Other Stuff

Lockdown Diaries Number 7

Morning to you all, my lovely ones!

(This is how Elizabeth Gilbert addresses her readers and one day I think I’m going to be like her. The one who wrote Eat, Pray Love and Big Magic and all? To dream is to live, people!)

In truth, I haven’t read Eat Pray Love, but I watched the movie – on a plane, incidentally, think of that! Didn’t really love it that much but completely inhaled her book Big Magic. It was inspiring beyond anything I’d read before. And funnily enough, my first book, From Courtrooms to Cupcakes, (it’s fun saying first ‘cos I have a feeling that there’ll be a lot more, well that’s the plan anyway,) was compared to Eat, Pray, Love by the Cape Times once. Our local paper. I was thrilled as you can imagine. But more about that tomorrow, I think.
I’ve decided that I cannot possibly tell you all that I do in a day. Mostly ‘cos it will get quite boring – for you (and me!)- but you know why else? ‘Cos part of what I do is to share what I learn. And what I think or read or discover. Not really what I do.
And most of that has to do with books I read or things I hear or situations I find myself in which I want to write about.

But just quickly for an update ….
Yesterday I worked like a pack horse. For hours and hours, I sat behind this screen. It felt like I was possessed! I didn’t even get to start supper ‘til 7pm and completely missed my run and swim. That’s what lockdown is doing to me. It starts with routines and schedules and disciplines and I’ve been sticking to them mostly, but the writing seems to supersede most things. If I’m on a roll. Which I was yesterday. Don’t know about tomorrow. But what I did was write forward so that I have a few blogs ahead of me in case I run out of steam!
Because last night (so Thursday 9th April) our President Ramaphosa extended our lockdown by another 3 weeks. So, we’re here ‘til end of April. One of things he added is that all the Government Ministers and Deputies (including himself obviously) and Premiers of each Province are going to take a 1/3 cut in salary. That was an extraordinary measure of good faith and benevolent intent. I was almost crying when he said that! I couldn’t be prouder of South Africa at the moment actually. We are a brilliant, resilient bunch of bloody rainbow warriors.

But in this blog, I planned to do a short commentary on Edith Egar’s book I mentioned, The Choice. And ‘cos I was so busy forward writing yesterday, I didn’t’ even get to the end but it doesn’t matter, I’m nearly there. Because I have taken my time with it. Slowly. Just contemplating a few paragraphs by closing the book and staring into the distance a while. I do that a lot when I love a book. Then I got a pen and underlined some lines that really resonated. (This was sacrilege to me years ago. I would NEVER write in books but now, it doesn’t bother me too much. We are all gonna die anyway. And whoever gets them will then know more about what I loved in all my books.
I don’t blog a lot about books. I mean, there’re a lot that are entertaining and all, worthy of my time to buy them, read them but then nogal WRITE about them? (NOTE: some people get PAID to write reviews. Please consider adding me to that job offer. I would love that so much and my husband will think that I’m earning money from my OWN books but actually from just writing about other peoples…that’ll fox him (mom’s expression).

I think for this to sink in a little because there is SO Much to learn from this book, I’m gonna bullet here, Okay? And then maybe do another blog in detail about one thing in particular. It makes it easier for me:

Some inspiring lines for me:

– You can live to avenge the past, or you can live to enrich the present

– My professional success had to come from a deeper place within me- not from the little girl trying to please others and win approval but from my whole and authentic self, the one who was vulnerable and curious, who was accepting of herself and ready to grow

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis is a Latin phrase she learnt as a child. It means :
Times are changing and we are changing with them

I mean, how appropriate is that in the scheme of Covid and all? (You see what I mean about learning from books? And how lovely Latin is incidentally (old – bad- but nostalgic Latin scholar, for law. )
– I kept hope alive in my heart

And then the one that struck me right between the eyebrows (gosh do those need a good plucking!) Because I wrote about this in my latest book Somewhere In Between.

– At best, revenge is useless. It can’t alter what was done to us, it can’t erase the wrong’s we’ve suffered, it can’t bring back the dead.

– At worst, revenge perpetuates the cycle of hate. It keeps the hate circling on and on.

– When we seek revenge, even non-violent revenge, we are revolving, not evolving.

Edith writes about her experience with a patient Jason and how she spoke him out of his anger he felt, wanting to kill his wife when he found out she was having an affair. She did this while he brandished a gun around and could have killed her instead.
And the reason it resonated perhaps is because of what I wrote about in relation to Oscar Pistorius. If someone like Edith could have diffused the anger, the hurt, the trauma of Oscar before he lost control that night and murdered poor Reeva, she may be alive today.
I truly believe, that in so many, many cases, the anger, the violence, the unharnessed emotion of men which causes so much harm and damage to society but in particular to women (and children ) relates to an unresolved , hidden trauma that needs to healed. Not punished. Not revenged upon. BEFORE we can move on to sort out our domestic violence, our femicide issues. It has to do with healing and nurturing our children.
Just like our obligation now, is to heal and nurture our Mother Earth.
‘Til tomorrow!
Stay safe, stay sane and read books!
PS. You will note that every blog for now has the same view of blue sunrise. It’s where I write best.

2 thoughts on “Lockdown Diaries Number 7”

  1. I am beginning to believe in syncronicity. I woke up this morning full of anger and contemplating revenge. Like taking a very long hosepipe and spray the one (weak) trustee who allowed the others, particularly my nemesis to once again postpone the fixing of our sprinkler system which has been broken for more than a year. Having a nice garden is important to me and until now I have been ‘taking my power’ by watering the common area by hand! I promised myself I would not be resentful (as I have in the past). But today that is how I feel and revenge is upmost in my mind – hence the tought of spraying the trustee and shouting vile things at her.
    Another connection to yr blog. I dog-eared a passage frm ‘The Tenth Circle’ (Picoult) pg 30, where the father contemplates revenge for harm done to his daughter and realises that in the process he would risk ‘becomeing an animal’. Here is the powerful line ‘His biggest fear was that if and when he found his daughter, she would no longer recognize who he had become in ordee to save her’.
    Intellectually, I accept this and know that I must be nicer to my opponents to get from them what I want. But shit that is difficult.
    Thanks again for putting yr thoughts on paper. Not everyone has that courage.

    1. Ah Susan I so believe in synchronicity! I see it all the time. And thank you for putting your thoughts on here and responding. You have no idea what it means. We all learn so much from each other. Yes, another powerful line from Picoult, too. Incidentally, I thought I’d seen that Maggie O’ Farrell ( The heatwave …you reviewed on GBAS.) ‘Cos it was on my bookshelf! Still TBR. How’s that for synchronicity!

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