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Monthly Archives: April 2010

In life, and sometimes in death, Mount Everest has had a lasting effect on all of those who have challenged its heights. It can vanquish those who disrespect it, and mercilessly test those who honor it. Yet Everest is indifferent to your presence. Climb it and you will receive a lifetime dose of humility and exhilaration.

STEP ONE: Start training today. Take mountaineering courses that teach you about technique, equipment, routes and survival. Then begin a minimum of two to three years of regular practice climbs in high alpine terrain, including steep faces, rough rocks, night climbs, ice falls and snow climbs.

STEP TWO: Get a complete physical checkup. You’ll need healthy veins and arteries to pump lots of blood to your brain and muscles, as well as to warm your body. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol down.

STEP THREE: Raise the cash. You’ll need plenty, even a low-budget trip will cost $25,000, with guided package trips soaring to as much as $60,000. Realize that $10,000 goes to permits alone; then add travel, food, equipment, oxygen, insurance and Sherpa fees. Consider approaching corporations for sponsorship deals to cover your expenses.

STEP FOUR: Plan a May expedition. The weather is most cooperative then (when it isn’t a whiteout, blowing 100-mph winds, and 50 degrees below zero). Six months in advance, you’ll need to file for permits and send copies of passports and climbing letters of recommendation for your team to the Nepal Ministry and Administration, as well as to a trekking agency to help you with transporting your gear. You’ll also need to contract with Sherpas to aid you on your voyage. For more information, contact the Nepalese Embassies and Consulate Offices in Washington, D.C., or in Kathmandu, Nepal.

STEP FIVE: Pack a first aid kit, medications, satellite phone, walkie-talkies, laptop computer, padlocks for bags, tents, sleeping bags, mountaineering clothing, climbing equipment and ropes, water, food, trash bags, sun-screen, vision protection, oxygen bottles and anything else you can fit on a yak or on your back, or that you can hire a Sherpa to carry for you. Make sure you’ve tested all your gear in cold, severe conditions before you pack it.

STEP SIX: Get yourself to Kathmandu, Nepal, where your expedition truly begins. You can fly a number of international carriers connecting through major airports; none of these flights will be direct or nonstop. Jet lag is guaranteed. Check in with the local authorities, pay your fees and organize your crew.

STEP SEVEN: Trek from Lukla to Base Camp at 17,600 feet. Scale the Khumbu Icefall up to 19,500 feet. Rest at Camp I in the Valley of Silence. Push on to Camp II at 21,300 feet. Scale the Lhotse Face and climb to Camp III at 23,500 feet. Rest and acclimatize for the trip to Camp IV, which at 26,300 feet is the only camp located in the ‘death zone.’

STEP EIGHT: Charge the summit when you have a weather window. Start early in the morning, before sunrise, with extra down mittens and plenty of oxygen.

STEP NINE: Sit atop the 29,028-foot summit and know that you are at the highest point on earth. And then mentally prepare for the descent, because getting down is just as dangerous.

STEP TEN: Pack out all of your empty oxygen bottles and trash to get back your $4,000 environmental deposit and leave the mountain with good karma.

For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’

My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those who are sad.

Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

Hearts are not had as a gift, But hearts are earned…

The saddest thing in the world, is loving someone who used to love you.

There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.

How could an Angel break my heart? Why didn’t he catch my falling star? I wish I didn’t wish so hard. Maybe I wished our love apart.

Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.

You wondered how you’d make it through. I wondered what was wrong with you. Because how could you give your love to someone else, yet share your dreams with me? Sometimes the only thing you’re looking for, is the one thing you can’t see.

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.

Love is just like life, its not always easy and does not always bring happiness. but when we do not stop living why should we stop loving

Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.

Other men have seen angels, But I have seen thee, And thou art enough.

Came but for friendship, and took away love.

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.

If I am pressed to say why I loved him, I feel it can only be explained by replying: “Because it was he; because it was me.”

I have said nothing because there is nothing I can say that would describe how I feel as perfectly as you deserve it.

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.

