts me to shame.
Then, last year, I was attacked by a wanna-be rapist and murderer who stole my laptop - a gift from friends at my last permanent job - and my 'writing' soon consisted of reblogging quotes, cute pics, ineresting stuff to my tumblr blog titled simplyclover... (Yes, yes, I know. Excuses)
Well, hopefully this is the start of something new (or a continuation of what should be), and now it's back to a 24/7 work schedule because, at the end of the day, writing does not only happen between 8 and 5 or after midnight. It happens when there is a need to say something and if I consider the way I can talk and talk and talk... as I said, 24/7.
I first referred the monthly competition to others and it was only when I jokingly said it could be quite therapeutic for me and all agreed, that I considered going there.
It took almost a week to shape 3000 words and even though I had laughingly spoken about the therapy of writing, it was my tears and the declining ache inside that showed me the truth of my joking and I submitted a few hours before deadline.
Now it's wait and see till the 31st when results are known but the bug has bitten, bubbles of excitement that I have not felt in years are tickling their way through my system, rising to the surface to burst with the joy of being a wordsmith.
I sense a bit of the bounce which was my 'trademark' for so long and know that this is what it means, for me, to be alive!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Skin deep Scars

It was never going to be an ordinary day. Never, ever, ever again. It couldn’t even begin to resemble ordinary. Not after what had happened. Impossible!
I now have to constantly harness every ounce of strength, both physical and emotional, so as to not lash out at anyone within arms length – why does it seem as if everyone feels the need to stand so close that you can feel their breath on your neck, in your face? What happened to personal space, the fight or flight zone or just simply not crowding another person.
It’s been five months, 11 days, 22 hours and 13 minutes. The scene that was set and played out then, is now locked in a loop that intrudes, attaching itself to my being, when I least expect it.
With my home situated in a remote rural village without electricity, a weekly trip to town is required. This meant taking the morning taxi and it delivered me in town bright and early to stock up on groceries. I was crossing the street to avoid a group of unruly youths on my way to the pharmacy when out of the corner of my eye I see a man put a cigarette to his lips, the match poised above the striking edge of the box…

…the scratch of a matchstick being lit filters through the layers of the first hour of deep sleep after a relaxing yet exhausting day...

I had taken a local taxi from my home in the village to the guest house turn-off about 20km away, strolled up the winding access road while taking in the unspoilt, natural beauty of the forest around me. Everything was so green, so vivid and butterflies flitted gracefully from flower to flower as the Touracos called and the Ring-necked Turtle Doves cooed. Approaching a bend in the road I was suddenly confronted by one of the guest-house dogs, a Bouvier who, having recognised me charged in for a hug, a love and a bit of lemon grass I had picked for the occasion.
It had been several years since my friend and I had seen each other; my husband had done some renovations at her guest house and when he passed away we lost touch. So we spent the afternoon catching up on news while pottering in the gardens, checking that the seedlings, which had been newly transplanted, were well watered and weeding as we picked salad-ingredients for the evening meal. A quick shower made short business of the garden grime, after which we prepared and cooked our food. Eating, drinking, cleaning up and making nonsensical chatter over coffee felt good and we were both relaxed as we each settled into an armchair, gazed into the night and enjoyed the screech of crickets and cicadas, while plumbing the depths of life and its meaning, finally saying our goodnights an hour before midnight.

…raising my head off the pillows I see a man hunched over the soft yellow pool of match-flame light at the door to the room and as wakefulness washes over me I realise it is not part of a dream. The flame flickers out and for a moment the pitch-blackness of the night engulfs everything. And suddenly he’s there, next to the bed I had moments before been asleep in, he’d switched on the bedside lamp, half-smiling in the startling brightness he tells me to sh-sh-sh before he grabs me and pushes me back down on the bed, and I notice the stained and dirty-looking blade of a knife in his right hand as it glints in the lamp light...

I remember thinking at the time that I had seen him somewhere, had been introduced to him at some point … and he recognised me, I’m sure he did, yet I can still not place him.

…I watch him as he half-shrugs, as if it doesn’t matter or he doesn’t have a choice. I start shaking my head, saying that this is not right, something is very wrong here and I demand: “What are you doing in my room?” It’s as if everything is waterlogged, heavy and slow. I come fully awake and realising this, I see the look in his eyes shift from ‘let me see what I can take’, to ‘kill’, and then several years of self-defence-training kick in…

Growing up with two brothers, one a year younger and the other two years my senior, meant learning how to defend myself against a team-tackle by my siblings while they’d try and hold me down to tickle me till I either cried out or sobbed hysterically (or promised them all my pocket money or sweets, or to do their chores). I had learned early on to pull my knees up to my chest and hold my brothers at bay by kicking, (legs are longer than arms), till I could either be rescued or do some damage and this reflex served me well into my 10th year, when my mother enrolled me at the local Judo club for self-defence training.
Earning my brown belt took many years of training but once married and with children of my own exercising seemed to be mostly made up of gardening and later, walking the beaches and forests wherever I found them. At 51 I was not really out of shape or unfit, just out of practice.

