Is it a no-man’s land? A zone common to any?
Is it a place of connection? A link to ourselves?
Is it a place of social or cultural history? A library of the past?
No. It is where we bury the dead. Where we bury forever what has been. Where we close the book. Where memories are put to rest.
It may be a monument to the past, to all that has gone on before, but it is an end NOT a beginning. When we leave a burial ground we leave the buried hopes wishes thoughs and dreams and those interred behind us. They cease to exist.
A New Saga – The Beginning of The Journey Home
A New Saga has begun in the History of Barbados, and in the lives of its people. You could say it started with our varied ancestors and native indigenous peoples who had a dream. You could say it started with a political movement. You could say it was destined. You could say it is the will of the “gods”. Whatever you say, say this saga is about our journey home. Our journey to ourselves..
Whether black, white, yellow, red or brown we do share some part of a common history that has kept us bogged and bowed. To paraphrase P.M. Mottley, until we all face the past and have open meaningful discussion, and come to grips with what makes us all special and unique we can none of us fully heal and take hold of the brightest future imaginable. A future where there is no niggling suspicion, guilt or shame on anyone; neither transferred or inferred.
And of course, for me, it has to be the mainly black toned people of my nation who have to receive this healing in full first, simply because we are part of the healing process for the others. We must be whole to make others whole.
That is not to say we are better or greater, but we are greater in number and (perhaps) suffered more. And this suffering in our part of the world includes the white slaves, whether Scottish or Irish, or whatever. If we can get to a place where we all can feel a sense of justice – of acknowledgement of our past pain (often made present) that leads to or is coupled with a genuine “sorry”, and maybe a monetary salve for the ‘slave as heritage’ appellate bestowed on us – we will heal. And so too will those who are the descendants of those who did the enslaving.
They will heal of the shame, if they so feel any, of their fore-parents; they will heal of the subliminal fear that we want to hurt or harm them, or that they do not fully engage our love, or we theirs. They will heal of the ‘feeling’ that they have to safeguard their part of this History as theirs alone, that we want to erase, appropiate or steal it; because we will be better able to acknowledge with them the hard work and ofttimes real business acumen it took to even build and manage a successful economy despite the impositions and hardships that they too endured.
For we should ALL also acknowledge that the trade etc was not necessarily born of hatred of a peoples per se, but of what would have seemed at the time an Economic way out of for some countries – My Marxist take on the affair – in keeping with then practices of pirating or such like. Such is the History, if we look at it Globally. And those of that time, on both sides, may have been suffering from a level of “ignorance” and “greed” that superseded any human notions of “due care.”
They will heal and perhaps be more open to sharing with us their heritage. Perhaps we too will heal and be more open to releasing our pain, and to sharing our heritage with them. They will heal in parts unknown to themselves which despite wealth or no, prevents them from enjoying the full abundance of life.
We have a common Legacy. We must accept that. When both the descendants of slaves and descendants of slave owners can forgive their ancestors (yes slaves too, for were not some sold to be sold?) we can go home – to ourselves- to who we really are, all we really are, and all we deserve to be. When that is accomplished, we can then look in the mirror and not see ‘a shadow there, a stranger’.
In the below video, the Prime Minster and others have unveiled some of the plans for the newly republic Barbados. It is a glimpse of what they hope to achieve over time as we refuse to re-write History, but carve and create a new Destiny. As we ALL as Barbadians journey home to OURSELVES.
I’ve/We’ve come a long way………let me/us journey on……. to my/ourselves.
Our future lies within our grasp. Truly we must “let the dead past bury its dead.” While praying that our collective future WILL be pleasant , as we “act in the living present.” It is a big picture. It is a dream.
He who would find himself, look not in a mirror,
for there is but a shadow there, a stranger.
– Odes to Truth, Silenius
(Sydney Sheldon, A Stranger In The Mirror)