SHARING SILENCE They say it used to be a tiny church in the 18th century before what might be an epidemic of Black Death proportions wiped all the parishioners who were so devoted to worshipping they thought that God was a Christian. With hopes of a peaceful life in heaven or sitting on the laps of Abraham they perished one by one and received ceremonial resting places each next to the other. For those whose understanding of scripture was as twisted as their pastors' they entertained hopes of eternal life in the celestial beauty of heaven, while they also thought about resurrection. Who can explain their row of granite decorated resting places if they never thought of long warm hugs after the raptures, immediately after Armageddon. The church building could, in modern rules of occupancy only accommodate roughly thirty one parishioners who'll sing a pledge to God that they will not burst their tonsils and blow off the roof in their African rendition of 'God Save the Queen'. My own take of what this has turned out to be is fully captured by an old film starring the equally dead River Phoenix entitled 'A River Runs Through It'. And I'm thinking if Phoenix's god was not hidden within the white ashes from a demon crematorium he would've been a parishioner and buried alongside the 95 or so departed souls. A river, which I'm told is called iBhubesi runs through it and in this captivating silence of my innocense I think it flows to the North - not East. Anyway, who told me that rivers need to flow to the East if it's not the Geography teacher who turned out to be a pedophile. He's the same one who told me that the earth was round and figured he deserved a mid-life Achiever Award for reproducing old recycled wisdom that Isaac Newton and friends championed and wrote millions of theories about. The biggest lie he told me was that Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon. For that I'll never forgive him and wish him eternal hellfire suppose the sulphur in Gehenna cannot turn him into white ash soon, so that another bunch of Phoenixes could snort and die. This is however not the story of people who die, deservedly or not because they lie. This is the story of the Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers, situated in the green hills of the Kwazulu-Natal Mildlands Meander, a place of serene beauty my firist conscious picture was that of a 65-years old cowboy on a brown filly wearing his rugged Levi's jeans, a leather Stetson and a red checked shirt shepherding a herd of 800 sheep. Of this cowboy with a dark black moustache like that of Kid Colt chewing tobacco gums and occasionally sucking on his pipe like the 'Mexican pigs' Kid Colt liked to shoot at with his Colt 45. It was the picture of a sepia Marlboro advertisement on the back cover of a 1984 Scope magazine.