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Posts Tagged ‘Red Cap’

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The last leg of the journey. A desperate race against time.

As usual, TZ is up early. Early means 4.30 in the morning. Normally he spends an hour in meditation before going for a brisk walk which is yet another exercise in mindfulness. But this morning there is an unusual urgency about him. Unlike his usual calm demeanour, he seems to be in a hurry to get going.

He hurriedly goes off to wake the moron up but finds the bed empty. He searches the rest of the apartment but there is no sign of the-seeker-after-eternal-truth. Going outside he finds us in the garden. The moron is sitting in the full lotus position under a tree with his backpack at his side … he is stark naked. Except for me, the famous Red Cap sitting on his balding scalp, he has no clothes on at all, not even shoes.

“What in the world is going on here?” asks TZ perplexed. “Why are you sitting here completely naked?”

I am so ashamed of this foolish companion of mine that I turn crimson red under the bright full moon.

“Did you not say yourself sir,” he retorts, “that if we want to go to God we must go completely naked or not go at all?”

“O Lord,” TZ moans softly. “Figuratively, I meant it figuratively as in empty, as in without any preconceived ideas, as in like an innocent child. Not without clothes! Please go and get dressed, and make sure you put on your hiking boots or else you will not make it even half way up the mountain. Hurry up, I’ll wait for you.” And as a sort of afterthought he adds, “and keep that Red Cap on your head, I think it stirs something good in you, something sensible.” (meer…)

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drosdy-agterkant

 In the shade of the mighty Mountain

“And the fire and the rose are one”

T.S. Eliot

Swellendam was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1747 and named after the governor Hendrik Swellengrebel and his wife Helena Ten Damme. The townspeople were not happy with the way they were governed and soon they rebelled against the Dutch oppressors and declared themselves a Republic, indeed the smallest republic in the world at the time. But alas, they soon lost their brief independence when the English conquered the Cape and sent the Dutch packing. And naturally, being from rebellious Dutch and French stock (and being human, all too bloody human, obstinate and quarrelsome), they eventually rebelled against the English too.

We book into a guest house for the night to rest up before our final assault on the summit of our own Mount Sinai.

In this beautiful town the dear wife of our seeker after eternal truth joins us briefly. Mrs M is a level headed, strong woman who calls a spade a spade, and some ghosts by their first name.

It is still early in the day, so we set off to explore the historical sights of the town. We have lunch in a restaurant which used to be the Old Post Office, which was also the house of the postmaster, who was also the gaoler in yonder times. Next we visit the museum where you can see a lot of old tools used by the craftsmen of old, but TZ declines the invitation to join us on our little historical excursion. “There is no time,” he says. “Even history is an illusion,” and he wonders off to a secluded spot in the lush garden to sit in the shade of a majestic old oak tree to meditate.

“There is time, lots of it,” queries my deluded master. “We have all day to do whatever we please.”

TZ just shakes his head and smiles benevolently at his reluctant student and then wanders off.

Across the road is the old Drostdy, home of the first magistrate of the Swellendam district. This is an impressive building in the old Cape Dutch style, now also a museum open to the public. The receptionist/tour guide is a stern lady bent on the detailed transmission of historical facts to the unsuspecting tourist. “Interesting but too much information,” says Mrs M ever so sternly. “There is someone in the kitchen, it’s a man, do you know that?” Our talking bundle of historic information is taken aback and the incessant flow of information stutters to a halt.

“I … I, what … I mean who … yes I know. How do you know?” she asks incredulously. Suddenly she is a transformed woman. No more the formal by-the-book tour guide on auto-pilot, but a human being curiously interacting with another human being.

“I can see him, that’s how,” Mrs M replies dryly. “I don’t think he is very friendly, in fact he seems to be rather hostile?”

“Yes, you are right, there is something in the kitchen and it is not friendly, I am scared of it, but fortunately he never comes to this reception area and I do not go into the kitchen. I cannot see what it is, but I know it is there,” says our miraculously transmuted tour guide still in shock after the revelation that someone else could also see what she sees, or think she sees, or see what she suspects she sees. “But I don’t talk to other people about it, they will think I am mad and I will lose my job. I don’t want that,” she adds meekly, wringing her handkerchief and nervously wipe perspiration from her forehead.

“There is a picture of an old man against the wall opposite the kitchen. That is a picture of the man in the kitchen,” says Mrs M.

