Monday, February 7, 2011
Tangible items I am grateful for:
1. LOVE LETTERS: I’m grateful for the love letters between my grandparents – James and Amy Williams – penned between 1923 and 1927. During that time my grandmother was controlled by the Aborigines Protection Act, and lived as a domestic servant on Maryula Station on the Lachlan River and in a private home in Sydney. My grandfather was a labourer on his own country in Brungle, NSW. Their letters demonstrate love, longing, consideration, humour and generosity. You can read more about my grandparents in my book AM I BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU? which will be released through Random House Australia in 2012.
2. MY PARENTS WEDDING PHOTOS: I have five black and white photos of my parents on their wedding day. They were married at St Vincent’s Church in Redfern on November 5, 1960. The pics are framed in my lounge-room and it’s one of the ‘things’ I would grab in a fire. The photos symbolise for me the absolute truth of their love and that in fact, real love knows no boundaries, least of all race. My father was Austrian, my mother Aboriginal and they married at a time when it was offensive to many to marry a ‘new Australian’ or to marry a ‘blackfella’. My parents loved only each other (and their kids of course), and I am grateful to have been raised in a home full of love and respect. It taught me how a home-life should be for all children. The pic above is Mum on her wedding day, obviously. Isn’t she beautiful? And just a bit of trivia, Mum’s dress fit me when I was in 4th class. Obviously she was really skinny (and I was a chubster!).
3. TIFFANY’S BRACELET: The last birthday present my father gave me before he died was a bracelet from Tiffany’s, 5th Avenue New York City. I wear it because it reminds of him, and the happiness I saw on his face when, upon giving it to me, he saw the happiness on mine. He died before he knew that I started collecting something from every Tiffany’s around the world. My father was frugal so perhaps it’s good he didn’t know about that tiny addiction of mine.
4. MY COMPUTER: I couldn’t live without my computer – well all three of them (iMAC, laptop and notebook). I need them to write my books, essays, letters, emails, blogs... I need them to be able to fulfil my dreams and goals in life as a writer. But I’m most grateful for them because all three allow me to communicate with my friends and family around the world via Skype.
5. CANDLELIGHT: I love eating by candlelight. It doesn’t matter if I’m just having toast for dinner, candles make the experience that much more enjoyable, peaceful and yes at times, romantic. Most importantly, I’m grateful for candlelight because it makes me look that little bit more attractive at those times when a girl needs all the help she can get, if you know what I mean.