Into the Village…

It’s a long time since I last posted on my blog. I’m not going to apologise although I know you missed me… I’ve missed you too!

I have been extremely busy since returning from France where I travelled with my tribe in July 2016. It feels like a lifetime ago! Yet, the memories are so vivid, and the many images  we all captured, revive precious moments.

Since then there were chaotic preparations for the Cyprus Open Studios event in October of which I am the primary organiser. Silly, isn’t it? I could be sitting in the sun, reading or painting or gardening or just do another nothing… but those who know me better, will testify that I’m not a thumb-roller. The grey cells always need something to keep them on their toes!

Here are a few shots of happy faces in my home during open studios last year:

My two partners and I then had our review meeting in November and what blew our socks off was that there wasn’t a single complaint! It was just that little bit spooky as it felt unreal… We are hoping to repeat the process in October 2017, but it really is hard work.

We’ve sent the website for plastic surgery and it came back with a brand new face – much improved from the old one! The lucky thing was I didn’t need to learn many new tricks and the logistics from last year worked just beautifully. So, with everything in place, we are now nearing the deadline for this year’s registration: 30 April which we will probably extend for a month… knowing how the Cypriot mind works! However, registration is a bit slow this year…

Besides all the above, last February I had decided to put my gorgeous villa on the market. It was a difficult decision to make as we planned every tile in the house and every plant in the garden long before we moved in during March 2001. Many, many memories were made here and we mixed a load of good with some shitty bad – and in the end, it was still hard to Let Go. However, the market was very slow and over the year I had only 5 or 6 viewings! I reconciled myself with the fact that whenever the time was right, things would happen…  BUT, in my heart of hearts, I just hadn’t reached the stage where I truly could let go.

Something I had/have to get over:

Then, about three weeks ago, I came to realise that it was time to move forward and the thought that popped up was that I could honestly be happy anywhere I lived. It didn’t depend on a piece of earth and what was created on it. But oh, the knowledge that if I moved away from here, I wouldn’t be able to say hello to fellow dog-walkers every evening, wave at passers-by as they wave hello from their cars, everyone knowing everyone else. It is something I never really had in South Africa; on the farm where I grew up, yes – everyone knew everyone’s business! But in Johannesburg, you cowered behind your high walls and in the end, dared not walk your dog in the streets in case you were being watched… Anyway, water under that bridge.

On Monday, the 3rd of April I signed an Agreement of Sale and on Friday received the non-refundable deposit. The strangest thing is that the developers bought the property back at just under the asking price. Just before the offer came in, I was actually contemplating whether to bring the price down… but then it happened all by itself.

If you have ever heard of the Law of Attraction, you will know that this is how it works.

When I first put the house on the market, I approached the owner of a property in the heart of our village of Tala to see if he would perchance consider letting to me once I had sold mine. Their home had been on the market for yonks! I explained that I couldn’t give any solid dates as it all depended on the sale of this one. This place in the village is well-known and has been used as a gallery and wine bar for years – I exhibited there one year. I fell in love with the feel and the look of the place – it’s an old village house, 4-bedroomed with a magical garden. It is about 50 yards off the village square which has just now been refurbished and is rather stunning.

Long story short – the day I signed the agreement of sale, I telephoned Andreas to find out if the property would still be available for rent. He needed time to think, he said. I was not in a hurry as the developers are letting me stay on here until 31 October – after the open studios event. But, I still fancied that property! And Andreas phoned back a couple of days later and we orally agreed that I would move in effectively on 1 October 2017… Told you I know how the Cypriot mind works; they need leeway in case of “unexpected delays”. In Cyprus, those are abundant!

Crazy old woman, am I?  I’m trying to down-size and here I’m going to rent a property with 4 bedrooms, gallery space and a built-in bar! It used to operate as a restaurant/gallery/wine bar so the kitchen has a magnificent gas cooker, which I don’t think I’ll be using much… on the square there are many excellent eating places!