“Oh dear, oh dear,” says our psychic tour guide. “That is a picture of a former owner of the house long after it was used as a Drostdy, but long before it was turned into a museum.”

“Interesting,” murmurs Mrs M to herself. “I wonder why he is still hanging around. But tell me; while we were walking towards the Drostdy just now, you came down the steps from the buildings in the back. There was a boy with you, a boy with a hat. Who was it?”

“Oh boy,” our tour guide almost shrieks. “That one I can see. He is always in that building, it used to be a workshop in the time of the magistrate, the one the Drostdy was built for. The boy comes to me and walks with me when I am there, but he never comes with me to this building. He is rather carefree and seems to be busy all the time. What do you make of him?”

“He is about ten years old I’d say. He is dressed in Khaki shirt and short pants,” Mrs M replies. “I get the name Willem, yes it is definitely Willem, but nothing else. Curious, why would he hang around for more than two hundred years? They always amaze me, and sometimes even scare me.”

Me, the world famous Red Cap, is always amazed by these strange human beings. They are forever saying things that either don’t mean a damn thing, or that does not mean what you think they are saying, and then they habitually and vehemently deny that the things they said, that did not mean what they said, was what they meant in the first place. And THAT is scary! (meer…)

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The Red Cap and the Seeker After Eternal Truth Descends into the Low Country

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We leave the wilderness behind and travel west down the coast towards the Cape of Storms, not our final destination, but perhaps an apt description of things to come in our quest after truth.

We travel fast on the highway winding downwards towards a place called Little Brakriver, a lesser destination on our arduous, questing way to transcendence. It seems that we must first descend into the low country of sensual existence, before we can move into the high country, there perhaps first to meet Jung’s “burning one and growing one” before entering the void.

“Most of spirituality is a construction project. But enlightenment,” says Adyashanti, “is a demolition project.” This deconstruction project is nothing like Dirida’s deconstruction philosophy where he took things apart piece by piece to examine them and then tried to put them together again (He did it with Philosophy and couldn’t put it together again. He did it with religion and the church embraced him with vigour, and now, after the devastation, they are still trying to put it all together again). No, Adyashanti’s demolition is a deliberate breaking down of structures of knowledge and thinking, to rebuild it from scratch into something completely new, something that has always been there, even before time began.

Little Brakriver is not much of a town, but it is quiet and right next to the sea with a beautiful, unspoiled beach and not many people around. Being a town consisting mainly of holiday homes of rich upper-middleclass people, most of the houses stand empty for most of the year, which is of course a terrible waste, but regarded as normal in our abnormal society. The result is you have to drive to the next town (Great Brakriver) to get supplies, which is a bit of a bother. Our accommodation is a small flat called “The Beach Cottage”, which is quite a misnomer; it should have been called “The Cottage far from the beach”, because it is situated next to the railway line more than halve a mile from the beach. But we are not complaining, it is nice and clean and the owner is a friendly, helpful old lady, quiet and graceful in a country sort of way.

We unpack and then we walk down to the beach for a refreshing swim (says my moron); for our seeker after wisdom’s first serious session of meditation while the sun is setting in the west (says TZ).

We get to the beach and sit down on the sand, catching our breath after the brisk walk. After a moment my moron jumps up excitedly, pointing to a young girl coming out of the sea. “Just look at that,” he says. “Have you ever seen such beauty, such gracefulness in a girl in such a small bikini in your whole life? I think I will walk down there and talk to her, maybe I’ll get lucky,” he says smiling from ear to ear and start walking in her direction. “You stay here, I’ll be back shortly,” he says to me and chucks me down in the sand with his other belongings. Me, the famous Red Cap in the sand, on the beach! What utter disgrace!

“Don’t be stupid,” I shout after him. “She is young, she could have been your daughter. Come back here you moron and start acting your age!” I shout furiously after him, but he walks on, ignoring me. The desires of the flesh are a burning fire, and it drives the fool to his final humiliation, and onwards toward the inevitable dark night of his soul.

The fool struts down to the beach, tucking in his protruding middle age belly in a futile effort to look young again. He walks up to the young lady and start talking to her, no doubt flattering her and making a fool of himself. She smiles shyly, laugh at his stupid witticisms and then they start walking off down the beach and disappear behind some big rocks, still chatting and laughing. (meer…)

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One famous Red Cap and one Moron. Seekers after eternal truth.

