Friday, August 12, 2016

Hoe lyk die voetspore wat jy los in mense se lewens?



Ons loop daagliks verskillende paaie, elke pad het sy eie bestemming, verwagtings en eise op ons tyd, intellek en vermoëns.
Ons beweeg tussen mense ‘n groot gedeelte van die dag, raak betrokke by groepe, leer almal ken of stoot mense weg na gelang van die situasie. Ons kommunikeer, deel gedagtes, lag, huil en skinder soms oor dié wat in ons wêreld in beweeg asof dit alledaags is sonder om te dink aan die nagevolge; alles het in ‘n meerdere of mindere mate ‘n invloed op ons. Sommige ontmoetings is so vlietend dat ons nie eers die gesig ‘n uur later kan oproep nie.

Maar in al hierdie wandel los ons spore agter, en sonder dat ons bewus is daarvan maak ons ‘n indruk op ‘n ander persoon en hulle op ons en so veroorsaak ons rippel effekte in mekaar se lewens deur die spore wat ons agter laat.

Voetspore is in kort die lewens print wat ons agter laat, en lank nadat ons verby is lê daardie spore nog daar. Sommige spore laat iets moois agter, ander ‘n gal bitter smaak wat mense laat wegdeins van die spore af. Ander weer bring ‘n seer op wat selfs jare later nog trane laat rol; ‘n outomatiese beweging waaroor jy geen beheer het nie.

Ek kan dink aan verskeie wat trane in my oë opwel asof met ‘n skakelaar. Jy het geen beheer daaroor nie, die geringste belewenis ontketen ‘n stortvloed van emosies en amper niks kan dit weg wens nie; dit is slegs met ysere wil wat jy beheer oor jou emosies kry.
Voetspore kom in verskillende vorms voor: ‘n liedjie oor die radio, ‘n gedig, die samekoms van vriende, die skielike konfrontasie wanneer jy ‘n foto sien, of ‘n spesifieke geur wek emosies, ‘n stem – en so kan ek aangaan met die lysie.
Die fisiese uitwerking van daardie onthou is so oorweldigend dat dit soos ‘n hammer jou tref en al die ou gevoelens kom weer terug in ‘n vloedgolf. Dit kan insluit: haat, woede, hartseer, pyn, ‘n traan, ‘n glimlag ens.
As die lewens voetspore maar net so maklik weg gewas kan word soos die wat jy op nat sand kry sou die lewe baie makliker gewees het maar helaas dit is nie: Elke spoor los ‘n unieke print soos ‘n vingerprint agter en sekere goed trigger dit eenvoudig so sonder waarskuwing.
Sommige voetspore is soos die negatiewe van ‘n film. Jy word met die wit en swart van die gebeurtenis gekronfronteer; die rede dat ons dit nogsteeds so intens kan beleef – selfs jare na almal vergeet het.
Ons kry traumatiese belewenisse waar die skielike dood van ‘n geliefde so diep in jou sny dat die spore daarvan nooit verdof nie. Die spore van verbreekte vertroue, die verplettering wanneer ‘n geliefde eggenoot wegval of jou verlaat. Die pyn in onbeantwoorde liefde, woorde wat diep gekerf het en die bloed nogsteeds drup, ‘n gruwel daad soos moord of selfmoord – weereens die lysie is lank.
Niemand is gevrywaar van hierdie diep spore nie. As mens loop ons almal daardeur en dit is ons benadering wat bepaal hoe ons verder aanbeweeg.
Soms verstaan ons nie die rye spore nie en snap ons nie die lesse wat dit vir ons agter laat nie. Dit is soms so raaiselagtig dat dit jou in verwarring laat en jy net nie die sin daarin kan raaksien nie.
Jare terug het ek ook so ‘n traumatiese tyd beleef toe ons besigheid toegemaak het. Jy sal vir my se: “Lynelle, maar dit is mos nie erg nie, beweeg aan en stof dit af.”
Makliker gesê as gedaan, want jy sien, toe ons die besigheid begin het het ons uit ‘n lang tyd van werkloosheid gekom. Daar was so baie gebid en gevas vooraf so daardie besigheid was soos ‘n kosbare baba wat ons in die lewe geroep het en gesien groei het. Toe dit 6 jaar later toegemaak word en ons nog slegter af is as voor dit het die gebeurtenis so ‘n effek op my gelaat dat ek nou nog wonder oor die hoekoms. Ons hele lewe her verander na 2009, niks was meer dieselfde nie; armoede het aan ons deur geklop en homself tuis gemaak in ons lewens. Nou, na 6 jaar kan die invloed van daardie gebeure nogsteeds gesien word en is die vrae nog meer en die voetspore onherroeplik deel van my lewe.
Die realiteit van daardie gebeure dryf my voortdurend en my benadering tot mense is sku en versigtig. Trots weerhou my om te vra vir hulp en daar gaan nie ‘n dag verby wat verbittering nie my wil oorweldig nie. Jy dra dit saam met jou, asof die gebeure ‘n permenente woonplek het. Dit beinvloed jou besluite, die manier wat jy na mense kyk, of jy mense vertrou of nie.

Ek is seker dat jy ook sulke herinneringe het: die vraag is hoe hanteer jy dit?
Wat laat jy agter?
Hoe lyk die voetspore wat jy los in mense se lewens?

