Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fairy Tale Endings & Other Seemingly Unattainable Goals ...

“And they lived happily ever after”. That’s usually at the end of the story I know, but I’m different. Actually, that’s really what I want to address …

I know I’ve walked down this road before, but it looks like there are some things that bear repeating.

Why is it that so many of my sisters are hung up on the fairy tale aspects of a wedding and have not given any real and substantial thought to the marriage that commenced the minute that they said ‘I do’?

That was my question two years ago and it’s still the question now. The thing that I have learnt through observation is that many of the couples that are making that step into matrimony are not really doing so with an eye towards lifetime commitment, but as something they ‘commit’ to until such a time when they invoke the escape clause.

The irony is that they put so much thought into the preparation and execution of the ‘perfect’ wedding. They oversee every last detail – from the colour scheme to the food, the dresses, the notions – EVERYTHING! All must be made perfect for one day. As it happens, when the balloons come down and the chair tie backs are returned, it seems to all be a mystery.

And they lived happily after. Those words have been both blessing and curse since the first time that they were uttered. I’m not saying that we don’t all yearn for that wonderful storybook ending, but what we seem to have forgotten is that none of us can say from the onset that ‘happily ever after’ is carded for us.

As long as we are breathing, viable entities, there will be times of distress, illness, sadness … there will be times of anger and fed-up-ness. What is integral is that as someone in a MARRIAGE, one has to remember that all of these feelings and moments are now shared with someone else.

There are definitely going to be times when you’re going to look at each other and wonder why in the hell you decided to spend the rest of your life with this person. Still, that is not a reason to walk away.

Is it that many of the people today have lost sight of the reasons why they got together in the first place? How is it that the same actions or words that a would-be wife/husband found endearing in their soon to be partner can after a couple of years, and in some cases, after a couple of months, bring their blood to a rapid boil when simmered in the pot of annoyance and disgust?

The other thing that I end up wondering is whether some of the people who seem to have no staying power had actually SETTLED in the first place. Is it that they wanted a wedding so much that they hitched their wagon to a star that wasn’t really supposed to be theirs?

Honestly – whatever the means or reasons for these connections, they are SUPPOSED to LAST. The words that some people recite when they make their vows to each other are actually supposed to be PRAYED. It’s a prayer people, not just some random words strung together to entertain your guests. People see vows as something that you get through … words you parrot after the officiant … words said before they get to the ring and the kiss. Not so …

A vow is a promise; and this particular vow is one made before God and men. It’s a sacred vow … but at times it has been obvious to me that the parties involved have no idea what they are saying … nor do they take the time to understand the significance of the words being prayed. You are effectively promising God, in the presence of witnesses, that you are going to love, cherish and respect each other for the rest of your lives – no matter what. That is a difficult prospect, but had you taken the time to grow to know and REALLY love the person that you are standing with before God, then you will make it.

Where is all of this coming from? I have no idea. Maybe it’s born out of the observation that people are more willing to walk away form their partners and marriages easily because they have forgotten what had gotten them to marriage in the first place.

I’m not married. I still hope to be one day and soon, but I have sung at enough weddings to know what I speak of. I take the time to mention this because there are people I’m sure who would love to tell me a thing or two about what I have written. Lemme just say that I am not bashing anyone. I’m just trying to remind the Married of their vows, the Engaged of the marriage that comes after the wedding and the Single to take the time to make wise and informed choices.

And they lived happily after. The other aspect of this is that some of us have conveniently chosen to forget that there was stress, intrigue and drama in every fairy tale that had a happy ending. The prince didn’t just get the princess. There was work to be done … witches to vanquish and dragons to be slain.

The lesson therefore is that the work must be done and the mountains must be breached before the happily ever after can be attained…

Go find your beautiful princess and your prince charming by all means, but take the time to pull a page or two out their stories so that in the end, others can look at the two of you and confidently proclaim …

“And they lived happily ever after … The Beginning!”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trouble in Haiti?? WOW! I'm SHOCKED!!!

Ever since the earthquake took place last Tuesday, people have been declaring shock and horror over the devastation that has been experienced and is still being experienced by the people of that battered and torn country.

What stays with me is the shock and awe in the voices of the speakers. Why? Because just as it has been declared that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, the same can most definitely be said about out ‘bastard’ sister Haiti.

