Fifty-seven years

Today the 10th October marks fifty-seven years since I left my hometown in Trinidad and moved to Montreal.

Yesterday I was remembering the morning where we left home with my mother, my eldest sitser Anita, and I think it was my brother Noel who drove us. As the car got to the corner I saw my father standing waiting on his taxi to go to work and we waved good bye to one another. It was the last time I saw him as he passed away some 3 years later. Come to think of it, none of the family from that scene are in the earth plane anymore. My brother Noel died the following year from jaundice and then my dad and many years later my mom and my eldest sister Anita passed away just about one year now.

I can still remember saying farewell to my mom and then realising how I loved her and how hard it was to separate myself and as a matter of fact my sister separated us and I hurried off to the gates. It’s been fifty-seven years but  the mind does not forget  some things although many others are lost.  I remember sitting in the plane and as the motors reved up and we took off, the gut feeling that was tearing away at my heart as I fought to restrain from tears.

Many things have passed since then and sometimes I think, “oh if I did not do this”, or “if maybe I did that, my life could be so different”. But really, there is, at this stage, no real regret as I have come to realize that most of the time, especially when we searched our conscience and acted, there was no ‘wrong decision’ but rather it was something we had to do. One may call it ‘destiny’ but I dont, I just figure we did, in conscience, what we had to do.

I like the passage of St Paul: “When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” I Cor. xiii. 11.  He said when he ‘became a man’.  Something to reflect on as really, when does one ‘become a man’?   With the knowledge I have today, I think there are things I would not do.  I got into trouble once as I said that publicly and someone (un consciously or not) omitted the part which I said “with what I know today” and they made a real commotion about it.

I think I am not alone as many people do not regret choices they made in life but feel somehow if ‘only they had known the consequences,’ they would not have made those choices! I am happy I followed my intuition or whatever and came to Canada. I am happy in this country and do not regret ever making this my home! I have thoughts of other things and decisions and choices I made whilst here and thats what I think about sometimes.  I really like what Shakespeare said that ‘this world’s a stage and we are all actors’. I think of that a lot and try to take my roll serious while at the same time telling myself ‘Its just a roll”.  It’s like standing aside and watching ones self as the roll is played. I think i spoke about that before but even if I did, so what? Just talking about it again, seems to drive the message home.

I really never got a chnace to thank Shakespeare for this teaching and I do so now. This reminds me that there was another person who left his mark on the world, he was a famous painter and I totally disagree with one of his most famous paintings. Am sorry Michaelangelo but I feel you somehow lacked imagination when you did a painting of God creating Adam. Ah come on man, you painted God as an old man! Wake up Mike! If God is God, why would he ever become old? And to think the Pope of his day who allowed him to leave that monstrosity  in the chapel for generations to come. I sincerely hope, either it will fade away completely or other people’s eyes may open and see that Mike, comeone a little imagination and try maybe drawing God as Light.

But then, you were as you were in those days and Popes were really never infallible even though some may have pretended to be. And the art work in places like the Sistine Chapel are still there to say something just like most of the stuff people do in life to entertain.  I want to think that in years to come when I look back at my life, it was not lived without serving others and I made the smallest thing to make this life here at least a little better for others.

I remember once at a talk given in Ottawa by the Dalai Lama, someone asked him to teach them meditation and he said “teach you meditation? Every day sit for a while and ask yourself, what can you do to make this world a little better place for others?”

So although I did not ask the Dalai Lama the question, I think his response a good advice for the rest of my life. Thank you so much for walking with me a while today!

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