Jy blaai in die argief vir 2012 Mei.

Die skildery van die President

Mei 20, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

Wat dink julle van die skildery van die President?  Ek het gedink mens kan hom nie op die Internet sien nie, toe gaan Google ek.  Toe sien  die kunstenaar se ongesensorde poging wat deur ‘n buitelandse nuusnetwerk gewys word.

Swak smaak dink ek.  Blykbaar is die “kunswerk” reeds vir R 160 000 verkoop.
Ek wonder wat gaan met die hofsaak gebeur. Die ANC sal seker sorg dat ‘n bekwame (en duur) advokaat/regspan vir hulle optree.

Wat dink julle?

Nog ‘n ware verhaaltjie deur die bril van ‘n student .

Mei 18, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

 Terwyl ons nostalgies aan die verlede terugdink, hier is nog enetjie. Jammer vir die herhaling.

My universiteitsdae was louter pret en die tydperk 1973 tot 1976 seker die heel gelukkigste in my ganse lewe. Ek onthou die kommervrye dae op die rusbank langs Coert Steynberg se bronsbeeld van die lenige rooibok op die Tukkie kampus. Ek het ma se toebroodjies uit my tupperware kosblik geëet en die talle mooi meisies intens bewonder en begeer. Pas uit die army waar daar net manne en die sammajoor se oorgewig dogter met haar rasperstem was, kon ek nie glo dat soveel skoonheid een mens se oë op een slag beskore kon wees nie.

Die verruklike sagte wiegende kurwes van die vlees, keurig verpak in veelkleurige rokke en skeppings van noupassende langbroeke en gladde modieuse bloese het my tot-nog-toe eng gees en parate vlees dag en nag geteister. Langs die lenige rooibok het die vroulike liggaam nuwe betekenis gekry, en die geringste aanduiding van fyn ondergoedjies, of dit nou deurskyn en of die patroon bloot afgedruk word, het rigting en struktuur gegee, en veral begrip gevorm vir die fynste en begeerlikste kant van menslike emosie. Daardie vroeë gewaarwordings word iewers in ‘n spesiale plek in die brein afgeëts en bly hang soos ‘n hardeskyf wat nie geformat kan word nie.

 

Coert se bokkie  (Langs die Aula op die Tukkie-kampus)

Brons gee kleur en metafoor
drie dekades reeds op ‘n hard disc gesave
met ‘n backup in Braille om dié grootsheid
sonder kastrasievrees te voel
te lees as vlesige knoppies, soos gister
Coert se bokkie die bronstige een met die
soepel lyfie gee kleur    
gee metafoor gee memories
Langs hom is voltes oor en oor gedefinieer
soos fyn ondergoedjies tartende patrone, wieg
en reliëf op kleurvolle dun deurvatlap afsoen
So het Coert se bokkie
geluister en in my hard disc kom lê…
en my brood en stroop ook vars gehou
danksy die vleesmonoloog se tweede
empatiese luisteraar:
ma se Tupperware kosblik

Ware verhaaltjie vir Josfien.

Mei 17, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

 
Josfien skryf: Net een ding: lang ouens moet van lang meisies hou, anders raak ons lang meisies se opsies darem maar min, hoor! Jammer ek herhaal, maar ek kon nie die link gou genoeg vind nie en ek vermoed jy gaan die ware verhaaltjie geniet.

Louise was ook daar, alleen soos ek. Sy is nog net so lank en slank soos destyds. Ek het nou nog ‘n passie vir lang girls, maar somehow skiet my gawes tekort vir hulle. Een aand, lank gelede op ‘n bokjol vang my oog ‘n besondere lang girl.

Sy is werklik uitsonderlik mooi, met die allermooiste rooi hare en ‘n winkende noupassende geborduurde bostuk wat watte, lugblase, cross your heart-tegnologie en derglike ydelhede ferm uitdefinieer. Eureka! Nee, wag eers, en ek kry my idiome agtermekaar. Vanaand ruk ek haar van haar voete af met die soetste beeldspraak uit die mond van ‘n maplotter. Sien met my looks en rough edges moet mens ander tegnieke probeer, soos ‘n eenoogversie op ‘n servet, ‘n Skakespeare quote, die vakuum wat ‘n goedbedoelde kompliment skep of iets dergliks.

