My New York Times essay in O. Magazine, South Africa– February, 2010


Filed under My book: This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness, My Posts

3 Responses to My New York Times essay in O. Magazine, South Africa– February, 2010

  1. dianna syed

    I am married to a man who is finally growing up as he is approaching 50. Over a year ago, two days before Christmas he told me he wanted a divorce. He hadn’t worked in a year and a half due to shoulder injury and subsequent surgeries. He’s an electrician and drinks to deal with stress. I was so relieved to hear him say it. I had wanted out for years. We were and still are simply too poor to divorce. I need whatever help he can bring in and he could never support himself let alone pay child support. Our fixer-upper of a house was never fixed up enough to sell.
    I still felt extremely liberated even though deep down I knew he would never leave. I gave myself permission to quit trying to fix things. I was able to lose 30 pounds that I had always blamed on being a working mom. I even (gulp) had a couple of affairs with old flames. That part is over thank God.
    Now he is back to work and “back” in the marriage. I just live day to day making a home for our children (12 and 15yo). I am still the major bread-winner and carrier of most responsibilities but I cut myself some slack. I don’t have a black cloud over my head if my husband is acting out. I just deal with my life the best way I know how. One foot in front of the other.

  2. Around the time he was wrapping up “Creed,” Coogler made his first journey to the continent, visiting Kenya, South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, a tiny nation in the center of the South African landmass. Tucked high amid rough mountains, Lesotho was spared much of the colonization of its neighbors, and Coogler based much of his concept of Wakanda on it. While he was there, he told me, he was being shown around by an older woman who said she’d been a lover of the South African pop star Brenda Fassie. Riding along the hills with this woman, Coogler was told that they would need to visit an even older woman in order to drop off some watermelon. During their journey, they would stop occasionally to approach a shepherd and give him a piece of watermelon; each time the shepherd would gingerly take the piece, wrap it in cloth and tuck it away as though it were a religious totem. Time passed. Another bit of travel, another shepherd, another gift of watermelon. Eventually Coogler grew frustrated: “Why are we stopping so much?” he asked. “Watermelon is sacred,” he was told. “It hydrates, it nourishes and its seeds are used for offerings.” When they arrived at the old woman’s home, it turned out that she was, in fact, a watermelon farmer, but her crop had not yet ripened — she needed a delivery to help her last the next few weeks.
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