Another reason I can’t bear to leave this blasted place, even thought it drives me crazy…

sigh

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Dear Brian

You are more than you consume
Much more than you presume
More than others might assume
Beautiful soul
You are more than you expect
Far more than you project
More than others accept and reject
Beautiful Soul
You are more than you could say
More than we could ever claim
More than the games we play

Beautiful Soul, Kobo Town

Dear Brian
Well.  It had to happen some time.  I guess I was hoping that you would just go on batting forever.
That when I was oldish and now coming into my sense of beauty you’d still be there battling for the West Indies, with every stroke bringing us a little closer to something resembling self love.
And I understand why you need to go and I have to respect that decision and wish you all the happiness you deserve.
But that didn’t stop me from crying hot salty tears of regret watching you play your last game last Saturday.
Did you entertain me?  For sure.  You also gave me heart failure, made me cry and laugh and hold my head and make up whole new words to describe those feelings in those moments when you did things with a bat that defied logic.
I will miss you bad bad, Brian.  I anticipate my cricket tabanca will last a long time.  Which is not to say that I don’t hope that someday there might not be some young genius to take your place, to dare even stand in your shadow.
I guess I feel like I grew up with you and every one of your successes was mine, helped me make more sense of me.  And maybe this is a wrong way to see a mere cricketer, but what is life without heroes? What is life without people who challenge us to find that superhuman strength, drag it out of pain and frustration and downpression and turn it into something of such beauty and grace?
Plenty years watching you bat. I remember the first time I saw you make a century. And I remember times in Sabina Park, listening to the yardies change their tune, from Lara Bloodclaat to gwaan tru, my Captain.  And reminiscing with old cricket peongs in Kennington Oval in Babylon-don.   And plenty hours shouting at my television, and plenty shouting on the cycle track.
Ah, Brian, I think you have some clue but perhaps the real story of the love that we, well, some of us, have for you will never really be told.
And if I had to find one word to sum up how you made me feel about myself and about the West Indies and about cricket I would have to say full.
More full than any food or any coconut water on a Sunday evening watching the sun sink behind QRC building.
And I had to wonder then, who are they going to hate now?  Who are they going to demolish and bad talk and criticize in that special way that only West Indians can.   Worse than picong, that kind of nasty self-hating kind of talk that saps your spirit and fills the air with the anger that David Rudder sings so eloquently about.
These past few days I’ve been wondering who they will hate.  Now that you pick up your bat and walk, who will they blame?
Who will they accuse of things that have more to do with the myopic struggles of former colonies.  This loose
And it never made sense to me that they tried to get you to lead a team that doesn’t consider itself a nation.  Just a loose connection of former colonies all caught up in their own little survival struggles.
It’s a funny thing how they wanted you to take responsibility for uniting a fractured region of people where so many qualified and eloquent politicians had failed.
I guess it’s like how in man and woman things it just don’t work out sometimes.  Because no matter how much you love them you know that we can’t grow much further.
And don’t mind how much you miss them, you know in your heart that is only a dog would eat his own vomit and it’s a gentleman like you, Brian, who would walk even before the umpire puts up his finger.  And because I know you know when you’re out I don’t expect that you’ll ever change your mind.  But if you did I would be more than glad to take you back.  To return to the tears and the joy and the laughter and the admiration of a game.  You more than anyone else this new generation of disillusioned West Indians showed us what possibility we have.
What else can I say but thanks.

Life after 30

This world is mine

For all the time

I can turn any stone

Call any place my home

I can do anything.

Use the Force, Jamiroquai

So I’ve been freaking out about turning 30 for at least a month now. All things considered, I don’t feel any different now than I did two days ago when I was still a twenty-something, but I find the finality of it a little hard to adjust to.

I can’t remember feeling so stressed out about turning 20. Actually, to be honest, I can’t remember turning 20. It wasn’t as significant as 18 and not as terrifying as 25.

But a decade is a lot of living to go through. It’s sped past in a haze of books and protests and flaky men and interesting fashion decisions.

And ten years later I don’t feel older but I do feel a lot wiser.

I still don’t consider myself a grown-up, possibly because people still refer to me as “the chile.” In truth, being a grown-up is a terribly overrated thing. Being a grown-up is really all about responsibilities and expectations and the disappointments that come when you refuse or fail to live up to these.

I have resisted most if not all attempts to make me a serious frowny lady who wears pumps, pantyhose and other instruments of female repression.

I’m not too sure why. I suppose my life would have been a lot easier if I’d gone down a less odd road.

It occurred to me in the midst of my pre-birthday funk when I was wondering how my life had turned out like it had and why another birthday was approaching and my bank account looking just as empty as it had in previous years.

When I was 25 I used to say every day that I didn’t want to turn 30 still engaged in the daily reporter grind, locked into the wage slavery of a full-time job and conspicuous consumption of house, car and fetes.

I look back and see how the universe opened the way and here I am five years later, a full-time professional protester of no fixed abode and neither chick nor child to show for it.

