Because we’re a team of 150 people and there are only 90 parking bays available, I park on the street and I walk the two blocks to my new office.
I’d just sat down at my desk on the third floor this morning when a Facebook message popped up:
“Dave I am convinced I drove past you in Claremont this morning. Light blue T shirt with Union Jack on the front?”
It came from a man who taught me 22 years ago at Pretoria Boys High School. I’d not seen Mr. Van Aardweg since I left Matric in ’92. Thanks to Facebook, though, we’ve been chatting for the past year or so, on and off. Elwyn is now the headmaster at Kearsney College and I’m, well, I’m just me. You know the story. He’s given me some great words of encouragement on my journey back from active addiction. So I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet him later when he came to collect his daughter’s car from being serviced.
In the foyer of Montclare Place it was as if 22 years melted away in the smile he gave as I walked out to greet him, and suddenly I was back in high school, listening to that quiet, measured voice that spoke gently, kindly and with such worldliness. Mr. Van Aardweg hasn’t changed in all this time.
We spoke about things. Life. Dubai. Changes. Durban. Matty Stewardson. And then he left me with a little gem:
“We build people up to break them down. You’ve gone about it the other way around.”
He’s right, you know. We DO build people up into these gods we worship, and we cry foul at the revelation they are only human, with feet of clay. All through this journey of mine, these past almost three years, it’s all been about exploring my own feet of clay; my very human doings.
And the key thing to remember, like my erstwhile co-fiend Marius reminds me, is that we will always have feet of clay. Always. And the only way not to be sabotaged by them, is through humility.
Never forget the powerlessness in the face of addiction.
Never forget the power of the addiction.
Never forget the even greater power that is the family and friends who inspire and who are inspired.
It’s 22 years since Elwyn last taught me. Today he taught me another lesson, about life, and myself. All thanks to the perfect timing of driving past me while he’s visiting from another city.
It makes you think about the grand scheme.
© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.