SHARING SILENCE II They said, from a rather ill-informed position that there were crocodiles in the river. That the reptiles have a healthy appetite for human flesh. That however is not a picture I had of Caversham. I thought Caversham; is the name Scottish, Irish or Welsh? Anyway I didn't think crocodiles and hippoppotamus but rather a fresh idombolo, lasagna, koeksusters and a huge mug of hot higly caffeinated coffee. To retrieve a picture from my memory bank, I though of a 1989 Cadbury chocolate bar TV1 commercial. The one they liked to screen during Sundowner and McGyver. That commercial was so strong one could smell the fresh milk the boy spilled as he rushed for the horse-pulled carriage. It painted a scene of cold nights of camaraderie infront of freshly-stoked fireplaces, in stone-built country houses. Loud discussions over poker games and mugs of hot chocolate circulating amongst the bunch who occasionally sink their teeth on a hot lemon flavoured muffin. Cold nights of oil-powered lanterns and acoustic guitars and young women who could still knit a scarf or a woolen hat. Nights of comic books, when the radio was still a king and sex before marriage an abomination. The evolved church which grew up to become Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers was in my mind what all these surreal thoughts of childhood nostalgia, of an imaginary French farm epitomized. Our brief was to try and capture silence, bottle it in a glass capsule as if it was captured butterfly and marvel at the beauty, but the river that runs through it seems to have other ideas. While sitting on the edge of a protruding rock is itself poetry in motion, the uniformity between the stones are the closest to population dynamics one can get. The edge of the rock I'm sitting on resembles the famous one overlooking the Blyde River Canyon and maybe for today iBhubesi is my Blyde River, a river so massive in the 1970s my brother nearly drowned, only to be saved by a miracle. In this moment of internal reflection I'm wondering, why is silence not the equivalent of loneliness? Me and the river we form an orchestra and we sing 'Happy Birthday' to the taste of chocolate cake still lurking in my tongue. The river makes good music that tempts me to compose a long classical piece to be called 'o tla sala le mang ge ke ile' ('who will stay with you when I'm gone') something an Afro-pop group has tried to remake, but not to the syncy of me and my river. 'Me and my river/ though i swear to god i can't swim/ ain't nobody come between the bond that we share/ we so much bonnie & clyde in pursuit of love/ convert crime to fiction paperbacks sold @ flea markets/ we scream loneliness now we'll share words in the tub' See, silence is golden. I've spent so many hours alone and never tasted loneliness. I truly used that moment to speak to the one person who matters - me. I spoke to myself in muted tones, listened to me and I liked what I heard. My alter-ego begged me to increase the loving. To fall blind to the daggers I saw sharpened by foes. To act as if everybody loves me though they dream of my funeral.