Ek vertroetel elke denkbare stukkie uit my memoirs van die groot meesters. Ek dink selfs aan ‘n alibi, in geval van ‘n onverwagte snotklap. Shakespeare se “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as a gentle rain from heaven” sal die ding doen. Ter inleiding maak ek tydens ons eerste dans ‘n opmerking oor haar pragtige hare, die eksotiese sjampoe wat sy gebruik, en versterk dus op ‘n pragmatiese manier daai essensiële vars-uit-die-bad gevoel.

“Skep ‘n voëlvriendelike omgewing” het BCom vanslewe altyd gesê, maar vanaand is ek ernstig. Vanaand raak hierdie trougirl verlief op die primêre deugde van my tong, en ‘n woordvlotte selfvoldaanheid raak vaardig oor my. Sy smile net knusserig oor die “jeugdige varsheid van haar hare wat mens noop om skilderagtige landskappe te skilder”, en dans verruklik verder. Min girls het die regsom two-step onder die knie, maar sy doen dit meesterlik.

“Time is tight”, die beste “close”-danssong van alle tye, speel verruklik deur die hi fi se enorme speakers in Nicholhuis se eet/danssaal met sy wiegende plankvloer. Met die voetwerk in volmaakte harmonie kan jy beter op die voor-die-handliggende konsentreer, en ek sê julle sy is lank.

Die tyd is reg, en ek trek los met die mooiste kompliment wat ek enige meisie nog ooit gegee het. Ek verweef rooi, skoonheid, grasieuse lengte, vleeslike sagtheid en die hemelse sinergie van haar sjampoe en parfuum in ‘n tappeserie van die soetste woorde. “O”, reageer sy terloops, en dans verder asof ek iets oor die weer gesê het. “O”, niks meer nie.

 

Die mosaïek van vroegaandmoontlikhede vervlak tot ‘n suur trek op my strak gesig en die gentle rain from heaven p.. my vuur onseremonieël dood. Tot vandag toe bly lang girls buite my bereik.

Nostalgiese grepies uit my studentedae. Dames, hou verby as julle emosioneel of tranerig raak.

Mei 17, 2012 in Sonder kategorie


As student het ek gereeld grepe uit my lewenswandel op  skrif gesit en storietjies daaroor geskryf. Hierdie stukkies is die aanloop tot my vorige pos.

Ek het haar Tinktinkie gedoop, en eenkeer vir haar ‘n geel T-shirt, die kleinste size wat beskikbaar was, gekoop, en haar troetelnaam in swart daarop laat afdruk. Dalk het die spelfout (weglating van die eerste “k”) die fondament van ‘n tragiese einde gelê. Hierdie een kon ek nooit uitpluis nie. Ontrafeling van die moeilikste intriges in ‘n 500 bladsye familiekroniek oor 500 jaar is kinderspeletjies in vergelyking met hierdie knoop. In elk geval, ek het haar in Augustus 1975 op ’n bokjol by Mopanie ontmoet.  Sy het pens en pooitjies op ‘n plastiekstoel met pyppote gesit.  Half uittartend en nonchalant het sy die bewegings voor haar gade geslaan en neusoptrekkerig en subtiel oor die fonds van die aand getuur. Die prentjie van ‘n melkwit sagte vel, ‘n knus glimlag en die verruklikheid van ‘n blommetjies-langrok het my nader gelok.

Ek dink my check-crimpelene langbroek en swartgrys hemp met wit kolletjies het haar glimlag effens verdiep. Haar eerste woorde was sag, subtiel, spankelend en meelewend. Ja, Ouboet, die eerste val van haar tong was sag, soos rose op ‘n hemelbed. Die enorme lengteverskil het nie ons danspassies nadelig beïnvloed nie. Inteendeel, Tinktinkie se totale prentjie van fyn vroulikheid het my rough edges getemper, en na ‘n dans of drie het ons soos meesters gedans en die two-step links- en regsom bemeester. Ek het haar daardie aand gekaap en net vir myself gevat, straks teen haar sin. By P&L kafee oorkant die straat het ek vir haar ‘n koeldrank gaan koop, waaraan sy die heel aand takties geteug het. By ‘n rekonstruksie van ‘n komplekse verlede sou ek graag wou glo dat sy met hierdie gebaar die aand takties wou uitrek.

