SWEET JAMAICA?

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Mi nah tell nuh lie, I hold deep cherished thoughts of coming back to Jamaica sometime soon with, God forbid, surgically altered buns:-0, to sit in the sun and work on any beach where I can pick up WiFi. I promise, there is no retiring for me, if for no other reason than my embracing the school of thought that says; “If you are not “growing” you are dying.” I look forward to walking on clear piazzas in Kingston, May Pen, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, without the obstruction of “informal merchants” while window shopping with an ice cream cone. I hold some deep hope and vision of organized markets with higglers off the ground and sitting on a high stool or comfortable chair with their wares or fares creatively exhibited, as they did in days past with their hamper basket atop their head. The market in Manor Park was somebody’s attempt at that. But consciousness never fail to smack me back to reality with a sharp reminder that I would be moving back to a beloved people who, on the average, are still stuck in vacuumed thoughts and who dare to believe that this insular way of thinking goes beyond the shores of the island. Landing in America to live brought on a paradigm shift of awesome proportion, especially as I watched the “snow birds” in Deerfield Beach; couples in their 80s and 90s out walking their dog, dripping in jewelry, or just taking a walk hand in hand. Couples whose marriage spans over 50 years. I later had the good fortune of living short-term with a friend in an over 55 community, the only one that I have seen so far in Florida with a heated pool and an expansive ballroom where many of the couples who met and fell in love there, have numerous occasions to celebrate their union of love or respectful companionship. Some of these communities have vacations that are planned by the administration once a year. They go on cruises or to some preferred place in Europe. My friend and I made it a point of duty to go to the pool very early. For me, it was to practice my thus far failed attempt at turning my head during freestyle. This often left me no alternative but to frantically try to make it end to end across the shallow without taking a breath. But it kept my weight down, is my consolation, for no other exercise has allowed me such frantic flailing of my arms and legs at the same time. Primarily though, we went early because come 8 o’clock the stream of retirees/geriatrics would arrive. Men, some with ballooned bellies and women with the aid of walkers coming for their early morning swim or some prescribed therapy, like walking for miles across the shallow end. But if not there, there are numerous functions from “meet-ups” to various types of outings to websites to clubs for matured individuals. How then does one accept the seemingly solidified matrix that gives in Jamaica? Is it because we are still only five generations removed from slavery and we know nothing else? Is there some point at which we should expect to hear some encouragement of change or do we just accept it as a Black thing and continue said speed down the road which invariably ends in dysfunction on the one hand or financial abuse on the other?

http://kotchmagazine.com/