My words may sound harsh, but hear me out…

Haiti is basically the ‘outside chile’ of the Caribbean that we all forget about until there is an appropriate photo-op. We all behave as if Haiti does not exist until the next ‘official’ disaster.

I have been exposed to the horrors of daily life in Haiti since my teen years when one of our priests, Fr John ‘T’, or Fr Haiti as he is affectionately known, set up a slide show at our Parish during a youth retreat, to show us how luck and privileged we were to live the lives we did and do in Trinidad. That was over 25 years ago, and even then, the horrors were not new. Yet, we persist in acting surprised each time Haiti’s rumblings erupt into something that can no longer be contained out of our consciousness.

I recall the sentimentality and verve of my youth, when I collected clothing and cans for my fellow Caribbean peoples, hoping that this time would be the time when peace and order would be restored.

Forgive my now jaded adult existence, and I’m usually warm, fuzzy and sympathetic, but I too have fallen prey to the images that have been coming out of Haiti over the past few years – images of a people who can’t even get along with each other long enough to make a change and make it work … a people so taken over by loathing – of self (country) and others that they despise the very offers of aid, and yet they complain that the world has forgotten them.

Common images of the Haitian experience - the children, the palace, the voodoo ...

Haiti should have been the Caribbean nation that we all looked up to. This is a country that was independent and ruled by a black man in the 1800’s, back when many a black man was indeed still a slave on this side of the pond. Instead, it has become the poster child for the old adage ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. This was brought home to me in living colour the other afternoon while I looked at the ‘disaster’ coverage and was yet again appalled to see cutlass (machete) wielding men and women running the streets of Port au Prince in an attempt to loot foodstuff from supermarkets, all the while threatening the lives of those who were unarmed, and who might have gotten there before them.

As a country you are devastated … you infrastructure is shot … foreign aid is having a hell of a time getting to you. Many of you are unsure as to the life status of your family members, yet you find the time to fight and kill each other over a can of soup? Pardon my naïveté but this sort of thing doesn’t exactly endear me to the cause, yet I will press on.

Tuesday’s Newsday (newspaper) greeted me with the sight of a looter being dragged naked through the streets – a rope around his ankles while being bludgeoned by a bystander using a block of wood. Why???

Last weekend we were all up in arms when Pat Robertson of the American evangelical Bible-belt declared that the problems that seem to be a recurring decimal in Haiti occurred because the nation had made a pact with the devil to get out from under colonial rule.

So Pat Robertson is really not my favorite person, and yes, we all gasped and mouthed the words ‘HOW DARE HE’, while we pumped our fists in righteous indignation, but believe you me, I KNOW we all in the back of our psyches did some quick math and wondered …

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that a pact was made with the devil, but I would sadly acknowledge that a country that has been known for centuries as the Seat of Voodoo and Black Magic in the Caribbean – well … one wonders…

Please do not misunderstand me – far be it for me to sit in judgment over anyone, particularly since it would appear that the ‘younger generation’ of my own island republic seems to have lost their patience, so much so that I feel like I live in the Wild, Wild West! What I am saying is that the attitudes and behavior of a nation can sometimes make it a tad difficult for onlookers to be sympathetic.

My own opinion is that the key to saving what is left of Haiti is to save the little ones, and that seems to be the way that most of the international agencies are going. No, I am not saying that the adults need to be left behind to die. I am saying that the up and coming generation can still be molded into loving supportive people, who see each other in a way that allows for dialogue, good will and support in times of peace, and conflict.

So I believe in fairy tales – so what???! But if we don’t save the little ones, what is going to happen? Are we doomed to see repeat after repeat of the same ill-made horror movie until we get it right?

Someone in their own wisdom said to me that destruction is a means of ensuring change … I have lost count as to what number ‘do over’ this is for Haiti, but I feel that THIS is the one that NEEDS to be taken seriously.

Having said all that I just have, and in the face of an after-shock this morning of a magnitude of 6.0, I ask still for your continued prayers and support – monetarily and otherwise – for the people of Haiti. They are for a fact out brothers and sisters. They are a part of the Caribbean and an integral part of our diasporic experience.

Do what you can and then … do some more!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yes, I have been constructively mischievous over the past few days. There was something that needed to get done, so I did it ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm proud to introduce you to my latest project - 'WHISPERS WITHIN' ... Take a look...

and follow this link:

This process was almost too easy to be true ... Yes, I am still getting to 'known' status, but I decided that there was absolutely nothing wrong with having two (2) books available for purchase.

