Monday, 24 March 2014

The Irredeemable Process of Death

 Hey World! ^_^

There is an eerie superstition which says "death comes in threes" but is it really true? How exactly does it work? Does the sequential deaths follow immediately after the first death? Death every other week? Or every other month? Or is it simply the death of three persons to whom you know within a close timeline? Well, i'm not sure how this works, if it really works or why it works this way but all i know my family has had three deaths in the last few months. All this coming from a girl who has never experienced the sting of death before until now. The first was my cousins' husband, then it was one of my cousins and most recently it was another cousin. All of whom weren't distant people, i knew them and knew them very well. Now all i have are memories.

The first death literally broke my heart. It was like i could feel the pain and heartache of my cousin. I could only imagine how her world shifted right beneath her feet, how things changed so quickly and with such a disastrous effect. They were young married couple and like all young couples they were making plans and taking big steps in their relationship. One minute they are together, cuddling, laughing and sharing their love and life with each other, then the next minute it all changed. He was a soldier and died in a car accident. I was helpless, without the words to help my cousin heal her wounds. But i felt better when i was near her, although i was inadequate, i was able to reassure her that i'd always be there for her when she needed a friend or a shoulder. Although he wasn't on duty at the time of his death, the JDF made sure he got a good farewell and for that we are extremely grateful!

The second death took me by surprise.

Capricorn. My little cousin was young, promising, intelligent, healthy, jovial, fearless and very territorial but she struggled with a sickness stronger than her. Depression. Depression is a disease, like all the other diseases no one is immune to it and people fight it everyday. She lost her battle with depression and it completely blindsided us (even though it shouldn't have because we all saw the signs!) So i know we failed her and for that i'm sorry. I remember writing a sermon at church and i spoke on a recurring statement made in 'Lilo & Stitch', the cartoon. "Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind." Sometimes i think we left her behind and she wondered off alone. :(

Lastly, was my big cousin. She was a powerhouse, a fighter, fashionista, my shopping parrie, my unapologetic foodie (like myself) and she was extremely convivial! Oh man, every word that came out of her mouth had me cracking up, literally. Her laugh alone could make me laugh. She had one of those infectious laughs that people speak of. Her biggest loves was her son and her grandchildren, she could talk about them all day.

- deep sigh -

- inhale -

So right now i'm pleading *making referee signs* for a "cree", "time out", "break for intermission", just grant us a little respite.

Death is a phenomenon i don't understand. But what i do know is that, i want to be so content and happy with my life and my choices. So when it's my time to travel to the other side, i want it to be the right side. I wanna be right beside my Lord and Saviour. During those periods in my life, i found some solace in the scripture passages below, 'Mourning for the Dead' (Sirach 38:16-21) as well as in a song by Gramps Morgan- Jah Shall Wash Away.

If there is one thing i want you to take away from reading this post is that, you are a perishable item, so please live accordingly!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Why The #%$$! Do [Jamaicans] Swear?

Published: Wednesday | February 5, 2014
Editorial taken from: THE GLEANER
Ethon Lowe, Guest Columnist

Jamaicans are cussing more and more these days. People say it is because life's rough with the high cost of living, rising crime, and high unemployment. But guess what? Cussing may not only be an expression of agony, but also a means to alleviate it.
Take Rob Ford, the embattled mayor of Toronto. In one of his drunken antics, he dropped the rbomb. Not your common and boring F- or S-word for him. His choice: the glitzy Jamaican r, no less. The publicity will no doubt generate a much-needed boost to the tourist industry. Admittedly, the goodly gentleman's pronunciation was a little off. Quite understandable, as he is not home-grown and, therefore, lacks the subtleties and niceties of the Jamaican tongue.
A well-timed R-word, properly vocalised, care being taken to prolong the 'aa' sound as in 'raw', not as in 'rat'( you don't want all the dreadlocks in your neighbourhood converging at your door for spliffs), can be useful and very effective against certain undesirable elements of Jamaican society: homicidal drivers, foot-dragging civil servants, indolent government officials (don't try it on the police), rapacious light bills, and, of course, those annoyingholes, er, potholes endemic to Jamaican roads.
My use of the R-word does give me some peace of mind when traversing said holes and the aptly named Devil's Race Course and its environs in St Catherine. When I am travelling alone, I sometimes resort to it. However, in my wife's presence, she being a fervent, no-nonsense Christian, the R-word, for obvious reasons, is hastily dispensed with. My Christian friends remind me of Proverbs 13:3: "Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."
Even without the comforting R-word, however, you can still derive some modicum of cathartic satisfaction by slamming your vehicle at 60mph into a pothole that (with a bit of imagination) resembles your worst enemy or an obnoxious in-law. Your mechanic will love you for this.
The pious are not exempted from the use of the R-word. When I lived in England, my Anglican pastor friend confided in me that when he couldn't satisfy the excessive demands of his parishioners, his frustrations often drove him to habitually lock himself in his car, windows tightly closed to muffle his voice (and presumably cocking an eye surreptitiously to the heavens to see if God was looking). After a vociferous belting of RC and BC at the top of his voice, he would return to his flock fully energised and relaxed. When faith fails, there is nothing like good ol' RC and BC to put things right.
For a good swear word to be truly effective, it should have a cathartic effect and relieve pain, distress and tension. It should be used sparingly. They are the best words to use if you hit your finger with a hammer. #@%$!! I hurt my finger. Also, I am told that it is very effective in scaring away evil spirits, duppies, and rolling calves.
A study to determine the effectiveness of swear words to alleviate pain was carried out by measuring how long college students could keep their hands immersed in icy water. During the chilly exercise, they would repeat an expletive or chant a neutral word (e.g., ' st' and 'shoot' ). When they swore, they reported less pain, and on average endured their pains 40 seconds longer.
One explanation is that a part of the brain called the amygdala (located in the temporal lobe) is linked with emotion and can, when stimulated by an emotive word or expletive, trigger a fight or flight response, in which the heart rate climbs and we become less sensitive to pain. This may have a survival value. Normal language arises from the frontal lobe on the left side in most individuals.
Would the world be better off if everyone quit cussing four-letter words? My answer: The four-letter word 'nope'. It took an unlikely proponent of the Jamaican R-word, Rob Ford, to open our eyes to the treasure trove of Jamaican four-letter words just waiting to be tapped. Over to you, Mr Minister of Tourism.
Ethon Lowe is a medical doctor. Email feedback to and<<>>

Friday, 7 March 2014

The "Nihon Matsuri" Japanese Festival


This year, Jamaica and Japan are celebrating 50 years of good diplomatic relations and friendship. As a part of the celebrations, the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica will be hosting the biggest event of its year long commemorative celebrations. The "Nihon Matsuri" Japanese Festival will be held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre tomorrow, March 8, 2014 from 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

"Out of Many, One People."