two quotes

Practice the wound of love … practice the wound of love.

Real love hurts; real love makes you totally vulnerable and open; real love will take you far beyond yourself; and therefore real love will devastate you. I kept thinking, if love does not shatter you, you do not know love…

Ken Wilber, Grace and Grit

wye draaie loop

August – skipped writing

September – skipped writing

October – skipped writing

skipped writing: a note to myself, to stay connected.

I’ve been giving here this writing a wide berth – wye draaie geloop.  I write the words skipped writing as a reminder – a note to myself, to stay connected, and to keep the relationship. A superficial part of the self condemns the blank dates, hisses failure, and splatters shame. The note to myself is a conscious call from deep – calling me to awareness (i have not written anything in 3 months) and calling me to action (i’m writing now). And how wonderworking the life that arises from this deep otherness being – it is as if I’ve not missed a moment of writing.

Always we begin again: it must be true.








teaching the dead bird to sing


the title of a book. it called me. i’m into birds lately. so it seems.

” … to perch on a lonely sill, with only myself for companionship… perhaps to be discovered by One capable of teaching me to sing an untimely song in an unlikely place …

… the life most of us live is a lonely one … wandering through our own wildernesses, eager to find a traveling companion with whom we can be vulnerable together.”


extracts. elixirs.


It is a cold day nearing Autumn’s end. My mom is 76 today. Over the phone I heard the tinkle of cups and conversations, the deep whir of my dad’s voice, and I felt peace pulsing  across the ether … six days gone we honored my dad’s 80th birthday … goodness and mercy follow us. I sit on my sill (in reality a doughnut shaped cushion), apron strings hugging my body. Wafts of early morn’s baked bread still hovering (not puffing the struggle with a cold sourdough starter). I listen to the sound of woodwork tools. Timber and trestle, shavings and sawdust – young adult hands dovetailing old wood into new dreams. A self figuring out another self – jigsawing pieces together.

And here I am, seesawing – 27 years older than the young working on his life’s puzzle, and 27 years younger than a lived-life of 80. Perched and cold.

… and rigid fingers start typing, pressing words into a blank space … for some One to read and see, for i remember another’s written words –  for me, to see

…. to break the bread of our lives with one another through any form of sharing is prayer…








How to be a teacher (nota bene)


Gratia plena for the gifts

to show, to share.

You must observe you are

the learner, the listener,

over and over

more than you are they who enter

a world – sharing people,

discomforted and

yearning. Listen to them,

hear their call, the voice

of all our selves.    


Be – with awareness of being

present in the here and now

allow eyes to join.

Listen and keep listening.

Welcome words of the wise;

guard against the self.

Guard against the pretension

that uplifts itself to inspire.

There are no know-it-all teachers

only hesitant beginners

growing in life, the teacher.


Welcome the begin agains.

Receive the moment’s surprise.

From the others the message;

not your own voice, slow and endless

learning to the one who teaches

be a teacher that grasped

always the begin again.

                                                                                                      ~ sonja s

~ an imitation of a poem by Wendell Berry

always we begin again






Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the plowshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring, and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird; keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guest, an altar for the unknown God. Then if a bird sings among your branches, do not be too eager to tame it. If you are conscious of something new – thought or feeling, wakening in the depths of your being – do not be in a hurry to let in light upon it, to look at it; let the springing germ have the protection of being forgotten, hedge it round with quiet, and do not break in upon its darkness; let it take shape and grow, and not a word of your happiness to any one! Sacred work of nature as it is, all conception should be enwrapped by the triple veil of modesty, silence and night.

~ Henri-Frederic Amiel

the cross of must and should


Just the other day a title, The Crossroads of Should and Must, grabbed my attention. A long lately it has been that the English modal verbs played havoc with my mind – in particular should and must. At this cross in the road I’ve been standing – rooted – taking no road.

Modal verbs are used to show likelihood, ability, permission, and obligation. Their functions range from possibility (may) to necessity (must) … for example, must developed after the strong obligation sense, whereas should developed after the weak obligation sense ... Thus said for the English tongue and pen. For my mother tongue, however, another cross of should and must appeared. With a grammar book in hand it’s easy to directly translate and pen the modal verbs. But, in every day conversation, Jan en Alleman (John and everyone) use one word for the two culprits – and that is the word “moet” (must).

At this crossroad I’ve been blaming myself for not being able to interpret some of life’s questions: Should I or must I? Do I have to or could I?  What do I have to? What should I? Might I rather want? Do I know what I want to? My mother tongue only told me one thing: I must.

But the grammar study forced me to ask – If Jan en Alleman, i.e. me, myself and I, out of rule and habit, use only the word must – could or might this use of language be partly responsible for the strong obligation sense that accompanies my every action? Where were all the possibilities hiding? Could I’ve been, have I been, carrying a double cross?

P1060053A not so simple grammar study quieted the havoc in my mind, and for the greater good, my soul. I’m letting go – letting myself off the super-ego should-and-must hook. Allowing myself the other possibilities reveal wants and needs. I’m slowly recognizing what I want to do – even if it’s done badly.

And now perhaps I’ll be able to ponder a few writers’ insights:

there are have to shoulds and choose to shoulds … shoulds and have to’s belong to someone else, wants belong to me… decisions are easily made when based on wishes rather than shoulds … shoulds produce a stable life but can deaden spontaneity … shoulds can rule one’s life …  eventually shoulds and abstract idealizations replaced wants and personal values… *

Dear reader, are you puzzled by should and must?

(I added a few thoughts for my mother tongue readers) …

… nou moet ek, hoekom moet ek? hare kloof tussen al die moete wat nie eintlik moete is nie … wil ek of wil ek nie. nee, ek moet… dan vra ek, hoekom moet ek, dan antwoord ek, ek weet nie, want in engels kan jy besluit tussen should, could, would, must. en ons kan nie. dis hoekom ons so strak, eng, pligsgetrou en bedonderd is… ons moet die heel tyd… en ons wil nie want ons weet nie wat ons wil nie…en wanneer ons weet wat ons wil word ons platgetrap deur deur hoewe, moere, ekskuus moete en moese – wat hare kry. en ons vertel onsself – ek MOET nou….en die woord MOET word so lank en deurdringend uitgespreek…soos iemand wat al badkamer toe moes gaan…of is dit wou gaan … wil wou. moet, moes, kan kon mens nou so vasgevang word in die moete van die self, die modale van die self? dat die wil nie kan of kon nie? maar kom ons eindig  – die moet is gebreek.

ok. ek weet dis nie perfekte skryf nie. ek’s nie perfek nie. en dis ok.

  • the thoughts were taken from a variety of books and articles I’ve read and not my own.