Friday, February 8, 2013

Shattered Dreams - Jannie Louw

The characters in this story walk through a beautiful land, in which its people are often referred to as the Rainbow Nation. Unfortunately, as in the rainbow myth, there is no road to or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, only wishing bowls to compensate the dreamers in their search for a better life.

For lovers, it's their gaze at the stars when their cups runneth over. For the hungry its clay pot begging bowls and water carafes for the thirsty. For others it's their desperate vacant stares at the distant mountains from whence the rains should come. There are many other bowls to choose from, like the Sangoma's calabash, in which he'd collect and drink the ox's blood, to celebrate the death of a predator to appease his ancestors. Yes the predator, he who walks in the sun but casts no shadow, whose sole purpose is to maim and destroy the lives of others.

But alas, in the end, no matter what you wish for, the dreams of the Rainbow Nation and the pot of gold exists only in the mind of its people. Freedom has to be paid for in many ways. In the end greed, corruption, crime, incompetence and poverty can and will lead to despair and bring even the strongest to their knees; believers to pray, others to suffer and the confused to come to terms with their consciences in their own way.

Will the politicians' promises of a new life in South Africa materialise or will it bring hardened criminals and murderers into its light, there to count their money, tarnished with the blood of the innocent, in their candle's flickering flame?

Yes, there are times when tears have a value greater than gold.

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