… I had managed to draw my legs up between us reflexively when my attacker struck and as the knife plunges into my breastbone, then glances off my collarbone, I try to kick and fight him off. He changes his grip on the knife to slash at my throat, his hold on me easing just a fraction in the process, and I manage to snap my legs straight, slamming them into him and sending him sprawling off the bed, onto the floor.
It’s all the opportunity I need and when he scrambles up and lunges at me with the knife, I’m on my knees on the bed, ready for him while my sensei’s voice echoes “fight the man, not the weapon”. The satisfaction of seeing his eyes almost pop in surprise when I grab his knife-hand, immobilise it under my body, grab him by the throat and push him down on the bed…

Trying to regain some normality after the attack and a weeklong recovery with family, I return home to a routine I had previously found both comforting and rewarding. It’s a beautiful, sunny day when the neighbour’s children come over to play while learning handcrafts. The youngest is a year old; she is past cute, learning to speak English while boldly holding on to my skirt as I gather paper, scissors, glue and paints. Her name is Silula (it means ‘easy’ and being the youngest of eight children I’m sure her mother found the birth relatively simple after all the practice she’d gotten through the previous seven births), and the little one insists on climbing me like a tree whenever she can gain a foothold. She’s very agile for her age, skimming up my back as I kneel down to retrieve some sticky tape from the bottom shelf of the book-case. Once attached to my hip, she quickly snuggles into my armpit, hoping to not be noticed and loving the elevated perch from where she can direct her siblings in their crafting endeavours.
The dog comes charging in to see who’s visiting and Silula grabs for my neck, squealing as the dog nips playfully at her feet. Panic surges through me as she wraps her arms tightly around my neck, grabbing at my hair in the process and I watch her eyes widen as I struggle to control the urge to lash out, run, fight…

...he tries to push me away and I exert force, his puzzled expression turns to panic and we are both stunned to realise that I will take his life as easily as he would have taken mine. Not only am I stronger, the element of surprise - having a victim fight back and be not only willing but capable of killing, rather than be killed - gives me an edge over my attacker. And when I address him in his own language, snarling what I intend to do to him, I watch his panic turn to fear...

I am ashamed and terrified – of myself! The sure knowledge that I am no better than this animal has changed everything. The way I look at the world is tainted, the way I look at myself distorted and my privacy and personal space have become treasures to protect and hide from the world, lest someone invade and threaten me again.

…Squirming his way out of my grip he runs into the bathroom, bewildered at not finding a way out he turns for the door as I lunge and fall, legs entangled in bloodied sheets, and watch as he grabs my laptop bag and backpack off the chair, flings open the door and disappears over the balustrade at the edge of the veranda, into the bushes in front of my room. My chest throbs dully and the side of my face and neck are on fire …

Councillors, therapists, family and friends have all, in one way or another, managed to help me fight the fear and it has subsided somewhat but now, now I tread softly instead of boisterously bouncing, now I furtively glance at faces and keep to myself instead of trustingly engaging strangers in conversation, now I sleep light and investigate every sound and movement instead of resting my weary self in readiness for my daily living.
And under everything lies a new self-knowledge, a loathing of what I have become – I am no better than that wanna-be rapist and murderer! When threatened I now know I will kill, in self-defence or to prevent a repeat of what happened during the attack. I WILL NOT BE A VICTIM AGAIN!
Having made the decision to not let the ‘incident’ become more than a life-lesson, to learn, gain something positive from all of this, seems simple enough but it seems I am paying lip-service to my intentions and I find that I withdraw and isolate myself at every and any opportunity. I shut the doors, close the windows so no-one will think I am home, simply sitting around either vacantly staring into space or reading to escape to a different reality. My morning hike through the forest to the beach when I need to get out or find some inspiration seems a lifetime away.
Having made the morning forest walk to the beach on a regular basis over the last few years, it beckons every time I am outside and I eventually give in, dress for walking and tentatively start on the footpath I have grown to love, armed with my Taser, walking stick that resembles a caveman’s club and pepper spray in my back pocket – just in case. The dog, sensing something is not quite right but unsure what to do stands at the gate, watching me enter the forest with a half-wag of her tail and a quizzical look. I had barely gone 50 steps, revelling in the new shoots evident after heavy rain a few weeks ago, the crunch of dry leaves underfoot and the musty smells of the decomposing forest floor, when I suddenly hear something or someone crashing through the bushes towards me and I panic, racing ahead while branches whip at my face and roots try and snag my feet.