The one thing that would perhaps get me down is the church bell… it’s CLOSE! Just across the square… but I’m signing for 2 years only with an option to extend. The idea is to host small events such as poetry readings, musical soirees, art discussions, and so forth in the fabulous space available. Yes, at 72.5 I might be regarded as a crazy old woman… but I feel good about it, crazy or not. They say 70 is the new 50…

And a few shots taken over several years of The Gallery:

I think that will keep you happy for a while… this last batch is where I’m (hopefully) going to live for a while as from October… je ne regrette rien!

I hope to update you by Christmas!

Namasté

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AT LONG LAST …

I feel as if I have just finished a marathon … and I didn’t come last!

Nine and a half years ago, with a garden completely established and irrigation system in perfect condition, we acquired two puppies. Over the next few years, the irrigation system stretching over half an acre of garden, slowly gave up the ghost as very young and sharp teeth found rubbery chew rings in the garden. Last year, as you may remember, I said goodbye to one of those two puppies and the other one stopped chewing the pipes a while ago.

Last year I instructed a man to resurrect the system but unfortunately, he was/is not a well man and gave up on the job about 60% through. Since summer is about to start hammering us again, I thought it was time to give me space so as not to hand-water the entire garden, obviously using mobile sprinklers, etc. – a time-consuming exercise! The guys from Green Forest are just packing up and it’s all done … the finish line has been reached: IT WORKS! Phew!!

In the last post but one I was talking about my ‘new’ studio. Well, since then quite a lot has changed and I now have a ‘proper new’ studio. It started out as this
Kitchen porch 1 Kitchen porch 3
Slowly transformed into this
Kitchen porch 4

IMG-20150526-WA0000  First a jigsaw puzzle to put together …

IMG-20150526-WA0001 … which became this – storage space!

IMG-20150527-WA0001   Work space and  IMG-20150528-WA0001  more storage space.

 

It used to be the kitchen patio where everything was parked – until later – then gathered dust and dirt and eventually had to be turfed out as having passed its sell-by date. The sliding doors (double-glazed) I salvaged from a neighbour at a fraction of the price it would have cost new. Expert carpenter and builders installed them and at the same time, installed a shower in the downstairs guest loo, effectively giving me a three-bedroomed house instead of just 2 bedrooms.

IMG-20150515-WA0002

What used to be my studio is now being transformed into study/den/chill room where an extra guest may sleep. As I also want to use it as a sort of small gallery, a few more pictures need to go up on the wall, paper and things sorted out and a mattress for the bed to be bought … and, viola!

20150604_152059 20150604_152110 20150604_152125   Lots more to be done but this is what it looks like now …

 

I’m quite chuffed with it all and feel so good about it that I have decided to launch an Open Studios weekend with my website, http://www.art-en-route-cyprus.com as the host. This morning, the process began … watch this space for more on this.

This morning, as a ‘test drive’ I finished off a painting in my new studio and it really felt good to work there. Here it is …

Another blue door  Uncropped …

 

A few hanging baskets with colourful flowers will just finish it all off beautifully. Slowly but surely, the area will be transformed into a little oasis so that I may host my own open studio in that space and play host to a few more artists to display their work on the pool patio, here

Awnings up

 

Oh, I have also decided to name my villa now : 7 Levels – it is located on 7 levels of garden, I believe there are 7 levels of consciousness, there are 7 chakras and 7 is also a lucky number … A wrought iron-type name will be made soon and that will go up on my garden wall on the outside so that it cannot be missed!

Looking forward to September! The week after the Open Studios, I shall be hopping over to Italy for a week’s painting holiday in Tuscany … pure bliss!

Till next time.

P.S.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

THE GAME’S AFOOT!

… as Sherlock told Watson.

