Monday, 4 December 2017

The pen.

Dear Reader,

I was recently challenged by Kim (photographer) to do a series of black and white photos. (Long story, short...it was a meme on social media).

Well, I thought, why not share, via, these pictures, my passion for the written word and the basic tool? 


I am intrigued by how this simple object can pass on messages, tell stories from centuries ago; with it, we can share the abstract...our thoughts, ideas, things we imagine.

It's a tool that can cut away all the lies, the vile deeds of human beings and reveal the truth.  Yet, it can be used to cause pain, create fear. It can make rulers decimate millions of human beings. One signature...voops...an entire people...gone.

And in the right hands, it can heal the entire world.  

Great writers have  used it to lift our spirits...

The good men of ancient days have used it to guide us towards the better path.

Artists then, as today, have used the pen to teach us too.

The pen, you see, can be used to take us to the inner landscape of ourselves, leading us from our dark selves, to that place where we can find the light.

Dear Friends, y'see? We have been given so much to help us learn to live better lives, to be better people. We don't need more clothes, more shoes, bigger houses, faster cars.

Most of us have all we need, and can share.
xxx

Friday, 27 October 2017

Eighty one.

Dear America,

You have within your arms one of the most wonderful storytellers in the world.



According to my first big brother, when dis fella tell a story, you can see them chopped up snakes flying in de air.  You can feel dat jumbie, dat ghost, brush against your skin, and you will freeze with fright.



He once described to me a shoal of fish feeding and birds flying in the air. I swear, I was not in the kitchen that morning.  I was out in the fresh air, hearing the birds call, seeing the water bubbling, I could feel the breeze blow against my skin, warm with the sun, yet cool.

He was the outdoor one who took us children fishing, down-creek, up-creek, he drove us to places that were exotic to little country-side children.


Please take good care of him, America. He is a treasure.  He is my father's little brother, my dearest, dearest uncle.  He is eighty-one today.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The longest face.

Dear Everyone,

How have y'all been doing?

Me? Imagine a face growing shiny and round with happiness, then deflating at 180 miles per hour. That would be my face.

Y'see, I'm almost done with this book I'm writing (yet another book), but to publish means:

1. I would have to find an agent who would find a publisher. Agents are the prima donnas of the book world and you have to woo them with more fervour than Don Juan trying to sweet-talk a woman. Now if all of them except one turned down J. K. Rowling, what chance does a li'l 3rd world wala like me have?

2. I would have to self-publish via a local printer. These local printers eat money.  They eat, and the po' writer gets the diarrhoea.  Also, not many people buy books in this here jungle. I am going to end up with a roomful of very expensive loo-paper.

3. I can self-publish online. Wow. Yeah. How clever. Bring out the fireworks. That's what I've been planning all along.

But guess wot?

Wot?

Our banks don't accept payment via online.

Squeeeeeeeee............................

That's the joy going outta my happy balloony face, see me lying deflated on de ground.

I've been asking the bank staff, can't y'all do something about it? Think of the potential...foreign exchange earnings coming in.

I don't know if y'all ever see people answer-not-answer.

Anyway, I've read a report that says a group of business people have been lobbying for a chance for citizens to sell online and receive payments via Paypal.

So, all being well...progress might come to dis here tird world country too.




Saturday, 1 July 2017

Me with Ma in Florida.

Ma says: I want to go for a walk.

Boom says the thundah in Florida.

But when we can walk, we head for the green.

Ma leading me through a shortcut to the green.

To the glorious green we stroll, where birds fly and chirp, and the flowers bloom deep rose-pink or thick, waxy-white.

Queen-of-flowers (crepe myrtle) in the green

On our way to the rocks upon which we sit, we stop to admire the big-root tree which looks very much like a banyan tree.  Its roots, instead of growing into the earth, rise upwards, bunched together like cathedral pipes beneath the ceiling of glossy leaves.

I am latching on to these days, absorbing them like a baby learning the world, but storing them like a woman-historian.

