23 okt. 2017

Reënweer

Ik ben teksten aan het sorteren en voer net dit Afrikaanse kindergedicht in mijn database in, wanneer het hier gigantisch begint te regenen. Voor de zoveelste dag. Niemand klaagt echter. Want over het algemeen is het land echt veel te droog.

Reënweer (uit de bundel kindergedichten "Vlokkiesdans") 

Hoeveel druppels het jy nodig
om ‘n bad te vul?

Reën dit in alle lande minstens
een maal per jaar?

Hoeveel weeg ‘n druppel?

Groei elke plant deur reën?

Is daar ook druppels wat êrens
halfweg bly hang?

Bestaan daar druppels groter as ‘n kop?

Sal daar vir altyd genoeg reën
op onse wêreld wees?

Wanneer die vrae uitgevra is,
kyk ek op na die lug.

Nog steeds geen strepie blou
waarvan ek so baie hou.


20 okt. 2017

jamming in a township in P.E.

Francois le Roux, jamming with a beautiful township band in P.E. in their St John's church. The electricity was too weak for a full on performance, so Francois ended up playing cello with them. Mostly Xhosa songs. Grateful for out of the box experiences like this. Cause the shape of the box you're in needs to be stretched from time to time.


18 okt. 2017

quote Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer, Zuid Afrikaanse schrijfster, in een prachtige lezing uit 1975, toen de Apartheid nog volop heerste. 

"What is a writer's freedom? To me it is his right to maintain and publish to the world a deep, intense, private view of the situation in which he finds his society. (...) The private view always has been and always will be a source of fear and anger to proponents of a way of life, such as the white man's in South Africa, that does not bear looking at except in the light of a special self-justificatory doctrine." 

(De bib heeft hier nog zo'n gezellig stempelkaart systeem. Ik ben de zevende persoon die het boek leent sinds 1991)

5 okt. 2017

whispering to not disturb the silence

It is so silent here at the domain where we live that I sometimes catch Francois and me to be whispering in the kitchen with open sliding door. As if we could disturb the silence. The silence that echoes each feeling and every thought mercilessly. Until you cannot do any differently than time and time again admit: “There is no escaping.”

Maybe that is why the street act in the small town made such an impression on me this morning. A big group of people were gathered at the busiest crossroad in town. A magicians shows a worn out cardboard box. It clearly contains nothing. Until he – oh magic! – gets a handful of candy bars and soda juices out of it. Cheering and joy all over. Children are climbing high up in the tree and on the roof of the street shop.
Fifteen minutes of driving and each time again I hit the opposite of the silence at home: sparkling life. Where whites are hardly ever part of. I train myself not to think in terms of black and white, let alone talk. But that is hardly possible, when you never see a white chatting on the benches. When you are each time again an exception, by foot or on your bike. If it does happen and we see that exception, then Francois and I tell each other: “Look there, a white!”

Sometimes doing what I do so naturally in Europe, walking on the streets, cycling from point a to z, lead to the wrong type of heroism here. “Waw, I am breaking through old patterns!” But that it is that easy as walking on the streets or taking your bike, says more about the country than about whatever type of alleged heroism of me. The day on which it becomes extremely hard to break through black and white patterns, because the aim is much higher, will be the day on which colonialism has handed over its footprint to time.
Until that day has come I keep taking the energy on the street in as the strong cup of coffee I don’t drink anymore. Secretly hoping for some sort of revolution in which the street, concerning color, become mixed. I dream it so secretly, that I sound louder than whispering in this deafening silence.

P.s what I see here in Stutterheim doesn’t apply as a law for the whole country.