Stories and Prose
The Opposite of Love

After spending two and a half years with someone whom I loved and adored, heart and soul, he eventually took his leave, mumbling reasons of unresolved issues of a green-eyed nature, laced with a patronisingly pointed innuendo in the direction of "moi". This (conveniently) at a time which coincided with the peak of an illness which rendered me of no use to myself or anyone else.

A Great Silence ensued. Gone was he, without a trace.

I faced the last 3-4 months of being very unwell without so much as a word of encouragement or a supportive sms from him, let alone any offers of practical help to perhaps, reciprocate some of the support he had received from me in the few years together.

Poor me, I know :) -I'm not going to lie - there were times during this period I have felt quite sorry for myself.

But I worked through the shock, loss and self-pity, stared my own demons and errors in the face and I am pleased to say, I don't feel so anymore and certainly not today.

No, this written piece is not intended to evoke sympathy or to conjur up any kind of 'fan club' for me nor 'haters club' for he. This is an observation and I share my stories because, somehow, other than the therapy they provide for me, I know they are universal and speak to the hearts of others - and in the telling of this one, I feel somewhat intrigued, even amused, as I ponder the great mystery of "what really makes people tick", and how little you know someone, even after years of getting to know them.

SO - the story goes like this: Someone I know - who happens to be male - rented my garage to store some motorcycles and today, was servicing them in the driveway when said vanished and until-now chillingly silent ex-lover must have come cruising by.

My gosh - haven't I just received a day's worth of presumptive and accusatory sms's. Adolescent. The three-and-a half-month Great Silence suddenly broken! A dam wall burst! - and what did it take?

Not my going in for surgery nor the complications which threatened my life; not love or care built out of several years spent together and born from a sense of kindness or concern; not sorrow or forgiveness nor value for a friendship that super-cedes the end of a love affair - but the Sight of Another Male in my driveway hosing down a motorbike....and the imagined 'truth' that materialised in a mind that had otherwise shut me out completely.

And after all those mumblings from an ivory tower of intellectual and developmental superiority about infantile behaviour and the intolerable colour green......How very telling.....

Story having been told and observations made, for the sake of fairness and compassion,  I hold over it a banner of balanced perspective that I feel is perfectly summed up in this quote by Jeff Brown:

"Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another- they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives- they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love's leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don't- they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path- readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover"

(what he forgot to add is -sometimes they just need a galloping fuck-slap or a stiletto heel in the head - in my case an ugg boot - from a strong woman they didn't deserve, because actually, most of the time, they were just being crap :))

Copyright belongs to Jacqueline Jorgensen 20 April 2015

Barbara's Heart

I hope never to bore my friends with my ramblings, but once again I have a story which is just too special not to share. It is, in a way, "more of the same" - the same magic and Grace that seem to follow the work I have done since Christopher died. 

6 weeks in Joburg.  I was meant to stay 2.  I am tired, homesick, missing my kitties and frustrated by the slog. Just enough sales to keep the wolf from the door.

I am, on the other hand comforted by enriching friendships and beautiful homes which welcome me in as if I've always belonged.  Ive discovered Bikram yoga, which is a blessing and a joy to my body which tends towards 'holding on' and quiets my dangerous mind.  Ive also found a Church which I love - St Michaels Anglican in Bryanston.  I never thought id go back to Church again, but this is a special community and feels like home. I have found new purpose for my business in a commitment to support Hannah Kitele, a real soul sister,  and her St Janes de Chantal Orphanage.  And I am excited about making contributions to Roxy Danckwerts and amazing work at her Wild Is Life wildlife Orphanage in Zim from the sales of my fine art pieces.

BUT...... BUT BUT BUT..... without negating any of the good, I came here with a Vision and on a Mission and THAT is Just. Not. Falling. Into. Place.

Grrrrrrrr.... is the underlying feeling.

Day in,  day out,  I schlepp my gypsy wagon packed to the hilt with art and jewelry and like a pro now, i can single- handedly unpack the lot including large art pieces and heavy boxes and set up my market stand for the day in under an hour.  Packing up at the end of the day is even quicker.  Ive got really good at this.  Woop-dee-doo!

So here I find myself still, at the end of September, just making ends meet and in the last week I finally have a whole BANG of markets and appointments lined up bumper-to-bumper, ready for the BOOM ... and.... NOTHING HAPPENS.  No more than a drip.  By  Saturday market, my fb status is 'kan nie meer nie' and I mean it.  I cancel my dinner arrangement, can yoga, get into bed at 6pm and howl myself to sleep. Very sorry for self indeed am I.