Ma is 80 now. I am hoarding, collecting her words, her sighs, her wishes and longings, her memories and laughter and little catches of songs that she sings now and then.

Ma taking in nature.

I want to be the best daughter ever, sorry for the odd times I wasn't.


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Rebel.

Dear World,

Everybody on social media these days is shining.

Dazzling.

They are fierce.

They are fighters.

Witty.

Funny.

Charming.

Brilliant.

Arguing.

They are snappy.

Having fun. Lots of fun. With glasses of intoxicants. Lots of glasses in two hands.

Women paint their faces and pout. Duck-mouth pout.

They check for likes.

People have a platform.

And projects.

And even those who are at home doing nothing, they ooze.

Oooze.

Oooooze.

Smart-ass-ness.

Look-at-me-I'm-clever-ness.

Apparently, if you ain't all of the above, you're conservative.

Today, I am rebelling.

I want to do nothing-nothing.

But think.

And watch the dry green grass shake a little in the hot sea breeze.

And think

and

think

and think

and go

against the grain

of all the wisdom that says that on social media, you must be clever, smart, funny, Etc.

And I want to jot down the "thinks" in my note-book.

I am rebelling.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

What has your loved one taught you?

My dear friends,

I have been thinking a lot about my mother.  Her knee is causing her tremendous pain, and she is due for surgery soon.  It worries me that I am not with her, helping her, cleaning for her, fetching things for her.

I think of how much she means to me; I think of all the times I'd taken her for granted.

I've been going through, in my mind, the things she's taught me, the skills that have helped me.  I'd simply never thought about them in detail. They'd just felt like air...always there.

I've made a list.

Here are just a few of the things she's taught me:

Be early, be on time
Call people to see how they're doing
Clean my home
Cook
Crotchet
Do acts of kindness not for favours but to help others
Do the taxes
Embroider
Keep a notebook of daily doings for reference, especially business stuff
Keep files of documents and keep copies
Fold the laundry
Like African music
Look after business
Love books
Make a poultice
Make a To-Do list
Make coconut oil
Make my bed
People-watch for fun
Pray
Read & count
Remember to say, "Thank you, God"
Respect the people I work with even if I don't like them
Sew
Sing
Take a small gift when I visit someone
Take care of plants
Visit the old and sick



Making coconut oil



















Though this is just a small list, it's made me realise how much we take for granted the skills our loved ones have given to us.

Unfortunately, going through this list has made me miss my mother even more.

In Guyana, it is okay to say this...that you miss your parents. I don't know what it is like in other places, but no-one here laughs at me. They agree and say, "You ain't must?" [meaning yes, they understand, it's a given that I should miss her.]

Two weeks ago, I telephoned a wheelchair-bound mother in village to ask her how she was doing.  She told me that her son, married with children, visits her three or four times a week.  She says he kisses her face, her hands, sometimes her feet even.

What a lucky chap!

In my culture, we say, heaven lies at the feet of your mother.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Mother & daughter.

Dear Everyone,

I know dis gon sound weird but!

Every morning...

...every single blessed, gracious morning, me and my mother got a tradition going.  We call up each other to see how the other is doing. Just a li'l half hour talk.

I call cos she does worry about how I do, being mostly alone here.  I call cos, as she say, "I love to hear your voice." (Not that I am that special of all she children...she love to hear all o' their voices).  I call cos it make she happy.

I does have to tell she every scrap of news going on here. Sometimes, she reminisce about the old days.  Sometimes, she give me tons of advice.

One day I say, "Mummy, how about if I start a blog for you and you write down all them things you tell me?"

She say, "Suppose I tell you and you write it down."

So...that is what ah doing now. Ah putting into a series of book my experiences with my mother, the stories she tell me too.  I don't want it to be like typical novel-book though. I want it to have the chatty, casual feel of conversations.

I better go pick up my clothes in the verandah, I see a bird landing on one line!!!