Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vulnerability ...

I’m at the point here
Where a paper cut can
Cause me to bleed to death
So exposed am I to the
Unforgiving elements that
Have been swirling
Around me in this endless night
A night heralded by day break
With the crack of thunder
And the mocking smile of lightening

The tears are free falling down
My lashes like the cascading
Fall of rain down the side of a hill
Tears of hurt, pain, anger
Annoyance, fed-up-ness, strain
Half of these tears are his
I know … the ones that he
Won’t shed, for he is supposedly
The stronger of us two

I on the other hand must be
Strong enough to shed
This watershed for two, for we
For times and schedules
Cast to the wind at the
Hand of one now banished
From his consciousness
But one who insists on
Being paid attention to
One willing to sabotage
Self in the hope of
Causing pain to he who
Is always resilient, present
And responsible

So here we stand –
Naked and open in
Our collective vulnerability
Faces swollen, eyes puffy and bloodshot
As we attempt to
Collage together the pieces of
Promises unfortunately broken
Of opportunities that are
Now scheduled to be missed
Staring in wonder
At the one far off in the
Distance … far, yes, but
Near enough for the
Rancid, mocking echo of laughter
To be heard – to ring annoyingly
In our ears and consciousness

Wondering and hoping for
New times, better circumstances
And fresher memories
Looking forward hopefully
To times when we are finally
Allowed to be vulnerable, yes –
But only to each other

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal ...

Three little words that mean one thing when they are hanging out together, but taken apart, they are powerful too …

‘Hope Springs Eternal’: There is always room for improvement – don’t give up … keep at it; there’s always tomorrow.

Fantastic concept right? It’s the stuff that dreams are made of …

‘Hope’: The general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled; optimism; encouragement; expectations; wishes.

‘Spring(s)’: grows; prospers; shoots forth; bends; proceeds; results; produces; explodes.

‘Eternal’: Being without beginning or end; continuing without interruption; perpetual; forever true or changeless; timeless; ageless; continual.

To look at these words and realize that there are those amongst us who ‘forever look for the best even in the face of adversity (Alexander Pope)’ is to be a true witness to the Faith of man – to stand in the presence of man’s ability to see the best in himself and his fellow man. Awesome, isn’t it?

We use the word HOPEFUL to describe that feeling we get when it looks like the walls are closing in, yet there is a ray of light struggling to shine through the rubble.

I like the word ‘HOPEFILLED’. To me, it points to a state of being where man has no choice but to fill up on Hope in order to be the light that he has to be in his day to day encounters. To be Hopefilled is to be above the flotsam and jetsam … to be in a state of higher consciousness and connection with Higher Source … in other words, for one to be Hopefulled, one must give all over to God. If we don’t hand over everything to God, we will have no room to be filled up with Hope.

Hope cannot survive in the face of doubt, blame, anger, vengefulness or any of the other poisons that we feel the need to cling to. It is important to empty the bin.

A wise woman said to me recently that once we have emptied the bin we need to be sure to thoroughly disinfect it, so as to prevent cross-contamination. What she was actually saying to me is that once we let go of the poison, we have to ensure that the ‘container’ where hope will be stored has been spiritually and emotionally cleaned and sanitized so that when Hope enters that space, it will be free to flourish. What good would it serve for Hope to enter into our hearts and be touched by poisons which would cause her to morph into contempt?

The wonderful thing is that once Hope is allowed into our lives, she always brings her sisters: Faith and Love.

Faith is the blind sister – and we are called to walk by Faith and not by sight. This is a difficult proposition for many if not all of us. We are a race of people who rely strongly on our optic nerves and sense, forgetting that we have four other senses to rely on. We forget that we must Taste life, Smell successes, and Hear our Maker’s voice in order to Speak joy, positivity into being.

Love is the strongest and most important of the three, for without her nothing is possible. Without Love, we merely exist. Without Love there is no spark. Love is the All Spark of our existence, a la Transformers … if we are not plugged in to Love, we have self sabotaged our existence.

So …

Today I choose to walk by Faith, with my heart Hopefilled, believing in and accepting the Love that I sense all around me …

What about you?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An open letter to TSTT Workers – particularly the members of CWU …


I went to hang out for a little bit last night and on my return voyage I had to pass by a political rally that was taking place in my neighborhood. I was struck by the size of the crowd, the colours, the noise … but the thing that really caught my eye was the presence of a contingent from the Communications Workers Union with flags and signs. One sign just JUMPED out of the crowd at me … it read ‘TSTT WORKERS OPPRESSED’.

