Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Year Behind God's Back

I am in the airport now, awaiting on a flight to the Island Behind God's Back. I have packed my goodies really well, and with careful selections, I have managed to not go over my 40lb allotment.

Today is the anniversary of my arrival. Well at least I finally had some fun. Pity it took a whole year and some Canadians. We had a day trip to a rather snazzy and exclusive property that costs USD $2,000 per night in the LOW season and ranges up $4000-6000 ordinarily, with the honeymoon villa costing a measly USD10,000 nightly. I gues the latter does come with sex, but you have to bring your own ingredients.

I am re-learning how to take care of myself even when I do not have any inspiration to do so. What I am now is preparing me for my life in a few months. I cannot compromise my future by ignoring my needs today. So, I really have to do what is best for me. Sometimes, only you know what that is.

I just ordered Chicken Sous in the airport lounge for breakfast. There is a lot of dinner foods for breakfast... as is typical in the Caribbean. Sous is really soup. I am hungry, having stayed up to watch The Curious Life of Benjamin Button until 2am. I wanted something other than the fat and cholesterol rich offerings.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Shopping spree

I have had really good weekend. I will write about that later. Here is my shopping list for anti-depressant foods:

1. Cold pressed Flaxseed oil
2. Wheat germ
3. Salmon
4, Parsley
5. Watercress
6. Local basil
7. Vine-ripened tomatoes
8. Wild rice
9. Brown rice
10. Light, fat free yogurt with live cultures
12. Pears
13. Whole wheat sandwhich buns
14. Romaine lettuce
14. Raw pumpkins seeds
15. Raw pecan nuts
16. Raisins
17. Dried apricots
18. Scotch bonnet peppers

And for personal care:
Hair colour
Cocoa butter

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yes. God... poor likkle me

My friend just reminded me that it is when we are weakest, that God's power is made known.

I am going to go meditate on that.

She reminded me of the footprints in the sand.

His grace is sufficient for me.

Boiling Point

What happens to the the brain when it reaches boiling point? Like protein, it coagulates.

I am not well.

I am really desperately trying to hold on.

Time is going by so slowly though.

I cant believe I still have a full week before 2 months.

I am going to the fancier island for this holiday weekend with the hope of giving myself a mental sanity break. I pray to God that it works.


Together they fall
in love
Lying prostrate on their backs
Their spirits entwined, hover above them
Casting a shadow greater than their
individual parts.

They lose themselves
one to the other
sacrificing self for the plural good
two is better than one.

(C) sheer almshouse feb 3, 2007

Love from a distance

You make my heart smile
even when nothing else is smiling

Time and space
defines our love
never seems the twain meet
Who knows?
Only time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My washroom

one less week

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One less day

I am a little tired today. It's just 10 am and it feels like bed time.

I have started looking around for buyers for my car. I have made a counter offer to a proposed buyer that is at least reasonable, and would allow me to pay back any fees should they become due. I need to sell my bicycle too, but I feel I will wait until the very end to get rid of that one.

I am planning to dump more things this weekend. I am also going to start packing the books and suits that have not been worn since August. All the really nice pieces that have no place here, will also be packed.

I will set aside a bag for Red Cross donations to people who have still not recovered from the hurricane (largely low-skilled immigrants). Of course, I will only be donating things that are worth of wear. I will check to see if clothes and shoes are needed because I have no desire to offend.

Easy Skanking Chef and I had a jolly good talk yesterday. He is excited about me coming and has broken the big news to his mother. What amazes me is that my own mother and father ask for him when I speak to them. His mother also includes me in her emails to her children. His friends also include me. There is definitely a coming together of the family/friendship units.

Here is a synopsis of our conversation:

“I’m buying picture frames so that you can put whatever photographs you want in them and hang them when you come.”

“I appreciate that, but maybe you should just wait until I come to buy the frames because they may no match my design motif?”


“Motif… like the design theme. You know?”

“So the theme not ‘house theme’ ?”

Apparently for my partner, house is a theme and sale is a justifiable reason to be proactive in acquiring things for home décor. No use in explaining that the layout and feel of the architecture and furniture will influence my interior décor masterpiece. Please note that that said apartment for which frames are currently being sought, has not been seen much less moved into. I think the understanding of my plight will fall squarely along the gender divide. My female readers will feeeeel my pain and my male readers will be like “but don’t you women like it when men get involved and supportive around the house? So what you complaining for? Because frames come in all materials, sizes, etc and I don’t want to be stuck with an assortment of gold leaf in a place that screams for modern contemporary!

I am perfectly fine with him just putting all that money aside and getting me brochures for the different stores and sales I would be interested in. I wont have anything else to do but make house anyway, and he wont have any days off… so it will be fun to change things up on him from time to time.

Guys, I promise not to use pink- at least not on the walls.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rasta man no mix up inna bangarang

You know what? I will leave here in 2 1/2 months! It seems so long sometimes, so I changed my password on my work computer to "One Less Day!"

I am missing my man right about now. The hugs, the warmth, the resonance of his voice in my ear as we lay in bed... or while I am in the kitchen experimenting.

