Today, I hugged Hope a little tighter and kissed her some more after reading Corrine Wilson’s ‘Shine A Light’ book. Her story, in conversations with Ingrid de Storie, shares the lives of dogs living in poverty in Ocean View. Painting the vivid picture of social-spatial polarisation in a way that gives life to the parallels that exist within the South Peninsula of Cape Town.
Captured through both Corrine (Noordhoek resident) and Ingrid’s (Ocean View resident) lived experiences. Similar yet so different. That privilege that we try our best to look beyond yet cannot escape.
Throughout the book, what strike me most, was the ability to depict the rawness of the conditions in which pets encountered, and helped, lived. And the missing depths of contrast of the constant state of anxiety, fear, and disillusionment that the people of Ocean View live with.
A missing contrast because it is an onslaught of emotional and psychological overwhelm that can only be captured if you’ve lived through it.
In particular, page 163.
A reminder of where I once lived, in the heart of it all. My last memories of our home weren’t good. My brother’s drug addiction annihilated my sense of safety within our home. Today, that pungency of addiction continues to seep through far too many walls in Ocean View.
‘Shine A Light’ is a brilliant read if ever you find yourself wondering what life is like on “the other side”. Whichever side that may be. It speaks of the humanity within all of us. Reflecting the suffering, and strength of the Ocean View community, through the lives of the many dogs. Some living in better conditions than their humans. The poverty that echoes through their empty bowls.
Words, however, may fail to do adequate justice, to the injustice, that is suffered amidst the palpable strength of this community. A community birthed through the shared history of the forceful relocations in 1967/8. Ocean View, the place that holds my heart, with memories of my father sharing stories of life, at home, in Noordhoek. A carefree childhood before the Groups Areas Act dictated a different place to call “home”, Ocean View.
Amidst it all, the community is alive with compassion and care. It flows strongly through the DNA of the place that I will always call home. Ocean View.
Buy the book, Shine A Light, and read more about the place that holds my heritage. Corrine, thank you for the opportunity to read and review your book and shining the light on the care and love that Ingrid de Storie so generously give to the many pets in Ocean View, 1 Kennel at a Time.
Hope was found on a rainy day, 6th September 2020, a puppy, scavenging the streets for food during the heart of the COVID pandemic. Now, a year later, she fills our lives with so much joy!