Monday, December 7, 2009

Regaining a Sense of Peace


At the moment I'm searching to regain that sense of peace I always feel when carving my totems. I'm floundering a bit but I have no doubt that with perseverance I will find that precious quietude again.


It has been an unerving few days. In South Africa there is nothing unusual about having intruders on your property but I still can't get used to the uneasy feeling that it leaves. On Thursday night my husband woke up from a deep sleep. Something caught his attention outside our window and upon investigation he saw what he thought was an enormous python undulating across the flower bed next to our bedroom window. It dawned on him that the python was in fact 2 or 3 men, leopard crawling, one behind the other. He clicked his fingers to alert our bull terrier and with that the men leaped up and literally flew effortlessly over our 6 foot wall.

We were so lucky! There has been a gang operating just outside of town. People have been tortured and someone we knew was murdered. We had just heard that the gang had been caught and we were feeling very relieved. I'm trying not to overreact because nothing actually happened to us or our property. It was a good wake up call to jolt us into upgrading our security. The three companies we have called to do the work can only start on Wednesday. One company to fix our alarm system, another to put up movement sensors outside and another company to bolt stronger burglar guards onto all our windows. A costly exercise but necessary. Until the improvements have been made we are sleeping fitfully.


Early this morning we noticed that the intruders had returned during the night. The strong 6 foot high gate leading into the courtyard was wide open and there were big muddy shoe prints everywhere. These people are obviously casing the area determined to get in but were disturbed once again.



My sense of calm is temporarily shattered. At the back of my mind is the thought of what might have happened had they got into the house. I am trying to focus on the things that bring me peace.


Appreciating my husband and my daughter.

Mindfully carving my totems.

Observing nature and being thankful.

Laughing at these comical monkeys that never fail to lighten a moment. So often I look up from my work to see these little faces looking at me.



This morning I read three blog posts in succession. Each one left me feeling a little better. Isn't it amazing how that happens? Just when I needed them.

Roxannes post about quiet moments. Her new header is a joy to behold!
Leslie's post about the little book of Stillness.

Donna's post about the Zen of Line and her beautiful collage which she calls, The Way.

Over the weekend I received caring emails from my friend Lyle.

The blog world continues to bring me so much comfort and inspiration. I think we are very lucky to have each other.



Ben, my guardian .... angel dog?

55 comments:

  1. My thoughts go out to you, we are so lucky not to have to worry about that kind of intrusion. I hope your beautiful spirit will keep those
    with harm in their minds away.

    Corrine

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  2. Beautiful creation in the first picture.
    I travelled a lot in your Country,and I can say Southafrica is a wonderful Country.
    But... Yes... reading the local newspapers or posts like this one,sometimes I don't feel so sure.
    Not like in my quiet italian town...
    Bye

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  3. We had this problem when living on the edge of London. The scum eventually broke in at 2 am when my husband was in work and I was home alone. Because I'd been alerted earlier in the evening, I'd put things in place with the police, and, when the banging started they were there within minutes.

    Didn't have a decent night's sleep for the next three months - when we moved out.

    Recently, I've had a few odd-bod callers - and, know that the burglary rate is on the rise around here, got a firm in to fit a police-call intruder alarm system.

    Not cheap, but it gives some peace of mind.

    I hope that you can get some yourself soon - and keep the "pond-life" outside.


    Chris

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  4. This is a very frightening thing to happen and even to read about. I'm glad you are safe.

    I met another blogger from Mumbai, Vineeta from Artnlight. It was amazing how we bonded instantly, as if we'd known each other for years and we both were taking too about how much blogging has changed our lives by forming these wonderful connections.

    Ben is a beautiful and brave dog (scritch scritch scritch to his head).

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  5. Thank goodness for Ben angels! I can't imagine how violated you must feel. Hope your sense of peace returns quickly Robyn! xo

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  6. Robyn, I am so sorry that you've had to deal with intruders and the trauma that comes with it.. your post sounds like a chapter from Joan Root's book Wildflower...I hope you get your alarm system upgraded quickly.. no one should have to live in such fear.. it's a terrible thing to have your private property trespassed like that.

    I love your Bullie Ben...he is adorable! We have a couple of Borzoi hounds that we keep outside in the yard but my eight year son is dying for his own indoor dog.. a Bullie actually. We've never owned one though I've known a few...any advice for us?

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  7. Robyn,
    By the way..it was a treat to see your inspiring carving at the top of your post today and I like how you incorporated those two Benz logos!
    xo

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  8. I can imagine how frightened you have been. I hope they capture the men that are invading your space. Blessings.

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  9. I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your family and I wish you peace and safety and as you so need, a calming mind.
    I read of your secret on Sunday and it is a wonderful one. I won't spoil it but congratulations on the rich connection with such a vibrant soul. Blogging and bloggers are a powerful addition to all our lives and that is no secret!

