Tag Archives: compassion

What you think

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it” – Dale Carnegie
Durban Delights

This is my second photo from my recent visit to Durban Harbour. I prefer it to the first but can see that I have a third one which may topple the first two (holding thumbs). The “story” from the first post is included below:

“When we were youngsters, we would fish overnight and / or the entire day at Durban Yacht Mole in the harbour. When the tide was out, we would walk the sandbanks fishing off the edges. As the tide came in, we would retreat, keeping the water at waist height, until the water forced us onto the pier or green embankment.

Choice bait was white cracker shrimp, and the area in front of you now (sandbank at low tide – between Wilson’s Wharf & main yacht mole) produced some of the finest stumpnose in the bay. “Stumpies” and grunter would venture onto the sandbanks at high tide in search of cracker shrimp.

Other fish in the channels, which we often netted or caught, were “banana fish” or mullet; both tasty on fresh white bread (including the sardines you never used!!) despite what some may think.

When fishing was boring, fun could be found on the banks in the foreground of this photo (a dried reed / stick with a blob of clay on the end was a great “weapon” to sting the hell out of your mates – use stick to launch clay blob at opponent’s body at high speed).

These were the days that you safely walked kilometres from home to fish and then back again, exploring along the way. We would often explore the edge of the harbour all the way from the dry dock right up to the old north pier, on foot or on BMX (I also had a Raleigh Chopper for a few years).

There were no electronics involved, huge respect for the law and our parents (although we did transgress a little); and we knew our land well. Although Apartheid laws existed at the time and were strictly enforced, we fished with all fishermen (Poobal from the Congella Barracks was a regular as well as Ernest – our maid’s son)”.

Canon 6D, 17-40mm, ISO 100, F11, 1/13 sec shortly after sunrise for sky + another photo before sunrise shot on Bulb Mode setting 121 sec, F14, ISO 100 for land / water – Wilson’s Wharf, Durban – South Africa

I Love Durban 5 Star Durban Celebrate Durban!People’s Weather East Coast Radio Wilson’s WharfPoint Yacht Club Royal Natal Yacht Club
#ilovedurban #pointyachtclub #yachtmole#durbanharbour

— at Wilson’s Wharf.

Happy birthday Mom

Dear Mom,

I have just spent the last three hours preparing your birthday presents. They are photos of the Grand Bazaar and a look across Sultan Ahmet Park in Fetih, Istanbul.

The photo of the park, shown first, was not an easy exercise. I had to wake up before sunrise, run a kilometre to the edge of the park, set-up the tripod, change the camera settings and then shoot.

A pack of semi-wild dogs were running around madly and my only companion in the whole park was a Japanese photographer about 300 metres away.

My HDR photography blending skills are much better than when you saw me trying so hard at the hospital but failing so brilliantly. However, I still seem to pick up the usual defects although Photoshop does help somewhat.

1And8more_tonemapped.tif “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 birthday, your loving son, always” ~ Andy

grand bazaar

Tribute to a loving warrior 2

Another tribute to my mother, a loving warrior, following a previous post. She continues to care for the animals she so loves. This commemorative plaque is at Kloof SPCA, kennel 54.

Mom SPCA_

 

Tribute to a loving warrior

A tribute to my mother, a loving warrior, below:

“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.

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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

God is Greatest 2

This is a follow-on of my previous post “God is Greatest 1 which featured photos of the Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque at 45th Cutting Sherwood Durban.

A post and photos of the Umgeni Road Temple (Sri Vaithianatha Easvarar Alayam) followed.

Over the past few weekends I have visited a few other places of worship.

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Kendra Hall

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Grey Street Mosque

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St Anthony’s

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Clairwood Siva Soobramaniar Temple

To end off, I would like to share a quote I noticed on Andrew Vokes’ blog last night:

He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven” ~ Thomas Fuller

I also found the following quote on Andrew’s Facebook page:

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody” ~ Mark Twain

This got me thinking of Lance Armstrong once again; in that he, like most (all) of us, has a dark side.

I also read another article about David Walsh, the journalist who hounded Lance Armstrong about doping for 13 years.

As much as I admire Lance’s courage in certain areas of his life, I have to give David full-score and a huge pat on the back for pursuing what he believed to be true and never giving up – his relentlessness being rewarded in the end.

