Sunday, August 2, 2009

BEING DIPLOMATIC


I thought all my tears were done. I had buried my grandmother and was getting back to the reality of healing, dealing with family and friends, mending fences that I had trampled and left in tatters during my grandparents long and successful marriage. Carl and Cora had always been my defense. Anything I did and I knew it was WRONG I would run to Carl and hide behind his very ample frame or if any of my many cousins did me anything I would promptly tell my grandfather and watch as the 'poor sap' was ' deservedly' disciplined.

It's how I got the nick name 'Jinx', my older cousins considered me "BAD" news and because I was this one tiny girl among the 19 boys (I also had the biggest mouth), many of my cousins just left me alone.

It is now apparent they waited for the moment, when my grandmother's corpse was committed to the earth, to tell me exactly what they had been wanting to, for maybe thirty five years.
My beautiful aunt Grega, the only one of my grandparent's 22 children who never left Barbados and never went to University, listened in horror as my older cousins vented years of frustrations at me and left the family home, some maybe never to return. Believe me it was not pleasant scene!

With my grandmother's death, our family which had been scattered to the furthermost corners of every continent, and which had been a loving entity, disintegrated before my eyes; one broken link irreversibly fractured the entire chain. I have suddenly found that I am the pivot, the one to whom my uncles, aunts and other cousins, now look to for guidance and strength and the person to whom the family hopes will mend the broken link.

After the turmoil, I sat in the small sitting room of the wooden five room house in Silver Sands in which my grandparents loving nurtured their children and grandchildren all of us, at varying points in our lives passing through Cora's hand, so to speak. I realized the soul had gone from the house, it is now empty. The laughter died with my grandfather's death and the joy of family buried with my grandmother.

I don't think I will ever return here to this house or island.
I have decided for my sanity and maybe my immediate family's sake, to leave alone the broken links. I think when they are ready the breach will mend; no point forcing the issue.

For me, I am saddest because my children will never know the beauty of Silver Sands or play with gay abandon as I did so often on Silver Sands Beach. My own house, for it is not my home, built a literal stone's throw away, on land my grandfather gave to me after I returned to Barbados with my first degree, will be rented permanently. Barbados has lost its attraction for me!

I was deep in mourning when I received an email with a prayer to Lord Ganesha, the auspicious one, the embodiment of the Holy Spirit in Hinduism. Practicing Hindus pray to Lord Ganesh to remove all obstacles before they undertake any major project.When I received the email, I said the prayer on instinct. I had prayed it daily I think for five years, devoutly trekking to the mandir every Wednesday for nine weeks to do my devotions.

All I asked for when I opened my heart was for the Holy Spirit to give to me what He thinks I needed most. Maybe subconsciously I prayed for strength to face the world, to step out of the shadows and live again. But I left it up to the Lord to put the pieces of the puzzle in their rightful place, thinking things would get better and that I was over the sense of loss, grief and mourning .

But the Lord was not yet done with me and
reminded me that neither my journey nor my destination, or my days are my own; that my journey's plans were already made, even before I was wonderfully made. I learned today Death brings changes you can never anticipate.

I have been fortunate during the last three years to have gained a loving Mama,whom I have never met,
forever sisters who love me unconditionally and real friends with whom I can be me when I feel like being Trini to the bone.

We have shared so much, laughed and cried together, prayed each other and for each other through illness and turmoil. I felt as though we were woven into the fabric of each others lives. I guess I was wrong because I learnt today just as the link of the chain can be broken, fabrics can be torn and shredded and only true tapestry last for more than a moment in time.

I draw strength from these tapestries and the lessons on
loyalty, trust and unconditional love, i learnt because of those relationships have bolstered me, given me confidence when I have encountered plastic people, beast in human form who judge by exterior appearances or have made my acquaintance for all the wrong reasons. I thank God everyday for my Mama, my 'forever' sister, and my real friends for I have reciprocated to each the love I have received.

My life as it is now is complicated in ways I never anticipated. No two days are ever the same and as I slowly begin to manage the changes in my life I refuse to be made a bitch by anyone for defending my privacy.

My reactions and responses have nothing to do with trust, it has nothing to do with love. It has to do with my survival. I have a family to protect and I'll be damned if I allow anybody, sister or otherwise to make me feel guilty about living my life and protecting my family.You know where to find me you are free to come knock on the door and we will welcome you anytime.

None of us hold a monopoly on hurt and pain.
None of us are immune to hurt and pain. We must however be adult enough to accept the consequences of our choices and decisions without casting guilt blankets when remorse sets in. There are many people I know who prefer not to show their pain but it does not mean they are not hurting. There are others, who in spite of all their accomplishments, are hurting so bad, their only recourse is to be the public buffoon.These actions are counter productive and cannot mask pain, insecurity and a lack of acceptance.

We all have 'issues' and resolve our problems in our own way and time. And if the time is not enough.... for your love and support, memories and friendship, sisterhood and mama's love..

Thank You


1 comment:

DeadEyes. -_- said...

beautiful and inspirational

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LE NOIREAU- Prologue

There was chaos in Scotland Bay Village. Everywhere, everyone was busy; packing, unpacking, leaving burnt bare lands for the Americans.

Away from the noises and confusion the aquamarine Caribbean waves played a soft calypso rhythm, strumming, rippling, kissing bare toes, feet and ankles dug deep into the cold, clammy sand.

The air was laden, ready, thick with the rancid scent of seaweed, salt and smoke carried in the spray; pushed by angry, crashing, foaming waves against a stony coastline up and around the Bay’s end.

She was misted; creating an eerie appearance as she sat back hunched on a fallen tree trunk embedded in the sand; knees tucked under the wide folds of her skirt. Damp grainy sand and the sea waters rushed up; bubbling in between her fingers and feet. Gently she rested her chin on her knees and looked out at the fading horizon, watching the day in its brilliance and splendor of death at sunset. The fiery gold of the sun’s rays; fingering, shimmering on the aquamarine canopy of the sea, dazzling blinding and ever so slowly, churning to taunting, tangerine orange and saffron reds; cascading into purple, violets and royal blue of evening time with ballet like precision. And later as stars peeping first play hide and seek with the naked eye, streaks of charcoal gray strut into midnight black, shadowing the earth into illusions of peace-fullness, as twinkling jewels finally sparkle in the phosphorescent gleam of a splendid Caribbean moonlight.

The gulf steamer disregarding war time surveillance orders; tugged by, alerting Astral Le Noireau to the lateness of the hour. She sighed lifted tiny hands from the sand and stared as the grains quietly trickled back into their places on the seemingly un-rumpled shore. The signal light of the streamer as it passed by and answering flashed from the lighthouse, momentarily blinded her as she turned huge tear filled almond shaped golden eyes up and then out, taking in the silver-ness of the long familiar Scotland Bay coastline, now bathed in the beauty of a full Caribbean moonlight. The gentle breeze blew her blue black hair into her eyes and face, as one hand rose gracefully to whip the unruly strands back into place. Silently a figure standing in the shadows of a coconut palm tree observed her.

Astral stood crying silently, watching the village she so love fade into the night shadows as the steamer padded laboriously out into the first Boca. Every inch further way from Scotland Bay felt like a fist clenching around her lung, stifling her, killing her. She stood rooted until Chateau le Noireau was no longer visible as they rounded the bend at Delgada Point. Until tears of frustration overwhelmed her and she crumbled to the seat on the almost empty steamer. Astral Le Noireau and her precious possession were some of the last things to evacuate from her village.

The Marines had put her on the ferry.

(c) 2006 Cecly Ann Mitchell


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