International Women’s Day at Romanian Cultural Institute London

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We celebrate International Women’s Day with a beautiful poem from Fiona Sampson’s ‘The Catch’, a collection of „crystalline poems of beauty and risk” that we look forward to launching tonight. Join us @ RCI London at 7pm!

The Catch

You want – but something
holds you back
(voices in the
undergrowth

the cold shift
of a shadow)
something walks
beside you something

that was always
there a shadow is it
like your skin
and you remember

when you were
a child how each night
shadows met
across the grass

each night they met
to swallow time
the light put out
in each grass stalk

the story broken
that you’d told
yourself as you lay
in the brief

brightness
between the tress.

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Eight cow woman

Laura bought two books about marriage relationships this week-end. Bringing out the best in your Wife and Bringing out the best in your Husband by H.N. Wright, translated into Romanian. And of course, I have to read my bit. We started together. Now, in my book, Wright mentions an old, well known story for most. It was new to me. I’ve checked the story online and was quite surprised to see that there is also a movie about it, Johnny Lingo (1969).

Like always, I will share this story here, hoping that someone will benefit from it.

During a trip to Atlanta I read an article in Reader’s Digest. I made a copy of it and have kept it in my heart and mind ever since. It was the story of Johnny Lingo, a man who lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly of this man, but when it came time for him to find a wife the people shook their heads in disbelief. In order to obtain a wife you paid for her by giving her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. But the woman Johnny Lingo chose was plain, skinny and walked with her shoulders hunched and her head down. She was very hesitant and shy. What surprised everyone was Johnny’s offer he gave eight cows for her! Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him.

Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the U.S. came to the islands to trade and heard the story about Johnny Lingo and his eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken back, since this wasn’t a shy, plain and hesitant woman but one who was beautiful, poised and confident. The visitor asked about the transformation, and Johnny Lingo’s response was very simple. „I wanted an eight-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an eight cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks about herself.”

Bringing Out the Best in Your Wife, H. Norman Wright