You will notice that a bit of refurbishing has taken place since your last visit and still further developments will follow. I started this blog way back when Donald and I were considering relocating to the UK and then things went awry and I’m still here in my beloved Cyprus … Since the dust had settled, I have been contemplating my art and writing career – yes, career as I have been receiving royalty cheques, you know! Not that I would ever be able to get rich on that, but it is rewarding to say the least.

And that brings me to my art business. I accepted WordPress’ invitation to create a website and … got this blog … which I already had! However, in the process I changed the name and it is now a dot com – and that’s where the further development will take place: customising the homepage but I am still learning!

I have also started getting my studio up and running as it would befit a proper artist and soon I shall be showing you what happens in there. During the clearing and tidying phase, I came across quite a few half-finished pieces which, upon further consideration, could become something if developed further. That is what I am doing right now and so far, three pieces have been completed. I don’t use the word ‘finished’ as my instructor in Italy said that no piece of art is ever really finished but it reaches a stage when you may feel that it is complete. In fact, he said, a piece should be judged as ‘complete’ at various stages of its creation! But that’s another story. Here are two of them:

Fun on the beach  I’m gonna get you What's in the bucket  What’s in the bucket?

 

They were originally done in watercolour with which I was not at all happy and now they have been brought to life by adding pastels and thus have become ‘mixed media’! They are only small pieces but fun pieces.

So, in order not to break continuity I shall retain what has gone before and take it from there. I shall, however, use this website/blog now in a more creative way and will probably start another blog specifically for communication with friends and family. I just wanted to update you on where we stand right now.

I feel enthusiastic about the stage I have reached and look forward to getting stuck in and create loads of art in preparation for an Open Studio weekend or three during the summer/autumn months. Yes, I am using the phrase Open Studio even though the name has been officially registered as an NGO which only served to hamstring us as far as opening our studios to the public is concerned. However, I have decided that it will be used as it describes exactly what I do when I invite the public into my sanctum sanctorum.

Watch this space … lots and lots will happen soon as the game is truly afoot!

IN PURSUIT OF PLEASURE …

You must have thought I had left the planet … I have just been really busy with all the things that please and satisfy me. The other day I described myself to a friend I hadn’t seen in many years as a hedonist. Sometimes I really feel like one!
I seem to be pursuing the pleasures of my heart. I can hear you say, “And why not?” I am, after all, retired. I have just celebrated my milestone of reaching the end of my allotted three score years and ten and I have a middle finger up at whoever ‘prescribed’ that life span! This girl is here to stay, baby – for more than just a day … I will let you know when I reach my target.

Retirement is a strange thing. At least, it is for me. It is in my nature not to sit and twiddle my thumbs. Even though I have difficulty in holding knitting needles, I am knitting myself a sweater while listening to the radio or talks on the internet. Just cannot be idle …

I may have mentioned before that I have started a website for all the artists living in Cyprus so that we can put our art on the map. It is progressing well and as it becomes better known, more artists are joining. There is no rush to push this into a thriving business as I’m doing it for my own satisfaction and in the process I am trying to help others. That hedonistic influence again! However, I never realised just how much work there would be involved, especially with the exhibitions. There is another one coming up in mid-November, aimed at the Christmas shoppers. Wouldn’t you like to own an original piece of art, especially when it is given to you with love and the Christmas spirit? I know I would!

This keeps me fairly busy as I am the only website administrator but I’m thinking of finding two partners who could develop the Greek and Russian markets but that is very much in the embryo stage. I’m also thinking long-term in that I will not be doing this forever and it would be nice to, one day, be able to hand over/sell the website to someone else who would be as passionate about it as I am. If you haven’t already seen it, have a look here: http://www.art-en-route-cyprus.com

And speaking of passion … This last week I have really made giant steps forward with my own art. I’m not sure if it was due to a programme I listened to or whether it was the age-thing, but suddenly I discovered I could sketch like I have always dreamed of sketching! I have always been reluctant to show anyone my sketchbooks because they are so pathetically prissy and tight. Now I am loose and flowing in my movements and found that charcoal is just the most wonderful medium to sketch with. First thing in the morning, I do one small sketch of whatever pops into my head and during the day, when I get an idea I go straight to the sketchbook and put it on the page before I (once again) forget what that idea was. It’s like a dream: as soon as you wake up, it evaporates never to be remembered again. Well, I’ve nailed them now, those ideas!

sketchbook    Some early morning doodlings

 

This led me into a lovely new direction with the actual painting process. And it happened synchronistically.