WHAT WAS YOUR:
1. Last beverage: Alcoholic or non? Alcoholic – a screaming multiple orgasm cocktail ;oP non – a glass of water
2. Last phone call: I was drunen phone called by Ashton on Saturday evening – fun times… 
3. Last text message: The Vickle informing me of her grandparents’ donation to our productions
4. Last song you listened to: “She’s on Fire” by Train hehe
5. Last time you cried: Last week Tuesday…

HAVE YOU EVER:
6. Dated someone twice: LOL! How about three times?! So that’s a yes…
7. Been cheated on: Yeah, one I know about and I’m sure there’s more 🙂 over it
8. Kissed someone & regretted it: Yup yup hehe
9. Lost someone special: Remarkably, at least one person every year since Grade 8…
10. Been depressed: Nope 🙂 I’m usually a happy chappy, with the people I have in my life how could I not be? They’d beat me with a stick!
11. Been drunk and threw up: Not my most glamourous moment I’ll admit…

LIST THREE FAVORITE COLORS:
12. Yellow
13. Green
14. Blue

THIS YEAR HAVE YOU: (2010)
15. Made a new friend: Yup 🙂
16. Fallen out of love: I don’t believe you can fall out of love. It’s not something you fall in and out of… You’re either in love or not, and when you’re in love, but can’t be with that person you learn to live without them and sorta just try to switch off…
17. Laughed until you cried: Yes 🙂 I have funny friends
18. Met someone who changed you: Hmmm… I wouldn’t say so, no… Perhaps every person we meet and interact with brings out a new aspect of our own personalities…?! OoooOOOOoooo…
19. Found out who your true friends were: Oh yes, the hard way… Hehe 
20. Found out someone was talking about you: Say what you want, I do not really care 🙂
21. Kissed anyone on your friend’s list: Ah… Well now, if that just isn’t a complicated question right there… Hehehe

22. How many people on your friends list do you know in real life: As opposed to an unreal life?! :/
23. How many kids do you want to have: Five… ;oP
24. Do you have any pets: YES! A fat little sausage dog currently named Nugget ( it changes weekly hehe)
25. Do you want to change your name: No, just the spelling hehe
26. What did you do for your last birthday: I had a BIG ol’ 21st bash at the Bryanston Country Club – Black Tie with a Twist 🙂
27. What time did you wake up today: 6ish hehe 
28. What were you doing at midnight last night: Writing… And reading “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
29. Name something you CANNOT wait for: “Beyond Therapy” – my directing debut – to take the stage at National Arts’ Festival 🙂
30. Last time you saw your Mother: Like ten minutes ago hehe The Cheese
31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life?: The pain and suffering of those I love… But at the same time nothing. Yes, I’ve made mistakes which have probably changed the course of my existance, but living life to the full no matter what involves the good and bad 🙂 after all, how will you ever know what you have unless you’ve experience sadness, heart break, lonliness, pain, and anger?
32. What are you listening to right now: “If I Were A Boy” Beyonce
33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom: YES! Hi Tom 🙂
34. What’s getting on your nerves right now: Uh… Haha the lack of funding for semi-professional productions in South Africa, as well as a certain someone’s treatment of me last night and his seeming lack of remourse… Grrr.
35. Most visited webpage: Probably my e-mail address on MSN
36. Whats your real name: Robyn… Again, as opposed to an unreal name?
37. Nicknames: Byn, Little One (love it!), Robz, Robbie, Obbie (according to my 2year old niece) and who knows what else 🙂
38. Relationship Status: Perpetually single 🙂
39. Zodiac sign: Cancer
40. Male or female?: WTF? Female dammit hehe
41. Elementary?: Blue Bird 🙂
42. Middle School: St Stithians Girls’ Prep
43. High school/College: St Stithians Girls’ College
44. Hair colour: Dark brown
45. Long or short: Getting longer 🙂
46. Height: 1.6m – no short jokes!
47. Do you have a crush on someone?: I’m afraid so… *sigh*
48: What do you like about yourself? No freaking idea 🙂
49. Piercings: My belly ring, and ears 🙂
50. Tattoos: Yesh…
51. Righty or lefty: Left handed 🙂

FIRSTS :
52. First surgery: FIRST AND LAST! My tonsils removed end of 2007
53. First piercing: Ears hehe
54. First best friend: Kristen Doherty and Ashleigh Alford 🙂
55. First sport you joined: Hockey 🙂
56. First vacation: Hell, who can remember that?!
58. First pair of trainers: Huh? *blank stare*

RIGHT NOW
59. Eating: Nothing… Although if someone wanted to go make me a cup of coffee, that’d be fabulous… Anyone? … Hellooooo… Dammit!
60. Drinking: Nothing hehe 🙂
61. I’m about to: Send even more e-mails requesting donations to our production, and then attempt to get a tan, and head out to a job interview 🙂
62. Listening to: Read up 🙂
63. Waiting on: Oh my… Too much… *sigh*

YOUR FUTURE :
64. Want kids? Yes hehe we’ve covered this
65. Get Married/Civil Partnered? Hmm ideally but not everything in life is ideal 🙂
66. Career? Acting, writing, directing, and dancing 🙂 having my own production company and being the  Editor of a major publishing firm would be ideal!

