Landscapes holding us home

Some time back in this space, I posed the ‘Why we stay’ question for Guyanese choosing to live here while mentioning some of the magnets that hold us to the homeland.

A reader writes

I recently submitted a So it go column entitled ‘How come?’ listing some of the oddities we encounter in daily life (some comical, some not) and, as I predicted, I heard from readers with their own “how come” submissions.

Shining at Moray

Two days ago, Moray House staged another of their arts-oriented evenings with our revered painter Bernadette Persaud. 

Berbice explosion

I have this Artist in Residence thing (AIR) going with UG via Dr Griffith the VC and as part of that, the band (Oliver Basdeo, James Jacobs, Colin Perrera) and I are doing some gigs around the place.

Passion is required

Some time in the near future I will be doing a session with arts students at the University of Guyana (as part of my Artist in Residence work with UG) as well as a Moray House talk, sometime in May, on being an artist. 

Not necessarily

From a youth with an interest in reading I was often struck by the confidence with which persons would express a thought or a position on something that sounded impressive at first but, on reflection, proved to be simplistic, if not downright wrong.

Kaiso: Stay tuned

Following two recent columns in this space touching on the decline of calypso as popular music, I have heard from several readers in some very interesting exchanges on this subject. 

Laughter as medicine

As a voracious reader going back to my school days at Saints (Stanley Greaves had introduced me to the British Council Library to my delight), I remember once being struck by a comment from then US President John Kennedy which went something like this: “Mankind has two things he can draw on to deal with life’s many problems: one is God and the other one is sense of humour.

Calypso contortions

With Mashramani in the air in Guyana and Carnival winding down in Trinidad, the subject of calypso is once again in the air. 

What will tomorrow bring?

In another time in my life, when I was domiciled in Grand Cayman, I wrote a musical about the early beginnings of development in that country (the 1950s) when the first major tourism hotel, financed by UK money, was going up on the island’s now famous Seven Mile Beach. 

A long way to go

I cannot recall who invited me, but approximately a year or so ago I was in the audience when Trinidadian Dr Keith Nurse gave a sterling presentation here dealing with regional issues relating to Caricom. 

We can’t pick and choose

More and more that’s how I feel: that the traumas besetting mankind around the globe that we complain about are not about to abate.

Bright spots in the gloom

Anywhere we live, mankind has pressing issues to deal with – it’s not just Guyana – and everywhere as well, there are bright spots in the gloom. 

More criticism, not less

There are two slants to this missive today.  The first is that over the years, starting with when I lived in Grand Cayman, I have developed a very productive connection, mostly by frequent email, with some pivotal persons in the Caribbean which has made for some interesting exchanges over time. 

Progenitors

By now you may have noticed that I am a dialect man.  I’m not sure when that emerged, but it could well have been at university in Canada where, in a linguistics class, the value of our dialect first hit home. 

Reminder from the hurricanes

Amid the various discussions of the diverse factors in play, the fundamental piece in mainstream Caribbean tourism is blue water and white sand; traverse the span as I have, from Puerto Rico in the north to tiny Bequia in the south, one will see that, and it is an understandable pull. 

Blinders in cricket

I have several friends who are serious cricket aficionados and they are meticulous in sending me almost anything to do with the sport that comes their way. 

Learning from History

In countries around the globe, mankind in his diverse locations, is now generally very well served with information about his/her life now and in earlier times. 

Travelling in the good old days

On the way back from a recent trip to Canada, it occurred to me that although there are still airline problems in the Caribbean, it is nothing compared to the headaches that used to exist.

A bow to Trinidad

Anyone who writes will attest that one direction leads to another.  In my So it go notebook, for instance, there is this one direction that deals with the origin of the word “soca” and the reminder is there for me because the explanation we frequently hear is that when Lord Shorty combined calypso and American “soul” music in this new rhythm with higher tempos and more emphasis on drum track in the recording, he named it soca from that “soul” American influence and from the calypso origin. 

Lights dawning

Going back to the ‘30’s and the ‘40’s, an enduring message for young people growing up in Guyana was that the white culture was supreme.