Don’t we all strive for harmony?

It seems to me that the quest for harmony — social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual — shapes most of human endeavours, even if, it must be said, we often fail, and achieve not harmony, but discord.

What are the prerequisites for harmony?

Well, for me, they include:


  • The beach at sunset — a receding tide, glowing clouds, and a big extended family having fun together, what more could you ask for?


  • Integration of the different parts of my life — this screen print by a friend includes the pink Adinkra symbol (Gye Nyame) that represents my family connection to Ghana; the bull reminds me of growing up on the farm; the sanskrit character represents the artist’s Indian heritage; and the green wall — well, green’s my favourite colour.

2015-10-24 14.34.27-george-pool

  • Immersion in water. Ok, this pic is not me, but it shows that G Ketewa shares my feeling of being in harmony with the world, when floating in the H2O. It’s a feeling I also get after swimming, dancing, cycling … yes, getting those endorphins flowing with physical activity results in absolute harmony of body and spirit. I feel like a goddess after exercise — I’m totally addicted.


  • Family celebrations — my birthday feast last year: Obaapaa & DadaK brought yams and stew, my friends brought salad, and I provided the chicken and chips. The table cloth features more adinkra symbols and the white glass goblet is one of a set that I grew up with. The children think they’re very special, just as I did as a child. The scene may appear a little chaotic, but it represents the harmony we’ve achieved in our 21st century bicultural family.

What does harmony mean to you?

Other takes on harmony here.

10 thoughts on “Harmony

  1. I don’t like being *in* the sea, but I love to be beside it. I find the constantly changing colours fascinating, and I especially love it when the horizon fades into the pale glassy blue of a mild autumn day. Just driving along Beach Rd on my way home from anywhere refreshes me, and – especially in winter – I love to saddle up the dog and brave the cliff-tops from Beaumaris to Mentone.
    I like pottering around in the garden too, harvesting the odd ripe tomato as they come to the end of their season and checking the pumpkins for ripeness. I like the quiet and the privacy of my garden, especially sitting under the grape vine for a peaceful al fresco lunch.
    But most important of all is music. The Spouse and I share a love of classical music and not a day goes by without something beautiful to lift our spirits. At the moment we are working our way through a boxed set of #MyFavouriteComposer Beethoven CDs and I am in heaven:)

    • These all sound like wonderful ways to achieve harmony. I didn’t mention music, partly because I didn’t have a photo to go with it, but that’s very important to me too – although not usually classical.

      • Yes, how true, there are no pictures that represent music…
        Did you see Catalyst last night, about the impact of personalised music on people with dementia? I went to a workshop about this recently too, and it seems that music memories embed themselves in different parts of the brain and research shows that it is often very calming for people with dementia who are suffering anxiety.

      • I didn’t, but I heard something about it on the radio yesterday, & also about dance & dementia. I have been hearing bits & pieces of news about music and dementia for a while – very hopeful in terms of quality of life for those people & their families.

  2. When I read your question, I thought about sitting down and being at peace with myself. Feeling that the mistakes I’ve made, or the decisions I made that I didn’t like, are okay and it’s not the end of the world.

    When I read your question, I also thought about, “what is cultural harmony?” I think you illustrated that very well with the screen print and family celebrations. It certainly is about celebrating cultures, and not being afraid of difference. Cultural harmony I personally think is an ongoing process, one that often requires work because sometimes it is hard to figure out ourselves when we are being offensive to another culture.

    • Thanks Mabel, you make really good points – cultural harmony does indeed require ongoing attention, but the rewards are great.

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