by Sonja Kruse

Reflecting on 2012

Time won’t tell the actual length between one lesson and the next

You have to know where you came from, to know where you are going
The year ahead

I was walking down the passage when my eyes wandered to a door to the right. There was a black shape moving the orange organza curtain.

The little clawing feet drew me closer and into a mesmerised zombie state. I could relate to this little gecko, just hanging in there. Does the rumble of your tummy determine the length of your patience, little chap?

2012 was a long year. Time will tell that it was the same length as the year before and it will be the same length this year. Time won’t tell the actual length between one lesson and the next. The clock does not speak the language of space-holding; times when your dream is in a physical non-state, where nothing moves forward, or even backward. All you have to do is keep holding the space where you believe that things will happen.

Time will tell us when to eat, but not what. A friend told me the other day that she finds my ability to keep believing admirable. My determination is not driven by my stomach as much as by my heart. And because my heart beats in an ever expanding Ubuntu heart, it is possible for me to have dips in faith and contemplate getting a 9-5 job, without it amounting to much. Every day’s every experience is shared with so many people.

One of these heartbeats belongs to Sunedria Nicholls-Gärtner, aka Su, from the Internationale Filmschule in Cologne. We met in Germany last year at a conference at which I presented. It was clear when we met that Su had always understood interconnectedness.

She might not have known the word 'Ubuntu', but she has lived her life as an extension of all that is around her. We shared stories of our lives and I learnt that Su is a Canadian who has lived in Germany for 20 years. As we talked, the fingers on her left hand instinctively fiddled with a charm bracelet on her right arm.

She showed me the purple amethyst that has been with her for over 20 years. It is from her country of birth; her piece of Canada here in Germany. She wanted to honour my journey because she believes we need to grow into a community economy. Because she believes it, she lives it. And I learnt from her heart through osmosis. And so it spirals.

Before we parted, Su removed the amethyst from her bracelet and passed it on to me. She wanted me to have something of this meeting and to act as a blessing. I simply did not feel worthy. Su did not seem to hear me protesting. I left Germany almost feeling ashamed. Ironically, metaphysically speaking, the amethyst is believed to guard against guilty and fearful feelings.

It is also a stone worn by Catholic priests, as it symbolises piety, sincerity, humility and spiritual wisdom. Even when the stone is not with me physically, it is imparting its wisdom. On the days when doubts knock on my door and I ask myself: “What the hell are you doing?” or “You are so arrogant to think that you make a difference”, the stone reminds me that I am one pixel of a bigger picture.

2013 will be the year that The Ubuntu Girl will grow up in The Ubuntu Effect. This stone will be a constant reminder of the faith that we need to invest in one another. There are people from around the world wanting to book hop-on-hop-off seats on our Ubuntu bus. We will be sharing what we know about the human spirit with one another.

The world as I see it, from my geckoed window, is a space where we are in one, ever expanding heart. We laugh together; we cry together.

Madiba’s words come to mind: “To be free is not merely to cast off the chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

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