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.