And if I didn’t have the pictures to prove it, I would think that my life for the past five years was a dream, with a few nightmarish bits put in for good measure. How I managed to climb the Great Wall, trod through Babylon-don, cruise the Adriatic, scale the Swiss Alps, march in Chatham, and generally have a fabulously detached existence is beyond me.

This time around I think I’m going to be a little more clear to the universe and try not to doubt so much that nothing in my life happens by accident.

That said, the best plan for me, it seems, is to make no plan at all. To see what turns up and go with the flow.

Sometimes I wish that what turns up is a big pile of dirty capitalist cash that I can use to fund all my subversive little revolutionary projects.

In the dark and frequent hours when self-doubt grips me by the throat and threatens to snuff out any positive thought, I wonder if I can manage to balance my life between being someone that cares and someone that earns a livable wage. I wonder if I can really open myself to the abundant blessings rather than cursing the poverty and the loneliness that come with rejecting social norms.

I guess at some point I’ll have to suppress that Aquarian predisposition to be out in mental orbit most of the time. Or use the orbit time to plot a course that really leads me where I want to go, wherever that is.

I’m going to focus on the positives of being a dread hippy and not second guess my interesting fashion decisions. I’m going to embrace the flaky men and understand that they’ve taught me some interesting lessons about how I see love and how much I love myself.

The challenge for the next year, five years, the rest of my life is to just enjoy being me. A human woman feminist writer tree hugger activist meggie artist drama queen fashion outcast photographer traveller lover friend sister daughter auntie perhaps one day mother dancer deejay…the list gets longer everyday. The possibilities of me are endless.

Dutty Politics

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”
bell Hooks

As if the UNC wasn’t already such a colossal waste of space and daily adding more ammunition to Papa Patos’ ever enlarging sense of self-importance, they had to come and make things worse.
As if it wasn’t already bad enough that they are a sham opposition and their incessant fumblings and foibles aren’t enough of a jeopardizing of our full experience of democracy, whatever that means in this little neo-colonial playground of the rich and gormless.
They had to come with the dutty wine politics.  They had to put an ad for their Carnival fete in the newspapers with their rising sun logo stamped just north of a red girl’s yellow and orange panty.
Okay, okay I concede. So it was equal opportunity objectification.  There was an African girl in a ripped t-shirt and a UNC logo between her breasts and an Indian girl in a batty rider shorts with a logo like a slap across her face.
And of course the red girl in the middle, just to the right of poor Roy Cape with the sun rising out of her yellow panty.
Well yes.
We really reach where we have to go when the political parties start buying into the ‘sex sells’ folly.
Every nubile, flat bellied, pretty faced agency brown girl in Trinidad is ripe for the picking.
Ripe for the auction block.  Suitable for to be plucked, splayed, filleted for public (read male) consumption.
There’s nothing wrong with freeing up, liberating women from the enslavement of clothes and those passé Victorian puritan notions of decency, right?
I suppose I should forget the patriarchy and that women’s bodies are always the point of contestation.
I suppose I shouldn’t be alarmed that a political party, an institution of power and authority has jumped in the gayelle and joined the fight to have ownership of women’s sexuality for its own purposes.
Sex sells even as more little girls pose for camera phone porn in their class rooms.  Sex sells even as young women between the ages of 15-24 contract HIV because they haven’t the words nor the power to negotiate condom use with their macho Trini men partners.
Sex sells, ent? And the ad for the UNC fete of the year is bordered with the words one dollar, over and over.  That’s the value UNC puts on the bodies of young women.
Sex sells, well if that isn’t the cliché of Generation X, I don’t know what is.  Because I’m not putting water in my mouth to say that it’s not so much that sex sells, baby, it’s that women’s bodies are so highly sexualized in our advertising, our music and videos that we can’t see ourselves as anything else.
I look at that ad and I try to figure out what is supposed to be sexy about it. I ask my bredrins and they can’t see it either.  Because like so many other low grade, poor quality sexism posing as advertising, there’s no real sexiness to this thing.  No portrayal of sexuality that celebrates the goddess in us.  No creative odes to femininity, no delightful sensuality, no subtle desirability.
‘Sexy’ women selling everything from cars to half limp political parties is not fecund. It’s feculent, stinker than the smell of smelting and corrupt officials circling like well-dressed cobos.
No sah, it’s the same predictable, emotionless, lowest common denominator, formulaic like a bead and sequins bikini band. Like every five cents snack box soca and the poor misguided little boys and girls who think that this is their ticket to stardom.
I reason with some people.  They say, you know how it go.  Some little upstart in the party must have convinced the older heads that this was a good way to get to the young people.  Because everyone knows that young Trinbagonians only have sex on the brain.  Everyone knows that a sun rising out of a yellow panty is the key to political power.
Hold your corner and wine down low.  That is the real secret.
Talk about who have the best pipe and skin your teeth plenty and people will like you.  Talk bout sleeping with the devil to gain power and for sure you have a place in the hearts and minds of the party faithful.
We really reach where we have to go, I telling you.  We reach the lowest of the low, lower than the lowest rung of a limbo pole.  Lower than the La Basse. Lower than the dry season trickle of the East Dry River.
Dutty wine politics is taking over.  I wonder how many girls are going to break their necks for more visionless politicians to come to power.