Lack of understanding as old wounds are opened
If you have had enough of The Spear furore, I won't be offended if you don't read this. But I have had little else on my mind. So indulge me a little.
There's been screaming, yelling, fighting and misunderstanding. Even scribbling on walls. It has been similar to a bad and horribly long day in our household.
The Spear is like a playground toy which initiated an intense and emotional "fight". Things have been said, which in less heated moments wouldn't have.
Lines have been drawn. Sides have been taken. It seems nobody will budge. There are the elite and the middle and working classes. Black and white. Traditionalists and liberals. The ANC and "them".
Actually this has been far worse than squabbles at home. As much as our leaders like to think of themselves as leaders, they aren't able to comfort us or quell renewed anxieties about race, identity and memories. They are not like our (mostly) benign and (mostly) authoritative parents.
Something fragile has been broken and I worry that we won't be able to put it back together again. Like a failed romance.
I understood why a friend tweeted on Thursday that "Malindi cries for all of us" after President Jacob Zuma's advocate, Gcina Malindi, broke down in tears in the High Court. According to City Press' Adriaan Basson, the tears were "raw, deep pain and emotion".
Malindi cried for the opening of old wounds. He cried for those who don't understand wounds have not yet healed. And, for those who don't understand there are wounds at all.
It's hard to find any of this funny. None of the online jokes made me laugh. Instead I feel an overwhelming sense of despair about the deep lack of understanding we have of one another.
Brett Murray's piece in his exhibition White Like Me asked: "Are we ... the other or the other other or another other?"
I thought we were beginning to find answers to the questions "Who am I?" and "Who are you?". A gap was closing. Maybe it was all a facade. Maybe the gap can't be bridged. I feel lost.