Part­ing Shot

To for­get the toil and trou­ble of the world, OBIE OBER­HOLZER loses him­self in rev­erie about a post­card

South African Country Life - - In This Issue - www.obieober­holzer.net

For Obie Ober­holzer there’s noth­ing like a post­card to bring him back from the edge

Post­cards. Do you re­mem­ber post­cards? When you went to the Pi­azza San Marco in Venice and you leisurely wrote a post­card at a café on the square to send home? Now you can’t even buy a post­card, af­ford to sit at a café in Venice or get stand­ing room on this fa­mous pi­azza in Italy. I re­ceived a post­card the other day, not from Venice but from Van­rhyns­dorp. I have been to this dor­pie a cou­ple of times, find­ing pic­to­rial beauty in a small cir­cu­lar road that takes you around the Mat­sikamma Moun­tains.

There was a woman who lived there, no name, but it was soft and mu­si­cal as it rolled off my tongue – that was our own lit­tle se­cret. Sure, I mean she seemed so lekker and vi­va­cious and so very beau­ti­ful, her soft skin glow­ing like the sun-browned moun­tains that sur­rounded her. In this post­card she told me what a won­der­ful life I had, trav­el­ling and pho­tograph­ing around the world, and how she ad­mired my work and what an in­spi­ra­tion I was to her. I read her fine script on the card a cou­ple of times till tears started to brim and my palms got sweaty.

To stem my rac­ing emo­tions, I searched the se­cret cab­i­net in my stu­dio for a drink – a triple dop of some­thing or other. But be­hind the over­grown latte fences of our coun­try par­adise, the spo­radic flut­ter of but­ter­flies and the happy chirp­ing of our Afromon­tane birds lies a harsh world.

Com­man­deer­ing this with Ger­manic pre­ci­sion is my beloved wife of 49 years, Lynette. She is of­ten known in our cir­cle of friends as ‘Frau Rom­mel’. Leg­end has it that Field Mar­shal Er­win Rom­mel, con­sid­ered by friend and foe alike as one of the great­est gen­er­als of all time, stood in front of a pow­er­ful woman. His wife Lu­cie is said to have been a strict dis­ci­plinar­ian of im­mense fem­i­nine tough­ness who sub­dued the fox in him – his over-ex­tended gal­lantry and ex­treme

(There is no such word, I’ve just made it up. It means windgath­eid. some­thing like show off.)

So mean­while, back in our coun­try vil­lage, I find my­self schlep­ping all re­cy­clable goods, sep­a­rated into glass, plas­tic, metal and pa­per, around the yard. Then dig­ging and till­ing var­i­ous marked ar­eas in Frau Rom­mel’s biodegrad­able com­post heap. Then clean­ing up the mess that I my­self left be­hind, the break­fast drib­ble on my mous­tache, the stub­ble on my cheeks and the patch­ing up of my mul­ti­ple char­ac­ter in­ef­fi­cien­cies. Fi­nally, I am re­duced to some frothy flot­sam star­ing at my iMac screen, hyper­ven­ti­lat­ing, quiv­er­ing. “So that’s how it re­ally is,” I whis­per to the winds that will hope­fully blow my thoughts to the lady be­neath the Mat­sikammaberge.

“Tell the three or four read­ers that you still have

Part­ing Shot some­thing left, or at least show some pho­to­graphic in­tel­li­gence,” echoes Lynn’s voice from the walls of the en­tire house.

‘Dearest and last of the read­ers’, I brave forth. ‘The

Part­ing Shot colour of the plas­tic bag that I am schlep­ping around is called CYAN. Most peo­ple find this colour dif­fi­cult to vi­su­alise. It is the least un­der­stood colour in our visual spec­trum and the scarcest colour in na­ture. In the ad­di­tive colour sys­tem or RGB colour model, it is used to cre­ate all the colours on a com­puter or tele­vi­sion dis­play. The colour CYAN is made by mix­ing equal amounts of green and blue light. CYAN is the com­ple­ment of red; it can be made by the re­moval of red from white light’.

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