Rest for the Wicket

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 25 March 2013: 6 years 6 months on …

Physical: Deuce / Mental: Advantage ED

ED is in week EnDing wED 27 March 2013

Wed 20 Mar:        AlgoaFM; Gym; Sean Old Grey Rugby vs Crusaders

Thu 21 Mar:          Human Rights Day; Grey 1st bt Westville in Grahamstown; lunch at Rat

Fri 22 Mar:            Braai at home with Clarkes and Stapletons

Sat 23 Mar:           Kings vs Crusaders; Michaela’s 21st birthday party at Dexter’s Den

Sun 24 Mar:          Lunch at Bluewaters café; Proteas bt Pakistan; Rest …

Mon 25 Mar:        Meeting with Melanie (Hospice); Physio; Visit Ackermanns; Rugby Madibaz vs Maties

Tue 26 Mar:          Visit Sr Gill (Hospice); Rest …

It was diarised as a quiet week! A week of rest …

But, this has been a busy week and Human Rights Day long weekend. By Saturday, I was exhausted and had to leave Michaela Botha’s 21st birthday party early. Thank goodness for Sean driving me home at ten. They got home at two am, I was told! This has become the 21st birthday party season!

Friday and Saturday were especially difficult for me – I think it’s partly due to the heat (36 degrees in Grahamstown on Thursday!) and partly due to the busy schedule. I’m just not up to all the travelling, late nights, and occasional beers anymore!

Anyway, I woke up late on Sunday morning feeling much better and, after lunch at Bluewaters café, just lazed on the couch – watching the Proteas beat Pakistan in the last of the One Day Internationals. It was also a cool day and hopefully the start of autumn and the approaching winter weather. I thrive on the colder weather!

The long weekend was special.

It has become a lonely world for me. No work to go to in the morning, no daily interaction with other people, no work functions, few and fewer visitors – as the months go by my world becomes a smaller place and it becomes more difficult to understand what my contribution is to this world.

Even when I have company it becomes difficult to share my world with them. They are so busy with their worlds that no longer have relevance for me and so we live in two different worlds. We live past each other.

Charlie

The daily programme involves Charlie, our Jack Russell, who is my company when I get up in the morning and for the rest of the day. Barbara, our domestic, is there … with the vacuum cleaner! For the rest, I am kept busy by all my medical appointments, hospice visits and whatever other projects that I have found to keep me busy.

 I am not good at keeping my own company!

However, there’s my desktop, my laptop, my IPad and my Blackberry that I couldn’t live without.

They are so challenging but so exciting, and when they go on the blink like this weekend (because of the Seacom cable problem in the Mediterranean Sea somewhere between Egypt and France, MWEB tells me) then I have withdrawal symptoms. Thank goodness for DSTV and Discovery and BBC and SKY and CNN and Richard Attenborough’s AFRICA and Great Britain! We live in an exciting and wonderful world!

So, yes, the long weekend was special to have everyone home – Pera from her work, Sean from his work and Phillip from the boarding house at school.  Suddenly, there is chatter and laughter and banter and talk in the house again. It makes a huge difference and is even more noticeable when I get up on Monday morning in an empty house again!

This weekend is Easter long weekend and then school holidays – I look forward to having everyone at home once more!

And a huge congratulations to Phillip who was awarded his academic half-colours at school on Monday!

What started out as a possible 24-hour internet problem is now being touted as possibly a two week problem! How did we work in the years BG (before Google)?

 

Kings Rule, Don’t They?

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 11 March 2013: 6 years 6 months on …

Physical: Deuce / Mental: Advantage ED

stadium

Our Super 15 rugby franchise, the Southern Kings, was born into this region in a tempestuous sea of politics. In the lifeboat they now occupy, they now meet the storms of the other 14 franchises, the rugby supporting communities of three nations and a wild political arena of lions (no puns intended!)

It’s now sink or swim time!

