Living Apart / Entwined


IMG_3731As I walk to work this morning I stumble upon a graffiti image of two trees with roots that are beginning to entwine. The caption is ‘Living Apart/Entwined’. I am struck by the potency of this phrase as a metaphor for our country. A simple allegory for our beloved country in its present state of racial chaos. How apt, how sad and how true.

We live separately to the larger degree. Yet our roots are entwined.

Our psyches all marred and scarred from our awful past. We seem to be insisting on separateness and difference as we scream racial slurs at each other, harkening to dark days of our fettered past. Yet the truth is we are born of the same tree – South Africa, a complex layered tree that is rooted in all of us. Furthermore we are born of the same species – humanity, and yet one wouldn’t say so with the way people treat each other.

How do we shift this metaphor to ‘Living Together/Entwined’?

It is my belief that we need to do some gardening and access the humanity within ourselves and each other; meet it, greet it and cultivate it. Nourish it until reaching out to this part of each other becomes the norm. Until the fear of each other falls away. Until this false perception that we are different at our core dissipates into thin air.

Imagine many branches and one root. How powerful we would be as a country and as a symbol for the rest of the globe.


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