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