Two weeks ago they beat the Western Force of Australia in their opening match. Last Saturday they narrowly lost to the Sharks of KwaZulu-Natal. I was at both matches and my grateful thanks to Brendan Kelly and the EP Powerboat Association for inviting me to join them before and after the game at their wonderful facilities in the shadow of our magnificent Mandela Bay Stadium. (Parking places at R200 for the season right there at the stadium are available by contacting Brendan on 083 458 5721.)

The Kings team has engendered a new spirit in the inhabitants of this, the poorest of the nine provinces of South Africa. Whatever the future holds, the present euphoria must not be allowed to dissipate.

Mentally, they must stay on top. It’s like fighting life, illness, disappointment, disaster, financial ruin and whatever …

Life is rarely simple and straightforward and prosperous and happy. If it is, it isn’t for long.

There are ups and downs of all kinds, new innovations and the rapid discarding of obsolete items. There are economic swings and stock market crashes, wars, assassinations and elections. We live in a world of hazard and difficulty.

We have to put our heads down and plough our way through it all. We have to remember that unexpected things do happen – both good and bad!

Life unfolds, sometimes with adversity, always with hard work, and occasionally with undeserved fortune.

Life is a strange mixture of joy and sadness; hope and despair; health and sickness; and success and failure.

So, however hard things might be, it is important not to give in to despair.

Live without regret! I try to do so and some days are easier than others. I find I am so busy just trying to live life every day that I forget why I am living at all.

I do have some regrets and I wrote about some of these in my last blog. But I also need to let go of them!

Here some ways, suggested by Alex Blackwell, of ensuring that when your last day arrives, you can look back on a life that mattered:

(On your marks (1 – 10), get set (11 – 20), go (21 – 30))

  1.       Avoid the someday syndrome – tomorrow is not soon enough!
  2.       Take responsibility for your life and live every moment. YOU own it!
  3.       Take an honest look in the mirror – start now!
  4.       Acknowledge your reality. Change what needs changing and heal what needs healing.
  5.       Know your truth, listen to your inner voice and your inner wisdom.
  6.       Be thankful for what you have. Gratitude opens your heart wider to receive even more.
  7.       Be your own best friend – enjoy the person you are.
  8.       Perfection isn’t required and mistakes are welcomed.
  9.      Don’t waste time living someone else’s life.
  10.     Think differently to find what brings you the most happiness, peace and purpose.
  11.     Ask for what you want and believe that you are worthy to receive it.
  12.    Flush out all the BS – the Belief Systems that tell you that you are too old or too young, or that you are not smart enough or too          damaged!
  13.   Transform negative thoughts into positive beliefs.
  14.   Let go of negative attachments and past mistakes – including all your regrets!
  15.   Face your fears – you can’t avoid them and pretending they don’t exist won’t make them go away.
  16.   Believe you CAN be the best in yourself. You can!
  17.   Become the person you want to be. Step outside your comfort zone, claim your voice and realize your worth.
  18.   Make time to follow your desires.
  19.   Love what you do. If you don’t, begin moving in the direction of what you are passionate about.
  20.   Look forward to your journey and not just the destination. There will be potholes and digressions along the way.
  21.   But keep moving forward (even when life is hard).
  22.   Savour each moment – it’s the only one guaranteed.
  23.   Walk your path at your own speed and in your own way. It doesn’t matter how others are walking their paths.
  24.   Smile more – it’s a simple act that can help you through life’s most challenging situations.
  25.   Forgive more – yourself and others.
  26.   Love more and share your love.
  27.   Be kind to others.
  28.   Take chances – you will never know what might happen!
  29.   Pain is inevitable – suffering is optional.
  30.   Seek counsel, advice and friendship when you get stuck and can’t see where the path is taking you.

 (Thanks to Alex Blackwell, the Bridgemaker, for the 30 Ways to Live)

Be the King in your Kingdom.  It’s hard work, but then being a King is hard work.

However, it has its rewards and ensures that your life counts for something.

