Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm mobilised. Are you?

Funny how a statement like "I'm mobilised" (which sounds so positive, proactive and ready-to-go) when condensed into one word, becomes the exact opposite: Immobilised ... unable to move, frozen, out of circulation.

On Sunday I was immobilised by the mere thought of leaving the house and being on the road ... knowing that even Sundays are no longer spared from traffic. Then yesterday after lunch I felt to go to the studio to work on a lamp. I opened the front door, stood for a while staring out at the sun, heard the distant drone of cars on the Eastern Main Road, closed back the door and stayed put. It seemed impractical to leave. By the time I would've reached to the studio, perhaps frustrated and hot, I would not have had much time before 'leaving in time' to beat after-school/after-work traffic to get back home to go to Capoeira for 5:45 p.m.
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This t-shirt, worn by a man during the Death March (2005) says it all

I'm not the only one feeling like this. Practically every person I've spoken with in the past few days has been complaining about (among other things) the amount of cars on the road. I can't think of anything positive about the traffic situation. Maybe it makes me stay home more? Makes me only go out when and where I have to go? Makes me think more carefully about why I am going where I am going? Makes me want to go and live somewhere else where (there is traffic but ...) at least the public transport system works efficiently enough to be a somewhat pleasant and viable alternative? But it's not about the traffic. That's just a manifestation of everything else that seems to be piling up around us.
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There are many things that have frustrated and angered me this year in T & T. Up 'til the other day I was very sadded and angered when I heard that a lovely young girl I had met last year was murdered by a serial rapist who had managed to 'get out' of prison. I didn't 'know' her (in terms of time or frequency), but she was still someone that I 'knew' and connected with and had interacted with on a few occasions, all of which were positive and genuine. She was a hopeful young woman, barely out of school, who studied hard, volunteered earnestly to help wild animals, was planning to go away and study so she could be a wildlife or marine vet and come back to help animals in T & T. As a child she had many pets and, because her parents didn't have enough money to take them to the vet when they were injured or ill, she would use her instincts and heal them with her own hands - down to putting home made splints on broken limbs and 'fixing' gaping wounds. I remember one day giving her a drop to get a taxi (the second time I had ever encountered her) and she told me that she knew about me from hearing about me and that she was so glad to meet me because I was an inspiration to her. When I think of her being murdered by a strange man breaking into her grandmother's house, I don't see a dead body. I see her smiling face, I hear her positive and hopeful words, I see her with her young boyfriend (who found her body) helping us out at the exhibition we had for wild animals last year and looking so innocently happy together.
When Detta called me on my cell phone to tell me of the murder (I had just returned a day or two before from wonderful St. Lucia) I was heading into town along the highway with a friend. At first, when she told me, I felt nothing and just said "What?!" Then a few minutes later, I suppose as it sank in, I just started to cry and could not stop. It was as though the news was a trigger to release a plug of frustration and anger that had built up in me over this year of increasingly noticing 'things going on in the country'. My friend told me "Pull over", but I didn't. I kept crying and driving and Detta kept talking ... but I was no longer hearing her words. I only saw Shaddie's face and felt the 'unfairness' of it all. What kept running through my mind was: "It doesn't matter how good a person you are." By the time we had reached the traffic lights by Nestle, I got off the phone, suddenly stopped crying, flew into a rage and slammed my fist into the car window (which did not break), then started crying again. I eventually stopped ... decided to forget what I had to do in town, forget the traffic and just go back home.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

running out of ideas?

give us some updates on your musical artists featured on your site.
up coming projects....

2:11 AM  
Blogger Friendly Frog said...

I guess you're right, Elspeth. It doesn't matter how good a person is... It's always sad to know of someone losing their life that way. What makes it worse is when you know them, whether very well or as an aquaintance, and to know them as a young, hardworking, positive person who's life is just beginning. I'm sure it was theraputic to write about Shaddie. It couldn't have been easy.
I can't, and never will, understand how someone can take another person's life, and feel no remorse!

7:52 PM  

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