The drumming circle incident… How this ended up going made me “feel like a fool”. The idea seemed simple enough. Now I had had this thing going on in the back of my mind involving the upcoming trip to Hermanus next week, how it could be a physical experience of an internal reality. There was also some kind of idea involving how to emphasize this process, this journey, by punctuating it with various landmarks. Might need to cover that ground a bit more thoroughly; So the whales doing their thing right now is an example of a landmark, there being a full moon tonight / last night is another example, so there’s a timing thing going on, that it’s the beginning of spring as well etc. Another possibility that came up was them having a drum circle going on last Friday night.

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I thought that would have been a good thing to get involved in, a way to set the tone for what was to follow (we leave for Hermanus on Tuesday). Another significant landmark would be the fact that where we are going to stay at the apex of our trip has a natural hot spring and there’d be all this stuff going on around that ~ Mythology. I was thinking stuff involving renewal and baptism. And now moving onward into the realms of pure self-indulgence (as if I haven’t already gotten quite there yet), there’s a shop or two we plan on making a stop at, a couple in Knysna – one of them sells shamanic drums, crystals, smudge sticks, and the other sells hippy type clothing (Papagayo). Then there’s Funky Vibes in Hermanus.

Places that we could use to re-enforce a sense of the otherworldly during our journey.

Anyway, back to the drum circle. It’s something we very much feel we would like to be a part of, something missing from our lives since we left Johannesburg. But something we are struggling to find going on down here even though it feels like it’s exactly the kind of place that should have drum circles. So when I stumbled on an event being held in Jeffrey’s Bay I thought we should check it out. As simple as that sounds it did for some reason start to get quite complicated, involving money, and my mother and sister (T****) needing to pull out of going with us because they both fell ill.

Off we went regardless but having left late after a bit of wrangling about whether to go or not and ending up trying to find the venue in the dark driving on a very deteriorated dirt road ended up turning into quite a bit of a nightmare. It started to remind me of a similar experience we had trying to find Hogsback. Did I ever cover that ground? It’s where I got the idea for this whole thing in the first place, I mean the idea of drawing parallels between the imaginal and the physical. I asked B if driving on that road in Jeffrey’s Bay brought anything to mind and the first thing she says is yes ~ it reminded her of that time we tried to get to Hogsback.

@ ‘Head East to Hogsback’; “As we mentioned it sounds like a place out of a storybook, a mystical place perhaps. There are numerous theories as to why many people seem to connect South Africa-born author JRR Tolkien’s fantasy world, Middle-earth, with this little village deep in the Eastern Cape forests. It is said that his son was a commander of a Royal Air Force in the region, and he often sent his father sketches of his surrounding area. These images probably contributed towards the atmosphere of the forest scenes found in the famous books.

The Hogsback forest contributed towards the special atmosphere of the forest scenes found in “The Lord of the Rings”. Like any enchanted forest, the walks and hikes are one of the main attractions and they vary from easy strolls to longer, more challenging adventures. “

I’m pretty sure I’ve unpacked that experience somewhere but I will need to scratch around for it a bit. Not sure I should do it right now, could turn out getting a little bit lengthy. Feeling a little sensitive right now about lengthy. In our latest, scratch that, most recent, argument, scratch that, conversation, B pointed out I do tend to go on and on, and on some more about stuff sometimes. I’ve had to acknowledge that perhaps she has a point. And maybe try not doing that so much. Not sure keeping a diary helps. And so I scratch around here for it, and I scratch around there for it.

And I’m wondering just how the hell does this all fit together?

So much stuff put down on paper, so many moments. The Hogsback thing isn’t even really a thing, turns out I’ve covered that ground elsewhere already. Maybe I’d forgotten about that. Didn’t realize I’d already planted the seed of it at some point previously (Village psytrance party with Diego in Cape Town, ages ago). The basic idea is that a physical and real experience can feel imbued with a sense of the mysterious. How’s that for some fancy sounding bullshit? How’s that for proof I’d finally lost the plot? You know what no. It’s not that I’d wanted to cover a principle again. It was more like okay so now that we’ve established a particular principle here’s an example of, or another story involving, that principle in action.

