October is usually referred to, and synonymous to the most beautiful month in the year, but I do not want to write about that. Not about Diepsloot, Ravensmead, Kathelong, Barkley-West, Bonteheuwel, Bulwer or Elliot, where the blood of our children, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers, flowed freely in protests marches.
Too red, too innocent, their blood!
Like the balloons that on a day in Pretoria, was let loose, almost in a carnival atmosphere, to commemorate the Red October, Russia 1917.
Red revolution. Amandla!
About this October I do not want to write. Not about red berets that crossed the grounds in Marikana, that was drenched in blood, where one brother were being swept up against another, about land, about things, about power. Not about racism, corruption, a lacking government on service delivery, about who is suffering the most and who is to blame for all of this.
Not about words, gleaming venom that is antagonizing one human against the other. Both sides! Arguments, like rocks, being flung between them. We don’t even know each other anymore, don’t understand each other, and engage with one another not even in our own language.
But about that I do not want to write. Also not about our country where we in silo’s resists violence, crime and loss, and how in small groups how this is affecting our country and nation. Or to call upon the Lord ‘in the good old days’ if the past do not belong to us anymore.
I want to write about the days of the balloons, 10th October!
The day when Willicia Reed, Head Girl of the Brighton Senior Secondary School in Oudtshoorn, at her matric farewell, quoted Oprah Winfrey in saying: “You have met the moment …..” The moment at which doors will open up for you on a bright and prosperous future, or closed absurdly in your face, you have to decide on which one to peruse.
She wasn’t talking about the past, about the 12 years of schooling, but about the man/human being, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, and how we he will be remembered after his death. “What”, did she ask “are we going to leave as our legacy?”
Every year, someone tells and remembers the day, years ago, when Oudtshoorn was out of power, and it was the day of the matric farewell and the hairdresser was without power and the mothers and daughters were literally with their “hands in their hair!”, not knowing what to do.
Then they got the call from the ‘red bank’! Let the girls come and do their hair in our offices. Our generator is working. For years to remember.
That was like the Afrikaans poet once said:”the month October, the reddest, reddest one yet”
I saw the best in each one of us, and the worst. And for that bit of colour, small specs of beauty!