Liz's colonic journey

Words and conventions

I don’t know where to start today with this blog.  I’m a mess of emotions at the moment. The weekend of our wedding has been remarkable, special, unique and blessed in so many ways. Pat and I are so blessed to have heroes and warriors around us. Warriors of Light and Wisdom, I think.

Yet we got news this morning that my precious friend N, passed away last night at 11pm. I find it hard to imagine the physical world without her in it somewhere, yet I know that energy isn’t destroyed and it just changes forms, there are dimensions we don’t know about, but can sometimes feel. So I know she is no longer in pain and that somewhere her vivacity, grace and loving spirit continues. Her family who have lost her so suddenly are so in my mind.

I’m carrying an image in my mind from when we were twenty-somethings in 1983, picking grapefruit on Kibbutz Ma’abarot in Israel. N is  clad in seriously handed down ‘work clothes’ provided by the kibbutz: worn work boots (wear the heels were 2cm high on the left and 3mm on the right?), khaki shirt and  and pants.  I swear the flared jeans she was wearing actually came from San Francisco originally – this was the 80’s – flares weren’t in – anywhere. Against the background of the orchard, she is looking grumpily into her canvas picking bag, grimacing at the scratches all over her hands. In fact, I think we even took a picture of our scratched hands together, after I fell out of a tree. I wasn’t a very good labourer. Why this particular image is in my mind, I’m not sure, except that it is the exact opposite of her as I last saw her at my 50th, regal and gorgeous in her flowing medieval outfit, escorted (always) by her handsome knight, G. In a sense, it covers the whole spectrum of life.

Three weeks from knowing to going seems so short. I feel like I still need a lifetime to say all I need to say to special people. Things I didn’t say because convention or the moment don’t suit. Convention is an ass.

Losing her after one of the happiest weekends of my life, seems pertinent. I choose to make a story of meaning with it, and maybe an inappropriate joke (see above for comment on convention).  N was always one to suss a situation, decide quickly and jump into adventures. A Saggitarius for sure. Which is incidentally, how we ended up trying to discourage the horny truck driver who gave us a lift from Ein Gedi to Jerusalem, with only three words of Hebrew at our disposal – lo todah and bavakasha (No thanks and please). N would have turned 49 on Friday. I’m thinking of her playing Debussy’s “The Afternoon of a Fawn” for hours and hours in the rec room of Sunnyside Res at Wits, in preparation for her piano exams. It fits.

So Pat and I are officially legal. Lee demanded instantly that I change my FaceBook status – I have.


The Pot and Kettle was lovely – with the view out over the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Our excellent ‘bridesmaids’, doubled as photographers, videographers, entertainers, cheerleaders and even ‘fixed’ the car for us. Thank you Paulette, Karen, Jackie and Brigitte. I was impressed that they identified Squashy – though Paulette said that the Gay Pride umbrella in the back (from our visit to the Sydney Mardi Gras) was a give away. So add detectives to the list of the functions they performed with aplomb, grace and feeling.


We had every kind of weather within a three hour period – which was interesting. All contributing to the beauty of the day for us. Karen’s reading of the poem she read for us nearly 21 years ago, when we made our own commitment at the Palm Monument in Mtunzini was very special. Chris Martin, our marriage officer, was perfect. They did forget to take pics of themselves, but luckily I woke up in time!

So the deed is done. We had a lovely, fabulous open house at 32 yesterday (though why I decided to clean the oven in the morning I cannot understand). This is the way to throw a party: Ask all your friends to bring something to drink and eat and lo! We have loaves and fishes. Sooo much great food and drink, fabulous company, and our guests even did the washing up! Thanks Annie and Fiona – that was so appreciated!

So much more to say and yet it would take ages to thank everyone for every special moment. I will.

The other news of the day is that I’m no longer the only person at 32 with a ‘borsel kop’. Rocky and Pepper went to the parlour this morning. Rocky has a number 1 and looks like a puppy.







Comments on: "Words and conventions" (7)

  1. Ah Lizzie … I am so sorry! Words fail me. Please continue to write in your beautiful, gentle way …. it is my little escape from the hurly burly of my life at the moment. Love and love and love!

  2. Oh Liz I’m so sorry about N. It is so hard to understand disappearance from the physical world, isn’t it.

    I’m worried that you’re having to deal with too much heightened experience at once.

    At the risk of more bad tast levity, try to do something boring! I actually can’t think of what that might be though. If you read the telephone directory, you’d be noticing the occurrence or not of 6 or more consonants in a name. But Is that not a stupendously spurious observation?

    What I’m trying to say is, I hope you can just rest for a bit.

    love to you and Pat


  3. Lizi, you tell us about the loss of a special friend, memories of fruit trees, and the afternoon of a faun. Weirdly I wrote a haiku called Faun for Chris’s jewellery blog a few weeks ago, and it echoes with your account — Go to Haiga 7 – Faun. It references Debussy’s music. And falling fruit. Now it seems that the haiku belongs to N.

    It was a special privilege for me to be there yesterday. Lots of love Mari

  4. This is such a moving tribute to a special friend, Liz. Thank you for sharing this – and your and Pat’s very special day. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. BTW it wasn’t just me and Annie that did the clearing up – Ruth was very much part of the team! Much love and a big hug (remember you have to have 8 a day minimum). xx

    • Thanks Fiona, so many special moments in a 30 year friendship … there was so much to say, glad to share a tiny bit of her specialness.
      Thanks too for acknowledging Ruth, I wasn’t sure how the magic happened, eveything was such a whirl of energy and good things.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss, Lizzie. This must be very hard for you. Thinking of you.

    Thanks for sharing your love and energy and space with us. As P said, what you and Pat have is something really amazing. You deserve each other – you are both so gentle, generous and wise.

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