Later die aand het ek vir haar my gebrekkige en halfvoltooide weergawe van Waltz in A flat van Brahms in die sitkamer oorkant die danssaal gaan speel. Somehow moes ek die girltjie oortuig dat ek nie die stoker was wat uit die single quarters geslip het en tydverdryf bokant my vermoëns kom soek het nie. Iets het daardie aand gewerk. Of dit Brahms, die legteverkil of wat ook al was, “who cares?” Eerste indrukke is blywend, so lui ‘n ou ou sprokie. Ek moet sê, ek kon die openingsoktawe van Waltz in A nogal mooi laat klink. Soos Rachmaninoff kan ek ook ‘n vyfvingerakkoord oor een-en-‘n-half oktaaf druk, uiteraard net meer onbeholpe en ook net hortend-enkelmalig. Ek vang haar dus toe met die eerste stukkie en diedaar, sy sien die foute in die res van die goedbedoelde halfvoltooide voordrag oor.  O ja, ek kon ook die slotgedeelte speel en ek onthou nog hoe ek ten besluite die note op die gepaste plekke so effens gerek om my eie onderliggende emosie te laat gedy. Die laaste noot van die ta-la-la-la-da was bykans onhoorbaar sag. Ja Ouboet, Waltz in A is nooit volledig gespeel nie, in elk geval nie voor die 1976 onluste nie. Cowboys don’t cry.

Daardie aand het ek haar by Loeloeraai gaan aflaai. Die hoë eerste trap van die annex het belofte ingehou, maar ‘n knus drukkie, niks meer as wat op die dansbaan gebeur het nie,  het ‘n onvergeetlike aand afgesluit. Daarna in Taaibos het ek en die twee Casse soos gewoonlik stock gevat.  Albei het teologie geswot en is vandag getroue dienaars, maar nie een het sonde in dans gesien nie. Hervormers glo aan hervorming. Een het ‘n “hot lead” raakgeloop, maar volgens die ander was die fonds maar skraal: “Dié wat kan dans, én die skoneres onder die massas het vanaand seker geswot.”  Die skraal boorling se gesig het ‘n ander storie vertel, soveel so dat Cas Dup die opmerking gemaak het dat Tinktinkie haar in die bestek van een aand onherroepelik in sy grootharsings ingewig het. Ek het lank oor die profetiese woorde van hierdie toekomstige dienaar, wat my later in die heilige eg verbind het, getob, dalk veels te lank.  
 
In die daaropvolgende maande het my hard disc herinnerings geberg wat vele raaisels ingehou het; raaisels wat stellig raaisels sal bly, want sien, nie almal tob oor of onthou detail nie. Ons het soos kinders, onbevange en oortuigend, mekaar sonder pretensie leer ken. Leer ken is dalk oorambisieus, want hoe leer mens ‘n klein bondeltjie mistiek werklik ken? Na ons derdejaareksamen het ek, soos hierbo gemeld, gaan skeermesse verkoop.  Ek herroep my vaagweg dat ek Tinktinkie beloof het om vlugtig vir haar in die Kaap te gaan kuier tussen die twee verkoopstoere, maar met die stukkie naastediens aan oom Meyer het ek nie tyd gehad nie. Ek het wel tweekeer gebel.

Eenkeer het haar suster opgetel en ek roep ‘n verlangse verwysing na ‘n man in haar lewe, as verskoning omdat sy nie daar was nie, in die herinnering. Vroeg in Februarie 1976 (sy moes vroeg aanmeld daardie jaar) het ek haar by die koshuis gaan opsoek, en na ‘n stottering of drie van my kant af, het ons die 1975 lopie hervat. Uit my eie oogpunt beskou was die weersiens en die maande daarna totdat Marietjie haar verskyning gemaak het, die heel gelukkigste tye in my ganse lewe. Die stilte voor die storm van die Soweto onluste in Junie 1976 was menigmaal my tuiste vir ontvlugting en regressie.  As mens se huidige bedreig word, so het ek in die Sielkunde geleer, dan is dit normaal om te ontvlug of te regresseer tot ‘n gelukkiger tydperk in jou lewe. Sommige wesens gaan so ver terug as om die warmte en geborgenheid van hul moeders se baarmoeder op te soek, maar my reis het nooit verder as Februarie-Junie 1976 teruggegaan nie.  Tinktinkie was ‘n knus oor vir ‘n soms vekreukelde siel. Haar sprankelende lag het grootshede in my brein afgeëts wat my stomp woorde nie kan plavei of na waarde kan skat nie.  