And it wasn’t really any kind of big deal really. Well, now that I’m getting down to the nitty gritty of trying to remember it. And remembering it is taking quite a bit of effort. It was at the end of 2012, so we are talking about three years ago. Turning the pages backwards it seems I stopped putting pen to paper in this diary of sorts about six years ago (2008/2009). I kind of like that the Hogsback thing sits snugly in the middle between the moment I stopped writing in here and the moment I started doing it once again. Well. I mean more or less. In the end there has been this gap, this chasm, this black hole of nothingness and nothing to account for it.

What exactly happened back there, during those seven years?

A whole bunch I guess. And sort of in the middle of all of it Hogsback. Weird how that word is as long as Hermanus. And they both start with H. And they both end with four letter words that describe some kind of anatomy. I guess the middle of it is as good a place as any to start unpacking it. What happened is my father had passed away, and we decided we should take a drive up to where all the family was at – go spend some time with them out there. It’s a fair amount of distance, about a fifteen hour drive so, we thought we should split the trip in two. We stopped in Bloemfontein on the way up to there from Port (something) and on the way back down we decided to stop at Hogsback.

Hadn’t ever been there before, had heard about it from T****. Always wanted to check it out, had never gotten around to doing it. And the words in my book stop at this point, and now I need to decide if I pick this up again at some point further down the line or if I think I can wrap it up now. Considering the above was already sort of painfully cut and paste from several interspersed points in my diary I’m feeling a bit of resistance about the further down the line option. Down side of trying to wrap this up now is I might not do a very good job of it. Like the world is watching with baited breath I guess. Oh well. So for now I guess just the bones of it…

Michels Pass.
@ ‘Mystic Death, Marriage, and Rebirth By Ida Postma’; “The essence of initiation is, of course, never confined to organized systems, for in the life of each one of us are those difficult, often excruciating, experiences we have to face, seemingly bereft of guidance. When we manage to live through them with courage and in a positive frame of mind, we sometimes gain a wonderful new insight, and in a sense we feel that a part of ourselves we had never known about has been born from our suffering. This is the theme song of evolution: the struggle between spirit and matter, in which hopefully the light side wins out. For our inner growth no initiatory couch, no ceremony is needed, and the crypt is our situation here and now, our higher self the hierophant. The more consciously we ally ourselves with the light and try, willingly and knowingly, to work toward the unfolding of our higher potential, the more illuminating will be our epopteia — for us personally and for all mankind.”

In my head the Hogsback thing felt like an authentic death/rebirth thing, and maybe I need to spend some more time exploring what that means (later), how that ties in to how I’ve been talking about a physical experience being an experience of the non-physical. If only I could find any words I put down about it at the time, it would be easier to convince myself of that, and convince you of that very quickly and easily too. It would have provided a good blueprint for this the most recent attempt at achieving something similar. Maybe it’s about trying to identify similarities in that experience and this experience to validate the authenticity of this experience (because the authenticity of that experience was so convincing).

I’m not going to be able to get the Hogsback thing down at this point, not sure I ever will, guess for now we’ll both just have to take my word for it.

But we did try to get there, and the going was incredibly tough. We’d ended up on a dirt road trying to get in from the north – in the map book it looked like the quickest way, and we’d been on the road forever already. What the map book failed to mention was how impossible it would be to get to Hogsback using this dirt road. I think we almost broke the car trying. I’m not going to get too much into it – just to point out this part of it seemed to serve as a type of landmark, a very real physical version of what might be called ‘a dark night of the soul’ in the non-physical version.

And here we were in Jeffreys Bay, seeking a physical landmark to a non-physical experience involving a trip to Hermanus, and ending up on a dirt road that we could hardly navigate, looking for a place we couldn’t find. Apart from the similarities in the names of the two towns it looked like we’d bumped into another something of a similarity – in hindsight it looked like a good omen. At the time though, and why it was I ended up feeling like a fool involved focusing on the fact that we never did find the place, well we found it but it didn’t seem like anyone was there. We ended up turning back to Jeffreys Bay, and at a coffee shop that served us vegetarian burgers.

In my head this failed attempt at experiencing an expected landmark (participating in a drum circle) made me wonder about what I was trying to do, made me ask myself what was I thinking? If this was the first landmark and it got so messed up what would the rest of the landmarks look like? If this landmark ended so disappointingly then what was in store for us? If I had all this warm and fuzzy going on about my expectations and this is how it started then wouldn’t the rest of this thing end up being just as messy, wouldn’t I end up just getting a whole bunch more disappointed?


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