This week I was once again taken to a space where I didn’t need or want to be. This was not my own doing. At this point in life I wouldn’t remind myself of past hurts and humiliations in that way. There is enough potential ‘hurt’ waiting to happen in my country which is not a happy place at the moment. It is all over the media of occurrences in this April of 2015. I keep telling people …April is not a good month for anything. April is when you know the summer is really dead and that autumn has asserted itself. Leaves and damp everywhere. Its when people have flu for no reason whatsoever because the weather in April is actually sublime and cosseting. That’s why most South Africans will insist of their Easter/April vacations. And it is for this reason that much of the fees in April remains outstanding until May or June. April is statistically a month in which more people pass on than usual. Whether the latter is true I don’t know but it seems as though this could be possible. In April there is an underlying boredom in people while deciding what they should do to keep themselves busy with during the winter months. In April there is a decidedly edginess to many. Even my students have commented that speaking to their peers at school becomes an exercise in cautious strategy…. One is almost afraid to ask the most basic question of “how are you”. April is not an easy month. Where I live April is also the month in which many church parishes are furiously baking,bottling and brewing for the church bazaars which happen in the first or last week in May.
Each year my mother and I promise ourselves that we are not going to be subject to the ‘April Enigma’. But when it comes we can’t help but remember that all the eventful episodes happened in April…..all her heart attacks and ultimately her heart Bypass. The tension in my school is at its peak in April, my Gaby died in April and of course so did QM.
Last week April lived up to its notoriety by presenting to me, through no effort of my own, an episode that occurred in my life that I worked hard to forget. It has taken me days to get over the ‘confrontation’ with the past. People enter our lives for a reason and while they are there we try to do the best we can and are allowed to do depending upon the persona of the other. Losing someone for whatever reason, even if one is at fault, is a painful reality. There are pupils and people that I could have done without. I seldom know the reason for termination or rejection on a more personal level. I respect the decisions that have been taken and made and try to bind the ensuing wounds that is sure to happen afterwards with the credo that I was found wanting on either a professional or personal level. And as any good slightly brainwashed Catholic will you…its when these things happen that one practices an ‘examination of conscience’. Ah! Yes! How fortunate for others that one is left with an examination of conscience to question the reasons why. Some of my ‘examinations of conscience’ lasted for months and in two instances years. In some cases I never got over the embarrassment of what I was prepared to pawn to retain the approval and goodwill of another. Time does help one heal. Time dulls the hurt. Time moves one into spaces that are better, brighter and more promising. Time brings an acceptance and sure knowledge that one has escaped, by divine intervention perhaps, what would have been an explosive reality. The hurt, anger, humiliation and above all shame remains BUT it ceases to matter because one has grown in another direction. The problem is….when the past resurfaces with underlying expectations. If there was any praying to have been done these past days it was that my Creator, who I know has had a firm hand in my life, save me from these little ‘resurrections’. My Creator knows and looks into my very fibre as a human being: He must know that this soul cannot survive the opening of wounds again.
I remain thankful for the older students in my small school. Some of them are perceptive students who ‘read’ my inner conflicts without me saying a word. They adjusted their own creative efforts with aplomb and style.