“Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age.” ~ George Sand
You cannot be alive today and not heard these words or seen them printed somewhere after the screening of the mega block-busting Black Panther movie. And I admit, I actually haven’t written any thoughts on the film here but that’s because my plan to see it again (and really see it with different eyes this time around) has not materialised.
However, I can tell you that the evening after my first viewing found me totally and absolutely amazed at the costumes, the acting, the set designs, the plot, the actors, the imaginative technological possibilities for the future, the significance of this type of production for ‘such a time as this’ aka every visual nuance and spoken word affected me in a profound way.
Barbados, I am wondering: what happens if we lose our schools, our churches, our businesses, our homes, our supermarkets, our hospitals, our hotels, our transportation, our electricity, our water, our connectivity with the outside world? What happens when our roads are filled with debris or fall away?
What happens when there is nowhere for cruise liners to dock or planes to land? What happens when we can’t eat or sleep because of looting and raping, when there are no tourists coming to provide income or taste our pudding and souse, when business comes to a screeching halt, when there may be money but nothing to buy with it, when there is nothing at all left that can possibly be salvaged on a little 166 square mile rock? In other words, how in blazes would we ever survive or recover from a Category 5 hurricane?
The last few days have been emotionally draining; so much devastation and loss being experienced by our Caribbean sisters and brothers – truly it is mind-boggling and overwhelming. I find I need to keep grounded and consciously keep it real by remembering how good life truly is when next the electricity or water goes off, or I am stuck on a paved road in traffic (in a car with a cool breeze blowing through the vents) with a full belly, or cannot find a car park space at the supermarket, or quarrel with a tourist for driving their hired car too slow and keeping me back from getting to where I am going … because Barbados, recently I am really wondering and being grateful, all at the same time. What about you?
To my Caribbean brothers and sisters, my heart aches for you but know that we are all in this together and forever; we are one and you are not alone.