But the next morning I get up again and do what I have to do, as we do.

Monday is spent in bed, doing a little work from laptop and recharging depleted battery. Then on Monday night, I receive an email from the organiser of the Saturday market to say that a customer had seen my large wooden driftwood sculpture and wants it.  This lady had popped in on Saturday, my dark day, seen the heart and thought "im in a rush, ill pop back tomorrow" only to discover we werent there on Sunday.  She had to make several phonecalls to track me down.  Other than knowing my name which was written on the price tag of the art piece, she knew nothing about me or my story.

I delivered Barbaras Heart to her yesterday morning.  I walked into the humble home of this retired teacher and have to admit that I thought 'Gosh, I wonder how this lady is able to spend all this money on this piece'.  As it turns out, Barbara had received a bonus on her retirement exactly a year ago for the exact amount I wanted for the heart, which had been sitting in an account waiting for something special.

She had been given a painting by a friend 15 years ago, which the friend now wanted back and on Saturday, on her way to return this painting, feeling quite heartbroken, she had popped into Morningside Shopping Centre and seen my heart, knowing instantly that this would be the replacement for the beloved painting she now had to return.

After concluding our business, we sat and chatted for half an hour. And so we discovered how our stories intertwined. This dear lady, the same name and age as my mum, shares a birthday with me.  She is a member of St Michaels, my newly discovered spiritual community and.... lost her daughter in a car accident 20 years ago! She also has a son named Christopher. Her deepest desire is to live at the beach, which is symbolised in the heart made of driftwood.  She loves the Wild Coast, which is where many of these pieces were collected.  My ritual of walking and praying and collecting in the mornings, repeating The Lords Prayer and The Serenity Prayer as my mantras, were very significant to her as a devoted Christian.
There were other parallels too that are probably too confidential to publish on FB, but which left us both choking back tears with hair standing up on 2 pairs of arms.

Once again i am in awe of how God works and moves.  I am in awe of the magic which has infiltrated my life since Christopher crossed over and makes me sure he is alive.  Once again I am reminded on the brink of giving up that the darkest hour is just before dawn. I am grateful for lessons in perseverance and tenacity - my achilles heels growing stronger.  And last but not least, I am reminded that if MY plans are not coming to fruition, perhaps something much greater is at play.

I received this message from Barbara last night:

"Jacquie, I am overjoyed and sincerely grateful for the incredible way in which our paths have intertwined.  Your Abundant Life Heart artwork is up and radiating in my home and your prayer about leaving graceful heartprints is really awe inspiring. Hopefully you can visit when  youre here again and then you will really feel Gods power radiating through my home"
Copyright belongs to Jacqueline Jorgensen October 2013

A Tale of Grace

After about 10 days on the road, i realized that the 'slump' i had been in when I had left Cape Town was just not shifting.  I was in a thick quagmire and the reality was that i had no idea how i was going to 'unslump' myself.  Id had months of feeling that the work I had been doing was over and I had been lacking creative interest and drive for some time.  I had loaded my car with art pieces that hadn't sold in months or years and a bag of jewelry that no longer inspired me - all with a heavy heart.  I had driven almost 1000km and made 3 stops without so much as considering showing anything to anyone.  In fact i was having visions of opening my car doors and letting the lot of it fly out onto the freeway and leaving the carnage for some unsuspecting stranger to deal with (I really can be very dramatic)

I decided, against all financial rationale to go to a very healing place - The St Francis Health Centre in Port Alfred where I have done many detox-retreats over the years. 

I was completely in my own space and had very little desire to connect with the other 17 lovely women there, keeping very much to myself for the first 3 days or so.  On about the 4th evening I was feeling clear enough to start socializing and something I overheard at the dinner table caught my attention.  I looked directly at the woman speaking and asked her if she knew one of my book-club members.  She said yes she did.  I told her that this lady had mentioned her name to me years ago but that I could not remember why she had wanted to introduce us.

What transpired that evening, and seemingly continues to transpire, takes the concept of synchronicity from the sublime to the ridiculous.....or miraculou

Tina Botha (the lady) and founder of The Sunflower Fund (which raises funds to register bone marrow doners), it turns out lost her son, Chris (me too) just before his 18th birthday (me too) 7 years before my Chris.  They both attended the same school, Reddam in Constantia.  We (Tina and I) it turns out went to the same school and grew up in the same road in Mill Park Port Elizabeth, though we never knew each other.  Her closest friends in PE are my sons "other family" and she enjoyed her holidays in her teenage years in their house in Mpandi Transkei, just as my Chris did.  The list actually goes on so much that it gets silly.....

