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A Small Thread

12th July 2004

There have been a number of requests for people to tell the human stories of our lives. The stories that move and inspire us .... I have been sitting with this thought, and have found myself unequal to the task.

For the tapestry is weaving itself so fast I find myself hardly able to follow the threads..........
For how do you tell one story?
when you have heard and seen so many this week?
Heard the pain of those leaving all that they love
the heartbreak of broken relationships
The fear of those staying and accepting this life of chaos
and the knowing of the hardship and heartbreak still to come?

How do you capture the story
of the man trying to survive selling plants on the side of the road?
of the pregnant farm labourer and her child wandering a homeless trail in the dust?

How does one listen
to the double dealings of power
to the lies and evasions?

All of these are the human stories of my country
all of them deeply moving
each one of them life changing

Each one of them part of GodHow to listen,
and let go?


I spent a week on a healing workshop out in the bush working with people of extraordinary courage, people who are prepared to move beyond their own personal stories of pain and humiliation and fear, and to help facilitate the healing of others

This is a small thread of a story..........

This is the wilderness I came to as a child
playing in termite mounds,
in reed beds,
climbing rocks
singing round fires at night.

I came here as a mother
watching our children
playing in termite mounds,
in reed beds,
climbing rocks
singing round fires at night

I came here as an ecologist
watching beetles strip the masasa trees of their new flushed leaves,
watching them re-flush
for the next generation of beetle larva to decimate them again
3 times in one season.

The trees are still here...................

And I now come here as a healer
to hold the stories of those who have been hurt, damaged displaced
to help the empowerment of moving on
Honouring the courage

Learning to look at the scars.

Learning to listen
and let go
Singing round a fire at night

How do we still -
when we are finished for today
finished feeling
finished listening
- how do we still look at the stars?

For this is the tapestry of our lives
the poetry of millions of threads
the patterns emerging.
The lines of hope
threaded with pain
- no one without the other

This morning,
as on every morning
the sun rises across the floodplains in the Zambezi valley
and there is half an hour of stillness....................
whilst baboon, impala, waterbuck and zebra
absorb the rising winter sun,
whilst the hippos slip into the water
and the crocs slip out to enjoy the warmth
and the rhythm of life goes on.

There are times when I'm awed by the burden of being human
and being in the presence of so much endurance and love and beauty

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