Monday, December 9, 2013

Getting It Right


!Kung archer gear. Photo courtesy Flickr

Most Deft posts are composed early on Sunday morning with one eye on the previous week and another on the week to come. Yesterday’s Meet The Press coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela is as concise and elegant a version of the meaningful history of my housekeeping years as I can possibly imagine.

Other, more knowledgable, students of history will no doubt have better informed comments on the period, but NBC’s segment contains phrase after phrase of the living language of decent citizenship. Jesse Jackson’s pithy comment about Mandela turning vicious at one point and Maya Angelou’s narrative response to the news of his death stand and will stand as beacons of human values.

South African novelist Laurens van der Post wrote A Story Like The Wind about the brutality of an African liberation struggle. There’s a scene in the book that captures the very essence of housekeeping. Two young couples, one white and one !Kung seek refuge in a cave. The !Kung girl demonstrates good cave-keeping, meticulously grooming the floor of the space to make sure no one injures a foot on a sharp object. I can’t do justice to van der Post’s language and insight, but his description touches the essence of the hearth, or heart, or haeort.

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