In the final analysis, “thine be the kingdom” – and you get to sing “Regrets, I HAD a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

 

Watch spectator fight at S15 rugby game between Kings and Sharks by clicking on the link below:

http://www.sport24.co.za/Multimedia/Rugby/Super15/Fan-fight-20130312

Regrets, I Have a Few …

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 5 March 2013: 6 years 6 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage ED

Aurora Hospital is raising funds by selling a recipe book with local citizens’ favourite recipes. I have been asked to contribute my recipe and a picture of me.

So I headed off to the photographer Beverley Darlow last Monday and that put into motion the need for the Lunnon family to do a family shoot – something we have been trying to do for years!

I eventually managed to organise an appointment for Wednesday afternoon at four thirty. In a major logistical arrangement for us, the four would come from different directions and meet at the studio in Walmer.

But, as luck would have it, at three I got a call from Bev to postpone the shoot as her daughter had been rushed to hospital that morning and was still waiting to be seen!

So, thanks to modern technology, Blackberry and cyber-diaries, the appointment was shifted to Saturday afternoon at one thirty.

Well, cut a long story short, we eventually managed to complete the shoot on Saturday and now await the final product to arrive.

Our home walls would be so different and bare without pictures (photos?). They are the storeroom of our memories and the depot of our past.  The work put in to getting them there is often taken for granted but they remind us of our previous generations and us in better days! Just about all the photos that I have seen on walls depict the happy things of life. Despite the circumstances, the pictures usually display smiles and laughter – maybe sometimes even a forced smile!

I would not be able to be a model! Hundreds of shots taken from one direction and then another – just in the hope of getting THAT particular shot:  the right lighting, the right smile, the right background, the right clothes, the right composure, the right angle, the right body language …

But it gave me time to think, both during Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday when I went for a long walk along Sardinia Bay Beach in the most sublime weather that we have been experiencing of late,  

I thought about the last seven years (almost) of my illness and how it has affected the family. Life, certainly for me, and especially for them, has been very different to that which most other families experience.

Pera has become a bread-winner, a housewife, a Mom and a carer – each one a very difficult job in itself but the four together, juggling between the various roles, become an incredible act to master! Not one for the feint-hearted!

Throughout their high school careers, the boys have lived with an ill father and everything that goes with that. They are preparing for life but at the same time are only too aware of preparations for my death.

I thought of how different it was all supposed to be. I thought of what it should have been like and could have been like. For once, I allowed myself to think back – to look at those old photographs of my memories.

Regrets? Yes, as the song says, “I have a few” … but these I will mention!

I regret that I haven’t been able to be a proper husband and father. I regret that I haven’t been able to fulfil an occupation. I regret that my “job” has been a “pensioner” since age 49 – after all, we as human beings are often defined by the job we do! I regret that I haven’t been able to contribute in every aspect to society. I regret that my life as a healthy and well and productive human being has been cut short. I regret that I haven’t been able to entirely support my family financially. I regret that I have now lost 84 salary cheques (and you can calculate what loss that is!)

I am not feeling sorry for myself and I don’t want anyone to have to do that for me! Because, whilst there are regrets, there are so many other things for which to be thankful. When I have spoken at public meetings, I have highlighted many of the gifts that my illness has brought.

I want especially to thank those people who remember us financially and who choose to do so anonymously. Their generosity and kindness have made that I have so much less to worry about, that we have not wanted and that the boys are receiving their education and preparation for life.

One day, when the family pictures taken this week adorn the walls of the homes of this generation of Lunnons and those to come afterwards, there will be much to unlock in the memory banks that they will create.

After all, every picture tells a story (and a story behind that story that the picture doesn’t tell )!

And regrets? There are ways of dealing with them too. I will write about that next time.

Lifting Our Spirits

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Tuesday 26 February 2013: 6 years 5 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage ED

It’s the end of February 2013 and there’s not even a leap year day to make it one day longer.

Two months of the twelve – two twelfths, or as a mathematician would say: the fraction reduced to its simplest form of one sixth of the year – gone! And, most probably with it, all the good intentions and New Year resolutions have also gone.