Baiekeer het ek haar op my nek getel en oënskynlik doelloos op die kampus, in Springbokpark of die botaniese tuine met haar gaan rondloop. Sommige mense het gelag; ander het subtiel gesmile en enkele oorgeslaandes het dalk hul afkeur met ‘n pynvertrekte mondhoek te kenne gegee. ‘n Klein groepie wat die gawe het om die heelal perspektief te sien, het ons heimlik bewonder.

Toe Marietjie, ‘n ou skoolvriendin, eendag vir Tinktinkie van die nice en vriendelike lang ou in die klas vertel, was die begin van die einde in sig. (My vorige pos is eintlik hierdie ware verhaaltjie se slot)

Wat ek van jou onthou

Mei 17, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

  • Die Sondagoggend toe jy Taaibos toe geloop het om verskoning te kom maak oor jou “houding” die vorige aand. Jy het nog vir my ‘n tjoklit saamgebring. Enige intensies om jou ook lip te gee het gou verkrummel.
  • Openingsdans 1976 in die Rautenbach-saal. Onthou jy daardie aand in die Amfi? Seker die waardevolste 45 kg wat ooit op my skoot gesit het!  Op hierdie foto hou ek jou styf in my arms vas. As Alzheimers eendag my lot word, sal hierdie aand in die Amfi seker die laaste/enigste ding wees wat ek ooit sal onthou. Cowboys don’t cry.
  • Die bottel Simonsig Pinotage wat ons by Klapperkop uitgedrink het. Heel behendig lig jy my toe in dat Neethlingshof en Middelvlei eintlik beter wyne is.
  • Die wandelings in Springbokpark.
  • Jool 1976. Dit was koud en ons het Army-jasse aan gehad, dieselfde size. Myne het soos ‘n knap baadjie teen jou slepende aandrok gelyk.
  • Die ontmoetings in die plantkundetuin agter die AE du Toit Ouditorium.
  • Die aand toe Erika se huismoeder my laataand/vroegoggend by die annex sien uitstap het. Ek dink dit was Paasnaweek 1976 en jy was alleen daar. Jou verskoning was iets soos “‘n dronk NKP student wat iemand kom soek het, maar ek ken hom nie en het hom weggejaag.”
  • Die Dinsdag-bokjolle by Huis en Haard.
  • Jooldans 1976, toe die laaste (en mooiste) foto van ons geneem is.  
  • Die kuiers in Loeloeraai se sitkamer (eerste deur regs).  Die halfdeursigtige riffelglasdeur was die waghond. 
  • Die aand toe ek jou aan my ouers op die plot gaan voorstel het en vir jou klavier in my buitekamertjie gaan speel het. “Pragtige kind” was my pa se kommentaar.
  • Die Sondag in die Transvaal museum. Ons het saam na ‘n opgestopte tinktinkie gesoek, en twee op ‘n stok gekry wat baie lieftallig na mekaar gekyk het.  (Hoekom ‘n goeie storie bederf met akkurate feite!)
  • Die hangertjie wat ek vir jou op 1 Maart 1976 gegee het. Ek sien op MS Outlook dit was ‘n Maandag. Snaaks, 7 Maart het by my vasgesteek.
  • My pers (jakarandakleurige) Volksie. Ek onthou vaagweg hoe die musiek uit die 4-track met sy geel liggie jou gemoed kon swaai, veral Bridge over troubled water en Words.  Iewers het die New Seekers se Never ending love en die BG’s se Don’t forget to remember me uit die onderhawige tydperk by my vasgesteek. Cecilia het ek uit my oevre van herinnerings verban.
  • Die kere toe jy deur die reëlings van die heining voor die annex geklim het.
  • Die laaste keer wat ek jou gesien het. Ek het jou die aand (seker ‘n dag of drie na jou laaste vraestel) kerk toe gevat (Universiteitsoord), maar selfs hierdie wanhopige en heilige poging was te laat. Daardie aand het die predikant vir almal gebid, maar dié wat deur ‘n geliefde gekwes is, oorgeslaan. Jy het ‘n deftige kameelkleurige tweestuk aangehad. Ek onthou nog die fluweelsagte materiaal. ‘n Traan sou afgeloop het, en nie ‘n natkol gelaat het nie.  Cowboys don’t cry.