I am listening to all my (and our) favourite Luther Vandross songs right now...and man I am feeling him!

Today is exactly four months since I left Jamaica last and four months and two days since I last saw Easy Skanking Chef.

In exactly three months, I will be with my man in Dubai. Making up for time lost over 7 straight months of separation.

This will be the last of such long separation.


Because God answers prayers.

BTW... the boss sent in my notice to the committee and recommended the termination.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Plan B

The proposal was turned down by the committee. My boss is going to make further representation for them to waive any fees payable by me since I have given three months notice under the circumstances which are underlined by a general fear for my personal safety.

I started to dump stuff in the apartment today in anticipation of my departure.

I am going back home way lighter than when I came- in every way.

I have joined some gulf recruitment sites and posted my info in anticipation of finding meaningful and enjoyable work there. My intention is to find freelance gigs (for regularity and exposure) that will allow me freedom to do some professional photography on my own.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Burn baby burn

I struggled through the weights routine this morning. Again...the problem was all in my chest. I got so damn frustrated with it that I actually walked around and picked up all lighters and stray boxes of cigarettes and put them in a bag, tied it and threw it into the closet of the spare room.

I am not making anymore pronouncements about quitting, especially since cold turkey hasn't worked in the past for me, but I know that something has got to give. These namby pamby workouts are not cutting it for me and I am tired of feeling like I have just been punched in the chest.

I have been researching quitting aids and I am going to try and get one as soon as possible so that I can have my damn lungs back. I developed asthma roughly three years ago (time flies when you're having fun) so it really scares the shit out of me. Adult asthma is not something to play with because there is no landmark in terms of knowing exactly when you may just keel over and die. Having it in childhood makes an asthmatic better able at managing the illness but a significant chunk of asthma-related deaths seem to occur in adults and it seems that they tend to go in their sleep.

This is rather scary stuff...especially since I have been battling a bout for a week today. I dont usually suffer for so long. Then again, my doctors would have usually given me more intensive treatment. I think I may need to resume the daily puff for a while.

The heat also seems to stir it up. I feel like I cant breathe when it gets too hot. Newsflash for the girl heading to Dubai: get a grip VERY SOON. Being fit significantly improves one's ability to handle extreme weather conditions and fit I most certainly am not.

Imelda is concerned also and for the explicit reason that I am feeling tightness in my chest every time I have smoked in the past week and feel the need to follow up with the pump. Not good. Also not good that I live alone.

But we'll get through this.

I wasn't ready to give it up yet...but if it is making me sick and posing a threat to my life, then it really isnt worth it.

Maybe I can try to use exercise and yoga to get through the withdrawal since one sure replacement is out of my reach, due to the absence of a certain Easy Skanking Chef

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The narrow, winding path to fitness

One of my personal trainers once gave me some advice. I think it was pretty good advice, and so unselfish of him. I saw him at the copany's registrar office while I was incorporating my company and I confided that I just couldn't seem to pull it together to get the workouts in because there was so much happening in my life and I just couldn't find centre to make my workouts priority. He told me to do what I needed to do, get what I needed to get done and I will find the time and space once I find balance. He told me not to add guilt about lack of excercise to all the issues I was facing.

He was right.

Now that I have gone through a VERY long and extensive list of things I needed to accomplish, I am now in a position to tackle this biggie. Fitness is so much more than making time and eating properly- it is an excercise in self-love and discipline. You can't maintain fitness when you are not in the frame of mind to tackle all the drama related. But having established a template early in my life, I know what it FEELS like to be in good shape. This most certainly is not it.

I look at it as writing new chapters in my book of life. You can't cover every topic in a chapter...but you can deal with one or a few at a time. I have cleared up a bit of the psychological clutter, giving myself space to deal with things that really matter.

Somebody once complained that I was writing about too many different topics on my blog and suggested I stick to displaying my photography. I have never been single-faceted, and never will be. This is the story of my journey to self-discovery and actualization and mine is a dynamic life. My life is plural, abundant, varied, passionate, hopeful, and aware.

Now is when I tackle the next thing on my almost 10 year old list: to be in the best shape of my life when I turn 30. I have one year and a few months to do it. Fifteen months altogether. It is an attainable goal because I have given myself enough time to reach there. This is no quick fix to 2 1/2 years of intermittent excercise. This is how records are achieved: one day at a time for a long time.

I am putting it here to hold myself accountable.

This morning, I STRUGGLED through P90 Sweat 1-2. I think my asthmatic state has a lot to do with it. I went slow though and did what I could. I am not planning on killing myself in the process.

Here is my plan:

I am using Beachbody workouts because they have worked for me in the past and are convenient. Circuit training works for me and a six day 45 min circuit routine does more good than 3 days in the gym at two hours a pop.

