I like to listen to my favourite CDs while I’m ironing. At full blast. Not only does this relieve the tedium of ironing, it also allows me the luxury of indulging in music at a volume that would not normally be acceptable, since my husband sensibly finds other things to do when I am posted at the ironing board.
This morning, my choice of music was an album given to me by a good friend. Mercedes Sosa, the great Argentine lady of folk music and protest songs, invites other great singers to join her in a kaleidoscope of musical styles. The result is stunning. Her strong, slightly raucous voice combines well with that of sentimental elderly gentlemen vocalists as well as that of vibrant young women. Spanish and Portuguese lyrics keep returning to the topic of love, but there is also a critical description of the life of a street kid, a rocky number dedicated to the Chilean singer Violeta Parra and a protest song or two. Tangos and sambas share tracks with raps and blues.
The album was released in 2009, the same year that Mercedes died at the age of 74. What a lady! Moving with the times, learning to rap with René Perez and sharing a stage with the inimitable Shakira. Moving on. Keeping up. Actually beginning to crumble with failing health but inwardly soaring to new heights. Admirable.A popular German saying may be translated as: you grow according to your tasks. In Mercedes’ case, according to the tasks she had set herself. Now I have always admired my mother for skyping with us and keeping up to date with the family news via Facebook. Last year she acquired a laptop since her very old computer was causing problems. Having been asked how she was coping, she retorted that Windows 8 was a bit of a nuisance. A definite euphemism! Windows 8 is a challenge for all of us, isn’t it? But at the age of 83, my social network compatible mother is setting herself new tasks and coping with them. Adapting. Growing. Laudable!
So after the year in which I have given up several committments, I have made a quiet vow to myself. I don’t want to stagnate, particularly since I am going to become a grandmother later this month. I don’t intend to make a resolution, like learning to play bridge or the harmonika or learn sign language, but when a challenge arises, I intend to take it on, in order to grow. Will I stay young as I am getting older? Let’s see what happens!