Our conversation started on Sunday the 19th of June 2011.
We did not know it would be a conversation.
Wendy was sitting in her Johannesburg home, she was thinking about the past week and the recurring theme of the week.
She wrote about it in her thought-provoking blog which she calls ‘Half-Formed Wish‘.
I wanted to engage Wendy. Talk to her about what she had written.
Not challenge her.
Not debate with her.
Open doors of thought and ideas.
So I wrote a post saying ‘we’ve got to talk about this‘.
As I hoped Bjorn and my friend ‘the faithful skeptic’ came to sit-down with us in this wonderful world of ideas.
Along with Wendy they responded in comments & the faithful skeptic even wrote about it in his own blog, talking about ‘the grapes of sin‘.
We’ve been talking about a lot of stuff.
Our conversation is rich and meaningful with diverse ideas laid out on the table for each other’s consumption.
Bjorn engaged some more.
I posted again, talking of the captivity of western thinking, or perhaps the freedom of African thinking as I suggested that ‘this is beautiful, and this too‘.
Then Bjorn wrote some. I love what he says in his blog ‘it’s NOT 42!‘
I wonder why you chose that specific title?
‘It is you against yourself.’
It’s not so much the title that I love. It is more the admition that you are constantly trying to break your own view of the world.
Intentionally and actively choosing to think in new ways.
To see differently.
I hope our conversation is not over.
My intention was not to wrap it up.
I hope that Wendy & Bjorn & the faithful skeptic would lay some more ideas on the table for us to stir and saute and taste and share.
Perhaps someone else, who have been sharing in the feast, will place a dish of their own amongst ours.
For I value your willingness to sit at this table & pour some wine & dish some sustenance.
It is rare, rare indeed.
Bjorn suggests that when we are born we are like a clean slate & that our world around us is built through perceptions. Through experiences & information fed to us by people we trust.
A little girl was born not too long ago.
Her birth was soaked in turmoil.
Her mother tried to hide this moment of creation. She had a child already. Born of another man. She was responsible for her ageing mother. She could not cope with another child. The first was burdensome enough.
Life was burdensome.
She contemplated killing it.
The doctors spoke of ‘termination of the pregnancy’, but she knew the reality of what she was considering. Ending potential before it even had the opportunity to breathe air.
She remembers the tears.
This little girl.
She remembers the terrifying fear exploding inside her incomplete body as her mother considered ending her before she could begin to be complete.
She remembers another.
Assuring her that it will be all right.
That coming into this world was tumultuous and frightening, but she will be harbored and cared for and loved more than she could imagine.
The presence was there in that tiny cold room when her mother sought some respite from her burdensome existence. When two bodies intertwined, hungrily grabbing, thrusting, hoping to feel.
To become more.
The presence was involved.
Amidst the hopelessness.
An exquisite being.
She remembers the stark light, the rush of water.
The cold rough hands pulling her.
The blanket folded around her slymy naked body.
She remembers holding on.
To that presence.
To that undeniable hope that it will be all right.
A rubbery finger in her mouth.
Something on her wrist.
A long bright passage.
And then warmth.
Quiet peace as the arms of the woman who would be her mother enfold her.
Pressing her against her own breast.
Whispering words she knew spoke love.
And it was all right.
As the presence assured.
She went home with her.
Found a brother.
And a father.
A people for whom she had been woven into existence.
A people who awaited her.
More than an empty vessel.
She was woven by the hand of that presence in the womb of a lonely disappointed woman.
Woven to be her.
Presence in the presence of the presence.
She has been affected.
And will be.
By the 9 months of being fused into being.
By the first embrace.
The knowledge that the presence is real.
By the man who sang a soft lullaby and kissed her cheek.
The boy who brought her toys and scattered around the house as she drank warm milk on her mother’s breast.
More than an empty vessel.
And the presence spurs her on.
All he had enabled her to be.
The beauty he had endowed her with.
She is I and I am her.
Exquisitely woven into this world.
Not as minions to be deployed in a great war.
Or as canvasses to be painted on by whomever decides to brush their strokes on us.
Exquisitely woven to be.
Bravely be us.
To discover it in and amongst the noise and clutter.
To embrace it.
And in our embracing feel the presence who had been there in that very first moment.
Who will be there to our last.
Wordlessly whispering ‘it will be all right’.
Perhaps we are no blank canvas.
Perhaps we each are exquisitely woven.
And our journey is to find our true selves amidst the noise of others telling us what we are not.
Perhaps our redemption is seeing this.
Perhaps our freedom is feeling the presence.
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