 

Dinge uit verfloë tye wat my bybly

Mei 16, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

Soms raak ek nostalgies oor mooi dinge uit verfloë tye wat my bybly soos:

  • My eerste kar, die pers Volla 
  • Die vashou van ‘n mooi stylvolle meisie op ‘n bokjol
  • Handevashou in Springbokpark tydens afperiodes
  • Die cuddling effek van die palmbome in Universiteitsweg
  • Daai eerste koebaaisoen
  • Die kwatyne op ‘n servet
  • Vra van die jawoord
  • Die geboorte van my kinders

Soms raak ek bewoë oor goed soos:

  • Die eerste keer toe ek op 9 kis gedra het nadat my niggie in ‘n motorongeluk dood is
  • My afskeidsgroet aan Pa in die kerk toe ek 24 was
  • Vrydag 13 Januarie 1984 toe ek bang was ek sterf tydens narkose

Lekker dag verder

The fading game

Mei 15, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

The past reflects a picturesque landscape, depending of course on the motives underlying the drawing game. One can do almost anything with the picture, except of course changing it or using it as a map to reach the future. Let us for the sake of order exclude historians from the drawing game. More and more intelligent people tell us that the past has little if any bearing on the future, especially from a business perspective, yet it is hard to imagine the future without contemplating and sometimes treasuring the lovely shades and textures of yesteryear. It is hard to break with the rules and forces that shaped your destiny, yet their relevance is challenged daily. On the contrary their irrelevance is growing by the day; in playing the future game of course.

 

We now play the fading game; yet our realised destinies that have unfolded thus far were born and bred in the past that has now reached a final end. Even the cradles of our future destinies that are vested in the past such a wealth, a good name and traits carried forth from one generation to another are increasingly challenged by the tide. I am what I am no longer guarantees riches or eminence; or even a foothold in the future’s door. I am what I want to be has become a much stronger logic. Also aim at the educators and hit a larger audience.

The gap of grace between the known and the unknown is shortening at brutal speeds. Those with their eyes on the past never realise the change of gears. Our forebears crawled through the ages; we ripple forth at the speed of light. Many a talented athlete came second in the final round by merely looking back for a split second. Toffler said that the 800th lifetime has seen the most of them all, and we’re already in the 801st lifetime. Even the frogs in the slow heating pot find it a little hot nowadays.

It is difficult if not impossible to completely rule out the past. Despite its irrelevance to design the future business game, we can still learn from the so-called softer issues born in the past such as good manners that we can carry with us into the future. We can continue to be kind and respectful and raise our children with conservative values as basis. But the bureaucratic back to basics programmes should be filed never to be discovered again. All in all, the past was fantastic. Those who had a glimpse of the sixties and seventies would wholeheartedly agree.

 

The past was spellbinding and intriguing. Yet the sad part is the brutal fact that we cannot change it or revise it. The file has read only options. We can access it as frequently as possible and relive it, but every second spent in the past is a second less to carve the future. Technically the only way the past can be discovered is through autopsy. The past has passed away. Through the techniques and shades of the post-mortem we can investigate, examine, inquest and conclude. The domain and object of the inquisition can never turn live again. It is as simple as that.

The past was fantastic, while it lasted. Let us draw a line right below it. The author does not believe in witchcraft, but this line slipped in without any reason. The line was used earlier in the chapter in an effort to pigeonhole the past into various sections. All attempts to take it away have failed. Every trick in the book was tried, but the line remained. Strange coincidence? 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

PROLOGUE

Mei 12, 2012 in Sonder kategorie


At first the urge was strong to write something weird; and I mean something really weird. The initial choice was fairly easy and unfolded in three basic shades to give substance to this strange desire, namely love, politics and the future. The urge was also strong to tell Tom Peters point blank that forgetting the past is not only impossible but vehemently insane. The ripple game has proved me dismally wrong.

