Monday, October 22, 2007

Life goes on...

In the poem "Musee Des Beaux Arts", W.H Auden suggests that it is human nature, that in the face of tragedy, life simply goes on. The poem, one of my favourites, is based on the painting "The Fall of Icarus" by Breughel.

The Fall of Icarus, by Breughel

In the painting, the hapless Icarus has fallen into the sea after flying too close to the sun with his man-made wings (those are his legs you can see, flailing about on the lower right hand side of the painting) and life is indeed going on - the shepherd continues to tend his sheep, the farmer ploughs his lands and the ship sails serenely by.


On Thursday night, reggae legend, Lucky Dube was brutally murdered in Johannesburg, in front of two of his children, in a botched hijacking attempt. He leaves a wife, seven children, the youngest of whom is only three months old, and millions of devoted fans. Not only was he a wonderful musician, but by all accounts he was a humble man, who was devoted to his family and his country. I, along with the rest of South Africa, was so saddened to hear of his death and so angry at the senseless wave of violence that is tearing this country apart.


On Saturday night our rugby team won the Rugby World Cup. The undiluted joy that swept through this country was something to behold. It was an event that, for a while at least, unified the nation.


So Lucky Dube died and we mourned and by Saturday night we were celebrating again. Life moved on. Sad, but true.


I can only hope that Lucky's death is not "swept under the rug" because of the more joyous event that followed it. I hope that, seeing as yet another celebrity has been murdered, something will finally be done about the crime situation in this country.


I also hope that the unifying effects of the Rugby World Cup win will stay with us for a very, very long time.

3 comments:

Linda said...

Happy Monday! That is a beautiful painting and you described it so well to help me appreciate it more. Glad your team won. Mine did too this weekend. Sorry to hear about Lucky Dube. I love reggae, it is so uplifting.

Regina said...

That is a very interesting painting, and all but too true of our humanselves. I understand the need to survive and move on but we would be remiss if we just continue to let people die in vain and don't even remeber or acknowledge them and what they brought to the human race.
Life is so precious and in today's world very devalued.
As long as even one person remebers Lucky Dube and the accomplishments of his life, and tells others about it his memory will carry on!

Blessings!

Regina said...

Hey Gill, I pray that your day has been pleasant. To make it a little better I have an award for you! Come on by my blog to pick it up!
Blessings!

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