Die wind waai weer buite, sokkies word getrek tot oor die kuite, rou kitaar en stem sal die bewende lywe tem Hier is Bon Iver vir jou
As mens matriek begin is die toekoms permanent in jou denke. Eintlik deur die loop van jou hele skoolloopbaan. Jy leer hard sodat jy eendag in ‘n goeie universiteit kan inkom. Dan leer jy nog harder sodat jy eendag ‘n goeie werk kan hê. Jy maak asof jy jouself vind êrens langs die pad.
Ek het besluit om Rhodes toe te kom. Dis die beste plek om joernalistiek te swot. Dis wat ‘hulle’ sê. Alles het hiernatoe gewys. Ek het geweet, hier is die plek waar ek myself gaan vind, God gaan vind, geluk sal vind.
Daar is net een probleem. Jy kruip nie vir jouself weg nie. God kruip nie agter ‘n bos weg om jou enige oomblik te verras nie. Jy gaan nie pertoefal ‘n klippie geluk eendag optel en besef… nou is ek in ‘n ‘state’ van geluk nie.
Dit wat ek gedink het Rhodes gaan wees- dit is dit nie. Maar daar is wel ‘n rede hoekom ek in hierdie kleine dorpie is. By hierdie universiteit swot en besef… ek haat die berperkte skryf styl van joernalistiek. Ek het net vandag om gelukkig te wees. Ek mors my tyd om te dink ek kan nou hard werk sodat ek later gelukkig kan wees.
Die lewe is relatief my kind. Breytenbach skryf: “en in jou knabbel jou karkas reeds.”
Ek is nie hier geplaas om Grahamstad een of ander evangeliese les te leer nie, en Grahamstad is nie hier om my ‘n les te leer nie. Ek is net eenvoudig besig om groot te word en te besef: ek gaan nooit geluk vind nie. Ek is die geluk. In my en om my is God. Ek is permanent hier. Gaan daar waar jy inpas en gemaklik voel omdat jy weet wie jy is. Moet nooit gaan omdat jy dink jy gaan iets beter vind nie.
Gaan omdat jy weet wie jy is, wie God is en weet jy kan enige plek, enige tyd eenvoudig net gelukkig wees.
some of the photo’s taken at the Easter Star press museum
The reason I keep a journal… Nothing like good old handwritten stories.
The Penman’s Blood by arnoKath
I have a confession to make. The content of my email inbox, with the exception of pictures of my nephews and the blogs I subscribe to, is uninspiring. My virtual letterbox tends to be filled with bills, receipts and reminders. Emails save time and money, yet still I long for days past. I’d like to cut down on the amount of missives I receive, and replace them with more satisfying ones. I’d choose fewer but longer emails over the perfunctory electronic communication of today in a heartbeat. What a joy it is to pour over rare long emails, the ones filled with delicious titbits of news and sensual descriptions of new experiences, reminiscent of the letters of old. Snail mail is even better. How wonderful to sink into a sofa, tuck your legs up under you and tear open a letter from afar, to see…
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The great wooden doors of the famous St. Michael and St. George Cathedral creek open. Upon taking your first steps into the gothic atmosphere, the doors swing shut. This is it. You are forced to discover the hidden mysteries of the Cathedral.
In the midst of your moment of silence, a faint shuffling is heard on the opposite side of the building. Hesitant to embark on adventures with eerie celestial spirits, you start to retreat. The shuffling echoes against the marble pillars of the hollow room. The wooden pews crack uncomfortably.
“Welcome to the Cathedral! Have you found the mice?” From behind the Bishop’s throne the shuffling sound emerges into the image of an old lady. Her hair curls out underneath her purple knitted hat. “Do you know the story of the mice? Come, I’ll show you.”
Eunice Ncwadi shuffles over to the light switch. With one simple flick the Cathedral lights up into a grand temple. She smiles. Her lips retract into her mouth and a mischievous dimple appears on her cheeks. “Here is one mouse. Now, I’ll give you a hint. Do you want a hint?” She does not wait for an answer. “Do you see this corner? Right above this corner there is a corner just like it but with an ear of the hidden mouse sticking out.”
The mice are the signature of craftsman Robert Thompson. Thompson created the oak scrolls in memory of those who died in the two world wars. Being a craftsman in the 20th century, he was naturally “as poor as a church mouse”. Clever and crafty, he signed all his furniture by carving in mice.
Eunice eagerly continues her role as tour guide. She leads you through the Lady Chapel with the heavy flowers laid in memory of loved ones. She touches the Pelican lectern and exposes her swollen fingers while explaining the symbol of Jesus Christ. She even asks if you have cleaning tricks for the stained brass. She flashes her gummy smile a few times in announcing the new material for the curtains behind the High Altar. She tells the story of the broken organ which is working again.
Through side doors and sacred small rooms she leads you. She shows you the dresses of the Bishop and the fascinating Pulpit. She leads you right into the nave of the Cathedral. And this is where you discover who Eunice Ncwadi is.
When asked how she came about working at the Cathedral, she jumps into the unknown story of her life. “After I nursed Mrs. Dorothy Currie, I was the caretaker of Dr. Ronald Currie, 34 Hill Street.” She delves back into the past, recalling details as if she has revised them every day for the past twenty years. Her hands fly around her in explanation, often turning to a missed dirt spot on the wooden pews.
She found her employer on the floor of the hospice after nurses neglected to answer his calls. She helped him pack his bags and continued to nurse him at his home. She takes a minute before continuing. The square outside the Cathedral is noisy but there is a grave silence hanging around us. “He always said: Nobody has tender hands like Eunice… he died in 1983,” she finally says. Her bloated fingers wipe away the tears that have accumulated in the crinkles of her eye. “The Roman Catholic nuns now live there,” she says as a faint smile emerges on her face.
After Dr. Ronald Currie’s death, she worked as a caretaker for a little girl. “They sent Cathy to England to learn English better. At that stage Mr. Roy Barker asked me to come take care of the Cathedral,” she says.
Excluding the few years she worked at the police station in child welfare, she has worked for the Cathedral a total of twenty years. She struggles to hide the smile on her face as she says: “I like my job very much.”
She forgets all about her life sorrows and transportation issues in Fingo Village as she boasts about the treats she bought for the shelter children last Sunday. “I took R40 of my own money, along with the R60 the Cathedral gave me and I bought biscuits, cakes and cool drink for the children.” A joyful chuckle escapes her mouth as she says: “Someone even asked if we are having a party, it was so fun!” She claps her hands as she chuckles even louder at the memory.
Eventually, as you walk out of the vast wooden doors and into the bustling street, you know exactly who the shuffling old lady inside is. She is Eunice Ncwadi, the church verger, the caretaker, the lady with the tender hands.