About Tia

Close-up photo of Tia Azulay smiling as she looks directly at the camera. She has shoulder-length brown hair, green eyes and fair skin. She wears a burgundy-coloured collared shirt, open at the neck to reveal the scooped neckline of a burgundy T-shirt.

Hi, I’m Tia.

I chose my name when I was about sixteen, kept it inside me for about thirteen years, began to live inside it in 1993, and clothed myself in it officially in 1996.

I needed to become, then felt myself becoming, firm and strong. I am still becoming…

1. strike, hit, beat
2. be/become strong/firm
tia dihlaya: look for something to eat
tia kgati: skip
tia nkôkwane: strike the nail on the head
tiya = tia

Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho) – English Dictionary

I am many other things too: still a “Scottish Jew with an Irish face” as I described myself in a youthful poem (The Ageless Call, 1978),

I am most definitely still the child of my mother and of my father, who named me and saw me differently; also, an ex-Christian (or ex-charismaniac, a term I prefer, or apostate, a term some others doubtless prefer) and sometimes a hopeful heretic.

My interests

I’m interested in poetry, yoga, tango, process work, rank dynamics, Shakespeare, science fiction, bagpipes, poverty, horses, ethics, philosophy, the enneagram, the aesthetics of public spaces, folk songs, older people, expressive arts therapy, Pablo Neruda, theories of everything, mysticism, Scottish country dancing, the menstrual taboo, the nature of the universe, John Keats, writing, web design, art, mountains, alternative education, vegetables, French, the nature of love, googling, Gerard Manley Hopkins, the history of ideas, unusual flavours, and big black cats, amongst one or seven other things.

As to expertise, I’m a dilettante, but I love to engage. A heartfelt comment on my blog is all I want (well, maybe not all I want, but it goes a long way to making me happy!)

mumbaiKar says:

A poem
entangled in my chest,
fastened on my lips,
like butterflies
won’t sit still on paper.

I sit
for so long
with your name
on this blank paper.

You name
just your name exists;
could there be
a better poem?


Tia says:

Well… not for me, there couldn’t! Thanks for the poem, mumbaiKar!

It’s very nice to meet you Tia. I like your name. :D

Dewy Knickers is my pen name, my alter ego.



Tia says:

Hello Rose, nice to meet you too! I must say, I hadn’t presumed your folks named you Dewy Knickers…

niku says:

A nice webpage you have!

Tia says:

Thanks, niku!

Moody says:

I noticed your comment on “Theories of Everything”. You may find Ken Wilber’s works of interest. Take a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber. There are many link from that site to more material. In particular, he has a book titled “Theory of Everything”. However, I think a more useful one to start with is his “A Brief History of Everything”.

However, it seems to me that often the mind in trying to grasp everything loses most of everything and captures just a pale shadow. A deep poem can lead one to “everyplace” and give a glimpse of “everything”.

Tia says:

Hi Moody, thanks for your comment. I have heard of Ken Wilber and know his works have influenced a friend whom I admire and respect very much. After your note, I’ll have to make space in my reading schedule for something by him!

Your last comment reminded me of that wonderful quote from Frost:

“We dance round in a ring and suppose
but the secret sits in the middle and knows.”

Mary says:

Tia, I found your blog through “Glory Be to God For All Things.” Interests we share in common include folk songs, older people, Shakespeare, writing, Gerard Manley Hopkins and the great John Keats. Can’t agree with you about the bagpipes, though, unless they are played out-of-doors– then they are glorious.


Tia says:

Bagpipes are best on a misty mountain…

Mark says:

Still reading and still thinking. Wonderful poetry and thoughts!

jonolan says:

Perhaps Tia Nnete would be fitting :)

Tia says:

Wow, that’s a compliment, jonolan! Thanks!

jonolan says:

You’re welcome, but it might also be a warning.

My eyes saw the Truth and bled tears
I ripped from my visage
but the sight remained in my mind
and I could no longer cry away the pain

The truth is often frightful when found.

Bonime says:

Tia, I’ve obviously been intrigued by you since you left your comment on my Blog. I just started this and haven’t had time to dissect all of your interests, but they seem on first blush to coincide a great deal with mine. So I’ll return.

I am particularly interested in your thoughts on the nature of love. I am grappling with the notion that for all of the stock I place in the scientific method as the supreme epistemology, i think that there remain things that we need to to keep at a distance. Love being one of those things. To demystify love may be to destroy it. I have had cogent arguments from others who feel that knowledge is never a bad thing. But as with beauty, music, a brilliant sky, an intense sunset, there are things that just work better for us without knowing the atomic interference patterns that produce them.

I will be back for sure.

Tia says:

Hi Bonime, thanks for the visit. I’ve also been thinking about love, particularly, self-love, recently. What does it mean to love oneself (and what is the import of the great injunction to love others as one loves oneself?). I’ll be writing up my thoughts in some form or other soon and I’ll look forward to hearing more from you.

Bonime says:

Hi Tia,
I look forward to your next blog on Love. I think that one problem one tends to run into with subjects such as these (love, god, freedom, etc.) is one of definition. Love simply means too many different things to different people as does god. I have my own thoughts on self-love and other types, but I’m more interested in what you have to say. You seem better suited than I to get the ball rolling. Not that I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, but I cannot seem to put self-love into the same category as love for others. I get close to self-respect, but that’s pretty much it for me — until I see what you’ve go to say. I’m sure you’ll inspire me!

gerard says:

Hi Tia,

A voice from the past… I just stumbled upon your blog after I found Laura’s Birth announcement from a couple of years back. I clicked on the website link for your Mom and there you were. As you might know, I saw your mom a couple a years ago in Capetown. Your blog indicates that you are well and that tia has stayed true and close to tia. That’s good.

At my end things are well. Our daughter Claire started going to school a couple of weeks ago. A milestone in the lives of two people who have basically never much had a 9 to 5 life. We have decided to both retire to live life…

As a little encore here my favorite poem because i know you like poems… I do not know if it already was my favorite when we knew each other. Do you know who wrote it?



StAy weLL,


Tia says:

Gerard, what an unexpected delight to hear from you! Mom did indeed tell me of your meeting in Cape Town and I was so pleased to hear about your little girl and how happy you are.

Thank you for sharing the lovely poem. I can see why you like it, but I do not remember seeing it before. I searched for it online though and found that it was written by Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II)! See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/pope/poems/
I’m glad to have this insight into the humanity of one who became in some ways so different from the rest of humanity by his election.

Ben Gieske says:

Tia, I enjoyed reading about you for the first time. I love a lot of things about Scotland and have a poetry friend there. It is encouraging and satifying that you liked my poem spring and included it in your post. I enjoyed reading the other sites you referrenced. Thanks for sharing. Ben Gieske

Hi Tia, my name is Tia too! I thought that was rather interesting. Nice blog!



Robert Rademeyer says:

Shalom, Tia!

Tia says:

Peace to you too, Robert!

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