Category Archives: Bits & Pieces

I love a good dose of motivation and in addition to photography, travel and cooking, do find other things interesting.

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls

“Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.
The Bells Tolls (1 of 3) (Large)
 
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
 
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~ John Donne (1572-1631)
The Bells Tolls (2 of 3) (Large)
 
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII: Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris
The Bells Tolls (3 of 3) (Large)

Happy New Life (not happy new year)

I really try hard not to send rubbish out and especially at a time when some of you really believe or strongly hope that upon the changing of a year things will change for the better for you. No shallow well-wishes or videos with nursery rhymes this time around. 
 
The love of my life found this and I am now sharing it with you. It’s written by an author I enjoy and I have added one of my photos from 2015 that hit home for me; it’s called “Live a Life You’ll Remember” after a song. 
 
Read and consume the information below; contemplate it. 
 
“One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.
 
Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.
 
Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?
 
You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.
 
You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.
 
But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.
 
Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.
 
Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.
 
That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.
 
Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
 
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.
 
Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
 
Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.
 
Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.
 
Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”
 
Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
 
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.
 
This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.
 
Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.
 
Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.
 
Stop being who you were, and change into who you are” ~ Paulo Coelho (must read: The Alchemist)
 
If this inspired you just a little then read further and listen below why the song inspired me:
 
“Hey, once upon a younger year
When all our shadows disappeared
The animals inside came out to play
Hey, went face to face with all our fears
Learned our lessons through the tears
Made memories we knew would never fade
 
One day my father—he told me,
“Son, don’t let it slip away.”
He took me in his arms, I heard him say,
 
“When you get older
Your wild heart will live for younger days
Think of me if ever you’re afraid.”
 
He said, “One day you’ll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember.”
My father told me when I was just a child
These are the nights that never die
My father told me
 
When thunder clouds start pouring down
Light a fire they can’t put out
Carve your name into those shining stars
He said, “Go venture far beyond these shores.
Don’t forsake this life of yours.
I’ll guide you home no matter where you are.”
 
One day my father—he told me,
“Son, don’t let it slip away.”
When I was just a kid I heard him say,
 
“When you get older
Your wild heart will live for younger days
Think of me if ever you’re afraid.”
 
He said, “One day you’ll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember.”
My father told me when I was just a child
These are the nights that never die
My father told me
 
These are the nights that never die
My father told me
Hey, hey”
 
Link to song: click here
Live a Life (Large)
 

In the Quietness

The inserted photo was taken North of Brighton Beach in Durban, South Africa.

My dear Mother stayed in this area for some years in her youth and it surely holds some connection with her.

My Mother passed away on 6 February two years ago. A few months before that, on the 16th of November, sensing her time was nearing the end, she sent me a message explaining that she would be leaving me physically but not spiritually.

I thought about her a lot today (2nd January 2015) and read the message above, which contains other very important information.

The part I will share with you is: “Stay happy, good and true to yourself always, and savour every moment of life; it is very precious”.

Believe it or not but it was pure “coincidence” on my part that I worked on this photo today (some of us know there are no coincidences but I never intentionally thought “let me work on a photo that reminds me of Mom).

In the Quiteness_FB Blog

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!” ~ Unknown

Emma’s Dream

Emma's Dream

Emma’s Dream is about supporting little Emma who is fighting cancer.

“My name is Emma de Vries. In April 2014 I became ill and doctors discovered a growth on my brain close to the stem. I had surgery in April 2014 and most of the tumour was taken out, but 5% falls directly over the brain stem, so it is too hard to remove. Doctors then discovered that the tumour (Medulloblastoma) is malignant and an aggressive form of cancer. I need to have Chemotherapy in order to stop the growth and at the age of three will be able to have radiation. Doctors say it will be a long road ahead but I am a fighter and I have a dream to get through this. Any donation towards my treatment, care and helping overcome this disease would be greatly appreciated.

Please consider helping my family by making a donation.”

10172684_1483704638526307_3721610170935469072_n

Mother’s Day

Margaret_

Photo taken at Winkelspruit in October 2013, and spiced up last night as a Mother’s Day present for today.

“Margaret Rose Harvard, You carried me for months and then brought me kicking into this world, tenderly held my screaming face and wiped the little sweet tears. Fed my hungry and drooling mouth, and provided that first bright red toy. Fetched me from school, took me home to a healthy meal and warm cosy bed.

We had little to begin but worked our way up. You enriched my relationships with others and kept me on the straight and narrow at times, but allowed me to learn much needed hard lessons to grow. You led by example and so many things suffered by you were later encountered by me, your loving son; I was thus armed and ready to face them. My beautiful mother had shown me how: she had suffered for me.

When death for you was a certainty, you gave the final lesson of thousands whilst on this earth. You never ever gave up but did rest at times. You confounded your critics and disarmed them completely.

You looked death in the eyes with strength and challenged it. Then, knowing for sure that the time had come, you embraced death with great confidence and surety. If any person has ever departed this world in such an elegant and composed manner, then it is you. The single tear you shed before your final breath was surely the frustration that you had not done just that little bit more to help the many people you had always so unselfishly served; for you truly lived your life fully in the last few years and given so much of yourself.

