In Praise of Sisters (especially mine)
I only have one sibling. She’s younger than me. And wiser, braver and stronger. We’re like chalk and cheese. She lives out the back of nowhere on a farm where the internet connection is non-existent. Not that it matters. It’s an unnecessary luxury. She works hard, despite poor health and wearily loves the land the way only country people can. I live between the mountain and the sea, daily surfing an on-line world of art and amusement. My working world is filled with technology and words.
One of my earliest treasured memories is our father laughing as he watched us walk down the long driveway to the family home, off to do some shopping for him. Apple and orange. Bohemian me with her long hair, long skirt, wrists and ankles a-clatter with beads and bangles. My sister dressed perfectly in heels and nail-polish. I had waited half an hour while she blow-dried her hair! (it was the early eighties). But we were the best of friends. And still are.
As a child, my sister didn’t read for pleasure. It was too much of a struggle. But the persistence she brings to everything and the isolation of farm life eventually led us to the same place in front of the bookshelf. Suddenly she had read everything I had to lend. Everything! Children’s books too.
I always send her a copy of my latest book and she rang this week to say Jaguar Warrior had arrived. Then there was a pause. “I’m sorry but I haven’t read it yet. I get so excited every time I have one of your books in my hand. I want to make it last. So I put it on the kitchen bench and look at it every day until I can’t keep looking a moment longer. Then I sit down and read as slowly as I can. I want it to never end.”
Imagine apologising for a comment like that!
My sister is the best and I love her heaps. Even if she decides she hates my books.