Heavy Heart

The logical side of my brain is trying to figure out why Miss Lou’s death makes me so sad but it’s losing a hard battle to my emotions, which are screaming to quit trying to analyze and jus’ recognize. She wasn’t related to me yet she’s as much a part of me as she is of every Jamaican. Even today when I was reading some of the letters that have been published in the Gleaner I got choked up. This woman, just by doing what she loved and believed in, did more for Jamaica than she ever dreamed or that we can ever really fathom. It was good to read that she will be brought home, with her husband, for final rest and that she’ll be given an official State funeral. It seems fitting for her to be honoured in death as we and soooo many others tried to honour her in life for her many accomplishments.

It was right at the end of the workday on Wednesday that I had a chance to check out the news from Jamaica, which honestly is something I’ve kinda eased off of because it’s a bit overwhelming – same ol’ BS every day. So Wednesday I was really jus’ trying to burn some time as work wound down. The front page of the Gleaner walloped me. The last thing I expected to see what breaking news about Miss Lou’s death. I know that she was ill and up in age but never expected her to die. I’m realizing that all along unconsciously I expected her to be around forever. She was jus’ supposed to be there always, smiling at us in her headwraps and tirelessly explaining why our folklore and stored-telling traditions are so important.

Not that I am or was a drama person but I read her poems or saw her on TV or witnessed someone perform her poems; everyone did and more people will. She was jus’ impossible to ignore. If for nothing else, her death at this time in Jamaica – with Emancipation and Independence days around the corner – is even more of a reminder to us all to be proud of our country and our culture and our history, and most importantly not to forget any of it. Was talking with my dad and one of his friend’s last evening and they were reminiscing about Miss Lou, Maas Ran (Ranny Williams) and countless other performers who were popular during their childhoods. Needless to say, one thing to think on and work toward now is the preservation of whatever sound recordings or other media of these people and their tremendous work. Technology as it is right now provides no excuse for not knowing how to restore and preserve things that are years old. It can be done. It needs to be done as soon as we’ve all grieved. A lot of our history is dying with each elder that passes on. Too much.

Walk, good Miss Lou. I know I will miss you.

mood: sad & reflective
sounds: my fan giving me well-needed cool breeze
Check out the Jamaica’s Observer‘s 7/27/06 editorial cartoon, which was at once brilliant as poignant: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/html/20060726T230000-0500_109927_OBS_EDITORIAL_CARTOON.asp


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