Anyway Tina insisted (and i resisted) and she insisted (and i resisted) that i get my jewelry out the car.  Long story short is that this group of ladies bought enough jewelry to cover my stay at the Health Centre.  The next morning I was informed that everybody wanted to see my art.  An exhibition was set up in the library and Tina bought the piece you see in the attached picture - this is the one that spoke to her.  I cant tell you how much I loved this piece.  Ive never been able to really let it go.  Its been lugged up and down the coast, in and out of markets, drawn loads of attention and admiration.  But nobody's ever wanted to buy it.  Apart from this sale, I also sold my large driftwood heart to another Cape Town lady (and thats another story, watch this space), lots of smaller pieces.  I also have 4 commissions to do from the same group of women, now that I'm back. 

There are many more stories of the same ilk to be told, all contained in 35 days up the coast and I am reminded that I live by Grace. That I really do believe in God.  And that I am guided by instinct, intuition, the Holy Spirit.

Copyright belongs to Jacqueline Jorgensen May 2013

Horses at the Beach House

Four days before it happened I dreamed that my studio was broken into.

In the dream I had left open the boundary gate on the beach side and the studio door – so there was no actual 'breaking in' - they had merely entered what I had left open.  They had taken 9 canvasses prepared with a background of beach sand, but replaced them with brand new canvasses with the white acrylic prep paint still streaky and wet.

The first thing that came to my mind was 'Tabula Rasa' – clean slate – this was the message of the dream. A clean slate for me. And I had left all the doors open for this.

Then came the series on intrusions.

The only thing missing after the first one was a picture that Chris had made for me aged 6. It was a picture of a house in the mountains with eagles soaring above and a rainbow over the whole scene. At the top was written 'I love my momy'. It was rich in the symbolism that marked the journey of our two souls together and meant a great deal to me. The first thing that came to mind was 'you cannot touch me'. To me this meant that spiritually I felt safe. The second thing that came to mind was my willingness to let go of all material and worldly attachments to Christopher. His purpose in my life and our continued relationship is not diminished by the theft of a sentimental symbol. The items carefully left behind by the intruder (s) and their re-arrangement of my studio seemed staged and somehow I did not feel threatened in any way. There was something about this intrusion that felt 'lame'.

The next morning I awoke at 3am knowing they were there. I had heard them in my dream, as it is impossible to hear anything from my bedroom over the roar of the ocean. I decided not to press the panic button. I was curious to see what they were going to do. This time they cleaned up the mess of the night before (gee thanks!), made a 'new' mess, rearranged my studio a little more, took a plastic hand-washing basin and put up a blank wooden mosaic cross on which they had scratched the anarchy A. They didn't remove the Quicksilver jacket or the Rayban sunglasses they had left the night before. I felt a bubble of humour rising up in me as I looked at this and left the studio thinking 'ok, someone's taking the piss'. As I came through the studio door into the garden, two Sacred Ibises flew into my garden. This was a first. They are often out on the other side in the road and on the green common, but never in my garden. They flew around and frolicked.

I consulted with my bird cards: The channeled energy of the Ibis is to 'take the piss' out of life, this life that we take so seriously and all that we identify with. It reveals that the meeting of the True Self is at hand.

When I returned to the studio later that day, there were 2 Sunbirds flying around inside the studio – I have never seen Sunbirds anywhere in our area.

The Sunbird brings abundance and true soul mate relationship.

And I start to realise the gifts that are being bestowed by my unwitting intruder. What they are clearing for me.

Two nights later a third intrusion leaves me unsettled. There is malevolent energy and I am rattled. It is more destructive. The cross has been broken up into 4 pieces, they have been through my photographs and put some old pictures of me up on the walls with prestick. They have burned some of my photographs too. It reminds me that at the time of storing all these boxes in my studio I had thought I would like to make a bonfire. There is no point in holding onto all this 'stuff'.or the energy it carries. I am ready to let go of the past. But I had no got round to it.

I get Raphael my gardener to dig a large round fire pit in the garden. On the Thursday night a week from the last intrusion, my girlfriends and I build an enormous bonfire. Everyone brings stuff to burn. Then we make 'wish lists' and burn those too. We play trance music and we dance till midnight all over the property and the boundary walls. We burn sage in the studio and smudge ourselves and the property. Earlier that day I had had a visit from a friend of mine Rijk – a martial arts Master. I had taken him into the garden to show him the fire pit. He had felt the energy in the garden and said 'there is nothing of you here, nothing marking your territory – no proper boundaries” - we had stood on the boundary wall and talked of energetic protection and such things.

