JK Rowling on raising girls…. http://ow.ly/i/2YtEH
Monthly Archives: August 2013
It’s a stunning late winter/ early spring day in our part of the world and we’re getting a summer teaser! I have the most amazing conversations with my friend Kerry ( a very smart, very dynamic lady who works in the banking industry) and she told me this story which really touched me.
An old Zulu lady came into the bank the other day and this Gogo (an affectionate term for elderly woman in our country. Literal translation means grandmother) was chatting to Kerry and a colleague of hers and colleague mentioned that this Gogo had traveled all over the world. Kerry, being a traveler herself, immediately asked where she had been and how she had come to be so widely traveled, as this is fairly unusual for an elderly Zulu lady living in rural South Africa. The lady explained that she worked as a char/nanny for an American family for many years in South Africa and when they left, this family kept in contact with her. No, not just a letter or an e-mail…kept in contact to the tune of sending her a ticket to join the family wherever in the world they happened to be for their holidays. For six weeks on that holiday , she told Kerry, she is treated like a queen.
When Kerry mentioned that she was lucky to have made contact with this wonderful family, the old Gogo sent her a wise look and said ‘I was born lucky and I will die lucky.’
This little story will probably have more of an oomph when I explain to you that black woman in South Africa, and in Africa, have it exceptionally hard. Many of them have little education, are frequently treated like third class citizens and have tough lives raising children, a good proportion of them doing so on their own with no financial or emotional contribution from their children’s fathers. A lot of woman are also raising their siblings children after they have passed away from AIDS or from other diseases. I do not blame them for feeling like life has given them a raw deal because in many ways it has. Black woman are the backbone of Africa and they will always have my undying respect.
But this wonderful old lady decided that she was going to be lucky- blessed – and she was…the law of attraction in action! There’s a lesson in here somewhere…about being grateful for what we have and to always have a positive outlook on life. Well, that’s the lesson I’m taking away…because, really, I’m damn lucky and don’t have a thing to complain about!
I can’t sing to save my life but I love music. When I’m writing there’s always music in the background and I’ve frequently been inspired to write a scene from lyrics I’m listening too.
I’ll listen to anything….rock, soul, blues, jazz, country. Current favourites are Counting Stars by One Direction, Hey Ho by The Lumineers and Pink’s Just Give Me A Reason. I also love South Africa music and frequently write to Watershed or The Parlotones. For some brilliant South African music that is more traditional check out the multi-Grammy winners, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the ‘White Zulu’ Johnny Clegg.
I love songs with a story (must be the writer in me 🙂 ), so I do gravitate to modern country music. Songs with a good story…um…Meat Loaf’s Paradise By the Dashboard Light (Funny), Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason (Sad), Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying (Powerful) and Garth Brook’s Learning to Live Again (evocative. ) Fellow author Kelly Hunter introduced me to Keith Urban’s Stupid Boy this morning and it almost made me cry. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brrsX8JAKFI
But now and again there’s a song that resonates with me and right now, Kenny Chesney’s track with Dave Matthew’s I’m Alive stops me in my tracks.
Maybe because it just reminds me – at this crazy, crazy busy time on my life filled with kids and work and writing and LIFE! – to stop and breathe. It reminds me to be grateful. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bynMis1h_8U
Do you have song that defines your life? Or one that you like at the moment? Or one that makes you laugh? Or cry? Let me know…