A few weeks ago I said to my friend, Jennifer, that my ideal holiday for 2015 would be another painting holiday in Tuscany, arranged by the people with whom I first went on a painting holiday there. And, that it should be in September.

Know what happened? Within two days, an email popped into my inbox offering exactly that! And … the tutor already does what I am aspiring to do in my own art! How is that for an answer from the Universal Matrix? So, next September, Italy – here I come again!

This all means that I can pursue my new painting direction and all things remaining equal, I might just have my own exhibition after coming back from Italy next year. The whole thing fills me with excitement as my style has changed from realism to almost abstract – a looseness I have been trying to achieve all my life, on many levels! And while I’m writing this, I’m yearning to smell the paint!

Another thing I have been ‘wishing’ for since he left the island years ago, was for my T’ai Chi teacher to return and teach again. On my birthday, the phone rang and it was John telling me that he was settling in Cyprus on a permanent basis! He is giving his first T’ai Chi demo on the 16th of October, which is another synchronistic event as that date is also the birthday of my late son … a true gift. I’ve been craving T’ai Chi for a long time but did not like any other style/form than the one he taught.

The seasons are also changing and the summer heat is fading away. It also makes me more energetic and creates that lust for digging in the soil and putting in new seeds and seedlings and those spring bulbs. Each seed or bulb holds the intention of becoming a flourishing plant, producing flowers and/or fruit or vegetables. I was reminded this morning that the acorn contains the entire oak tree …

Little Jessie and I walk each day and she has found a friend nearby. Barney is a Labrador and about seven months old – they love each other and Barney has come over to play twice now. She does miss Katie’s company but we are lucky that we often meet other dogs who are always willing to play and say hello. No, I’m not going to get another one!

Barney   This is Barney

One of the hills of my village   One of the hills of my village (Kamares)

Sunset over the Med   Sunset over the Mediterranean … and Jessie’s head!

This Christmas I will be visiting some family and friends in South Africa and will be celebrating Christmas in the old-fashioned way: on a farm! It will be like stepping back into my childhood. The New Year will be celebrated with my boet and his wife – he should buy some green bananas now!

I wish I could see all of my family members, but the country is so vast and they are scattered all over the place. There is just no way I will be able to do that. Perhaps they should come and visit me!

I wish you joy and happiness but most of all, I wish you love! And Happy New Year to my Jewish friends!!!
Till next time,
Maria.

P.S. Here is something else you might like to have a look at … http://www.cyprus.com/arts—culture-post-3451261.html

Girl … Retrieved!

About a year ago I wrote a blog post entitled “The girl who used to be me” – filled with sadness but also with enthusiasm and energy. There were subsequent posts written while this elusive girl kept peeping out from behind the bushes and then disappearing as fast as you could focus – a quantum phenomenon.

But, the good news is that I have found her! I am retrieving her as we speak.

One simply does not comprehend the fear of insecurity until the situation changes. On the 5th of February I finally – after an almost 12-year struggle – managed to get the property registered in both Donald’s and my names as we owned it jointly. According to the law, it first had to be registered into both names and then, because I’m a non-EU citizen and cannot own more than one plot of land, the three plots have to be combined into one. This is happening as we speak and after that has been done, it will eventually me registered in my name in accordance with Donald’s Will.

Having had the property released from the clutches of the developers, has made me feel euphoric. The security this property represents is enormous and I didn’t realise just how big until the title deeds were transferred. What a battle that has been ever since Donald’s passing – one delay after the other and I often felt it was artificial … which made me worry even more!