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Our bags are packed. At the airport the green bird of Kulula is waiting to take us to the Fairest Cape, while I will be taking my moron deeper into the illusion that is life, and the sod is so happy he can wet his pants like an exited child. He does not know where he is going. He never does.

We started our little journey with Kierkegaad’s: “I stick my finger into existence – it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? What does the world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the thing, and now leaves me here?” and we intend to keep on poking at life and demand answers, (or demand to see the Director, like my obstinate, overly excitable moron usually does.)

On this journey we will have as trusted companion Roshi TZ, an honourable Zen master and expert on the writings of Adyashanti and his enlightened and enlightening wisdom. We are going to listen to “Emptiness Dancing”. Together with TZ we are going to try to wake the moron up. “Awakening,” says Adyashanti, “is the end of seeking, the end of the seeker, but it is the beginning of a life from your true nature. That’s a whole other discovery.”

But we have a problem, me and my wise companion. Our problem is that the moron, like all his fellow morons, do not know that they are asleep. They are under the illusion that they are wide awake, and the worst part is, they know it all, they know everything there is to know, or they will … one day. Sagacious as they are, the Universe can keep no secret from them, ever.

TZ pokes me in the ribs and says; “tell him”.

“Tell him what,” I ask.

“Tell him that my speaking to him on this trip is to shake him awake, not to tell him how to dream better. He knows how to dream better”.

“But I am awake,” says my moron agitated and promptly falls asleep, and stays asleep for the rest of the flight.

“How do we,” says TZ gravely, looking at my snoring companion “convince him that he is a living Buddha, the divine emptiness, the infinite nothing, in fact the human expression of oneness?” (meer…)

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Red Cap

‘Been taking it easy. Relaxing and smelling the flowers along the way.

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But I will be back. Just watch this space.

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It is now more than a year ago that we went to Germany on our famed pilgrimage. I think I, the famous Red Cap went into a severe depression shortly after our return to this dark, disorderly, violent and bloody country. Isolated from the rest of the world by a desert to the North and an ocean all the way around the rest of it, she is only now, about a thousand years later, getting to the “let’s-kill –all-the-other-buggers-before-they-kill-us” blood and gore phase that Europe went through.

Yes we saw it all. From the brutal Roman occupation and their Gladiator blood sport arenas for their own amusement, to the Prussian wars, and Napoleon’s bloody conquest of most of Europe, the one hundred year war, the madness of the Crusades, and other small local skirmishes as well as two world wars culminating in atrocious, vulgar Dachau and Auschwits. Yes it happened and it will happen again, and it is now happening in Africa. It is enough to make you ashamed of humanity and send you into hiding for the rest of your life, praying that some or other Bubonic plague or alien invasion will wipe them out for good.

And that is what I, the famous Red Cap was doing most of the time since our return. Hanging out with some shady characters, trying to minimise contact with these despicable human beings as much as possible. You never know when they will turn on you and shoot you (they like to shoot things), or stab you (another great fun thing they like to do), or stone you (great stoners they are ever since Biblical times).Red Cap 3

We did go on sporadic excursions all over the place, like visiting great cultural spots to hang out with the forefathers, those brave men and women who should have stayed in the good old Netherlands or France or whatever seedy corner of the world they ran from, mainly because they could not get along with ‘thy neighbours’. Question is, why travel all this way just to kill or be killed by black savages, while you could have stayed home and be killed by your own savage, moronic people over trivialities like how a loving, almighty God should be worshiped. It does not make sense, but then again, do these bipeds ever make sense?

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

(meer…)

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Goodbye Germany

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And suddenly it is time to go. The last day dawned on us with sunshine and bird song. Sneaky bastard. We were hoping for some sort of reprieve, some sort of exculpation, exoneration, absolution, call it what you

want. We urgently wanted to stay longer, very much longer, maybe even indefinitely. This is what a postmodern society looks like. This is me, the world famous, sophisticated Red Cap. This is where I belong. This is what I deserve. All the technology, all the luxury, the rich and mind boggling culture, the sophistication and level of civilisation. An authentic, thoroughly postmodern society.

