I know there is a God when I survive the isolation of the night and the events of the day. I know there is a God when I listen to the news and witness the chaos that prevails in my country. One has to pretend that it doesn’t matter too much and focus on ones own path and journey. But this in itself, even with the ‘I mind my own business’ attitude is becoming hazardous and fraught with anxiety. No one is noticing the slow demise of what is supposed to be a democracy. Like no one noticed the demise of the Jews in Germany in the nineteen forties. No one noticed until lives were shattered and the country denuded to carry the shape of a new regime.
It is only now that I truly understand what it must have felt like for greater men and women of history than my own tense self to feel and admit…defeat. To have to concede that the battle one has fought with all its theories of moral and political reasoning, with all its implications for well being of the self and therefore for all those on the peripheral of ones life …all this has been lost. Defeat is a dark place. There is no rationalising the terrible vacuum it leaves behind. No one speaks of the courage it requires to endure the reality of defeat. In Defeat one realises that all the moral and social issues one has practised with such a zealousness has been for nothing. The endless sacrifices made for acceptance, recognition and at best affection of a sort has been in vain. How hard one works investing time and money in people, places and things and there are no true rewards.
The 15th of April 2013 is a date that will forever live in the passages of my soul. The memory of it runs riot like a demented spirit when I recall the events of that day and the weeks prior to it. It is a day that changed my life, my security and plunged me into a world that became the ultimate challenge. While living the ensuing two years up until 2015 I thought I had coped….but upon true reflection I realised that I lost more than I had gained. I tried so hard to forge new alliances while trying to ensure a place of safety for my remaining parent and myself. I endlessly gave more than what was required and received less than hoped for.
I won no battles on a personal level. I gained ground on issues that mattered but I never won outright so that I could shout it from the rooftops. My teaching has become an exercise at ultimate control on my part and endless endurance of following the routine of the students. I am hard pressed to keep a relatively good standard of Dance with children who seem to sense that there is something not right….that the world around them is volatile and disruptive. In the last two years the new credo with which I have to survive each day has become harder to practise and still harder to endure. Silence…irrevocable Silence is the key with which I unlock and lock each day. Silence about bad service in the market place, silence about being accosted on every street corner by panhandlers, silence about beggars requiring a donation because they have children at home or husbands not working. Silence about perishable produce that looks like the real thing but tastes like nothing. Silence about upheaval over issues that really shouldn’t matter.
I have no doubt that there is a God….One who takes care of us all. But even He is silent on many key issues that eat at the heart like a virulent cancer. I speak to Him on a daily basis for He has always been in control of my life. There were times I didn’t and couldn’t understand the ‘why’ of events contained on my life’s pages. I used to beat at Heavens door for redemption from a parent with whom I was always in conflict, from students who ultimately rejected my efforts as a teacher, betrayal by those I held in high regard. I constantly shouted for safety from other peoples agendas which I had a part in fulfilling by the mere fact that I was teaching their daughters. My spiritual fists became bloodied as I kept pleading for a Redeemer I would recognise….find peace and safety with and know that inspite of my own shortcomings I was finally in a safe place. I still wait for the ‘kinsman Redeemer’ of Ruth and Naomi. I enforce silence and wait….in appreciation….I listen for His step.