Since the 5th of February, the feeling of ‘weightlessness’ coming out from under the heavy burden of worry about developers, bankers and the financial situation in Cyprus has made me feel like flying! Perhaps the Year of the Horse may have something to do with it as they say the horse (Chinese calendar) will pull us out of the mire … I hope it will be so for the entire planet! It certainly feels like there is a different flow of energy since the end of January.

Unfortunately we have not had enough rain in Cyprus this last winter. I fear that summer might be as hot as a kiln and that we will once again have water restrictions imposed on us. The price will go up and those of us who live on South African Rand income will suffer badly. But, we will survive – we always do! I have started my veggie patch in the kitchen garden and being inclined to vegetarianism, will be able to feed myself quite nicely. That is one thing about Cyprus – fresh produce is really fresh and not at all expensive, albeit not always organic. Mine will be!

A few Sundays ago, a friend and I went to a Farmers’ Market and what a wonderful experience that was. I have been ‘friends’ on Facebook with several of the people who sell their wares at these markets and finally to meet them was such a joy!

 

Steni market

The drive up to Steni where the market was held was terrific – such beauty in the countryside in spring; looked more like Ireland than a chalky Mediterranean island. After buying loads of goodies and visiting the museum – a really good one – Jennifer and I made our way to the other venue where they hold these markets: The Herb Garden at Pano Akourdaleia, now named “Heaven on Earth” … and it is!

herb-garden-1024x768

They serve glorious teas and yummy things to eat!

Gosh, what a wonderful surprise! Donald and I went to the herb garden perhaps eight years ago and it was in disrepair and in need of a lot of TLC. This it is getting now, in spades – excuse the pun – as it was taken over by my osteopath (Clement Rhein) and his very lovely wife, Caroline Evans. They have breathed such an invigorating breath into the place that it almost felt sacred just being there. It has become one of those places one could visit again and again and always discover new things, within and without. They are both finely attuned to the forces of Nature and the voice of the Universe … and they listen – that is obvious! I wish them success and abundance in every way. It will certainly be one of my regular visiting places in the future.

The visit made me acutely aware of the TLC my own garden needs and as it looks as if Spring has sprung, the time has arrived to get out there and suck it all up. But first – or perhaps simultaneously – there is the spring cleaning that definitely needs doing! A lovely, lively period ahead of me – and gratitude in every moment.

My art is also taking a turn for the better as (I think) I have finally discovered My Style. I have been painting for so many years and somehow always tried to emulate others. Now, at long last, I feel as if I’m embarking on a whole new (ad-)venture. Actually, not so new, as My Style is very similar to that of Jerry Fresia’s, my teacher in Italy. Since taking his classes, I have tried to emulate him! Wrong!! However, I will soon be able to show some evidence of my new-found inspiration.

Katie has fully recovered from her last eye operation and the Leishmaniosis/Leishmania is firmly under control. Her medication will continue until September though and there was a blood test a couple of weeks ago. Jessie is as playful as ever since she was put on thyroxin for an under-active thyroid. They are now just over eight years old and in peak condition. Both blood tests were perfect.

They keep me in good condition too as they get walked daily and it’s like working out with weights … I don’t have bat wings! The chic French women believe that walking is the key to everlasting youth – let’s hope they are right! I have had to start walking them separately again as together they are just that bit too much to handle, especially when cats are around!

May your summer be filled with all the pleasures of all the senses – mine will be. Till next time, when I will tell you all about my home decorators and the decorating, as well as the new art venture, I send you love.

At the herb garden

Girl … retrieved! Oh, alright then – old woman retrieved!!

THAT 2012-THING

Now that we all know we are SAFE from utter destruction, life can perhaps go on.

What a load of old you-know-what! Such a lot of hoo-ha over a simple switching one light off and another one on – the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Like John Lennon said : getting out of one car and getting into another – but he was talking about death. In a way, that was what just happened : one era died and another was born. Hooray!

