Still I rise

Today is what I often refer to as a ‘Maya Angelou Sunday’. A quiet day filled with many random thoughts. Thoughts about life, about love, about the future; I know many of us often have these kinda days and well, today was mine.

In remembrance of a legend, I thought I’d post another one of the great Madam Angelou’s poems, together with this timeless picture of her. How beautiful! Enjoy!

Till next time,

Maya Angelou

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like suns and like moons,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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Photo challenge : Dying roses

With the winter in full force and snow touching the high mountains here in the Langeberg, I thought it a good idea to try and capture the last moments of my mother’s rose garden before that too dies out. I managed to capture quite a few rose buds while some fully bloomed roses also made for a colourful display.

Hope you’ll enjoy my pics.

Till next time…

 

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Random landscape picture

One of the things I love most about photography is the ability to capture beauty in its most natural form. I absolutely love blue skies, green grass, dirt roads, blue mountains and yellow and orange sunsets. I would capture these all day, if I could. But landscape photography has been both a challenge and adventure to me.

Sometimes what the eye sees is not the same as what the lens sees and let me tell you, this can be an extremely frustrating ordeal. Having to find that perfect combination between ISO, light and dark exposure and aperture can leave you exhausted and mentally drained. And trust me, for a perfectionist like me, it is excruciating. But, like most things in life, photography too, can be ‘figure-outable’.

The pic below was taken during the December holidays on our way back home after spending some time at the West Coast. It was somewhere around the Swartland, hence the stacks of hay. I was driving and taking the pic at the same time, which resulted in the little blur effect at the bottom of the pic (not my brightest moment, I know). I simply couldn’t resist the urge to capture the perfect combination of bluest of blue skies, whitest of white clouds and the yellowist hay. It was perfect.

What with all the artificial beauty in the world around us nowadays, this picture ought the speak volumes.

Till next time…

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Going crazy at the Wacky!

As this year’s Wacky Wine Weekend was drawing to a close on Sunday evening, something else was brewing inside of me. And no, eternal optimists, it wasn’t something good. After greeting everyone goodbye, I drove back home with a stiff neck and a burning flame in my throat. Aggghhh, you guessed it. The flu.

I’ve been suffering the worst fever and headaches for the past two days which made scanning through the almost 1,000 pics a tad bit problematic. But alas! I shall not be conquered! I lifted my sickly bum and manage to sort through my selection of AH-mazing pics!

On the upside though; the good thing about catching the flu right after a festival is the calories lost which you (might or might not) have gained during the eating festivities (don’t judge!). The yummiest rotie and curry for breakfast, sugar and cinnamon pancakes for lunch and curry samosas for dinner. It was culinary heaven! But bad news for my hips.

This year was different than any other year in that we had the most gorgeous sunny days ever! It was still cold due to snow on the high mountains but the days were exceptionally beautiful. This year was also different in that I managed to score a 2 in 1; a designated driver slash trainee photographer (yay!). Of course this means that I ended up on most of the pics (ala paparazzi) which was a nice little treat for me.

This year we visited Wansbeck Wines, Robertson Winery, Rooiberg Winery, Graham Beck Wines and concluded our trip with a visit to Viljoensdrift Wine Farm.

Me, my sister and her bf, Moe (aka designated driver slash trainee photographer) had the greatest time, tasting some of the best wines the area has to offer and eating some of the most delish foods. If I could grant everyone one wish, it would be to experience the beauty of this valley. It truly is breath taking.

Enjoy my pics! Till next time…

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We climbed on top of the biggest chair in Africa at Rooiberg Wines.

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Writing on the wall at the back says: “At Sumsare there’s always time for a glass of wine. Life is too short for bad wine.”

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We even went go-carting…

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We had our caricature sketched by an artist at Graham Beck Wines.

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My partners in crime and fellow wackyers, my sis and Moe. Pic taken by yours truly. #<3

It’s written in the tracks…

There’s a railway track that runs smack in the middle of my hometown, from north to south, dividing the east from the west, or the town between those who stay in the ‘town’ area and those who stay on the farm. My running route every evening happens to be from the one end of the track to the other end, and back. It’s only about five kilometres but it’s sufficient especially since it gets dark really early nowadays.

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I remember as a child taking my father to the train station every Sunday evening as he had to board the train to go work somewhere, building his career and essentially building his life. Train transportation was big in the eighties and the South African economy depended on it as one of its main means of transportation. Trains used to transport passengers and all sorts of commodities on a daily basis.

But things have since changed. With the advent of democracy, our government has reduced its dependence on rail transportation substantially. And even though trains used to be much more cost-effective, it was also a lot slower. With the world changing at an alarming rate, I suppose rail transportation was too slow to keep up with the immediate need for…well, just about everything.

Where once was a beaming train station with lovers meeting, and tears of loved ones greeting, is now an abandoned empty building deserted and vandalised. Nowadays, we hardly see any trains run through my little hometown anymore.

However, tonight, while doing my usual running route, by the time I reached the other end of the rail line, I literally stopped to see a train approaching. I got the greatest satisfaction seeing the train as this has never happened to me before. How wonderful it was to see this massive beast of a machine approaching me. I felt small and insignificant in the presence of this great monster.

Legend has it that if you see a train run through my town, which hardly ever happen nowadays, that fortune will come your way. Needless to say that I had an extra bounce in my step running back, down the railway line. I’m excited for the future. Apparently it holds great things. It was written in the tracks.

Till next time.

M xx