Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top Ten Moments of 2010.

10) My fund-raiser curry-que...well....the meat part of it. I just had an insane craving for mudd's thai curried chicken this morning. I remember distinctly that this dish was so bud-blowing that my father pulled on the shoulder on the highway, so he could eat before we got home. I will give credit just where it is due, and say that the man good for something.

9)Carnival this year was more enjoyable than most. I made particular effort to emerge myself in the idea of carnival as an art-form and the preservation of a culture, and that if one could get beyond the modern mainstream mess of a masquerade, there was still a richness to be found in there. From the Canboulay re-enactment, 3 Canal's Jam-It, Dimanche Gras with Shak inside and DCFA's attempt to remind us of the tradition, I'd say I had a good time this year.

8) Being accepted by youthspeaks to be part of the Future Corps. Program for bnv 2010. Despite the fact that this was also one of my bigger disappointments for the year in not being able to make the trip, the thought of it was quite cool.

7) U.We Speak's BLACK 'demonstration' on the promenade. I remember the fast I made that day, my visit to the Church in Grande before my father said he would drop me down to campus. The warning both parents had for me in the car, that this was entirely my decision with possible consequences. The coiling of my stomach when Amilcar asked us to make an individual decision of whether we were to go along with it or not. The way destiny screams in your head sometimes. The idea of me 21, student and in jail. CLR James' Letters to London in my hands, frozen, people questioning me getting no answers, a group of young girls playing in my hair. The police keeping their eyes on us from across the street. What a day.

6) Being the guest-speaker at my primary school's graduation. I had been living in a prior numbness before then and I delivered that speech to myself more than anyone else in that room. The freshness in their faces really inspired me to live again. They were so full of promises and energy. It reminded me what I was about, just when I needed it.

5) My fare-well thing that Gamma put together for me. I was super contented with the corn soup that only Shelly could master like that. Moreso, I was aware like wait...I have friends? Something I had been doubting for a while, and it was encouragement for me that some things are worth pursuing.

4) It was the greatest relief for me to complete my bachelor's with my final exams from London. My mother could now be satisfied and can boast all she wants, (mothers really enjoy that kind of thing). I thank God for allowing me to get through those three excruciating years of legal studies that had zero application to my desired way of life.

3) Nobody that was there can deny the magical reality that was the closing night of the 'March to Caroni' play. The play stopped being a play in the second half of the show and I am sure that all who were present felt it. Sold out and crowded even in the aisles, there was a dead silence throughout the auditorium when the stories of the revolution came forward after the play. That night changed my life. That production changed my life. My pores raise now even thinking about it. 1970 is a restless spirit.

2)My acceptance into Brooklyn College changed my life and the life of those closest to me. Some changes were obviously some painful ones, but some things have to happen for other things to happen. I have no doubt that this is where God ordained that I should be right now in his plan for my life. I sometimes doubt even that and often ask how did I find myself here, but this move was hardly my doing. God is the shifter of universes, and may it be done to me according to his word.

1) To have love and to share it. There are two men in my life that have carried me throughout every one of these moments this year, and I owe so much to their encouragement and prayers and faith, and love..yes there was love. My father and my boyfriend are beyond any possible way of me thanking them. They knew my moments of limitless happiness and my moments of doubt and depression, and have kept watch with me every single day. What I appreciate most about this year, is how they have both recognized and accepted the role of each other in my life, and I thank God for them.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To: the East Indian of my stomach.

I was 7 years old in a single-child kind of world. My aunt had left back a number of accumulated things in the house we were now living in, and I passed my time making use of them. Michael Jackson albums, Spanish vocabulary recordings, a thick book of poems called 'A light in the Attic', new sophisticated additions to my Lego set and a double-sided cassette player.

The player fascinated me. I could now record off the radio, off of another cassette and from my own voice. I developed a way of creating my own all-inclusive radio show that played all types of music and had callers with a number of personalities. I was creating these voices and characters and eventually ended up with a full 80min cassette worth of my imaginary radio announcing.

When I had not been occupied by creating my own worlds, I spent time at my neighbours' house, that towered over our flat as though u could see the rest of the world from there. And I did. I began making connections between personalities and musical preferences and how I would associate particular people with particular music. I eventually created a special cassette dedicated to all five members of the household that included classical music, traditional Indian music, modern american pop, dub reggae and alternative rock music.

I cannot imagine what the reaction would have been like when it was played in my absence upstairs in the presence of all. How do people feel to be categorized by a 7 year old. What I do remember is that they loved me as one of their own children and I thank God that they had the patience to answer every single question I had.

They were my introduction to an East Indian world. To eating with my hands, to heavy pepper in everything, to separate bedding for husband and wife, to the old honour of retired policemen, the value of garden herbs and kneading flour every evening for 5am bread. I then spent more of my time there than by any of my Grandparents. Mr. Singh and I spent hours talking.

He used to show me his backyard plants and what they could be used for. He would always ask me questions to make me think about things, I could hardly remember about what now though. I remember wanting to cut a "gate" into the fence so that I wouldn't have to walk all the way around to the track by the river to get to them.

I would always overhear him telling my father "she is a very, very intelligent girl", I never heard that comment from anyone before. Maybe my average performance at school at the time couldn't convince me of things to come. They were my first second family, and there are so many parts of myself that I can find that are attributable to their over-the-fence schooling.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

To: Americans and their "happy holidays" crap....what de jazz dat mean?!