This book is the culmination of half a century’s reasoning as intellectually unfulfilled individual, ever seeking the truth behind the truth, well knowing that the journey will never be completed in the time that will unfold until my casket is lowered down an empty hole. But, so I have argued many times, the only sure way to expedite your psychological death is to stop reasoning. A dead sole in an ailing body that awaits the final rubber stamp must be close to hell on earth. Cogito ergo sum the philosopher once said. I think, therefore I am. As long as we think, there is something worthy to think about, and that in itself makes a lot of sense. The irony is that we sometimes act without thinking; a survival stance that is not all in all completely wrong these days. Shades of thinking, acting and forgetting occurred to me in a moment of intense pondering and love was ruled out.

This book is deliberately aimed at asking more questions than at providing answers. If the masters and intellectual giants like Hawking and Einstein can’t/couldn’t find answers to their many questions, the urge is strong to quit the weird idea right from the outset. However, there are many inquisitive souls out there, like myself, who will never fully understand Einstein’s theory of relativity, or Hawking’s thrilling theories on black holes; yet we still ask questions hoping that someone out there will answer them. Some questions are simple. Politics was ruled out.   

Followers have a scant chance of winning in the new world simply because trails have become so blurred that they multiply the magnitude and textures of confusion. Former beacons are ashes scattered over the waving ocean, yet the only fixed beacons; those of our visions and imagination, lure at a distance in exciting new textures and shades through the gripping ripple game. Winning the tide is not for the fainthearted; the highway stops right here; let us brave forth on a rough journey that hopefully never ends. But why writing another book about the future? They emerge as rapidly as they fade, yet the future holds its firm and brutal grip on the seeking sole; a grip so strong it grabs the mind and fuels the pen. The future is the only thing we cannot escape. Why not writing about it again and again, despite the floods and tides; wisdom and trash?  It occurred to me that the future is indeed a weird place and the urge to write about it in another metaphor was born to capture its shades as strange, odd and bizarre. The future is indeed peculiar, uncanny, eerie, creepy and unusual. The future emerged as the weirdest of them all!

This book introduces a new perspective on the game called the future. The game of words indeed ripples us to strange places. The game is exciting; yet we don’t understand it completely. So what! When an art critic hailed a seasoned dramatist about his latest play because “no one can understand it”, another critic snapped back: “But why on earth do you want to understand the play? It’s weird and gripping. Just enjoy it.” The argument faintly hinges on the remote edge of sanity, but sometimes the converging thrust of the new tide is so weird it impinges the reason with passion. By the time we understand the logic another lean and hunger intruder arrived at the scene of discovery with massive loads of fuel. The faster the river flows, the more difficult it becomes to reach the edge. Slow flowing rivers belong to a forgotten age. Rivers of substance today run fast or they run dry. Speed and reach are closely related in the new world. The higher the speed the lesser the reach becomes. The lesser the reach the greater the opportunity wasted.  

Despite the phenomenal growth in technology, destruction emerges at almost the speed of light. Computer viruses are created every day. The virus of passion destroys life on earth. The higher the level of and broader the magnitude of innovation, the greater the challenge will be to beat them. Truman launched Little Boy on Hiroshima via bureaucratic instruction. The imaginative 15 year old in the shack in Timbuktu can launch a bomb much more powerful by merely touching a few keys on his computer. Toffler is right; power is shifting by the day. The ballerina turns much faster when her arms and legs are closer to her body. We forgot the mechanical principle in grade 8 but its logic reminds us of the cost of speed with too many bells and whistles carried forth from the past around our necks. But we require speed and lots of it; we require reach and lots of it. It reminds us of the then visionary statement that the train would never travel twice as fast as the stagecoach. Where have all the flowers gone? Reach today no longer requires infrastructure and the symbols of bureaucracy. Mechanical workhorses have been replaced by weightless particles fuelled by imagination and propelled at the speed of light. They can be dog piled, doubled, quadrupled and multiplied well into infinity. Drucker is right. The future has arrived but we do not have the scantest grasp of how it will embrace us, treasure us, drop us or destroy us. This brutal reality occurred to me through simple words and the powers of the ripple game.