Gone but definitely not forgotten.

Health wise these have been two difficult months for me. I have more tremors and spasms, more loss of use of three of my four limbs, headaches and problems with my eyes, weak neck muscles, loss of memory, tiredness and increasing speech problems.

On the domestic front, we lost my car in the October floods, property in the November St Francis fire, the dishwasher on Christmas Day, the oven, the blocked drains, the flood of water through the roof in the cloudburst three weeks ago, Sean’s pocked hail-damaged car (now in for a month’s repairs) in the Graaff-Reinet storm … and the list continues.

On the national stage we have seen more and more corruption and potholes, theft, lies, poor health and education facilities and general “service delivery” issues. There have been the mine strikes and the farm labour unrest and riots. The murders, the rapes, the car accidents and manslaughter on the roads continue unabated.

As various Days of Remembrance and Activism have been called, we have worn black clothes and red and yellow and pink and blue and green and … nothing seems to make a difference.

Who even remembers the name of the young girl raped and murdered in Bredasdorp any more?

Then, of course, we have endured the Reeva Steenkamp / Oscar Pistorius saga of the last two weeks, and long, I know, will that continue.

However, there have been the Lifting our Spirits “feel good” stories too.

The last few months have seen the “Searching for Sugarman” – the documentary telling the story and playing the music of Rodriguez who, despite being a non-entity in the USA, was in the eighties, and is today again, a great music phenomenon in this country.

There are so many Life Lessons to learn from this human story (see my blog SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN).

The cherry on the cake, of course, was the crowning of the movie on Sunday night with an Oscar as the best Documentary of 2012!  

After the storms, there has been sublime weather hosting  the trip into The Bay on The Jester, the Concert in the Park with the EP Philharmonic Orchestra, the annual Redhouse River Mile (ironically now moved to the Sundays River – which in itself tells us the story that if Life hand us lemons turn it into lemonade!)

Sean spent the weekend doing what he does best – on duty at the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).  At no cost to himself, other than a few hours of his own personal time, he jumps from roofs and helicopters into the sea, gets to swim and be hoisted back out of the water and gets to save lives when duty calls.

image

Phillip was lifting his spirits by throwing a javelin at a school athletics meeting at the Westbourne Oval – a sport in which he has only recently become involved.

Pera is painting, and her first attempt is on exhibition at this time! So her spirits are also lifted and will be even more so when she makes her first sale!

It was good to go out on Saturday evening to that wonderful Shrine of Togetherness that has been left to our Port Elizabethan citizens as part of the 2011 FIFA World Cup ® legacy. It surely lives up to its name as the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium!

image

All in all, as one compares the various stadia around the country built for the football spectacular, it would appear that ours is the best used now. It really is an asset to our City and hopefully will be maintained and utilised even more for many years to come.

It has been built in just the right spot.  A spectacular building by any means, access is so easy and quick, and getting home a dream (even without a single traffic cop on duty!)  The view is stunning from which ever seat you sit in the house. And it brings the people of the City – all of us – together in a place where we can forget all the problems of the day and for a brief few hours celebrate our togetherness as human beings.

So the excitement on Saturday was palpable. For the first time, our Eastern Province Southern Kings were playing in the South African conference against the teams of the Australian and New Zealand conferences of the Super 15 rugby competition.

Our fledgling minnows, written off by most, supposedly didn’t stand a chance against the Western Force of Australia. No side has gone into Super Rugby and won its opening game!

Yet, with pride, passion, guts and determination we beat them 22-10. (And underlining the Southern King’s winning status was two try scorer eighteen- year-old Sergeal Petersen, who just three months ago was a pupil at Grey High playing with our own sons!)

Like Life, his are the first steps of a long competition – sometimes up; sometimes down!  

And Life is the Art of Drawing – without an eraser!  Unlike Phil’s six javelin throws, we only get one attempt at Life. We all have experiences where we wished now that we could turn back the clock. But our experiences, and how we handle them, determine our destiny.

