I have plenty to be thankful for!
Look yah nuh peeps, I deserve a kick. And yesterday I actually tried giving myself a solid right foot in the rear, but mi foot couldn't reach around there. So instead, I gave myself a good, serious talking to.
Yeah friends. 'Shut up with the damn complaining and give thanks man!' Those were the words I shouted - maybe a bit too loudly - to myself yesterday as I walked in the cold to grab a cup of coffee. Of course, people immediately started looking away in embarrassment or stepping aside to allow me to pass, and I realised that they must be thinking 'oh dear, here's another crazy one!' I don't blame them. Mi did really look like a man who was going off his rockers.
Here's the situation. I returned to Toronto, Canada, on Monday after spending some weeks on the hot, hectic Jamrock. And as mi land mi start grumble about everything and nothing. I found myself fussing about all the unfinished business in Kingston, screaming at my teenaged son who I had not seen for weeks about some stupid misplaced key, griping about how tired I felt after the flight and complaining bitterly about being back in the searing cold.
Then it hit me how really silly, crazy and downright ungrateful it is of me, to be expending vital energy and wasting precious time complaining about such mundane matters. I should be giving thanks. And not quietly either, I should shout my appreciation loudly, because as the late author and poet Gertrude Stein once said, "silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone". So mi a buck di volume on my gratitude and tun up di thanks loud! Yeah, the Creator has been great and the universe has been kind to me and I must try harder to be grateful. Yu nuh agree?
I have to remind myself that we are only a month into this year, after a 2015 that was an amazing year for me. Look man, I went to Africa last year! Yes friends, thanks to the generosity of the Canadian Council for the Arts through their Travel Grant for Professional Writers Program, I was able to make the trip of a lifetime to the land of my ancestors between October and November last year. That special trip, which I'm even now still processing, was a spiritually empowering, intellectually stimulating and emotionally uplifting experience that continues to have tremendous impact on my art form and my practice as a writer.
So why in heaven's name should I even be complaining, when there's so much nuff nuff things to be thankful for? That is like being blind to the beauty of blessings and taking good gifts for granted. And I have long heard that if people insist on taking things for granted, then the things they are granted will be taken.
I had a really productive trip that involved starting important work on several promising projects that I will return to continue working on very soon. I'm thankful for that. I can travel. In fact, compared to most people, I really travel a lot. And I should value and appreciate that special privilege that so many people yearn for and some will never attain. I took two different planes the same day, and both of them went high up in the clouds and came back down to earth without incident. And instead of sending up praises for safe and uneventful flight mi deh deh a find fault wid di good-good life that I have been given.
There's a problem in Jamaica now with motorists who have to park their cars due to problems caused by filling up bad petrol. Well, the way I see it, ungratefulness in life is like that bad gas in a car. And I don't want it to render me immobile. So I'm filling up. Tank full of thankfulness is what I'm saying. How about you?