Misplaced pieces of wisdom with touches of virtual truth grasped my imagination during round two in the pub the other day. Had the Pentagon been tasked with the challenge of carrying out an operation similar in complexity and scope to the September 11 tragedy, it would have taken the mighty and oiled institution at least two years to reach ground zero, contingencies and surprises excluded. Irrelevant and misplaced pieces of detail do not ruin a good plot. Today’s fantasies become tomorrow’s reality, but let us test the logic in another shade: the longer the range of the plan, the more time and space for surprises. The shorter the horison the less coherent the plan will be. Hindsight never fails us. It is therefore better or at least less insane to focus on the looming horison while shouldering the waving rapids en route. The radar screen detects immediate dangers and gaps but merely hints the myriad of possibilities to loom. Going north does not imply north all the way. Left, right and southward bounds may well be part and parcel of some concealed side and back ways of the journey. The simpler the logic the more complex and difficult to follow! Weird? Yes, as weird and opportunistic as the game called future can ever be.

Consultants and management gurus thrive in the packaging industry. We see tonnes of new wrappings covering a few ounces of new merchandise. Futurists tend to have the same gift, but they have the grace of the tide to be proved wrong only at a later stage. Technically futurists can never be wrong while they record their creations. Being merely a member of the future’s fan club fuelled with shades of wanderlust, I leave it to the reader to judge whether rippling is just another wrapping.

Ouboet skryf ‘n boek

Mei 11, 2012 in Sonder kategorie

Ek-Myself skryf op die stoep: Dink jy nie jy was nou lank genoeg weg nie? OK, hier is ek. Eintlik is ek besig met die skryf van ‘n boek: The ripple game. Die boek was reeds in 2004 klaar, maar as gevolg van timing en ‘n stukkie intellektuele kapitaal wat ontbloot word, is ek aangeraai om dit eers “vas te hou”.   Nou finetune ek en dateer die teks op.

Hier volg iets, nie juis net so in die boek nie, maar bloot hoe ek die skryfproses sien.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD WRITING

What are the characteristics of a good piece of written text, irrespective of its length, theme, genre or other quality? For argument’s sake, what makes a book a truly great book; a book that is in high demand for reading? Are certain generic traits common to good books? Let us look at a few. Good books sell, exceptional books sell in larger volumes and masterpieces become international best sellers. This is not the issue but rather the underlying reasons why they are in demand in the market. Good books simply provide exciting reading stuff. They grip the mind from the first sentence right up to the end. Good books leave you with a feeling of deep satisfaction, yet some good books might deeply upset you. Let us rather say they never leave you untouched. Good books are well integrated and form a coherent whole. Good books have excellent structure; they are logically assembled and have a dramatic build up. They are never monotonous but intriguing. What then can be concluded from these arguments?

Firstly, words that are carefully constructed in coherent language are the building blocks.  The same bricks and mortar can result in a masterpiece or a shack, depending on the plan, execution thereof and continuous quality control. The good writer is therefore simultaneously a good architect and a good builder. The writer leaves an end product that is either admired or rejected, or something in between. Reading a good book is an experience of continuous discovery. At no point is the closing part clear; the writer keeps you intrigued all the way. At the end you get the impression of sheer magic. Sometimes you are tempted to read the final paragraph, but the build-up towards the grand finale prevents you from jumping the gun.  Sometimes the urge is strong to keep on reading towards the end, despite the volume of the book. Good books are truly gripping.

THE WRITING PROCESS

In the writing process it is necessary to address a few key issues underlying the mother of pastimes, namely the who, what, why, when, where, how and to whom.  Let us use the writing of a story as application of the game of words to illustrate the argument.

WHO
The writer can be anyone. Even a person who cannot write can tell his or her story to a writer to capture in words. Although a large number of professions have been created around the writing game, there are generally very few entry requirements to put your hand to the mother of pastimes. Various people who never thought they could write surprised readers with their first efforts. Becoming a professional writer, however, is another story.

WHAT
What to write about cannot be separated from the motive underlying the writing effort.  If you write for a living the writing effort will be largely determined by what the market wants. It is simply a principle of supply and demand and if you can produce what the reading market wants at a price readers are prepared to pay, the writing venture becomes viable.  If you write merely for pleasure, the “what” dimension is not really that important and can range from emotions to black holes.

Fiction vs. fact can be viewed as major opposites to grasp the essence of the “what” of the writing game. Fiction heralds unparalleled shades of creativity and captures the minds and admiration of all sorts of people. The book of the century Lord of the rings is sheer fantasy. The Harry Potter series made Rowling one of the latest billionaires.