What’s important to remember is that life will continue to throw the bad at us… and the good! We have to get up … and there is so much to lift our spirits – to help us to get up – be it music or meals or movies; sea or sports or swimming; art or athletics or Academy Awards.  

Queen Victoria said “As long as there’s tea, there’s hope”!

image

And the Oscar goes to … Mankind

“And because he cannot be with us tonight, we all accept the Award on his behalf.”
 
 oscar
I am only a human.
A human being – just a human being;
Nothing more than just a mere mortal.
I am just human.
 
I have flaws and warts – some are visible to all and some are visible only to me.
I am not the perfect person I may sometimes appear to be.
 
Over and above my frail humanness, I have a physical body that is diseased by CBD and does not work properly.
 
Life is not an easy road to navigate.
 
Because of my imperfections, and like many other human beings, I look for role models.
 
I look for someone to guide me through this life – to show me the way.
It’s not an easy road to traverse by yourself.
 
I look to my parents, my teachers, my political leaders, my religious leaders, my business leaders, my entertainment stars, my sporting heroes …
 
But, too often, the more important people are in this life, the less of a role model they are.
 
The majority of the political leaders in my country leave me cold. The “stars” often flicker in life’s darkness. My religious leaders are silent. The business leaders are often unethical, my teachers fallible and my parents, or their leadership, missing.
 
So I turn to my sporting heroes. The world revolves around sport and I can revolve around its heroes.
 
Many of us turn to them and (often erroneously) idolize them:
 
They are achievers, well-marketed, in your face, on TV and sometimes in real life, wealthy, “pull” the models, drive flashy cars, have large homes, travel the world and seemingly live Life, with a capital letter L! They have it all.
 
And when they have faced the difficulties of life themselves, overcome adversity and gone from rags to riches to command the world’s stages and airwaves, then even more so, they become your role model, your guide, your leader, your wannabe, your hero!
 
They dreamed the impossible dream and made it possible.
 
If they could do it, then so can you! You aspire to what they have achieved. It is no longer impossible!
 
And so we put them on pedestals and make them our gods. And they bask in our adoration and adulation. They live the high life and reap its profits – channelled from us to them via various sponsorships, deals, endorsements and other revenues.
 
Yes, we feed them, we fund them and we fuel them!
 
We keep them there!  And they feed us …
 
They tell us and give us what we want and are looking for – often out of their true character. They start living a dual life – possibly so as not to disappoint us and possibly because they enjoy basking in the glory of their new-found fiefdoms that we helped to create.
 
All the time we forget that they are only like ourselves – just human!
 
And, one day, when we “discover” that:  they, too, are only just human and flawed like ourselves, we are devastated and disappointed and dismayed and, above all, we are lost and we are hurt.
 
Often, we are so disappointed when our heroes fall from grace, that we feel betrayed by them. We are the first to judge them –  harshly. And so we throw the stones. We choose to forget that they, too, are only just human.
 
In no manner of means do I condone their actions. Just as I don’t condone many other of our “re-actions”.
 
We conjure up and tell the jokes about them. We help to break them down and watch how they crumble, piece by agonizing piece.
 
After having fed them, funded them and fueled them, we fire them!
 
From hero to zero, the cliche says, and we are so good at assisting in order to make that statement true.
 
So, now I am sad. I am very sad.
 
I am sad that another of our heroes has fallen.
I am sad that such a dastardly deed has been committed.
I am sad that one family is in mourning and another in distress.
I am sad about all the heartache, the tears, the unhappiness, the emotion.
I am sad that we are such fragile and fair-weather supporters and followers.
I am sad that Life is such a difficult road.
 
So, now I ask you, …
 
Only too aware that I am not in, and nowhere close to, the league of previously fallen heroes,
But knowing full well (from the correspondence and feedback that I receive from around the world) about the flawed pedestal that some would place me on:
 
Please, don’t make me your role model; because I can’t and don’t and never will live up to your expectations. I am scared to let you down and to disappoint you.
 