I would like to thank one of my mentors for sending me in the direction of Lulu. It's an interesting premise, and I would even advise any of you budding authors out there to give it a look.

Here's to lots of purchases, and the right kind of notoriety!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Can someone please explain all of the hullaballoo surrounding Beyonce’s scheduled visit to Trinidad on February 18, 2010? Why are all of these supposed concerned people up in arms about the cost of the tickets and the cost of the star???

Has it occurred yet that the T&T public is looking at this from a ‘dollar for dollar’ point of view and not via conversion to US dollars?

It is always so funny to me when people get exactly what they asked for and then flare up. The Trini posse all declared that they wanted B to come to the island – well she’s gonna be here whether they like it or not. Here’s the thing though – THEY WANT IT! This is indicated by the fact that all of the TT$1600.00 tickets are gone – sold – accounted for … and this happened in one day – ONE DAY … via the internet and pre-booking. The CHEAPEST tickets – TT$450.00 – are the tickets that are struggling, and the TT$1,000.00 are almost depleted as well.

So … if this is the case … where do the Union, the Rapso Community and now I see the Minister of Public Utilities get off ranting and raving???!

The Union is complaining that they are working with 2005 salary scales and they simply cannot make ends meet. Those of you with access to someone who is employed at TSTT and is close enough to them to ask about salaries, please ask and make sure you’ve taken your heart meds, because to date, TSTT workers are the HIGHEST PAID natives in the land! Here’s the gift here … this concert will recoup all monies spent and then some, so there’s a profit at the end of the rainbow… go figure.

The Rapso and supposed Trini cultural community is talking about splitting loyalties at Carnival … oh please! Learn to accept the fact that most of the Trinis who will be attending this concert are the SAME people who will be going to all the all-inclusive fetes; have already purchased their $3-$4,000 costumes; will be buying new outfits to attend all the fetes, and will not be caught DEAD going to B’s concert with anything previously worn, so that’s another new outfit. That’s commerce, profit, loans being had – another boon to the economy as people will have to pay all that shit back! As to the claim that TSTT is not behind the culture of T&T – well … I just wanna vomit, because the biggest shows and fetes are sponsored by TSTT in some form or fashion. Every year most of us fete goers walk away with ‘nuff bandannas, neon sticks and necklaces and hats and t-shirts, etc. etc. etc. … proof of TSTT’s presence in all things Carnival and cultural. TSTT also sponsors culture OUTSIDE of Carnival, and has not indicated a drop in said sponsorship in order to have ‘Sasha Fierce’ on our shores… so do yuh homework folks …

As to the goodly Minister of Public Utilities … how you get chain up in dis shit??? You’re INVESTIGATING B-Mobile’s sponsorship of this concert? I know that telecommunications is a public utility but last I checked, didn’t you guys make TSTT a PRIVATE COMPANY a lil while ago??? So aren’t you now overstepping your bounds??? Has it occurred to you that they could be paying Miss Thing out of profits??? Never mind the advertising that goes on, we all know that TSTT has the bigger better network, and the majority of the mobile customers on this island so … again … why exactly are you investigating this??? Is this being seen as a means for media coverage or is it the cause of the day?

Now having said all of this, please note that I am likely to purchase the DVD of the Beyonce concert as performed in Las Vegas before I shell out a cent to see her live here … I don’t have that kind of money to – uhm… ‘spend’ (not waste, surely!!!) at this time. I have debts to pay, but that’s just me. I say ‘more power’ to the peeps who are willing and able to go have B’s sweat hit them in the face. Have a time, take lots of pictures … that’s my advice.

To the nay-sayers, all I can say is TAKE YOUR FRIGGIN' HEADS OUT OF THE SAND! Realize that Trinis will prioritize in the ways that they choose and there ain’t a damned thing that you can do about it. They have their business fix, and honeys, be it after Carnival or after Independence … they ones who are interested will find the ways and means of making their Beyonce dreams come true … as evidenced by the very healthy sale of the ‘good’ seats.

It’s time for you guys to stop acting your shoe sizes and start acting your ages. She is wanted here and awaited with baited breath and you can’t stop that music!!!