My nails were done in royal blue last night. I put up a Last Supper metal picture in the dining room, it got smudged on five fingers, I spent over an hour washing wares after this morning's breakfast, not one finger survived the water. Nail polish lasted longer when I was home, and Ryan's mother was right. Women who always wear nail polish might be the lazy ones.

I never took those pictures I changed my camera battery for. The only person who called today was my Uncle who doesn't even celebrate Christmas. The only people who texted were people who I texted first, who actually were people I wanted to surprise without having expectation of them. They are the people who I have appreciated this year, but still not-so-immediate friends. Three friends sent greetings on my fb wall, one my lil sister, another a young man who is deji's cousin and loves Trinidad and Jamaica, and one listed as my 'brother' in the family tab with a copy n paste text picture. Anika, Rihanna and their mom made me smile. Such beautiful souls/humans/women. See below.

This place became the vacuum I thought it would. The people I have laughed and talked with here are sooo pretensive. Something I call the 'leak and leave' effect. They get what they want out of you, and move swiftly along. Oh, I'm drifting back into the idea of the lack of reciprocity in my earlier note. I really need to get a term for that phenomenon.

Breakfast went well this morning. It was a balanced mix of youth and experience. I appreciated that there were no deadbeat people at the table, and that everyone was able to contribute to discussions over life politics and things. Everyone and their convictions over a wonderful Trinidadian breakfast prepared by my roommate.

Ryan has been with me today, he made every effort to be around whenever I needed him to be. I might think that his day was even more rough than mine. My parents made the extra effort to hold up after my mom broke down on the phone this morning. I don't feel like talking about this again.

Tomorrow is snow. 10-16 inches of it. My father said he wished he could beam me home like they used to on star-trek.

Friday, December 24, 2010

To: The thoughts that keep me up this early.

Gamma told me once that it was always better to love someone who successively fails to make things happen according to plan, than to have someone who labours on pretense and who cannot love me the right anyway. My walk has been blessed and I have my life to show for it all.

My mother asked me tonight to remember that they love me, adrift to the snoring of my knocked-out-in-four-minutes father. I wish I could help her with the cleaning this year. I never thought I would be saying that, but you learn things when you don't have them. I thought to myself today while driving down a screw in the wall to hold up a clock that I have come a long way from earlier laziness. I have also come away from the thought of an elaborate house. I mean, does dust really serve a purpose?

I have had up to my neck in lessons of reciprocity. The Trinidadian kind. Coelho would never believe how much his "favour-bank" theory does not apply to people here. My family and I have gone out of our way a number of times for some of our friends and family who live out here in the U.S. and have never had the courtesies returned. I guess expectation is not much of a Christian concept either. Nobody owes me anything, I should remember that more often.

Monday, December 20, 2010

To: whatever brought u to my blog today.

Two of my two final exams will come in a few hours from now. My brain takes early vacation on me sometimes. I am trusting that my work during the semester will brew me a not-so-bad day tomorrow. I wish to be beyond it all. In a few hours I guess. There is an eclipse due sometime tonight, I would like to walk outside in my sleepwear and stand gazing at it. Then I remember the natural inconvenience this place is. To freeze even with my jacket on.

My room looks like my brain. If I was living here alone, I would probably not clean it before weekend. I would make sure the season wasn't too apparent and sit down and watch tv on Saturday like nobody's business. Watching tv. I haven't done that since summer was here.

I dreamt today in a short sleep between books that I made it in time for Mrs. Ali's Requiem Mass at school, winter clothes and all. I tripped in my boots and another teacher helped me up. I was standing at the back of the Hall, with not much people there. Even my dreams are full of empty spaces. I miss her though. Something in me still can't get past her leaving. My mind hasn't made the cross-over yet.

I think of my back as a series of knots, like a tapestry of sorts, and there is something about the cold that keeps fraying the hold in them. That is annoying.

My hair has been straight for a few days now, temporary until whenever. I don't particularly love it, but it works better with the winter hats. Everybody thinks it looks better this way, but I just feel like I told the lion in me to shut up. It's too typical a look for me.

I'm going to go back to my roommate's version of ochro-rice and stew chicken, and corner up again with a stack of hand-outs. Maybe I shouldn't sleep tonight.

Friday, December 17, 2010

to: the friday before the friday before Christmas.

I would want to wonder what the meaning of my contained catastrophes would be six months from today. It's more official now that I'm not going home for Christmas, it's even more official that Ryan will not be coming home for Christmas, and my roommate will hardly be home for most of the Christmas. I have held strength in my voice on phone calls and had tears pushed back into tidal waves that broke after conversations on skype.

"should tears come, let them come to wash away bitterness..". Not sure of how many of these cleansings I need to go through before things could stop staining me mudd. This place will make a woman of me, I knew that months ago before knowing what it meant. There are always the moments of light and I am surely grateful over each one.

I was too broken this week not to break with my fears of performing. It was an almost involuntary seizing of a moment, and I got my release. I needed to be sure I was still breathing. I needed to get out of the numbness. So I did so. Maybe I just need to embrace the empty, so I can find my voice back. I forgot what I sounded like until last weekend in the booth.

I've been singing my way out of this last week. Trying to call my song back out of the silence. It sometimes feels like the only thing to do when the coldness is pressing its weightlessness against your body. I hate the way I always know everything before it happens. It makes me sound faithless.

Time will come and go as it needs to. I might turn into a Neruda by the end of January. That would in itself be wonderful too. I am smiling tonight though.