Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I was driving home from Sangre Grande this evening and noticed how lonely the trip was. The Aripo Savannah to the West and the Valencia side ( opposite) was hidden by tall, looming trees.

Then there was the silence that fell as the hand of darkness encroached on the road.

It was one of those empty silences. The dangerous kind that leaves room for your thoughts to drift away into a dream about the barrenness of human existence. This is not an abstract here. It's a cold hard look at how lonely we are. You go to work every day, you come home...an occasional escapade over the weekend and you're back to trudge it through the week again.

Human contact fills the in-between, but do they really know you? Are you comfortable enough to trust them with your fears and anxieties? Will someone whom you've told a dark secret throw it in your face later in a verbal/psychological skirmish?

I know some people who told their spouses things that hurt them, made them so vulnerable and fragile to the very fabric of their being and when the battle lines were drawn, all boundaries were erased. That secret which took them eleven years sometimes to build the courage to share is spewed out like a boiling venom to score cheap points.

The betrayal feels palpable. You're left stunned, enraged and most of all, wasted. You feel physically weakened.

So whom are you going to trust? Another cold-hearted person seeming to be your friend? How do you know?

This familiar to you?

And then I leave Valencia and make my way on the Eastern Main Road to Arima. The only silent and scenic section of the EMR is that stretch of road. The mountains to your right silent watchers escorting you home.

I think of home...

And then? I hear this!

(COPY THE LINK below and place it in another tab. DO NOT CLICK ON IT. Don't look at the video. Just listen.)


Don't ask me how it came into my head. I don't know myself. It makes you want to cry doesn't it?

But listen closer.

I remember now...I went on a looooong walk with my uncle to Grand Tacarib in 1989. Remember standing on top of a hill on the coast and watching water from the sea just washing a rocky shore. I couldn't hear it from that distance but the constant incoming motion of the waves gave me an incredible sense of silence and how beautiful it really is. The sea breezes swaying every branch in a slow, elegant dance.

There is always a place and time in life when you can actually hear yourself think. A moment that feels like fresh rain falling on you while you're outside laughing without a care in the world!

That was my place...

You can fill silence with sounds and scenes like this. You can fill it with memories...like the very kind uncle that called me out of my usual teenaged Saturday morning slumber to half kill me on an eleven mile trek with 50 pounds of load on my back. And I mean it. He is truly one the kindest persons I've ever met.

The memory of that scene is still so alive and vibrant that I have never forgotten the person that took me there and never will.

And I have developed a friendship with him that knows no boundaries. I trusted him with some of my most profoundly painful memories and he has never in the 22 years  betrayed that trust. If you know me well enough, you will know that I almost NEVER let people know me that well. My uncle is no saint! We mockingly call him a Jammette. ( a rather loose woman. In his case...you know what I mean. ) But he is, in the truest Christian sense, what we call a real man.

So whom do you trust? It took me 22 years to trust someone that much.

But it takes time to build trust. Chances are if that person has no faults that make him/her human...you need to run like hell.

The silence today taught me that you can trust someone. It takes time, patience. We all have burdens that we must ask someone else to help us bear. Hurts that need expression to begin the healing. We all need a trusted person on whom we can rely to make us feel we are worth something, even to one person. But patiently that person comes like a guardian angel: unsought and sometimes obviously right there.
This looming guardian (The Northern Range) was singing directly to my soul: That loneliness and desolation can be healed. Take away the anger from hurt and tell me what you have left. You can now move on can you?

That life throws some strange things at you and you have the ability to play well.

And I noticed another fascinating thing about us. Well, I've been noting this a long time now. But today it was so overwhelmingly clear, in the silence I mean: when words lose their power to express, when our body is overwhelmed by the astounding power of what our souls would like to express, we create music. Hence the strange and sudden epiphany of music.

I'm sure all these thoughts are quite common. We all share the same common makeup. But with the music playing they take on another meaning. They become words of compassion and penetrating glimpses into the soul. That's the epiphany for me.

Well, the silence ended as I approached Arima and the buzz there.

Now, after reading this, listen to the music again and tell me what the silence brings to you.