Years ago, in a Johannesburg street market, when browsing was still an outdoor pursuit, I found my Paraglider wood-carving nestling with others of his kind in a straw-lined wicker basket. Of course, the name came much later. There was still no World Wide Web, no PARAPLEXED blog. I asked the stall-holder how much, but he said- No. You take him, you take wife too. He wasn't joking either. These figures are carved as husband and wife pairs and it is bad luck to separate them. He rumaged in the straw, checked and rejected a couple of wrong-'uns, then held up Mr & Mrs Paraglider-to-be, one in each hand. Literally made for each other, they were together then and are together still.
Theirs is a quiet dignity. Crafted with love, out of hardship. Sold to a foreigner and taken abroad, from familiar fields to the noise and dirt of a harsh city. So little has changed for a ravaged Continent and its people. But they have each other and will not be parted. Dear reader - whenever you read one of Paraglider's pages, here or elsewhere, whenever you see his African carved avatar, remember he is never alone. His wife is with him now and for all time.
|let no man put assunder|