This 2012-thing did release a lot of energy, good and bad. It really all depends on how each individual handles the abundance. Yes, there is such a lot of opportunity in this world if only people would stop asking : “What’s in it for me?” as opposed to : “What can I give (or do) to make this a better world?” It’s a bit like going for a job interview and instead of asking : “Have you got a job for me?” rather ask : “How can I contribute to making this company/institution/organisation/position better?”

Silly? I think not. We, the entire world, are in a pickle and we need to get out of it and make it better. Napoleon Hill* suggested that to get out of the Great Depression, the above questions should be paramount. We are all in it together and we need to get out of it … together. There simply is no way that you can reap what you have not sown and if you are looking for a good harvest, you better sow the right seeds.

Oh, perhaps this is just an old woman reminiscing at the end of a year; at the end of an era and at the ‘end’ of all she has known and been familiar with until now. Things have changed for me in 2012 – in a massive way. And the time has come to evaluate Life from all angles before moving into the new age and the new year.

I guess I can count myself amongst the lucky ones as I have good health, terrific family and friends, a roof over my head that is paid for and enough food to feed my tribe from time to time. I have a fabulous garden that needs a lot of tender care as all the happenings of 2012 made for neglect. Another lucky thing is that I love gardening and I have two splendid dogs to keep me company whilst digging, weeding, planting and sowing. However, right now the garden is a sodden mess from an unusually high rainfall for December. This normally happens around end-January and during February of each year. But I guess the Universe had to have a house-cleaning exercise to herald in the new era. I wonder if it rained on other planets too …

I do look forward to 2013 as I will be visiting my homeland again after an absence of eight years. I look forward to the adventure of doing things solo although there will be many of those things that will hurt like hell; but an adventure it will be nonetheless. I’ve not done many things on my own; it’s a whole new learning curve and in many instances, a steep one. Sometimes the answers elude me and then … kaboom! They are right there where they always were, just waiting to be discovered!

One of these things that bothered me was the watering of my eyes after having had cataract removals, once in 2008 and once in November this year. I’ve tried everything to stop this irritating thing! And then this morning, it came to me : my body tried, on both occasions, to reject the foreign body (implanted lenses). It’s as simple as that and since that light went up, the watering seems to have subsided … if I were a meerkat, I would’ve clicked my tongue. Now I have to re-programme my mind in order to accept and welcome these wondrous lenses that enable me to see the beauty around me as well as enabling me to do what I love most : creating artistic things, especially painting.

That was just one of the things that bothered me. Yet, there have been so many things that trilled and surprised me and most of that came down to the kindness of people.

My darling Donald’s passing in August brought home to me the circle of friends we have built up since we arrived here in Cyprus in 2001. And the great thing about friends is that we retained those we left behind … both in South Africa and the rest of the world. And all along our travels, we found more of them – friends, that is!

It has also become clear to me why, traditionally, widows/widowers are supposed to be in mourning for a full year. It takes that long to re-learn how to live on one’s own! One has to go through each annual event such as birthdays, Easter, the seasons and Christmas without your partner, before being able to finally let go and moving forwards. I have only just completed a third of that time and come to realise just how much more I have to learn. The festive season is a time to be jolly and unite with family and friends. Well, most of my family are many miles away and although the friends are extremely supportive and loving, they all have their own families to celebrate with. No, I’m not complaining, honest! And I will be with dear friends. It’s just another life lesson on the curve and that’s OK – I’m good, as our American friends would say.

We, here in Tala (my village), are in the process of founding an arts centre as the community is large and there are many artists living in the area. We had our preliminary meeting last week and guess who the secretary is? Moi! Having had quite an extensive background in running my own art gallery in South Africa for some 10 years as well as being active in the Open Studios activities here, I’m really happy to be able to bring my skills to the table and help make this project a success. I’m also not asking what’s in it for me … I’m hoping to serve the community.

