Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Moving stuff around

My wife and I went out this evening to get takeaways. We go to this quietly warm Chinese restaurant about 5km's from our house run by a very friendly family. While we were waiting for our order, I watched the mother who usually mans the till and takes orders. She was pairing up and wrapping the chopsticks putting them away in a drawer. I watched her move the pairs of chopsticks carefully from one counter to the other and wondered about her life. She moves stuff from one side to the other. In my job I move stuff (industrial equipment) from one place to another. Is that all our lives will mean one day when we are gone? What legacy will we leave? Nothing stays moved anyway. I remember reading how Viktor Frankl recalled in his book, 'Man's search for meaning', that in the concentration camps, in order to break the prisoners, the Nazis would make them do meaningless tasks by having the prisoners spend the entire day digging a hole only to fill it in again afterwards before they returned them to camp. I am supposedly free, but I am still digging and filling holes. Moving stuff in circles. Sell, trade-in, sell.

Friday, 25 May 2007

At the edge of the world

Just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe. Feel so far from civilisation again, here at the bottom end of the tip of Africa. Feel so isolated. Homeless at home. I don't belong here - I agree with those Black and Coloured fellow South Africans that used to say - and some still do say - Africa for the Africans but I don't belong in Europe either. Even white Afrikaners have this as their home. English speaking white South Africans? What about us? I have no sense of a national identity - I am neither a patriot nor a traitor to this country. I am indifferent. My family is my country. The (Roman Catholic) Church has my loyalty. But a nation? What is it to be patriotic?