It took about a week for the energy to clear completely and I started to feel safe.

i have a profound connection to horses and most of my life had a desire for them that was matched equally by my fear of them.

it took me years to become comfortable on a horse in fact i only started riding at the age of 24 when chris was a baby and even now i am a nervous rider.

after a series of psychic experiences with horses i discovered the work of linda kohanov who wrote the books 'the tao of equus' and 'riding between the worlds' and have done a workshop and several single sessions with a facilitator trained by her.  i have had dreams of and visitations by horses only to meet them the next day or a few weeks later and discover that they have learning to pass on to me. 

to find the horses in my garden at the beach was part of  a vision come true for me.  black and white.  two polarities.     the white horse was friendly and connecting with me all the time.  the black was aggressive and kept pinning back its ears as i came closer, indicating that i was overstepping his boundary.  he was aggressive and even tried to bite me.  i later discovered that they are paddock mates of max in tokai forest - the horse i ride and with whom i had been 'chatting over the airwaves' all week. they are being trained by a guy called Baz who is doing a tv prog called The Ride - a tracing of historic peace journeys thorugh sa.  They had arrived at Dunes and asked to use my garden for grazing and watering.

the way of the horse teaches co-operation over domination.  they are prey animals and are therefore flight, not fight animals.  they are great teachers of  boundaries  because of this.  they move us away from old paradigms of tyranny and subjugation into respect and equality. away from aggression to gentle assertiveness. they symbolise power freedom and travel.

when i asked each of them to give me their message through the horse cards (based on Linda Kohanov's Tao of Equus) this is what came up

Interestingly both the horses chose dance as a medium for their messages :))
As i 'got' the message of the black horse he  gently approached me sitting on the boundary wall and gently put his head in my arms - all his aggression gone.  as if to say, ok, you got it.

White Horse

RASA DANCE

Rasa is the short name for the Mare of Linda actually called Tabula Rasa (clean slate)
Remember my dream of the studio being broken into and the main message being Tabula Rasa for me.

This card is:

Authenticity in Action
Cocreation
The Music of Connection

A swirl of energy connects two beings dancing in sponteneous flow.  freed from the limitations of species, roles and expectations, they move in timeless communication where thought becomes form and open hearts lead the dance.

The Gift

Here's where we put all the pieces together, where new concepts and conventional methods fuse and expand, creating unexpected possibilities.  Authenticity in action draws on responsiveness, assertiveness, discernment, physical collection, mental and emotional agility, fluidity of consciousness, imagination, nonverbal communication, subtle body awareness, intuition, consensual leadership and the paradox of boundaries and oneness.

The Challenge

When two beings move in synchrony, a greater consciousness arises and with it a feeling of ecstasy.  Can you stay present and focused during these moments of intense joy? Can you accept the gift of expanded awareness without becoming addicted to it? If the next moment offers frustration, indecision, conflict, performance anxiety or miscommunication, can you dance with that too?

(sigh) (wow)

Black Horse

Boundary Dance
Negotiating personal space
Holding Your Ground
Anger, Frustration or Incongruence?

Two horses approach each other, ears pinned slightly and tails swishing in anticipation, they begin the tenuous dance of respect and connection.

The Gift

When anger shows up, it signals that someone has invaded your physical or psychological space, perhaps unconsciously, perhaps with the intention to control or take advantage of you. Either way, the surge of energy that accompanies this emotion helps you stand your ground when someone pushes your boundaries.

The Challenge

It takes courage and awareness to use anger judiciously.  You must be willing to tell someone to back off when he or she steps over the line, even if the person has 'authority' over you.  If anger is expressed appropriately it does not need to come out sideways directed inappropriately at an innocent party.

Horses teach that Anger in its pure form is indicative of a boundary violation.
Frustration - which may look like anger comes when we are doing something that no longer works
Both intensify to rage if they are not dealt with appropriately and immediately.
Rage turned inward = addictions/depression/illness.
Agitation which seems like anger or irritation is present when we are facing someone who is incongruous.  In other words what they are presenting is not what they are truly feeling

I wanted to share this with you - those who feel the connection to this species - as well as those beautiful women who gave of their energy at the fire ceremony as there may be something in this for you.

(ps.  i am a firehorse on the chinese zodiac)
Copyright belongs to Jacqueline Jorgensen 24 April 2011




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