She's a Long-Legged Woman Dressed in Black
My dad used to sing me this song all the time as a kid. Especially when I wore any kind of maxi skirt. He’d sing it and then say “Tanaka akapfeka mugomo!”, (Tanaka is wearing a bucket!). I’m not tall by any stretch of the imagination but my limbs are long in relation to my body.
Today is the 1st anniversary of my dad’s passing. I am not even going to lie - it has been the worst year of my life. I have been dreading the month of May coming around. My mum also died in May - on the 25th. So really, when he died I kind of decided I hated this month. I had no expectation of anything good coming out of it anymore. I know it sounds dramatic and very “woe is me” but truth is I never knew there was a pain like this before. (Even as Faith Evans “Love like this” is what is now playing in my head on cue. Nice.)
So, because I’ve known I was likely going to be a mess in May, I decided to plan to win. To plan to find ways to get through this month without crumbling to a heap in the corner till it passed. As it happens, a lot of wonderful celebrations suddenly cropped up like Maddie’s first communion celebration (Morayo-Hope’s bestie) and my cousin who graduates this month in Arizona which we are all looking forward to. I am also busy writing up all my blog posts in April so I don’t miss a beat.
When I looked at this picture I immediately heard my dad’s voice singing and it felt appropriate to schedule this post for the anniversary of his passing. This dress is in the colour of mourning but I felt so powerful wearing it on the day of this shoot. I didn’t plan it for this post at all. I actually planned this shoot for a post about super maxi dresses! But this is fitting.
On the day of the shoot I was in my element, loving the billowing fabric and the way it inspired me to move. I also felt like I was coming alive on that day. My photographer was excited about my willingness to try new things and I was excited that she hadn’t shot down my suggestions. I felt like I was finally living my truth and enjoying creating something that people would love.
As a teenager I spent a long time wanting to be a lawyer. Then one day my dad said “you’re not very good with confrontation though, you can’t be crying in front of the judge.”
Aaaand that was the end of that dream.
But now here I am, in my element and truly feeling like I’ve turned a corner in realising where I belong. I wish he were here to see it. I wish he was able to see these pictures right here. I know he’d immediately sing for me.