Monday, March 23, 2015

The A to Z challenge

So because I'm a member of Write Club I got sent an invitation to this event, this challenge - to blog everyday for 26 days, except Sundays about every letter in the alphabet, starting April 1st.

What exactly am I going to blog about? Hmmmm, I'm not too sure. Seeing as this is my first year I think I'm going to let each day guide my train of thought and what I write about. At the very least it's gonna be a very interesting experience.

April 1st, here we go.

Here's the link if you're up for the challenge.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pride of ownership

Sweden, Canada, Holland, Germany and Trinidad, just to name a few for my sample observation.

I've visited about twelve European countries, travelled all over the United States and Canada playing music, and what always struck me was how neat and orderly the cities ran. How neighbourhoods always seemed well maintained. How people knew to put their trash in garbage bins, how to recycle. In a nutshell, how to care for their surroundings, their town, city, country and by extension the environment.

Whenever I'm in Trinidad I'm always saddened how we take care of our country.

In many of the lower-income areas some houses are literally falling apart - no repaint jobs, derelict walls, crumbling roofs. In St. James and Woodbrook most of the pavements are broken, the drains smell stink and there's garbage strewn everywhere on weekends when there's no garbage pick up.

Whenever I take a drive throughout the country I see garbage thrown out of car windows as people drive on by, it's as if we get a kick out of being nasty.

Along the highways between the East, West, North and South, there's garbage along the roadways.

After carnival every year, taking a drive throughout St. James, Woodbrook, St. Clair and lower Maraval we can see signs of J'ouvert - many of the masqueraders splash paint on people's houses, even the walls of churches aren't spared, so much for the sacred spaces.

There's no respect, no law and order here.

St. James and Woodbrook once used to be residential areas and then slowly without warning and without proper paperwork and zoning bylaws, businesses started popping up everywhere. My family's historical home in St. James is now huddled on a street next to a roadside mechanic, a printery, an ice factory and a gym, in what was once a residential area.

Cars blare their music at all hours of the night for everyone to hear. People spit everywhere. Drunkards piss on innocent walls every weekend.

Trinidad is a lawless country, every corner, every crevice. Every person learns from a very young age by observing their parents how to be a reckless 'Trini'. Our only saving grace is our weather.

But it is sad and true, we have no pride of ownership here. We rather destroy and let everything decay around us, than to preserve our heritage buildings, than to preserve our nature sanctuaries, than to honour our sacred spaces, than to respect each others' homes and property.

Trinidad is a country in decay, and in years to come when everything is in shambles and we all look around clueless wondering how it all happened, what we should really be trying to find, is a mirror.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The older generation never said a word

My folks didn't talk much about stuff. You know - stuff stuff? Life stuff. They spoke about politics, or house chores. They bickered about money, about how to raise the kids. What schools to go to, the weather, crime, sports, that kinda mundane stuff. The everyday kinda stuff.

My dad paid the bills and my mom cooked.

My dad did all the errands and my mom managed the books.

When my dad's mom passed away in 2005 and when my mom's mother died a year later they never spoke about it to each other.

My parents, for the last five years of their lives sat down and watched TV every evening, it was their ritual, never really saying much.

When my dad died in 2014, my mom's health was so frail that she couldn't go see him in the hospital in his dying moments. When she finally saw him at the funeral home in the casket, frozen and peaceful, she kissed her hand and put her hand gently on his lips and said 'Now I can believe he's gone'

They never really said I love you much. To be honest I'm not too sure if I ever heard it at all.

But they were a team. And now, my mom is a fish out of water.

And I wonder which generation had/has it better? - This one who wants to gush and talk about every emotion under the sun to the point where talk is meaningless or my parents' generation that didn't talk about much, but one thing they did have was a great sense of understanding for each other.

I'm thinking maybe my parents got it right. In the end they got it right. It only took 30 odd years but they got it right.