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Archive for December, 2010

FOOD

The doorbell rings. We have known Alfred and Lina for nearly two years now. He and Charles discovered, in passing conversation at a building site one day, that they both grew up around Mooi River, Natal. Are both ‘Zulus’. When their shack in Kleinmond’s ‘informal settlement’ (read: squatter camp) burnt down, we helped with purloins, roofing materials, odds and ends.

  Of course they lost everything.. Have you even been welcomed into a home where there is only a make-shift half-drum for cooking and one lumpy old mattress?

  Today Alfred comes for help in filling out an application for temporary work with the Municipality in the cleaning services. With the large and continuing influx of people in search of work in this area, and the downturn in construction, his work has become less and less. They haven’t earned in a while.  They barely live from hand to mouth. He asks for money for food. For paraffin for cooking. One cabbage at home. He can buy a packet of dog’s bones at the Spar for R5 or R6, he says.

  Food for them is a daily, weekly, yearly life struggle. Food is not  ‘have’ but a ‘have-not’ and ‘have-not’ means living at the constant edge of hunger, starvation, begging,  Food is a call for help, care, support ad recognition of common humanity.

  What do you feel when you have to look this person, without food, in this situation, in the eye? There may be millions of people without sufficient food to live , year in and year out, but you are the one standing in front of Alfred and Lina.

FOOD

We switch on the television. Food flows in many channels – recipes, lifestyle, travel, famous chefs entertaining, whipping up taste, status and desire buds. We walk into a bookshop. Shelves of cookbooks by the dozen – glossy, expensive, beautifully produced for housekeepers to salivate over and then place where they  can be seen. Magazines featuring domestic goddesses socializing through creative dinner parties.

Food feeding those who have much. Who can use and misuse the fruits of the earth in accordance with a lifestyle moulded by fashion and the urban consumer culture. Shielded from reality, living  in illusion. Over-consumption. Conspicuous wastee.

FOOD

Obesity. The slimming industry. McDonalds. Weight problems.. The anorexics, the bulimics, the many for whom food is compensation, weapon, duty, ingratiation, addiction, de-stressor, social asset, psychological satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

FOOD

Sustainer of life. Earth’s abundance gifts. At root, the product of Nature and its elements.

FOOD

Territorial imperative. All living creatures moving in search of daily food. Simple survival. Staking out feeding territory. Defending territory. Fighting outsiders for the right to eat and live.

FOOD

Health. You are what you eat. Too many people on the planet. Polluted waters, atmosphere, soils. Finding healthy nutrition. Shutting eyes to waste, consumerism, advertising, packaging, cold rooms and other known and unknown predators of quality.

FOOD

What you can afford. What your body needs at different stages of your life and age. Sensitising and reading your own body to reveal exactly what and what not food/eating is right for you.

FOOD

The Art of Food. The Art of Eating. The place of food in the Art of crafting a life of Beauty, Truth and Goodness. Food offering the richness of colour, texture, taste, the senses, enjoyment, satisfaction, fulfillment, quality. Food offered with an artist’s sense of design and elegance.

Food offering the simplicity of pure livingness. Put together and eaten with respect for the gifts of daily life-sustenance,, the gift of creator, the gift of s/he who offers this. In a rich simplicity, sensing the intimacy of self and of life on Earth.

FOOD

Yes, Food in all these aspects is a cornucopia. Food IS. Food sits in the rhythm of each day’s survival, each day’s work and play. Begging the questions: Have I enough? Have I too little? Have I too much? Do I consider food and my way of eating as an aspect of our human evolutionary path? Can I discriminate between what is healthy and what is not healthy – for me? For my nearest and dearest? How shall I choose to eat, pray and love?

May we all enjoy the abundance of sweet chocolate and riotous wine. And the enough-ness of bread and cheese. And may we ever wrestle with the realities of the too little and the too much. ‘Enough was always Enough” (RUMI).

Love and may your food bless and be blessed!

Marguerite

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When I prepare for an evening’s stargazing, I always keep a watchful eye on the clouds. I acknowledge their beauty, remain friendly, give them time to show off their glorious sunset gowns but when dusk settles in, I plead with them to go away until another day.
This is my ritual.
Some things about yesterday were the same, some were slightly different. The wind was howling. The sunset was magnificent. The clouds rolled in and then as I looked through my viewfinder to take a photograph  I noticed “the apparition”.
I looked twice and thought no no, I am not going to be phased by this. “These clouds need to go away now! I am on a mission. Tonight  I need to see Orion rising over the mountain, the beautiful globular cluster of stars  in Tucana  and far away galaxies  ”
The clouds dispersed slowly.
The wind kept howling .I took shelter. I must have been the only one outdoors when the International Space Station sailed across the sky.  I remembered to wave.
Tumbling satellites flashed their signals. Night creatures were stirring……….
It was around midnight that I directed my telescope at the Silver Coin Galaxy – 10 million light years away. What a magnificent sight to behold.
This object was first discovered by Caroline Herschel way back in 1783 and there I was discovering it all over again in the night sky over Betty’s Bay.
Mmm, what a considerate apparition!

Carol Botha

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