Both heroes but on opposite sides?

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 Mohammedeya Musjid

A “New” Year

All the messages, wishing others well and showing an intention to make good, over the past 24 hours had me thinking that this should really be a daily, weekly or monthly exercise; not something limited to once a year.

This post from Karma Tube rocked my boat:

“Look back on the year with gratitude, focus on your learnings and your growth”.

I also enjoyed:

“Concern yourself with the present only. Do not look back upon the past or worry about the future” ~ Swami Sivananda.

The photos were taken at Anstey’s Beach tidal pool, Bluff Durban.

For more information on this beautiful area of South Africa, visit Ansteys Beach Backpackers.

I will do another post with some more photos of this fairly unspoiled golden beach, where the waves are top and fishing great!

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God is Greatest

I have been very fortunate to experience a number of spiritual paths in this lifetime.

“All paths are one” sits very well with me although I have been more drawn to Buddha. Click here if you think he is that smiling overweight chap that you see on people’s mantelpieces.

I see the Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA Mosque at 45th Cutting Sherwood Durban every time I leave home and return.

Adhan (the Islamic call to prayer – listen here) solemnly drifts across our valley; enhancing the peaceful feeling in this area.

The Soofie Saheb website reveals the following about the arrival of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA in Durban, South Africa:

“It was a normal morning in the winter of 1895 when a ship S.S Hoosen, docked at the Durban Harbour. On board was a person, simple in dress in a yellow garb and a cloth hat.

As he stood on the deck of the ship looking at the people on the wharf to welcome their respective relatives and friends, little did the people realise that he was to make such a great impact in their life-style, to make them God-fearing and to bring about spiritual, mental and social upliftment, and an enhancement in the quality of their lives.

His was a name that, with the Grace of Almighty Allah, will till Eternity, remain on the lips of the people, a name that will remind future generations of his selfless sacrifice for the Deen of Islam and for the general upliftment of the masses in South Africa.

Custom formalities being over, the passengers now disembarked and on the wharfside, relatives embraced, hugged and met each other. Some were helping the passengers with their heavy luggage, tin trunks and suitcases along the gangway from the ship, others were stacking the luggage on the horse wagon on the wharf, while some were being driven away by their relatives and friends.

Looking at the scene as he came down the gangway, this humble son of Islam, with a walking stick in one hand and a small cloth-covered bundle in the other (in it were his spare koortha, loongie, singlet, miswak, towel, a Quraan, a tasbih and a book with various wazifas) carefully stepped on to soil of Southern Africa with confidence knowing that the blessings of Allah and his Pir are with him.

As he walked he greeted the people, some returned his greetings while others just stared at him curiously. No one offered to give him a lift into town or even ask him whether he had a place to stay. Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA made his way to the Jumah Musjid which was then a very simple building in Grey Street.”

It is interesting to read the tale of how the first Mosque came about at Riverside.

Given all of this, it was set in stone that I had to take a few photos of the 45th Cutting Mosque to share with some of my Muslim friends:  Allāhu Akbar (God is Greatest).

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The Buddhist Retreat Centre & Pathways in Life

In or around 2005 I first encountered the teachings of Buddha and attended regular teachings for the next two years.

I left that particular path or tradition and it was during May 2007, over a certain weekend, that I “somehow” found myself  “involved” at another tradition: Buddhist Retreat Centre (BRC) in Ixopo, South Africa.

On the Saturday evening of that weekend, sitting alone next to a glowing fireplace, I read a short biography of Mother Theresa and it really touched my heart.

The photos below were taken that weekend using a Canon Ixus.

A few years later I sat in silence a few metres from Mother Teresa’s tomb in Kolkata, India and visited her home for the sick and dying.

There are no “some-hows” – only pathways; cause and effect (Karma) in action.

None of the happenings above were “random”. They all came about through paths I had taken and numerous causes that had arisen.

Buddha gave advice on the The Noble Eight-fold Path listed below:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

There seem to be lots of paths in and around the BRC now that I study the photos nearly six years later

Below there are approximately Eight Paths and some other views of interest.

