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This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kiss my ass!

There are 2 great ways to view your day.
Focus closely on the key tasks and issues. Don't be distracted.
Stretch your radar as wide as possible and see what comes in. Be continually distracted.

My 88 year old mum strolled to the magnificent view of the city from her apartment this morning, gazed over her kingdom and said to me, "Last year, the old Zulu king got married to another wife and wanted to build a palace in the middle of the golf course. The city said no. These bloody kings!"
I remember it well. I think it was in the April 1st edition of the Daily News.
It seems like in the nurtur/nature debate we are kind of born with right/left brain potential.

(Gran with her latest great grandson, James Dellis....can you believe that she has never dyed her hair!)
I recently subjected myself to a gruelling psychometric test designed to assess how Right/Left brain you are. You can do it yourself at
This was the result:
"Andre, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.
Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.
You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.
In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."
All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.
You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.
It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account."
Several things emerge from this for me. First, it is merely a confirmation of how I feel anyway. But more importantly it puts it into hard copy, words that I can read and ponder on. Then I can act upon those words. With this in mind, I was chatting to friends last night about Julia Cameron's 'Artist's Way' and, making a quick calculation, realized that it has been almost a decade since I had my first exposure to it and every aspect of that remarkable process still lives with me every day. We talked about the power of the montaging exercises we did and how I had reread my crusty journals from the time and delighted in seeing those aspirations and changes that took place in me being documented and subsequently realized.
So, with my eyes wide open I dived into a new week, starting with a further attempt to achieve my news year's resolution, the dreaded ghanda berundasana!

For the uninitiated, this is a rather interesting Yoga pose where you increasingly bend over backwards until you can kiss your ass.
Now this may seem like a trite little resolution, but a whole lot of other stuff hangs off it if I am to be successful. Most importantly, I have to be able to bend over backwards. This means a daily Yoga routine stretching all the ancillary muscles and squashing the gooey bits inside to eventually facilitate my berundasana attempt. I then fling myself over backwards and try to walk my arms through my legs. Naturally, I have to find a suitably evocative and spiritual space to do this, so I am duty bound to get out into a place of serenity each day. Then I must learn to focus only on my own body and soul and ignore the confused stares of passerbyers. It is further a great opportunity to use my bicycle to and from, so all in all, by breakfast time I am well ridden, well stretched, well squashed and well on my way to kissing my ass before the year's end.
While in this open radar frame of mind I took another journey back into recent documented history. I paged through images from Ida and my time in Hereford and Wales last year. Three pix drew my of a grave stone in a country churchyard (click on the images and read the engravings) and the other two, a tale of how an ancient church in Hereford has regained its lost parishioners by serving coffee and cake during services!

Have fun, both these are right/left brain teasers.
Back in Durban I have been on the trail for a new tree to plant for our dear compadrette, Albuquerque Patrice. Durban's very own tree and monkey lady, Jean Senogles, listened to how I described the following future moment: "Imagine 10 year's time. You, Ida, Patrice and I are standing on a craggy cliff, overlooking one of the last bits of pristine river valley within the urban precincts of Durban. Next to us is a well rooted tree, planted there at a time when many of us could only see patches of light through the dark clouds.

Jean strides off into the wet undergrowth and emerges triumphantly with a potted tree of note (e-sharp). "Perfect!" she says, "the forest cabbage tree...Msenge in zulu. This tree's sole evolutionary purpose...don't you love Darwin! to chase the light at the top of the forest canopy!".

Say no more!

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