‘I am not an optimist. I am a prisoner of hope’.
Words said by our (ex) Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu –
quoted by a journalist in a recent Daily Maverick opinion piece.
All of this and that and everything feels extreme. I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post on e.g. ‘Clash of Civilisations’ or ‘On the Edge’ or some such, because it does feel to me that the container is no longer there, no firm support to catch our falling star – no container anymore – somehow, the centre seems not to be holding. And it is anxious making as everything seems to be extra hyped up. And destruction is the name of the game. Here in South Africa, universities are being torched and set alight, buses too, police vehicles turned over and torched, tear gas, bullets, 1000’s of students country-wide protesting about the #feesmustfall campaign and disallowing student attendance and in last few hours a new campaign ‘thefuturemustfall’. In the midst of this, our Minister of Finance who has kept us so far from being downgraded to junk status, has to appear early next month in court on charges. This is trumped up – and a political nasty –
Is this level of destruction part of a necessary process? This is what makes me ponder – and reminds me of a question I asked a Jungian analyst a long time ago – do we have to put our hand in the frying pan to know we will be burned? To which he said Yes.
But also, on an inner level – Joseph Rubin’s death this last Monday, a sudden shock to me – and his daughter Marilyn letting me know by email yesterday and my putting up a post on his death and so many of you responding to her and for all of us who are saddened.
And more on an inner level – my dear friend Lyndy, my oldest friend (though she’s a year younger than I), who I saw in hospital before I left to go away at the end of September. So lovely to see her then – her son had come from the US to be with his Mum. I tried from yesterday to contact her, the morning after the previous night’s flight … to see her, to say I’m back, at your command .. I was getting fairly anxious about no response from her. Until today when her son Richard called me. I was amazed. I thought he was back in the US. He got here last Sunday. He’s now back for the long haul – She has carcinomas which have returned. She is gravely ill … I will have to digest this and acknowledge this, her illness … he has asked me to be strong when I see her – I feel wretched –
And my Jane my housekeeper – in tears midday because one of the gardeners had screamed and shouted and ranted at her. We talked when she was more composed and ready to talk. And then later she said she and one of the other gardeners had had a talk about the ranting gardener, and that there was consensus that he was not well, he looked not well also, and to encourage him to have an Aids test – which, if he has it, may be part cause of his unwarranted, uncharacteristic outburst.
My husband was returning last night from an Old Boys dinner downtown at a swish restaurant, stopped at a red traffic light, his friend was driving, and 5 men jumped out of the shadows and they thought they were window washers – they weren’t – they were attackers, who tried to smash the windows – a man pointed a gun at my husband’s friend the driver, and another man at my husband in the passenger seat –
they shot the lights knocking aside one or two
Everything feels on tenterhooks – is there reason to think about WW3 being unleashed? Am I being overly morbid? In a way I see what is happening all over the world as the manifestation of that which has been repressed for a long time, bubbling up to the fore. We see mysogyny upfront, the destruction by weapons on people and places, corruption in high places, political battles for the highest stakes and to Hell with the consequences, the rise of extreme rightwing parties – i.e. nationalism, the desecration of Mother Nature, all of this is upfront, we cannot fail to see it. …
Is anarchy being loosed upon the world? Are we slouching towards Bethlehem?
Desmond Tutu’s words again:
I am not an optimist. I am a prisoner of hope.
The picture at the top – I found this when I was in Botswana in April this year. I wanted to lay it on my brother’s burial place in Maun in his garden. But I couldn’t find it at the time I was at his family home. I placed a flower instead. But I did find it at a later stage – it was so beautiful and really quite extraordinary to the touch. Velvety ..
This is the underside of it –
I took it with me on my travels thinking maybe to put it into the sea at the end of the jetty in Gordon’s Bay where we used to live as teenagers for a while. Where my sister and I tossed our parents’ ashes so many years ago on 2 different occasions. This past Monday, the day of my return ex Cape Town where I was for few days, we motored out to Gordon’s Bay, a good 3/4 hour from where my sister lives. We walked the jetty to the end and said our greetings to our parents and wished them well, and said a prayer and I threw this little stone onto the rocks in the sea .. it was about as big or small as when you make a circle with your thumb and forefinger …
The photo below is of my sister ahead of me. You can see the end of the jetty – Thank you for listening – may peace prevail wherever we are –