How else can one describe Bogenfels – the vaulted rock – near Luderitz?
Or the huge, lonely dunes of Sossusvlei?
Or the mansion Stewart Gore-Brown built in the 30′s – Northern Zambia – with local materials. The ‘modern contents’ (stoves, baths etc) were carried up by labourers from the coast. (Kapishya)
Or the mysterious mistiness of Victoria Falls?
Or the surprising luxury of sundowners on the Serengeti plains?
Or the tenacity of a shrub that refuses to die, budding once more once the rains come?
Or the lonely giraffe stalking away quietly into the gloom?
Africa can be described by many words – but one comes close: Grand…
You need light to survive here…
Oh, for more light than just the flickering campfire! . Was that a twig snapping? And…is it the wind or something breathing rather heavily?
The bleak moon behind the warped map of Africa doesn’t help at all. The sound of…feet? What is that?
Is it an angry buffalo, sneaking up with only parking lights to guide him?
No! Thank goodness! It’s just a badger – headlights turned to ‘Bright’, sniffing around for scraps.
When at last Light dawns, Africa becomes Paradise again, with endless vistas and peaceful neighbours.
Always something new in Africa? You bet…
Offices aren’t housed in highrise buildings
Chameleons aren’t always green and some of them never climb trees.
Forecasting and reporting on the weather may be a very simple task
Don’t force operator to operate fast because you are late – a philosopher on a ferry…
- A three-legged lion? Sure, just taking a nap…
And sometimes the King won’t budge. Time for a detour…
Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. (Africa always brings [us] something new.) - Pliny the elder (AD 23 – August 25, AD 79) said it a long time ago. It remains true to this day.
There’s a magical time, when the sun sets and the waterfall creates a swirling mist, when day dies and night is born, and when Africa’s darker side appears.
That’s when the landscape changes and even the bright flames of the campfire aren’t enough to fill the shadows.
Just beyond your circle of light, unseen yes pry, waiting…
While others slink around the tent, causing the camera to tremble and blur the memory.
It’s only when – at last – the day breaks, that you realise the elephants have been there all the time – watching over you with age-old wisdom.
At last. You can relax, get the coffee going, and embrace another magical day in Africa.
Horizon. The space or line where the sky meets the earth.
Sometimes, the horizon defines the end of vision – we can’t see beyond it. How often do we then decide the horizon is too far, the obstacles too large and the distance too far…and then stop dreaming about what lies beyond?
The limiting factor isn’t that thin line between the earth and the sky. We simply can’t see beyond the line because our dreams are too small.
But…should we dare to take that dream-path to explore the end of our vision, the hardship of the journey can be harrowing.
For the brave, however, this serves as encouragement. For somewhere, somehow, the landscape must change and the horizon has to fulfill its promise.
And then, only then, can our dreams become a reality to live in. There is great peace in that knowledge…
The challenge: use hues to convey the message.
The ocean isn’t just ‘blue’.
Sunsets aren’t just ‘red’.
People aren’t just ‘black’ or ‘white’
And the past isn’t always simply ‘grey’.
Hue makes us see the wonder of Life. Hues command us to look, look again, and contemplate the miracles around us. It whispers the pain of Love, Hope and Joy – past, present and future.
And it tells us never to take those that colour our lives for granted….
His name, translated from Himba, is Ugly Face. He’s a happy, naughty, lively child, living in the kraal with his family. The question, of course, is: does he have a future?
Or is he better off than the children in the bigger cities, where video games teach them to kill the ‘enemy’ and then press the reset button? His playground is the veld…his responsibility? The goats he has to tend to.
Sometimes, in my cynical moments (which aren’t rare) I think he’s better off.
A word equally at home in Love and in the desert. Implying a never-ending situation, one can get lost in both. For this challenge, I chose the more realistic of the two. It was a hard journey, an awesome journey, to discover infinity can be a very lonely place.
We’re used to straight lines, neatly drawn on white paper, exactly the right length, absolutely correct. Our cars, our homes, our offices started out as such precise lines. Somehow, we expect our lives to follow straight lines as well.
But Life somehow surprises each of us – all too often – by derailing our dreams, simply because in Life, there is no such thing as a straight line. Once-tempting dreams rust away quietly in the desert of reality.
We shouldn’t be surprised: Nature does not believe in straight lines. Like Life, Nature’s lines tend to twist and turn unexpectedly.
Like the Zebra stripes on a mountain, or the pattern in a rock, we discover beauty is hidden in the unexpected. The wonder of Life is not the simplicity of a straight line from cradle to grave, but only revealed when we submit to the awesome pattern mapped out for each of us.
Lines? Yes, Life and Love follow lines.
Only: don’t expect them to be straight – like the edges of your desk..