Please, from that which I give to and share with you on radio and in print, take the best and ignore the rest.
 
Please know that despite the TV networks ad nauseum telling us “that you can only imagine what he feels like”, we will never know what he felt or feels like ( just as no-one will ever know or understand what I am going through and experience daily with CBD, and what I feel).
 
Please, remember, …
 
I am only a human.
A human being – just a human being;
Nothing more than just a mere mortal.
I am just human.
 
Remember UBUNTU and our humanness – “I am what I am because of who we all are”.
 
(c) Edward C Lunnon 2013
Sunday 17 February 2013: 6 years 5 months on …
Physical: Deuce / Mental: Deuce
 

Never Give Up – Care Ministry

Saturday 9 February 2013: 6 years 5 months on …

Physical: Deuce / Mental: Advantage ED

Last Tuesday evening, I was the guest speaker at CARE MINISTRY, Port Elizabeth.

The organisation carries on activities which are of a philanthropic and benevolent nature, having regard to the needs, interests and well-being of the general public and in particular those people affected by HIV / AIDS.

My message to them was simple:

Life in all its facets that it presents to us is a GIFT. Whether we are a CARE-Giver or a CARE-taker – NEVER GIVE UP!

We watched this video of Arthur Boorman – thanks for watching it too:

Scans Scans 001 Scans 002

Run / Walk in the Park 2013

Thanks all for helping us to help the Beadons.

Michelle Beadon, Laurie Beadon, VeeAnne Falco (PG Glass), Ed Lunnon, Loines Jenkerson (Walmer Athletics Club)

Michelle Beadon, Laurie Beadon, VeeAnne Falco (PG Glass), Ed Lunnon, Loines Jenkerson (Walmer Athletics Club)

Ed Lunnon (Walk/Run in the Park)

Ed Lunnon (Walk/Run in the Park)

Ed Lunnon, Loines Jenkerson

Ed Lunnon, Loines Jenkerson

Jester – Happy 6th Birthday!

image

Happy 6th birthday  ED!

Happy birthday Ashley – thanks Bev and Ashley for a magnificent evening on the Jester, out of Port Elizabeth Harbour, Thursday 7 February 2013

See www.jestercruises.co.za

image

Alice? Alice? …

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Sunday 27 January 2013: 6 years 4 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

Most of my contemporaries (and older and younger) will be familiar with the words in the title of this blog. They would also be able to complete the title!

They may not know the group that sings the song. And even if they don’t know any of the other words, they will certainly know these few words and will shout them out heartily at any party where the song was played.

Another such song which dates from my school and university days (the seventies and eighties) is the song that contained the SEX word. In a very conservative apartheid South Africa, it was quite a challenge to belt out “I wonder … how many times you’ve had sex?”

Many would not know any of the other words of the song “I Wonder” or who the singer is. Up until now, that is … but all that has changed in the last few weeks.

Suddenly, after the release of the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man”, Rodriguez has become a household name and his music heard all over the country – even on the contemporary airwaves of today, a far cry from the banned status quo in the apartheid era!

Nominated for an Oscar Award in 2013, the documentary tells the most amazing story: how the Mexican American labourer and singer Sixto Jesus Rodriguez, unknown in his home United States, and unknown to him, became popular in apartheid South Africa, “died” and was resurrected to entertain South African audiences again and again (and again next month) in Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

rodriguez

Just last week I wrote about the World Wide Web and its impact on our daily lives.

Thanks largely to the WWW, a search (by two South African fans who said “I Wonder” about Rodriguez) uncovered the mystery of this man, allows him to follow his passion and has resulted in the documentary being made.

The marvels of modern-day technology made it possible for me to download the movie from DSTV Box Office. I watched it, sometimes through misty watery eyes (I must confess) on Friday evening and again with Phillip on Saturday and again on Sunday morning!

The documentary has taught me, at least, a few life lessons and a “Cold Fact” or two. The life of Rodriguez could be the “soundtrack to our lives”.