WHICH IS BETTER :
67. Lips or eyes: Eyes hehe
68. Hugs or kisses: Depends who from 🙂
69. Shorter or taller: Taller than me hehe (not hard to be!)
70. Older or Younger: Uhm… Again depends on who they are hehe
71. Romantic or spontaneous: Romantic, answers the hopeless romantic in me, and Spontaneous, answers the actress in me 🙂 so… BOTH 🙂
72. Nice stomach or nice arms: Stomach I guess hehe
73. Sensitive or loud: Both 🙂
74. Hook-up or relationship: Uh depends where I am in my life 🙂
75. Trouble maker or hesitant: Trouble-maker all the way hehehe *insert evil laugh here*

HAVE YOU EVER :
76. Kissed a stranger: Yes… He was… Uhm… This… Guy… Haha!
77. Drank hard liquor: Oh yes *cringe* Tom Jan is just too hard liquor for anyone…
78. Lost glasses/contacts: Yes hehe
79. Sex on first date: Hell’s no!
80. Broken someone’s heart: I hear I have, not sure I believe it hehe
81. Had your own heart broken: Oh yes hehe it’s all part of the loving someone thing…
82. Been arrested: Not yet ha ha!
83. Turned someone down: Oh most definately… I am – to a flaw – very picky…
84. Cried when someone died: Yes…
85. Fallen for a friend? Yes…

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
86. Yourself: Yesh 🙂 I’m actually magical… Like a magical fairy… Only not a fairy… Kinda 🙂
87. Miracles: I do hehe
88. Love at first sight: Yes hehe
89. Heaven: Yes hehe gotta have something to aspire towards or I’m heading straight down!
90. Santa Claus: Not for years hehe
91. Kiss on the first date: I think if it feels right, why not… Unless I feel like playing hard to get 🙂
92. Angels: Yes hehe

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY:
94. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at a time: No hehe one is admin enough!  Hehe kidding… But seriously, no
95. Did you sing today? Chya ha ha! I sing everyday 🙂
96. Ever cheated on somebody? Yes… I’m not proud.
97. If you could go back in time, how far would you go?: I have no idea… Maybe to Renaissance Italy, who knows hehe
98. If you could pick a day from last year and relive it: Most difficult question… Uhm… I have no idea 🙂 a few… I guess… I’m all flustered now ha ha!
99. Are you afraid of falling in love? I try my best not to be, but I reckon being only human, it’s impossible not to be a little scared… I would never let the fear hinder me from falling in love, however. At least, I don’t think I would…
100. Posting this as 100 truths? Yeah hehe that’s the idea ha ha!

Against an attacker I will boldly take my stand
because my heart will show fear for no man
but for a broken heart I run with fright
scared to be blind in a vulnerable night.
I believe this fear is in every man
some will acknowledge it,
others will fail to understand
there is no fear in a shallow heart
because shallow hearts don’t fall apart.
But feeling hearts that truly care
are fragile to the flow of air,
And if I am to be true then I must give…

My fragile heart
I may receive great joy or
you may return it
ripped apart.

Alright, we’ve heard it all before. We know – thanks to a highly successful publishing campaign followed by a highly successful film – how to tell that he’s just not that into me. I keep my copy of the book close by my side, and frequently reference it in my dealings with the alien-like other sex. I also refer my friends to its pages consistently, where I hope they too will find the comfort and clarity it’s pages provided me.

But, I’m beginning to learn, there’s a whole new ball-game when one leaps out the pages armed with this sacred knowledge, and gets one’s hands a little, shall we say, dirty. Falling in love isn’t how it’s shown to be in the films, or how we imagine it to be in the novels of yesteryears. No. More often than not, it’s messy. It’s dirty. You get bruises and grazes, and rarely does the soundtrack match the moment. And the reverse is true too.

Armed with a shiny new confidence provided by my “No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys,” I’m beginning to learn that the correlation between the clarity of the scenarios jotted out in black and white, very often resemble the real-life wolf in sheep’s clothing that’s waiting around the next corner to gobble me all up. Gulp.

