Operation Oysterhood: 18 February

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

— @HaggardHawks

My brother sent this postcard from Poland in September. Its arrival today felt like mail delivery must have felt a century ago when letters were still transported by ship and carriage. But I am not sure that even back then it would have taken five months to deliver a letter from Europe to South Africa. It doesn’t matter. My perception of time has been altered dramatically throughout the lockdown, and the clocks in my house still refuse to tell proper time anyway, so my infinite patience has become even more flexible, and the only thing I feel about the postcard arriving so late is gratitude. A small miracle in my postbox. So much nicer than the accompanying municipal bills.

This morning I finished reading The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. Beautiful writing, fascinating characters and most of the way a page-turning plot, but the ending disappointed me, although it is a ‘happy’ one.

‘You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.’ This is one of the quotes from the book that stuck with me. Perhaps in a way that was not intended, because there are cases where I think resentment is necessary, all day, every day, and remembering the bad things allows you to keep sane and not to make the same mistakes again. There are things that should not and cannot be forgotten, forgiven. And when bad things happen, the anger, the resentment, can be a powerful force of moving beyond the trauma. After all, the novel also notes: ‘Scars are just another kind of memory.’ Not everyone deserves forgiveness. Sometimes on an intimate, sometimes on a global scale.

One more quote from the book: ‘That’s how life goes on – protected by the silence that anaesthetises shame.’

Is anyone selling Zuma’s Tea already? Or should I abandon publishing for tea business?

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


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