Thursday, 17 October 2019

What cure for malice?

I told a story to my beloved this morning. We were talking about dogs.
"I just kick them," he told me an employee had said.

When I was eight or nine, my sisters and I walked to school every morning. It took us a good half hour. A beautiful black bitch joined us at a certain point each day. My sisters spoke to her, and I replied for her, putting on a voice. She was a gentle, agile creature, who thrived under our attention and imaginative conversations joining all our hearts in a magic ritual as we walked together.

One morning - it was only another few hundred metres to the school - she stopped to sniff at a lamppost. Her hind quarters were in the road. We stood waiting for her to finish her 'reading'.

A car sped along. It swerved to the left, deliberately in order to hit her. Her body was flung high up, as high as the lamp upon the post. She landed on the other side of the road with a broken back.

Out of the back windscreen I saw the driver's children look out, laughing.

In his book, My Traitor's Heart, Rian Malan observes laughter in a photograph of people witnessing a necklacing.

What cure is there for malice? What for mayhem? What is the madness driving men - apparently ordinary men, who eat and sleep and breathe just like you and me - deliberately to harm?

They cannot help it. They have no inner life, so cannot die. They have no joy unless they destroy. Orcs. Beyond redemption and mortal comprehension.

Redeem yourself: stand by your life: a fulcrum in the storm. The wars reflect the tipping points of tides that run on more than this mere moment.


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