You used your abilities so well that it was often to your detriment. That tear no doubt also carried the worry that your loved ones would not cope fully without you being there. However, you certainly ensured in the last months that your son at least was in safe hands.

To say you are one in a million is an injustice; you are truly unique and a guiding beacon of hope and unconditional love to all living beings. I have taken your last advice, and I speak to you more now than before. That quiet place at the bottom of the garden, as you said it would be, is serene and a wonderful place for us to catch-up and laugh about the days gone by. This will always be ours and will never weaken or diminish.

You have taught and prepared your son so well, and he will keep on passing your love and wisdom around. You were and always are right! Happy Mother’s day, your loving son always” ~ Andy

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” ~ Carl Sandburg

Tanya

Baby Emma is 14 months old and has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Her mom (Tanya – https://www.facebook.com/tanya.vermeulendevries) was a dear work colleague of mine until she resigned a week ago to spend time with Emma at home (after Emma was discharged from hospital). The brain surgery was not entirely successful as a small portion of the malignant tumour could not be removed.

A fund has been set-up to help Emma who needs to undergo chemotherapy to stop the growth. Only at age 3 will she be able to have radiation treatment. It’s a long road and any help would be appreciated.

You can access details of the fund via Tanya’s Facebook page above and, if so inclined, make a kind donation or offer words of encouragement and prayers.

There is another option, for a limited time period (8 May 2014 until 21:00 on 22 May 2014), where you can buy a beautiful quality canvas print (printed, mounted and ready to be hung on your wall) of one or more of my photos (SA residents only in major centres – see further info below).

View my photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68179746@N03/with/14136316631

All my printing is done by Print Wild – go checkout their prices below via this link:

www.printwild.co.za

Don’t be fooled by the word “budget” ~ I have an A1 hanging in my TV lounge and it is damn good!

Capture

The prices above are only for the printing – you still need to pay for the photo. The cost of photo no matter what size print you choose is a paltry R 200.00.

How much of the R 200.00 goes to Emma during the period stated above?

ALL OF IT PLUS MORE!

A further 5% of the total cost i.e. A0 print = R 1048.00 + the cost of photo (R 200.00) = R 1248.00 (5% = R 62.40).

Emma gets R 262.40 altogether.   

The steps to follow:

  1. Visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/68179746@N03/with/14136316631 and choose a photo
  2. Write down the photo’s name i.e. KILMUN SUNRISE
  3. Email me at awharvard@gmail.com and state your intention to buy
  4. I will need the name of the photo and size required (A0, A1 or A2), as well as the delivery address / contact name / cell phone number
  5. You will receive a return email (where Tanya is copied) giving you my banking details
  6. Only once I receive your funds in my account will the order be placed with Print Wild who will deliver free of charge to your nominated address (only if your city / town appears on the list viewable here http://www.printwild.co.za/start-your-order.php – click on delivery city / select city and ensure you are there)
  7. Additional delivery charges will apply if you are not on the list above

If you are not in one of the listed delivery areas in South Africa or reside overseas and were wishing to purchase a print, please rather deposit funds (Pounds, Euros and Dollars graciously accepted) into Emma’s fund which can be accessed via Tanya’s Facebook page shown above.

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” ~ Fred Rogers

 

That quiet place at the bottom of the garden

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!” ~ Unknown

IMG_4005 V2 (Large)

“Margaret Rose Harvard, You carried me for months and then brought me kicking into this world, tenderly held my screaming face and wiped the little sweet tears.

Fed my hungry and drooling mouth, and provided that first bright red toy. Fetched me from school, took me home to a healthy meal and warm cosy bed. We had little to begin but worked our way up.

You enriched my relationships with others and kept me on the straight and narrow at times, but allowed me to learn much needed hard lessons to grow. You led by example and so many things suffered by you were later encountered by me, your loving son; I was thus armed and ready to face them. My beautiful mother had shown me how: she had suffered for me.

When death for you was a certainty, you gave the final lesson of thousands whilst on this earth. You never ever gave up but did rest at times. You confounded your critics and disarmed them completely. You looked death in the eyes with strength and challenged it.

Then, knowing for sure that the time had come, you embraced death with great confidence and surety. If any person has ever departed this world in such an elegant and composed manner, then it is you. The single tear you shed before your final breath was surely the frustration that you had not done just that little bit more to help the many people you had always so unselfishly served; for you truly lived your life fully in the last few years and given so much of yourself.

You used your abilities so well that it was often to your detriment. That tear no doubt also carried the worry that your loved ones would not cope fully without you being there.

However, you certainly ensured in the last months that your son at least was in safe hands.

To say you are one in a million is an injustice; you are truly unique and a guiding beacon of hope and unconditional love to all living beings.

I have taken your last advice, and I speak to you more now than before. That quiet place at the bottom of the garden, as you said it would be, is serene and a wonderful place for us to catch-up and laugh about the days gone by. This will always be ours and will never weaken or diminish.

You have taught and prepared your son so well, and he will keep on passing your love and wisdom around.

You were and always are right!” ~ Andy

PS: Mom as you would have recently seen; you’ve also blessed me with some really wicked (wonderful) photographic skills, on camera and off – I love you deeply.