Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!/ Reflecting on his "Cape of Good Hope"

(Birthday party for Mandela in Sandton, South Africa.

Photo taken July 18, 2004)

It's the birthday of Nelson Mandela (books by this author), born in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (1918). His father was the chief of the Tembu tribe.*

What a good guy!

And isn't that the understatement of the day, year? (Perhaps a bit like me saying, "That Ghandi was so peaceful!" Or "Buddha, man: what a good meditator.")

Writing that makes me giggle. ;-)

I'm drawn to the name of Mandela's birth place, offered here by Garrison in today's Writer's Almanac*: the CAPE OF GOOD HOPE?! Hmmm......Auspicious name for an auspicious beginning, don't you think?

Makes me ask myself all sorts of questions:

Where is this cape?

Why "good" hope? Is there such a thing as "bad" hope? What is false hope?

What if a person could WEAR a cape of good hope? What would our world look like then? Would Mandela have more comrades as peaceful, loving revolutionaries? ("Warriors of non-aggression" is what my Buddhist friend Pema refers to these kinds of people as.)

Can someone please design a cape of good hope? One of my arts friends, perhaps? I'm sure there's a market for them....

What would a cape of good hope look like? Would we dance in them? Wear them to weddings and baptisms? To funerals, as well, (especially to those of friend's whom we might be overly concerned for in the afterlife?!)

And then: will someone please write and tell me if they know any members of the Tembu tribe. I'd like to meet a chief one of these days. Yes. That would be really lovely, following on the heels of all of my African-alliances of late. Yes.

Hope you are all having a good day, no matter where this email or posting finds you!

Kisses to Mandela!

Blessings to all!




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