One of my few weaknesses that I'm good at hiding has been my deep-rooted obsesssion with spirits, not in the mystical demonic sense but the breath in the lungs, the power of compression. While navigating through the organised morass that is called Caversham I find myself being summoned once again to answer a question, what is the spirit of Caversham? Is it an opportunity to do introspection, not at the expense of extrospection but to help strengthen one's expression? Is it the rainbow family myth that we not only try hard to believe but to live in our own nomadic South African way? Is Caversham a pilgrimage where artists come to appease the spirits of 95 parishioners who had visions of God and Ghandi but only saw one another's skin peel off painfully due to leprosy? Or is it a spiritual retreat for Bhuddist monks who think the Dalai Lama aspires to be the dictator of Tibet? What is the spirit? Maybe it lies in the graves.
I knew I couldn't get any story from the two dogs that seem to be scared of a digital camera one would be forgiven for thinking that one of their kin was shot with a digital camera that turned out to load dog tranquilizers.
17h40; After a quarter day of silence one learns to gain much needed understanding of a new meaning of solitude. While the msot difficult were the first two to three hours, beyond that you feel as though staying forever muted could be the best thing to happen to your brain. It answers many questions like one of the reasons the Creator in any form ceased to directly speak to his creation and decided to provide a set of rules and parables to shepherd their fears through troubled waters. It is granted that there was once a time when he used to talk directly to his artwork, until it developed protest instincts. Then one morning he decided, "thy shall open thine lips when thy miss thine creator but I shan't answer back"
Maybe in signs and not words. Which brings me to the graves. The number of which suggests that the place here is actually a graveyard which tells lots of stories. I fathomed a few between the granite and this is what they said; The Teasdale couple surprisingly both died at age 88, one in 1963 while the wife in 1967. They were both born in June and July respectively, four years apart, and interestingly both died on the month of January. This trivia alone says I should get permission to exhume their remains and try to find out what killed them. Also very funny is that their epitaphs are inter-related, for the man it is engraved, 'Friend of All Men' while for the woman is a banal 'Loved By All'. And their graves are next to each other which suggests a preparation for resurrection than a conduit to the ghetto beyond. One equally dead musician once asked, 'I wonder if heaven's got a ghetto', it sounds like a question that should be asked kneeling infront of the Teasdale tombstones, hoping an apparition will provide answers somewhere in the night.
The second story is equally fascinating and calls for a commission of Inquiry. Harriet and her husband Mr. Wilson were both 80-years od when they died, or otherwise that's what has been inscribed on their marble. They both died in the early 19th century, even though it was nine years apart. They both died before the First and Second World Wars, which makes them real faithful believers of whatever they heard regarding the world and the last days. When the Anglo-Boer War ended they thought nothing worse was going to happen and passed on still thinking it couldn't get worse.
But what I find more trivial is that my own grandmother was born in 1926, is 80-years old and still going strong even though her husband died in 1982 at the age of 60. What made people in those old days of trekking voor die immediately after their spouses if it was not leprosy or Black Death?
The Teasdales saw the First and Second World Wars through the eyes of an eternal Afrikan safari than the rubble of Europe. They are most likely to have loved Smuts and felt betrayed when South Afrika left the Commonwealth and became a republic in 1961. The question I'm asking myself as I'm standing infront of their graves is, what would they have thought of what South Afrika has become so many years later? Would they have felt Affirmative Action was reverse apartheid while Job Reservation was an important poor-white problem insurance?
What would their opinions have been on the environment, the spirit and the community that is trying to be reflected by their on small church that has grown not to be a church but a retreat of mental reflection? Could they have reminisced about the outlying green plains of the Scottish countryside with Manors and that daily delivery of fresh pasteurized milk?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear Commentator

Kasiekulture encourages you to leave a comment and sensitize others about it. However due to spammers filling this box with useless rhetoric that has nothing to do with our posts we have now decided that to comment you have to go to our Facebook Page titled THE Kasiekulture BLOG. We will not authorise any comments. Apologies for the inconvenience.