To be rock and not to roll when winged beast seeks shelter
THE other day I was instrumental in a rescue effort that turned out okay and left me overjoyed. I was having a shower when I spotted a muggie (aka midge or gnat, according to the Afrikaans/English dictionary in the office), which was manfully dodging the water splashing against the tiles on the wall.
I thought I’d do what I could to assist in the extraordinary endeavour by the critter to live out its entire lifespan, which Dr Google puts at a whopping seven days.
I adjusted the showerhead so that less water would splash onto the tiles and send the winged beast to a watery grave. In doing so, unfortunately, a gush of water streamed down my arm onto the area of the wall where the muggie was. When I looked again, it was gone and I immediately cursed myself for being party in bringing the being’s sojourn on Earth to a premature end; even if it had perhaps already reached dotage of, say, six days.
I have, of late, pondered afresh the the idea of the interconnectedness of all of creation, having just completed the extraordinary novel by Brazilian author Paul Coelho, The Alchemist. It reaffirmed my long-held belief that everything in the universe is, sort of, part of the greater whole. Even the wind, as is the case with the young protagonist in the book.
The matter is dealt with somewhat more succinctly in the final verse of the classic Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin. This is where Robert Plant intones: “…and if you listen very hard/ The tune will come to you at last/when all is one and one is all… to be a rock and not to roll.” A tad simplistic in explain- ing the complexities of existence, but it’s kinda worked for me for several decades.
Well, to get back to the muggie: I’m extremely happy to report that as I stepped out of the cubicle to dry myself, I spotted the little blighter deftly manoeuvring its way between the drops still clinging to the wall.
I assume it must have taken, what Dylan might have described as “shelter from the storm”, on a cement strip between two of the tiles at the moment I reached for the showerhead and the torrent ensued.
“Oh joy,” I thought as I dried myself and prepared to go and face the rigours of the world outside.
Well, talking of the classic Dylan song, it sketches quite a few desperate scenarios which the central character finds himself in; I mean there’s a “oneeyed undertaker who blows a futile horn” and at one point the poor geezer is “burnt out from exhaustion, buried in the hail/Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail…”
Indeed, the song – off the superb Blood On The Tracks album – kicks off with the foreboding line: “…’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood…”
Well, talking of “toil and blood”, not to mention being “poisoned and blown out on the trail”, I nearly choked on my beer when the news first emerged about presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa being smeared as a serial “philanderer”.
The airwaves – and the internet – exploded. Renowned sexologist Dr Eve weighed in and said on TV this was really not something to get our, erm, knickers in a twist about as we are apparently a nation of habitual adulterers –“smallanyna” skeletons and all that.
What I found most ironic of all was the fact that those who probably planted the story – or were most rubbing their hands in glee at Cyril’s discomfort – were in the other camp in the presidential race.
And we all know who they hope will take the reins at the elective conference in December.
And if we look at the track record of the principal in that camp, what do we see: five wives (and counting), fathered child with daughter of a friend (Irvin Khoza), Khwezi, baby oil and, of course, showerhead etc etc.
Ah well, all are one and one is all...