YOU SAID, WROTE & TWEETED... WINNING LETTER
Your article on AfrikaBurn made me cry
You see, Tankwa was my sister’s Nirvana. She’d spend a week in her happy place every year, and the other 51 planning costumes and working with the committee to put the event together. Her pet project was the lost and found booth.
Justine didn’t make it to the Burn this year; she died of a massive brain haemorrhage on 11 February.
To all the naysayers who criticise Burners as self-indulgent middle-class people playing at being poor, I beg to differ. The turn-out (in full regalia) at Justine’s celebration of life, and the support and generosity given to her children was phenomenal. They also paid tribute to her by renaming the lost and found booth, JustIn(e).
I lie: Justine did make it to the Burn this year – we sent up a box of her ashes with her friends, which went up in flames with the Temple of Gratitude. So there will be a little piece of her in the desert dust and Tankwa stars forever. Nicci Botha Ed: We’re so sorry for your loss. But we’re happy to hear that the sense of community that characterises AfrikaBurn is carried through beyond that brief week.
Sounds of silence
An extrovert at heart, I’m still content being in my own company. This is particularly the case after a week of interacting with teenagers. Yes, I teach English to high schoolers! So I related to Suzy Brokensha’s ed’s letter, ‘The joy of silence’ (July 2017). Some years ago, I did a series of silent retreats at a monastery outside Grahamstown.
Initially, these were day-long spells of contemplation and silence, but I summoned up the courage to embark on an eight-day retreat. Meals were taken communally, but in silence, and retreatants were encouraged not to engage non-verbally either.
In that kind of silence, you can hear your heartbeat, and even the sound of your blood coursing through your veins. On my return, I found the chatter in the hair salon so loud it was almost unbearable!
Taking a break every day for a moment of introspection can have enormous benefits. Thank you for reminding me of this. Ricky W Ed: It’s easy to get caught up in the rush. Curling up with the latest FAIRLADY is a great way to take a moment!
What FAIRLADY means to me
This is a letter to thank you. My mother, due to temperament or circumstance (probably both), was a neglectful parent. My father succumbed to alcohol and disappeared from my life. As a teen in the 1970s and a professional in the late 1980s, your magazine instructed me about makeup, fashion and womanhood. I still have a book with recipes from FAIRLADY cut out and glued in. As a wife, your instructions taught me about cooking and entertaining.
I bought a copy (July 2017) again after many years. My compliments to you for staying in touch with issues that are relevant to women of all ages, in an empathetic, accessible way. Name withheld Ed: Thank you. Glad we could help.