paint potsWhile in Cape Town I had lunch with an old friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen for simply ages. It was so good seeing Susan Danford once more. I was reminded of how much I like her!
She told me of this class that she and a friend organised for underprivileged women. They all had to create these masks. Susan included! It was a case of paper mâché, glue, flour, water – the works! What was wonderful was the talk that flowed between everyone while they worked. If women ran the world, I sometimes think, it would be a far nicer place.
Having pushed, pummelled, and moulded the lips, eyes, noses, cheekbones and chins of their masks, now came the next phase. The painting of the mask. Everyone chose the paints they were planning to use with gusto. Ha, colour! This would be fun. Everyone except Natasha. She merely looked at the colours in front of her. Indeed she seemed to be “drinking” them in.
“What’s up, Tash?” Sue enquired.
The woman, her eyes never leaving the row of different coloured paints in front of her said with a smile: “I’m choosing. I have never been able to choose before. I am choosing. Very carefully, I am choosing my colours!”
That story just took my breath away. There she was, relishing this new gift of hers. The gift of choice. It is something that I take for granted. If I want a new sweater, a lipstick or new shoes I simply go out and choose what I like and buy them. This woman had lived on hand me downs throughout her life. She wasn’t badly dressed. Oh no, don’t get me wrong. But throughout her life choice didn’t feature strongly.
And now, here she was, making a decision about the colours SHE wanted to use on her mask. And taking great satisfaction, delight and relish in doing so.
It made me so aware of how lucky I am.
I have a life filled with choice.