Duitsland 2014

Duitsland 2014

Ye gods, I stand (or rather hang) mortified in the midst of all this splendour at the side of my moron, who is beaming with devastating ignorance at all of this, and mumbles weakly; ‘This is nice. I think we should perhaps come here again sometime’. NICE! NICE! Domkopf! Saumensch! I swear his befuddled little brain cannot fathom the splendour and intricacy of this sophisticated civilisation he suddenly finds himself in. Shame, it must be completely overwhelming for the bird brained poor sod. As the saying goes; the light of one single candle is just there to show you the darkness, presuming of course that there is even one single, tiny little candle burning in that empty, pitch black cavern of his skull.

For a last treat our hosts take us for a walkabout and a cup of tea in the Englischer Garten. Strange thing this English garden in the woods of Germany. Why, one wonders, did a proud German nation bother with an English garden in the middle of a German army camp? But I am willing to forgive them this faux pas, because they at least had the common sense to erect a shrine with a statue of Apollo in one corner of the garden, it could just as well have been a statue in honour of some or other Royal English prick.

Duitsland 2014

Duitsland 2014

And then it was off to the airport. Said our goodbyes, au revoirs, happy landings and what not, and we were off. And this time I was treated with the respect due to me. I travelled with the moron in the passenger compartment of the plane and not in the cargo hold like before. Disgustingly dirty and cold as hell it was down there. I felt humiliated beyond words. I will never forgive him that indiscretion.

But my happiness was short lived. The cargo hold was indeed cold and dirty and disgusting, not exactly Schloss Neuschwanstein, but, as I soon realised to my horror, to be herded together in this cramped space with this lot vulgar, wheezing, coughing, spitting humanity, was an ordeal comparable to Dachau. The air was hot and humid and teaming with the most horrid bugs of all kind, competing with each other for the most suitable host to penetrate where they multiplied to be coughed out into the liquid air to infect more people who were happily smiling and talking and laughing. This was driving me out of my mind. I was not going to survive this madness.

Duitsland 2014

Duitsland 2014

We stop over at Dubai, a splendid, modern, shiny airport, not designed to accommodate weary, bone-tired world travellers. We survived ten agonising long hours of waiting for the connection flight back home amidst drooling men in long white frocks ogling innocent young girls (hateful Western unbelievers) in miniskirts and hot-pants. They, the white frocked, towel headed men, are not interested in a famous, albeit dishevelled Red Cap, sitting atop the greying bald head of an equally dishevelled elderly man. Regrettably, nor are the pretty young ladies.

Eventually our plane arrives and we shuffle on board, being welcomed by pretty stewardesses and a new wave of exotic, noxious germs. After an eternity in the belly of our flying beast, crammed in like sardines in a tin can with these vulgar, sweating, wheezing bipeds, we arrive back home. We disembark, taking our aliens, now in permanent, hostile residence, with us and picking up a couple of the local variety on the way to the arrival terminal.

Duitsland 2014

Duitsland 2014

If there is such a thing as fifty shades of grey, then I am sure I achieved a remarkable 51 shades of crimson during our flight back home, arriving at Aandblom Street in the palest shade of red imaginable. My poor germ infested moron (now poor in every sense of the word, especially the sort of word bank managers understand best) and his equally poor spouse, sported a very dark shade of green and promptly went to bed, and stayed there for the rest of the week, and half of the next week, telling each other what a fabulous, unforgettable trip they had had. And, I believe, in their feverish delirium, started to plan the next trip to Europe.

And now, fully restored to my old exuberant, charming and witty self with a healthy red colour, I must admit that it was worth it, every moment of it. Yes I do sport a few permanent scars and lost a stich or two like a seasoned traveller, but I loved it and will do it again, and again for as long as I live. To that end, we are working on a scheme to rob a Bank. Watch this space, we will keep you posted.

Ps. watching the news last night made me change my mind. I have a feeling that the moron is going to botch up our planned bank robbery, and we will all land in jail, thus I suggested that the moron and wife paint themselves black, we get a boat and head for Europe as refugees. That way we will get VIP treatment and permanent residence in the country of our choice. We get food, a house, medical treatment and a job. Once inside, we can start demanding better treatment, free housing, free meals, and if we don’t get what we demand, we accuse them of racism and discrimination, and we burn down their towns and cities.

This is going to be so exciting. Just can’t wait. The Red Cap is going to go on a rampage!

Juliet verona

See you soon darling Juliet.

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