Did I mention that the reason that I was returning home as early as I was, was because my head felt like someone had exploded twelve Roman candles in my frontal lobe? I didn’t? well that’s why … but the sight of that sign added twenty-four more of those suckers to my pain!

Oppressed??! TSTT workers oppressed??? These fuckers have got to be kidding! TSTT workers are the HIGHEST paid landlocked workers in Trinidad and Tobago, bar none. They have the best benefits, plus allowances … programmes that include their family members, incentives and perks! What the fuck do they know about oppression? Having spoken of the good that they do have, shall I tell you about some of the other things that they have as well?

 SOME OF THE MOST INEPT TECHNICAL SUPPORT STAFF (I say some because I know some of them are very hardworking, on point and knowledgeable – holla Allie and Deon )
 THE DODGIEST ROAD STAFF – DISHONEST TO A MAN – Talk to me about the ‘test’ calls maid to foreign countries … using consumers’ lines … like we don’t hear the conversations as we walk by.


WE THE CONSUMERS are the oppressed parties here and TSTT workers are the oppressors. I happen to be one of the few members of the public who have chosen not to use any other telecommunications company for my needs. I carry a BMOBILE cell phone NOT Digicel. I use BLINK for the internet, not FLOW, GREEN DOT, INTERSERV or anyone else. I have a TSTT landline not FLOW. I am loyal to this company to a fault and yet still I am constantly being handed the shitty end of the stick. And these ever lovin’, union prodded, cattle mentality havin’ folks want to stand in PUBLIC and declare that they are OPPRESSED???

Talk to me about oppression when I call Customer Service and am assured that all is well with my account and then I am ‘delighted’ to come home to find my service disconnected, and when I call yet again, I am greeted by the cold, attitude dripping voice of ‘Heather’ who informs me in the BITCHIEST way possible that ‘the information given you previously was incorrect, so yuh need to pay up the balance to get back yuh phone!’

Maybe it is that I may have gone to school in the wrong decade, but I seem to remember being taught that Customer Service is the backbone of the service industry; the other pillar being that without the customer there is no business … without business there is no money … without money there is no salary and without salaries there are no employees. Yet I am constantly bombarded by inept, unkempt (in-house) ad ill-trained staff. And this is supposed to impress me how???

Why should I and others like me be constantly subjected to this ineptitude?

The funny thing is that this is not the fault of Management. It is rather a culture that is nurtured and fed by a people who have no pride in their jobs or their company. And why not? Because the majority of them didn’t have to work hard to get their jobs in the first place. Between nepotism, the God-Father network, and the friends of friends who knew friends who were sleeping with the right people, TSTT, Blink and BMOBILE are all staffed by people who probably never had an interview, save being asked ‘WHEN YUH COULD START?’

And you want to talk to me about oppression when a TSTT Security Guard’s salary tops out at TT$10K monthly and I am not talking Officer here either? There are children coming out of high school and walking into TSTT’s hallowed doors only to walk out at the end of the month with TT$11K take home … children who spent less time in school than my generation did, only to make more money than us…

What is your version of Oppression CWU members? No increment for a couple of years? So what? You STILL make more money than the rest of the nation. No profit sharing? So what? You STILL make more money than the rest of the nation.

WHO CARES WHO OWNS A JET? It ain’t yuh damned business!

Over the years I have had conversations with others regarding CWU members and TSTT staffers and I have come to the stark realization that most of the older heads who work at TSTT have squandered their earnings on wine, women and song and at the end of their ‘careers’ they go into panic mode because they have accomplished nothing. That’s not management’s or the consumer’s fault either. They should have gotten their houses in order long before the ‘end toll’ was rung out.

As I see it, the only oppression here is self-oppression. Think about it … the CWU’s leadership live pretty well on your union dues don’t they … but what have they REALLY done for YOU lately???

Stop whining and get up off your collective fat asses and earn your keep --- or at least TRY to look and sound like you give a flyin’ fuck about the people you serve !

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do You Really Want To Know Me?

Every other day when I open up my email, I am inundated with word games or numbers games all designed to get to know my friends better. There are questions about your favorite colour, flower, foods, restaurants … questions about the places you want to see before you die and people you want to meet as well.

This is all well and good, but the only way that this really works is if the people that you are mandated to forward these lists to have the manners to return the favor. There are days when I just simply refuse to fill these things out because, (1) they can be time consuming, and (2) I feel like I’m the only dork following the instructions posted.