BRC Ixopo 047 (Large) BRC Ixopo 001 (Large) BRC Ixopo 002 (Large) BRC Ixopo 019 (Large) BRC Ixopo 021 (Large) BRC Ixopo 009 (Large) BRC Ixopo 006 (Large) BRC Ixopo 013 (Large) BRC Ixopo 015 (Large) (Medium) BRC Ixopo 022 (Large) BRC Ixopo 023 (Large) BRC Ixopo 024 (Large) BRC Ixopo 025 (Large) BRC Ixopo 033 (Large) BRC Ixopo 034 (Large) BRC Ixopo 037 (Large) BRC Ixopo 038 (Large) BRC Ixopo 040 (Large) BRC Ixopo 041 (Large) BRC Ixopo 044 (Large) BRC Ixopo 048 (Large) BRC Ixopo 049 (Large) BRC Ixopo 056 (Large) (Medium) BRC Ixopo 051 (Large)

The edge of Durban Harbour, South Africa – part 3

The edge of Durban Harbour, South Africa part 1 and part 2, were followed by introduction to part 3.

It was in the latter post that I briefly introduced a gentleman who I met at the edge of the harbour. Let us call the gentleman “Bheki”.

To better acquaint myself with Bheki’s apparent plight, I read the Telegraph.

Aislinn Laing of Johannesburg reported as follows: “Eighteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is now judged to be one of the most unequal societies in the world and its 19 million children bear the brunt of the disconnect.

The Unicef report found that 1.4 million children live in homes that rely on often dirty streams for drinking water, 1.5 million have no flushing lavatories and 1.7 million live in shacks, with no proper bedding, cooking or washing facilities.

Four in 10 live in homes where no one is employed and, in cases of dire poverty, the figure rises to seven in 10.

A total of 330,000 children – and five million adults – are currently infected with HIV, and 40 per cent die from the pandemic annually.

Child support grants, introduced in 1997, now reach 10.3 million children but another one million who are eligible do not yet receive them”.

The Daily News reported as follows: “Government failing the unemployed: ANCYL (ANC Youth Leauge) – The ANC Youth League has responded to the latest unemployment figures with a double-barreled blast at the government for its apparent failure to demonstrate the “commitment” and “clear will” required to deal decisively with the jobless plight of young South Africans.

Stats SA’s latest Labour Force Survey, released on Tuesday, indicated that formal unemployment rose to more than 25 percent in the first quarter of 2012, up from 23,9 percent in December. And National Treasury figures put youth unemployment – 18 to 30 year-olds – at about 42 percent, compared to 17 percent for those older than 30”.

Bheki walked past me and I asked him if he was interested in participating in my amateur paid photo shoot. He hesitantly agreed; I suspect being not sure of my actual intentions.

From thereon things relaxed a helluva lot and it was not long before he asked me for a lift a few kilometres down the road with his collection of scrap metal (in the barrel / white sack seen in the photos below).

Sensing an opportunity (both of us in fact), Bheki asked if I would allow him to load additional scrap metal in my vehicle on the way to where I offered to drop him off.

I then offered to drop him off at a scrap metal dealer as it was a diversion of an additional few hundred metres and I would get to see an area of Durban I had not seen in a while – it was a win-win situation. Read more about the scrap metal industry here.

Bheki thoroughly enjoyed the ride and was quick to point out, when I dropped him off, that I should leave immediately as the area was not safe.

I really enjoyed meeting Bheki on the edge of Durban Harbour.

Bheki does not have a home and seeks refuge in abandoned buildings and under bridges at night
Bheki does not have a home and seeks refuge in abandoned buildings or under bridges at night.
Bheki has not bathed in a long while and possibly earns around 2 to 3 USD per day. When the camera was not pointing at him; he was smiling from ear to ear.
Bheki has not bathed in a long while and possibly earns around 2 to 3 USD per day. When the camera was not pointing at him; he was smiling from ear to ear. He took this photo shoot very seriously.
The sack cannot hold much metal so Bheki hides his collections of metal in and around the areas he searches
The sack cannot hold much metal so Bheki hides his collections of metal in and around the areas he searches all day long.
The railway lines surround the harbour and Bheki looks in every possible place for any scrap metal
The railway lines surround the harbour and Bheki looks in every possible place for any scrap metal. He does not beg and earns an honest but meagre wage. He has not given up!