Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Old Gods Have Retired


Care for the words ye speak
We can be rather emotional beings and so prone to outbursts and communication that in the spur of the moment can damage relationships.
Nowhere is such able to affect you as much as to hear that some rather unpalatable, reprehensible or downright atrocious thing has been said about you and your person in a fit of uncontrolled and animated displeasure.
Gratifyingly, these things are rarely said where one witnesses the vituperation, they are relayed conversations that come to light sometimes long after the event. Amid idle banter, effusive gossip, or the need to convey a veneer of candour, the perpetrator encapsulates quite reductively the character, status or person of someone else into a pithy phrase or word, the hearer unable to escape the impact of what was said.
Absence is not presence
The party to whom opprobrium was intended whilst in their absence then gains knowledge either by a whispering campaign or in unrelated conversation that wends its way to the unintended revelation of a major slight.
You cannot ever mistake the import, it has consequences and it will hurt quite deeply. However, you have to begin to rationalise and hope you misheard. Maybe the issue cannot be corroborated and before one settles into pitiful paranoia, as long as the matter is not addressed directly to one, it might well be best to ignore it altogether, but that takes time.
A bastard of the gods
At least, that is the frame of mind I have, for if one were to act one side of the story regardless of the trust that one has in the source, the old gods of allegiance, filiality, relationship, respect, consideration, honour and duty will be retired never to hear supplications or receive sacrifices of adherents who have justly gone apostate.
Even for a bastard, we are made of sterner stuff than to be rash in judgment and intemperate when provoked. The fight is unnecessary for the conscience to heal from the unkindest deployment of verbiage. We live for a higher cause.
Courtesy of the William Kentridge exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.


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