The incongruent nature of these self-help guides, novels, and films with the jarring reality that awaits us, is cause for concern. When is it all just enough? When is it too much? How much is too much? Too much pain? Too much sadness? Too much love? I find myself sitting here, alone on a Sunday night, sick in bed, and wondering to myself: what the hell just happened? And what do you do when the life you lead, the one you hold the lead role in, begins to resemble the page of the self-help guide that until then had been a source of comfort? Did it now only stand to point a finger and laugh, whilst it proclaimed that no matter how many versions of it I read, I’d never know in time that he really just isn’t into me…

I would answer all the questions, muse a bit as to the precarious fall between real life and fiction and end on a note of idealistic romance in which I reiterate my belief in – above all else – love. But for now, for tonight, this is too much. Right now, is too painful. I am too sad. And this blog is already too verbose…

When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part…

When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the giving in is that hardest part…

A lot of our lives, I’ve begun to think, are lived in our heads. This results from the ideas we have, and the opinions we form along the way. A crude example: the idea of an abortion. I’ve always said I’d never have an abortion, and also never tell the man who’d knocked me up that I was pregnant, because at the end of the day, it wouldn’t ever prove to me that he loved me, only that he felt obligated. But I’ve never fallen pregnant, and so this stronghold belief of mine is one that exists in the virtual scenario that plays out in a facet of my mind.

Having begun to ponder this issue, I wondered, were some of the relationships we formed along the way much the same kind of thing? Relationships that we built up, or broke down, in our minds and that allowed for that ever frequent jarring feeling when reality never quite matched up? And to add to it, if there were these “mind” components to a relationship, then could they contribute not only positively – in the case of ideal romance – but also negatively – in the case of pure paranoid “psycho-ness?”

I have a good friend who has been seeing her boyfriend for almost three years now. They’re the ideal couple, still madly in love and completely honest with one another. They were one another’s firsts and intend to be one another’s lasts as well. And yet, this friend of mine still gets “psycho” out of various insecurities that she has, and that she develops entirely – she’ll admit – in her mind. So my question, if a woman whose engaged to the love of her life who – and they’ll both agree – loves her enough to do ANYTHING for her can’t be secure, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

Having recently found my mind skipping a few steps – with my heart close behind – and envisioning a future for myself in terms of a relationship with a man, I begun to wonder why women do this. Why do we see a future when there may not even necessarily be all that stable a present? I read a book once – “He’s Just Not That Into You”, my dating Bible – and I remember clearly how the writer spoke about women falling in love with a man’s potential, and not the actual man himself. At first I was rather taken aback, and upon re-reading the paragraph several times, it triggered something in me. I was only so taken aback because it had been true.

Notoriously awful as I’ve been in terms of my taste in men, the reasons why I’d chosen to persevere and stay in a relationship that wasn’t perhaps the healthiest thing for me, was more to do with the strong belief in the potential of the relationship I held on to. I believed more in the ideal future we’d discussed, so much so that I was willing to drag myself through the hell on earth that was the present. Most clearly was this demonstrated in my relationship with the Frog (termed such by my brother due to his long legs and short torso). I could not let go because of all that I felt the relationship potentially promised me – not even when he dropped me off at a petrol station in the middle of Cape Town at two in the morning.

So, where to from here? I suppose, there’s only one resolution and that’s for women – myself included – to stop living in their imaginations, to stop loving for the potential, and to dedicate ourselves to the here and now. And if we do fall in love, it’s best we do so with the man himself. As for security, well, look before you leap, but remember there’s only one way to learn how to fly – and that’s to try. Sure, maybe those who do not love do not get hurt, but those who don’t love do not live either.

The water poured from the faucet onto his face. Eyes closed, he let it melt away the tension he carried in his body. It’d been a long, hard day, which had transferred into a long, hard night. He’d only gotten home at about one in the morning. His wife lay asleep already, and in an effort to not wake her, he moved his pajamas to the bathroom so he could change in there after his shower. The scenes that had taken place today flashed across the closer lids of his eyes, as movies scene flash across the projection screen at the old drive in. A small baby, a boy, no older than a month. The operation he’d performed to get rid of the child’s hernia. The mother, desperate with grief, and longing for any word of the child’s wellbeing. Had the child died on his operating table, it would not have been the first death. It would also not have been the first child this mother had lost. The doctor was unsure as to which circumstance made it more tragic. The child lived however. As did the mother’s last words to him as he’d taken the baby into the O.R. “Don’t kill my baby, please, don’t kill my baby…”

He climbed into bed, careful not to wake his wife sleeping beside him. “Tough night, darling?” She was awake. “Yes, dear. Go back to sleep. I love you.” He’d always felt bad for the life his profession had caused him to lead. His children’s birthday parties were events he rarely made an appearance at, a habit that eventually resulted in his fie year old son saying, “if you didn’t want to come Dad, you should’ve just said.” A moment that both marred and moulded his intent to never be one of those absent fathers. So he worked extra hard and extra long during the week to ensure he could devote his weekends to his children. His wife and he had gotten married young, whilst they were both still studying, and as a result she’d had to suffer with him through the long days, and nights. When the children were born, afraid not to cost him the little sleep he afforded himself, she’d spend night after night with them, ready at their beck and call so that they would not wake him.

