Monday, December 9, 2013

Sing On, Soweto

I decorate my home very gradually and particularly, refusing to exhibit anything that wasn’t love at first sight. Several walls or sections of walls remain blank canvases until I find just the right coverage. About five weeks ago, a song came on my Brenda Fassie Pandora radio station. It was love at first sound, and the second I saw the cover of the album it’s from (The Indestructible Beat of Soweto), I knew this is the visual that belongs on the lower righthand side of the wall above my desk.

One of my bigger regrets is not having studied abroad in South Africa. One of my bigger goals is to overthrow that regret by traveling through South Africa as an older, savvier adult.

Nelson Mandela once lived in Soweto. He’s a big deal to my family, and to many other families. I taped a huge poster of him on a wall in an old room of mine. In times of disillusionment, I sometimes looked up at that poster, to help get my focus back in check.

When a Supersoul you’ve never met but have always looked up to dies of old age, the effect can be similar to when a long terminal illness takes away someone you’re close to. You know the end is coming any day and assume you’re ready for it; when that day actually comes, you’re not as emotionally prepared as you thought you’d be.  

I still haven’t found the album cover image in the size and form I’m looking for. A colorful ceramic butterfly hangs on the wall as a place-holder until it comes home to rest. 


2 comments:

  1. My Mother tells harrowing tales of the struggle - she was just a teen when the situation was at its height and riots were rampant.
    And just like you said, it's not that we weren't expecting his passing, but the reality comes as a deep shock anyway. He was truly the greatest man from this age.

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  2. It is humbling to learn the details of Mandela's life, and to become aware of the power of his influence, an influence he used for the good of his country.

    I was inspired by this posting to listen on YouTube to some of The Indestructible Beat of Soweto. The music is marvelous, and I am glad to learn of it.

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