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  10. I hear you willing yourself to stay calm, centered and rational. Of course, that's the place from which one can be most effective. Sounds very logical to up all the security. And thank goodness for dear Ben. But my heart reaches out to you and your precious family. Anytime you want Robyn, you and your family can come visit for a nice safe break. The kettle is always on!
    xxoo

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  11. oh, robyn...i cannot imagine. i hope that the new security measures you are implementing will allow you some much-needed rest and peace of mind. i will of course keep you in my thoughts and i pray a hedge of protection about you and yours...
    much love,
    ~amy

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  12. I come here often to view your beautiful posts.
    I just had to leave a comment saying that I am praying for the safety of you and yours. Although this sort of violation can happen anywhere, it must be extremely frightening in your area since it's become so personal.
    I adore your wonderful art, and the art of others you generously share on your blog. I hope that soon you can return to it in peace,,

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  13. My dear Robyn - what a troubled place you do live in. Thank goodness for that darling dog, I say. He looks so fierce yet I guess that with you he has a heart of gold. Just what you need. I hope you soon find peace and quietude again.

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  14. Oh, how unnerving indeed!!!! I hope that you stay safe, are able to get more security and that carving those totems gives you a break with some peace of mind. Those monkeys are hilarious and your bull terrier is adorable! Take care....

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  15. gosh robyn ,be safe. thank god for Ben :) he looks like an angel.
    take care robyn.

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  16. oh my gosh! How terrifying! and still you managed to put out a beautiful-partly terrifying-post-- I found some new blogs to follow and love your guardian angel...

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  17. chilling description of the men snake crawling across your patio, muddy footprints, casing - all very terrifying - hopefully the stronger security will deter their efforts - you and your family in my prayers - desperation is rampant in the world and ours is not exempt!

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  18. oh Robyn, my heart just goes out to you. it is so hard not to feel safe in your own home. I am holding the thought that you can get it secured and bring back your lovely peace of mind. blessings to you and yours! cat

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  19. Crikeys Robyn - talk about scary! Oh there's nothing worse than an invasion of property and privacy. If only those monkeys of yours could talk (and they're so CUTE!). I must also apologise for not having popped on by for a while. Life has been hectic to the extreme! I haven't, in fact, been to visit anybody in the last couple of weeks!!

    I'm so glad Lyle has been sending you some lovely, caring emails. She's so good like that!

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  20. Dearest Robyn, you must have been so alarmed. Thank goodness for your Dog Angel. Will email you this morning.

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  21. Please be safe!
    Ben is such a handsome angel fellow!

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  22. How horrible - my heart goes out to you! Robyn - no wonder you are struggling to find peace and not sleeping well. Breathe deep and may you find calm in your family and your beautiful totems.

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  23. Definietly a frightening situation. I can see why you are shaken up. I will be sending out positive thoughts to you!

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  24. It makes me so angry that I think of the general concept in the theory of self-defence "shoot to kill"

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  25. Omg, it's a wonder that you have any nerves left at all! How awful to have some selfish and potentially dangerous people intrude on your space like that! Sorry to hear about the death of someone you knew...and in terrible circumstances too. I am sending you warm peacefull thoughts, a virtual nest to climb in and feel safe in:)

    Your carving is still wonderful, I wish you (and your DH and the lovely ben) well!

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  26. Robyn, I feel for you and I am so glad you are taking all of these extra precautions. A beautiful place to live, but also a very dangerous one. It is very scary when you know their are intruders lurking around. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Take care and give that beautiful Ben a big cuddle from me. My son Sam loves Bull Terriers ...he has a Rhodesian Ridgeback x Rottweiller who is our protector. You feel so much safer with them around dont you.

    Sending Peace to you and yours.

    Jacky xox

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  27. My blood ran cold when I read your post Robyn. You have my utmost sympathy. It is a very scary thing to happen once, but twice...! I pray that your new precautions keep these horrible people away and bless your dog. I also wish you and your family peace of mind.

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  28. My thoughts are with you and your family Robyn!
    Wishing you peace and safety,
    Regina

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  29. I can't imagine your situation as it is beyond my experience. However I am sending you positive vibes and you are in my prayers. Your dog Ben looks very reliable. I hope your improved security measures bring you some peace and calm.
    A big hug to you.
    Sylvia

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  30. Ai. Not nice. But Big Doggie Treats to Ben though!! And a kiss on his nose from me!!

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  31. Thank goodness for your dog. Is it possible for you to go away until your security is installed? I know you know what's best for these circumstances. I hope you don't mind that you're in my prayers. You're doing well in taking each moment as it comes. That gives such strength.

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  32. Dear Robyn - Oh what a shock and how very distressing this must be for you and your family. Good old Ben though and hopefully the new security measures will help to make you feel less vulnerable soon. Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and hoping you can continue to focus on good things like your wonderful art and those funny little monkeys! Caroline.

