In the book I’m currently reading (Radix, by Alfred Attanasio, in case you’re wondering), The Mothers speak of ‘the whorl in all things’. The whorl is the ebb and flow of psynergy that courses through all things living or otherwise. What it boils down to is that there is a balance in everything, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. The powerful aren’t powerful forever, and the weak will get their chance on the top. This may be especially true in Attanasio’s universe, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch from our own.
The whorl is in all things – or at least… it’s in most things.
It’s something I’ve felt, and I’m sure you have, too. Life has an ebb and flow that you have very little control over. To use a cliché, your life goes through “ups and downs”. You get sick, and you get healthy. You get busy, and you get bored. You get happy, and you get sad.
I’ve been feeling the whorl tug at me a lot over the last couple of years. Being a freelancer makes it especially clear. I either have work or I don’t. It seems that whenever I do have work, I have all the work I can handle, and when I don’t have work, I really don’t have work. There’s very seldom an in between. When I’m depressed, I’m really depressed (this usually coincides with a lack of work), but when I’m happy, you will bloody-well know about it.
Sometimes, the art I make is great – better than I intended, and sometimes all I seem to put down is crap, but it’s alright, because I know that before long I’ll be doing great work again.
I feel the whorl in my being, in my work, in my relationships, and even in the people around me. Some months people are amiable. I almost feel like they’re humouring me with agreements or suggestions. A few months later, I’m not greeted on the streets, people I consider close to friends are short with me at best, and I’m alone.
The whorl isn’t only present on a personal level. With the student protests going on around the country, it can be seen in the rise of the youth and, I think, the eventual decline of the current government model.
These protests had better only be the start. Cheaper education is the first brick to be laid on the path to a real, larger community. There are a countless multitude of issues to be dealt with in the country, some of which will only come about when the younger generation fully replaces the old. Speaking from a ‘privileged’ point of view, the wounds of old don’t have the necessary time that most people need to heal. Traumatic things happen every day due to racial crap, and a protest, a law, or declaration won’t change it.
Racism isn’t a thing of the past, it’s something that filters down through the generations. It’s not separated by time as much as it’s separated by individual families. Many a Van Den Berg has sworn the ‘kaffirs’ from their homes and shops, and yet, a Ven Den Berg has inadvertently shown me that age and generation will not dictate compassion toward their darker-skinned brethren.
My days may not be intertwined in the racial issues of South Africa, but I see it when I speak to older black people. Their average attitude toward me as a young, white man is vastly different to when I speak to a young black person. With a young black person, we are peers, and neither is above the other.
All of this reflects the overbearing whorl coursing through people. This hate will slide into acceptance, and eventually into community, and one day it will slide back into ignorance and oppression and hate.
Maybe one day, when we’re all beige, and all the Earth’s cultures stop rubbing each other the wrong way, nobody will care what anybody else does, and we’ll all just live how we want to. With replicators, and matter transference beams, of course.