WHY
The why is probably the one of the most complex yet straightforward issues underlying the writing game.  It is clear that what and why cannot be separated completely.

Writing for financial reward
The financial motive is by far the most common driving force behind all published books. Journalists, scriptwriters and advertising houses are primarily in business for money. If they like their jobs their profession should be viewed as a bonus.

Writing for sheer pleasure
It is interesting to note that financially successful writers normally also write for the sheer pleasure of it.  Financial reward probably works excellent up to a point, but thereafter success becomes the driving force.  Interesting that financial reward and success correlates remarkably well.

Writing for therapeutic purposes
Writing is indeed one of the best self-therapeutic methods available. A problem well-defined is indeed a problem half-solved. When facing a problem it may help to write it down. Writing a problem down implies structuring of facts events, etc, and anything that is structured is better understood than something that is unstructured. The mere capturing of the problem on paper is normally a first step in understanding the dilemma you’re facing. After a traumatic experience it is really makes a lot of sense to sit down and capture the trauma in words. The negatively touched mind and body has a natural tendency of forgetting, suppressing and subliming. Writing about trauma forces one to revisit the site and circumstances of the trauma. No wound can ever heal completely if covered in bandages all the time. Reliving traumatic incidents in the mind is a healing process, every time the site and circumstances are revisited.

Therefore, if you write for therapeutic reasons, the reason underlying the pathology sometimes directly determine the theme. The mere bringing of hidden facts into the open, for example writing about specific psychic pain, is a cure in itself most of the time. It makes a lot of sense to “write something loose.”

The writing imperative
Some things in life just cry to be told. Some writers experience immense pain and suffering by hiding untold stories.  

WHEN
There is absolutely no rule or even the faintest hint on when the best time is to write. Some truly great writers always have a pen and paper near to write down clues that can occur every hour of the day or night.

When the story takes place is another dimension of when. Some stories occur in the past, others in future, while some encapsulate past, present and future. Some stories are timeless while intellectual giants redefine time and when and leave us with a feeling of minuteness amid the true greatness of the timeless world out there. Writers of substance know when to write. They experience an urge and cannot escape the uneasiness in any other way than to write.

WHERE
Where has at least two dimensions, namely where to do the writing and where in terms of the story. Where to write once again has no rules, especially since notebook computers became part of our lives. In fact the story is born in the mind and where on earth it is captured is not really important.

The where of a story refers to where the story unfolds or where it will lead to. For the lack of better words the end destination of a story or the final outcome is normally not known when the writing commences. Even the most creative writers might have a vague or sometimes very clear idea about the story, but the closing parts normally occur right towards the end. These unknown ends at the beginning are rippling territory par excellence. Rippling simply puts us on courses and journeys we could never have imagined before. No brain is powerful enough to completely conceptualise an entire story in the mind and then write or type it in a couple of days. No brain can draw a lofty wordscape with all its meanings without consulting the book of words. The creative process is one of unfolding and discovery as the story ripples away from its starting point. One brilliant piece of text gives rise to and inspires another.

HOW
The how of writing is the primary aim of this book. Sometimes a particular word has more than one meaning. It is acceptable to ripple the two or more meanings in the context of one meaning? Why not? The only rule is that the end result must have some value.  

By using the ripple game to structure the how has the tendency to transform the what, like this book that started in the future and ended up in language that can capture anything imaginable. One thing is for sure, language is much bigger and comprehensive than any particular theme can ever be? Does the fact that the theme of the initial book has changed illustrates the logic of ever increasing wholes of knowledge? The author could have decided to exploit any other theme through rippling words that would most probably have led to larger language ripples, who knows?  The ripples of many open-ended words such as future will eventually lead to the better part of the entire thesaurus.

The interrelationship of characters, meanings and themes forms a significant part of any good story. Even if the meaning of a single word unfolds well beyond expectation, it is interesting and valuable to see the emerging picture in context with other characters, elements as well as the bigger plot or theme of the book. Unfolding of controversies and opposing trends are made possible with rippling. Love/hate and other intriguing controversies can be much better understood and captured in words by following the ripples the game generates.

TO WHOM
Although exceptional books have some form of universal appeal, books are normally written for a particular audience. This book is primarily written for people that want to improve their writing skills, but it is hoped that the rippling effect will also ripple the market and create a much larger demand. The audience will be determined by the content of the book.