He looked over to his bedside table clock in the stillness of the early morning. It was now just past two in the morning. He shut his eyes. What a day.

The woman walked into his rooms, clutching her baby to her chest. She had the look about her of a pigeon, constantly moving her head in different directions as if hoping to pre-empt where any trouble may be lurking and thus prevent it. She was early forties, but only showed her age around her eyes. Around her eyes lay the lines, etched by the wear and tear of time. Around her eyes, lay the map of the sorrows this woman had gone through. It was as if each time her heart had been broken, the lines on her face mimicked the cracks in her heart. “My child is ill, doctor,” was all she’d said. He’d pried the child away from her and examined him. “A hernia,” he’d concluded. She looked at him as if he’d declared the child dead on the table. “It’s operable. We’ll keep the child overnight for observation, and operate early tomorrow morning. You’ll be able to take him home the day after, with some medicines that you can collect at the Pharmacy.” Still looking somewhat bewildered, the woman scooped up her baby and looked at him, as if ensuring he was still the child she’d put down ten minutes before. Thanking him, she left his rooms headed for the wards. For some reason, he could not shake the image of her face etched in its heartbroken lines from him mind for the remainder of the day.

“Your child’s post-op check up is fine. He’s running a bit of a temperature, but that’s normal for a child his age and size, after any operation. I’ll ask the nurses to make sure they give you the medicines you’ll require. Follow any and all instructions very carefully. I hope all goes well for you, Mrs. Van Zyl.”

“Miss. Van Zyl, doctor. My husband widowed me about three months back.” This poor woman, he thought to himself. This child must have felt like the last remaining piece on earth, of a husband whom she’d lost three months ago. No wonder she was so protective over him. “I’m sorry for your loss, Miss Van Zyl. Excuse me.” As he walked away, a sense of relief washed over him. To have been instrumental in this child’s recovery was one thing. To have been able to provide this woman with some form of salvation in the midst of all the mourning, was something else entirely.

The short, sharp screeches of the telephone burst into the early hours of the morning. Waking with a start, he felt as if he’d only just fallen asleep a second ago. He checked the clock beside his bed. Five in the morning. And so it begins, he thought. Grimacing at the effort it took to hoist his exhausted body up and out of bed, he finally reached out and answered the phone. “Hello…” he muffled through the crisp Winter morning and into the receiver. “Doctor, doctor! My baby! My baby is dead! Docter, you killed my child.”

Before dressing quickly, he’d called for the hospital’s paramedics to meet him at the woman’s house. Unable to explain to his wife, he’d told her he’d be home as soon as he could. Now driving in the car, he seemed to be stuck at every red robot along the way. He glanced up into the rearview mirror. He looked like death warmed up, pale and strikingly tired. He looked back down to the road ahead. He couldn’t get there quickly enough.

It had taken a sedative to calm the woman down, but still she would not release the body of the dead child. Rocking slowly back and forth on her knees, with the child held tightly to her chest, she was muttering to herself, under her breath, words that no one else could hear. When he’d arrived, she’d barely noticed his entrance into the room. “Miss Van Zyl? Miss Van Zyl, I’m going to need to ask you to hand me your child.” She didn’t even respond to his request. Uneager to inspire another hysterical outburst in the woman, he went over to talk to the paramedics. They’d not been able to do anything, other than administer the sedative. They’d gone into the child’s room and found all the medicines that the hospital had given her when she’d taken the child home. An empty syringe lay beside them, probably the syringe that’d been used to administer one of the medicines. “Do you have any idea how the child died?” “Well doctor, we’re unable to say for sure, but we’re sensing a bit of foul play. I think, sir, that this woman gave her child 10cc’s, instead on half a cc when she put the child to sleep last night.” I looked over to the woman, crying and muttering silently to herself, clutching her dead baby to her chest, as if willing it to become part of her and share her own heart beat, her own breath, her own blood.

What a day…