Face to Face at the Ron Belling art gallery today - photographs of Port Elizabethans which were very well taken but pretty run of the mill as far as portraits go. What I found the most fascinating though, was the list of questions posed to the individuals and their answers. Deeply personal and thoughtful questions and the honesty with which they were answered. It occurred to me how different we all are and yet how similar - How can that be? Its seems there is a common thread running through humanity - a golden thread of kindness, care and love. It gave me hope and I left the exhibition feeling reassured and positive.
I wrote down some of the questions and have been pondering them during the afternoon. Here are some of my responses.
Who is God? God is the creator of our universe and when we hurt others or our universe we hurt God. When we love others and live in harmony with our universe,we show our respect and love for our creator. God lives in all of us.
What happens when you die? I believe that there are only two things that matter at your death. How well you are loved and how well you are loved by others. Your age, gender, religion, wealth etc. don't count for anything at the point of death - its how you have lived and loved.
Describe your life in one word? Meaningful.
Describe yourself in four words? Compassionate,Creative, Optimistic and Curious.
If you could get rid of one thing in the world what would it be? Violence
What does money mean to you? Freedom and Security
What are you afraid of? Losing those precious to me.
One surprising fact about you? I write to the Royal family and have a collection of letters from them.
What moves you emotionally? Tragedy makes me cry, Injustice makes me angry, Kindness warms my heart and my friends make me laugh!
What still would you love but don't have? Peace of mind.
What do you think of South Africa today? We live in country of great natural beauty but it saddens me that 15 years into democracy that there are still people struggling and living in poverty. I think the government has let its people down badly.
What do your think of the world today? As our standard of living has improved materially, the quality of life has declined.That there is a quiet revolution happening and the pendulum is swinging backwards as people want to regain control over their lives and live a more meaningful existence.
These were just a few of the questions that were asked - I warned you that they were deep and searching and I challenge you to answer them. The answers you come up with may surprise you as much as my answers were a wake-up call for me! I enjoy situations and experiences that make me think and this exhibition was exactly that - thought provoking!
This exhibition is dedicated to Craig Schonegeval who died of a terminal disease. Sandy coffey is writing a book about this young mans courage - which promises to be moving and inspiring.