…the sound of my attacker fleeing through the bushes, the wet stickiness of my own blood on my hands and the blackness of the night seem surreal. But then, as reality kicks in and my body reels from adrenalin and blood loss, I find the strength to draw breath and scream: “HEEEEELP, SOMEONE HELP ME!” over and over, till the dogs are around my feet and I stumble up the stairs to the parking area where the sensor light has been triggered. It half blinds me and the darkness is mercifully banished and I watch as my friend charges towards me with her handgun, which refuses to go off, held aloft…

We were fortunate in having the police arrive within half an hour. It felt as if we’d been invaded there were so many of them, each assuring me that they would do everything in their power to find the perpetrator. Yet no flashlights were lit or bushes beaten to see if he was hiding somewhere close by waiting for all the commotion to die down, so ‘just sitting down and relaxing’ was not an option. I was convinced he was out there, watching and waiting for an opportunity to finish the job. I could, after all, identify him; his face seared into my memory as if with a branding iron.
I use the word fortunate because the guest house is remotely situated and midnight and later seems the best time to perpetrate crime. As we gathered in the silence after the police departed we all agreed that the response had been unusually speedy as some crime scenes in the area were known to only have been visited by the police only several days after the fact. ‘No vehicles’ or ‘no-one to send out to the scene of the crime’ being common responses. Perhaps because we are women and one is a business owner in an industry that can ill afford this kind of publicity?
The neighbourhood does, however, also have some caring citizens who stay in touch with each other after dark, checking in via cell phone and landline, especially since my friend and I live alone, and when my friend had contacted them quite hysterically, they all flooded the police with calls of the attack, urging them to respond.
Painkillers, coffee, friends milling about wanting to help and watching the sunrise is what I remember in the hours after the attack and returning from being stitched up. And of course the uncontrollable shaking and replay of seemingly random snatches of the terror I had just lived through.
Someone took me to the health centre for medical care with me insisting all the way that I was fine, I just needed to bath and get rid of the bloodied clothes I was still wearing. There was a scramble to remove the iodine a student nurse had started swabbing onto the wounds once the nursing staff found out I was deadly allergic to iodine but the sting of the anti-tetanus jab in my arm seemed irrelevant when compared to the consequences the dirty blade the attacker had wielded could cause if left untreated.
The stab wound to my chest had seemed random, until the policeman who came to the centre to take my statement explained that it was aimed at my heart – a death stroke that, if punched through the breastbone while the victim is lying down, will penetrate the heart.
It was when I was asked to remove my jewellery that I found the reason I was still alive. The knife had, instead of penetrating the breastbone, glanced off my crystal and the second stab had seen the knife become entangled in the chain holding the crystal. Lucky? No, I believe ‘protected’ more aptly describes how I survived.
Three stitches in my chest, five just under my collarbone and another eight from my cheek to just under my jaw were a constant reminder that my reality had been drastically affected.
We managed to track the attacker’s flight path once we had daylight to search by; we even found my son’s passport that I had been keeping for him where it had fallen out of my backpack as the attacker scaled the fence. Footprints led us to bushes across the road and I felt somewhat apprehensive that he had in fact been waiting around while the police were busy ‘attending to the matter’.
An identikit was compiled and distributed, the laptop serial number circulated and I must have spoken to dozens of villagers, all to no avail. A suspect was eventually found but before he could be brought in for questioning he was run over by a car and last I heard he was in intensive care. The man who attacked me may still be out there, somewhere, but life goes on and time heals, even though initially it seems only superficial, that is just the scars and even though the wounds run deeper than just skin-deep, the whole process takes time.
I am better now. Still fearful, scanning faces looking for him and still carrying all sorts of weapons with which to scare off any would be perpetrators but mostly I am wary. Suspicious of strangers, of silence, of noise and crowds, I don’t know if I can ever again be the carefree soul who wandered the forests and beaches alone looking for shapes and textures as only nature can craft them.
But life is short and way too precious to dwell on the negative.
There is a lot of living I would still like to do and even though it is now more difficult and it will take time to regain my freedom, I also know that I can have no more ordinary days. Every moment of every day has to count. Every effort has to be made to make each day extraordinary because when it happens that you walk away from an attack that comes close to extinguishing your life force, you have to be stronger than before. You have to believe it won’t happen again and mostly, you have to believe that the life you have been given is meant for bigger and better than what you have attained and you can only live one extraordinary day at a time, with every ounce of your being.
And so I celebrate my living moment by moment, banishing the thoughts of what may have been ordinary and replacing them with what might be extraordinary.