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  33. Chilling to read this. I know that it's so horrible to feel unsafe in your home. Give Ben an extra sausage or treat from me. So good that you have him. Be strong and be safe.

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  34. Hi Robyn,
    I am sorry to hear about your situation. That sounds very distressful. Sending you many positive thoughts. One thing I do is visualize my home surrounded by white light. Much love to you and your family. Ben is adorable!

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  35. Blimey... how terrifying! Your Ben is delightful, I'm sure that he will keep you safe. My sister used to have three English Bull Terriers, they are such hard cases and great watch dogs.

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  36. Oh my Robyn. Here I went to your blog for a bit of calm from my (non-violent) but very stressful life. Grabbing a cup of tea with a very good book is how I think of your blog.

    There is a song, one of the lines is something like, "we are all only a phone call away from falling to our knees."

    wishing you safe. Safe return to more normal. Your monkeys and Ben look lovely. Take care my blog friend, take very good care.

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  37. Dear Robyn... we ARE all so very lucky to have eachother... all connecting through our art and souls... my heart is reaching out to you during this frightening as well... I hope you and your family will find some calm and normalcy soon and that your new system will be up and running even sooner. I am glad you could feel a bit better from my quiet moments post and that you liked my new banner... I am sending you positive thoughts and love... roxanne

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  38. Your dog has great presence!

    Listen, i am going on blog break, i came to say Thanda to you my darling girl. You better be there and be safe when i return.
    Hear me!!

    i had a great Somalian friend in college, the coup was their daily bread.... be careful.

    Protection, health and Thanda Love to you.

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  39. This is my first visit to your blog, I wish you peace, calm and safety.
    You have a wonderful page and so many images that inspire me. I'll be following now for sure.

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  40. I was concerned for you and your family when I read this post. I could only imagine how frightening this all was and hope that today the security companies come through. Still, everything I've read about the criminal element indicates that nothing frightens them like a barking dog. Good boy, Ben! Take care, Robyn.

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  41. my god... reading your post sent showers of chill down my spine- god! Its beautiful that you are searching for and finding calmness in many things. Sending you a big hug & many prayers for your & your family's safety. You will always be protected.

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  42. Oh Robyn, I don't presume to know how this feels for you and I don't really know what to say except that I have some idea - first hand experience, multiples of, that still haunt me - and I am SO sorry that you have had this experience. Horrid, horrid. I admire your level-headedness and I'm so glad that you have your family and your lovely Ben (and those monkeys of course) around you. I believe that if anyone can find that place of inner peace again, it'll be you. Thinking of you... wishing you safe. Safe. xx

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  43. Thinking of you and your family dear Robyn. Wishing you peace and comfort.

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  44. how perfectly horrid. time to acquire a wolf pack to help your lovely bull terrier with her job!

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  45. Robyn, I am SO glad that your husband woke up ... I wish I could go and make things safer there, not sure what I would do tho... I want to say something to make you happier but I keep thinking nervous things.. I will be thinking of you... PLease Be Safe...
    They know you have a dog now... please keep a look out for anything planted on the premises to tempt him or injure him...

    ... you are something!!! Look at those little monkeys giving comic relief...

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  46. Robyn, what happened to you can happen anywhere. So many of us fool ourselves into "that doesn't happen here" mentality. So wrong. Give that Ben a big hug, and treat from all of us. He's a brave soul!
    Here's hoping you feel safer soon. Maybe a friend to help Ben bark louder? hugs, PJ

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  47. Thank goodness for Ben.
    I don't wonder you sleep fitfully. I hope you rnew improved security brings you a greater sense of peace.
    x

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  48. That must have been so scary! Stay safe. I hope the intruders keep away. Your little terrier is so precious.

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  49. Robyn: I have just read this post, don't know how I missed it? Glad everything is settling down now. I was reading BBC articles on the Police in Nigeria only last week which was in itself scary. One word of warning if you were to give your Bullie all the treats and love your blog followers are suggesting he would become a soft barrel!!!

    Take care and look after yourself.

    Regards Dave

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  50. How scary!! I love your Ben - I do agree with Gwen tho - be very careful that the 'bad guys" don't put something out to hurt him. Dogs are generally a good deterrent- we have 4 "bullies"!! You have to create a protection totem to hang over your door - and train the monkeys to scream at nighttime intruders!!!

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  51. I hope all your security is in place by now Robin and you and your family can feel safer. How frightening!

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  52. i've been out of the loop and just now read this...wow that is awful robyn...hate hearing thugs are killing and terrorizing people. who can feel a sense of peace with that going on and people intruding your grounds? sending you calming loving thoughts and hoping peace returns NOW.

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  53. It's a rotten world. Thanks God for little monkeys and faithfull dogs! Good souls are protected, always, but stand on guard nevertheless! warm thoughts from a peaceful land (albeit a very cold one!)

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