Just between you and me, my last week of 38-dom is off to a really great start considering last week's tepid feelings about birthdays. The truth is that since my father died, the week before my birthday is always a little rough. The dumb thing is that the melancholy always catches me a little by surprise. It starts off with this nagging, uncomfortable feeling, that envelopes me like an itchy sweater. Then suddenly it dawns on me that the real reason I am feeling crappy is not my job or bills or whatever it is that I'm fixating on, but rather that it's my dad's birthday and I miss him. It's funny how the mind works. Suddenly I'll notice that it's one of those anniversaries and my mood becomes so much clearer. It happens every year. You'd think I'd learn.
The good thing is that there has been a lot going on to distract me - even being sick and working crazy overtime for the first half of the week helped. Then, just as I was feeling better, came Thursday - otherwise known as Ladysmith Black Mambazo Day. As a fan of world music (or whatever you want to call it - there is some criticism associated with the term), I was really excited to see them at the Aladdin. The tightness of their vocals has always appealed to me - all those voices singing as one! - and I love that the impetus for Joseph Shabalala to form an isicathamiya group came to him in a series of dreams.
It was a fun night. Not only does the whole group come across as warm and jovial (which is, by the way, pretty amazing considering some of the tragedy Shabalala's personal life has seen in recent years), but they sang my favorite songs (Homeless, Shosholoza). All in all a promising tone with which to start a great weekend and maybe even a new year.