Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.







**You may contact me by e-mail at livinginbarbados[at]gmail[dot]com**

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Write, Said Fred.

I am not the first person to find writing a cathartic process, i.e. it's cleansing or allows me to purge, if you want to get personal. It's great advantage (until such time as I launch into a book) is that I can let my mind wander over whatever I like. When I woke early this morning, my head was buzzing with ideas on which I could write today. I did not lose track of them, but as often happens, none of them sat up and said "Pick me!". I'll share briefly some of them, so don't be surprised to see them pop up in the future. Men don't only think about sex.

  • I had breakfast at Happy Days yesterday with my friend, Ingrid--she can be named as she is already in the public domain with her entertaining blog, Notes from a small rock. Not for the first time, she lamented how hard it was to get her writing together. This time, she had something in the works, but it was taking its good time to come together. All I know is that it concerns the aging process, and I guess that in keeping with that, it too is again gracefully.
  • Life's bitter sweetness. I was again recalling Jennifer Hudson's tragic recent losses, with members of her family murdered. I found myself in tears at my steering wheel two weeks ago, when her latest song "Spotlight" came on the radio. If you don't know the song, please listen to the lyrics carefully and hum along.

I have been hearing this song in the car a lot recently when I was transporting the kids, and we all bopped madly to it. That was before the deaths. Now, the song just evokes pain. Ms. Hudson's famed story of a rise from no-one in particular to a now famous film and singing star is one of true inspiration. The fact that she is from Chicago--Obamaland--added a certain peculiar overlay, the event happening just a few weeks before the presidential elections. As I drove along, the thoughts in the song mingled with planning to read a Bible passage at the upcoming wedding of one of my sisters-in-law; I hoped that someone would have this song available to play at the reception.

  • A little known disease, which I thought was called "Mercer" or "Merser". I had heard the basketball player, Grant Hill, discuss this on Bloomberg TV a few weeks ago; he mentioned how it was often contracted in gyms and sports locker rooms, and could be deadly. He contracted it while recovering from an operation on his ankle. Now, I find that the disease is actually "MRSA" (see link); it is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," and are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Occasionally, staph can cause an infection; staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and most can be treated without antibiotics. However, staph bacteria can also cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections and pneumonia). In the past, most serious staph bacteria infections were treated with a certain type of antibiotic related to penicillin. Over the past 50 years, treatment of these infections has become more difficult because staph bacteria have become resistant to various antibiotics, including the commonly used penicillin-related antibiotics. These resistant bacteria are called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
I feel much wiser now.

But, the catharsis is not complete. I have many things about which I cannot write. Some are tragic, some are really quite funny. A certain discretion has to be maintained, I have decided. I am not a blog version of the "National Enquirer". A friend shared something very personal with me yesterday, with the warning "Don't you EVER, write about this!" I promised, even though we were talking on the phone and she could not see if I had my fingers crossed. I can assure her that my fingers were not cross and the story will never be written by me. In that same vein, I have been having a very probing exchange with someone about their social and political views, and there too I was asked to never write about these, and certainly not aim to embarrass the person by doing so. Again, it was easy to promise not to do that, and the promise in sincere.

Finally, writing has brought benefits that I had not imagined or sought. I thank the man who paid me an effusive compliment yesterday, about the quality of my writing, which he and his wife now enjoy reading. That was very satisfying. But I must stress that there is a huge difference between self satisfaction and feeling satisfied.

No comments: