I'm in a celebratory mood

August 22, 2018
Beverley Lashley (left), national librarian, presenting Jean 'Binta' Breeze with a citation and 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Jamaica Poetry Festival recently.

I'm in a celebratory mood. And I use 'celebratory' deliberately, because inscribing that word in last week's column provided confirmation that people actually read my box. It may seem like a simple thing to some, but I value the fact that people read my weekly rants, and I'm happy that reading it can help somebody learn something new. Yeah, dem simple ting deh mek mi feel good!

Listen nuh, there's a beautiful and pleasant lady named Miss Claudette who sells in a shop that I frequent in Portmore. And two days ago, she told me she wanted to challenge a word I used that she can't remember ever seeing before. She knows I sometimes make up words, and she wanted to know if this was the case, because she checked her dictionary and couldn't find it. The word was 'celebratory.' Well, maybe it's the teacher in me, but it pleased me that the column sent Miss Claudette to her dictionary to check my word, and sent me back to mine to confirm that I didn't make it up.

So, Miss Claudette, here's what I found. The online English Oxford Living Dictionary says something is 'celebratory' when it's used or intended to publicly acknowledge a significant or happy day or event. For example, I want to host a celebratory dinner for my friend Joan Andrea Hutchinson, who's being bestowed with an OD for her outstanding work. The feeling or expression of joy in celebrating something may also be called celebratory. For example, one could say, 'there was celebratory laughter by the batsman, after he hit the six to make his first century.'

And, here's an example based on a real situation. My morning blues quickly disappeared yesterday and was replaced by a celebratory grin when I read The Gleaner report on the 8th Annual Jamaica Poetry Festival that took place last week. The celebratory grin was because another beloved sister/friend and brilliant poet Jean Binta Breeze was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award. And I also hear that she'll be getting another big award soon!

Whether simple or significant to you, these are things dat sweet me fi true! Things like a line in Jean Binta Breeze's poem The Simple Things, which says: "She rocks rhythm in her chair, brushes hand across her hair, miles of travels in her stare. The simple of things of life mi dear!" Dat sweet, don't it?


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