In ‘n manier is my skrywe ‘n deel met die voetspore wat so diep lê. Kry ek tog die vrede in dit, want swart op wit het ‘n manier om ‘n mens rustig te maak – die feite wat so ontbloot word ‘n manier van herstel in my menswees. Elkeen van ons deel met dit op ‘n ander manier. Die bottel en pil kan net tydelike verligting bring maar tot ons nie met dit deel nie sal geen hoeveelheid van alkohol of pille jou vrywaar nie.
Daar is net een manier: head’s on
Konfronteer die seer direk, verwyder die sluier en deel met dit. Ek kan nie waarborg dat jy antwoorde sal kry nie, maar vrede kan ek wel waarborg. Nie die vlietende aard wat nou hier is en later weer sy kop uitsteek nie. Hierdie is ewigdurend. Met elke konfrontasie breek ons nog bietjie seer af sodat daardie vrede waarna ons so smag deel word van ons.
My wens is dat jy ook daardie vrede sal vind en dat ons eendag die lewe in die oë kan kyk sonder om bang te wees vir sy wonder. Gun jouself die trane sodat dit jou skoon kan was en jy die lewe kan sien met nuwe oë.

Vrede wens ek jou toe. 




Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review: That Miss Hobhouse by John Fisher. The life of a great Feminist.

Portrait by Hugo Naude

I am currently busy with research on the period between 1900 and 1917, and in my quest to understand everyday life I like to read Biographies of people who played major rolls in that time period. I learn about their way of life, customs, weather, etc to get a better understanding of life in South Africa and the devastation we were left with after the concentration camps.
It was no small undertaking but I learn more about my people, the Boer nation, their tenacity and willingness to keep on fighting even though so much was against them. My quest took me to Emily Hobhouse and her significant part in the great turmoil my ancestors had to face and I discovered this book in my library: That Miss Hobhouse by John Fisher.


John Fisher's writing style came right down to the bottom of it all and he stood neutral in all views as he brought the facts to light. There is no great fanfare in his style, just an honesty I felt comfortable with as I read about Ms Hobhouse life, the people she met and her daily dealings as she went along to turn the world upside down to help those less fortunate.
About John Fisher: Little is known about this author and even after letting my fingers do the walking I found almost nothing about him. But this is what I could find:
John Fisher was born in 1909 in Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, the son of Arthur O. Fisher a successful author and writer of sketches on Exmoor and Irish life. He won a history scholarship to Ballilol College, Oxford, and took a history honours degree there.  Afterwards he studied in Berlin.
For 15 years he was diplomatic correspondent for a group of English newspapers, and has covered assignments in twenty countries.
His favourite hobby was sailing. He is the author of 1815 - An end and a Beginning.


Emily Hobhouse was a woman not many liked but in South Africa she is still regarded as a hero that fought for the plight of women and children during the concentration camps and there after when everything that the Boer families held dear were lost.


On June 16, 1900 Lord Roberts issued Proclomation (No 5/1900): Which stated
Cquote1.svgWhereas small parties of raiders have recently been doing wanton damage to public property in the Orange River Colony and South African Republic by destroying railway bridges and culverts and cutting the telegraph wires, and whereas such damage cannot be done without the knowledge and connivance of the neighbouring inhabitants and the principle civil residents in the districts concerned;
Now, therefore, I, Frederick Sleigh, Baron Roberts, of Kandahar and Waterford, K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., Field-Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Troops in South Africa, warn the said inhabitants and principle civil residents that, whenever public property is destroyed or injured in the manner specified above, they will be held responsible for aiding and abetting the offenders. The houses in the vicinity of the place where the damage is done will be burnt and the principle civil residents will be made prisoners of war.
Roberts, Field-Marshal, Commander-in-Chief, South Africa. Army Head-quarters South Africa, Pretoria 16th June 1900. Cquote2.svg

I don't think we can truly say thank you enough to this dear lady that fought on our be halve. She was often misunderstood by her fellow Britains which the author showed time and again in letters written by people who met her, people that reacted to her articles in the newspapers, her own family. She was not afraid to confront her peers, the government and high officials and had made many "enemies" because of her believes. Because of her persistence many other people were send who had discovered the same horrendous acts Ms. Hobhouse had written about in her letters, acts that were done to the women and children of the Boers all in the name of greed. But the harshes desperation was in the time after the concentration camps where families were left with nothing. Again, this lady came and brought forth great effort to lighten the plight of all involved and her sympathy was seen as she herself weren't afraid to go through harsh times herself to help where ever she could. Comfort was of no importance if that meant she could lighten the burden for those who had lost all earthly possessions
Through the author's writing you feel a deep admiration for this woman that made such a big difference in the Boers and their fight to be independent. Although she wasn't perfect her drive to help and bring the attention of those less privilege to the forefront made her a true hero that refused to back down long after the war was at an end.
This is still true today. Governments in South Africa have changed but the desire to govern ourselves has never diminished and again we are faced with an enemy that tries to kill us. This time however, the enemy is clever doing it "underground" as hundreds of thousands of Boers are killed each day with no one to fight back. Many of my people land in squatter camps and living under the most severe circumstances with a government that cares less about them. I cannot help but notice the similarities between the period of concentration camps and now. It is as if the history is repeating itself. 
What can we learn from Ms. Hobhouse life?
The quick answer will be: not to be silent. Not to stop until all avenues have been taken to help those in need. To talk and write and show the world what is truly going on in this country. To never lay down and allow the enemy to rule or win. 
The lesson that I learn from her and my people is that I can overcome all obstacles no matter how difficult it might be. To not be afraid to talk, to take risks and at times to loose. No matter the outcome our voice will live long after we are no longer here. 


Die onmoontlike het gebeur, ‘n man stel belang, wil jou ken, en tyd met jou spandeer.

Vandag se program is tweedoelig van aard; waar ek met mans en vrouens wil gesels. Verhoudings is nie maklik nie en elke stap in die ...