For a few hours yesterday afternoon something quite special happened in Wales. S4C had asked me as an adult to say something about racism on the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. It was on their young people's Mosgito programme. I did my bit but there were far more important contributions yesterday both off and on screen.
Off screen I watched a new Wales being forged before my very eyes. Two boys from Bala, one white and the other black, held conversation with two Welsh speaking Muslim girls from Cardiff. They are sisters. Yesterday, they were all different: they were all equally Welsh. They were all Welsh speaking.
They could have spoken about race, hijabs, or racism. What really bothered them was the relative sizes of their respective schools in Bala and Cardiff. The really important question was how long was the dinner queue in their school? Four young Welsh people filled me with hope. Wales' tomorrow is in safe hands.
Today I watched Invictus. I enjoyed the rugby scenes and the history (although some of it was not historical). What I enjoyed the most was the exploration of the words of William Ernest Henley's Invictus:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I will go and see this film again and stand in awe of Nelson Mandela's forgiveness. I now have a new favourite film.
supremely and ardently solicitous
3 weeks ago