While some of these questions may appear on the surface to be in-depth, they really do reach for superficial information. I mean … what can you really tell about someone just because they say that they like the colour red? The funny thing is that it could be that their favorite colour on THAT DAY is red. Tomorrow, if you send them the quiz again it could be green for all we know…

It’s a scary thing to say, but it seriously feels at this time that we as a race are losing the art of making REAL friends. When was the last time that you actually stepped off the ledge and asked someone a REAL question about themselves? This doesn’t have to be a personal question, but just a genuine one … one that requires more than ten seconds of thought to fill out the required slot on the quiz sheet. Have you asked a friend or a potential friend what their goals and aspirations may be? And if you have asked, were you really interested or were you just killing time till the next buss came along.

Maybe it is that I have been spoiled over the years by the people that I have met, but it always warms my heart that quite a few of them have actually LISTENED over the years to what I was REALLY saying, and not to the white noise that hovered over my statements at times. In order to do so however, they have had to make the ultimate sacrifice … actually SPEND TIME WITH ME … and I don’t mean via messenger. Oh I know that there are times when this cannot be helped – the messenger thing --- as in the case of friendships that have been formed overseas … but forgive me here … I’m talking about the people who are around the corner from you. Have you spent time with your friends? Have you taken the time to bond with them … learn what really makes them tick?

I am very attached to the ones that I deem friends, and those who know me, also know that I love to question and chat and talk … and I can talk for hours…

There are only a few people who can truly translate me. As someone who talks as much as I do, there are times when I can have two or three topics going at one time, and while I know exactly what I’m talking about at all times, it takes a Dee-Em-Jee expert to keep up with all the balls that I usually have up in the air …

My best girlfriends can do that – Nat, Trudy, Karma, Renee and Charlzie … they get me and they know when I’ve switched over and where I’ve gone to, and they are able to follow me. Amazingly my sweet H can do that too! How is it that a man has learned to pull the strings of one of my conversations together and have them make sense is beyond me, but that is exactly what he does. Hell, there are times when I lose track and HE brings me back in line – how funny is that???!

I speak of this because it illustrates the true nature of actual friendship. These are the people who have made an effort to KNOW me … not just of me or gain knowledge of the surface me. They know ME … the crazy, scattered but organized nut that lives within this ever changing shell…

So …

While I do enjoy the occasional quiz, just because they do at times make me think … I’d much prefer to have a sit down face to face where I can look into your eyes and gauge your reactions and your actual interest in the me that is the me on the inside – in the same way that I’d like the opportunity to do the same with you.

You decide … do you really want to know me?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Surrender ...

The word ‘Surrender’ is often looked upon as a ‘cuss word’; the normal connotation being that of giving up, having no fight left, not wanting to continue.

Surrender can also be a good thing. There are times when we all need to ‘give in’ – whether it is in order to achieve something or to lose or let go of something that is no longer profitable to us.

Surrender is most times a necessity in relationships, where partners have to release the status quo. It is understandably one of the most difficult decisions to make as a human – the conscious decision to release the norm … the familiar. This is usually when we begin raging against change, which ironically is the only true constant in life.

Yes it is true that Surrender means ‘to admit defeat’; it is also true that it means ‘to lay down arms’. As a race, we tend to hold tight to the idea of admitting defeat … we tend to reject the notion of surrender for fear of appearing weak, or soft or even broken in some ways.

My take on surrender is the notion of laying down arms. This means that I have CHOSEN to stop fighting. I have decided that the best option for me is to stop fighting against the change and to go into the newness with my eyes open and my heart open.

There is always a need to surrender to love … to surrender to the fact that there is someone out there who feels the same way you do and they are therefore surrendering to their own heart … their own feelings. Isn’t the prospect of MUTUAL SURRENDER a wonderful thing? To mutually surrender to the same feeling of love, companionship, kinship, passion, romance … all of those good things, must be and is a blissful experience … a soulful experience … something to be treasured.

To have chosen to stop fighting against the all consuming power of that kind of all encompassing love is to be the strongest of all … it is a mark of great strength for one to make suck a decision, particularly as we, none of us, have a clue as to what lies ahead. What a pillar of strength must you be to decide to live a life that happens one day at a time and totally unscheduled.

Give in to your ‘wild side’ and surrender to the love that is constantly knocking at your heart. Open the door – I dare you … and you will know exactly what you need to do to find the happiness that awaits you…