Paphos town, our municipal hub, won the honour of being elected Culture City 2017 and it’s time to start thinking and planning. Interesting times lie ahead and I’m already beginning to get really excited. Lots of things are already going on in preparation for the big event but imaginative planning needs to be fine-tuned. I’m really looking forward to this!

Finally, I would like to say to each and every one of you who have been right by my side – literally and figuratively – during the dark days in August, the most heartfelt Thank You for being there for me. I shall NEVER forget!

I also wish you and your loved ones the most blessed festive season
and the absolute best for 2013.
Go forth and prosper!
May the Force be with you!!

CHIAROSCURO

This is a term used in the art world to describe strong contrast between light and dark. This day has decided to be just that – brilliant light at times and dark thundery clouds at others. As I am particularly fond of chiaroscuro I don’t mind this at all; I just can’t do any painting while this light is changing from minute to minute.

Every Wednesday morning I join a group of artists at our local club where we share ideas, banter, as well as refreshments. It also serves as great inspiration to see others’ work and try to do as well as they do.

This is the Kamares Club inside and out. It’s so nice I had to show you twice! (I couldn’t find the button that says ‘remove’!)

Since last Wednesday my artistic activities have been hamstrung as on Thursday I’ve had a cataract removed – the second –and since then I’ve been resting and recuperating. We don’t realise how fragile our organisms are until we come up against the trials and tribulations of simply being alive.

As most of you know, I’ve lost my dearest beloved in August and I threw myself into all that needed to be done and coped with everything that needed coping with. I’m really pleased that I did that as, if I had waited, I would not have coped well at all. But I did … or so I thought!

Three and a half months later, feeling strong, I made the appointment with the ophthalmic surgeon and had the deed done. Thanks to all the gods for friends like Jennifer, a homeopathic doctor, who carted me backwards and forwards. After seeing the doctor on Friday morning for the first check-up, I came home and … crashed.

After sleeping for hours and hours, I felt extremely frail and shaky for the rest of the day, went to bed (again!) at about 8.00 pm and slept and slept. This was my body telling me that I have been cruel and punishing to myself as I pretended that all was well in my world.

Outside, the sun now is shining brilliantly and the wind is using the trees as paintbrushes to prepare the canvas for the next scene. I was going to paint today but Mother Nature decided that the time was not yet right; she took over the job.

Meditating on the fragility of the human organism, I was reminded of that wonderful man, Carl Sagan. Do your remember him? He took us flying through the cosmos on gossamer wings all those years ago and I would so much like to share this clip with you – please copy and paste:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M – it makes me feel really, really small and insignificant.

And while you are at YouTube, why not watch the last interview with this incredible man; it comes in three parts.

There is one thing however, that nurtures me and that is the knowledge that we, each and every living thing on this planet, are part of that stardust. The Great Creator of All That Is – you may call her whatever you want – has put us all on this tiny blue dot; this pixel in the fabric of the cosmos. Unfortunately, we have not (yet?) learned to live in Peace and Harmony and on this tiny blue dot, we all try and destroy each other and the planet. When will the human race see reason? When will we be able to live amongst each other despite our various belief systems and live and let live? Why is that so difficult?

We are destroying everything, like the oldest continually operating city in the world, Damascus – and for what? Has anyone ever SEEN God? How is it possible to argue over such an abstract concept? But, perhaps if we are able to look our fellow man in the eye and show love and compassion, help and understanding, perhaps then we will discover the place where God resides. We are ONE! Your God is within.

Yes, I feel strongly today as heavy artillery is drawn to face each other just 260 miles from where I live. I wish I understood why. Each and every reason I can come up with comes down to greed, hate and discord between neighbours. And in essence, it’s because of whose God is the right one. Unbelievable, huh?

By the way, in Greek the word ‘cosmos’ means order – the antithesis of chaos. Isn’t there a lesson somewhere?

Soon we will blow this tiny blue dot out of existence and God will go and have her tea.