Obiter Dictum

Notes on the adventure of life.


leave a comment »

“They will say I smoked cigarettes and marijuana, cursed hoarse as a crow in all my languages, and loved morphine and Demerol and tequila and pulque, women and men. I will shrug my illusion of shoulders and answer that I am a water woman, not a vessel, not something you can sail or charter. I am instead the tributary, the river, the fluid source, and the sea itself. I am all her rainy implications. And what do you, with your rusted compass, know of love?”
Kate Braverman – The incantation of Frida K.

Written by sabineclappaert

October 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


leave a comment »

“Verdriet voelt als op zee egeltjes lopen. Je voelt elk pinnetje, en het stopt niet.”


Written by sabineclappaert

August 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm


leave a comment »

(*Tumble weed)

tumble weed

The thought tumbled into my head out of nowhere this afternoon. I was working the last hours of the week sitting in a circle of sunlight at the dining room table, when suddenly, there it was: “I want to move to South Africa for three months”. Uh, hello….anyone? Where did this come from suddenly?

But then again, a lot of things have been ‘coming’ to me suddenly lately. Thoughts, reflections bubble to the surface of consciousness like a volcano slowly coming to the boil deep inside.

First I thought: It’s all Brene’s fault. (Currently reading a book of Brene Brown called Rising Strong.) But then I think of the course I did at CCL and I think: that’s where it all started! And then I think of our wedding, surrounded by so much love, and I know: but that’s part of it too. And then there’s my ‘Marble Jar Friends’ – the mirror they hold up for me, their reflections which push me forward ever so gently, one tiny step at a time.

It’s like a door has opened and it’s all flooding in, with no turning back.

Out of nowhere this sentence appeared recently too: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”


I’m not sure where this is heading, but of one thing I am sure: it is heading.




Written by sabineclappaert

August 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


leave a comment »

It happens to those who live alone

It happens to those

who live alone
that they feel sure
of visitors
when no one else
is there.

Until the one day
and the one
working in the
quiet garden,

when they realize
at once
that all along
they have been
an invitation
to everything
and every
kind of trouble

and that life
happens by
to those who

like the bees
the tall mallow
on their legs of gold,
or the wasps
going from door to door
in the tall forest
of the daisies.

I have my freedom
because nothing
really happened

and nobody came
to see me,
only the slow
growing of the garden
in the summer heat

and the silence of that
unborn life
making itself
known at my desk,

my hands
with the crumbling
as I write
and watch

the first lines
of a new poem
like flowers
of scarlet fire
coming to fullness
in a clear light.

‘It Happens to Those Who Live Alone’
From The House of Belonging
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Garden Doors
Photo © David Whyte
Whidbey Island 2015

Written by sabineclappaert

August 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized


with one comment


Her name is Aimy. She’s nine years old (“Almost ten, Beanie.”). She thinks that I’ve forgotten that I’m her marraine, because she doesn’t hear from me very often and I keep forgetting her birthday.

She’s a feisty one, our Aimy. I clearly remember her first Christmas dinner at the family table: just one year old and already she refused to be fed by her mom or dad. With tightly pursed lips she violently shook her head: no food was going in her mouth unless she was holding that darn spoon herself.

In a way, not much has changed over the past nine years. Aimy still does things only one way: Aimy’s way.

Here’s why I think Aimy is awesome:

  1. Aimy says it like it is. She is brutally honest. You’ve gotta be able to deal with that.
  2. When she’s with you, Aimy EXPECTS you to be in the here and now with her too. Whether it’s discussing (Aimy doesn’t talk, she discusses) horse riding, or gymnastics or the fact that she’s afraid of dogs (“I’m working on it.”).
  3. Aimy makes great movies. She can laugh at things (including herself), she plays around with how she can create something new and funny, and she does it. (She doesn’t yet know how good she is at it, so I’m hoping that I can encourage her to keep going until she does.)
  4. Aimy has a question for every answer. Someone once called me “The Why Kid”. Without a doubt Aimy is right up there with me.
  5. Sometimes Aimy does stupid things. (Let’s just say it had something to do with a book and Youtube.) But she does them from the heart: with passion and conviction. That’s a great start. Imagine that power once she’s learnt how to channel it well – she could do anything!
  6. And last but not least: Aimy is prepared to connect with you, for real. To tell you what she’s afraid of (and demand you tell her the same) or show you who she really is (and demand you do the same).

Her dad – my brother – thinks we’re very similar. Looking at this strong, determined little girl, I reckon that’s a huge compliment.

Written by sabineclappaert

July 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Bastille Day

leave a comment »

It’s Friday night. I’m lying in the garden watching the sun go down behind the trees. The braai is lit and the music’s playing in the background. The dogs wander around lazily, sniffing here and there after emptying their dinner bowls.

Everything seems so idyllic…and yet the front page of the newspaper screamed death and murder across my screen this morning.

Nice, France. A truck eats its way through the crowd celebrating Bastille Day on a seafront promenade. Eighty-three dead. Fifty children. Countless injured.

Inside me things stumble. I don’t understand. I try to, but I don’t.

He was 31 years old. Tunisian. He had three children and was getting divorced. This week he rented a truck and decided to plow through a crowd on an unexpected mid-summer night.

They tell me this is the new normal. IS tells us “the fighting has just begun”.

I left South Africa because I wanted to stop living in constant fear. I wanted to stop looking over my shoulder, not worry about where I was going or always be aware of who was around me.

Europe used to be the sanctuary I ran to.

Now the fear is here too.






Written by sabineclappaert

July 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with


leave a comment »


Written by sabineclappaert

June 26, 2016 at 5:47 pm