Thursday, 16 February 2017
SAWBONNA: POLLSMOOR PRISON and THE COLOUR OF JUSTICE.
Not one of us is independent. Each of us is forever in relationship. The tenor and tone of each relationship is as a hue, a shade. Each hue and shade speaks to us via our emotions i.e. the emotions of the heart and the emotions of the intellect, engaging us in a vast array of conversations. Some conversations simple and gentle, several cumbersome and challenging. When I knew that my colleagues in South Africa worked diligently and succeeded in getting me into Pollsmoor Prison, where Nelson Mandela lived for a time, to share with a group of pre-release young offenders, I was filled with gratitude. And, I was filled with fear. I began to doubt that sharing my journey of powerful and authentic healing with Glen Flett, who killed my Father, Theodore Van Sluytman, mattered. I began to question what I have lived and believed for most of my life, which is, stories can and do save and honour lives. It was in those moments of deep doubt that I did what it is that continues to nourish and free me. I contacted my trusted and respected community of friends, allies, colleagues. I told them my fear. They reminded me of what I had momentarily forgotten about my vocation. They reminded me that the colour of justice is hope. That the hue of hope is our shared-humanity. That shared-humanity sits in the crucible of relationship and resilience. And, further with their love and support, they reminded me that hope does not have a specific locale, does not wear a particular mantle, does not take sides. Hope, I began to remember is sitting in companionship whereby I and Thou speaks. Sawbonna is I and Thou. Sawbonna is not Us vs. Them. Sawbonna is the gift of reminder that not one of us is independent. That each of us is forever in relationship. The ripple effect of relationship, is often resilience, reaching far and wide and deeply into our shared-humanity. And Sawbonna is about: respect, responsibility, relationship. Sawbonna is the colour of hope. The colour of justice.