May - July P90
Aug- Mid Sept Slim in 6
Mid Sept - Dec Hip Hop Abs

Jan-March P90
April- June P90X
July- Sept P90X
After Sept..P90X + Hip Abs + Turbo Jam + P90 MIX UP

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Exiled Heart

I dream of home
amidst the drama
of bullets raining
like blessings
saving the dispossessed
from hunger

I dream of love
shining through
the clouds
that form
anticipating the storms of life

I dream of smiles sincere
of food cooked with love, by love
hearts gathered in laughter
acceptance, the denominator

I dream of rivers
that flow from the sky
washing away crosses
and burdens
bringing new life to weary spirits

I dream of slumber
made sweet by content
of peace of mind
and a chest free
from depression's tightness

I dream of freedom

I dream of home.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A word for the week ahead

t is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private suffering that your noblest dreams are born and God's greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you've been through. It is well. - Wintley Phillips

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Belly Woman

The Woman Who Started it All

She gave me my first camera when I was 9. It was a 24mm camera that took film that was shaped somewhat like a doggie bone. A thin rectangular thingie that you had to push a sliding bit every time you made an exposure in order to advance the film. I still have it somewhere. Also have a roll of film that is probably 20 years old. DOnt know if it can be processed now, but it is certainly worth the effort.

Thanks Aunty Rose. You empowered me!

The Writer's Portrait

Three Generations

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sweet Honey on the Rock

I just spent an hour on the phone with my MBA-holding economist father, who has been farming for over 20years on the side, convincing him to write a business plan. Yes, it took that long. I had to remind him of the days when he used to tell me that I have every excuse in the book and then some, to justify my latest mediocrity. I pointed out that the conversation was making it clear just where I got that from. He complied. He has made a commitment to me to draft one when he goes on leave from his job as a customs officer in Jamaica.

I have a burgeoning passion for helping to develop the talent around me. So much of it lies in my family. But sometimes, we are restrained by fears of failure and the need to guarantee income to take care of the monthly expenses that come whether or not you sell on drop of honey or a morsel of cake.

So I understand. Having taken that plunge two years ago with serious personal debts, it turned really scary when business got slow. I am sure it was only just for a time, but I could not tell my creditors that indefinitely. After three months of not seeing big projects roll in like they did at the beginning, I started looking for the small ones to pay the bills. But still, the bills were too high and eventually the money ran out and within another three months, I started searching frantically for some stable guaranteed income for at least one year. Had it not been for the kindness of Imelda, I don't know what I would have done.

I have been there. I know the struggle. I know the anxiety that comes when you fall woefully short of your expenses. Had I not taken this current appointment, I would have lost my car, and done even worse damage to my credit. I may have even had to face court action with an unforgiving government student loan facility and bankers all demanding that their monies be paid in full.

In spite of that struggle, I still feel totally convinced that talented people have a God-given mandate to utilise their talent in ways that truly edify them and their community. All I want is for them to organise a little better so that they can take full advantage of the collective talent pool. When the time is right, and the business income far supersedes that of the 9-5, then they may call in for early retirement. If not, they can still earn more than a few dollars "on the side" by simply doing "them."

My father produces the Sweetest Honey on Jamaican Rock. If there wasn't already a group by that name - introduced to me by Harlem Mama - I would have used that as the brand. My job as daughter and eldest child is to challenge him, just as he challenged me when I was growing up. His time and money paid off. I am now the pain in his side, pushing him to be bigger than his muffled dreams.

He has taken some really hard blows. He was made redundant when Mutual Life, the oldest Life Insurance Company in Jamaica folded. He had been doing very well in insurance up until that point. He took his redundancy package and invested in several acres of fallow farmland. It was a good purchase, but he had four young children, and suddenly times became very hard. It was right before I was ready to go to university. Whatever investments he had put aside for my college education went to naught (hence the student loans). He took it hard. He was always a good provider until then. We struggled together as a family, but he felt so much joy his farm that it became a source of family pride. I remember us lining up to kill chickens in the backyard and cleaning so much crap off the eggs that we supplied to the company that handled in-flight catering services for several international airlines operating in Jamaica.

Business wasn't always good, and he was forced to take a job at a much lower position than he is qualified for just to have regular income and to be near the farm, which is based in Trelawny, roughly 2-3 hours drive from our family home.

So now... I am pushing him again. I am saying...yes buddy you have good ideas and you work hard. Let's think of it as a business, as the family heirloom and let's make money. Let's just make it work and not just for meagre profit or joy. Let's make it work BIG TIME.

I have been doing my own research because he soooo needs my marketing assistance.

I tell you, I hate marketing/PR for companies and governments but I take pride in being able to help my own family and those friends who are for all intents and purposes, family.

Here's to making some sweet honey on the rock.

Rest in Peace Uncle Homer

My family is experiencing the first murder. Remote hills of Saint Mary in a place I couldnt call properly before I was 10. So beautiful and remote. Far from the hustle and bustle and crime of Kingston. Second murder ever, following one over 20 years ago. My grandmother's youngest sibling has been murdered. Mi chest tight. Really tight.

I having a bout with asthma over the past few days... and I have a project to complete today... so I cant really just let misself feel it... but bwoy... it dread. Over wha? Money? Bad Mind? Grudgeful? But God good. In all things. Even this. Give thanks. Just because him is God. And God alone.

To tell you the truth though... mi waan go home and cut a loud loud holla.
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