With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

How It All Began

I was born in South Africa and after the early death of my father, I found myself in Southwest Africa (Namibia) with a new stepfather.

Although we lived in Windhoek (capital city of Namibia), he worked in the Kavango (northern border) for extended periods of time.  I have memories of watching him pack his vehicle with fishing rods, rifles, sleeping rolls and a whole case of black African pots (camp ovens).  He always had a black Kavango man (named Florian) with him - a sort of 'camp' hand.  When he came back from his trips, this black man, stayed with us - working in the garden and doing odd jobs until the next trip.

For some reason, I was fairly isolated - can't remember having friends.  I think I lived in my own little world.  The life of this Kavango man, in a far-off place combined with my stepfathers adventurous trips and stories awakened something in me.  I have clear memories of me sitting in the sun, listening to all the stories this wonderful black man told me as a child - he never got bored with all my questions.

My first year at school in Windhoek was a nightmare - I hated every moment of it and that hate never left me.  School was an alien place - I never ever belonged, I never fitted.  Absolutely nothing made sense to me - I could smell the 'apartheid' (separateness) of mind, body and soul everywhere in the communities I lived.  There was no 'connectedness,' just a big emptiness.  My world was 'somewhere' outside of that, I longed for a connection with that 'something' out there.  I could feel it and smell it.

In 1976 we moved to the Kavango and this move brought me closer to the 'connection' I was so desperately searching for.  My first friends were black, which caused a lot of problems for me - I was actually given a nickname: "Kaffertjie" (basically means a small Kaffir).  I can remember many fist fights, blood, sweat and tears.

My first friend in the Kavango was a black Kwangali named GabriĆ«l.  I can remember him sleeping on the floor of my room.  If you take into account the 'apartheid years' and the mentality at the time - it was unheard of.  My black friends would walk with me to school and wait outside the gates for me - during the breaks I would leave the school grounds and play outside with them.  After school they'll wait for me and we would disappear into the bush - we fished, hunted birds and small game.  It is here where my fascination with archery started.

In the seventies, the black kids walked around with shorts only - western styled clothing was a luxury and shoes something nobody could afford.  I quickly got rid of my shirt and refused to wear shoes.  I can remember the beatings at school and at home - most of my rugby and sport photos from those years shows an only white boy without a shirt and no shoes.  The sun very quickly turned me into a very dark colour and I think that contributed to my nickname, Kaffertjie.

This strong urge of mine, to be 'out there' and not 'belonging' in the community I was born in - was heavily frowned upon.  The attempts of the community to tame the 'wild beast' within me just made things worse - I developed a fairly rebellious nature.

I've always lived somewhere in the shadows between the 'modern' and the 'ancient.'  This caused a definite split within me - a split in body, mind and soul.  Today I think it is possible to marry the two, unfortunately we are slowly loosing the 'ancient ways.'  There are few people left today that can share this knowledge.  Even worse, there is still a strong push to destroy this knowledge.  We are busy loosing our connection and so many people and nations are completely lost.

The good news is, we don't need anyone to teach us - we all have it deep within us.  All we have to do is to remember and live as close to nature as we can.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the years up there in the North...even though "apartheid" was there, it was not really in everyone's heart..if you started traveling out into the district with your father and his camp hand...it was them, the "Petrus's" and the "Gabriels" who taught us the valuable lessons in a very subtle and humble way..it was the whole connection with the river, the people, the fires burning in the feld, the Kraal culture a little way from our own camping place. It was these people who became out children's protectors in times of a war.Different kinds of wars....

    I know today for sure that IN those times...they were our guardian Angels..In my "intuitive knowledge" I knew I could run to Petrus whenever there would be real danger. These people loved children, the nature and the essence of life.
    And then there was the bushmen, we had one working for the neighbours...wow were they fast in digging holes for our kids to play in our own
    little "underground" houses, or swim in our sefl dugged mud swimmingpools:-)

    I never had this exact kind of relationship and connection Maurice had, but it was there. An innate knowledge of whom is to be trusted and whom not.
    Once you know THAT in life, you might 'appear' to be a loner...but you ain't. You just see life differently, which sets you apart from the norm.

    The river touched so many of our lives, the life up North..you need not have lived there ALL you live. But if you have touched this base once in your life, I think the memmory live in your heart forever.
    My place of safety in my mind..has always been a specific spot underneath a tree....where the sun shined through onto me through the leaves..while I could hear the river.j
    I knew I was safe. There up North away from people, in nature. Alone.

    I swear I could and still can fly when I visit that specific spot in body, mind and soul.

    Life as you describe...and the little of it I experienced was a priviledge, it brought us closer to nature..to the old ways. So few people have this priviledge.

    Thanks for sharing your experience on this blog. I am sure it would touch lives, and maybe bring back longings of a deeper meaningful life.

    R

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