The futility of apartheid is recognized but thank God, NelsonMandela, FWde Klerk and many others, as the one poster in the movie demands, we have been able to experience “Freedom in our Lifetime”.

But we can not only experience freedom from an oppressive political system. We can also experience freedom from whatever life throws at us. Detroit, in the seventies and today, was a hard place. Rodriguez, through his music, rose above a city of decay.

“Sit dit af.” “There is a way out”.

Obstacles often serve as an inspiration. “If you find things easily they’re not inspiring!”

However, it also shows us that despite “all the circumstances being right” we don’t always necessarily make it big. A prophet is not always recognised in his own country.

But we need to accept our station in life and use it to make a difference in our lives, in the world we live in and in the lives of the people with whom we share this world.

Rodriguez’s three daughters tell us about a man who “never said anything about being disappointed in life”, who read a lot, got involved in politics and the community, attended protests and rallies and causes that he believed in and worked for the working class – for people who didn’t always have a voice or a chance to speak up for themselves.

In his lifestyle and music we can certainly see and hear a lone guitarist and a humble labourer – a boy of the street whose experience was in the street, but who continues to make a difference in the world.

And makes that difference without having regard for reward or for himself.

Truly, had Rodriquez wanted any reward of any kind, the story would have been very different from the start. Too often, today, it is the reward and not the cause that encourages people to get involved!

Rodriguez approached work from a different place. “His magical qualities elevated him above bullshit and mediocrity”. He knew there was something more in making a difference and most of all, “his spirit remained!”

For me, one of the pivotal scenes in the whole documentary is when his daughters tell the viewer that, despite having lived in 26 houses (“they weren’t homes, just places to live”), he took them to libraries, museums, art galleries and science centres.

“Just because people are poor, or have little, doesn’t mean they don’t have dreams, that their dreams aren’t big, their soul isn’t rich!”

“That’s where class and prejudice come from – the difference between them and us – you and me!”

But from someone who was seen to carry fridges on his back and who lived in a DetroitCity that told its inhabitants not to expect more, came the encouragement to his children to “dream big”.

Rodriguez took them to places where “elite” people went. He instilled in them the belief that they “could go to any place you want regardless of what your bank statement says”. He showed them the “top floors of places” and showed them that they were as good as the elite are.

Rodriguez majored in philosophy and exposed his daughters to the arts.

“That was our day care! He showed us a life outside the City that is in books and paintings.”

Rodriguez writes and sings about “people are the same” in his “Most Disgusting Song.”

When his break came in South Africa in 1998 (“South Africa made me feel like more than a Prince”) and he goes from “being the outcast” to “being what he really was – a musician on stage”, he had “arrived at a place he’d tried to find his whole life” – he was at a place of acceptance; he was home!

The limousines pulled up but Rodriguez refused to sleep in the queen-sized bed. His humility remained.

The time here in South Africa was “beautiful, it was a dream” but then he had to go back. “The carriage turned into a pumpkin.”

He continues to “live a modest life. No excess. He works hard to make ends meet. There is no glamour to his life.”

And then the line of the movie that we can all learn from:

“He is rich in a lot of things, but perhaps not material things.”

Rodriguez sings

“Maybe today I’ll slip away

Keep your symbols of success

I’ll pursue my own happiness”

His daughter Regan says “It’s a grandiose story. People in Detroit need to hear something good.”

Perhaps we all need to hear something good.

And in “Searching for Sugar Man”, we hear (and see) that good.

As Rodriguez’s work colleague says:

“It demonstrates that we have a choice. Take Life and transform it into something beautiful. Like a silkworm takes raw material and transforms it into something that was not there before, something transcendent, something eternal!”

“It shows us the human spirit of what’s possible.”

Rodriguez chose Sugar Man as his choice.

You and I have that choice.

Rian Malan, author, says in the documentary, “We all have dreams for ourself, higher forms of ourself, some day we’ll be recognized, talents will be visible to the world. Most of us die without coming anywhere close to that magic.”

“The days of miracles and wonder.”

Jesus said “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mathew 5:5)